e-book Origin and Scientific Definition of All: Based on the Natural Laws of Our Universe

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Only a tiny number of proteins that are modestly complex — say, amino acids long — have emerged over the entire history of the Universe. Generating all 20 of the possibilities would take aeons. Given such limitations, how does what does exist ever come into being? This is where Kauffman expands on his autocatalytic-sets theory, introducing concepts such as closure, in which processes are linked so that each drives the next in a closed cycle.

He posits that autocatalysing sets of RNA, peptides or both encapsulated in a sphere of lipid molecules could form self-reproducing protocells.

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And he speculates that these protocells could evolve. Thus, each new biological innovation begets a new functional niche fostering yet more innovation. You cannot predict what will exist, he argues, because the function of everything biology generates will depend on what came before, and what other things exist now, with an ever-expanding set of what is possible next. Because of this, Kauffman provocatively concludes, there is no mathematical law that could describe the evolving diversity and abundance of life in the biosphere.

For instance, they might predict the distribution of extinctions. Will a deep understanding of life ultimately come from comprehending how form and function arise from flows of information? Will life be understood only as a planetary-scale process, fundamentally linked to exoplanet sciences? Or will merging theory and experiment lead to new approaches to creating artificial life?

The distinction might be semantic, but it is important. Physics has already grown far beyond simply describing aspects of reality, such as the very big astronomy, cosmology , the very small quantum systems, particle physics or the human-sized mechanics, as studied by Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton. Interesting work is emerging from the study of complexity in areas such as economics, electronics, climate physics, the science of societies and non-equilibrium thermodynamics.

Such cross-disciplinary advances suggest that physics itself should not be defined merely by systems it has described in the past.

It is a way to view the world, one that values the most abstract, fundamental and unifying descriptions of reality, from atoms to the Universe. Within that span is biological and technological complexity in phenomena from humans to cities.

Natural law - Wikipedia

So far, this has been the hardest area in which to gain traction from first-principles approaches, because of the density of interactions across components and scales. This unified view seems to be in line with what Kauffman is after. But it suggests that an explanation might demand new physics. After all, some physical laws are statistical by nature, such as the second law of thermodynamics. The chemist Lee Cronin, for example, experiments on self-assembly and self-organization in large molecules such as metal oxides.

In this sense, the field is attempting to take an ensemble approach, and could provide new paths for developing theories on the universal principles bridging non-organic matter and life. It might inspire the next conceptual leap. In a way that only he can, Kauffman has asked the questions we need to solve the mystery of life and its origins. But there is much work for the next generation to do to answer them. This principle laid the seed for possible societal tension with reference to tyrants.

The Catholic Church holds the view of natural law introduced by Albertus Magnus and elaborated by Thomas Aquinas , [44] particularly in his Summa Theologiae , and often as filtered through the School of Salamanca. This view is also shared by some Protestants , [45] and was delineated by Anglican writer C. The Catholic Church understands human beings to consist of body and mind, the physical and the non-physical or soul perhaps , and that the two are inextricably linked.

Timeline of the Big Bang Theory

Some, like procreation , are common to other animals, while others, like the pursuit of truth, are inclinations peculiar to the capacities of human beings. To know what is right, one must use one's reason and apply it to Thomas Aquinas' precepts.

Heritage of antiquity and the Middle Ages

This reason is believed to be embodied, in its most abstract form, in the concept of a primary precept: "Good is to be sought, evil avoided. Thomas explains that:. As to those general principles, the natural law, in the abstract, can nowise be blotted out from men's hearts. But it is blotted out in the case of a particular action, insofar as reason is hindered from applying the general principle to a particular point of practice, on account of concupiscence or some other passion, as stated above 77, 2.

But as to the other, i. However, while the primary and immediate precepts cannot be "blotted out", the secondary precepts can be. Therefore, for a deontological ethical theory they are open to a surprisingly large amount of interpretation and flexibility.

Any rule that helps humanity to live up to the primary or subsidiary precepts can be a secondary precept, for example:. Natural moral law is concerned with both exterior and interior acts, also known as action and motive. Simply doing the right thing is not enough; to be truly moral one's motive must be right as well.

For example, helping an old lady across the road good exterior act to impress someone bad interior act is wrong. However, good intentions don't always lead to good actions. The motive must coincide with the cardinal or theological virtues. Cardinal virtues are acquired through reason applied to nature; they are:.

According to Aquinas, to lack any of these virtues is to lack the ability to make a moral choice. For example, consider a person who possesses the virtues of justice, prudence, and fortitude, yet lacks temperance. Due to their lack of self-control and desire for pleasure, despite their good intentions, they will find themself swaying from the moral path.

He argued that the antagonism between human beings can only be overcome through a divine law , which he believed to have been sent through prophets. This is also the position of the Ashari school, the largest school of Sunni theology. The concept of natural law entered the mainstream of Western culture through his Aristotelian commentaries, influencing the subsequent Averroist movement and the writings of Thomas Aquinas.

The Maturidi school, the second largest school of Sunni theology, posits the existence of a form of natural law. Abu Mansur al-Maturidi stated that the human mind could know of the existence of God and the major forms of 'good' and 'evil' without the help of revelation. Al-Maturidi gives the example of stealing, which is known to be evil by reason alone due to people's working hard for their property.

Natural Law Theory: Crash Course Philosophy #34

Killing, fornication, and drinking alcohol were all 'evils' the human mind could know of according to al-Maturidi. The concept of Istislah in Islamic law bears some similarities to the natural law tradition in the West, as exemplified by Thomas Aquinas. However, whereas natural law deems good what is self-evidently good, according as it tends towards the fulfilment of the person, istislah calls good whatever is connected to one of five "basic goods".

Deducing the Laws of Nature

Al-Ghazali abstracted these "basic goods" from the legal precepts in the Qur'an and Sunnah: they are religion, life, reason, lineage and property. Some add also "honour".

Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya also posited that human reason could discern between 'great sins' and good deeds. This is a concept predating European legal theory, and reflects a type of law that is universal and may be determined by reason and observation of natural action.


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These two terms occur frequently, though Irish law never strictly defines them. These were two very real concepts to the jurists and the value of a given judgment with respect to them was apparently ascertainable. Although under the law any third person could fulfill the duty if both parties agreed, and both were sane. Heinrich A. Rommen remarked upon "the tenacity with which the spirit of the English common law retained the conceptions of natural law and equity which it had assimilated during the Catholic Middle Ages, thanks especially to the influence of Henry de Bracton d.

Mullett has noted Bracton's "ethical definition of law, his recognition of justice, and finally his devotion to natural rights.