From Simplicity to Hypercomplexity: The G, Q, C Factors
by Varadaraja V. Raman
14 Dec 1997
The greatest insight and achievement of classical physics was to show that the
(physical) world on our scale consists of phenomena based on mathematically
formulable and tractable laws. And these phenomena are precisely predictable.
The greatest insight and achievement of twentieth century physics has been to
show that the microcosm (the world of elementary corporundals or momenergies:
i.e. entities that have only momentum and energy at the subatomic level)
consists of phenomena based on mathematically formulable laws, but that
microcosmic phenomena are only statistically (probabilistically)
predictable. The probabilistic evolutions are intrinsic to quantum
The significance of the above is to be seen in this: that there are levels of
reality in which different kinds of laws operate.
Next there is a level of complex reality (biological systems, clouds, etc.)
in which chaos comes into play. We define chaos as a small causative factor
which leads to very significant consequences. For example, a single hit
by a cosmic ray particle on a gene may lead to mutations of enormous long-range
Finally, we may define a hypercomplex level of reality in which mind and
meaning come into play. Here the chaos factor becomes even more dramatic. (Just
think of any chance occurrence in your life and its long range consequences.)
All these results may be formulated a la Heisenberg by introducing three symbols:
G (predictable goal factor), Q (quantum world factor, intrinsic to
he system) and C (chaos factor), and writing:
GQ + GC + QC = k (a constant).
(a) At the classical (everyday and astronomical) level,
Q = 0, C = 0, therefore G = infinity.
This means that the evolution of the phenomenon (like the next appearance of
Halleys comet or the path of a missile) can be fully predicted by knowing the
laws and the initial conditions.
(b) At the quantum level, C = 0, Q is large. Therefore GQ = k.
This gives a small value for G.
(c) At the level of complexity, Q = 0, but C is large. Therefore
GC = k makes G quite small.
(d) At the hypercomplex level, Q = 0, but C is very, very large.
This makes G very, very small.
Viewed from this perspective, the debate about freewill and determinism relates
to two questions:
(a) Can C be tracked by physics and chemistry?
If we accept the notion of levels of reality the answer is No, because
otherwise C can be subsumed under G. Since it is well established
that Q cannot be tracked down even by the most sophisticated
instruments (Heisenberg microscope), there is nothing unscientific
or limiting in surpising (if not concluding) that C
too cannot be tracked down experimentally or conceptually, just as
one cannot predict why one rather than another nucleus in a radioactive sample
will decay in the next minute.
(b) Is C is intrinsic or extrinsic to the system?
Interestingly enough, making C intrinsic (which is what a classically-minded
physicist may be inclined to say) makes free-will a consequence of brain function
(which is what such a person would tend to deny). On the other hand, given consequences
of significance to the system, making C extrinsic to the system may persuade one
to accept or at least consider the possibility of a teleological causative agent