Wolfram (A New Kind of Science

Wolfram (A New Kind of Science, Wolfram Media, 2002) makes some provocative statements regarding mechanistic models in the section “Ultimate Models for the Universe” in Chapter 9, Fundamental Physics, of his book. In particular, he states that “since at least the 1960s mechanistic models have carried the stigma of uninformed amateur science.” In continuing to discuss physics, Wolfram states: “And instead I believe that what must happen relies on the phenomena discovered in this book—and involves the emergence of complex properties without any obvious un-derlying mechanistic physical set up.” Since the author is one of the world’s leading scientists and is the developer of the very popular Mathematica software, such state-ments should not be taken lightly. Do you adopt a counterviewpoint in regard to the use or possible use of mechanistic models in your field? Explain.

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