7 found
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  1. Entropy and information: Suggestions for common language.Jeffrey S. Wicken - 1987 - Philosophy of Science 54 (2):176-193.
    Entropy and information are both emerging as currencies of interdisciplinary dialogue, most recently in evolutionary theory. If this dialogue is to be fruitful, there must be general agreement about the meaning of these terms. That this is not presently the case owes principally to the supposition of many information theorists that information theory has succeeded in generalizing the entropy concept. The present paper will consider the merits of the generalization thesis, and make some suggestions for restricting both entropy and information (...)
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  2. Causal explanations in classical and statistical thermodynamics.Jeffrey S. Wicken - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (1):65-77.
    This paper considers the problem of causal explanation in classical and statistical thermodynamics. It is argued that the irreversibility of macroscopic processes is explained in both formulations of thermodynamics in a teleological way that appeals to entropic or probabilistic consequences rather than to efficient-causal, antecedental conditions. This explanatory structure of thermodynamics is not taken to imply a teleological orientation to macroscopic processes themselves, but to reflect simply the epistemological limitations of this science, wherein consequences of heat-work asymmetries are either macroscopically (...)
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  3.  61
    The cosmic breath: Reflections on the thermodynamics of creation.Jeffrey S. Wicken - 1984 - Zygon 19 (4):487-505.
    This paper views such distinctions as creation and degeneration or good and evil in the Eastern sense of unity in polarity rather than in the Western sense of dual, antagonistic principles. Hence it considers the thermodynamic forces of evolution as processes of creation driven by entropy dissipation and explores the analogies this conception bears to the Hindu image of nature as the changing mist of a universal breath. Using this image, the paper examines the sense in which the second law (...)
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  4.  47
    Chance, necessity, and purpose: Toward a philosophy of evolution.Jeffrey S. Wicken - 1981 - Zygon 16 (4):303-322.
  5.  65
    Toward an evolutionary ecology of meaning.Jeffrey S. Wicken - 1989 - Zygon 24 (2):153-184.
    I will discuss some of the implications of the ongoing Darwinian revolution for theology as a constructor and interpreter of human meaning. Focus will be directed toward the following issues: How should we best understand ourselves in the new, evolutionary cosmos? What are the problems with the kind of genetic reductionism espoused by neo‐Darwinism? How are those problems resolved by the “relational” understanding of life made available by thermodynamics and ecology? How do we generate meaning‐structures in this relationally‐constituted cosmos? Finally, (...)
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  6.  48
    Theology and science in the evolving cosmos: A need for dialogue.Jeffrey S. Wicken - 1988 - Zygon 23 (1):45-55.
    Theology and science are both essential to the process of making sense of the world. Yet their relationship over the centuries has been largely adversarial. The Darwinian revolution, in particular, has necessitated a radical reinterpretation of the traditional dogma concerning creation. In this paper I discuss two general issues that presently obstruct communication between scientists and theologians in this arena and that are brought into acute focus by Wolfhart Pannenberg. First, the need to exercise care in the use of such (...)
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  7. Evolution in thermodynamic perspective: An ecological approach. [REVIEW]Bruce H. Weber, David J. Depew, C. Dyke, Stanley N. Salthe, Eric D. Schneider, Robert E. Ulanowicz & Jeffrey S. Wicken - 1989 - Biology and Philosophy 4 (4):373-405.
    Recognition that biological systems are stabilized far from equilibrium by self-organizing, informed, autocatalytic cycles and structures that dissipate unusable energy and matter has led to recent attempts to reformulate evolutionary theory. We hold that such insights are consistent with the broad development of the Darwinian Tradition and with the concept of natural selection. Biological systems are selected that re not only more efficient than competitors but also enhance the integrity of the web of energetic relations in which they are embedded. (...)
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