Year: 2009

Quantum Mechanics and Motion: A Modern Perspective

Physics Essays Vol. 23, pp. 242-247 (2010)

This essay is an attempted to address, from a modern perspective, the motion of a particle. Quantum mechanically, motion consists of a series of localizations due to repeated interactions that, taken close to the limit of the continuum, yields a world-line. If a force acts on the particle, its probability distribution is accordingly modified. This must also be true for macroscopic objects, although now the description is far more complicated by the structure of matter and associated surface physics.

Quantum Mechanics and Motion-A Modern Perspective

The Demystification of Emergent Behavior

Emergent behavior that appears at a given level of organization may be characterized as arising from an organizationally lower level in such a way that it transcends a mere increase in the behavioral degree of complexity. It is therefore to be distinguished from systems exhibiting chaotic behavior, for example, which are deterministic but unpredictable because of an exponential dependence on initial conditions. In emergent phenomena, higher levels of organization are not determined by lowerlevels of organization; or, more colloquially, emergent behavior is often said to be “greater than the sum of the parts”. The concept plays an especially important but contentious role in the biological sciences. This essay is intended to demystify at least some aspects of the mystery of emergence.

(This is an updated and expanded version of the original post with some portions rewritten to enhance clarity.)


Climate Change: Sources of Warming in the Late 20th Century

The role of the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, volcanic and other aerosols, as well as the extraordinary solar activity of the late 20th century are discussed in the context of the warming since the mid-1970s. Much of that warming is found to be due to natural causes.


A somewhat abbreviated version appears in Energy & Environment Vol. 23, No. 1, p. 95 (2012)

When the Stars Begin to Fall: The Waning of the Enlightenment

Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism Vol. 17 (1), Spring-Summer 2009
Creationism and Science

As fundamentalist religious thought strengthens its hold on U.S. politics, and increases its role in politics around the world, enlightened values that form the very foundation of modern society are coming under attack. In the United States the wedge issue being used by fundamentalists is a pseudo-debate over creationism and Darwin’s theory of the descent of man.


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