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Posted on 03/04/2013 4:05:18 PM PST by Jandy on Genesis
All of this is to say that binary oppositions are both pattern and method. In the field of Physics Einstein and Bohr represent the tug-o-war between determinism and non-determinism. Einstein preferred the determinism of classical physics over the complementarity and the uncertainty principle of Bohr and Heisenberg. Yet none of them could deny that all properties and actions in the physical world are to some degree non-deterministic. None can deny that every snowflake is unique. Yet every snowflake has a perfect pattern.
Niels Bohr was right that light behaves like both waves and particles. This led him to conclude that entities could be analysed as having several contradictory or mutually exclusive properties, such as a wave or a stream of particles, depending on the experimental framework. In other words, no entity is only one thing.
In Philosophy we find Essentialists and Non-Essentialists, and Determinists and Non-Determinists. It is never wise to be dogmatic about either position because neither can function without the other. The opposites must be held together if we are to discover anything about the more difficult questions, such as "At what point does the entity cross from this to that?" This question weighs on Darwinians who are faced with identifying the crossover points from single cell to complex organism to primate to human. Despite the bluster of popular figures like Richard Dawkins, they have not been able to accomplish this. Could this be because no entity exists that does not conform to some pattern?
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Far from it.
I was going to find an image of a "perfect" snowflake and point out that it does have imperfections and variation among the six points. I found this site on Snowflake Science which makes that point and goes much further, pointing out that the "perfect" appearing ones are rarities.