Causality, coincidence, cartesian, globular, distortion
Feb 06, 2002 02:59 PM
by Mic Forster
Thanks for the explanation. What strikes me is the seeming
contradiction between causality and coincidence. Could
coincidence be causality only partially perceived? Could it be that
there is a pattern of cause and effect so vast and comprehensive
that even what seems to be a coincidence could be a part of that
pattern, but that the scope of the cause and effect relationship
might be beyond our ability to see?
Right now I have been given the task of determining why a eucalypt forest exists in an area where there should be a rainforest and why a rainforest exists where there very well should be a eucalypt forest. There are a number of causes for the biogeographical range of these two sorts of forest, namely climate regime, soil physical factors, soil chemical factors, fire, topography and a few others. At any one point in time any of these variables has an over-riding effect on the others and this is only coincidental (although I like to believe a series of events are synchronised to bring about the end effect of a forest type). If one did not know of all these variables then one would be led to believe that it is just a coincidence that these forest types exist where they do. In this case coincidence is causality only partly perceived. However if every single variable was taken into account, and I mean everything from biochemistry to the effect of gravity that a far of distant galaxy has on our own galaxy then yes there is a pattern of cause and effect so vast that it would be near impossible for us to see. It is like trying to account for all the variables that produce daily weather patterns in some predetermined place on Earth.
Let's take a globular view of physical reality through the eyes of a cartesian co-ordinate system. We start with our origin with two sides x and y. Now if we keep adding an axis for every variable we can think of and each of these axes perfectly disects all the previous axes. So x and y have four sides each of 90 degrees each. Throw in a z axis and then you have six sides of 45 degrees each. Keep doing this and if you can imagine in this universe there are an infinite amount of axes you end up having an infinite amount of sides each disecting at an infinite amount of degrees. Viewing this via a cartesian co-ordinate system the picture becomes so blurred that it looks globular. Depending on what you are considering anyone of those axes has relatively more importance than any other. Hence you get this contradiction between causality and coincidence (and synchronicity for that matter).
I have jest read over what I have written and I am not too sure if it makes too much sense - it is a lot easier to picture than to put into words. But what I am trying to say is that I completely agree with what you are saying - the pattern between cause and effect is so vast that it does distort our ability to see.
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