Part II: Quantum field theory

Abstract

If the general arguments concerning the involvement of variation and selection in explanations of “fit” are valid, then variation and selection explanations should be appropriate, or at least potentially appropriate, outside the paradigm historistic domains of biology and knowledge. In this discussion, I wish to indicate some potential roles for variation and selection in foundational physics – specifically in quantum field theory. I will not be attempting any full coherent ontology for quantum field theory – none currently exists, and none is likely for at least the short term future. Instead, I wish to engage in some partially speculative interpretations of some interesting results in this area with the aim of demonstrating that variation and selection notions might play a role even here. If variation and selection can survive in even as inhospitable and non-paradigmatic a terrain as foundational physics, then it can survive anywhere.

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Mark Bickhard
Lehigh University

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