What Branch of Science ?
....There are a great many places where it should fit, ....and too few where it seems to.

pf henshaw

Where it Departs   In What Department Does it Belong   Where did it branch from?

Where it departs, Where it fits

The real problem is figuring out how to fit it in.    It fits all over the place.  All sorts of studies of dynamic systems of change goes on, from the study of how changes of state occur, called nucleation theory, to climatology, medicine and evolution.   Studying them as locally original dynamic systems and events is  a big departure from standard methods.  The origin of this approach was in physics, particularly an interest in fundamental scientific principles, and how closed system theories don't quite connect together in an open system.   The degree of departure taken almost suggests creating a parallel physics, putting aside the entire 'state space paradigm' and its systems of equations, using mathematically guided direct descriptive representation instead.   This seems like it would be a very giant leap, and of course it's not practical or probably possible.   DR and related methods are just new  technique to augment the others we use, even if it they also bring with them theoretical foundations that alter the meaning of the well established techniques already in place.

I think the only real departures are: 1) abandoning the presumption that natural processes follow the rules we find useful, i.e. that the laws of physics are somehow imbedded in an extra universal structure underlying physical reality, or that physical reality is inherently mathematical, and 2) using the historical method of studying individual events for investigating all things, even the physical processes previously thought to be invariant and subject only to the laws of physics.   Physics is just a remarkably useful collection of accounting tokens we've developed.  Yes, physical processes do remarkably mimic the kind of connectivity actually found only in continuous mathematical functions, but nature uses the collected workings of discontinuous fine structure to do it.

Academic Departments

A more detailed understanding of the individual flows of organization in events should concern every field, from cooking to chaos, and medicine to metallurgy, except perhaps quantum mechanics, which is a theory of probabilities concerning events so remote that their individual mechanisms can not be discerned. Academic departments that would seen most likely to make use of this work include the historical sciences concerned with unique, ‘history dependent’ processes, such as paleontology, concerned with the fossil record of evolution, or climatology, concerned with the flows of energy in the atmosphere. In economics there is a need to identify the unique dynamics of businesses and national markets, etc., as well as applying to the 'big plan' of the design of the growth system in general.  We have much to learn about growth systems and what becomes of them from nature's prolific experiments.

In the materials sciences the interest might be more toward understanding the mechanisms of change of physical properties such as changes of state and material strain.  In the earth sciences it might be used to analyze the subtle accelerations of tectonic plates.   Yes, it's physics, and in application just rudimentary methodology, in the best sense.     It's application theory, however, is just not what physicists presently do, or think about, and the real work of making it useful for others is more likely to come from some of the physics spin-offs, like pattern recognition or information theory, though it's far from their field of interest at the moment too.   It's really just a discovery that scientists should look much more closely at their raw data before they destroy it with analysis.

In mathematics the study of natural flow concerns the relation between the implicit physical continuity of processes and the explicit theoretical continuity of functions. The question is how to develop mathematical structures that more accurately reflect the continuities and discontinuities of nature,  how to develop measures of natural continuity, and to separate continuities of different scale and kind.  It's a cross between theoretical and applied analysis that seems likely to provide for fertile ground.

Where It Branched From

6/98 ed 4/00