Undirected and random events can not create specified complexity.
Perhaps complexity cannot be logically deduced from "pure" randomness without the Fundamental Process, which is, along with the "existence" of primordial consciousness, one of the basic assumptions of the model.
Typically, growing things (things that are in a state of becoming) can naturally and spontaneously - for at least some limited period of time - decrease their entropy. In contrast, the entropy of non-growing things always naturally increases. In PMR, the growing things ultimately depend on the non-growing things, thus fulfilling the grim prediction of the second law of thermodynamics. We will discover that in mind-space where AUO exists as dim consciousness, there are no physical things and everything has the potential to grow. In mind-space, seeking the lowest energy state is never a goal. Quite the contrary, for a consciousness system the most profitable next-state is one that enables that system to minimize its entropy. In other words, evolutionary change within a consciousness system is profitable for that system if it causes the entropy of the system to decrease.
There is a natural tendency for an entity to make those choices, or to exploit or succumb to those changes that move that entity toward its evolutionary goals. That is, toward a more profitable configuration or mutually beneficial arrangement- toward a lower energy state for physical matter (higher entropy) or a lower entropy state (higher usable energy) for consciousness. The Fundamental Process explores all the opportunities and possibilities for change, then inextricably and statistically moves each entity, each collection of similar entities (such as a species or a field full of rocks), or each collection of collections of diverse entities (community or ecosystem) toward its immediate goals by continuing to evolve the winners. The Fundamental Process of evolution is a recursive process that builds layer upon layer of interdependent organization and structure: a process that repeats and folds back upon itself at many different scales and levels of interaction.
Again, let me caution you to not be confused by the use of verbs in a sentence that has the Fundamental Process as the subject. That particular language construction is simply convenient and more succinctly expressive in describing the dynamics of evolutionary change. The Fundamental Process is a simple natural process - not an active sentient growth manager that can execute action verbs toward the achievement of some preconceived goal. (MBT p. 196)
As an assumption, the FP has no logical entry point. Why does the LCS intrinsically move towards lower entropy states? A guess is, because randomness is equivalent to non-existence--nothingness, no meaningful information. Why existence is preferable to non-existence, I don't know. We can seek the "source" of the FP in mystical states, but for our purposes, we live with uncertainty.
So we do not live in a system of "purely" undirected and random events, we live in a system in which growing things are attracted by, reinforced, and bolstered by the achievement of more profitable, organized, complex, effective, powerful, interrelated, meaningful, harmonic states, able to do more "work" (i.e. to continue the Fundamental Process). This is the "power" behind the intent of the entire system to evolve, which all of its parts have "inherited." If you reject this assumption, much of MBT does not make sense.
What I think we find is organizing principles (or fields) at various levels of abstractions. Kind of like boundary layers of an onion. npmr organizes VMs, VMs organize galaxies, galaxies organize planets, bodies organize organs, organs organize cells, cells organize parts, parts to atoms, atoms to particles, etc. All in a feedback loop of information and expanding experience via experiments, levels of organization, and excluding possibilities.
William, your "organizing fields" are also elaborated in complexity theory:
3. A complex system possesses a structure spanning several scales
Take the example of the human body again:
Scale 1: head, trunk, limbs,
Scale 2: bones, muscles, stomach, blood, nerves,
Scale 3: cells, each with a nucleus, mitochondria, cytoplasm,
Scale 4: chromosomes containing DNA, specialized protein molecules, each filling a special role
At every scale we find a structure. This is an essential and radically new aspect of a complex system, and it leads to the fourth property:
4. A complex system is capable of emerging behavior.
Emergence happens when you switch the focus of attention from one scale to the coarser scale above it. A certain behavior, observed at a certain scale, is said to be emergent if it cannot be understood when you study, separately and one by one, every constituent of his scale, each of which may also be a complex system made up of finer scales. Thus the emerging behavior is a new phenomenon special to the scale considered, and it results from global interactions between the scale’s constituents. Trivial example: the human body is capable of walking. This is an emerging property of the highest scale mentioned earlier. If you study only a head, or only a trunk, or only a leg, you will never understand walking.
The combination of structure and emergence leads to self-organization, which is what happens when an emerging behavior has the effect of changing the structure or creating a new structure. (Baranger, p. 9)
William, you write:
I don't see self organization in crystals or swarming groups. I see intent and morphogenetic fields which have, at least, a larger goal or programming.
How do you account then for the development of the goal or programming within the morphogenetic field or intent? Could it have evolved as a result of the same process of self-organization and emergent complexity that Ted has been describing? I haven't yet read Rupert Sheldrake; does he address the reason that morphogenetic fields developed in the first place?
Going further with this line of thought: systems that transition to higher states of organization under the onslaught of the forces of entropy reduction do so by transferring energy to themselves from the larger system in which they are embedded, reorganizing that energy to work for them (and their interrelated systems), and in the process, increasing the entropy of the global environment from which the energy or matter was "withdrawn:"
We suggest that in nonequilibrium situations, systems will take advantage of all available means to resist the gradients responsible for the nonequilibrium condition. Furthermore, the stronger the applied gradient, the greater the effect that the equilibrium attractor will have on the system. Emergence of coherent self-organizing structures are the expected response of systems as they attempt to resist and dissipate the external gradients that are moving them away from equilibrium. (Schneider, p. 45)
This can occur non-living systems such as plants or weather:
The global weather, wind and ocean circulation patterns are the result of the difference in heating at the equator relative to the poles. The general meteorological circulation of the earth, although affected by spatial, Coriolis and angular momentum effects, is driven by gradients and the global system's attempt to dissipate them and come to local equilibrium. Paltridge (21] has suggested that the earth-atmosphere, climate system configures itself into a state of maximum dissipation and that the global distribution of clouds, temperature and horizontal energy flows are governed by thermodynamic dissipative processes similar to those described above. We see that the earth-climate system, as well as other dissipative systems, do not reach a static equilibrium state because they are open thermodynamic systems constantly receiving a supply of external energy (i.e., from the sun), which drives them and maintains them in a nonequilibrium organized state.
And it also clearly happens with biological agents and ecosystems. What is the logical reason that chemical compounds evolved into cells, or single cells evolved into complex cells, or complex cells to multicellular organisms, or multicellular organisms to animals, fish, mammals, primates, humans? Consciousness experiencing life as a biological organism is just driven to resist the entropy of death--to survive and procreate--and will gladly increase the entropy of the larger environment to do so.
Finally we reach the stage of consciousness evolution, the next step after survival and procreation. Human and animals evolve our consciousness ("become love") because we are consciousness, and therefore have "key roles" as part of the larger consciousness system that is engaged in the process of reducing its disorder. If you remove the larger consciousness system from the picture, as materialist science has done, then biological evolution (the drive to survive) makes no sense. Evolution without purpose is explored in the philosophy of existentialism: life is absurd and meaningless but we chug along anyway for no good reason.
This leads me to two questions:
Is the generation and maintenance of PMRs temporarily entropy-increasing, because it is so resource intensive? The success of the PMR is therefore important so as to "gain dividends:" the PMR will eventually contribute to the entropy reduction of the IUOCs participating there.
Similarly, when an IUOC contributes chunks of its code to "spawn" higher entropy IUOCs that then go on to evolve on their own paths, is this process temporarily increasing entropy, until the IUOCs decrease their entropy and eventually the entropy of the entire system?