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Tyrrell_McAllister comments on Reductionism - Less Wrong

40 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 16 March 2008 06:26AM

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Comment author: Tyrrell_McAllister 17 March 2012 10:01:06PM *  0 points [-]

Why in a probabalistic structure like a very well-formed snowflake is there so much symmetry between arms (and most especially the mirror symmetry on each arm) between areas that are millions or billions of atoms away from each other? The "contact mechanics" explanation simply doesn't wash. Snowflake branches are very obviously probabalistic structures, so the "changing growing conditions of the snowflake" explanation simply doesn't wash, since probabalistic structures ought not show such high amounts of symmetry unless some kind of resonance is occurring between the arms and reflections of arms in the snowflake.

This bulwark of irreducible mysteriousness seems to be falling fast:

[A] team of mathematicians has for the first time succeeded in simulating a panoply of snowflake shapes using basic conservation laws, such as preserving the number of water molecules in the air.