Cultural and scientific change and innovation in educational and social science


Abstract of the lecture of PAOLO MANZELLI

Director of Educational Research Laboratory

President of EGO-CreaNET/Telematic Association - University of Fiorence, ltaly



International Congress on "CREATIVITY AND SOCIETY"

Habana - Cuba 20-24 April 1998


Creativity is the basic principle for improving personal intelligence and for the progress of society. lt is also one of the fundamental strategies of natural evolution.

Every system, no matter how complex it is, develops itself by means of tranformation or undergoes natural evolution by means of mutations. In spite of the above simple assertion, we recognize that in our current scientific paradigm of understanding reality, there is no scientific definition of creativity; in fact, the contemporary mechanical - reductionist science model has not developed a complete interpretation of systems transformation for understanding evolution in nature.

We need to remember following Thomas Kuhn (*), that each historical cognitive paradigm specifies what are relevant questions and acceptable correlative interpretations. (* see:

The previous remark recognizes that the traditional paradigm controls the underlying assumptions of culture and science of each productive epoch of developing societies. Hence, a new paradigm of science cognition can be invented when the development of society finds itself in a severe crisis.

Nowadays we foresee a difficult change between the industrial society and the post-industrial information society, because education preserves the old cognitive paradigm of a conservative culture.

As aconsequence human creativity that incubates in an obsolete mechanical framework of science influences and improves degeneration and decline of the edification of cultural and scientific progress all over the world.

Because scientific knowledge has a strong impact in the development of the coexisting worldwide society, research for a new paradigm will become a very important event transforming the contemporary widespread chaos of information into a new order of cognizance. Consequently at present , systematic cognitive science, needs to identify a non-reductionist new scientific meaning in order to understand creativity as a natural guideline for transforming in a positive dimension the evolutionary development of each complex system in nature and in society. After this new scientific significance of creativity, a relatively new paradigmatic approach to science, must be introduced in educational systems, with the aim of catalyzing the global transformation of post-industial worldwide society.

Seeking to achieve this higher goal the Educational Laboratory of Educational Research and Cognitive Innovation of the University of Florence will open an international debate on the internet aiming to develop the new cognitive paradigm as a product of the co-creative constructivism of science.

From our point of view this means that we can establish a new conceptual model of understanding aiming to outline creativity as an expression of systemic evolution in nature and not only as a concept distinctive to the intelligent thinking ability of man. The core of our proposal of LRE/EGOCreaNET is contained in the following synthesis of our research about a new science paradigm.

We can symbolize this new paradigm as <E/I/M>, in contrast to the old <E/M> one, including the notion of "information" (I) among the fundamental variables that science employs for the general description of energy (E) and matter (M) systems interactions. We recall that to answer the question, "How many conceptual variabies do we need for a global description of nature?", Einstein considered "hidden" variables.

In attempting to comprehend such problems and avoiding a search for unusual physical variables, we want to expand the traditional point of view of science regarding the human brain as part of nature. Therefore inserting the brain as an objective part of conceiving physical reality, we need to introduce information (I) as a new general parameter for understanding nature, since the brain’s system works in terms of Energy, Matter and Information.

As a consequence of the superior reasoning for a general description of system theory, we need to accept that an explanation of natural phenomena, including brain functioning, can be defined in relation to three conceptual parameters, the two traditional parameters Energy, (E) and Matter (M), plus the third parameter, lnformation (I).

<E/I/M> paradigm is our idea which inserts the thinking brain into the physical reality and <E/I/M> is to be considered as a "global system paradigm": i.e. a conceptual context in which the meaning of physical objectivity is extended to include the subject that is observing and interpreting the reality, into the global objective interpretation of systems science.

Using this meaning we can develop the <E/I/M> paradigm, of system science understanding, that includes the person and his/her creative thoughts as an objective part of natural evolution.

The <E/I/M> paradigm allows us to integrate creativity into global theory "Natural Learning Systems Evolution"; in fact including the brain of the observer inside of the generalized concept of objective reality enables us to refer not only to the external world, with its traditional paradigm of "mechanical science", but to refer to the new scheme of the cognitive global reality of the world perception of the brain. > > Handling the <E/I/M> paradigm, we can renew the ancient image of the "intelligence of nature" i.e. we look at the knowledge of the entire universe as a generalized system of learning that evolves by means of creativity.

Now we apply this methodology of thinking to a fundamental law that "energy cannot be created nor destroyed". A logical consequence of this law is that the total energy must be a constant, equal to say one, at any time.

Therefore, if we consider information as a parameter of the general description of the energy-matter tranformation (inclusive of brain interactive function), the global differential, (d), of the different aspects of energy, obtained from the sum of the free-energy, (EL), and the codified-energy like Matter - EM, and also (EI), then the component of total energy, inclusive of the fraction dissipated into the information process of the brain’s understanding, must be equal to zero.

In fact the differential of any costant is zero E total = (EL) + (EM) + (EI) = 1

i.e. at any time d[ (EL) + (EM) + (EI) ] = 0

Hence +d(EI) = - d(EL) - d(EM) (1) - "PRINCIPLE of FERTILE EVOLUTION"

Hence within the <E/I/M> paradigm, evolution can be seen as a program in which nature progressively transforms Energy and Matter interactions to develop an increase of energy linked to the processes of processing of information, + d (EI).

The formula (1) indicates the main direction of positive creativity inside of the evolution of each system of change.

The loss of "chaos" during the time of transformation is the most important consequence of the change of the paradigm that will develop a creative impulse to the future science understanding of transformation in evolutionary systems. The process of interactions described in terms of the <E/I/M> paradigm in which time is related to the (EL/EI) relationship and space is described by the (EM/EI) correlations, can be seen as an evolutionary process of the degree of the global system's quality.

Referring to technological evolution we observe an equivalent procedure when software becomes incorporated into the hardware of computers, thus obtaining the progress of computer generations.

Likewise in nature, the progressive increase of embodied "information" into energy-matter transformation processes provides a good intuitive expression to interpret the evolution of the "intelligence of nature" that creates even the human brain.

This result we named "Principle of Fertile Evolution".

Using formula (1), we can explain the main direction of irreversible processes and hence this line of reasoning permits us to argue that the Heisenberg uncertainty principle is a consequence of the ignorance of the consideration of the parameter 'information' in the explanation of physical phenomena.

In fact, if we do not consider the objective existence of information as a physical aspect of nature, it will be impossible to refer scientific meaning to a general and complete objective interpretation of the global events that produce the evolutionary processes in nature.

Reasoning in this way, we can develop the new paradigm <E/I/M> of general system science in which evolution, both of natural and educational systems, follows the same way of increasing the information's qualified energy (EI).

In the previous approach about the general system cognitive theory, the tendency to transform energy and matter to improve the degree of information exchange in nature + d(EI) is defined as creativity of the system evolution.

In conclusion, we can surmise that the selective processes considered by Darwin, and the creativity processes described within the <E/I/M> paradigm, are working as two complementary differentiated factors for the evolution of nature.

The EGO-CreaNET/LRE organization will present in CUBA the new <E/I/M> global paradigm and the "Principle of Fertile Evolution" described by the equation (1) hoping that this approach can be discussed in terms of a profound renewal of culture and society for the coming third millennium.

In the future, the EGO-CreaNET / LRE telematic international association, would like to build a system of co-creative endeavor believing that the globalization process of scientific culture and economy of our contemporary society, can be integrated into the natural evolutionary phenomenon described by the <E/I/M> paradigm , and if it is possible, we hope to introduce this advanced idea, by means of the promotion of a debate on the internet; in this manner the fundamental conceptual tools that we have been using to analyze this complex argument of creativity and science, can become a mature fruit of a democratic cognitive methodology to construct new creative knowledge, capable to utilize positively the "Principle of Fertile Evolution".