While doing some thinking about logic, in particular, abductive reasoning and trying to connect with poeisis at all scales/levels, I thought about the commonalities across all adaptive systems whether naturally occuring or purpose built cybernetic systems. It struck me that the abductive sylogism expressed as:
The surprising fact, C, is observed;
But if A were true, C would be a matter of course. Hence, there is reason to suspect that A is true.
Taken in context of the search for A's such that the totallity of A's advances of a larger explanation that represent a more and more accurate model of the world resembling a natural evolutionary processes.
Evolution requires only a few things to proceed; it requires the generation of variety and selection within that variety by some fitness measure. The knowledge of varieties with high fitness must be preserved. In autopoeitic systems, the knowledge has to be preserved within the network of self-maintaining processes (producing and preproducing itself as a network of processes). In a synthetic system, the knowledge can be in the design files and minds of the designers and in the working memory of the digital systems.
Expressed as the search of a fitness landscape:
Given a multi-level adaptive system that is historically adapted in its environment.
When change perceived: A signal disturbs the equalibrium. Does it represent a threat or an opportunity?
Search for useful adaptations at all levels.
When we express it this way, Pierce's concern for the economics of hypothesis generation makes perfect sense. Like the search for adaptions in this history of an ecology of evolving organisms (autopoesis), the search need not be limited to any particular method. We expect it to be idiosyncratic and oportunistic. Any heuristic we can use to increase the odds of a good guess over a bad one can be used.
It is a spiritual question to ask whether the evolution of natual systems is or is not guided by an intelligence beyond any we can understand fully. What practical consequences would follow from this hypothesis? What follows if it is true? What if it where false? Further, what if it is unanswerable? How do I behave differently if it is true?
In truth, many people conclude that it is true and furthermore that their naive mental model of God represents a true picture of same. Wise people conclude that if it is true, then God is a lot more amazing than anyone's conception. I'm not sure what hypothesis can replace a final spiritual one for the existence and seeming unity of all that we experience. Any replacement hypothesis would be a worthy subject of spiritual comtemplation and would likely be just as deep and mysterious in its final implications.