Let's assume that a physical property is emergent, in the sense that it cannot be reduced to a function of the properties of its components. Can such a property be artificially recreated, or is that a contradiction?
We can look at the problem the other way: If there exists a reliable method that allows us to reproduce the emergent property every time, then that method is the bridge law that allows us to describe this property in terms of properties of its individual components. So the existence of a method for artificially recreating the emergent property makes the property reducible by definition, and an artificially re-creatable emergent property is a contradiction in terms.
Consider the text book candidate for an emergent phenomenon, consciousness. If emergence holds, then consciousness could never be reduced to the computational properties of individual neurons.
If we are ever able to artificially reproduce consciousness using "algorithm A" then the law for reducing consciousness to the computational properties of individual neurons is: "Consciousness is the result of applying algorithm A to X number of neurons in initial state S".
- Does the existence of a method for artificially recreating an emergent property necessarily imply the existence of reduction of that property to that of its individual components?
- Are there any examples of emergent properties that can be artificially recreated?