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A Clashing of
Two Governing Principles
of the Natural World:
A tendency toward Entropy
and a march toward greater Complexity.
How can both rule the universe?
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You washed and vacuumed your car a week ago, but it’s starting to look dusty and untidy again. And the gas tank is near empty, too.
Your child’s room, despite your best instruction, is messy once more with toys all over the place.
And wasn’t it just last summer that you painted the back porch? - and look at the fading and the dings already.
It’s called the “law” of entropy: it’s the amount of disorder in a system; things tend to run down, disorder and chaos will increase. We don’t believe in “perpetual motion machines,” houses that clean themselves, or gas tanks that never run dry.
And here’s entropy on the grandest scale possible: Scientists predict that, in 100 billion years, all of the stars in the universe will have burned up all hydrogen or other fuel, and the lights will go out everywhere in the cosmos leaving a big ice block. It’s the ultimate disorder.
How can the universe be led by a principle of entropy when the fossil record gives evidence of a march toward greater and greater biological complexity? Would a “lego set” of random molecules construct itself into some expression of greater complexity? Would the “law” of entropy even allow this? Where would the energy come from to create this more advanced ordering?
The very term “cosmos” speaks to this conundrum, which literally means “an ordering”; as opposed to “chaos,” a “disordering.” How can you have a cosmos, with gas and dust particles forming into a complex structure that is a galaxy, if there’s also a “law” of entropy leading everything into more chaos?
Some of this cavalier and hubristic notion of “things just evolve, become more complex” bothered me even as a senior in high school preparing for that speech. But it’s part of the standard-fare rationale that sells Darwinism. There’s a popular documentary – I won’t mention the name -- featuring, as one aspect of its message, traditional evolutionary biology. The speaker, someone I like and admire, derails his own coherency, however, with tortuous explanations of life’s origins; going something like this: “… and then these organic molecules, amidst lightning bolts, formed into the first cell… and then they learned how to reproduce… and then ponds dried up and the organisms needed to develop lungs to live on dry land...” – on and on in this fairy-tale concatenation. They could probably use some feet, too, if you’re going to live on land.
If your pond dries up, do you think you'll have time to develop lungs in order to survive? Well, the victims on the Titanic didn’t have time to evolve fins and gills. But this is offered as a serious proposal.
With a wink, however, let’s allow this “fiat” development of lungs – where’s the law of entropy in all this? Why don’t the organisms just roll over in the dry pond-bed and die? And why don’t the gas and dust particles remain as random gas and dust particles rather than coalescing into a very complex galaxy-structure?
Where’s the injection of extra energy coming from? How can we surmount the problem of entropy inherent in all aspects of a universe that’s intent upon running down?
the Darwin community is well aware of this logical inconsistency
In a science documentary, a spokesman for the Darwin lobby tried to make sense of the entropy conundrum. His answer was essentially this:
“The whole universe is running down, it’s true. But entropy is like a waterfall that, while rushing down, throws up a spray, and that spray is a kind of energy that can be harnessed to do useful things, and it might produce you or me or a daffodil or whatever.”
And this is how the leopard got its spots, children.
Do you find this answer intellectually satisfying? Now we’re back to paying homage to the god of randomness, probabilities, and chance. We’ve seen in the “complexity of proteins” article that not even coone little component of bio-life might be brought into being by chance, but here we have a cheerleader for Darwin asking us to smile, not to worry, and accept the Darwinian faith once delivered.
Editor's last word:
Entropy, a measure of disorder, would suggest that an earlier state represented more order. But, where did the original state of order come from? It seems that it issued from the manifestations of morphic fields, the hidden blueprints.
Here’s an interesting point, one to mark well as something to understand concerning the nature of things.
Why do we see these antitheticals, both entropy and complexity, co-existing in the universe?
(1) When Universal Consciousness is “on duty,” planning to creatively bring into existence some new item of design and order, it will, as we discussed, collapse quantum possibility waves to effect the change.
However, as Goswami puts it,
(2) “in the absence of quantum creativity … things will tend toward maximizing probability, which is the same as maximizing entropy.”
In other words, the default setting of the universe is toward entropy, disorder, things running down, and this will occur according to a statistical average and probability distribution; but, when Universal Consciousness is on a mission, then “the door is open for things to change in the direction of increasing order and complexity.”