Thursday, September 2, 2010

On Entropy and Evolution


The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that the total entropy of any isolated thermodynamic system always increases over time, approaching a maximum value or we can say " in an isolated system, the entropy never decreases". This law is taken as a sufficient condition for argument against the hypothesis of evolution, thus supporting the hypothesis of spontaneous generation which is contradictory to the former hypothesis in many ways.

The implication of this argument is subject to many philosophical discussions. For example, what is the reason for this celestial configuration while the hypothesis of big-bang is an epitome of entropy? What is the reason for the hypothesis of evolution, sustainable ecosystems, the phenomenon of globalization, the self configuring nature of organs, proteins, molecules and atoms?

To understand this, we need to realize nature in a much more broader sense. When we look at the celestial configuration we often forget about the vast space surrounding it. When we look at evolution, globalization, and self-configuring nature of organs, molecules and atoms, we forget about natural constrains, geographical limitations, genetic constraints, entropy of water molecules surrounding protein molecules and similar forces around other molecules, and electromagnetic restrictions in atoms respectively.

Thus we can say that the entropy of a wider spectrum, is the driving force of evolution and other similar phenomenons of nature.

The consequence of understanding this philosophy is realization, but its application is not alien in human history. Use of external constraints for education, work, building an organization, rebuilding a nation, etc involves use of carrot and stick, paying salary, spending, and economic stimulus respectively which are all nothing but entropy. Celebrating a festival with fire crackers is a perfect example, it is destruction, it is entropy and the pleasure attained by doing so is nothing but a remembrance of this philosophy.


The complexity of understanding this phenomenon matures as we progress in the hierarchy of the hypothetical evolution. As we know, it is easy to predict the behavior of a complex physical system like a nuclear reaction, but the complexity of predicting a business outcome or a psychological behavior is beyond any current scientific means of understanding. This is illustrated in a previous post
On Science and Art - Illustrated with an Example regarding Security Analysis, but now we could further understand the meaning of 'art' as discussed in the mentioned post. Increase in the art factor is proportional to the degree of evolutionary hierarchy, which is again proportional to the contribution of entropy. The hypothesis of 'dark energy' which accounts for 74% of total mass-energy of universe may also be understood in this context. This external force, sometimes regarded as opportunity or luck is an integral part in all of our lives, the consequence of which is our own existence.  

"So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief:
Verily, with every difficulty there is relief." - Quran 94: 5,6

2 comments:

  1. There is a very simple answer to the argument that (micro)evolution violates the law of entropy:

    There is a HUGE energy input from the sun. Case closed.

    ReplyDelete

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