Jeremiah Morgan

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Theory of Universal Evolution? & Does Life(Evolution)=Reverse Law of Universal Entropy?

I posed this question to Dr. Michio Kaku on Big Think. I seriously doubt he'll have time to entertain the question. But my fellow TED followers are here specifically to entertain Ideas. So here's the Idea....
If Earth has a twin sister planet that has developed just like Earth (in all the elemental ratios), do you think that mankind would be a naturally occurring event? regards to life/evolution- Why doesn't the nature of our very existence as an evolutionary species bring the law Universal Entropy into question?---Update---The conversation has Evolved (joke there) check the comments.

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    May 15 2011: coool! if you are right Morgan, it means that humans are the most advanced organisms on the planet
    and if you are wrong it means that were just fucked up monkeys with ego issues and too much spare time.
    i cannot decide allthou i love the idea that life always breaks out of its original frame in to the larger frame
    so it does make a lot of sense that all life filled planets will eventually produce space creatures..

    on the matter of negentropy, i find it a fascinating topic that is very important in our age to understand..
    the emerging of patterns out of chaos is the essence of life and perception of these patterns can drive humans

    i like to think that negentropy happens whenever parts in the system are open for being effected by their neighboring parts.

    example, a cloud of gas can turn in to a start because of the gravitational, chemical and electric influences the gas particles have on each other, the same i true for complex life, it is possible because of the symbiosis and interaction of smaller organisms. from this i draw the conclusion that enabling connectivity is the higher goal of existence..

    i invite you to read this conversation wich looks like its going i this direction of enabling humanity to take the next evolutionary step in the right direction.
  • May 21 2011: Entropy is a part of life. Although it may eventually end life as we know it. Would you consider getting old the opposite to being born? Its a natural process, Nothing less than incredible.
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    May 20 2011: Jeremiah,

    I like the question. I choose to answer it in a way you may not find worth dealing with however. I think there is a scale and some of the scale and some of the scale is easy to monitor and observe and some is not. Some is theoretical if you choose to look at it this way.

    First there are in this scale millions perhaps of species which attain a status something like a virus on a moon or comet with warming water and chemical bubbles and chrystals and help to organize some moleules in new ways and contribute more or less nothing in a few million years to resisting entropy because conditions fail and so do they.

    Second, then there are ecosystems like earth rich and gorgeous and to anyone with eyes to see miraculous and magical new creations of world beyond chemistry and physics as such.

    Third, there are the great gamblers like humans who are capable of thinning out and wrecking this magical exception we call biology. But who also could trsfer it. These fall into three classes in these terms those who at least have amasterful balance with the eco system almost always, those who do not and have not colonized nearby nonbiotic bodies and those who have. We would be an entirely different moral order (this is a moral question) if we colonized the Moon and Mars sustainably before wrecking Earth.

    Fourth, we have science fiction civiliztions capable of making life flourish and choosing to do so in widely varied areas for their own profit.

    Fifth, we have gods and angels in the truest sense who create life possibilities and see a vision for life and have possibilities we cannot imagine.

    Sixth, we have the God of Abraham but most of all of Roman Catholic Medieval philosophy who in a very real sense is the opposite of entropy and is also the source and essence of life.

    Just because we do not believe in all points on the spectrum & find this brief note simplistic does not mean these things are not connected thus. Life for us stands at as great a juncture as any->
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    • May 16 2011: Humans can, with effort, create pockets of order basically at will. If our abilities surpass the universe's ability to cause it to decay, I don't see any reason why we can't order everything we can reach. As I understand it, the entropy thing is based on the fact that possible disordered states are more numerous, and therefore more likely ,than the ordered ones. It's not impossible for wind to randomly build a sandcastle, it's incredibly unlikely. Our ability to create and maintain order seems to be increasing, so, yes I think we might beat the odds. I'd guess that they are very long odds though.

      EDIT: That was logical entropy -- the kind that applies to evolution. Thermodynamic entropy is different, I learned minutes ago, from another poster.

      The concept of "usable energy" that thermodynamic entropy relies on, seems like it might be a technical issue too though. I can't see how we can't, with better technology, use all the energy. At the same time I have a nagging feeling I'd be making a perpetual motion machine. Although, In frictionless space, I ought to be able to just throw something and have it be forever in motion, if a path could be found that was suitable. I'm gonna go argue something other than physics, I'm out of my element.
  • May 15 2011: The Second Law of Thermodynamics (total entropy in the universe always increases) does not forbid the existence of local pockets of increasing negentropy. In fact, within any stochastic system (like the universe with its increasing entropy), certain patterns of order/information/negentropy are selected for (in the case of Darwinian evolution, by natural selexion). As Schrodinger worked all in 'What Is Life?', these self-perpetuating patterns of information, emerging from chaos, are what we call life.

    As for your Twin Earth scenario, it is massively unlikely that the same patterns would be selected for in a different situation.
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      May 15 2011: There's a reply button!? Nice! Evolution!...anyway. Hey, good comment Connor. How about the nature of evolution when it moves beyond planetary adaptation(micro) to general space adaptation(macro) within the sister planet scenario? Just because life doesn't begin evolution in the same "geostructure" doesn't dismiss the notion that in order for it to survive, it will all have to eventually live in space. Sort of bottlenecking the priorities of all evolution to that one issue. Water things don't have to migrate to land, land things don't have to do the water thing but eventually all things will have to do the space thing. Sooo if the Universe is the ultimate closed system...wouldn't that suggest that evolution, for all life, is universal in its priority to eventually survive within its primary governing medium. Space. Until the only thing left that exists to effect life is other life. What say you?
      • May 15 2011: You mean that all spacefaring civilizations will have to adopt the same form? An interesting idea - I'll have to give it some thought.

        We can see from earthbound evolution that there's more than one way to skin a cat. All predators have to kill prey to survive, but they do it in such a weird and wonderful variety of ways - if you're a cheetah, you sprint down your prey and tackle it, if you're a spider, you weave sticky web traps, if you're a pitcher plant you use an odor to lure unsuspecting flies directly into your stomach...

        My intuition would be that spacefaring civilizations would display similar variety.
        • May 16 2011: They'd be functionally similar I'd expect. They'd be solving the same problems. They'd have grasping appendages, smart brains, the ability to communicate. Or maybe just be floaty space plants. I don't think floaty space plants are a "civilization", though. A space-faring civilization, would be, well, civilized.

          Perhaps there's only one possible "fittest" life form. In this case evolution everywhere would converge to it on a long enough time scale I would think.
    • May 20 2011: What about the repeating patterns in evolution on
      earth? I mean the recurring appearance of the "horse", in situations many years apart, with no direct connections. Students of evolution report many such instances. Why would another planet make that much difference, if they're using the same elements in the process. If not, ok.
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        May 20 2011: Hi Shawn. What do you mean by the recurring appearance of "horse"?
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    May 15 2011: Thanks Daniel. Well worded. Basically stating that evolution, like electricity or water ect., (first and foremost) follows the path of least resistance...nature itself being "a force of nature".
    Let me roll this one by you then... since we are beginning to adapt to "hostile" environments more readily..."WARNING- ATTEMPTING TO MIX ENTROPY AND EVOLUTION"...and If space/universe is pretty much "the major environment, the closed system"...would it be logical to conclude that Evolutions future for life would be space adaptation being that it is easily the most prominent recognized environment. So no matter how different we( life wherever) begin our evolution, would it not be the nature of both evolution and entropy for us to eventually become amazingly similar given enough time?Logical Entropy?....yet an ocean full of different looking sea creatures would disagree. Because they also adapt to each other...?... Help me out here?
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      May 15 2011: Hi Jeremiah. Evolution does tend to strive for efficiency, and so can be said to follow the path of least resistance. But there are many ways to go down that path, and that path is constantly changing. There is far too much variability on even our single planet to produce much similarity between genetically divergent species. There are a few examples of such similarities, dolphins and whales are mammals genetically, but they look an awful lot like fish and sharks. But by and large, there is a wild diversity of creatures able to exploit any particular environmental niche. So if there is life evolving on some other planet, then even if one species does achieve space travel they will still look very different from us, and they will have little environmental pressure to change.

      Neither evolution nor entropy dictate the forms that life will take. It is the specific situations any given species is in, and their reactions to the environment, which are based on their genetic lineage, which determines the physical characteristics of the creature. There will be, by coincidence, similarities. But by and large, different species evolving on different planets will be quite different. They may not even rely on genetics as we know it, or use entirely different base molecules from us.
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    May 15 2011: EEEENTROPY...I assumed it was set, being called a law. I stand comfortably corrected. Thermodynamic or Logical?...or other unknown applications. If anyone is looking to turn away from the caustic and overindulgent speculation of politics or religion, I would suggest avoiding Entropy. Great starting summary of where we are at with it:

    Sorry Rodger but I couldn't help but laugh when I read:

    """Life is organization. From prokaryotic cells, eukaryotic cells, tissues, and organs, to plants and animals, families, communities, ecosystems, and living planets, life is organization, at every scale. The evolution of life is the increase of biological organization, if it is anything. Clearly, if life originates and makes evolutionary progress without organizing input from outside, then something has organized itself. Logical entropy in a closed system has decreased. This is the violation that people are getting at, when they say that life violates the second law of thermodynamics. This violation, the decrease of logical entropy in a closed system, must happen continually in the darwinian account of evolutionary progress.
    Most darwinists just ignore this staggering problem. When confronted with it, they seek refuge in the confusion between the two kinds of entropy. Entropy [logical] has not decreased, they say, because the system is not closed. Energy such as sunlight is constantly supplied to the system. If you consider the larger system that includes the sun, entropy [thermodynamic] has increased, as required. ""

    No offense intended Rodger. The page illustrates the many viewpoints of Entropy. I thought I was walking on a beach till it gave way to an ocean of theories. Just floating here...Sharing my water shock.
    Entropy!!!! I took a bite, Rodge weighed in. Lets here more! Throw some hot rocks in the cool water! See what happens...
    • May 16 2011: Too, it's not that more organized spots are impossible, it's that they are less likely than disorganized spots. Over time this increases entropy. If I'm not over-reaching, this just means life would be rarer than non-life. Our solar system is replete with non-life, which gives me the illusion that I know what I'm talking about. If living things somehow came to vastly outnumber non-living things Jeremiah would have a point. Seems he's intrigued by the possibility we could spread through the universe and order it all. If that happened, he could run around to everyone who believes in thermodynamics and say I told you so. I don't see why that isn't possible in principle, but I fear I just don't understand thermodynamics well enough. Is it impossible, or just really really unlikely?
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        May 16 2011: I like it Chris. Way to toss your hat in. Your not too far at all from what I'm suggesting. The remedy to the rub is around minute 13 or so in Sean Carrols discussion of the future condition of our universe: If it is in a constant state of rising entropy and all abiding things will eventually succumb to black holes before even those become nothing for what is to easily be the longest period of this universes existence...there will then come a time when just one thing still alive, by itself, would vastly outnumber all non-living things.
    • May 16 2011: Gah! I read the article. It seems that the type of entropy that applies to evolution has nothing to do with thermodynamics. Luckily enough, I picked the right kind to talk about, by falsely believing it was the only kind :)
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    May 15 2011: To answer your first question, mankind would not be a naturally occurring event. Given the same starting conditions and exact solar makeup and all else, but leaving the biological chemistry alone, and you will not likely find a giraffe or a Human. You may find fish like things, but they would bear little genetic resemblance to actual fish. The process of evolution is so stochastic, so variable, influenced by so many things, and self influencing to boot, and it is unlikely in the extreme that an exact replica of our solar system will yield an ecosystem similar to our own, much less the specific organisms that make up that ecosystem.

    Though I will say this, that if you were to find an exact replica of our solar system, then the odds of humans evolving there go from 'never gonna happen in the lifetime of everything' to 'might, just possibly might, make something rather similar to humans. Maybe.'
    • May 16 2011: Given the same conditions, something different would happen? Did I read you right?
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        May 16 2011: Yes. Given the same conditions as the early Earth, a planet will not go through the same evolutionary process.
  • May 15 2011: This is because the Second Law of Thermodynamics only deals with a CLOSED system. The Earth is not a thermodynamically closed system because we get energy from an outside source. This outside source is called the Sun.
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    May 14 2011: Absolutely Dominic but I'm not referring to a human being. I'm speaking of our species as a whole. A species that is increasingly adept at creating and evolving through a process that, not only recognizes Entropy, but moves in a constant state to surpass it's authority. Preserving Life...or maybe better said, Life preserving itself by creating us. Then suggesting that all life, in all it's complexities, is still one entity.
  • May 14 2011: A human being may be in a relatively low entropy state, but to remain alive, you are constantly adding to the entropy of the rest of the world (turning food into heat for example). The entropy increase of your surroundings outweighs the decrease in entropy due to you being created. This is perfectly in accordance with the 2nd Law.
    • May 16 2011: "A robot shall follow orders given it by a human being, except where this contradicts the first law." Yep, no contradictions there. If this second planet has robots, it naturally follows that it has humans.

      Oh, you were talking about thermodynamics, sorry! Forget what I said. (There's no jokes on this site, but I had to.)