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Is life really generating order or is it our narrative perspective?


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#1 mjsakellakis

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 04:19 PM

Imagine that you have a flask full of some molecules that move randomly and you add external energy. Let’s also assume that the molecules are a little bit sticky and they attach to each other for a while. What you will see after a while is areas of clumps and dead space. That is how disorder looks.

 

Now suppose the observer is a group of clumps. The observer may think that the purpose of this environment is to create clumps like him that die and get reborn. He be like: Hey, isn’t this place supposed to be a total chaos if you take into account the initial ingredients and the conditions? But that’s his false narrative.

 

We now know that:

1)All life relates to each other and an organism exist, because of...all the other life that exist.

2)All life is related to each other and if you consider life as a whole thing, it becomes a more disordered thing.

3)The number of chemical interactions in living systems is unimaginably large. The numbers are so vast, our intuition cannot grasp.

4)Similar systems under the same laws of nature will lead to similar results that can be perceived as periodic phenomena.

5)We ourselves are composed from tons of chemical reactions and we are a part of the resulting reactions of life, so we observe the system from an insider perspective.

 

Do the similarities between the two systems suggest that we should be cautious when we arbitrarily refer to life systems as order-generating without actually measuring their entropic changes first??

 


#2 mjsakellakis

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 08:28 AM

If you thoroughly analyze why every single biochemical reaction happens, you will find a clear physical reason for it. Even DNA replication is the normal development of some bonds between chemical groups. Hydrophobicity creates membranes, mictotubules follow forces, etc. The problem comes when you see them collectively, as they all seem to synchronize in order to self-organize the organism.

Here is the catch: This is a very organism-centered approach, which is a result of our anthropocentric perspective. In reality, from a strictly chemical perspective, all life (was and still) is connected. For example, an organism increases order locally in order to grow, but does so because of a complex pre-existing system and only at the expense of a bigger production of disorder in the form of waste, gasses, nutrients, etc. But this waste becomes the food of other organisms in a constant recycling of nutrients. So the chemistry of life includes everything.

But life as an entire entity is much less ordered or self-organizing. Just similar chemical systems under the same physical laws will constantly produce similar results.

And then I think its obvious that any complex event will appear as self-organizing……. from the point of view of its own results (i.e if the observer is the results).



#3 Trof

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 10:19 AM

I don't think there is any order generation, apart from the obvious. You have it maybe the other way around, it is not "all biochemical reaction has a physical reason". It is "it could only exist as a biochemical reaction because it makes sense, in the physical interation world". 

There were random biochemical molecules once, doing unaimed reacitions here or there, in deffirent sub-enviroments. Some of those managed to replicate itself. Just the ability to do this, means some kind of preservation of it's "achievement". Without it, it would neet to just start from the beginnings all over. Among these kinds of steps, self-replication and survival, life builds up on itself, but not in linear fashion, there are dead ends, widening trees, or bottlenecks. Sometimes in a izolated place the higher organism just fail to survive anymore and dissapear. No order did prevent them from not fitting into ecosystem niche. 
We may see in many living things that they are ordered more than inorganics. But bacteria have much less organized cell, which prevents it from forming larger interactions (that we call tissues and bodies), but otherwise it is doing just fine. Probably will be there even after humans die off. So not always the more order, the better.
So I would say, in many cases this is just a coincidence. In that manner, I don't see any conflicts, between some organisms and cells being organized and the variety of life not. It is not connected at all, AFAIK.


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Our country has a serious deficiency in lighthouses. I assume the main reason is that we have no sea.

I never trust anything that can't be doubted.

'Normal' is a dryer setting. - Elizabeth Moon


#4 mjsakellakis

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 12:47 PM

There were random biochemical molecules once, doing unaimed reactions here or there, in different sub-environments. Some of those managed to replicate itself. Just the ability to do this, means some kind of preservation of it's "achievement". Without it, it would need to just start from the beginnings all over. Among these kinds of steps, self-replication and survival, life builds up on itself, but not in linear fashion, there are dead ends, widening trees, or bottleneck.

That's a good point! From a statistical perspective its always more likely that an ordered system will lose its order than to build up more at any particular point. The more order and organization it has, the more difficult it is to maintain it or even further increase it and build up on it. 

 

The question is simple: Can darwinism by itself account for the build up, or do we have to revise the way we define order in biological phenomena?

For instance, from a pure chemical perspective, all life is connected to each other in a complex chemical network, than even includes food, gasses, etc.

This network as a whole is producing similar chemical results constantly, but is not clearly generating order. Order appears only when we cherry pick some sub-systems from inside it, that we baptize as alive, because they look like us. And i would call this a kind of antropocentrism.



#5 Trof

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Posted 05 March 2019 - 03:11 AM

"From a statistical perspective its always more likely that an ordered system will lose its order than to build up more at any particular point. The more order and organization it has, the more difficult it is to maintain it or even further increase it and build up on it."
Yes, if you have some level of order, you are absolutely likely to lose it, you can't lose what you do not have. But, isn't it still more likely to prevail over time than that totaly nonroganized randomness? As I was trying to point, even as unprobable it is to achieve order, it is most likely the only way, how to move forward. For some like bacterie, low order level will do fine. But they have no control over their own enviroment, they just have to survive it (and they are kind of good at it).

Darwinism is AFAIk about survival and selection. The order is there just a thing that happens, and coincidently it does quite a lot improve the survival. The more organized organism have much better abilities. Look at us, we can modify the enviroment around us to suit our survival and proliferation. We may be able to leave the planet in case of cataclysm in some time. Bacteria can never do that on their own (but they of course very much will hitchhike with us). They need to accomodate to what's around, the more organized and advanced species can change the surroundings to suit them better. (but if we are not wise enough, we will destroy everything before we learn how to escape, so that would be the end of humans, just another dead end and bacteria and other organisms will happily continue living).

Everything that can happen happen. Also creating order, in much less probable manner than anything else, likely, but like a 100 in  100 000 000 it is still those 100, who will be better in survival. So, it is more about imagining how many more probable things we are missing, just because they didn't create anything. And that don't count to anything, you may call it a "noise".


Our country has a serious deficiency in lighthouses. I assume the main reason is that we have no sea.

I never trust anything that can't be doubted.

'Normal' is a dryer setting. - Elizabeth Moon





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