Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Why I don't think Evolution is at work with physical laws.

One tell-tale sign of evolution is the "wow that's brilliant" impression some evolved things have on us humans. Butterfly wings actually color based on small photonic crystals on the scales... wow that's brilliant.

The laws of physics? Gravity tugs spacetime, things keep moving, complexity breaks down, things tend to take the easy path, matter is high level energy, and they work together in pretty neat ways. There are interesting things to be sure. It is hard to look at a nebula the size a trillion suns and not be impressed, or ponder the idea that distance between galaxies is increasing but not moving away, or that when you consider the really really tiny things they kind of fuzz around... but there are no butterfly wings in space. Nothing that makes you say, "wow that's brilliant", planets traveling in ellipses how... quaint. It's huge and amazing! None of which suggests it's bootstrapping the successes of the past in order to fight against the slow breakdown of everything. Rather it just seems the universe has a lot of stuff to breakdown.

A clever reader might notice that I suggested what opponents to ID have suggested isn't the case, namely that you can see design in things. Though, not design but rather evolution, though I tend to lump them together. We can certainly tell when things are beyond the realm of just happening that way, and in the realm of complexity fighting tooth and nail against the 2nd law of thermodynamics (everything breaks down) whether it's our designs or the designs of nature, we have a great ability to spot such things (for evolutionary reasons I believe). The end results are the same, nothing in physics from particle physics to cosmology seems to trigger the part of my brain which says... that... that is a fantastic design.

The universe is not designed nor evolved. It just happened. I'll take it, no sense looking a gift horse in it's well-evolved mouth, but everything in physics seems to point toward the more simple with more complex interrelationships than we previous thought. I wouldn't be surprised to find out our universe consists of just one thing and it's opposite and everything we see or seem is but a novel interaction of varying degrees of this. In evolved systems it's always more roundabout, physical, complex, interesting, makeshift, macgyvered, and quirky than we previous thought and there are more and more exceptions to every rule. They are, in a very primal sense, two radically different beasts. One science is about things interacting in specific ways to the same effect, the other is about bootstrapping replicators having a field day either being the critter with the slightest edge, to edge out the competition, or edged out (edged even slightly if not out will be a moot point several generations later) for not happening on that next step forward.

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