Friday, November 09, 2007
Chapter 1: Consilience: I. A Likely Story
In the beginning, nothing. But nothing – perfect symmetry – is unstable and tends to break into a unified symmetrical asymmetry of energy-matter space-time. And the energy-matter space-time was without form, and void. The cosmos was born of fire, in a tremendous burst of energy, creating the energy-matter space-time field. This field was chaotic, and thus repulsive, causing the initial rapid expansion of the cosmos. As space expanded/time flowed, the energy cooled and crystalized out into lower-frequency strings, which crystalized further into quarks, electrons and other forms of particle-waves. The quarks interacted to form neutrons, protons, and other particles, and the laws of physics separated out from the initial single law of physics. There was a variety of frequency within the unity of particle-wave energy. Neutrons, protons, and electrons interacted as the cosmos expanded and cooled further, forming simple systems – atoms. Since energy, matter, space, and time are interconnected, and energy-matter has a wave nature, space too has a wave nature, or gravity waves, which trapped large numbers of atoms, collecting them into high enough densities to bend space further, collecting more atoms into high enough densities to create stars. Space itself flattened out as it expanded, while remaining curved, giving space both infinity and finiteness – a fractal geometry. It was and is a space of growth in its fractal geometry, and thus it is a space of generativeness, an open system. Atoms spiraled together to create stars, and stars spiraled together in Fibonacci spirals to create galaxies, expressing in smaller scales the fractal geometry of the universe. As stars formed, probabilistic quantum elements exchanged information about each other and thus observed each other more and more into macrophysical objects, or more solid forms. These could more easily interact, because waves only interact to heighten or cancel out wave functions. This generated yet another breaking of symmetry as those elements in close enough proximity to observe each other tended to be in phase. Fusion in the stars created more complex atoms, and supernovae created more complex atoms. New stars formed, creating with them complex systems – solar systems. In some solar systems, and certainly in one, carbon chemistry on rocky planets with liquid water became more complex, and, on this planet at least, became complex systems of carbon chemistry. Several of these systems interacted to create higher-order complex systems – cells. Over a billion years or so, some of these cells too became more complex, and began interacting with their sister cells to create more complex, multi-celled systems – organisms. Some of these organisms created more complex organs, including complex neural systems – brains. And in some organisms, these brains became ever more complex systems, which themselves created complex social systems, including culture in a few species of tailless primates – apes. In the branch of apes that gave rise to the bonobos, chimpanzees, and humans, the brain-social-culture system developed technology – tools. Eventually, in the human branch of the great apes, the brain-social-culture-technology system created language and art, which acted as feedback mechanisms, to speed up the brain-social-culture-technology system. This is the most complex system we have certainty of at the present time. And what new, more complex systems will follow? Who knows? Who could have imaged such complex systems as Shakespeares’ sonnets from knowing only about quantum-physical systems? Like any good story, the universe is retrodictable, but not really predictable – only probable trends can be suggested from past trends, and surprises, especially in the details, are almost certain. So the only thing I will say about the future is that it will resemble the past, in that it will be a more complex system made up of complex systems, in the same way culture is made up, in part, from the complex systems of art and literature, which are created by the complex system of an individual’s human brain, which is made up of the complex systems of neural cells, which are themselves made up of complex chemical systems, which are made up of complex quantum systems – all of which interact in a field of other entities. If we are to understand the universe, artistically or scientifically, we must understand it as a complex fractal system of complex systems – it is complex systems all the way up and down, regardless of scale. The universe is unified – as a fractal geometry of complex systems – with variety, in the variety of complex systems. With this understanding of the universe as a fractal of complex systems, we see that the universe as beautiful.