Saturday, 15 August 2009

Life, the Universe & Everything: A New Perspective.

If you’ve ever studied science, you’ll know (at least a little) about the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Let me remind you. Put very simply, it states that the entropy of the Universe is increasing. Entropy is energy and so an increase in energy means an increase in disorder. So, the 2nd Law is often summarised as an increase in disorder with the passage of time. Again put very simply, and using the most common example, you will never see a broken glass becoming more ordered as, to do this, it would have to re-assemble back into its unbroken form. That’s fine as far as it goes, it sounds logical. Astronomers and Astrophysicists have observed that our Universe is expanding in all directions; the glass has shattered and so we are told that the Universe is becoming more disordered; more chaotic. Of course, the nemesis of the 2nd Law is that somehow life defies it by having become more organised over time, not less. This has often been used by Creationists as evidence for intelligent design.

I’m not a Creationist, nor a Physicist, nor an Astronomer. My understanding of quantum mechanics is probably not much beyond that of the average lay persons understanding, but I do understand enough to know that things just aren’t adding up. And I’m not on my own. Scientists with hugely more brain power at their disposal than me have been trying to understand the underlying force(s) of the Universe in terms of quantum physics for a very long time. Their theoretical and research papers make my head spin; I don’t have the knowledge to understand their arguments or theories fully. Because of that, I have no idea how what I’m about to say fits into their existing theories, all I do know is that I’ve just finished reading an amazing book by Gevin Giorbran “Everything Forever” that, to me, makes perfect sense of all aspects of existence. I cannot hope to do justice to his theory in a few sentences, so I would encourage you to read his book yourself. I’ll try and give you a flavour here – at least in terms of my understanding.

The Universe is not increasing in disorder as the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics states, it is moving towards balance (equilibrium) and symmetry. The driving force is an attraction of opposites; let’s call these matter and anti-matter for simplicity, having been borne out of asymmetry at the “big bang” – the point at which time began. The Universe we see (and are part of) is expanding and so moving forward in time, (at least that is our observation of it) and this forward motion is governed by electromagnetism and the weak electronic forces. The strong nuclear force (this is the force that holds positively charged protons and neutrons together in atomic nuclei) and gravity (which currently we have no understanding of) are the opposing forces that are pulling the Universe back towards the past. In the anti-matter Universe, the opposite is true (which Universe we live in is debatable of course, as it’s all relative to our point of observation). Because the two Universes exist in the same spatial dimensions, they are continually in contact and thus we see quantum particles popping in and out of existence. Rather than annihilating each other they join together to produce “something” greater than the fragmented part that we observe as mass and/or density. Eventually, at the end of time as we understand it, both the matter and anti-matter Universes will be united at absolute zero (this is the point at which there is no molecular/atomic movement/vibration)and will exist in what Physicists call flat space. This will be a timeless eternity, where everything will be in equilibrium and perfect symmetry; a pure lattice.

So, rather than the Universe’s evolution being determined by the big bang, it’s being determined by the final state of equilibrium or perfect balance. If you’ve ever studied chemical or biological processes you’ll recognise immediately that this makes perfect sense. All natural processes move towards equilibrium, it is arguable the driving force behind everything.

WOW – mind blowing stuff. I hope I’ve done justice to the theory (but suspect I haven’t). For me, the book has given me a new perspective on Life, the Universe and Everything and has brought Science and Religion/Spirituality much closer together. It is most certainly on a level playing field with Fritjof Capra “Tao of Physics”.

Perhaps more importantly for me, is that it’s led me to explore new ways of explaining my own experiences of dream precognition, telepathy and intuition in terms of the quantum microcosm operating within a conscious universe. #