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From Entropy to Harmony

  1. A.Villarasa profile image77
    A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago

    We all  have this sense that all changes that occur in nature are accompanied by an increase in dis-harmony or chaos.... basically and fundamentally, the tendency of matter and energy to disperse in disorder. But  what is astonishing about this dispersal is that it can and do generate order or harmony. "Through dispersal in disorder, structure can and do emerge."

    It is too much to think or imagine that intellectual creativity is the driver of this process? Or is it, as non-believers in Intelligent Design, puts it, " just plain inconsequential reverie", the product of purposeless incidents and accidents?

    1. EncephaloiDead profile image60
      EncephaloiDeadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      So, which of the tired, old arguments about entropy and intelligent design is this? Is it the "Purpose indicates Design argument? Or, perhaps the "Functional integration indicates design" argument?

      Pray tell?

    2. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Yes it is too much.  There is no reason to think there is an intelligence behind the birth of yet another grasshopper, for instance, or creation of a salt crystal, even though entropy has decreased.  Why should there be?  Any time energy is involved it is possible to decrease entropy and no intelligence is needed to create a giant salt crystal.  Or a new grasshopper or bacteria.

      1. A.Villarasa profile image77
        A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        @wilderness:
        The perpetuation of  earthly life, be they sentient or non-sentient, should always be a source of wonder. If some folks find the process of perpetuating life  boringly matter-of-fact, then I assume they go through their own  existence with neither  contention nor introspection of the perplexities and complexities of that existence.

        1. wilderness profile image94
          wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          It is most definitely a fascinating process, even more so than the formation of crystals, stalactites or the other wonders of the non-living world.

          But that does NOT indicate an intelligence behind it.  Neither fascination, wonder or ignorance as to details indicates anything of the sort.

          1. A.Villarasa profile image77
            A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            @wilderness:
            Ignorance has nothing to do with it. In fact it is totally put of the picture  if one  understands the second law of thermodynamics, then one  will and must know that order can come from chaos because that law  and all the other laws of physics were directed not willy-nilly but purposely by intelligence.

            1. wilderness profile image94
              wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Order can indeed come from chaos, but there is no indication the cause is an intelligence.  A crystal has very ordered, but no intelligence needed.  Just drying salt water.

              Nor is there any indication (outside the unsupported claims of theists, which is hardly to be considered "evidence") that ANY of the natural laws came out of an intelligence.  Unless you consider the Big Bang to be intelligent?

              1. A.Villarasa profile image77
                A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                @widerness: If you are implying that these Laws of Physics came to being all by their own lonesome selves, then I  suppose, Stephen Hawkings is right when he said that  the universe was  created by an impersonal God i.e. gravity.

                1. A.Villarasa profile image77
                  A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  He was of course being tongue-in-cheek, when he said that.

                  1. wilderness profile image94
                    wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Perhaps Hawking was right, but I suspect we'll never know though our descendants may one day.

      2. jonnycomelately profile image85
        jonnycomelatelyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Wilderness, I am not arguing on your reply here, nor intending to criticize,  but can you say what gives you a sense of awe and wonder?  Is everything in the world matter-of-fact, or do you get any excitement from extended imagination?

        1. wilderness profile image94
          wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I find much of nature to inspire awe and wonder.  The magnificence of a Redwood forest.  Niagara Falls.  The boiling pots of Yellowstone.  The volcanoes of Hawaii.  The list is endless.

          I also find the details of nature to be fascinating and something that makes me wonder as well.  DNA strings.  The interaction of various species, dependent on each other, such as cleaner shrimp.  The time to make Carlsbad Caverns.  The dinosaurs.  Frogs that can be frozen solid and brought back to life.  The Orion Nebulae, where stars are being born.

          Nature is fascinating, and full of awe and wonder.

          1. Prodio profile image60
            Prodioposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            And evolutions of all kinds, kind of assembled all those atoms into where they are now.

            1. wilderness profile image94
              wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Of course.  That's the wonder - how and why did those giant stalactites form?  How could the Hawaiian islands, or the Galapagos, evolve from molten lava to the paradise it is today?  What are the details of the formation of black holes, or even stars?  What is it like deep within the sun?

              Why do Hydrogen and Oxygen combine so often to make that substance we need so badly?  What really makes the giant fuzzy ball sometimes seen on a jet at low altitude and how/why is it there?  The mechanics of making the grand canyon certainly make us shake our heads in wonder.  That the deepest canyon in NA (Hells Canyon) was mostly cut in just a few days is fascinating.

              We wonder about everything around us and the more we know and understand the more we wonder.  A fascinating place, our universe.

              1. Prodio profile image60
                Prodioposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Excellent reply.


                What do you suppose (if you would suppose): what mechanism/s are/were behind all these grand and spectacular phenomena?

                1. wilderness profile image94
                  wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Chemical and physical made the formations "necessary", or perhaps "inevitable".  No god necessary, just the normal chemical/physical reactions seen everyday.  What makes it so wondrous and fascinating is the time necessary and the beauty produced - not that a god somewhere made "art" for their pets.

                  1. A.Villarasa profile image77
                    A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    @wilderness:
                    Interesting terms: "necessary" and  "inevitable". Both leads to indispensability and vitality, two terms that implies predetermination, that in turn requires intelligence. What is necessary and inevitable could only become necessary and inevitable because it was pre-determined by intelligence that they be necessary and inevitable.

                  2. Prodio profile image60
                    Prodioposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    How do you know that those things are 'beautiful'?

    3. jonnycomelately profile image85
      jonnycomelatelyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Alex, I can see that you have asked a serious question, based upon your reasoning and back-ground of religion/culture/traditional beliefs.   Am I correct here?

      Such questions are very common of many humans, from many (possible all) cultures.   I do not know the definitive answer.  I doubt if any of us can find it.   If it's a question relating to infinity then the possible answers are infinite.   

      Does it matter, really, whether we can find an answer or not?   We can let our minds imagine all manner of answers, and no one can say in any case that we are "wrong."  If a persons presents a "belief" that I cannot grasp or agree with, I can live with it, provided no one tries to force me into accepting  or admitting the belief to be true.

      What matters, ultimately as far as I am concerned, is to respect the opposite view without ridiculing a thoughtful mind set.   When I depart from this moral principle, it's usually because someone is ridiculing ME for some point of view.  Or because there has been so little honest thought and logic presented to back up the belief.  I still can't insist that the belief be dropped.   

      What does it mean to be "finite" or "infinite?"   Everything that you and I can be conscious of in this world can be measured is some way.   This is Finite.  Anything that is purely thought without any physical manifestation, cannot be measured.  Yes, sure, the manifestations if any can be measured.  They are finite.  But the thought that caused them is Infinite.   Anything that was able to Intelligently design and create the finite must be infinite.   Rather like the comparison of a carpenter and the table he has created.   The table cannot know the carpenter, but the carpenter can know the table.

      Any argument on this will be like "me arguing with my image in the mirror." Endless, ridiculous and pointless, in my humble opinion.

      1. A.Villarasa profile image77
        A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        @jonny:
        There is nothing endless, ridiculous, and pointless about introspection, that leads to intuition, that leads to inspiration.

        1. jonnycomelately profile image85
          jonnycomelatelyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          In our experiences of every-day life, when we admire something that embodies amazing technology, or because it's nature is mysterious to us, it is natural to attribute that wonder and awe to the intelligence and expertise of fellow humans.   At least I do, and I am sure many others do, too.  Admittedly there are some who gloss over such things as "so what?"

          So, when it comes to observing and understanding the workings of something like a beautiful flower, or the human body, or the microscopic marvels of a microscopic mite, it is equally natural to attribute these things to some kind of intelligence.   We know that it is beyond the abilities of humans to design and build such things, so we extrapolate the intelligence to a "being" that cannot be seen or touched in any physical way.   It's the only way we can think of that explains complexity in nature.

          I personally cannot exclude the possibility of some kind of intelligence.  What that is, I cannot say, because it will essentially be not of this finite world.  It might be accessed somehow via the smaller than smallest particle.  It might form everything rather like a surge of soft jelly moving in to occupy every minute vacancy of space in a matrix of possibilities.  Rather like a 3-dimentional jigsaw puzzle.

          Anyway, whatever it is, whatever it's like, it most certainly is not synonymous with the judgmental god of human minds.  That is just the conceptual rubbish used by humans to wield power and control over other humans.  And there are many gullible humans willing to play the game without using their good sense.

          1. wilderness profile image94
            wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            +1  Very well said sir.

          2. A.Villarasa profile image77
            A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            @John:
            You were doing so well until the last paragraph. To paint such a broad inchoately disdainful  stroke on religion and religious beliefs, does nothing to advance the discussion.

            1. jonnycomelately profile image85
              jonnycomelatelyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Does the truth hurt? 
              If such religious beliefs were kept personal for the individual, and not presented to the world in such a way as to promote a power base, then there would be no problem.
              My own ideas regarding the theory about creation is personal, open to others whether to agree or not.  I do not insist others agree with me.
              But the theories regarding Sin are pushed in our faces as absolute.

              1. A.Villarasa profile image77
                A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this



                @Jonny: Promoting a power base could only be a successful enterprise if the ideas, ideals, and ideologies being promoted are truthful in their basic and fundamental underpinning. Christ's teachings as propounded via his Sermon on the Mount are the grains of truth that neither atheism nor secularism could and would deny.

                1. jonnycomelately profile image85
                  jonnycomelatelyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  If they are truthful, that is the major point.  So much goes on "belief" which can be regarded as truth but not in actual fact true.
                  We humans have not changed our ways much in 1000s of years.  We still exploit the week, whether physically or mentally.  We still clamour for something "out there" that will relieve us of the reality here and now.
                  Christianity has been and always will be used by those who want power.   And often they will resort to anything less than the truth to push their influence on those who are in any way "anti-."
                  "Truth," for me, is as malleable as Play-dough.  What you want to see is what you see and what you see is what you get.

                  1. A.Villarasa profile image77
                    A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    @jonny:
                    Human imperfections will continue to bedevil and  dishevel  humanity's existence till kingdom come.... as they say, it's the nature of the beast. 
                    But just because  humans have lost their sense of perfection from the very beginning, does not mean that they could not aspire to get it back again. Thus  the validity/veracity  of  JC's teachings about a kingdom that is not of this earth. Oh but I forgot, you are not into any kind of kingdom... spiritual transcendental or otherwise.

    4. Paul K Francis profile image82
      Paul K Francisposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Entropy is often understood to describe the direction of time. Entropy does not mean dis-harmony, and an increase in entropy in the universe does not need to mean an increase in dis-harmony, and chaos is something else altogether. Harmony and beauty exist in nature. Harmony exists in the connections found in mathematics and science, as well as in creativity and imagination. We use creativity and imagination to ponder many things including whether or not there is an intelligence behind it all.

      1. A.Villarasa profile image77
        A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        @Paul:
        As I stated in my OP, Entropy, basically, relates to the tendency of matter and energy to disperse in disorder.

        What is infinitessimally  interesting is that this tendency is reversible in biologic systems but not in non-biologic structures. For example, Humpty Dumpty( the egg shell), falling from his perch on a fence and shattering into multiple pieces( state of disorder)  could not, on its own go back to its  original state of non-breakage (order). A bone that breaks (state of disharmony)  when one falls from one's perch on the fence, will on its own heal (state of harmony) and go back to it's almost original shape, and therefore function.

        It is this ability of biologic systems/structures  to go against the second law of thermodynamics, that   implies  intelligent design that acts and reacts purposely, not chaotically in some accidental manner.

    5. profile image0
      Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      The source is of course our sun and it's continuous energy. Once it goes out we go out.

      1. A.Villarasa profile image77
        A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        @radman:
        Just because the sun will burn out, does not necessarily mean that we should go out with it. As calculated by empiricists, the sun will burn out in about 7.5 billion years or so... more than enough time for humans  to find another solar/planetary  system that they  could inhabit  thus perpetuating  the specie for another 7.5 billion years.

        1. jonnycomelately profile image85
          jonnycomelatelyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Can I take a rain-check on that journey?  There might be special offers closer to the time.

        2. profile image0
          Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          But eventually…

        3. EncephaloiDead profile image60
          EncephaloiDeadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          But, that moves in the arena of science... I thought you were against anything scientific?

          1. A.Villarasa profile image77
            A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            @Encephalo:
            Science as you must know, could and should only deal with the physical and material. The metaphysical and spiritual are best left to the philosophers and poets.

            1. jonnycomelately profile image85
              jonnycomelatelyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              ....because there is no proof available in the metaphysical and the spiritual.  smile

              1. A.Villarasa profile image77
                A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                @jonny:
                If you are looking for physical proof....good luck with that.

                Being tethered to the purely physical aspect of existence, will not allow you to succeed in your search for proofs.

                1. profile image0
                  Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  I think it's caused him to succeed. We can imagine just about anything, but without evidence what we imagine is irrelevant.

            2. profile image0
              Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Funny how that works. We can't use science to study anything spiritual and yet the spiritual can use science when they see fit.

              1. Prodio profile image60
                Prodioposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Maybe it's amusing that you find that to be amusing.

                1. jonnycomelately profile image85
                  jonnycomelatelyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Funny peculiar or funny ha ha?

                  1. Prodio profile image60
                    Prodioposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    You might like to ask the Funny/funny.

              2. A.Villarasa profile image77
                A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                @radman:
                Stunning to realize that you believe in the existence of "the spiritual". Jonny is doubly shocked that his fellow atheist totally disagree with him.

            3. EncephaloiDead profile image60
              EncephaloiDeadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              I have no problem with that. It is when the so-called "philosophers and poets" (believers) try to tell us their versions of the 'metaphysical and spiritual' are part of reality, while at the same time ignoring and denying the facts of the physical and material in favor of their 'philosophies and poems'.

              1. A.Villarasa profile image77
                A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                @encephalo: No one denies or discount the material and physical nature of existence.... except those who believe that existence is the just the figment of their  imagination. On the other hand, some people's imagination may hinder them to connect their physicality with something more than just the sum of their physical parts.

  2. psycheskinner profile image81
    psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago

    Oh is that what this is.  I was having trouble seeing all that entropy in the booming resurgence of summers foliage and baby birds and animals. So I didn't even really see what the argument was meant to be.

    1. A.Villarasa profile image77
      A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      @Encephalo:

      Isn't it startling to read that an atheist would use the word pray, in any kind of discussion?

      1. psycheskinner profile image81
        psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Not really, these colloquialisms are rife in out JC society.  You can't eliminate them all without becoming a total pedant.

    2. A.Villarasa profile image77
      A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      @Psyche:
      If you did not see or sense what the discussion is all about, then perhaps you should stop rummaging through those falling leaves.

      1. psycheskinner profile image81
        psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I was responding to EncephaloiDead's contribution, and how illuminating I found it.

        1. A.Villarasa profile image77
          A.Villarasaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          @Psyche:
          Illumination like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Frankly I found his post densely foggy.

  3. kess profile image60
    kessposted 3 years ago

    What is then intelligence?

    It can only be the ability to transform entropy into harmony and this is the single most defining attribute of intelligence.

    How then can those without such an ability be defined?

    One thing for certain, is that without such an ability, nothing will ever make sense....

 
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