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The "Equation"

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Posted by Mark on July 6, 2003 01:20:06 UTC

Knock a glass on the ground.


Each molecule in the wine races to find the lowest potential energy state within the Earths gravitational field through its own path of least resistance. Vibrations rip through the glass and within nanoseconds shatter the bonds in the highly viscous material. Kinetically charged pieces of glass are sent asunder; wine spills out all over the floor, spreading rapidly outward from ground zero.

I guess everything in the universe sort of happens like this. An event takes place, the vibrations ripple outward. Every action has a reaction, and for every cause there is an effect. (The converse: For every effect there was a cause, and every reaction was the result of an action).

Every particle in the entire universe just wants one thing and one thing only (and will stop at nothing to get it): the lowest energy state through the path of least resistance.

So goes the magnificent story of our home, our reality, our universe. All there was, is, and is to come ... inhabited by itself, being itself, living itself. Through myriad seemingly independent observers all the way from ants, birds and mice to dolphins, chimps and man, the universe knows it is alive-that it exists. Consciousness on so many different levels ... living out the decree that every particle shall seek its lowest energy state through the path of least resistance. The four forces of nature provide the resistance; the particles obey the nature of these forces, hence: laws of physics.

It seems as though all laws follow as a natural succession of yet more fundamental, deeper principles.

For example, New ton's third law of motion follows from the fact that total momentum is conserved, which follows from the fact that energy can neither be created nor destroyed (on average, that is, neglecting quantum effects), which follows from yet some deeper principle rooted in symmetry ... and on and on.

Or take the fact that entropy must always increase, which follows from the fact that an ordered state is highly improbable, which means a system will gradually slide into more probable states (disordered) as each particle is tossed here and about by the four forces of nature. Another way of stating this phenomenon is: every system will spontaneously seek a state of maximum even distribution of energy. (Heat flows to cold until both sides are evenly warm)...

The second law of thermodynamics (stated in the previous paragraph) and the third law of motion both follow as natural consequences to other principles, which are themselves consequences of deeper principles, and once again, on and on ... tracing all the way back to that elusive, enigmatic, most fundamental of all, first principle. Stated in mathematical terms, this would be our grand TOE (theory of everything). Stated in metaphysical terms, this would be God (or at least his blueprint for his grand architecture).

Whether this equation is God, or God transcends this equation...

This equation is timeless and forever; it transcends all of space and time. In fact, space and time follow as consequences, which give birth to forces, and then quantum particles. Quantum particles interact, bond or repel, and chaoticly whirl around endlessly. Patterns are created and destroyed, patterns interact with patterns (two men shaking hands, or a wine glass hitting the floor), and patterns create more patterns. Complexity emerges, complexity returns to simplicity, complexity emerges, complexity returns to simplicity, and on and on ... all particles seeking the lowest potential energy state through the path of least resistance for ever and ever.

Then one day, one particular arrangement of quantum dust sits at another particular arrangement of quantum dust which it (this particular pattern) calls "computer", and types about its own existence throw strings of letters arranged in patterns called "words" so that other masses of whirling particles can absorb the photons spewing form their "computer screens" through "corneal lenses" and onto patterns of particles called "retinas", whereby the information is isomorphically mapped onto their "memories" through electronic neural impulses.

And the point of this all? No point...

This particular arrangement of quantum dust just happens to call it "interesting".

But what does it matter? Someday the all these arrangements of particles will cease to exist, and return to dust. The patterns will break down and succumb to the second law of thermodynamics as decreed by "The Equation". Somehow, arrangemets of particles called "worms" fit into this picture beautifully (or actualy grotesquely ugly); the second law of thermodynaimcs manifests itself in myriad forms to accomplish the same task.

Worms recycle the deceased back to the soil, plants use the nutrients, animals eat the plants, other animals eat the plants & animals on up the food chain, until we get to McDonalds or Olive Garden. Mom's hungry all the time because she's pregnant, the baby comes along to share the oxygen we all breathe, which is recycled by the trees and plankton of the sea ... the universe repeats itself yet again. All part of the equation. There's many angles to look at it; it has many solutions.

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