Bare Bones Biology 338 – Creation Song

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In the beginning of our universe was the “big bang,” when a universe of matter was released as a universe of energy in an explosion that echoes today in the “noise” of an old-time television set.

In that instant the exploding universe consisted of the most basic of its natural phenomena: energy, information and the ability to evolve. At that instant, our initial complex adaptive system, our universe, was born from the infinity of released energy and the basic “Laws of Nature” that permit it to respond to changes within itself.


That is, the big bang generated a naturally evolving “complex adaptive system,” our universe, and from that time to this it has continued to give rise, out of those raw materials of energy/matter/information/entropy to naturally evolved complex adaptive sub-systems of increasing complexity that include the universe itself, our milky way, our sun-star and the life that generates our blue skies and fertile earth Biosystem.

The characteristics of the resulting multi-millions of naturally evolved complex adaptive sub-systems thus result from the laws of nature; that is, the nature of phenomena as they interact, and the factual reality of their history. Thus our creation song consists of two sorts of “Facts of Life” that humans cannot change, no matter the power of our current human war to generate profits at the expense of our environment. Facts that humans cannot change: 1) historical fact; 2) the universal natural laws that determine the nature of gravity, energy and entropy and their interactions.


Historical Fact


Historically, systems have arisen from other systems, resulting in our universe that is composed of “nested systems” and parallel systems that are able to communicate (share information) among themselves. The natural tendency of evolved complex adaptive systems is clearly observable, for example, in biological evolution.


More specifically, we see examples in the work of Dr. Lynn Margulis and others who study the evolution of eukaryotic cells that contain membrane bound subcellular structures, and apparently arose from commensal relationships among prokaryotic cells that do not containor membrane-bound ganelles. The resulting increase in complexity of the eukaryotic cells permitted their further evolution, that is, diversification as naturally evolving complex adaptive systems and subsystems, into millions of biological niches, ultimately generating the living earth.


Naturally evolved systems are complex adaptive systems. Unlike artificially created complex adaptive systems, the naturally evolved systems are co-adapted – all the evolved systems co-adapted to survive (or not) together – co-adapted by billions of years of their common history during which the systems exchanged information (communicated) among themselves..


Natural Law


The Laws of Nature – most basically — that characterize our naturally evolving nested set of systems are: 1) the relationship between matter and energy, entropy and information;   2) gravity; 3) the natural capacity for self-assembly; and 4) natural selection of each complex adaptive system and subsystem and parallel system in response to the other naturally evolved systems that form its environment. More about these in future blogs


The primary difference between human complex adaptive systems and naturally evolved systems appears to be the deep time – the 14 billion years of history that gave rise to the latter.


Creation Song


This blog is not meant to be a presentation of the whole creation story in 600 words or less, and in fact it is not meant to be specifically a creation story, because that is not what we need to save our place in this universe. Neither is this blog meant to be a scientifically documented hypothesis, because what we do need, if we should decide to choose human survival over corposystem profit-by-growth, is to use all resources at our disposal, social biological and physical, to stop our attack upon our environment and try to re-establish a viable relationship between our naturally evolved human species and our naturally evolved environment. None of our major current human problems can be solved until and unless we attend to the imbalance between and among our systemic relationships.


We already know enough about how the universe works, how it functions to maintain itself so that we could align our behaviors with the reality rather than continue the desperate effort to attain further growth for profit. We know clearly that those two endpoints are incompatible and only the cessation of growth can lead to any possibility of human survival within the environment that we require for life.


When the facts are available – when we do understand the reality of our universe as sets and subsets of complex adaptive systems and we study how these systems function – not separately but together as a naturally evolved complex adaptive whole universe that contains a whole living earth – when we understand how it works, even in a general way – then it is up to us to choose how we will behave within the whole so as to align our behaviors with the immense power of The Creation in which we live, rather than continuing to take arms against it.


If we choose to continue our destruction of the environmental system in which we live – and if we fail to hold our leaders to account for their betrayal of power and responsibility within the democracy we have evolved — then, yes, the destruction is caused by our own rejection of reason and common sense. It is our own fault and our responsibility and the consequences are pre-ordained by natural law. Because we do know how to behave in this world we have created. We are informed not only by our good basic science, but also by all the religions at their best; and that knowledge is the foundation of our evolved democratic ideals.


We cannot have everything we want, no matter how powerful we may be. If we are to survive, we must want to do a really good job with what we can have.


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