Bare Bones Biology 349 – In the Beginning

In the beginning was the big bang, and immediately was our universe born.

“In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the Word was God.” The Holy Bible, John I:1

 

Our primeval system in its most primitive state of random uniformity, lacking structure, composed of matter, energy, and formless entropy was nascent information.

 

161218r-christmas-_dsc0741sIn the next instant came random variations in the distribution of the formlessness. A bit more density here, a bit less there, and the forces of gravity and self-assembly grew the first cold aggregations of matter, and the force of natural selection favored one growing system more than another, and the formlessness of entropy began to take on the forms of information, that is, structures, behaviors, interactions, processes, integration.

 

And as the pressure of its own mass increased, and bore down upon its central core, the first star burst into flame.

 

“And God said: ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light.”   The Holy Bible, Genesis.

 

And many more stars burst into flame until there were galaxies and solar systems, and the earth swung around the sun, and the moon around the earth, and when the conditions became right, it rained upon the earth for 10,000 years, until there was water upon the land.

 

“And God said: ‘Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together in one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so.” (Genesis)

 

And the earth gave birth to its own new cycles as the energy and information/entropy interacted among themselves according to the exponentially increasing numbers of possibilities inherent in the factual information generated by its increasing numbers of integrated complex adaptive systems during its incredible history, based on the multitude of ways in which its subsystems could (or could not) interact among themselves in every possible manner – natural selection, symbioysis, emergent properties, even catastrophe — to generate higher and broader levels of complexity that then acted again upon each other to select/maintain those subsystems that contributed to their common evolution and further refinement the available information upon which evolution is based.

 

161224r-christmas-_dsc0743sAnd about four billion years ago the Lord said: Let there be Life.

 

“We have seen how, when complex adaptive systems establish themselves, they operate through the cycle of variable schemata, accidental circumstances, phenotypic consequences, and feedback of selection pressures to the competition among schemata. They tend to explore a huge space of possibilities, with openings to higher levels of complexity and to the generation of new types of complex adaptive system. Over long periods of time, they distill out of their experience remarkable amounts of information, characterized by both complexity and depth.” (Gell-Mann)

 

And a cell was born, and the Earth gave birth to Life.

 

“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” (Genesis)

 

“The information stored in such a system at any one time includes contributions from its entire history. That is true of biological evolution, which has been going on for four billion years or so, and also of the cultural evolution of Homo sapiens sapiens, for which the time span is more like a hundred thousand years.” (Gell-Mann)

 

And the information that has survived this entire history is embedded in the functions of our physiology, the processes of our modern corposystem, and the world views of our incredible brains that we could be using to survive our current malaise if we would only get it into our heads that the behaviors (including human behaviors) that ARE CAPABLE OF SURVIVAL are not those that dominate the works of God, but those that contribute to the ongoing welfare of the miracle of Life within which we are embedded and integrated, and these behaviors are very well described and explained in the very heart and soul of all our major religions that tell us how to survive the millennia by partnering with the rest of the creation, rather than trying to dominate it.

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com.

For a copy of the podcast go to:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_349F2.mp3

 

© 2017, M. Lynn Lamoreux PhD

Photos by Lynn

MLLamoreux@Hotmail.com

 

References:

 

The Old Testament and the New Testament, Revised Standard Version. I could take similar supporting evidence from any of the major religions, but the Holy Bible happens to be more readily available in this community. And indeed – elegant.

 

Gell-Mann, Murray. (Winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics). 1994. The Quark and the Jaguar. W. H. Freeman & Co.

 

With great appreciation for discussion with and contribution by several people from Santa Fe Institute, this is my interpretation – not theirs.

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