Third Tangent

We made it! This tangent will explore entropy from a very philosophical standpoint (you’ll later understand why), therefore I won’t be spitting out equations unless I really have to, but let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that. So what is entropy? In all essential terms, entropy is really just the unique state of a system at some arbitrary time. This unique state can only move in one direction – from ordered to disordered as work is done by this system on its immediate surroundings. Entropy can move backwards – from disordered to ordered if work is done on the system by its surroundings. But what makes entropy truly fascinating and mysterious is it’s unpredictability – the quantum chaos observed in every system in the physical universe. This chaos is one that cannot be fully quantified because it would then violate the Second Law (of Thermodynamics) as we know it. Why does it violate said law? Because we can then turn back time, technically. By knowing the kinetic state and positions of particles in a system, we can easily treat the quantum particles as classical ones and apply our knowledge of classical mechanics to extrapolate the state of some particle in the system to some arbitrary time, which will allow us to manipulate the system’s disorderliness without doing any actual work on it – which is counter-intuitive and in violation of the Second Law.

Any system being governed by another entity cannot fully understand the entity that’s controlling it

This is where things ought to get philosophical. Why can’t we as these intelligent beings figure out something that seems so trivial on paper? This is simply because any system being governed by another system/entity cannot fully understand the system that’s controlling it. We as humans, have our brains made of tissue, further made of molecules whose states are described by quantum mechanics – which again can only vaguely quantify the behavior of these molecules down to a probability space where it could be found and its average speed. By extension, our ability to perceive and store information pertaining to the operation of our physical universe, the same domain our brains also operate on, is impossible. Our brains have to operate on a completely different domain, outside this universe we know of, to be able to understand and store such information.

Several minds have tried tackling this illusion of reality, reality being the complete understanding of anything that extends beyond the physical universe that influences its operation. There are many theories, sometimes even scientific consensus that go in favor of this argument. One, the theory that all information pertaining the operation of the universe as we know it is predetermined and stored somewhere outside the reaches of our physical universe. Two, that we are all living in a simulation and nothing is real. Three, the many worlds theory.

Evolution is one of those things I believe couldn’t have turned out the way it had magically. Something guided it, God? Hold on to your skeptic hats. My position on God is agnostic, so you know I won’t be playing my indoctrination cards here. Very vaguely, entropy did, but then arises a bigger contradiction – we say entropy is pure chaos, pure meaning a very flat distribution like you’d observe with events such as a coin toss or throw of a dice, but if that’s really what entropy did when evolution took place – we would not expect to see the well-developed life forms we do today years after evolution took place. The odds of humans evolving would have been slim, and all the radical mutations and adaptations couldn’t have come about if the states of quantum particles inside these life forms were merely arbitrary. This is where we must bring in a manipulator of entropy or in layman terms, God. Something, some entity, or system is fiddling with the state of our physical universe. This entity cannot be located physically in our universe because it would then succumb to our domain and be unable to influence it. So it has to be physically external to us.

An equally solid refutation to this theory can assert the possibility of an iterative component to evolution. While entropy can display coin toss like flatness, evolution would have constantly compared and eliminated the failed mutations that would have otherwise doomed a species if let to go down that evolutionary path. This would have tremendously narrowed down on the vast playing fields of entropy. This ends up challenging our notion that entropy alone directed evolution during its early days when confounding factors were still at large and evolution itself was at best probabilistic.

Our next challenge would be explaining said entity’s mode of influence on us. We observe all kinds of phenomenon at the quantum level and the one with the most interest to me is entanglement. This is when two quantum particles are entangled and thereby, always assume opposite spin states. Any change in the spin state of one of these particles immediately causes the other to assume an opposite spin state. Classical mechanics only allows us to communicate information at the speed of light – entanglement violates it. Despite being binary states – it still counts as information. Tunnelling is another such phenomenon, but that’s unnecessary now. I feel one of these modes of influences is through entanglement. Particles in a parallel universe might possibly be entangled with those in ours – in that case, the parallel universe is our manipulator of entropy.

But again, this is just one possibility for a mode of influence. We don’t and will never know how our universe’s entropy gets manipulated – all we can do is theorize as a hobby, in philosophy.

It’s late here, and people are sleeping but I have not yet. Getting good sleep is among the many pleasures of life – and this I will discuss in my fourth tangent. You made it this far, get some sleep!

Composed and published from my Raspberry Pi.


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