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Evolution of the Universe

Introduction:

Evolution is the best proof for the existence of God. Even the most determined agnostic must acknowledge the existence of an omnipresent force that has a consistent creative effect. The source of this force is unexplained and is perhaps unexplainable. I choose to relate evolution to “God” and view evolution as both concrete evidence of purposeful creation and our best indication of the nature of God. We shall know God by God’s works.

Evolution is a progression. Evolution is essential as both the source of life and the means for advancing life. When evolution doesn’t prevail, stagnation begins and death always follows. This work is about advancing life through directed evolution. It is a study of the beginning and the end of evolution. It is new and different – and hopefully important.

Basics:

Evolution is not a theory. What is commonly termed “evolution” is one of many theories about how evolution happens. Evolution is a fact. Its existence is as certain as your existence. Indeed, your existence is unquestionably a result of evolution. The “Darwinian” evolutionists accept the role of “natural selection” occurring over eons to explain the emergence of diversified species. “Creationist” evolutionists believe that God directly created the diversity of species (and apparently all the evidence for progressive evolution) during a “week” less than 7,000 years ago. Both of these “theories” have strengths and weaknesses and neither is “correct”. Evolution – like its Creator – is far too complex to be fully explained by human theories.

We have approached the study of evolution with two primary opposing methodologies and motives: science and religion. Largely because of the conflicts between these methodologies and their limitations, we have failed to grasp evolution’s true significance and nature. This work is an attempt to expand our awareness of evolution through both diversification and integration. We need to diversify our approaches and integrate our awareness to better perceive the scope and nature of evolution. To begin we must recognize that evolution occurs at every level: physical, biological, social, and even spiritual. Evolution has but one direction and a single purpose. Once we understand its direction and purpose it is easier to perceive its origin and nature.

So let us begin with the beginning…

I.                   In the Beginning God Created Evolution…

Evolution is not an accident or a random event. It is not necessary for one to accept that evolution has a cause or to call that cause “God”. But why not? Our first and most profound premise is that evolution is the “first cause” of our Universe. It is what impelled the “naked singularity” that has become Our Universe. It is what caused and directed the “unfolding”. It remains as the thread for “strings[1]” and it is the “song” that harmonizes every wave of probability[2]. Whether or not we can ever “know” God is unanswerable – and perhaps irrelevant: we have before us The Creation and God has left a signature in its every part. Those who find it objectionable or unnecessary to bring God into the discussion have missed the bigger picture. The study of the Universe – or any part of it – is the study of God.

In the beginning, God created. Creation began as “God’s Will” – a “creative force”. God’s Will is so powerfully creative that every manifestation of the Universe derives directly from it. The “Big Bang” (or transformation of the naked singularity[3] that marks the begging of the Universe) is actually a complex unfolding of God’s Will under the direction of its primary manifestation – evolution. The Creative Transformation that triggered the primal singularity was the same type of will that we manifest. It combined intent with focused morality (the desire to do the right thing) at a level far beyond our abilities, but its cause and nature is familiar to us. So was its purpose. (But I’ll save that surprise for a bit later).

The very first unfolding – and the beginning of everything we may observe – was the bifurcation of evolution and entropy. These two forces balance each other and act as opposites. Entropy is a “force” that acts upon every part of the Universe at all times. It is more pervasive and durable than evolution and prevails over evolution without special circumstance. Evolution is more local, more focused, and more risky. It acts over the shorter period when opportunity is rich. Our reality is shaped by the continuing flux in the balance between evolutionary and entropic forces.

From the creative spark, the progressive unfolding of God’s Will continued as a series of bifurcations or branchings of the primal force. The most basic process of evolution is splitting – one thing into two (or more). The key splits arise from a “symmetry breaking[4]” or alteration of some more fundamental order. We might view this as a temporary sacrifice of orderliness for complexity – an evolutionary “gamble”. Because this process is well modeled in the physical realm, we have a beautiful picture of its details.

(Hang on while I diverge in to the technical for a bit…) The physical realm begins with a “grand unified force”. It encompasses EVERYTHING in the physical realm and will eventually unfold to become all the stars, all the matter, all the energy - everything that that we may observe. First, gravity splits off, then the electro-magnetic force, and soon thereafter the nuclear forces (strong and weak). All this happens in far less than a billionth of a second[5]. Each bifurcation has a related symmetry break and during the transformations fundamental constants and laws emerge. The “energy” of the Creation begins to expand and as it expands it also dissipates (“cools”). The amount of energy in the Universe is a constant – it never increases or decreases[6]. Instead it changes forms – forms that range from highly ordered and very complex (such as “matter”) to random and simple (“dark leptons”[7]).

Thus, the early stages of Creation show the process by which orderliness will emerge: bifurcation occurs as energy dissipates. Each bifurcation brings with it a symmetry break and new properties (or particles). We are most interested here in the emergent physical properties, properties that we categorize as constants and physical laws.

      When gravity splits off, “space-time” (universal structure) emerges.

      When electro-magnetism splits off, charges and fields emerge.

      When the nuclear forces split off, properties of matter emerge.

This first phase of Creation is the “Energy Phase”[8] and is characterized by differentiation. The four fundamental forces differentiate and each has a “carrier particle” associated with it. There is no knowable cause for this splitting and we should view the cause as the first component of God’s Will, the Will to Differentiate. As with all of Creation, we will find underlying causation that is unexplainable within the constraints of physics. We might just say that these things happen without cause, but that ignores the most basic observation of physics – the Law of Causation[9].

The next phase is the “Quantum Phase” and is characterized by attraction. Again, we follow the pattern: a symmetry break yields new properties (“particle properties”). In far less than a second after Creation the expanding pool of energy begins the process of transformation into matter. Thus, for the first time there are “objects” in the Universe. These are quantum particles and most are very transitory – emerging and then re-transforming back into energy. Some sixty different transformations emerge yielding quantum particles that combine practical permutations of particle properties.

The Universe was a huge nuclear furnace where matter and anti-matter either annihilated each other (fueling the furnace) or segregated into regions. So much energy remained concentrated in a “small” area that nuclear reactions forced particles to fuse then ripped them back apart. After about a second the Universe expanded, differentiated and cooled enough that particles could retain their properties and begin to “exist” as things.[10]  This phase ended when quantum particles coalesced into patterned forms of protons, neutrons and electrons (atoms) for short periods.

The selection of patterned forms was the first obvious effect of physical evolution. The “laws” that govern which patterns are favored or permitted emerge from the early bifurcations and reflect the “intelligent design” of the Universe. To find compelling evidence of a Creator, one need look no farther than the laws of physics. Of course (again), one can argue that these amazingly ordered and purposeful aspects of reality simply exist by “accident”, but such defies both logic and Occam’s razor. The existence of highly organized and clearly coordinated actions is the best indication of intelligence and the Universe is loaded with such. But, before we delve into that subject, let us continue with the “unfolding”…

From its beginning the Universe “glowed” – its energy concentration was so great and there was so much radiation being emitted that everything was lit. But once the expansion reached a point where “decoupling”[11] could occur an amazing transformation occurred – there was darkness between the lights. This event points to another remarkable part of the Creation and its design – the importance of entropic forces (and results) in the accumulating orderliness. Decay (and death) become critical parts of the evolving Universe.

The ensuing cosmology remains a mystery. We know the outcome but not the mechanics. Clumps of matter form – massive clumps. And the clumps form into clumps. Stars are born and “die” and clusters of stars form as galaxies. Galaxies collide and stars collapse into themselves to form strange new singularities – black holes. It would seem that chaos would prevail and the Universe would dissolve into a formless regression – either expanding forever into darkness or reverting back into a singularity. Instead, something striking happens - order emerges. Diverse and beautiful forms appear without apparent cause – spirals of many types and sizes, ellipses, and “irregular” forms – over 100 billion of them. And, in time, new worlds are born and on those worlds evolution works another type of magic.

The Direction:

Evolution is a primal force that acts upon everything in the Universe (and perhaps beyond). Its “vector” is unidirectional: evolution always “pushes” towards ordered complexity. That is to say that anything that evolves will increase in both orderliness and complexity.

Order implies purpose. You can only determine if something is more ordered when you know what its function or intent is. Thus, things may appear chaotic until one understands their purpose and things that seem structured may actually be destructive or contrary to purpose. The Universe has implicit orderliness because it has intrinsic purpose. We can measure the extent of orderliness for anything in the Universe by ascertaining how much it facilitates that intrinsic purpose. We shall examine the Universe’s purpose closely.

Complexity is a simple mathematical measure of the interconnectedness of things. Its basic variables are the number of things and the number of connections. The foundational formula is simply the product of the two: the number of things times the number of connections = complexity. However, this formula is incomplete because there is also a qualitative aspect: some things and some connections are qualitatively more complex than others. This qualitative aspect may be hard to measure and generally increases the result exponentially. Thus, a more accurate representation might be: Thingsⁿ * Connectionsⁿ = Complexity where “n” is the qualitative factor. It is easily recognized that the qualitative factors readily outweigh the base elements in increasing complexity. An example of a qualitative factor would be a bi-directional connection or a thing with memory.

A quick assessment of humankind reveals that we are the most complex and ordered things around – by a substantial margin. Our brains are not only large and well structured, they incorporate qualitative features not found in other animals. However, although our brains are the most evolved objects known in the Universe, they are not evolving – the brain of a human born thirty-thousand years ago would be indistinguishable from a contemporary brain. Thus, our continuing evolution is not and will not be biological.

Having reached a plateau of brain size and neural complexity, we must find other ways to evolve. It is no coincidence that concomitant with our reaching this plateau we also have become aware of evolution and are capable of assuming control over its continuation. Strangely, previous notions of eugenics and control over genetic evolution have been viewed as unethical or sacrilege. There is a sense that we should allow natural evolution to find its own course. Indeed, if evolution is the working of God, then we must know both its cause and course before we take over.

The Cause:

Evolution is God’s means to God’s end[12]. It seems likely that God is a result of evolution and that God has directed evolution instead of creating it.[13] We may/must do the same. In short, the answer to our “meaning of life” is the continuation of evolution. This was God’s cause and it must become ours. Otherwise we will fall to one of the key processes of evolution – extinction.

Viewed as a physical process, evolution would seem to be an unalterable “natural force”. It operates through a variety of processes (that we are still identifying) occurring without perceived cause. “Mutation”, “adaptation”, “attraction”, “differentiation”[14] and “selection” are key processes of evolution that are currently best understood in their biological applications. These evolutionary processes are also evident in cosmology, chemistry, and biology, however they also function in non-physical systems.

Natural selection” is the common name for one aspect of the broader evolutionary process of inheritance.

The study of physical evolution should continue to reveal much about God and Creation.

 

 

 

 

 



[1] Since this is not intended to be a technical work it would be distracting to explore these details in depth. Besides, there are plenty of authors already doing so. “String theory” explains quantum-cosmological properties and actions using “folded” dimensionality and super small string-like fields.

[2] “Waves of probability” (per Schroedinger) are the mathematical constructs that describe the unfolding of reality at the quantum level.

[3] The pre-existence of a point of potential matrix is no more problematic than the pre-existence of a purposeful Creator. The “naked singularity” is the transformation of one point in the matrix into the Universe. We should avoid asking inapplicable questions about the point or the process at this inception stage since neither “physics” nor its laws have yet emerged. Indeed, “time” itself does not emerge until the expansion begins.

[4] “Symmetry” has dual meaning in evolution – it is both the harmonizing of the elements of the unitary whole and the invariance of equal components when exchanged under specific operations. The “group-theoretic” notion of symmetry that has been so successful in quantum studies combines both aspects of symmetry – elements are related back to each other and to the whole (forming a unity) under specific transformations.

[5] The actual period is approximately 10-40 seconds. “Time” itself emerges as a physical property during this initial splitting. ”Space” is a pre-existing matrix of points of potentiality which is transformed by an expanding field of probability waves. This period is known as the “Planck Era”.

[6] This is the “First Law of Thermodynamics”.

[7] “Dark leptons” are the almost mass-less “ghost” particles of Our Universe. They have transitory properties and existence.  “Neutrinos” are a the permanent form of these ghost particles.

[8] We’re still dealing with a very short time period – about a nanosecond.

[9] Akin to the “Law of Karma”. The common expression is the “Law of cause and Effect” – every effect has a cause.

[10] The plasma soup (Sagan’s “primordial soup”) of quarks and leptons was at 1016°C. Protons and neutrons begin to form at 1012°C. This soup “boils” for some 400,000 years when it cools enough for hydrogen atoms to “gel” (protons capture electrons).

[11] The power of evolution finally overcame entropy when the radiation was insufficient to break apart the atomic bonds. Atoms began to become “permanent” around 400,000 years after the first splitting.

[12] That God chose evolution is an assumption; perhaps there were no other options.

[13] We shall resist the regression inherent in the question “what caused the first cause”. We must simply accept that we may not know the first cause, whether God has a “god”, or what lies outside the Universe. While interesting subjects, their pursuit is a poor use of our intellectual efforts (at least for now).

[14] “Speciation” in biology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please let me know if you have comments about or corrections for this web site.

rich1vanwinkle@yahoo.com


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