Alan Garfinkel, after closely studying the slime mold that commonly coats the surface of stagnant ponds, concludes that it demonstrates the same principle of self-organization which others have concluded is so prevalent in nature. This organism has two life phases. It first is a single-celled amoeba leading its own individual existence; however, when deprived of food it undergoes a radical transformation and organizes into a colony of thousands of cells. Each colony becomes one differentiated animal with a head, back and stalk. The body then becomes spores covered with hard cases. They break away, and the cases crack open liberating individual amoebas, completing the life cycle.17...The properties exhibited by the slime mold emphatically exceed the sum of its individual parts.18
Not only does there appear to be a self-organizing force behind all living systems, but this same tendency is seen to exist within inorganic matter. Stars strive to become more complex with information as they manufacture higher atomic weight inorganic molecules. Atomic particles possess this same quality on a primitive level as they try to preserve themselves or regenerate after being perturbed.19...This tendency was present before the first living cell was formed. The atom recaptures its lost electrons, the crystal when traumatized restores its fractured shape, and the molecule discards excess energy forced upon it by random encounters.20
The presence of a self-organizing force involving inorganic matter is also manifested in the Belousov-Zhabolinsky reaction. This occurs when four specific chemicals are mixed together in a shallow dish at a specific temperature. The mixture will self-organize into a structure of concentric and spiralling waves that spread and pulsate with clock-like regularity and change colors at precise intervals. This process is entirely chemical yet resembles somewhat the action of a living system.21...Organic and inorganic self-organizing units are not only passively pushed and pulled by outside forces, but possess inner resources that act to preserve themselves.22
Do mutations occur randomly, as has always been assumed, or is there a positive driving force inherent in intelligence, and also manifested within the genetic code, that is continually modifying its structure to allow new adaptations to be processed through natural selection? The continued upward evolution of life forms overcoming entropy would seem to indicate that there must be such a force. Intelligence as a force in opposition to entropy is propelling evolution in an upward direction and has been referred to by others as the principle of self-generating complexity. It would appear to be accomplishing this in part through the instilling of a strong instinct for survival in all living organisms. The entropic process in a sense opposes the upward evolution of intelligence, but is also beneficial in that it forces intelligence to express itself in an almost infinite number of ways. The entropic process diversifies the ways that intelligence manifests itself by inducing mutations and eliciting an anti-entropic repair process based on the principle of self-organization.
Entropy is a basic property of the universe which, undoubtedly, is occurring everywhere that humankind has been able to observe. All isotopes in existence are disintegrating with a predictable half-life. All stars are giving up energy to surrounding space. There is a definite tendency for all non-living materials to disintegrate, such as rocks crumbling and dead organic material decaying. Yet we see an evolving universe where order is forming out of chaos and the simple is becoming more complex. Not only are lifeforms evolving, but complex inorganic molecules are continuously being manufactured inside stars. This implies, therefore, that opposing processes are occurring and that both are necessary as the universal process unfolds.
Netscape CTRL + D
MAC Command + D