Information -- Continued States of Increasing Complexity
(19) Information content throughout the universe is continuing to evolve toward states of increasing complexity. It was erroneously concluded at one time that the entropic process is causing a state of universal decay that results in higher, more complex structures disintegrating into simpler forms. This concept resulted through a misinterpretation of the second law of thermodynamics. Entropy is occurring, as has been recognized. However, in spite of this, matter continues to take on more complex forms with an overall net gain of information. Most systems are changing toward states of greater order. A star is much more ordered than the hydrogen cloud from which it came. In the May 1985 issue of Scientific American, Nobel prize winner Hans Bethe stated that, "The entire evolution of the star is toward a condition of greater order." Through gravitational attraction, there is a condensation of hydrogen, a conversion of hydrogen to helium through nuclear fusion, and then a formation of larger, more complex, heavier elements from helium.
Order, along with continually increasing amounts of information, also occurs during the evolution of a planet. Earth probably formed from a cloud of gas and dust undergoing accretion, which resulted in a very hot metallic core, a mantle, and a continental crust of lighter material floating at the surface. This process of increasing order continues with the development of a high degree of chemical and physical order at the surface.
Information is diffusely present throughout the entire universe. Every congregation of matter in existence, even the most simple grain of sand, contains stored information. The planets, stars and galaxies have tremendous amounts of stored information, including complex organic molecules. The distribution of information is uneven, with earth manifesting a localized concentration of it. The distribution of intelligence as we perceive it in our reality would appear to be concentrated into those locations where matter has achieved high degrees of complexity and stored information, such as here on this planet.
As the information content within any system increases, which is directly related to its level of complexity, so does the level of cumulative total intelligence, and of consciousness. Higher levels of consciousness require more complex arrangements of matter-energy with an overall greater amount of stored information.
Many physicists believe that they could be close to developing a complete theory of the universe, including its origin. Until now only four basic forces have been identified, including gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. The present-day conception is that initially, at the origin of our universe, there was one superforce which gave birth to the others. This superforce would also represent an amalgamation of matter-energy and space-time, and would create the perception of a universe of unsuspected unity.1...The four or more surviving forces left over from the original superforce are now viewed as nature's attempt to maintain various abstract symmetries in the world.2...As previously indicated, these forces are thought to be directed by intelligence.
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