page last updated: July, 2021
"The meaning of life can be described ethereally as a quest for love and happiness, the human soul driven by a need for understanding," writes author of Time's Paradigm, Alan R. Graham. For science, however, life is a universal phenomenon most often given a more practical evaluation, and from the perspective of Time's Arrow we have this:
Evolution vs Entropy, opposing Dimensions of Time
TIME'S PARADIGM – A Supplement
In terms of physical existence, time heralds inevitable, entropic decline as energy reduces in viability to the point of redundancy. Thus the ultimate destiny for all matter is one of non-existence.
To counter this fateful, negative progress, life was given reason and came up with a novel answer. In order to survive and prosper in a climate of decay, and with no way to affect the passage of time, life conceived duplication. While inanimate rocks, gases, planets and stars over millennia crumbled, exploded or died, living organisms cloned themselves to hold up time.
The whole point of life is longevity. So with each new day a new birth, every new born a duplicate of one from before that it might perpetuate their kind. Today mirrors yesterday, time's arrow thwarted, and the reason for life is thus revealed. Though not an exact replica, cloning was near enough and, by chance, gave rise to a developmental trend in the form of evolution whereby some idiosyncrasies became beneficial, which realistically reversed the effects of time by bettering the past.
The reason for life is balance. Where there is positive in this universe, there is negative; where there is up, there is down – that is the divine order of chaos. And so where there is decay, there must be creation, otherwise there would be no control, no choice. Evolution opposes Entropy.
Life began at the same moment as decay, not in the form of such cosmic events as the births of stars – which are merely the death-throws of clumping, volatile gases – but in the very creation of chemistry, itself, which allows the two to exist. It's as if entropy were heading through time in one direction while evolution heads through time in the opposite, both using the resources of inanimate matter for their purposes of progress.
The meaning and prerequisite of life is to set up a challenge for course, as it were, a tug-of-war between good and evil, life and death, that neither will win – only the tapestry of existence extended. Evolution and Entropy are the opposing Dimensions of Time that stretch out like an atmosphere through our sense of eternity; they give it depth, form and substance. We inhabit both, each we experience only if the other exists, the third dimension being our conscious consideration.
Time thus creeps out in all directions from a central point, like ripples on a pond, a multi-directional symmetry of which we are all but unaware because our minds are accustomed to a visual world of space and headings and so we impose such parameters on time, when in reality no direction of time is actually forwards... it only seems that way.
The meaning of life is that upward struggle we perceive against the current of decay, lest we succumb to entropy and drown in time. Had it not been for entropic decline there would have been no reason for life. How life came up with the concept of duplication is no mystery, change is inevitable, that's what time is.
Imagine a deep, cold ocean on a planet – any hospitable planet will do. Every few thousand years or so, by chance, the correct ensemble of amino acids and passing proteins merge to conceive a single celled organism. Unfortunately, the little life-form only survives a few days, and so the ocean once again becomes devoid of life for a millennium. Then one day a mishap and one cell accidentally splits in half, forming two, new bodies. The DNA of each now has the altered sequence to divide again before death and pretty soon the vacant ocean is teaming with life that will go on, now, indefinitely.
As tectonic plates slip and mountains crumble the planet goes through vibrant upheaval and decline, the once mighty ocean drying up. Luckily, the little single celled organisms have evolved to take on this challenge and after a few million years a tiny, bug-eyed fish sets its first tentative fin on a muddy beach, a monumental step akin to Armstrong's on the Moon.
The reason for life is to force equilibrium. As our planet declines we will evolve to seek out new territory in the cosmos, and be born again on a younger, fitter world – human life renewed. Evolution is an alternative path in time, a dimension we rarely consider, too obsessed with the dimension of death to concern ourselves with the marvel of reverse entropy.
Perfection is from where entropy came and to where evolution is heading.
In my mind life must surely exist everywhere in this immense universe and has, therefore, done so forever. As they say: "If it can happen, it will."
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So what is this experience we call time, exactly?
Read Time's Paradigm, The Prologue, and find out here on line (opens in another window).
Download here THE ABSTRACT in .pdf Format
Philosophy of Science Proposal
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