(This is similar to another post I made on GD, but I didn’t get much response. I’m hoping for more here in GQ. My apologies for the re-run)
At certain points within the universe’s history, it seems to me that matter has exhibited behaviors that produce spectacular “universe changing” results. Since humanity is also matter, those behavior patterns remain as an integral part of the human experience, and following those behavior patterns will generally result in “success” – whatever that might mean. Consider the following, which are basic and fundamental portions of the theories and facts surrounding the behavior of matter at increasing granularity levels or scales of matter:
Quarks or strings make up atomic particles. Three of them, along with gluon messenger particles, make protons or neutrons based on their configuration.
Protons and neutrons create the atomic nucleus, again using gluons to communicate the strong nuclear force. Then, using Electromagnetism, they join with electrons to become atoms.
Atoms, using electromagnetism, bond with each other to become everything; planets, stars, comets, oceans, organic molecules, etc.
Those organic molecules increased in complexity and learned to self-replicate, eventually becoming DNA. The motor of evolution begins to churn. Over time and in ever-increasing complexity, the first cells were borne. According to asymbiosis, those cells are the result of these complex molecules developing a symbiotic relationship, which is particularly striking when referring to the introduction of chloroplasts in plants and mitochondria in animals.
Single-celled organisms, driven by evolution, remained attached and became multi-celled organisms. In the process, they evolved communications networks – the first nervous systems – to ensure that all the cells work in concert.
Multi-celled organisms have since evolved better “communications networks” with the development of the brain and the ability to communicate between individuals.
So it would seem that the following behavior patterns are key to the nature of matter in the universe.
Unification: quarks or strings coming together to make protons and neutrons - coming together as a nucleus - further unification with electrons to become atoms – coming together to make molecules – coming together to make everything in the universe including coming together to make DNA and genes – coming together to make self-replicating cells – coming together to make multi-celled organisms.
Cooperation between different sovereign entities: up quarks and down quarks or strings – protons, neutrons, and electrons – atoms of the same or different atomic weights - different molecules – different nucleotides – different genes – different organelles – different cells – all of these different entities work together and cooperate at their respective levels. Diversity it seems, is a virtue.
This cooperation is facilitated by…
Exchange of information: gluons exchanged between quarks or strings – gluons exchanged between protons and neutrons - photons passed between electrons, protons, and neutrons – electromagnetic signals governing molecular bonds – chemical signals communicated between organelles – electrical signals running along the spinal chord of a multi-celled organism
Transcendence (into larger stable patterns of matter of increasing complexity): from quarks or strings - to protons and neutrons – to atoms – to molecules – to everything including the stars, planets, the oceans, and DNA – to becoming cells – to becoming all the life on our planet
Stabilization and Repeat: once the entity has achieved transcendence, it stabilizes itself and moves on to repeat the whole thing over again at a higher level; to unite through communication with similar entities, thus joining together to become part of something much larger.
As you can see, the mechanics that govern each of these activities vary from level to level, and in most cases are quite different from each other, but despite the details, the overall behavior pattern remains the same. The behaviors listed above repeat themselves, again and again.
So how does this relate to humanity?
- These same behavior patterns are part and parcel of the very things that we value in life, such as family, friends, love, religion, academics, sports, entertainment, etc.
- If you list the top 10 inventions through history, I guarantee you that at least 7 of them directly or indirectly improve humanity’s ability to follow those behaviors.
- Maslow’s pyramid corresponds with Stability, Unification, and Transcendence.
- War, religion, and business (cornerstones in human history) all are catalysts for these behaviors. They all have an underlying effect of unification.
- Solitary confinement is a punishment dealt to the punished.
- Behaviors that go against those I’ve listed are considered selfish, antisocial, maybe even evil. These behaviors, to an extent, determine our right and wrong.
I didn’t want to get any more verbose, so I hope that list wasn’t too disjointed, but I think it relays the point.
Overall, these behaviors seem to be geared toward a general resistance to destruction, or entropy, or whatever you want to call it. But whatever the “why”, the “what” seems pretty clear if one looks are what the universe is/has been doing since the Big Bang.
I find this idea to be compelling in that it suggests that ideas such as world peace to be not just something that would be “good to have” but instead provides **scientific proof ** that cooperation, communication, and just plain “gettin’ along with each other” to be absolutely vital to humanity’s future. (I know, “Well, duh!”)
Some would call this progression to be merely emergent behavior, but it seems to me to involve more than that because it also includes evolution, as well as technology, which I believe many would argue are very different things.
What the heck am I seeing here?