Section 1: “Science and Evolution”
What is existence? What is the world in which we find ourselves?
Only about fifty years ago, a NASA space project provided the first, beautiful pictures of Earth as seen from outer space. Astronomical telescopes had already provided excellent pictures of distant galaxies. Now, we could visualize how our own “Milky Way” galaxy would look like – including the tiny spot representing our sun as one of several billions of other spots, somewhere in the outer area of one of our galaxy’s spiraling arms, with the still smaller NASA-photographed blue planet “Earth” whirling around it. How did this formation in space occur?
Recent progress in astronomy and astrophysics has shown us how the universe originated at one point and one moment some 13.7 billion years ago and has been expanding in all directions ever since. What happened in time and space that, out of a single burst of energy, we humans, with all our exceptional talents, have come to live on this tiny planet where we now are?
An essay in the first section of the writings is titled: “Evolution: Understanding Our Physical and Mental Existence; Cosmic Evolution – Natural Evolution – Evolution of the Human Mind – Evolution of Civilizations – Extraterrestrial Evolutions – the Future of Mankind and the Universe – the End of the Universe. What were the important aspects and steps of evolution? What remains unanswered? What could be the consequent meaning or purpose of our life?”
The essay is also available in the form of eight sub-essays on individual issues as indicated above, describing and discussing this evolution in some detail (in the fractal structure of science), with emphasis on the basic nature of the universe and the important phenomena or factors that determined the course of events:
- The abstract – one can rightly say ”transcendental” – origin and beginnings of existence – if one does not postulate causal connections from preceding universes
- The abstract nature of all existence composed of subatomic particles – consisting merely of tiny bits of fields in empty space (string theory). What are space-limited fields in empty space, how can they exist, emanate and react to external forces?
- The surprising “granulation” of energy and action, the diversity of primary particles and forces
- The appearance of the “combinatorial principle”, whereby the combination of smaller components is possible This is controlled by forces and the laws of nature (the expression of the “Formative Essence of Existence”), leading to the formation of a set of diverse larger components with totally new “emerging” dimensions of their own significance – as when using a quantity of diverse parts to build a cathedral. Once a granulated and diversified structure of existence was established, this combinatorial principle provided the foundation of evolution – and even of mental progress.
- The duality of the order of natural laws and of randomness in the universe, including quantum mechanical uncertainty
- The “basic principle of evolution” indicating that evolution does not converge on a goal following a plan but instead diverges to increasing complexity according to starting and boundary conditions at the beginning of every step of evolution. Evolution is often restrained by limitations in some areas – while prospering with opportunities in other areas. This leads to the impression of the “converging” evolution to opportunities (actually, by opportunities). At the same time, this evolution is modified by probabilistic or random events. In all, this leads to a non-deterministic and open-ended evolution of the universe and nature (including our mental concepts and structures)
- Cosmology, the appearance and evolution of cosmic structures, the “foam” of galaxies in space, diverse galactic structures, their not fully explained central “bars” and spiraling “arms”. The appearance of diverse solar systems, some with “failed planets” in their not acquiring life (as Venus in our solar system), some (possibly many in the universe) successful ones (as Earth) leading to important further evolution – as in life.
- Geophysics, the formation and evolution of Earth and the Moon (its importance for, and ongoing influence on, Earth and life). On Earth one consequently finds the resulting interrupted and shifting crust, oceans, and relative stability of the atmosphere.
- How the origin of life can be understood by molecular biology, – from pre-biotic molecules originating in space – leading to the appearance and structures of life – the dynamic world of DNA, RNA, innumerable proteins in various shapes, ATP, and more
- Natural evolution – diverting lines, cells, diverse organisms. The atmosphere changes, augmenting oxygen, life begins to feed on other life as a source of energy – consequently mobility, sensors, and neural networks appear, leading to predatory and competitive behavior – the “Tree of Life”
- The question of possible or merely “believed”, ongoing “intelligent design” by a transcendental force, God, leading to the question of “God’s” interference with, or neglect of, human history and personal destiny – and the question of the contradictory or cruel consequences of such a concept, if accepted
- Evolution interrupted by very large catastrophes and extinctions, redirecting its course. More catastrophes must be expected!
- Evolution leading to the human mind with capability for consciousness, thought, and emotions (values) – in mental creativity, ethical judgment, personality, art, and religion
- The origin and evolution of societies (based on “ethical” behavior and structured coherence), civilizations, and cultures – with all their specific characteristics – now leading to “globalization” – and beyond (?)
- What “extraterrestrial intelligent life” could there be in the universe? What could be the consequences of the discovery of such extraterrestrial intelligence for us?
- The expected end of the universe, if not in a collapse, but in Black Holes, or in nothing but dispersing radiation