A SYMMETRY-BASED ACCOUNT OF LIFE AND EVOLUTION

 

Arturo Tozzi (Corresponding Author)

Center for Nonlinear Science, University of North Texas

1155 Union Circle, #311427 Denton, TX 76203-5017 USA

Computational Intelligence Laboratory, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada

Winnipeg R3T 5V6 Manitoba

tozziarturo@libero.it

 

James F. Peters

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Manitoba

75A Chancellor’s CircleWinnipeg, MB R3T 5V6 CANADA and

Department of Mathematics, Adıyaman University, 02040 Adıyaman, Turkey

James.Peters3@umanitoba.ca

 

DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.25425.74089

 

After the Big Bang, a gradual increase in thermodynamic entropy is occurring in our Universe (Ellwanger, 2012).  Because of the relationships between entropy and symmetries (Roldán et al., 2014), the number of cosmic symmetries, the highest possible at the very start, is declining as time passes.  Here the evolution of living beings comes into play.  Life is a space-limited increase of energy and complexity, and therefore of symmetries.  The evolution proceeds towards more complex systems (Chaisson, 2010), until more advanced forms of life able to artificially increase the symmetries of the world.  Indeed, the human brains’ cognitive abilities not just think objects and events more complex than the physical ones existing in Nature, but build highly symmetric crafts too.  For example, human beings can watch a rough stone, imagine an amygdala and build it from the same stone.  Humankind is able, through its ability to manipulate tools and technology, to produce objects (and ideas, i.e., equations) with complexity levels higher than the objects and systems encompassed in the pre-existing physical world.  Therefore, human beings are naturally built by evolution in order to increase the number of environmental symmetries.  This is in touch with recent claims, suggesting that the brain is equipped with a number of functional and anatomical dimensions higher than the 3D environment (Peters et al., 2017).  Intentionality, typical of the living beings and in particular of the human mind, may be seen as a mechanism able to increase symmetries.  As Dante Alighieri stated (Hell, XXVI, 118-120), “you were not made to live as brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge”. 

In touch with Spencer’s (1860) and Tyler’s (1881) claims, it looks like evolutionary mechanisms tend to achieve increases in environmental complexity, and therefore symmetries (Tozzi and Peters, 2017).  Life is produced in our Universe in order to restore the initial lost symmetries.  At the beginning of life, increases in symmetries are just local, e.g., they are related to the environmental niches where the living beings are placed.  However, in long timescales, they might be extended to the whole Universe.  For example, Homo sapiens, in just 250.000 years, has been able to build the Large Hadron Collider, where artificial physical processes make an effort to approximate the initial symmetric state of the Universe.  Therefore, life is a sort of gauge field (Sengupta et al., 2016), e.g., a combination of forces and fields that try to counterbalance and restore, in very long timescales, the original cosmic symmetries, lost after the Big Bang.  Due to physical issues, the “homeostatic” cosmic gauge field must be continuous, e.g., life must stand, proliferate and increase in complexity over very long timescales.  This is the reason why every living being has an innate tendency towards self-preservation and proliferation.  With the death, continuity is broken. This talks in favor of intelligent life scattered everywhere in the Universe: if a few species get extinct, others might continue to proliferate and evolve in remote planets, in order to pursue the goal of the final symmetric restoration.   In touch with long timescales’ requirements, it must be kept into account that life has been set up after a long gestation: a childbearing which encompasses the cosmic birth of fermions, then atoms, then stars able to produce the more sophisticated matter (metals) required for molecular life.  

A symmetry-based framework gives rise to two opposite feelings, by our standpoint of human beings.  On one side, we achieve the final answer to long-standing questions: “why are we here?”, “Why does the evolution act in such a way?”, an answer that reliefs our most important concerns and gives us a sense; on the other side, however, this framework does not give us any hope: we are just micro-systems programmed in order to contribute to restore a partially “broken” macro-system.  And, in case we succeed in restoring, through our mathematical abstract thoughts and craftsmanship, the initial symmetries, we are nevertheless doomed to die: indeed, the environment equipped with the starting symmetries does not allow the presence of life.

 

 

 

 

 

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