Evolution vs. Entropy


Generally speaking, and simply to clear up any misunderstandings before they happen, evolution is another word for “steady progression”, while entropy means “deterioration”.

Mathematically, they can’t coexist in the same system. You can’t have entropy and evolution working together. They will always work against each other. One fun way to look at it is: take an imaginary company, and have one department that is working as hard as it can to make the company successful, then have another department doing its skillful best to run the company into the ground. Eventually, whichever department was strongest would win the battle. But the system, the company, would never win, unless it could somehow eliminate one of the departments. Which department it eliminated would be determined by the company’s ultimate goal: to fail or succeed. If you broke it down even further and had one employee trying to make the company better, while another employee was trying to ruin the business, then it would be so much easier to fix what was broken.

Unfortunately for us, both terms are blanket terms. Both evolution and entropy are general terms. They have subcategories and can be broken down into parts and strata that themselves can encourage or discourage evolution or entropy. Evolution can be subdivided and defined in a wide range of topics such as mechanical evolution, inter-species evolution, technological evolution, or even individual evolution. (One thing many laymen do wrong is use the general term “evolution” in place of the more specific terms. Transposing meanings is a common mistake. This makes criticism easy though, because then the critic can say you don’t know the difference between the evolution of the cart and the evolution of the horse.) Entropy can be found in substrates such as thermodynamic entropy, Martian entropy, communication entropy, and spiritual entropy.

Individuals can promote their own evolution. Some scientists wax philosophical and say the human condition is to work against entropy though nature does not.

To me, that just sounds like so much downer pessimism. As if the entropy was some universally unavoidable trait. Yet, if you watch people working their hardest to make things better, you can see that they not only postpone future degradation, but they show us how to eliminate it altogether. It’s there, if you choose to see it. It’s brighter than a Martian sunrise.


Published by Kurt Gailey

This is where I'm supposed to brag about how I've written seven novels, twelve screenplays, thousands of short stories, four self-help books, and one children's early-reader, but I'd rather stay humble. You can find out about things I've written or follow my barchive (web archive, aka 'blog) at xenosthesia.com or follow me on twitter @kurt_gailey. I love sports and music and books, so if you're an athlete or in a band or you're a writer, give me a follow and I'll most likely follow you back. I've even been known to promote other people's projects.

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