27 mins read

Last updated on Tuesday 13th June 2023

The Sixth Heresy: Order comes from Chaos

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.

– Genesis 1:2-4

What do the Quantum Heresies have to do with us?

Human life, intelligent life, is a network of prodigious multi-level complexity. Cities alone are profoundly complex structures, based on buildings and machines that are also complex. These cities fit around human society, which is complex. Humans are fantastically complex objects, made up of systems of complex cells, each of which is based on hugely complex chemistry, made up of elements with complex structures.

The study of fundamental things is about minute, simple objects, on the one hand and vast, simple, forces and effects on the other. Yet the complexity emerged naturally from the simplicity. This is the progress we will now track.

The original materials that made up the universe were not complex. Before the formation of ball-waves, the universe had only one ‘ingredient’, the Field, and the waves in it. These, and the slowing effect of matter on the speed of the Field, are the only physical ingredients needed to start the story below that ends with us today. A pleasing economy of concepts but, as we shall see, needing a considerable number of apparently arbitrary relationships (constants) to result in the right mix for us. Each point where a specific constant is required will be marked with an asterisk.

These waves started in an initial and mysterious ‘Big Bang’, a vast burst of hyper-powerful F-waves. Their wavefronts expanded at the speed of the Field and, as they did so, they cooled; that is, their wavelength became longer as they pushed out against gravity. As they got longer, the waves hit the right harmonic lengths* to break into ball-waves. These may have been many-dimensional at first but, as they cooled these small ball-waves broke down* until they stabilised at six and/or five dimensions, forming ‘dark matter’, some going on to form protons in four dimensions*, others to form electrons in three dimensions (see the Third Heresy).

In very energy-intensive environments, ball-waves are preferred to F-waves as soon as the harmonics permit. We can see that when we get an F-wave energetic enough to turn into an electron/proton pair. These ball waves are unstable in a lower energy environment* but require a ball-wave of the opposite type (the one based on an lFv centre cancelling the other based on and hFv centre) to revert to an F-wave. The proton is stable at a much smaller size that the electron, which is around 1,000 times more diffuse, so the two cannot interact with each other. Instead, they join together as atoms, with the protons in the centre of a ball of electrons. This forms matter with a vast supply of ‘trapped energy’ in the form of mass. As discussed in an earlier heresy, the Heretics think that the same asymmetric decay, into two particles of very different sizes at higher dimensions, accounts for dark matter. As far as we know, only if protons find themselves once again in a highly energetic environment and in the presence of neutrons, such as the interior of a star or fusion reactor, can some of the trapped energy can be released*[1].

After the initial Big Bang around 13,500 million years ago[2] and the collapse of its energy into the ball-waves that make up matter, nothing much happened for, a period called the ‘Dark Age’. There is uncertainty how long this period was but it seems likely to have been somewhere from tens to hundreds of million years. During this period just dark matter, electrons, protons, and neutrons ‘floated’ around in space, moving outwards with the momentum of their formation, surrounded by the remaining F-waves, cooling as the waves gradually lengthened. Neutrinos also existed (then and now), but they are not anything much – just tiny vortices in the Field – and do not interact with anything much.

Protons, electrons, neutrons, dark matter, and F-wave energy are still what make up everything in our universe. The difference is that, today, these same simple things are ordered into objects of unimaginable complexity such as you, me, and the world we live in.

Most of the positive protons and negative electrons in the Dark Age of the early universe combined to form hydrogen*, the simplest atom, with one proton surrounded by one electron, and a relative mass of one atomic unit. A few protons, neutrons and electrons combined to make the next smallest atoms, heavy hydrogen (aka deuterium with one proton, one neutron and one electron), helium* (two protons, two neutrons and two electrons), and tiny amounts of lithium and beryllium*, which are the next smallest elements. More than 90% of all atoms were hydrogen, with some of them combined in pairs to make hydrogen molecules*, H2, which is still not complex.

Slowly at first and then faster, gravity pulled these atoms and molecules together into huge balls of matter*. This process reduces equilibrium. It takes the almost completely homogenous universe of the dark age and splits it into balls of hot, concentrated matter and cold, empty space[3]. As these balls of matter grew heavier, their gravity increased, so material fell into them faster and faster, generating heat as they did so. Protons normally repel each other because they have the same positive electrical charge. However, with enough heat and pressure, two atoms can hit each other so hard that the protons at the centre of each atom smash through the electro-magnetic repulsion between them and they become linked together in the same nucleus by the ‘Strong Nuclear Force’ (or, as the Heretics speculate, because their ball-waves can combine in the fourth dimension). This joining together is called nuclear fusion*. This process builds up the nucleus into new elements and, in doing so, releases a huge amount of energy. Some of the primordial energy that was frozen into their separate ball-waves at their formation is released when they merge into one nucleus.

In most hydrogen atoms, the single proton sits in the middle of the ball-wave of the much larger but lighter electron, but a few also have a neutron in their centre and form ‘heavy hydrogen’, also known as deuterium*. Hydrogen cannot fuse with other hydrogen nuclei, but deuterium can fuse with deuterium. The proportion of deuterium in the early universe is tiny* but enough to ignite stars and make them glow. Had fusion been easier, say if a hydrogen atom could fuse with another hydrogen atom, stars would have rapidly exploded, and the history of the universe would have been much different. Once the process of fusing deuterium into Helium starts, the star can continue to shine, often for many billions of years. As time goes on, the new elements created by the fused deuterium will also start fusing together, creating more and heavier elements*. Making these uses hydrogen as well as other, already fused elements. This is normally another slow process, keeping the star burning and making more of the heavier elements.

The rules for forming new elements in the atomic furnace of stars are known, although we do not know why these particular rules apply*[4]. The small and medium-sized stars where these new elements are being ‘cooked up’ are long-lived, slowly creating new elements for billions of years. Each time a new and larger element is made by fusing lighter elements together, energy is released until a nucleus of 26 protons and 30 neutrons (iron) is reached*. Adding more protons or neutrons to an atom’s nucleus beyond this size or larger, requires that energy is added to make the biggest atoms; this does not happen in ordinary stars.

Massive stars burn fast and then explode in novas (the processes behind this are well-known). Sometimes these explosions are so big that they outshine a million other stars; we call these supernovas. These, and other types of stellar explosion, such as when a very dense neutron star collides with another star, provide the energy to make the heaviest elements at their centre. Some of these elements, those with more than 82 protons, later slowly break apart, emitting energetic particles*. We call this (confusingly) radioactivity.

While the largest elements are formed only in small amounts, many ‘medium-sized’ elements like carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, chlorine, sodium, calcium, iron, aluminium, and sulphur, become plentiful, especially in the remnants of an exploded supernova[5]. Each element has a different number of electrically positive protons in its nucleus. When it gets cool enough for the electrons to hold on, the cluster of positive protons (and neutral neutrons) that defines the element, attracts a matching number of electrically negative electrons to surround it and balance the overall charge. The protons then become the nucleus of the atom, in the middle of a loose collection of the much larger electron ball-waves. Swapping and sharing the electrons creates chemical compounds like water, H2O, methane, CH4, and so on. These can then be joined together to form larger chemical compounds. We have reached the first levels of complexity: a variety of elements, combining to form compounds.

The assorted debris of previously exploded stars is gradually pulled together again by gravity. Our sun is thought to be at least a ‘third-generation’ star, largely made from the debris of a previous star that was itself made from the debris of an original star. As material is pulled in to form a new star, it turns into a fast-spinning disc or whirlpool around the attracting mass at its centre, just as water does when falling into a plughole. As it whirls around, the centrifugal effect acts against the gravitational attraction. The centre becomes a new star, but some material never falls into the centre and instead condenses into planets that orbit around the star. These planets are gently heated by their star, so they have mid-temperature environments: not as hot as a star, but not as cold as space. This middle temperature often means that a planet is covered by oceans of liquid above a rocky core and below a gas atmosphere, as Jupiter or Saturn probably are (we can’t see the oceans below the clouds that are more than 1,000 km deep).

A mixture of elements in a liquid environment starts to build up bigger molecules, simply by bumping into each other and sometimes chemically reacting and joining together. Liquid is necessary for this process – gases are too thin, solids too rigid and plasmas too hot to enable large compounds to build up. But liquids only exist across a small temperature range and then only under a gas blanket; solids, gases, and plasmas (the very hot stuff making up stars), cover a much wider range of temperatures. Only three common materials exist as liquids across a relatively wide temperature and pressure range: water (H2O), ammonia (NH3) and liquid hydrogen. (The hydrogen must be at a much lower temperature than the other two to be liquid.)  For liquids to be stable and not turn into gases, they need to be below an atmosphere of gases that is thick enough to provide some pressure above the liquid surface. Then temperatures must remain consistent without too much variation for a very long period for chemical complexity to develop. However, these conditions have been met in at least one place that we know of.

We can see the pattern of growing complexity from the history of our own planet; a round, rocky/metallic core, surrounded by a thin layer of mostly liquid water under a gaseous blanket. Because the earth is a relatively small planet with a gravitational field accordingly weak and because the earth is relatively close to the sun and so warm, most of the very plentiful light gases (hydrogen and helium) were too light to be held on Earth and drifted into space, while the solids, liquids and heavier gases remained. This is why the earth has such a different mixture of elements compared to the universe as a whole, which is still dominated by hydrogen and helium. The heaviest elements also tend to collect towards the centre of the earth, where the radioactive decay of some of them releases enough heat to keep the centre molten. This also means that the medium-light elements such as carbon, oxygen and nitrogen and their compounds, like water, concentrate in a thin layer on the surface of the planet.

Before life began on Earth there was no free oxygen in the atmosphere, which was mostly nitrogen, carbon dioxide and methane, so nothing burned. (The free oxygen we have now is a by-product of life). The seas were partially covered with something like giant, thick crude-oil slicks, floating on top of the heavier water. The main ingredient of these slicks was random carbon-hydrogen-based compounds, with oxygen, nitrogen and other elements included. The oil slicks were very dirty, full of water globules – themselves full of dissolved minerals – a bit like tarry mayonnaise with added sand, dust, and salt[6]. These complex emulsions (the proper word for mayonnaise-like substances of mixed liquids that do not dissolve into each other) were probably a few metres deep in bays and next to the shore, decreasing to less than a centimetre thick out in the ocean, tossed around by waves and storms, breaking up and joining together again[7].

We can now introduce the Rule of Deep Time, another rule that derives from pure logic. It states that: ‘Over billions of years, the world fills with persistent things and reproducing things, even when they are complex, rather than fragile things and non-reproducing things, however simple’. ‘Reproduction’ of sorts is not unlikely in the wet oil-slick environment we have described. Here is an example of such a process.

Large ‘parent’ molecules in this muck naturally attract and stick to smaller molecules through electrostatic attraction (also known as hydrogen bonding or van der Waal’s forces). Molecules that fit the shape of the larger ‘parent’ molecule best form the strongest bond with it, whilst ones that don’t fit so closely easily fall off. Over time a ‘crust’ forms, moulded round the shape of the original molecule by the small molecules that fit and stick round the ‘parent’ best. If this crust is broken away from the parent molecule by an unusually strong disturbance, it acts as a mould. Its shape and the pattern of electrostatic attraction on the ‘inside face’ of the crust form a kind of former that attracts molecules together to form a shape like the original ‘parent’ molecule. Then, when they break apart, you have something like the original parent shape reproduced – as well as keeping the mould that can make more of them. Something like this must have happened millions of times, most lasting just a generation or two – parent/mould/parent/mould, but a few lasting long enough to become subject to selection. This kind of process would be particularly prevalent on the edges of the water bubbles in the oily mass or the oily drops in the sea.

This story is an example of a possibility to illustrate the principle but there are many other possible ways simple reproduction could occur in such an environment. A selection system based on a ‘bubble’ of water in oil is closer to a living cell in general design – cell walls resemble complex bubbles – then the story we have given here but is more difficult to describe simply.

Similar factors apply to molecules that convert environmental energy of various sorts into the chemical energy that life needs. Many oil/water mixtures can do this crudely, especially those that have silicons in them – and these would be plentifully available in this primordial oil-slick. They take sunlight and kick out an electron that enables another chemical reaction. Any of these could combine with a reproducing clump to form the basics of life-like chemistry.

The crucial thing to the creation of life was not the chemical specifics of reproduction or access to energy – there are a thousand chemical possibilities – but that the world stayed within a reasonable temperature range for thousands of millions of years, allowing selection to do its work without the kind of shocks that would have disrupted all the development.

‘Selection’ is the process by which molecules that generate rough copies in a tarry gloop change into real, reproducing life. Going back to our previous story, as the molecule forms its crust and the crust forms rough copies of the parent molecule, there will be frequent copying errors. The near-copies (mutations) that make fewer copying errors will automatically become more common. So too will those that are able to use a wider range of ‘parts’ to make their copies, and those that split away easily once complete. Selection has the extraordinary effect of building systems that survive longer and reproduce more accurately. Serious complexity is beginning.

If you roll 100 dice, you will need to keep rolling them again and again for far longer than the age of the universe before it becomes likely that you would get one roll in which all 100 dice showed a six. If, however, you can select the sixes that happen in each roll, only re-rolling the others, it will take about 20 rolls before they all come out as sixes – perhaps a few minutes rolling and selecting. This difference between a few minutes and far longer than the age of the universe, is the size of the difference between selection and chance. It is the difference is between something improbable, even in deep time, and the same thing easily achieved in the kind of time frame we have. In an environment of complex chemistry and ample energy, such as the world of the primordial oil slicks, selection will, undisrupted by catastrophe, turn any reasonably stable reproducing chemical system into a reproducing cell. As far as we can tell, it appears that basic life started soon – that is, a few tens to hundreds of millions of years – after the earth stopped being bombarded by the space debris it was built from, about 3-4,000 million years ago. (This and the next few very ancient dates should be taken as a general stab at the time scale. Different expert views on the timings of this era vary by hundreds of million years and change with new results.)

In biology, we see processes develop by natural selection until a superbly efficient system is achieved and becomes universal. Then selection pressures move to the larger unit the, now optimised process, is part of. Originally, for example, there might have been many different key chemicals that used sunlight to convert water and CO2 into sugars. But those reproducers that had the best systems would come to dominate until all reproducers have the same system. Then selection has no further role, except to eliminate erroneous copies. When a process is no longer subject to selection, its unimprovable function can be taken for granted. A similar process is happening in software development today as whole subsystems that took years to perfect, say for producing human-style speech, are simply ‘bolted’ into huge new programs, such as games. Fully developed subroutines/subsystems, used to provide a specific function as part of a more complex entity, are known as ‘nested’. The example of using sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugars, ‘photosynthesis’, that we gave above works in practice. As far as we know, photosynthesis happens in complete subunits called ‘chloroplasts’ that are pretty much identical in all living things that use sunlight this way.  Although they must have been created and refined by it, they are out of the game of natural selection. The same kind of idea applies, with minor variations, to sub-units on many different levels, things like mammalian eyes or livers that vary in detail, but all operate on very similar basic structures and processes.

In practice, though, it took around 1,000 million years for cells to develop photosynthesis efficiently enough to release detectable amounts of the key by-product, oxygen, into the atmosphere. For comparison, this period is longer than the 600 million years it later took for humans to evolve from the first, worm-like, vertebrate organisms. The development of an oxygen atmosphere was much delayed because the surface of the earth had a lot of iron which took the early oxygen and rusted, forming the red soils we see very widely. It was only when most of this was used up that the oxygen was able to stay in the atmosphere. Oxygen was highly toxic to most previous life forms, which needed to change substantially to survive in the new atmosphere, although a few remain that cannot stand exposure to gaseous oxygen living in enclosed spaces. However, the oxygen atmosphere also provides a powerful energy source for life’s later development.

There are two types of early cells, bacteria and archaea, together called prokaryotes. They are still the most universal life forms on Earth. They may be early cells, but they have also reached a level of complexity far above simple replicating chemical systems. Prokaryotes swap DNA with each other in a fairly random fashion. Since they can mix their DNA, the concept of different species does not fully apply. However, different lineages do develop different ‘skills’- photosynthesis is one, for example.

After a further 800 million years or thereabouts, some prokaryotic cells with different specialisms joined together to form coordinated colonies. One of the prokaryotic cells turned into a command centre for the colony, the nucleus, others formed specialist parts, called organelles. Over time, most of the genes from the organelles migrated into the nucleus and the colony became a single, much larger and more complex cell, called a eukaryotic cell, with one genome and one combined set of instructions for the cell. Until the organelles pooled (most of) their genes together in the nucleus, there was always a possibility that one organelle might try to ‘exploit’ the others for its own benefit. Once they are all produced by the same gene package, working together is the best way for each organelle to propagate its own genes.

Eukaryotic cells can be thousands of times the size of an individual prokaryotic cell and contain many different specialist organelles such as mitochondria, chloroplasts, ribosomes, etc. The skills originally developed by different prokaryotes have become nested as the standard sub-routines of every eukaryotic cell; complexity reaches its third level.

When a eukaryotic cell grows large enough, it can reproduce by straightforward splitting in two, a process known as mitosis. If they are invaded by the genes of another cell, they can defend themselves against a takeover by the invading genes by jumbling their own genes with the invading genes (meiosis) before splitting into two cells. This strategy, of gene breaking and mixing as soon as there are two alternative sets of DNA instructions in the same cell, is the only one that is effective against parasitism at the single cell level. That is, it is the only undefeatable way to prevent small collections of DNA taking over large cells for their own reproduction and growth. Passing on the parasitic genes as well as the host genes seems like failure, but the large cell’s ‘host’ genes do at least get passed on, especially the genes for splitting and jumbling genes when there are two competing sets of DNA issuing different instruction to the cell operating systems. This process, refined over time, turned into ‘meiosis’, sexual reproduction – a small, male cell still invading a larger female cell and their DNA being mixed, but by now so interlinked as to be regarded as one species[8].

This system of DNA mixing turned out – as a side-effect, it seems – to provide a defence for a species against its complete destruction by giving each single unit within the species a different genetic make-up. As a result of this variety, the species is more likely to survive an attack by parasites or disease. Some members of the species may have a genetic system that resists the attack and so, with all this variety of genetic make-up, some of the species will not be affected. The offspring of those that remain and breed will probably also have defences against whatever has killed the rest of its species. A consequence of this is that all species of plant, animal and fungus practice sex, at least occasionally. The indications are that species that give up sex entirely, saving much time and effort, prosper for a brief while before they are all wiped out – apart from bdelloid rotifers, whose ability to live in suspended animation for decades (at least) seems to act as an alternative species defence. Many species go to extreme lengths to engage in the gene-swapping of sexual reproduction, sometimes with very survival-expensive strategies, such as creating ostentatious flowers and filling them with nectar.

About 1,000 million years later, and 600 million years before today, some eukaryotic cells that naturally lived stuck together started to form coordinated colonies[9]. The cells that made up the colony started to become more specialised. Inside cells and outside cells became different; perhaps the outside cells developing better protection, the inside ones getting better at processing food. Although each cell had the same overall operating system or genome, they developed the technique of only reading some of it, thereby forming different types of body cells. This required the colony to develop a means of communication so that each cell knows where it is in the colony and can adopt the appropriate form for its location.

There are two main ways a colony can communicate to its member cells, one is by using chemicals, the other is by electrical links. This makes one of the great divides in nature: plants and fungi use chemical communication only[10]; animals use both electrical and chemical communication. A simple example of chemical communication is when each cell releases a particular chemical equally. Then each cell knows where it is in the cluster by the density of the chemical around it: lots of it means the cell is near the middle, little of it and the cell knows it is on the outside and can react accordingly.

In some ways, all cells act as tiny, natural batteries and automatically generate electrical potentials. Some lineages then adapted this to send messages. Initially they were probably a simple as the chemical systems. But, while electrical communication demands more energy, it has the advantage that it is fast and can be channelled precisely to specific points; the movement of chemicals is never as fast or precise. Colonies using only chemical communication became plants and fungi. Those that added electrical communication to chemical communication became animals. The precision and speed of electrical communication enabled the animals to move more rapidly than lifeforms with chemical-only communication. The possibility of movement changes the whole life strategy of animals, their approach to feeding, fighting and mating becomes completely different to plants and fungi, a difference made larger by the high energy needs of movement.

All these multicellular ‘things’ work at a fourth level of complexity. They are layered above the third level complexity, that of the eukaryotic cells that make them up. In turn, the eukaryotic cells are above the second level complexity, that of the organelles nested in them. These are derived from prokaryotic cells, which are in turn based on the first level of nesting, the complex chemistry of life processes, themselves built on the multiple elements forged in stars and mixed in the oily sea. Selection takes place predominantly at the top level of complexity. So plants and animals compete mainly with plants and animals, bacteria with bacteria, although disease is the classic example of competition between units at different levels.

All plants and animals grow larger by splitting their cells into two copies. These cells then grow to full size before splitting again. But starting a new complete animal or plant is often done by the adult plant, animal or fungus sharing their genes with another adult and forming a new genome in special sex cells as we discussed above. These sex cells are either large, like seeds and eggs, or small, like pollen and sperm. A large sex cell is combined with a small sex cell of another member of the same species to form a new cell that reproduces to form a new plant, fungus, or animal. Multicellular organisms use both splitting and sex to reproduce, but most animals reproduce sexually only. In the case of ‘social animals’, such as ants, they grow by adding more semi-autonomous units, individual ants, to their ‘nest’. But as they reproduce as complete colonies sexually, the whole nest/hive/colony should be seen as a single animal, albeit one not all joined together.

The wild complexity of individual eukaryotic cells can now be taken for granted and each cell can be treated simply as a functional part of the animal; skin, bone, nerve (from here on we will focus on the animal branch as the one that led to intelligence). The next stage in the development of complexity is for these multicellular animals to get together to form larger units (counting the colonies of ‘social animals’ as one animal again).

For separate animals to join together to make a single, larger thing, two conditions must be met: good communication and for co-operative animals to out-compete single animals.

A certain level of communication is not difficult for animal groups, using smell, sight and sound signals. As a result, animal groupings are common: herds, packs, shoals, flocks, roosts, pods, etc. The individual animals in such groupings are often closely related, so they share many of the same genes and there is some genetic interest in the animals working together for the common good. However, the coordination and communication between animals remains much cruder than the coordination provided by the nervous system within each animal. The sounds, gestures and smells animals that are used to communicate are, with one exception, much less precise than the communication of nerves and hormones inside each of them.

For cooperation to beat competition, the cooperative animals in a species must have better survival and reproduction rates than when an animal of the same species is uncooperative or single. These are the same rules that allowed some prokaryotic cells to combine into eukaryotic cells and that allowed some eukaryotic cells to combine to form multicellular animals and plants. Can the same conditions enable groups of animals to combine into the next level of a compound creature?

Normally, individual animals compete with other members of their own species, especially for food and mates, so group benefits must be considerable to be worth putting off competition, at least at certain times. Despite this hurdle, planning and group cooperation has been seen in several species of mammals and birds. For example, seals that work together to trap tuna, orcas that plan hunts, some birds, wolves, monkeys and apes that seem to pre-plan group attacks. Dolphins may even discuss where the pod should go to get food from known and remembered locations. There are clearly some situations where cooperation between animals of the same species works better than competition. But deep and stable cooperation requires that different parts do different jobs, e.g., organelles in eukaryotic cells, different cell types in animals and different types of ants in an anthill. Such specialisation generally means that complete cooperation between the different units is essential for the group organism to survive at all. However, excluding the social animals where the different individuals are really just different body parts, animals of the same species have very little functional variation. The only common variations within a species are between males and females, and between juveniles and adult animals. It may be that variation within animal species are limited by the needs of survival in ways that individual cells are not and so cannot develop functional variations in the same way. It is difficult to see how dolphins or donkeys, for example, could develop specialisations that would then lead them to work together as different parts of a joint thing. However, not all specialisations have to be physical; the development of different skills can have the same effect.

Only one species of animal has the specialised on a different level: humanity. Gripping hands, freed for use by a two-legged stance and life in open country, rather than the trees, enable all kinds of specialisation such as, carer, carpenter and warrior. The same change makes for low bipedal speeds and a relative inability to escape into trees that puts pressure to develop better defensive and feeding strategies and communal approaches seem to be the only route available – an individual human family alone is not often a viable survival unit.

Humans developed complex languages that put communication on a different level. Together with increased specialisation of individual roles in the community, and improved survival possibilities, language started to make the interests of the group more and more important to survival – more important than competition between individual members. A coordinated human group can survive and breed better than less organised groups by acting together to improve food supply, keep fires burning, share childcare, hunt and fight. This moves the focus of natural selection from competition between individual humans to competition between groups of humans. The individuals in the village or tribe are generally closely related, so share a genetic as well as a communal interest in all members of the group flourishing.

A stone-age village or tribe is moving towards becoming a single compound organism. They have highly developed communications – language – and some specialisation between different members beyond sex and age differences.  They have a high level of shared interest in preserving the whole group because, if they are alone or in a smaller group, they might not survive. Competition often takes place on a village versus village level. A village with a successful culture can absorb its neighbouring villages, either by war or by cultural transfer, where one village adopts the successful habits of another. Survival chances depend more on the group than on an individual’s genetic qualities.

When a period of success has resulted in too many people for local food resources, the village as a whole may ‘breed’ by sending a group of villagers off to create a new colony village some distance away. When the success or failure of the group as a whole is more important to reproductive success than the success or failure of an individual within the group, the drive to cooperate increases. Villages, tribes, and cultures with better specialisation, communication, and cooperation, grew at the expense of those less specialised, communicative, and cooperative, forming kingdoms and empires.

Over the last 250 years, human cultures have merged into larger, more cohesive units, such as countries. Specialisation has also increased markedly. A city-state of the past – or even whole empires – had only a few specialised functions, most people being peasants and labourers, with a few specialist warriors, craftsmen, traders, priests, and rulers. Today, individuals form nested groups of specialisms, often developing skills focussed only on a tiny aspect of a huge worldwide interlinked production effort.

Communications moved forward with printing and widespread literacy and more recently with electronic media. The economy forms a vital secondary system of communication. The flow of money tells individuals what specialisms are required, and the flow of information, what decisions to make.

Countries involved in great wars have shown the extent to which individuals are prepared to sacrifice their own lives for the larger group. The interests of the country have overridden personal survival often enough to consider the country as candidate for being the primary survival unit, a true compound entity.

Now humanity is bringing countries together to form a single compound organism; one compound culture, economy, and survival unit. There is only one of these new kinds of compound organism, the global human society. This single unit is still in its early stages of development, with smaller, country units still appearing to have over-riding separate importance, but the development direction to the next level of complexity seems clear. Unification is already much more profound than differentiation, the basics of living, lifestyle, food and entertainment now being common world-wide, with relatively few exclusions confined to the poorest areas. You must work hard to tell if your hotel room or rented house is in Europe, Asia or America, with your communication tools giving the same access worldwide and the view out of the window often of little help.

These are the processes that are leading to the development of a hugely ordered and complex thing, a single compound society, grown by stages from the simple ingredients of protons, electrons, and neutrons that, in turn, all came from a single source: waves in the Field. And gravity.


[1] But only a little of it and in the odd way we described later. Electrons and protons appear indestructible (when their anti-particles are not around) except, maybe, in conditions so extreme that we have not yet found.

[2] This timing may be substantially changed when we understand the issue currently called ‘dark energy’ that appears to have increased the expansion rate of the universe for reasons we do not know.

[3] This picture of what happened is entirely orthodox. However, the observation that it totally conflicts with the Second Law (In any change in a closed system, entropy will always increase), while it seems obvious to the heretics, is really, really heretical. Officially it is the conversion of the Gravitational Potential Energy of all the separate atoms into Kinetic energy as they clump. Hmm.

[4] The Heretics have some ideas given elsewhere but nothing very good.

[5] ‘Plentiful’ is a relative term. All put together these elements probably account for less than 5% of all matter, with hydrogen still accounting for at least 95% of the material in the universe. But since that is the universe, it is quite a lot of stuff.

[6] This is still very much what you are made of, albeit in a considerably more organised form.

[7] It is a daunting thought that all life on earth was created from this supply of organic material. All life and evolution since consists of a 3 billion year battle between different versions of DNA to get a larger share of this pretty much invarient supply of organic feedstock

[8] The process starts naturally, as cells must eat by absorbing appropriate material from outside. This will often be another cell with its own DNA, so which set does the, now combined, cell ‘obey’? The nature of things means that many of the cells absorbed by ‘eating’ will be very similar to the eater because they are close by – indeed, it may be impossible to tell who has ‘eaten’ whom. This naturally leads to a battle between gene strategies. Some adapt to produce many small cells in order to be ‘eaten’ and then take over large cells, and large cells developing the resistance mechanism of meiosis. Large cells must continue to exist or the small cells which are, by definition, less then ideally sized, will fail and the DNA line cease to exist. So far, gaming this out, the only successful strategy for a gene we have found is meiosis.

[9] This is getting out of date, with earlier composite life-forms now being found. It does appear though that, at the time of writing, these earlier multi-celled life-forms have left no descendants.

[10] Apparently exceptions, plants that use electrical communication in some ways, may now be being found, but they are exceptional

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