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TED talk by a David Christian on Big History; To fulfill our natural function


alistaire 1 / -  
May 24, 2011   #1
Quite Important

Before reading this you should look at the TED talk by a David Christian on Big History.
From the talk you would have noticed how at each stage the forces were connecting pieces of matter to form new more complex objects. This was evident through the entire history of the universe and only increased with the advent of life. The early universe could only connect matter physically, between electrons and quarks. They would be pushed and pulled by the forces enough that eventually the right circumstances arose to form a hydrogen atom. This process happened very slowly until clumps of hydrogen atoms grew large enough so that fusion could take place. It was at this moment that matter could interact chemically. In the heart of stars elements would grow more complex, this lead to the formation of planets and asteroids. On these lumps of rock pools of chemicals would be swirled, heated and pressed together in enough combinations that eventually the first signs of life began to arise. Here matter was being connected on a biological level. These life forms evolved into more and more complex beings and with each new species came an increase of entropy. Lifeforms started to develop a means of communicating. Whether it be a grunt or cry for help, to let others know that they were in danger. This is what turned into human language that we know today. However ours differs, we can pass down ideas and knowledge to the next generation which they can use to expand upon rather than having to learn it through experience.

At each stage in the history of the universe one thing kept constant. The amount of complexity always increased. This seems to be the natural tendency of the universe, from the increase in entropy the probability of complexity also seems to rise.

So how do you make something more complex? First we must imagine that all interaction is an exchange of information. If atoms knock together the amount of energy exchanged between them is a physical transfer of information. Likewise an element can also interact physically but also chemically. In a chemical reaction information such as the ph and reactiveness of an element are exchanged and new compounds are formed. A biological organism can exchange information physically through their interaction with the environment, chemically within their bodies but also pass genetic information through their DNA into their offspring. With language we enable the only exchanges in information which are non-physical. Our consciousness allows us to reflect upon information and manipulate it to create new technology. For example we have created computers that exchange information digitally. This means it can be used beyond our biological limits. It is important now to see that complexity arises from connecting ever more complex pieces of information.

We as a species eternally search to exchange more pieces of information. Our brains are designed to take in information stimuli and connect them with others to form new ideas which in turn create more connections. We desire to go into new unfamiliar territory to experience the novelty. We are curious and want to absorb and exchange as much information as possible. Our ultimate biological goal is to procreate, with our offspring exchanging information as well as theirs we can continue making connections for eternity. Exchanges in information are so integral to culture that we have even put a price on it. Money is given to a person for enabling others to exchange information. One clear example is Mark Zuckerburg who through Facebook has enabled millions to exchange their ideas with others, he is also the youngest billionaire ever. The web itself is a clear example of how humans strive to exchange pieces of information and connect with others all over the globe. The universe's physical laws seem to create complexity through exchanging information, I propose that we should follow suit and fulfill our natural function.

EF_Susan - / 2,365 12  
May 25, 2011   #2
Before reading this you should look at the TED talk by a David Christian on Big History.---This seems like a cop out, unless the assignment is directly related to the TED talk. If not, it seems like you're just getting yourself out of having to explain it better.

From the talk, you would have noticed how at each stage, ---each stage of what?

This was evident throughout the entire history of the universe and only increased with the advent of life.

In the heart of stars elements would grow more complex, and this led to the formation of planets and asteroids.

On these lumps of rock, pools of chemicals would be swirled, heated and pressed together in enough combinations that eventually the first signs of life began to arise.

Whether it be a grunt or cry for help, to let others know that they were in danger. Incomplete sentence, but if you combine it with the one before it, it'll be ok.

If atoms knock together, the amount of ...

Likewise an element can also interact physically but also chemically.

Our ultimate biological goal is to procreate, with our offspring exchanging information as well as theirs we can ---This sentence is unclear, should be revised.

Good luck in school and have fun!

:)


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