Nature’s ‘Missing’ Law Discovered By Scientists Explains the Universe, Life and Everything

An image of the film interstellar to illustrate and article about natures lost law

Evolution is not only the process that explains the adaptability of living organisms but is apparently the same principle by which all of nature operates as well. Top scientists and philosophers have collaborated on a research paper in which they claim to have discovered “a missing law of nature.”

The law states that complex natural systems evolve to states of greater patterning, diversity, and complexity. This applies to everything from planets and stars to atoms, minerals, and more, they say.

“Charles Darwin eloquently articulated the way plants and animals evolve by natural selection, with many variations and traits of individuals and many different configurations,” says co-author Robert M Hazen of Carnegie Science.

“We contend that Darwinian theory is just a very special, very important case within a far larger natural phenomenon.”

The team have termed their proposed theory, somewhat dryly, as ‘the law of increasing functional information’ and liken it to other ‘macroscopic’ laws of nature like the forces of gravity or energy.

Following evolution, the pattern they suggest nature constructs is one in which the form of all things is selected for by its function. Function in nature is primarily stability within a system, then the ability to retain or produce energy, and finally the ‘novelty’ of a system to fit into a gap previously unexplored in the universe.

“The universe generates novel combinations of atoms, molecules, cells, etc. Those combinations that are stable and can go on to engender even more novelty will continue to evolve. This is what makes life the most striking example of evolution, but evolution is everywhere,” Carnegie astrobiologist Dr Michael L Wong has said.

The paper is written by three philosophers of science, two astrobiologists, one data scientists, a mineralogist, and a theoretical physicist and attempts to marry up some of the most fundamental problems in physics and our understanding of the universe.

It’s all in answer to a question posed nearly a century ago by Erwin Schrödinger – of cat in a box fame – asking how nature appears to build itself into more and more complex systems if the second law of thermodynamics – that everything is getting colder – is true? The brightest minds over the last 80 years have apparently failed to come up with an answer until now.

“The study of Wong et al. is like a breeze of fresh air blowing over the difficult terrain at the trijunction of astrobiology, systems science and evolutionary theory,” Milan Cirkovic of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University.

“In the pile of attempts to resolve this conundrum in the course of the last 80 years, Wong et al. offer perhaps the best shot so far.”

The team states that the theory has application in understanding how life was first created, what it might look like beyond our planet, and predicting how AI will develop.

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