God of Life and Intelligence (GoLI): dual code of ethics

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"GoLI" maintains a dual code of ethics as part of her universal laws. Laws of physics are not broken, but our world is still biased and non-random. In certain locations, order is favored to appear and to evolve, but outside those realms more disorder is generated to pay for the “thermodynamic cost” of the order-growing. One can consider the order-growing realms as Gibbs free-energy traps, where entropy is internally decreasing, at the cost of externally increasing entropy.

That preferential treatment is most obvious to us on our beloved planet Earth, where life and evolution has been clearly swimming against the waves of entropy and disorder, for the past 4 billion years. Earth is a giant “free-energy” trap that has consistently absorbed solar energy within its water-based ecosystems. The water-cycle shaped Earth, and life started 4 billion years ago in various bodies of water, only conquering land some 1 billion years ago. From an evolutionary perspective, life on Earth is a gigantic struggle to feed on the manna (free-energy) from heaven.

Photosynthesis by plants, algae and planktons is the main way for capturing sun’s energy into Earth’s biosphere. Although only 1% of sun’s solar energy input to Earth is captured by photosynthesis; that still amounts to 2,000 trillion watts. Almost all other creatures and animals that cannot produce their own energy from the solar radiation, have always had to directly or indirectly compete for and feed on the plants or the herbivores. In comparison, all manmade industries consume less than 10 trillion watts of energy, with 99% of that sourced from living plants or dead creatures (fossil fuels).

On our Earth, each lifeform is following that dual code of ethics too; i.e. creating internal order by growing and reproducing its selfish genes, at the cost of generating external waste and disorder. However, through 4 billion years of evolution and natural-selection, the prevailing units of evolution on Earth have become its ecosystems, where competing and collaborating lifeforms have maximized order generation and minimized waste and disorder, all within the limits set by the Gibbs free-energy supply from our sun.

The selfish dual-code appears to run like a fractal equation throughout the universe, wherever order has been generated and favored to evolve, from quarks and atoms to stars and galaxies. It runs through the human psyche too; where through natural-selection, we have generally evolved to possess the two instinctive forces of amity (Eros) and enmity (Thanatos). As human family groups increased in size, that dual code of ethics came to dominate each group’s relationship vis-à-vis the “insiders” and the “outsiders”. Furthermore, as Darwin pointed out, most violent competition can happen within a species, because related animals often compete for the same resources.

25 million years ago, a tailless monkey (Proconsul) with a large brain relative to her body size, emerged to become the ancestor of all apes. 7 million years ago, the Hominina ape came to be the ancestor to both humans and chimpanzees, who have a larynx that can facilitate vocalized speech. 3 million years ago, the genus Homo appeared with a range of sophisticated stone tools that mark their evolutionary path. Homo sapiens emerged only 0.2 million years ago in East Africa.

Homo sapiens is clearly the most competitive and unrelenting Homo species, who has driven all its other Homo relatives to extinction. Equipped with big brains and language, Sapiens could create large social groups and tribes. 50 thousand years ago, the co-evolution of genes and cultures became the social-selection force among the Sapiens tribes, resulting in an explosive leap forward and the emergence of abstract thinking and planning, art and ornamentation, exploitation of large animals and hunting technology.

Human species have been some of the most social mammals. As such, we have evolved well past our pre-programmed instincts. It does not mean that our instincts are dead, but that our lives cannot be sustained without the much more complex cultural learnings, within a nurturing social setting. Social living in extended families and groups moved the human evolution from species-based to social and culture-based, especially after the language revolution.

Picture: evolution and elimination of humans.

Reference: The world until yesterday, by Jared Diamond.