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Physics of Life - highlights

page 51 Information generation by adopting the opinions of others
French mathematician, physicist, astronomer and philosopher of science, Jule Henri Poincaré (1854-1912), said that doubting everything or taking everything on faith are two different types of equally convenient approaches. Both exempt one from the need to think. Thinking is a cost which must be incurred, so a cheaper solution is to simply repeat overheard information without questioning it. It’s simpler and safer, especially when it is in line with the official version promoted by the authorities or the media. Since most of us take advantage of adopting the official version of facts as our own, this results in absurd situations: everyone around us says that it is the way it is, while the reality is completely different - in fact, "the king is naked".
page 51 Information generation by participation of know-it-alls
A crucial factor distorting observation is the fact that people, ourselves included, express opinions on many subjects having no clue at all about what we are talking about. Ted Koppel's experiment shows how common this phenomenon is...
page 142 There is one more aspect, a psychological one, to this equation. Someone, who wronged a community is not punished immediately, because the hurt is equally distributed by its members and for them it is relatively small, but he who has sacrificed himself for the community is not appreciated, because individual profit for those, who would see this noble act (i.e. all other members of the community), is not too high. French economist Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850) has described this natural trend towards social exploitation in the following way: If a certain move results in a loss of one frank by each one of a thousand persons, and a profit of a thousand franks by one person, this last person will use up lots of energy, whereas the first ones will put up little resistance; therefore, it is probable that him who makes an effort to gain a thousand franks will probably be successful [41, p. 9].
This model of an ideal community is exactly what communist ideologists are striving for for the last few hundred years. An enormous number of people gets conned by this, because at the first look, everything seems fair and just. However, a trend towards social exploitation works perfectly – I have seen it with my own eyes when it brought down the largest country in the world – the Soviet Union. As a matter of fact, it has already shown what it can do one hundred and fifty years ago...
page 143 Chaos
Popularly, chaos means absolute unpredictability or possibility that anything can happen. For the Ancient Greeks, chaos was the earliest beginning of everything what is now. It is where the Earth - Gaia, emerged from, as well as the opposite of Earth, the abyss of Underworld – Tartar. What’s interesting, this didn't make chaos disappear. It turns out – at least according to Ancient Greeks – that it still remains in the area between Gaia and Tartar. Looking slightly ahead, one might say that from its remains, or it its remains, emerged what interests us most – life.
page 232 Death
Why don’t we live forever? Why does each of us die, sooner or later? Answers to these questions can also be obtained from a cool, emotionless mathematical analysis. Well, an object which has produced an offspring is no longer needed for anything to the process of evolutionary development. Its children are as diverse as the function modifying the design allows for. There won’t be any greater variations, regardless of how many more offspring there will be – it is physically impossible. More copies of the same design (or designs in case of sexual reproduction) increase the population, but do not make it any more diverse! Therefore, in view of rapidly changing external conditions, the process of evolutionary development may not be able to keep up with extracting the best improvements and the species will simply die.
page 138 Let's take a look at tree monkeys. Stronger males win in the battle for females. We know that for most species, there is a correlation between strength and weight, so the bigger the male, the stronger. In case of elephants, this relation is most fulfilled: the largest males reproduce, because the smaller ones lose the mating battle. However, in case of monkeys, the mechanism of evolutionary development did not cause them to be large. The explanation is simple; there are more factors at work in case of their build: on one hand, the bigger the male, the stronger, but on the other hand, bigger means less agile and, what’s worse, there is a higher risk of falling because of a broken branch. A fall in the consequence of which the male dies or is injured, and both of these situations exclude him from further competition. So, the males with more strength at comparable body weight win. The strength of a branch, i.e. de facto one of the factors of monkeys' environment, is the second selection criterion, opposite to an increase of body weight, imposed on this population. Both of these factors regulate the body mass of these animals.
page 216 Societies composed exclusively of altruists or egoists are unthinkable. Both would be unstable and would soon self-destruct. Altruists, concentrating on helping others, would not be able to care for themselves and would eventually die, and the egoists would kill one another, never ceasing to fight amongst themselves. The earliest beginnings of life were inseparably connected with egoism in its pure form, since the first objects forming groups did not think, but only concentrated on chemically absorbing external resources. On the other hand, egoists would never be able to raise children. Altruism is an iron consequence of the process of evolutionary development, and the moment of its beginning must be the point at which evolution discovered the advantages resulting from existing within a group, meaning the simplest form of cooperation.
page 198 The original set, transformed to the form of a gorilla, a bat, and a dolphin, was the lobe-finned fish, which "came out" of the water onto land about 400 million years ago. Of course, it wasn’t one fish that turned its back on water, came out of it and started walking around on sand, but thousands, if not millions of its offspring. Gradually, specimens belonging to subsequent generations were able to live without water, and stay on dry land for longer periods of time. Initially, they had to return to water every few seconds, however, the abundance of plant food in the nearby swamp or coastal area meant that only those who were able to make longer trips survived. In the end, it turned out that the changes and selection in subsequent generations caused that permanent living in water was no longer essential to life, it was sufficient to just drink some from time to time. Thus, from the first set of lobe-finned fish elements, thanks to the specializations and cyclic selection of specimen which were the least dependent on the aquatic environment, amphibians, and then reptiles, birds and mammals were created. However, a question arises, where did the lobe-finned fish come from?
page 238 A stereotype is a pattern of thought affecting behavior, which associates a specific set of actions to a given cause. It arises in the course of life as a result of observation, adopting the views of others or may even be programmed in the individual by the education system, media or authority.
Defense of stereotype is a very interesting phenomenon: Every psychologist will probably agree that people always defend themselves from attacks on their set worldview. The deeper in error they are, the more defensive they get. They become aggressive towards whoever tries to open their eyes, going into denial, disregarding common sense, trying to invalidate somehow the facts contradicting their point of view, to deny them. In psychology, this is called repression [62, p. 239].
page 338 I’m well aware of the fact that introducing newer and newer terms and definitions can be viewed by some Readers as a sign of an obsession of sorts. However, let’s consider for a moment if it really is an obsession. Biologists have agreed to distinguish between the concepts of evolution, symbiogenesis and endosymbiosis, for according to them – and quite rightly – they are different processes, based on two opposing factors - conflict and cooperation - resulting from the rules of the game which nature enforced upon us. In view of that, can we keep on saying that only evolution created and formed us? So, it is not an obsession, scientific necessity demands proposing a new definiendum, and here is another problem – how should it sound? "Game theory" is not going to work, for if most of us will not agree that we descended from apes, the idea that some theory created us will be even more ridiculous, and if we add to it a word associated with poker or football, the effect with be extremely ridiculous, and therefore unacceptable. Gerpedelution created us – an iterative process optimizing the RPD phenomena, generated by it. A process based on the mathematical game theory (thence the letter "g"), perfecting each another generation of RPD structures using the methods of conflict and cooperation, which occur between these structures while fulfilling their fundamental strategy: "assimilate until you divide". It also seems that there shouldn’t be many problems in replacing the old evolution with gerpedelution: The program of the commemoration includes: awarding an honorary doctorate to Prof. T., a prominent Hungarian gerpedelutionist; lectures on gerpedeltion for students and teachers… Whereas, we must consequently change the formulae of the 2nd principle of the physics of life, which from now on should say: the dynamic of the development of living objects is explained by the theory of gerpedelution. Evolutionary sequences should be replaced with gerpedelutionary sequences. One of the consultants offered another name - "optisymbioevolutionism". It is a quite good name, which might probably be easier to accept, however, in my opinion, "gerpedelution" is better at presenting the prime components determining the nature of life.

The problem of replacing "evolution" is reminiscent of the situation caused by Copernicus at one point. A certain phenomenon and the related theory and concepts (in case of Copernicus it was about what revolves around what, and in case of explaining the riddle of life - about evolution) are rooted so deeply in the minds, literature and other forms of communication, that even an obvious need for changes within them, resulting from the enormity of the problem, causes a natural reluctance to carry them out.