Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Physics of Evolution - Part 1

I was talking to the old man at lunch and he said I should write something on this.  I have been explaining that many of our problems with air conditioning and carbon dioxide come from the fact that nobody does physics any more.  When I was a kid, physics was king, Mr. Physics ruled the airwaves, and tons of books about 'The physics of baseball', etc.  That's because we lived in a tactile world.

Now everything is on a screen.  So if you draw a line on a screen, then it's as good as actually going out to experience it.  The only physics is 'game physics', about what your bullets do when they leave the gun.  That can drift to unrealistic things, and you get 'Cartoon Physics'.

Hollywood and books don't help here.  All the physics is wrong there, and nobody cares.

Physics represents law and order.  You can't actually go out and break the laws of physics.  My time with the nuclear plants showed that you could plot and design weird things, but the hammer hit the toe when it came to building and getting the thing to run.  Ask about the famous 'Maple Reactor'.  If you stay in a world without laws, then there is no limit to behaviour.

Take US politics before Trump.  Totally corrupt, with things like gerrymandering.  Once you are no longer constrained by law, then you get Trump.  The only thing that resets this world is a big 30's depression.

So the discussion went to evolution.  The old guy believed that once the environment changed, then the plants and stuff would adapt.  I said, no, that evolution is all death and destruction.  He shook his head, and said 'Evolution is good'.

-to be continued.

ps.  Nah, I won't continue.  Biologists are too powerful. 

4 comments:

Painterspoon said...

Yes

Painterspoon said...

He didn't, necessarily, disagree with you. But he probably didn't get your point.

Penny said...

You might enjoy this read?

https://www.varsity.co.uk/science/16734

A new origin story? Rethinking the evolution of life on Earth

Harold Asmis said...

That was neat. Physics and biology would involve error bars.