Today I turned 53. Most of the time I remind people that at the moment of my birth Mars was in the sky, the Moon in its first quarter, and so on. Not that anyone could see that night, because during my birth, January 23, 20:15 CET in Eindhoven, it was overcast, around freezing point and generally bad and cold. No rain, though.
How my life began is no subject for dispute, but how did life begin? In general, I mean? There’s a new and daring theory from a guy I can almost say he’s somewhat more than half my age – that’s the way it goes. Although Jeremy England might be only 31, he’s the one at at MIT, and I am definitely not.
He has a great idea involving the second law of thermodynamics – my favorite law.
All three laws of thermodynamics are my favorite, because they’re so essential to the universe and yet many people simply ignore their universal workings. I secretly call the second law, the entropy law, the law of the compulsory and maximal opposition. Broadly speaking: if you perform an act, it must go wrong and it must go wrong as wrong as possible. If you throw something in the garbage can in your kitchen, it must fall outside of it, and it must give the maximal clutter: dispersion, stains, you name it. That’s because of entropy. Chaos must ensue…. If something goes right the first time, order is created, which is not allowed by this diabolical law!
Some theorists suggest that entropy is nothing more or less than the arrow of time itself: the growing disorder we observe forces us to experience it – thus making us experiencing time.
But back to Jeremy. Jeremy believes primordial cluttering goo could have started dispelling heat, thus ordering itself to become life (this is the kind of explanation you get when an amateur blogger tries to take over the world)
That must be the explanation! That’s why nature is always conspiring against us: because we are order from the chaos and the entropy law doesn’t take that kindly.
Well, it’s my birthday, so I’m not really serious, but the theory is. You can read more about it here. An innovative idea from someone I basically share a first name with. That can’t be wrong. Next year: episode 54.
That’s him, not me. 🙂