Making the Physics Connection With Darwinism

How can anyone conceptualize a comparison of evolutionary biology to physics? The two are completely unrelated, right? Not so says publications like Nature Physics!

Mark Buchanan who wrote an editorial in Nature Physics in order to pay tribute to the 150th anniversary of a publication concerning the origin of species by Charles Darwin, does in fact makes the connection between the two…“everything in biology that exists does so, in some sense, by chance, as a result of accidents that left ineradicable marks on the future.” Then he goes on to state even though the two (evolutionary biology and physics has little to do with each other) they share a common formula in general which resembles the “Chaos Theory.” The principle on how these supposedly random acts came together and then “get locked into place” applies to both areas of evolutionary science according to Mark Buchanan.

“Today we are all influenced by this thinking and find it hard to see how revolutionary it was initially.  In physics we’re used to models in which accidents count and accumulate and end up driving outcomes – models of self-organized criticality, applied in contexts ranging from earthquake dynamics to mass extinctions, models for fracture dynamics, erosion or deposition, crystallization and so on.

“If the timeless laws of classical physics and quantum mechanics attempt to wipe history away, or at least demote it to secondary status, processes based on evolution – in a general sense – focus on the accidental and how it gets locked into place.  This is part of the broad legacy of Charles Darwin, even if it has little to do with biology.” -Nature Physics

In another article called; “Quantum Darwin.” written by Physicist Wojciech Hubert Zurek  makes the connection with natural selection and equations from mathematical physics…

“Selection of the set of outcomes by the proliferation of information essential for quantum Darwinism parallels Bohr’s insistence that a ‘classical apparatus’ should determine the outcomes.”

“However, it follows from the purely quantum equation, and is caused by a unitary evolution responsible for the information transfer.  Nevertheless, as classical apparatus would, preferred pointer states designate possible future outcomes.”

“This precludes measurements of complementary observables and makes it impossible to find out the pre-existing state of the system.  Thus, information acquisition—a copying process—results in preferred states…”

-Nature Physics March 02, 2009

This goes to show some who always like criticize me and other creationists for making the same connection with evolutionary science in other fields like “physics” as an example, who also claim it’s just creationists who see this general pattern which can lead to such a label. The pattern is obviously and the identification of the connection is correct even when the fields of evolutionary science are mostly different as far as what they are trying to explain in the world or in the universe.


One thought on “Making the Physics Connection With Darwinism

  1. But Michael, nothing is completely unrelated, of course, but saying that physics and biology are the same thing, as you continuously are trying the say by using the word ‘evolutionist’ for any scientist on this planet, is unhelpful to say the least.

    If you’ve read the ‘Rough guide to Evolution’, its author is linking evolutionary thinking to many fields of science, but he is not saying all science is evolutionary biology. He is just saying that some of the ideas behind evolutionary biology have strong analogies in other parts of science (including physics).

    But when I write a scientific paper about ‘the evolution of galaxies’, which I do relatively often these days, I just discuss how galaxies change. But these changes have nothing to do with the evolution of species: the processes are quite different.

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