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Philosophical connotations of Science

  1. Dec 10, 2007 #1
    Hey all,

    My meditations on life and death have been, for lack of another word, provoked, after hearing of a spate of deaths of people I know. Like many others on PF, I tend to think scientifically rather than emotionally and here is (an overview of) what I have thus far:

    1. The entropy (Delta S) of any system is continually increasing. Things will become more random, more bizarre, and literally, unordered. For those thermodynamic illiterates, entropy is a measure of the randomness of the system.

    2. The total energy of any isolated system is a constant. This follows from the basic principle of science that energy can be neither destroyed nor created. Clearly, life and death must be mere transformations of energy.

    I am looking for more. Could you please fill in??
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2007 #2
    There is no such thing as an 'isolated' system. We use this 'model' of something as a way to understand something about energy and information, to analyse energy 'flow' in some 'system'. But these are all things we project onto the world, nothing is disconnected from the world, or the universe. What would it be if it was, where would it be?

    Like imagining some 'empty' bit of 'complete' vacuum somewhere, sure, we can conceive of something that 'contains' absolutely nothing (an empty 'vessel'), but there is no such thing "out there", it's "in here".

    Entropy is a measure of change, or it is the change in some measurable aspect (heat, in the case of thermodynamics) in a 'system'. You can analyse entropy from an informational perspective, too. There's a big stoush about whether heat (a physical thing) and information (messages) are equivalent, or not. Some claim that information cannot be physical, however, there is no way to 'transfer' a message without energy being involved.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2007
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