The Entropy of Nature: The Ultimate Material Value Tends Naturally to Zero

The Entropy of Nature: The Ultimate Material Value Tends Naturally to Zero

By Orji Obinna

In layman’s term, one of the implications of the second law of thermodynamics is that physical systems break down with time or that decay is constant or better still that things naturally tend to disorder. This points to the fact that the world around us is finite, and that its ultimate material value tends gradually (naturally) to zero. That’s why rocks are disintegrating, that’s why men and women are growing old, that’s why buildings when left unattended fall into disrepair, that’s why vehicles can’t run perpetually without refueling at regular intervals.

If for instance, an entire city was left alone and undisturbed and isolated from any sort of interference for say 500 years, even in the absence of rain, sun or many other weather elements, decay would still consume it. In other words for continued existence and usefulness in this material universe of ours, we need a constant  external energy source to replenish whatever is lost to the environment. Whatever that external source maybe!

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On the other hand, the non material things in the universe have the ability to build up over time even though they can still disintegrate when left unguided and unattended . These are properties that cannot be explained from the evolutionary point of view because they are non-material in nature. (At the very zenith of evolution, it explains our existence only as mere biological machines): patience, kindness, wisdom, empathy – you can go on and on and on.

So if an individual physical body is disintegrating as he ages, and as the clock ticks further and further, he should make conscious effort to build up his non material qualities like wisdom, knowledge, empathy and so on.

This should be the goal, as the material M approaches zero (0), the non-material N should approach infinity (~) . This is the only way to get the better of time dependent decay. So in the end, this accumulated non-material could be transferred or propagated across the breadth of time.

Imagine just for a moment that instead of accumulating knowledge in mathematics (including the discovery of pi), astronomy, geography, and biology, the ancient Greeks focused on preserving their athletic bodies sculpted by war, nutrition and gymnastics which eventually would succumb to entropy. Possibly, there wouldn’t have been the renaissance, Penicillin, steam engine, computers and many other things benefiting us today.

Many of the things we enjoy today are as a result of thousands of years of accumulation of intangibles, purifying humans like gold passed through fire, leading to the emancipation of the human mind, culminating in events like the abolishment of slavery, better human right laws, democracy and the de-legalization of racism.

In the end it wouldn’t be wrong if I quote, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in “heaven”, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal”.

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