How the Laws of Physics add to the Astonishment of the Existence of Life



Put your brain in physics mode for a minute.

You do not have to have an education from a physics course to imagine what I'm talking about here. Think about the universe in terms of the motion of the things within it.

What can we predict with physics equations? The movement of all of the major bodies in the universe including planets, stars, galaxies, asteroids, and even black holes are predictable. Everything we see with a telescope can be relocated with a telescope in a few years because we know how to plug their motion into a calculator.

Our equations can predict the motion of any object in the universe using calculus. For millions and potentially billions of years in the future, we can predict where any given object is going to be located as long as we have enough variables accounted for.

Equations in Space


If you take a look at a planet like Mars, things only move when the laws of physics tell them to move. The laws of physics have predictive power on Mars. A boulder will only roll down a hill when the atmospheric conditions create enough force to overcome the force of friction so that the boulder begins it's decent. If a force 'tells' the boulder to move and we can calculate its movement based on the predictive nature of the laws of physics.

If the universe truly has been around for 14 billion years, things have been functioning according to how forces tell them to function for a very long time. That's 14 billion years of things only moving in a way that can be plugged into formulas and accounted for.

If someone were to have an equation and a big computer which accounted for all the moving particles in the universe, they could predict every single location of every single inanimate thing in for billions upon billions of years. At least, the first 14 billion years or so.

That's when Life broke the predictability.

When the first conscious being's brain sent the first electrical impulse to resist a force imposed upon it, the universe became unpredictable.

Each time you move a muscle, you are representing an astoundingly new development in the universe. Your motion is not predictable by the laws of physics. While typing on this keyboard, my fingers are resisting what gravity would have an inanimate object do, which would be to flop down and remain pressed to the keyboard until an outside force caused them to do something else.

Go anywhere in the universe, and you'll see planets with a bunch of rocks, gas and liquids. Go anywhere to see some cool compositions and variations of these chemicals, but nothing unpredictable. There are numbers too large to fathom that represent the amount of things that exist in the universe, and still each things movements are predictable and calculable.

Planets being predictable...

So the fact that there is this one planet (that we know of) which contains things that refuse to be limited by formulas and calculations, that create their own forces to resist the predictable forces of nature, and move independently through their lives is astounding to me.

There are many humans who have lived their entire lives resisting predictability, and they take for granted the craziness of such a notion.

Somehow the laws of physics and random movement of particles came together to form something that can choose to be unpredictable? Somehow this doesn't make sense to me. Particles collided enough times to make a big pile of particles that can say whether or not to be predictable by the laws of physics? I doubt it.

Look to the surface of Mars. Everything seems dead. Look to a distant galaxy. Sure there are various flashes of light and the orbit of things is cool, but everything still seems somewhat dead.

Now I know the what some people will say. In quantum physics certain particles are unpredictable. But on any significant scale, this concept of predictability applies. Put enough tiny particles together and you get a big enough thing to be predictable... unless that thing is Life.

There's a reason we use the phrase "intelligent design" and it isn't because we just don't have the correct equations to figure out our existence. The fact is, no equation could ever account for the anomaly of Life's ability to be unpredictable.