The Rise of Big History: An Evolutionary Pedagogy for the Future


Dustin Eirdosh

Dustin Eirdosh
Ethical Technology

Video: http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/eirdosh20120914

Big History “seeks to understand the integrated history of the cosmos, earth, life, and humanity using the best available empirical evidence and scholarly methods” – but Big History is also about the future!

Big History is a narrative – a narrative of dynamic change, emergent complexity, and the role of consciousness in shaping our physical and biological world.

Lecturer talks about Second Law of Thermodynamics and global entropy increase and he asks the question: – How does the complexity emerges?

After that he talks about Big Bang and evolution of Cosmos: emergence of matter, stars and galaxies, atoms and molecules, organic compounds and life.

Author misses that the Second Law  of thermodynamics also describes the information creation in any physical system  dS=dQ/T, where 

– dS is the entropy change, if the temperature falls, the change is negative, entropy decreases, and the amount of system information increases;

– dQ is the change of heat comprised in a system;

– T is absolute temperature in Kelvins.

From Wikipedia: The entropy of an isolated system that is in equilibrium is constant and has reached its maximum value.

This law also describes the global entropy decrease and global information creation after the Big Bang: we know that due to the expansion of the Universe the temperature has fallen from millions of Kelvins to 2.7K.

In order to see clearly how the entropy decreases when temperature falls we have to make one simple modification: dQ=mc dT, where m – mass of the system, c – heat capacity. Now the entropy change dS=mc dT/T.

Besides this temperature decrease caused phase transitions, gravity made matter clumping (radiation – elementary particles – atoms – molecules – stars – planets – galaxies). Every phase transition was accompanied by decrease of number of possible states W, that is, global entropy decrease in accordance with the Boltzmann’s law S=k ln W.

OK, in any case, the video is a good start for the beginning. I.V.

About basicrulesoflife

Year 1935. Interests: Contemporary society problems, quality of life, happiness, understanding and changing ourselves - everything based on scientific evidence. Artificial Intelligence Foundation Latvia, http://www.artificialintelligence.lv Editor.
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