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Entropy law linked to intelligence, say researchers
BBC ^ | April 23, 2013 | Jason Palmer

Posted on 04/23/2013 8:31:45 AM PDT by Seizethecarp

A modification to one of the most fundamental laws of physics may provide a link to the rise of intelligence, cooperation - even upright walking.

The idea of entropy describes the way in which the Universe heads inexorably toward a higher state of disorder.

A mathematical model in Physical Review Letters proposes that systems maximise entropy in the present and the future.

Simple simulations based on the idea reproduce a variety of real-world cases that reflect intelligent behaviour.

The idea of entropy is fundamentally an intuitive one - that the Universe tends in general to a more disordered state.

But the idea of "causal entropy" goes further, suggesting that a given physical system not only maximises the entropy within its current conditions, but that it reaches a state that will allow it more entropy - in a real sense, more options - in the future.

Alex Wissner-Gross of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US and Cameron Freer from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, have now put together a mathematical model that ties this causal entropy idea - evident in a range of recent studies - into a single framework.

"In the past 10 to 15 years, there have been many hints from a variety of different disciplines that there was a deep link between entropy production and intelligence," Dr Wissner-Gross told BBC News.

Prof Bousso showed in a 2007 paper in Physical Review D that models of the Universe that incorporated causal entropy were more likely to come up with a Universe that contains intelligent observers - that is, us.

(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: entropy; intelligence; physics; thermodynamics

1 posted on 04/23/2013 8:31:45 AM PDT by Seizethecarp
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To: Seizethecarp

Guess FR is back to broken...

Oh well. Got other things to do today.


2 posted on 04/23/2013 8:37:00 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Seizethecarp

So the messier my desk is, the smarter I am?


3 posted on 04/23/2013 8:38:09 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Seizethecarp

Does anyone else think that entropy may simply be a quantum level of order for which we limited humans have yet to discover the patterns? ;-P


4 posted on 04/23/2013 8:39:34 AM PDT by MortMan (Disarming the sheep only emboldens the wolves.)
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To: Seizethecarp

models of the Universe that incorporated causal entropy were more likely to come up with a Universe that contains intelligent observers - that is, us.


I used to build model airplanes when I was a kid, none of them actually flew.................


5 posted on 04/23/2013 8:40:39 AM PDT by PeterPrinciple
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To: MrB

A clean desk is a sign of a disordered mind! ;-P


6 posted on 04/23/2013 8:43:47 AM PDT by MortMan (Disarming the sheep only emboldens the wolves.)
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Straw, meet Grasp....


7 posted on 04/23/2013 8:46:18 AM PDT by raygunfan
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To: Seizethecarp

The height of educated stupidity will be when we can see all the Universe, and yet still don’t get it.


8 posted on 04/23/2013 8:47:16 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (The monsters are due on Maple Street)
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To: MortMan

the heart of causal entropy seems to say “Chaos causes order and order causes chaos.” Need to know what they mean by “higher systems”.


9 posted on 04/23/2013 8:50:47 AM PDT by bioqubit
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To: MrB

Old axiom: a tidy desk is the sign of a sick mind.

All of us untidy people know that.


10 posted on 04/23/2013 8:52:25 AM PDT by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Vendetta))
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To: PeterPrinciple
I used to build model airplanes when I was a kid, none of them actually flew.................

I used to do the same, but all of mine flew. Some not as far as the others, but they all flew.

The trick, for the heavy plastic 'models' is to load them up with a firecracker or two, and then throw them as fast as you can. Too bad we didn't have cell phones with cameras back then.

11 posted on 04/23/2013 8:53:09 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (The monsters are due on Maple Street)
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To: Seizethecarp
Reading this article reminded me of a great book by Erwin Schrodinger for those interested in the connections between physics and life. The same guy who brought us the famous Schrodinger's Equation of Quantum Mechanics weighs in on "Life". A short but very insightful read.

Here is an Amazon link: What is Life?


12 posted on 04/23/2013 8:58:43 AM PDT by InterceptPoint
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To: Seizethecarp
"The paper argues that intelligent behaviour, which is hard to quantify, can be reduced to maximising one's options, which is relatively easy to quantify.

And each individual can maximize his options better under conditions of limited government, freedom, and capitalism rather than statism,tyranny, and socialism.

13 posted on 04/23/2013 9:07:21 AM PDT by mjp ((pro-{God, reality, reason, egoism, individualism, natural rights, limited government, capitalism}))
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To: bioqubit

I’ve always wondered how chaos - being a profound lack of order - can *cause* anything. Because the cause-effect linkage is an order of its own.


14 posted on 04/23/2013 9:09:49 AM PDT by MortMan (Disarming the sheep only emboldens the wolves.)
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To: MrB
So the messier my desk is, the smarter I am?

I think of entropy as a tendency toward thermal equilibrium. I think the "disorder" explanation is misleading.

15 posted on 04/23/2013 9:12:34 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: Seizethecarp

He who sits in the heavens laughs.

Psalm 2:4


16 posted on 04/23/2013 9:21:30 AM PDT by Linda Frances (Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness)
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To: Seizethecarp

The problem with abiogenesis, or biopoeisis, is the notion that life, a fantastically complex thing, formed from organic compounds, which are relatively simple. Under this model, however, one would see life as a means of maximizing potential choices. While simple organic compounds must act very simply and predictably, life can act in fantastically divergent means.

The only problem is, as the article states, this doesn’t explain anything from first principles. While the atheist finds hope to further explain away God, the theist finds yet another apparent confirmation of the cosmological proof of God: a need for a first thing upon which all else depends.

(Mind you, the cosmological proof does not, in itself, tell us much ABOUT God.)


17 posted on 04/23/2013 11:20:22 AM PDT by dangus (Poverty cannot be eradicated as long as the poor remain dependent on the state - Pope Francis)
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To: mjp
Excellent.

And each individual can maximize his options better under conditions of limited government, freedom, and capitalism rather than statism,tyranny, and socialism.

Now we finally have scientific proof. When do we march?

18 posted on 04/23/2013 11:36:06 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: Moonman62

“I think of entropy as a tendency toward thermal equilibrium. I think the “disorder” explanation is misleading.”

I think so too. A high entropy system could also be regarded as a system where the probability distribution over all possible outcomes is uniform. The spiker the distribution, the lower the entropy.

I think it’s easier to think about this causal entropy concept this way—making the probability of all possible outcomes in the future as equal as possible.

You see that happening in the author’s video demos of Entropica. The system pieces shown seem to me to be moving toward low probabability states and making them more likely—thus, making the distribution across states more uniform.

I’m not real comfortable with the emergence aspect of this. I suspect the authors are giving the system a goal—maximize the entropy across possible future states. That forces emergence the behaviors noted. But tying that to the universe implies, I think, a mechanism that makes inanimate systems know how to do that. Once you have intelligence, I can see how humans might maximize in that manner. But suggesting that flatworms or rocks might be maximizing their entropy across possible future outcomes is a pretty big leap.


19 posted on 04/23/2013 11:50:21 AM PDT by ModelBreaker
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To: dangus

Here is a Forbes article on the same topic that calls it both “casual entropy” and “causal entropy.” Take your pick!

http://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonykosner/2013/04/21/from-atoms-to-bits-physics-shows-entropy-as-the-root-of-intelligence/

I prefer causal entropy!


20 posted on 04/23/2013 12:29:43 PM PDT by Seizethecarp (Defend aircraft from "runway kill zone" mini-drone helicopter swarm attacks: www.runwaykillzone.com)
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To: Seizethecarp

Ohomo - the Entropy President.


21 posted on 04/23/2013 5:06:36 PM PDT by Some Fat Guy in L.A. (Still bitterly clinging to rational thought despite it's unfashionability)
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