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Московский международный синергетический форум / Наука / THE REASONS OF SELF-ORGANIZATION PROCESS AND THE EVOLUTION OF THE UNIVERSE

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THE REASONS OF SELF-ORGANIZATION PROCESS AND THE EVOLUTION OF THE UNIVERSE

Dr. E. USHAKOVSKAYA

The scientific-technical company “Teplophyspribor”.

118, 4-1  5-Predportovyi pr.   St. Petersburg 196240 Russia.

ushakovskaya@inbox.ru

 

The article shows the conditions of synergetic processes. The author demonstrates that a randomness, irreversibility, nonlinearity and instability are not the reasons for self-organization but the consequences or characteristics of these processes, in spite of the common opinion. Self-organization in the nature is provided by all its laws and forces being its basic law. Due to it was announced that our Universe is an open system. However, synergetics considered the randomness and instability as a  cause of the evolution. But everything in the universe seeks balance and stability, harmony of forces of preservation, destruction and creation, and provide life and  evolution of the universe.

 

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1.      Synergetics conquers the world

In the second half of the last century a new branch has appeared in science: synergetics, which is studying the processes of self-organization and cooperation in nature. Initially it was based on works by H. Haken and I. Prigogine, they wrote about some physical and chemical processes (autocatalytic chemical reactions, the formation of Bénard cells in liquid, laser work, turbulent movement of liquid, ferromagnetic’s behavior) in exchange with the environment [Dulnev, 1998; Ebeling, 2004; Haken, 2004; Prigogine, 2006; Prigogine & Stengers, 2008]. The behavior of the system under such circumstances becomes unstable and non-linear, consequently the system gets to the point called the bifurcate point at which there are a lot of ways for the development. However among all these ways there is one way (or narrow corridor) that differs in its remarkable stability. This corridor is called an attractor and it brings the system into a new stable condition. This is the classical picture of synergetic process.

The most essential fact for synergetics was that in the process of transition from one stable condition to the other the open systems do not suffer increase but decrease of entropy and new structures are being formed [Dulnev, 1998; Ebeling, 2004; Haken,  2004; Prigogine, 2006; Prigogine & Stengers, 2008]. This observation allows to draw conclusions that synergetic processes are the basis of morphogenesis – the origin of new forms of matter. Authors considered that the exchange with environment and  random nature of internal or external effects as well as instability, non-linearity, irreversibility is indispensable condition of such processes.

The conclusions shown above were first applied to biology. We can find such information in works of the founders of synergetics H. Haken [2004], I. Prigogine [2006; 2008] and other authors. So M. Volkenstein  [2008]  tells about the absence of any borders between physics, chemistry and biology. He notes the phenomena of self-organization in physical and chemical processes and then maintains that “this must be true for the formation of species...”

Later Synergetics rapidly spread over various fields of human knowledge and has been recognized both in the natural sciences and in the humanitarian fields of science up to theories about evolution of the Universe [Dulnev, 1998; Prigogine, 2006; Prigogine & Stengers, 2008]. At the same time the reasons of synergetic processes, once formulated by the authors of synergy, never been questioned. They are still the same: instability, nonlinearity, randomness and irreversibility. Let’s go back to the origins of synergy and re-examine the causes and consequences of synergistic processes.  

 

2.           Is our world unstable?

The authors [Dulnev, 1998; Ebeling, 2004; Haken, , 2004; Prigogine, 2006; Prigogine  & Stengers, 2008] consider instability and non-linearity to be the conditions of synergetic processes. In fact we can see instability and non-linearity at some stages of synergetic processes. But are they the reasons, conditions of these processes?

The point is that synergetic processes mean the transition from quantity to quality, Hegel wrote about it. The system turns from one stable state to another. This transition is impossible without intervening unstable state. The process, connected with qualitative changes of system (unlike quantitative) is always non-linear. It is connected with the fact that when turning from quantity to quality the object changes its structure and gains new properties.

The process of cooling water may be a good example. Before the freezing point the process goes without qualitative changes. Besides that it has the linear nature. When reaching the freezing point quantitative changes move the system into a new state – ice. The transition is connected with intervening unstable state and has a non-linear nature. After that the cooling of ice continues according to the linear law.

Non-linearity and instability are typical for any process, connected with the transition from quantity to quality. Synergetic processes are the same. We can see that the instability and non-linearity are consequences, characteristics, but not the reasons for these processes.

However the authors of synergetics having extended the conditions of synergetic processes to the Universe, made the conclusion about its unstable state, about the instability of all evolution processes. “The theory of instability and bifurcation is at the heart of a modern model of evolution”, says Prigogine.

At the same time we see the opposite things in the nature. Everything has conservatism, memory of the past and strives for keeping the stable state. The stability in the nature is kept by laws and forces (the preservation law of mass, energy, impulse and others, inertia, elastic deformation and others). A thing strives to keep the state of fulcrum or even direct movement. Being forced to leave the state of stable equilibrium the body strives for returning to this state again (remember the swing of a pendulum). In case of elastic deformation the body strives for returning into its previous form.

Conservatism is the most powerful in biological systems where everything is aiming to preserve itself and its existence whether they are individuals, species or population.

The large-scale experiment was performed in the nature. Homo sapiens existed for 200000 years [Chudov, 2000]. During that period of time about ten thousand generations changed each other. But despite absolute geographic isolation of some species and different living conditions  humankind hasn’t produced any new species! (According to biology the representatives of different species can’t provide viable offspring but all human beings can cross with each other and produce viable offspring.)  L.Gumilev wrote that humankind during its existence stayed within one species [Gumilev, 2011]. He also wrote about the stability of races. Whereas the existence of human beings of different races “changed their places but there was not any new one and no race has disappeared” [Gumilev, 2011].

The other example given in [Chudov, 2000] is the example with drosophila which has been bred in scientific needs for the last 80 years. Throughout this period of time drosophila has had more than two thousand and a half generations. In spite of different conditions of breeding in different laboratories in the world, various mutagens influencing fruit fly still haven’t resulted in any new species.

At the same time the breeding of animals and species of plants made by breeders are very unstable and keep their acquired characteristics in the condition of absolute isolation from other breeds and sorts and without this isolation lose all acquired characteristics within two generations. During the history of selective breeding no new species were bred!

Everything tells us about the stable character of structures and processes in the Universe. Our universe is too complicated to be unstable. Both conservatism and striving for stability play a great positive role (it is the condition of surviving at all levels) which doesn’t allow to destroy everything created instantly and is the peculiar barrier for new unstable forms.

Very often modern theories of evolution are about dualism that means that evolution is influenced by two opposite forces (creation and destruction) but in my opinion it is better to speak about the triune of creation, destruction and preservation.

Moreover, in my opinion, the more complicated the structure, the higher its level of organization and the more significant role must stabilizing forces play. And all that is true for our Universe. The lack of these stabilizing factors explains the great number of technological and ecological catastrophes.

 

 3.   Is everything irreversible?

I. Prigogine   and V. Ebeling   spoke about processes of self-organization and formation of new structures and emphasized the main role of irreversibility. They considered it to be the necessary condition of these processes.

Nowadays there are different ways to explain the term irreversibility. Therefore we’ll give the definition to reversible (irreversible) processes: the process happening in a system and influenced by different factors should be considered reversible (irreversible), in case these factors stop influencing, the process itself stops and the system returns (doesn’t return) to its initial state. (Sometimes one more condition is added to the above-mentioned requirements: return path from the final state to initial state must be reversed with the trajectory of the direct process. Moreover, all the external conditions should change in the reverse order. However, the latter is mostly not implemented. For example, often the force of gravity can not be excluded in this experiment. And at the same time, the  gravity influences the formation and destruction of Bénard cells, on the turbulent eddies.)

According to the definition given above the processes at the macrolevel in all physical examples [Dulnev, 1998; Ebeling, 2004; Haken, 2004; Prigogine, 2006; Prigogine . & Stengers, 2008] (the work of laser, the behavior of ferromagnetic, turbulence, Bénard cells) are reversible. For example, laser with nominal voltage radiates coherently. When the power supply is switched off the laser returns to its initial state. We can repeat this process many times and each time it will reproduce. The same happens with Bénard cells that appear in the layer of liquid and are accompanied by the definite temperature change in between the upper and lower surfaces and that disappear when the change in is reduced. The behavior of ferromagnetic elements which lose their magnetization when being warmed and get it back when being cooled is also reversible. The motion of liquid becomes turbulent each time when Reynolds number becomes higher than 104. When Reynolds number decreases the motion becomes laminar again.

Thus the assertion about the main role of irreversibility in the processes of self-organization at macro levels is not true.

At macro levels these processes are really irreversible. It is impossible to return each Bénard cell to its initial state. And if it is possible to turn turbulent state of liquid into laminated (or vice versa non-laminated) state then to turn all molecules of liquid to their initial state is absolutely impossible. A Greek sage was absolutely right when he said that it is impossible to enter the same water twice. But from this point of view all discussions about reversibility and irreversibility of processes have no sense since all processes in this case are irreversible. In closed systems the processes connected with potential leveling e.g. the processes of heat conductivity and diffusion obey the second law of thermodynamics and are irreversible. If the system is open then all mentioned processes may be reversible. As an example imagine the object with the definite temperature change. In closed system this change is aiming to zero according to Furrier law. But if we plug in a thermo electrical battery (the outside of an open system) we can restore the initial temperature change making the process in the object reversible.

Thus the assertion about the main role of irreversibility in the processes of self-organization at macro-level is not confirmed.

But this doesn’t refer to synergetic processes which exist in open systems only. On the other hand we can see irreversible processes in the nature. These are some chemical reactions, physical processes, for example, making artificial diamonds from graphite at high temperature and pressure. In biology the processes of organism development are irreversible (the old man can’t become young again, we can’t turn back the process of child-bearing of pregnant woman and many others). From the other point of view some processes like illnesses are reversible to some extent. Summing it all up we can say that irreversibility (where it may be found) is the quality of the process, it is connected with its nature, but is not the condition and the reason of self-organization effects. 

 

 4.  ”Does God play dice?”

Scientists have been arguing for a long time about the role of chance and determinism. At the beginning of 19th century a famous scientist Laplace asserted that the Universe is developing according to its laws, that there are no chances but determinated laws, which are unknown to us and are known to “Laplace’ demon” only. He added that if one had known the initial state of molecules he could have calculated their location and speed at any moment. It might be possible if you have powerful computer techniques. But accidental description and probabilistic approach have simplified tasks in molecular physics and led to the origin of thermodynamics.

The other example is derived from quantum physics where probabilistic approach allowed to avoid all contradictions connected with the breach of the principle of localization: electron in hydrogen atom is spread on the small but finite area of space, in other words may be here and there (the principle of uncertainty by Heisenberg). A theory of probability avoids this contradiction by operating with the idea of probability of a particle being at this exact place in space. But then a theory of physical vacuum by G. Shipov [2002] comes to the world and gives the determinated explanation of quantum particles behavior.

All these examples given from the history of science mean that many determinate processes were shifted to the sort of accidental to make mathematical description easier or because the laws and forces which determine the process being examined were unknown. Especially it concerns those events that happen because of great number of factors which do not have necessitarian description.

Many of so-called accidental processes in the nature are relatively accidental. And this chance is an unknown pattern of events being studied. The supporters of synergetics feature a chance as an important role in evolution processes. I. Prigogine calls determinated laws of physics the caricature of evolution [2006] and G. Dulnev writes that a chance and bifurcation are the source of morphogenesis, “a chance is creative constructional beginning. It builds the world” [2000].

The authors of synergetics and their followers having declared the topping role of a chance later, according to their researches of processes, made completely contrary conclusions.  So I. Prigogine admits that “between points of bifurcations there dominates  a deterministic description” [2006],  that the way of attractor is predetermined. That in chemical kinetics “the distribution of non-elastic bumping particles stops being occasional” [2000] (this refers to molecules bumping after which molecules make chemical reaction.

The other author V. Ebeling says that after the initial stimulus “the further movement of system has natural character”. V. Ebeling writes about the chance of the initial stimulus: “This chance is casual for the observer at this level. But we can’t assume that this stimulus is absolutely casual and is not caused by a law or some force, which we don’t know” [2004].

In fact basing on these examples of processes of self-organization considered by the authors of synergetics, we can speak about logical nature of those effects influencing the processes. Does coherent laser radiation appear spontaneously? No. Laser radiates coherently only when it is being given the definite voltage. Bénard cells are formed in liquid layers only when being provided with a temperature change between its layers. The turbulent whirlwinds appear only if there are conditions for a liquid flow which correspond with a definite Reynolds number and so on. All these processes are reproducible and this proves again the logical nature of these processes at least at macro level. Here we stress macro level because it is impossible to predict the behavior of certain molecules, atoms, emanation of protons and others. This impossibility doesn’t result from the casual nature of processes happening at micro level but from our lack of knowledge of all strengths and laws which operate there. This is true for all processes, not just synergetic.

There is even less place for a chance in development of biological objects. If we consider evolution in the animate world influenced by casual factors then the probability to create even one DNA molecule is so small that “it is more likely that the hurricane rushing past the cemetery of old planes will assemble a new super air liner from old scrap than life appears from its components as a result of casual processes”, - said astronomer Ch. Wickramasinghe [Leskov, 1996]. If the possibility for DNA molecule to appear casually is so small then how small is the possibility to create such a complicated organism as a human being! May be that’s why scientists make a conclusion that it is impossible that there is another life somewhere on a different planet and that the only rational creature in the Universe is a human being.

Thus we can speak neither about the fortuity of human being creation not about the creation of flora and fauna with all its variety and the harmonious interaction with itself and stagnant world. Moreover we can’t speak about the casual way of creation of our Universe. And here again a chance fails!

In the conclusion of my ideas that chance is one of the conditions of evolutional process I’ll remind You of a quotation taken from a letter of Einstein to Max Born: “You believe in God who’s playing dice, I believe in law and order on the planet which exist objectively”.

 

 5. The achievements of synergetics and its errors 

 

  Self-organization is the law of nature

The main achievement of synergetics is the discovery of the self-organization processes and cooperation in the nature. It goes without saying that it is one step forward in our learning the world. And though some authors of synergetics noticed phenomena of self-organization only for some physical and chemical processes later it was spread at practically all levels of the Universal hierarchy. At the same time all conclusions made by authors of synergetics about the reasons and conditions for synergetic processes were automatically transferred to new areas. As a result, our Universe has become unstable and a chance is the main factor of Universe evolution. At the same time the analysis shows that self-organization does not mean cooperation under the influence of some casual factors in unstable state but processes whose reasons are in the nature. These processes happen at all levels of the Universal hierarchy and are kept by all laws and forces operating there.

In animate nature, as we have noticed before the programs for developing can be found at all levels of hierarchy in phylogenesis and ontogenesis. Self-organization is at the level of animate cell, tissue made from cells, at the level of systems of organs fulfilling particular functions of organism and the whole organism. It concerns not just one organism but the whole population.

We can make an example of the regulation using populations of animals. When the number is too big we may see the weakening of individuals due to the lack of food, diseases, predators and other factors which regulate the number of population by adjusting it to the optimal size.

The other example is connected with the life expectancy of a person. If we consider the whole history of humankind we can see the remarkable growth. At the beginning of humankind the main problem a person was facing was the reproduction of his family and getting food and all that required hard manual labor. At this period life expectancy was equal to the genital and able-bodied age. In the course of time the character of labor has changed to the mental activity prevalence and we can note the remarkable increase of the life expectancy which is defined by the possibility of such activity.

In the late 90ties of 20th century homosexuality and drug addiction became wide-spread. This led to degeneration of humankind. Right at that moment AIDS appeared and its victims are first of all drug-addicts and those who are sexually attracted to people of the same sex.

All examples considered here show that though such regulative factors as the lack of food, viruses of new diseases and many others become apparent materially but they are the demonstration of Laws which can’t be derived from the laws of matter existence.

In inanimate nature we also see the principles of self-organization at all hierarchical levels. At microlevels it becomes apparent in laws according to which all ultimate particles, atoms and molecules exist, interact and create complex structures of matter. Chemical reactions are processes of self-organization at atomic-molecular level. At macrolevels self-organization appears only in laws of origin, development and interaction of planets, stars, galaxies and other space constitutions. And finally the highest level of self-organization is the aggregate of all laws and forces providing the evolution of the Universe.

A very interesting example of self-organization in evolution process is given in [Stepanov   & Volchenko, 2000], where the evolution processes in animal and plant worlds are considered and compared with geological processes and cataclysms. The authors   show that these processes are interconnected. So in some cases the reorganization of living matter anticipated great geological events or fell on their early phase. In some cases important reorganizations of flora took place earlier than respective fauna reorganizations. Thus a dry land in Devon was first developed by plants and only then by vertebrates for which these plants were food. “All this shows the leading reaction of living to future changes of environment including geological cataclysms in planetary scale”, the authors write [Stepanov & Volchenko, 2000].

As a conclusion we can say that self-organization is the main law of the nature, it is the mechanism to manage processes at all levels of the Universal hierarchy and it is aimed at the origin and maintenance of processes connected with formation of new more highly-organized forms and structures provided by evolution and repression of the processes which are apart from the evolution and are opposed to it. All these natural power and management mechanisms have no sense if the development of the Universe is occasional.

 

 On the preservation, destruction and creation

Synergetics noticed the self-organization in nature, which it considered the only driver of evolution (except some accidents). Synergetics fully withdrew from consideration other forces and processes working in the Universe, and providing its existence and development. Earlier we mentioned the fact that despite the instability of the universe, everything in it is committed to sustainability, the preservation of the condition (see Section 2).

However, the system may not always be in a stable state. This contradicts evolution. Therefore, in the universe there are forces trying to bring the system of steady-state and get it moving in the direction of evolution. It can be as self-reliance , self-organization inherent in the structure of the universe and are the cause of the fluctuations in natural processes, and external forces (which are discussed below) , giving impetus and energy to create new structures.

This impact (which may seem to us a random external influence) forces the system to go from a state of stable equilibrium and move into a new stable state with the formation of new structures. The forces of destruction laid in the structure of self-organizing universe. In inanimate world there is the second law of thermodynamics, according to which any isolated structure tends to break to the release of entropy. Creatures of nature, having a life cycle, end their existence . Death, destruction of the physical environment provided for all objects of the living world. The forces of destruction in this case are positive. They make the selection in plant and animal worlds stronger, viable individuals and populations, save humanity from the degradation of the false paths of development. They seek to destroy the universe its weakest structures that are not supported by external energy (or rather anti-entropy ) . Thus, the universe is exempt from all that is old and obsolete. And in place of the old structures come new, due to the forces of creation, operating on each level of the hierarchy.

To ensure the creation of the universe to flow huge amounts of energy, aimed at reducing the entropy, to create a new, more complex forms and structures. The openness of the universe and the flow of energy from the outside into it led to a change in the balance of forces of creation and destruction , which provides a dynamic balance of changes in the system and its evolution. And in this complex and contradictory process there is a general tendency of the whole system to a state of stability and balance. Harmony processes of preservation, destruction and creation is the foundation of the existence and evolution of the universe. 

 

Synergetics recognized the openness of the Universe

Among all conditions of synergetic processes which were stated by authors of synergetics the most important is the condition of the openness of system where the process takes place. We can’t argue with this condition. The openness, the possibility to exchange with what is outside are the conditions of life, development and evolution. Without this exchange the environment can’t develop any system. In stagnant matter there is the second law of thermodynamics according to which the isolated system aims at full leveling of all potentials i.e. destruction, chaos. It is fair for biological objects as well: for the life of any organism the exchange with environment is required. The closure of the exchange means death, destruction.

But I’d like to underline another thing. Having spread its theory to the Universe synergetics was the first to announce it an open structure. This is perhaps one of the most important conclusions of synergetics. In that way it means that there is Something beyond our Universe. This Something interacts with our Universe, decreases its entropy and preserves our world from “thermal death”. There is some Force that in spite of the Universe aiming at destruction and chaos (according to the second law of thermodynamics) makes it move through evolution to more complicated forms and structures.

This Something believers call God connecting with Him everything concerning the world’s origin and development.

Many scientists have come to recognize God. Thus, the famous cosmologist Stephen, author of the Big Bang theory says that the universe needs a ‘Creator’ [Hawking, ‘A Brief History Of Time: From Big Bang To Black Holes’], G.Shipov, the author of the theory of physical vacuum [Shipov, 2002], claiming to be the paradigm of creation speaks of the origin of only some ‘random Nothing’. In this crucial role played by the ‘Super-consciousness’, acting in the role of ‘active principles’  [Shipov, 2002]. G.Shipov notes that he built links the financial picture of the world with an ideal and modern science with religion. [Shipov, 2002]

The existence of non-material world isn’t connected with the religious world-view only. And though for a long time the science had denied everything what didn’t belong to the material world but the situation started to change. New research appeared [Jusupov, 2000; Leskov, 1996; Stepanov  & Volchenko, 2000;  Volchenko, 1996] devoted to the theory and construction and the nature of invisible world which V.Volchenko called Thin [1996]. Some other research describe phenomena from the so called paranormal world [Dulnev, 2000]. I suppose we can consider such phenomena as interaction of another invisible world with ours. We don’t know much about that world and deny its existence very often just because we can’t see it, can’t touch it.

But who can boast that one has seen the electric current? Who has seen the atom? And nevertheless there is current, there are atoms.

By denying everything non-material we become similar to death and blind people who deny the existence of the sounds and colors due to their limited experience. “That person is the blindest who doesn’t want to see”, Mahatma Gandhi wrote. We don’t know what that world is like and we can assume that it possesses other kinds of energy and another information. This is another world in which other forces act, which is subjected to other laws and which has a nature unknown to us. The person makes first steps to learn that world. So by announcing the Universe an open structure and by showing that the evolution of the Universe is impossible without interaction with Something beyond the material synergetics made a great step in recognition of this world. 

 

References

  1. Chudov, S. [2000]  “Possible approaches to the formation of structure-genetic species concept”, Consciousness and physical reality.   5(3).  25-36.
  2. Dulnev, G. [1998]  “The introduction to synergetics”, (Prospect. Russia, St. Petersburg.)
  3. Dulnev, G. [2000]  “The energy-informational exchange in the nature”,  (ITMO. Russia, St.Petersburg.).
  4. Ebeling, W. [2004] “The Formation of Structures in Irreversible Processes”, (Institute of computer research. Moscow), p.186.
  5. Gumilev, L. [2011] “The end and then beginning”,  (Airis pres. Мoscow.), pp.19-28.
  6. Haken, H. [2004] “Synergetics .  Introduction and Advanced Topics”, (Springer. Berlin).
  7. Jusupov,  F.  [2000]  “Parapsychology and the world of minds”, Consciousness and physical reality.     5(6).   23-26.
  8. Korotkov,  K.  [2011] ”The energy of our thoughts”, (Eksmo. Мoscow). 
  9. Leskov,  A. [1996] “On the way to a new picture of world”, Consciousness and physical reality.   1(1-2).    42-54
  10. Prigogine,  I. [2006] “ From being to becoming: time and complexity in the physical     sciences”, (Komkniga. Moscow.).  
  11. Prigogine, I. & Stengers, I. [2008] “Order out of chaos”, ( LKI . Мoscow.). 
  12. Schmalhausen, I. [1968]  “The factors of evolution”,  (Nauka .Мoscow,),  pp.147-150.
  13. Shipov, G. [2002] “The theory of physical vacuum”, (NT Center. Мoscow.), 363 pp.
  14. Stepanov, Y. & Volchenko, V. [2000]  “Biophysical aspect of information-energy model of nomogenesis”, Consciousness and physical reality.  5(4).  24-33.
  15. Volchenko, V. [1996] “Inevitability, reality and comprehensibility of another world”, Consciousness and physical reality.    1(1-2).    2-14.
  16. Volkenstein, M. [2008]  “Biophysics“, (Nauka. .Мoscow,), pp.554-573. 

 

 

29.11.2011


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