Levolution as a Process
The process of Levolution created the levels of organization in the Universe. Levolution is a thermodynamically driven process that results in new energy-flowing systems on a new, and higher, level of order. As I have mentioned already, there are two related phenomena that cause and support Levolution. The first is the famous and profound mechanism of Natural Selection, which is actually thermodynamic in its nature and its origin. It emerges as “differential demise” among variant types in a set of discrete entities. The second supporting actor, allowed by the mechanism of the first one, is the Universal version of Darwin’s adaptive Evolution. These are the apparent primary tactics of energy in producing adaptive change as needed among its discrete energy flowing systems. Together these two linked processes select, form, and continue to adapt all the natural systems to their changing environments. They are adaptations of energy to time and change. The difference that Levolution adds to Darwin’s theory is, at its base, very simple. It is the notion that the “environment” of the evolving energetic systems of the Universe, the source of Natural Selection itself, is very likely to be one of two things. It is either (1) the inside of the system on the level of organization just above it, or it is (2) an unordered region containing other systems, where energy flows may yet become ordered by spontaneous formation of a higher order structure, through an event of Levolution. In other words, environments either are aspects of the next level up, or are regions where such might form. If you are not a scientist, there is nothing really incorrect or wrong with failure to recognize this fact, and simply continuing to refer to “the environment” as the outside of a system, but this incomplete view fails to show biological species, for example, as the functional “parts” of ecosystems that they truly are. This general relationship may be extended universally. Levolution is also a story of the search for the very meaning of “order” in the Universe. In the ancient past, it was conceived as a Divine Order to be sure. Science will generally begin removing God from the order of the Universe in the Middle Ages. By now, early in the twenty-first century, with the help of a new thermodynamics, the story can be told about energy’s tendency toward entropically functional order, and the story is purely scientific in its orientation. The scientific orientation is mainly to maximize believability. There is plenty of room to wonder at, and even be in awe of, energy and the picture pained by the Levolutionary Paradigm. The last book in the Levolution series will be written from a more cultural perspective, where spirituality, religion, belief systems, faith and other non-scientific concepts can be treated. As I have noted, the fodder is here for the mill of religion, and my tale here has been told before. The Logos has taken many forms over the years. So many “scientific” mysteries remain that mysticism clearly still pulls on the minds of today’s practicing scientists. People who believe in the purely mathematical nature of the Universe, or those who want to believe in the reality of “quantum fluctuations” the existence of “isolated systems” or “reversible actions” are all examples of various kinds of mysticism right in the middle of accepted physics. I am of the humble opinion that none of these things really exist. Occasional suspension of disbelief is necessary for new hypotheses to penetrate, and sometimes replace the old explanations. Try to be open-minded until you get the big picture here. Mysticism shrinks away from places where some part of underlying reality becomes understood. I am not a mystic at all, but the subject matter of “order” even as a scientific concept is surrounded by mysticism. We must therefore be very careful. I will dispel such mysticism as needed, but Levolution is no attack on either science or religion. Different people will get different things out of the tale I will tell. My hope is that the right people will read it and carry it forward. The process of Levolution has left evidence all over the place, and it will not be difficult to prove to the receptive scientist, or the educated layperson, that it has occurred, and is still occurring. Levolution is however, a big story, a huge story, with that fearful word “thermodynamics” as an underpinning. It has a supportable, consistent, understandable, and believable cosmology as an objective. Figure 1 is a list of the Holosystems in the Universe. We individual humans are on level 19, and our cultures are on level 21. As noted above, Holosystem is the name I have given to those special energetic systems (technically known as Dissipative Structures) that are clearly also nested and composed of parts that are self-similar dissipative systems. This schematic and structural definition has other merits, but an important one is that it guarantees that the word “Holosystem” refers exclusively to systems whose origins are in Levolution. The matter and material structures of the Universe can be viewed as mere patterns of energy regardless of what level they exist upon. Einstein’s famous equation, E=mc2, equates matter and energy with a single constant, like a simple conversion factor. In matter, energy has been organized into fields, flows, and generally speaking, into ordered energy pathways that animate, and make discrete, the systems that it flows through. We often think of matter as static, rather than energetic, but if we were the size of an atom and could observe the various fields, we would see that matter is always full of energy flowing. Levolution, the process that creates new levels of organization in the Universe, is all about a single, special pattern related to the universals of energy flowing. It centers on that single pattern of energy flow that is involved in the creation of each of the naturally occurring Holosystems in the Universe. We will examine this very special pattern in the organization of energy flows that I think characterizes both the most fundamental particles and gravitational structures as large as galaxies. The same pattern, believe it or not, is also found in the structures studied by chemistry, biology, sociology, economics, and ecology. If my observation-based conclusions are correct, it is a single, generalized, thermodynamically defined, and thermodynamically relevant pattern that is found among entropically-functional, discrete systems that represent flows of energy. The pattern of Dissipative Structures and Holosystems represent the only way known to science that Functional Order can increase. Energy may be said to be flowing in one direction only. It is on a one-way mission to lower levels of energy potential, or less energy-dense situations, and to increasingly dispersed, dissipated, or degraded forms. This simple picture takes on new dimensions when we realize that the naturally occurring systems of the Universe are really only in existence because they aid in this dissipation and degradation process of entropy production.