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    Thread: Causal Entropic Forces - Source of Intelligent Behaviour?

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      Causal Entropic Forces - Source of Intelligent Behaviour?

      I'm not reading Forbes normally - but while following a link to something else - I found this article:

      From Atoms To Bits, Physics Shows Entropy As The Root Of Intelligence - Forbes

      It is about the following article in "Physical Review Letters":

      Causal Entropic Forces


      Abstract:

      Recent advances in fields ranging from cosmology to computer science have hinted at a possible deep
      connection between intelligence and entropy maximization, but no formal physical relationship between
      them has yet been established. Here, we explicitly propose a first step toward such a relationship in the
      form of a causal generalization of entropic forces that we find can cause two defining behaviors of the
      human ‘‘cognitive niche’’—tool use and social cooperation—to spontaneously emerge in simple physical
      systems. Our results suggest a potentially general thermodynamic model of adaptive behavior as a
      nonequilibrium process in open systems.
      There is a short youtube video about their program "Entropica" as well:

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      This wikipedia page provides a little more information, mentioning briefly near the bottom this very topic. I don't know enough about our scientific knowledge and current models of understanding regarding entropy at all really, but I feel like this hypothesis is almost more just a statement of fact. By that, I'm basically referring to the Anthropic Principle--at least insofar as the very fact of our existence almost necessitates it to be so.

      Then again, I've got a very strong feeling my ignorance here is probably responsible for my believing that to be the case, and the fact I think so probably just highlights how little I know about what's being said, lol.

      That said, it seems plainly evident to me that exceedingly simple laws governing the behavior of nature/existence are just as equally exceedingly capable of producing complex phenomena, like consciousness and intelligence, despite the simplicity of the laws themselves. Just because we observe that entropy always increases in the maximal way possible in a closed thermodynamic system until equilibrium is achieved doesn't mean that the result we should observe in nature should match our intuitions about how that should play itself out in reality.

      I mean, why should anything form or react to other forms at all? Consciousness and intelligence aren't anything special in this case when compared to literally everything else we observe in existence. Why should there be suns, comets, liquids, gases, solids, black holes, or anything at all? Truth be told, I think the existence of/creation of mass and the fact that it distorts the curvature of spacetime, resulting in gravity, is just as important in the existence of consciousness and intelligence. I mean, really all the natural laws are, but gravity's effect of attracting sources of mass toward one another is one of the only real "forces" in opposition of the expansion of energy and matter toward a state of thinning out as much as is possible in nature.

      Without that attraction, there wouldn't be the formation of suns or any of what I mentioned at all. It would just be particles, or more accurately, wave functions whose energy state exist as clouds of statistically probable distributions, expanding outward forever... essentially never actually being anything or really interacting with one another. Sure, you have the nuclear forces, but given our trouble integrating our Einsteinian model of gravity with Quantum Field Theory, and the fact our understanding of electricity, magnetism, the weak nuclear force, and the strong nuclear force keep evolving into a more unified framework (becoming electromagnetic radiation, combining the first two, and then even the electroweak force, an amalgamation of the first three), I heavily suspect that the fundamental nature of gravity or its manifestation is just as fundamentally tied to those four forces... albeit in a way we aren't currently capable of comprehending.

      By that same token, nothing says that the constant struggle, so to speak, of these two fundamental behaviors of nature should manifest in behaviors we'd intuitively expect either. Gravity needn't always necessarily attract forms of energy/matter with mass at increasingly microscopic levels. It still generally would, but the effects of quantum weirdness with fundamental particles may be responsible for the repulsion of the larger particles they wind up forming, as an example. I'm not claiming this is necessarily the case, but I find it to be plenty possible. Either way, the existence of fundamental forces that both attract and repel energy and matter is what makes possible the formation of all objects and arrangements of matter into subsystems that exist within the whole of the larger system responsible for their existence... along, of course, with the emergence of any type of so-called metaphysical phenomena resulting from those arrangements and their interaction with other kinds of arrangements, such as our very own conscious human intelligence.
      splodeymissile likes this.

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