Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Evolution and Entropy

Sunday morning, on our way to church, we drove down Highway 96 and I contemplated the median. The curbed median had been landscaped, with trees and flowers and shrubbery and barkdust. The flowers were in bloom, reds, purples, yellows and oranges. And weeds. The weeds were clearly moving in on the flowers and attempting to assert their control over the median.

A few more hundred feet down the road and a right turn on to Highway 10. We were passing an older military base that had been shut down years before, I suppose during the Clinton era. The driveway and parking lot were cracked and broken, with weeds growing up there, too. The windows were dirty and broken. Open holes in glass staring back at me. The brick walls of the building looked worn out and in need of a cleaning.

What struck me is how normal it is for things like medians and old buildings to go from pristine and beautiful to cracked, broken down, and old. And it doesn’t take very long for this to happen either. If we leave something in a box for twenty years, there is no guarantee that it will work just right when we pull it back out again.

If it is so normal for all things around us to move from order to chaos, or from good shape to worse shape, why would we imagine that one or two cell organisms would eventually become human beings? Does adding a million years to the process help?

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