The theology company logo

vol 3: Development
4 Biology

New pages

Site map
Search this site


1: About
2: Synopsis
3: Development

Previous: Development: toc

4: Glossary
5: Questions

6: Essays
7: Notes
8: History

9: Persons

10: Supplementary
11: Policy



a personal journey to natural theology

This site is part of the natural religion project The natural religion project     A new theology    A commentary on the Summa    The theology company


Biology: Toc


<!-- Unlinked titles are a speculative guide to future work.-->

page 1: The solar system

Is life on Earth unique in the universe? To think about this question, we must look at the environment in which life has arisen on earth. This environment is the solar system: the sun, a star, radiating huge amounts of energy. Some of this energy falls on a planet which has just the right conditions for the evolution of life? What are those conditions? What is life?

page 2: Thermodynamics

A living thing is a system, that is an ordered set of processes. Our first step toward understanding life is to consider the relationships between order and disorder revealed by classical mechanics. When generalised through statistical mechanics to information theory, thermodynamic ideas can be applied to all systems, and give us some broad bounds on the conditions in which life can exist.

page 3: Reproduction

The key to order is reproduction. By maintaining a coded copy from which they can regenerate themselves, living things are able produce clean copies of themselves, so overcoming for the lineage the accumulation of wear and tear that leads to the death of any individual. More than two thousand years ago Plato saw that error free abstract entities (ideas) preserved the structure of the real world. Let us call these abstract entities texts. They have no life of their own, but they encode life and can be manipulated by life. Just like the books and other media in which cultural information is encoded and reproduced.

page 4: Evolution

As the genes constrain life, so life constrains the genes. How every creature on earth works is defined partly by its genes and partly by its environment. The planetary environment is unstable at all scales of space and time. There are local and global changes, fast ones and slow ones. The most majestic determinants of the global environment seem to be the slow movements of the land masses and the slow evolution of the earth's orbit and orientation with respect to the sun. Darwin realised that creatures that do not fit their environment do not survive. On the other hand, life is so powerful that it also changes its environment. The result is process of evolution which leaves in its tracks the tree of life.




  in association with

Click on an "Amazon" link in the booklist at the foot of the page to buy the book, see more details or search for similar items

Related sites:

Concordat Watch
Revealing Vatican attempts to propagate its religion by international treaty

Copyright: You may copy this material freely provided only that you quote fairly and provide a link (or reference) to your source.


previous: Development: toc
Search WWW Search Search


site scripted with Frontier
This page was last built on 2/28/09; 11:18:33 AM by jhn.

ntBLine picture