Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Level of Law

Stephen Hawking says this: “. . . suppose one starts with two boxes, one containing oxygen molecules and the other containing nitrogen molecules. If one joins the boxes together and removes the intervening wall, the oxygen and nitrogen molecules will start to mix. At a later time the most probable state would be a fairly uniform mixture of oxygen and nitrogen molecules throughout the two boxes. This state would be less ordered, and hence have more entropy, than the initial state of two separate boxes.”

Let’s move from the molecular level to the societal. Suppose one starts with two peoples kept distinct by their discrete customs. If one removes the customs in favor of a universal morality, the peoples, like the molecules, will start to mix and in time will become fairly uniform. Fortunately, however, the human world has its own laws. This later state would not be less ordered and would not have more entropy than the intial state. It would be culturally evolved and morally advanced.

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