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The Anatomy of Hope

Photo by Ivan Obolensky

The universe tends toward complexity, not simplicity. This is counterintuitive but nonetheless true. The reason can be found in how energy behaves. Energy prefers to be dispersed and resists concentration. It is this tendency that allows complex molecules, such as those found in living things, to form regularly. Energy is more comfortable being held across many bonds, not just a few. This means that complexity is the rule, not the exception, and that should give us hope for two reasons.

The first is that there must be other complex organisms and other living things in this universe in vast numbers. Please note that if the premise (the universe tends toward complexity) is true, then this result must follow.

The second is that with complexity comes surprise.

This universe creates surprises. It’s what it does. To me, this is the most underappreciated of truths and has significance to all living things. Surprise creates change. With change comes something different, and to many, that means hope.

Today, we ask: is the world and all life on it about to end? I doubt it. The unexpected is always waiting around the corner, and rest assured, you will be surprised.

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