Alternative Theory of Natural Elements

Everything we perceive is through our senses. Even when we make an instrument measurement, we percieve its results through our senses. However, since the dawn of science there has been a deliberate attempt to remove the observer from the act of observation but inserting an instrument in between the observer and the observed reality. Based on such instrument quantification, an alternative worldview of reality as physical properties has been created. Most people think that this physical worldview is the only type of science although all measurement instruments are arbitrarily chosen and the properties measured by them are always drawn from ordinary intuitions. A specific example of this worldview is in its use in modeling ecology in terms of carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorous, and other elemental cycles. Since there are over 100 known elements at present, therefore, there must be at least 100 such cycles. The interaction between the cycles presents interesting conundrums of complexity and completeness. To be complete, more and more cycles have to be added. By removing some elements from the cycle, the understanding of ecology diminishes. Since a better model of reality is that which is both simple and complete, therefore, it has to be put to the test by proving that it models the ecology better with fewer cycles.

In the classical physical energy conservation thesis, energy is defined as the total amount of work doable by a system. In theory, all the available energy should be convertible to work. However, in practice, this is not true because all the energy inputted into a system is not convertible to work. There are two ways in we could deal with the situation. One, we could say that energy is not conserved, which means that energy could be created or destroyed. Two, we could talk about how energy still exists although it is not convertible from one form (such as heat) to another (such as work). Since energy conservation was such a fundamental principle, therefore, the first answer was rejected and the second answer was chosen in thermodynamics.

To explain how conserved energy becomes non-convertible to other forms of energy, Boltzmann formulated a thesis called entropy which was defined as the total number of possible states of a given system. In some states, energy was convertible to ohter forms. In other states, energy was non-convertible. According to classical physics, a system must be in one or the other states. Hence, sometimes a system’s energy must be convertible to other forms while in other states it must not be so convertible. To explain this anomaly, Boltzmann postuated several new claims avout energy:

  • A classical system is not in a definite state,
  • It simultaneously exists in all possible states,
  • Entropy is the logarithm of the count of states,
  • The net entropy of any system cannot decrease,
  • The universe must go toward greater entropy,
  • The capacity for work must decrease with time,
  • Increasing disorder will eventually kill all life.

This then led to a different idea of time than that prevaled prior to Boltzmann under which the universe was headed toward greater order. Boltzmann implied that the universe was headed toward lesser order. Both these ideas of order and disorder are rejected in the Vedic system when it talks about a cyclical universe in which there are periods of order generation, maintenance, and destruction. Cyclical concepts of time don’t see the universe as moving toward greater order or disorder, resulting in an end of history either when the universe becomes fully ordered or disordered. End of history scenarios are unique to Western religious and scientific thinking.

However, alternative ideas of time must come with alternative explanations of why energy becomes unavailable. That answer is given in the Vedic system when it talks about manifest and unmanifest forms of energy, or actual and potential states of energy. What modern science calls entropy increase is energy going to a potential state and becoming unavailable for work. But this is not an irreversible process. The unavailable energy can become available again. The creation of energy is just energy becoming available. The destruction of enery is just energy becoming unavailable. This reversibility of energy availability allows time to become cyclical. Then, the universe is neither headed toward perfect order or perfect disorder. It is cycling between order and disorder with sometimes greater order and sometimes greater disorder.

The cyclical process relies on a semantic rather than physical notion of order. For the moment, let’s treat all particles in a system as symbols of meaning. Perfect order in a physical system means that all symbols are the same type of symbol—e.g., all 1s or 0s. Perfect disorder means that the 1s and 0s sequence is unpredictable. But a semantic system doesn’t require all symbols to be the same. It thrives on symbols not being the same and the sequence of 1s and 0s being unpredictable, because that unpredictability is information novelty. The symbol sequence should not be meaningless. Other than that, every meaningful sequence will be considered order. Thereby, what is physical disorder can be order if the symbol sequence is meaningful and disorder if the symbol sequence is meaningless. All physical disorder is not semantic disorder. But all semantic disorder is physical disorder. Thus, when Boltzmann talked about entropy as increasing physical disorder, it need not be increasing semantic disorder. In fact, what seems like increasing physical disorder can also be increasing semantic order.

The semantic order and disorder cannot be defined universally because meaning is both contextual and individual. Let’s take the simple example of a sequence of 1s and 0s. This sequence can be divided into 4-bit letters (giving us 16 letters), 8-bit letters (giving us 256 letters), or 16-bit bit letters (giving us 65,536 letters). Just by varying the number of digits required for a symbol, we can change the meaning of the sequence. This sequence can be contextually agreed by many observers. Or it may be individually used to misinterpret something that nobody meant to convey. All that seems disorder in physical universe can be ordered in a semantic universe. Without semantics, we have no way of saying whether physical disorder is semantic order or disorder.

This principle is involved in all ecosystems where food for one life form becomes waste for another life form. The same thing is called food and waste by different life forms. The same thing is useful and useless for different life forms. Therefore, one life form can transform waste into food for another life form which then transforms that food back to waste, which just happens to be food for the next life form. By connecting various life forms into a chain of food and waste, the universe can keep undergoing a cycle in which order seems to become disorder but is then converted back to order. Everything depends on whether we treat the world physically or semantically.

The easiest example of this cycle is natural ecosystems in which soil, air, and water produce grass, which is consumed by deer, which are food for the tiger, which after death are food for bacteria, which then covert them to soil, air, and water. Soil is disorder for deer, tiger, and bacteria, but it is order for grass. Grass is disorder for tiger and bacteria but it is order for deer. A deer is order for the tiger but disorder for soil. There are thousands of such cycles in nature, with every growing complexity. The circle of order transformation can get bigger or smaller. Many such circles can be connected to other circles. Such connections then produce more and more complex cycles. Through these cycles, all physical notions of entropy and disorder are refuted. Instead, we see that the universe is neither producing greater order or disorder. It is just cycling order from one form to another. That is cyclical rather than linear time.

Collecting, connecting, and understanding these cycles constitutes the empirical refutation of the concept of linear time, increasing disorder and entropy, ultimately lead to the death of the universe. The semantic treatment of matter is the theoretical framework in which such refutations can be theoretically understood and justified. Since both theory and confirmation are possible, hence, such confirmation proves the idea that order in nature is semantic rather than physical. It overturns all physical ideas of linearly growing entropy resulting in the death of the universe.

At present, ecologists study natural cycles by dividing them into carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle, oxygen cycle, phosphorus cycle, water cycle, and so on, because they have conceived fundamental reality to be these atoms and molecules. The elements in the Vedic system are instead based on the sense perceivable properties. A chemical element combines many such properties and hence it is not elemental. The elements are the different sense perceivable qualities. If we change the notion of chemical elements, then we will alter the idea of ecological cycles. Instead of talking about carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle, oxygen cycle, phosphorus cycle, water cycle, and so on, we will be talking about the cycles of taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight.

If the real cycles in nature are based on a different set of elements, then the cycles of those elements will better explain the observed cycles of ecosystems. The ecological cycles based on chemical elements will always be incredibly complicated and still incomplete while the ecological cycles based on sense perception properties will both be very simple and complete. This simplicity and completeness is proof of their truth. Thereby, the thesis that the world is sense perception qualities will be established as reality and the chemical elements will be proven to be theoretical fictions.

This is a project about what we mean by an element. Are carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorous, sodium, calcium, etc. real elements? Or is it various types of tastes, touches, souds, sights, and smells? The answer lies in which understanding is more useful, complete, simple, and precise for modeling the world around us. The problems of false ideas of atomic reality reveal themselves in macroscopic phenomena.