I often find myself asking the question “What is the point of life?”
While there are countless philosophically existential, spiritual, and religious speculations to this question, I’ve decided to try and tackle this question from an empirical perspective, grounded in current evidence and sound reasoning: What can I learn about the “purpose of life” by observing life?
My hope is that these observations will lead to insights about the human condition within the context of history, and yield some principles that can be applied to make predictions about the future of humanity.
- The “purpose” of all life is to self-preserve information
- What does this entail?
- What is information?
- What types of information? Genetic. Behavioral/ moral. Propositional.
- What is the role of information in the evolution of living organisms
- Revising the last question: What criteria determine the value of information?
- Evolution is the process in which organisms self-preserve
- Adaptation is the process in which organisms evolve
- What is adaptation?
- What are the mechanisms of adaptation?
- Ontogenic? Phylogenic? Genetic? Psychological? Intelligence? Creativity?
- The process of adaption tends toward increased complexity
- Why? Ratchet Effect? Efficiency? Power-laws? Drift?
The evolution of life tends toward increased complexity. Why? There seems to be an implicit “end” in which all life pursues, either biologically or psychologically.
- Genetic complexity: since the dawn of life, genetic information has become increasingly more complex on an evolutionary timeline.
- Psychological complexity: Human knowledge has increased in complexity on a historical timeline as various domains develop their own specialized vocabulary.
- Sociological/ organizational complexity has increased throughout time, as a byproduct of increased population, and complex network systems have emerged to sustain these human organizations.
What is the purpose of life?
I’d like to explore the biological and psychological elements of the “purpose” or “teleology” of life.
Explore the role of energy and thermodynamics.
Darwinian evolution points to natural selection as the mechanism which allows organisms to adapt to environmental demands, and self-preserve a set of genetic or psychological traits.