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Universe is a 'complexity machine'

Researchers have recently revealed that the universe is a kind of "complexity machine."

Universe is a 'complexity machine'

Washington: Researchers have recently revealed that the universe is a kind of "complexity machine."

Recent developments in science are beginning to suggest that the universe naturally produces complexity. The emergence of life in general and perhaps even rational life, with its associated technological culture, may be extremely common, argues Clemson researcher Kelly Smith.

It was also suggested that this universal tendency has distinctly religious overtones and may even establish a truly universal basis for morality.

Smith, a Philosopher and Evolutionary Biologist, applies recent theoretical developments in Biology and Complex Systems Theory to attempt new answers to the kind of enduring questions about human purpose and obligation that have long been considered the sole province of the humanities.

He points out that scientists are increasingly beginning to discuss how the basic structure of the universe seems to favor the creation of complexity. The large scale history of the universe strongly suggested a trend of increasing complexity: disordered energy states produce atoms and molecules, which combine to form suns and associated planets, on which life evolves.

Life then seems to exhibit its own pattern of increasing complexity, with simple organisms getting more complex over evolutionary time until they eventually develop rationality and complex culture.

And recent theoretical developments in Biology and complex systems theory suggest this trend may be real, arising from the basic structure of the universe in a predictable fashion.

Smith also feels another similarity to religion was the potential moral implications of this idea. If evolution tends to favor the development of sociality, reason, and culture as a kind of "package deal," then it's a good bet that any smart extraterrestrials humans encounter will have similar evolved attitudes about their basic moral commitments.

In particular, they will likely agree with humans that there was something morally special about rational, social creatures. And such universal agreement, argues Smith, could be the foundation for a truly universal system of ethics.

The study is published in the journal Space Policy.