Philosophical Equation of Life

11/07/2021 - 15:47 PM

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Hassan Ajami

 

 It is plausible to mathematize life in the following way: life = unpredictability × in-formability. According to this philosophical equation, life is analyzed in terms of unpredictability and in-formability, such that life is equal to unpredictability multiplied by in-formability. Unpredictability implies that there are no laws of nature determining the behaviors or functions of a certain existent, while in-formability means the ability of being informed, and hence, the ability to process and exchange information.

One basic virtue of this equation consists of its success in distinguishing between what is alive and what is not. For example, according to the philosophical equation of life, humans, animals, and plants are alive because they are unpredictable and in-formable, while stones, chairs, and tables are inanimate objects because they are predictable and not in-formable. Since life = unpredictability × in-formability, it follows that only those entities (such as humans and animals) which are unpredictable and in-formable are alive, while those which are predictable and not in-formable (such as stones and tables) are not.

We cannot predict the behavior of animals and human beings, exactly as we cannot predict how plants will grow (such as how many branches a certain tree will have). However, we can predict that this chair or table in our classroom will stay precisely where it is if no one, for example, moves it. This is why life should be analyzed in terms of unpredictability, as the previous equation does. In addition, we can inform humans, animals and/or plants how to behave or function through linguistic communication or through manipulating their genes, while we cannot inform stones, tables, and chairs how to behave or function. This is why life should also be analyzed in terms of in-formability, exactly as the previous equation of life does.

 This equation has philosophically interesting conclusions. For example, if life = unpredictability × in-formability, then life will be maximum when unpredictability and informability are maximized and vice versa, otherwise life will be minimum. Hence, this philosophical equation of life implies that life is a matter of degree, such that certain beings could be less or more alive. Another conclusion is that this equation implies, and thus, accounts for the fact that there are different kinds of life.

Since life = unpredictability × informability, it mathematically follows that there is a sort of life consisting of maximum unpredictability and minimum informability, and there is a second kind of life consisting of maximum informability and minimum unpredictability. It also follows that there is a third kind of life which consists of maximum unpredictability as well as maximum informability, in addition to a fourth sort of life consisting of minimum unpredictability as well as minimum informability. All of this shows that the philosophical equation of life is successful in accounting for the existence of different kinds of life, leading to the conclusion that it is acceptable and accurate. 

 In addition, since life = unpredictability × informability, and given that informability is the ability to be informed, and hence, it implies the ability to process and exchange information, it follows that living entities are those which are able to process and exchange information. This shows that the philosophical equation of life is successful in accounting for the fact that living organisms are those capable of processing and exchanging information, leading this equation to have a successful explanatory power. 

 Further, living organisms possess genes because otherwise they would not be capable of processing and exchanging information (given that genes are sets of information, which are capable of being processed and exchanged). In addition, living organisms are capable of processing and exchanging information because life = unpredictability × informability (given that informability implies the ability of processing and exchanging information).

Therefore, living organisms have genes in virtue of the fact that life is equal to in-formability multiplied by unpredictability. In other words, life consists of genes (which are sets of information) because life is in-formability, exactly as it is unpredictability. 

Life is characterized by unpredictability and in-formability. This is why living beings are unpredictable and capable of being informed in addition to being able to process and exchange information. If life were not unpredictability and in-formability, then it would be a mystery why living beings are unpredictable and in-formable.

 

 

 

 

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