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Can We Defeat Entropy?

Can We Defeat Entropy?

The world is a dangerous place for life to survive in, and if we look beyond the localized dangers of our planet, a cosmic force stands ever ready to destroy life. It is called entropy, the universal tendency for order to break down into disorder.

Entropy came into existence at the instant of the Big Bang; starting with the creation of the universe, heat, light, and all other forms of energy have been dissipating, spreading out over time as the universe expands. This tendency to spread out, moving energy to less concentrated areas, is entropy. Entropy is a one-way arrow. An aged body doesn’t automatically turn young again.

Whenever matter and energy collect into orderly patterns, entropy is defied, but physics has always held that these “islands of negative entropy” are temporary, even though some of them – planets, stars, galaxies – endure a very long time.

Eventually stars burn out, planets lose their orbital momentum, galaxies dissipate. The planet earth is an island of negative entropy that feeds off the borrowed energy of sunlight; when the sunlight is no more, we will succumb to entropy, growing cold and lifeless. Entropy is dragging the entire cosmos down to its end, when all energy will be evenly distributed across the vastness of space.

This ultimate “heat death” lies billions of years in the future, but every molecule is being pushed toward it. Some of the most fundamental building blocks of matter, such as the proton, are so long-lived that it takes aeons for them to decay, while other exotic subatomic particles, such as the meson, flash into physical existence for a few millionths of a second before winking out of sight again.

The breakdown of orderliness is inherent in the physical makeup of the universe, but it is at the core of the reason why our bodies deteriorate and age over time. If we want to defeat aging, we must first learn how to defeat entropy.
Adapted from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1998).

Read more: Deepak Chopra's Tips, Spirit,

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.

66 comments

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8:10AM PST on Feb 9, 2013

An interesting topic for the future

10:09AM PDT on Mar 29, 2012

I believe that time is just an illusion and not linear.Things run in cycles and just as things supposedly die they are also reborn.We don't know it yet but I believe that the big bang is something that is recurrant.I do not know how and maybe we never will know for sure but it must repeat itself...there can never be nothing...nothing just does not exist.Things change into different forms of energy they never just cease to exist.I am no scientist but I have somehow always sensed this since I was a kid.I know that I have always existed and I always will,eternally,just not in the same form.Conscience is everywhere and in everything that too never ceases to exist.I believe conscience is the key to all existence.Maybe when we elevate our conscienceness someday we will come to understand all there is in the universe.

2:24PM PST on Feb 29, 2012

Interesting. Thanks.

9:23AM PST on Feb 29, 2012

and the recycling of all matter

recreates each moment

actually - quite a miracle to wrap our pea brains around, but we're grasping a particle of it,... :)

9:20AM PST on Feb 29, 2012

the infinite information loop

entropy included - an infinite loop

things change - infinitely

9:16AM PST on Feb 29, 2012

so happy that the world is not ruled by logic alone

pragmatists count beans

those who think outside the bean jar see a much bigger landscape

and by their vision - we not only count beans
we are in awe of their being > beans
as we as our own being-ness
and the ability to see can be experienced far beyond the ability to count beans, stars, money,

or anything we mere mortals can describe

- yes, entropy, is a small concept in the greater reality, of which we see very little,.... -

5:19AM PST on Dec 14, 2010

Any physicist will tell you the answer is 'no'.

1:04AM PDT on Sep 11, 2010

It seems that your définition of entropy is too vague: we CAN understand that there is micro part of thé big Universal world where entropy is fighted by human Life with help of a désigner or God , and for compenstion there is around a marger macro world where entropy is increasing a lot more than in all thé worl , this idea is coming from some comments of Bible or Talmud ,
Time has been created at thé big bang launching Life and place to develop microworld with less entropy ,and in a few 15 billions of years this world Will receave probably a big chock from outside :so we CAN fight and create a small micro world of harmony - you are doing that evryday with your family Life ,or in a small Time with your thinking well,
thanks for care2 to bring this debate !!!

7:50PM PDT on Sep 1, 2010

The only constant is change. You can try fighting it, but you're just wasting energy...like trying to swim against the current.

6:36PM PDT on Sep 1, 2010

I agree with Bob C. we should just let it be. trying to defeat entropy would get in the way of me letting go of that I can not control.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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