Jeremy England’s Theory of Evolution Explains Snowflakes to Bitcoin

Alex Millar
Dec 18, 2014 · 4 min read

Now, a young physicist at MIT named Jeremy England has published a paper that explains how the force of life is… dissipating heat.

His theory helps to explains everything from snowflakes to flowers to humans to bitcoin and makes the origin of life “as unsurprising as rocks rolling downhill.”

The Technical Details

England begins his mathematical Voyage of the Beagle with a premise: a particle is bombarded by energy. The particle can rearrange into two possible structures, which absorb energy … and dissipate heat differently. Through statistical analysis, England shows that the rearrangement ‘chosen’ by the particles will be the one that dissipates heat faster. From there, England derives ‘equation (8)':

Equation (8) from “Statistical Physics of Adaptation”

The universe re-arranges to increase its metabolism.

Most experts agree that England’s theoretical results are valid. Tests are currently being designed on both living and non-living systems to provide supporting evidence, (or to prove England wrong.) England himself is now developing computer simulations to test his theory.

Supporting Evidence

England’s theory supports Darwin’s theory from below: plants that absorb more sunlight grow higher. Animals that eat more food grow stronger. However, England’s theory applies to a much greater set of phenomena, even replication itself. England states: “A great way of dissipating more heat is to make more copies of yourself.”

Could the driving force behind snowflakes be the dissipation of heat?

The Future

Humans and animals seem to have a natural drive to be active; to metabolize. Could computer chips be propelled by the same fundamental force? In 2009, a small group of people started buying retired computer chips used by gamers. Although the gaming chips used lots of electricity, they were able to be profitably used to build a database called the Bitcoin blockchain. Despite opposition from some of the most powerful authorities in the world, bitcoin has grown exponentially, and the chips used to build it continue to increase in both efficiency and metabolic rate. Bitcoin now uses about as much electricity as the entire country of Ireland.

An early bitcoin mining rig being cooled by fans

    Alex Millar

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