Is the water in a cup complex? You might regard it as a pile of isolated
water molecules randomly tossed around. Their velocity is distributed according
to the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution.
You are wrong! Actually each water molecule is an oriented vector whose front is occupied by an oxygen atom and the rear by the two hydrogen atoms. Each vector head attempts to get as close as possible to the rear of other vectors, generating complex structures. The Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution presumes that water is isotropic. Molecules behave like isolated billiard balls. Yet these tiny vectors molecules interact and do not resemble billiard balls. Water is anisotropic.
However since the interaction among water molecules is extremely weak, it may be neglected or ignored, which is how statistical mechanics regards water. Which illustrates the central themes of this thread:
1. There does not exist a reliable complexity measure, and the definition of complexity is arbitrary.
2. Randomness does not appear as such in nature. It is a convenient way to describe it.
3. The Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution does not reveal all that nature has to offer. It is an approximation to nature’s complexity.
Some believe that water has a memory. Small impurities change its structure and affect its response, in the same way as impurities do to a semiconductor. Water thus remembers its impurities. Which explains why no two snowflakes are the same. Each remembers different impurities.
Homeopathic medicine relies on water memory during treatment. A drug dissolved in water is diluted many times, until only traces of the drug remain. This method, known as potentiation, is believed to enhance the effect of a drug.
Once you let water flow its complexity becomes oriented. Like in the river that reveals recurring patterns, whorls, and other structures, which depend on its bed and will disappear during stagnation. Or the water flowing from a faucet whose structure depends on the faucet outlet and water velocity.
Oriented complexity is the hallmark of life. Processes in organism are streams of matter, like in the protein assembly line. It starts at the gene which encodes a particular protein. After this information is translated it directs RNA molecules to assemble amino acids into small chains called peptides which gradually grow and become more and more complex whereupon they are called proteins. The growing protein molecule streams away from the gene site toward the cell periphery where it becomes an enzyme.
Since the organism maintains a steady state, for each molecule which starts its voyage at the gene site one dies at the periphery. The molecules obey the fi-fo rule, (the molecule that is formed first also dies first).
Additional reading: The Streaming Organism:
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