In Pursuit of Order

In natural states, disorder rules. But order rules where humans tread.

By Ella Van Dam

The second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy of a system must increase over time. This means that the universe is inevitably spiraling into chaos. Nature refuses order. Morning glory weaves itself around and between shrubs. Roses send shoots of suckers to corrupt pristine lawns. Nothing remains the same as everything claims more energy and space.

We too follow a pattern of disorder. As we move through life we create ripples of chaos. Everything we do causes a disturbance, promoting some form of chaos. This is what nature guarantees but humans resist. While we cannot defy nature, we reject the idea of randomness. The world is full of coincidences, but we don’t let it remain that way.

Sound is all around us constantly. The rustle of the wind through the trees. Birds calling to each other. Even in the absence of outside noise we can hear our own breath and heartbeat. Humans don’t simply accept the presence of sound, we see potential in it. We recognize our ability to manipulate it, to produce something new. In a world of incessant noise, we want music. We find pleasure in creating and listening to song. What would otherwise be random squeaking becomes melody. Our natural instinct to organize creates a richer experience.

Humans gravitate to what is stimulating to our senses, and just as music intrigues our ears, nature captures our eyes. We see the beauty of flowers and wish to give them a grander stage, so we groom gardens. Manicured paths frame beds of bleeding hearts and carnations. Islands of asters provide a pop of color. Gardeners diligently weed out unwanted plants to maintain order. Without human intervention, nature will return to its preferred state of chaos, and gardens will become overgrown. Organization is a constant effort.

Nature will always prevail, and our quest is inevitably a losing battle, but nonetheless we continue to struggle. We do so because we can. Because we have the ability to manipulate nature in ways that wouldn’t otherwise occur. Without human intervention, the world would never know art or innovation. As humans, we recognize the potential of the world around us, and maximize all of it. We find pleasure in creating order from the disorder of the world and will continue to do so forever.

Botanical Gardens by CameliaTWU on Flickr