Energy is eternal delight. WILLIAM BLAKE
No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man. HERACLITUS
A great day for radio and TV yesterday — Aung San Suu Kyi on Desert Island Discs (Radio 4) and Professor Brian Cox's new series on BBC2, Wonders Of Life.
I must confess I've never properly understood the laws of thermodynamics, but Professor Brian Cox explained the first two laws with stunning clarity.
The first law of thermodynamics states that energy is always conserved, that every bit of energy contained in the Big Bang at the creation of the universe is around today but in different forms. The evolution of the universe is simply — or not so simply — the transformation of that energy. Energy is not created or destroyed; it is eternal.
And the second law of thermodynamics states that everything in the universe tends towards decay, disorder and entropy. (So don't worry about things like Venice gradually sinking and disappearing into the lagoon. It's meant to!)
I found this all connected with other stuff I learnt last night on the Radio 4 programme Something Understood. For instance, that in each seven year period of our lives all our body cells completely change and renew themselves. Our characters and personalities aside, we are physically not the same people we were seven years ago.
One thing is certain in this precious life and in this astonishing universe: everything is changing, evolving, being transformed the whole time, and the energy this takes is never lost, just dynamically reshaped and reconfigured.
And all living things are connected, and all share DNA, the blueprint of life — and we human beings still share some of the same DNA code to be found in even the earliest, simplest and most primitive of creatures.