Temporal Anisotropy . In a short video clip showing two billiard balls bouncing off each other, forward and backward in time are indistinguishable if one ignores friction and inelasticity. In a longer video of a billiards break, the future is the end in which the balls are no longer in a nicely ordered triangle. If causes can be attributed to effects as easily as effects can be attributed to causes, then causal laws do not distinguish past and future, and the future for an event is the direction of increasing disorder in the system. Traces and memories of the past are a localized increase in order at the expense of an increase in system-wide disorder. Due to statistical considerations, some systems can cycle between order and disorder. In such systems the direction locally considered to be future can vary over the timeline of the system.
Robert G. Edwards was born in 1925 in Batley, England. After military service in the Second World War, he studied biology at the University of Wales in Bangor and at Edinburgh University in Scotland, where he received his PhD in 1955 with a Thesis on embryonal development in mice. He became a staff scientist at the National Institute for Medical Research in London in 1958 and initiated his research on the human fertilization process. From 1963, Edwards worked in Cambridge, first at its university and later at Bourn Hall Clinic, the world's first IVF centre, which he founded together with Patrick Steptoe. Edwards was its research director for many years and he was also the editor of several leading scientific journals in the area of fertilization. Robert Edwards is currently professor emeritus at the University of Cambridge.