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A related topic is the probability that life would emerge, which has been discussed in several studies, for example by Russell Doolittle. In Azua-Bustos and Vega argued that disregarding the type of lifeform that could be envisioned both on Earth and elsewhere in the Universe, all should share in common the attribute of being entities that decrease their internal entropy at the expense of free energy obtained from its surroundings.
As entropy allows the quantification of the degree of disorder in a system, any envisioned lifeform must have a higher degree of order than its supporting environment. These authors showed that by using fractal mathematics analysis alone, they could readily quantify the degree of structural complexity difference and thus entropy of living processes as distinct entities separate from their similar abiotic surroundings.
This approach may allow the future detection of unknown forms of life both in the Solar System and on recently discovered exoplanets based on nothing more than entropy differentials of complementary datasets morphology, coloration, temperature, pH, isotopic composition, etc. Contrary to inanimate matter, organisms maintain the particular order of their bodily structures and inner worlds which they impose onto their surroundings and forward to new generations.
The life of an organism or the species ceases as soon as it loses that ability. In higher organisms, information is acquired mainly through receptors and metabolised in the nervous system. The result is action - some form of motion , for example locomotion , speech , internal motion of organs, secretion of hormones etc. The reaction of organism becomes an informational signal to other organisms. Information metabolism , which allows to maintain the order, is possible only if a hierarchy of value exists, as the signals coming to the organism must be structured.
In humans that hierarchy has three levels i. Uncertainty, arising due to the conflict between competing perceptual and behavioral affordances , is experienced subjectively as anxiety. For nearly a century and a half, beginning with Clausius' memoir "On the Concentration of Rays of Heat and Light, and on the Limits of its Action", much writing and research has been devoted to the relationship between thermodynamic entropy and the evolution of life.
He posed, "How does the living organism avoid decay? This software seems to control by "specifying an algorithm, or set of instructions, for creating and maintaining the entire organism containing the cell. Nutrition is necessary but not sufficient to account for growth in size as genetics is the governing factor. At some point, organisms normally decline and die even while remaining in environments that contain sufficient nutrients to sustain life. The controlling factor must be internal and not nutrients or sunlight acting as causal exogenous variables.
Organisms inherit the ability to create unique and complex biological structures; it is unlikely for those capabilities to be reinvented or be taught each generation. Therefore, DNA must be operative as the prime cause in this characteristic as well. Applying Boltzmann's perspective of the second law, the change of state from a more probable, less ordered and high entropy arrangement to one of less probability, more order, and lower entropy seen in biological ordering calls for a function like that known of DNA.
DNA's apparent information processing function provides a resolution of the paradox posed by life and the entropy requirement of the second law. In , American biochemist Albert Lehninger argued that the "order" produced within cells as they grow and divide is more than compensated for by the "disorder" they create in their surroundings in the course of growth and division. In a study titled "Natural selection for least action" published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A.
In this view, evolution explores possible paths to level differences in energy densities and so increase entropy most rapidly. Thus, an organism serves as an energy transfer mechanism, and beneficial mutations allow successive organisms to transfer more energy within their environment. Entropy is well defined for equilibrium systems, so objections to the extension of the second law and of entropy to biological systems, especially as it pertains to its use to support or discredit the theory of evolution, have been stated.
However, entropy is well defined much more broadly based on the probabilities of a system's states, whether or not the system is a dynamic one for which equilibrium could be relevant. Even in those physical systems where equilibrium could be relevant, 1 live systems cannot persist in isolation and 2 the second principle of thermodynamics does not require that free energy be transformed into entropy along the shortest path: live organisms absorb energy from sunlight or from energy-rich chemical compounds and finally return part of such energy to the environment as entropy heat and low free-energy compounds such as water and CO 2.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. December Library of America. In , American historian Henry Adams printed and distributed to university libraries and history professors the small volume A Letter to American Teachers of History proposing a theory of history based on the second law of thermodynamics and on the principle of entropy.
More recent work has restricted the discussion to Gibbs free energy because biological processes on Earth normally occur at a constant temperature and pressure, such as in the atmosphere or at the bottom of an ocean, but not across both over short periods of time for individual organisms. In , Rudolf Clausius published his noted memoir "On the Concentration of Rays of Heat and Light, and on the Limits of Its Action" wherein he outlined a preliminary relationship, as based on his own work and that of William Thomson Lord Kelvin , between his newly developed concept of entropy and life.
In , building on the works of Clausius and Kelvin, Boltzmann reasoned:. The general struggle for existence of animate beings is not a struggle for raw materials — these, for organisms, are air, water and soil, all abundantly available — nor for energy which exists in plenty in any body in the form of heat, but a struggle for [negative] entropy , which becomes available through the transition of energy from the hot sun to the cold earth. In , American civil engineer Richard Sears McCulloh , in his Treatise on the Mechanical Theory of Heat and its Application to the Steam-Engine , which was an early thermodynamics textbook, states, after speaking about the laws of the physical world, that "there are none that are established on a firmer basis than the two general propositions of Joule and Carnot ; which constitute the fundamental laws of our subject.
McCulloch then declares that the applications of these two laws, i. He then states:.
When we reflect how generally physical phenomena are connected with thermal changes and relations, it at once becomes obvious that there are few, if any, branches of natural science which are not more or less dependent upon the great truths under consideration. Nor should it, therefore, be a matter of surprise that already, in the short space of time, not yet one generation, elapsed since the mechanical theory of heat has been freely adopted, whole branches of physical science have been revolutionized by it.
McCulloch then gives an example of the second law, where he states that friction , especially in the smaller blood vessels, must develop heat. Without doubt, animal heat is thus in part produced. In conclusion, he summarizes his first and second law argument as such:. Everything physical being subject to the law of conservation of energy , it follows that no physiological action can take place except with expenditure of energy derived from food; also, that an animal performing mechanical work must from the same quantity of food generate less heat than one abstaining from exertion, the difference being precisely the heat equivalent of that of work.
In the book What is Life? Let me say first, that if I had been catering for them [physicists] alone I should have let the discussion turn on free energy instead.
It is the more familiar notion in this context. But this highly technical term seemed linguistically too near to energy for making the average reader alive to the contrast between the two things. This is what is argued to differentiate life from other forms of matter organization. In this direction, although life's dynamics may be argued to go against the tendency of second law, which states that the entropy of an isolated system tends to increase, it does not in any way conflict or invalidate this law, because the principle that entropy can only increase or remain constant applies only to a closed system which is adiabatically isolated, meaning no heat can enter or leave.
Whenever a system can exchange either heat or matter with its environment, an entropy decrease of that system is entirely compatible with the second law.
In , James Lovelock was among a group of scientists who were requested by NASA to make a theoretical life detection system to look for life on Mars during the upcoming space mission. In recent years, the thermodynamic interpretation of evolution in relation to entropy has begun to utilize the concept of the Gibbs free energy , rather than entropy.
The Gibbs free energy is given by:. The minimization of the Gibbs free energy is a form of the principle of minimum energy , which follows from the entropy maximization principle for closed systems. Moreover, the Gibbs free energy equation, in modified form, can be utilized for open systems when chemical potential terms are included in the energy balance equation.
In a popular textbook, Principles of Biochemistry , noted American biochemist Albert Lehninger argues that the order produced within cells as they grow and divide is more than compensated for by the disorder they create in their surroundings in the course of growth and division. In short, according to Lehninger, "living organisms preserve their internal order by taking from their surroundings free energy , in the form of nutrients or sunlight, and returning to their surroundings an equal amount of energy as heat and entropy.
Similarly, according to the chemist John Avery , from his book Information Theory and Evolution , we find a presentation in which the phenomenon of life, including its origin and evolution, as well as human cultural evolution, has its basis in the background of thermodynamics , statistical mechanics , and information theory. The apparent paradox between the second law of thermodynamics and the high degree of order and complexity produced by living systems, according to Avery, has its resolution "in the information content of the Gibbs free energy that enters the biosphere from outside sources.
The second law of thermodynamics applied on the origin of life is a far more complicated issue than the further development of life, since there is no "standard model" of how the first biological lifeforms emerged; only a number of competing hypotheses. The problem is discussed within the area of abiogenesis , implying gradual pre-Darwinian chemical evolution. In , Alexander Oparin suggested that sufficient energy was provided in a primordial soup. The Belgian scientist Ilya Prigogine was awarded with a Nobel prize in for an analysis in this area. A related topic is the probability that life would emerge, which has been discussed in several studies, for example by Russell Doolittle.
Can anyone suggest some books that are about step siblings falling in love? It would be great if it were a teen book!.
Well written but gosh I hate it when it stops and costs to find out what happens to the characters. We have a small team of fantastic programmers who have accomplished a lot, but we can't do it alone!. Relationships with siblings are ineradicably fixed in our psyches.