Evolution and Entropy

Jon Bell jtbell at cs1.presby.edu
Thu Jan 27 11:10:39 EST 1994

In article <jruspini.1.000E4FD5 at mail.sas.upenn.edu>,
Jason M Ruspini <jruspini at mail.sas.upenn.edu> wrote:
>...   I say that it does not because the internal physical 
>order gained by a biological system is outweighed by the external chemical 
>disorder it causes when it evolves. 

In order to have life at all, you need a massive input of energy from the
sun.  As the sun "burns," its entropy increases by an amount which far
outweighs the decrease in entropy caused by living processes on earth. 
So you need to enlarge your "system" a bit in order to apply the second
law of thermodynamics properly.

Jon Bell <jtbell at presby.edu>                        Presbyterian College
Dept. of Physics and Computer Science        Clinton, South Carolina USA

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