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Theories of Evolution

Richard Gordon gordonr at CC.UManitoba.CA
Sat Aug 20 09:34:41 EST 1994

There are two problems with the simple idea that entropy increase is
incompatible with evolution: 1) biological evolution occurs in open,
nonequilibrium systems, which can actually provide organized pathways
for increased entropy production; 2) in an expanding universe (and
perhaps an expanding diversity of creatures), the value of the maximum
entropy keeps increasing. See:

Brooks, D. R. & E. O. Wiley (1986). Evolution as Entropy, Toward a Unified
Theory of Biology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 
Brooks, D. R. & E. O. Wiley,  (1988). Evolution as Entropy, Toward a
Unified Theory of Biology,  (rev. ed.) Chicago: University of Chicago
Seielstad, G. A. (1989). At the Heart of the Web: The Inevitable Genesis
of Intelligent Life. Boston: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 
Weber, B. H., D. J. Depew & J. D. Smith (eds.),  (1988). Entropy,
Information, and Evolution: New Perspectives on Physical and Biological
Evolution,  Cambridge: MIT Press. 

-Dick Gordon, U. Manitoba[Aug20,94]

 On 19 Aug 1994, Robert S. McKee wrote:

> In article <brjot1.29.2E5045A0 at MFS01.cc.monash.edu.au>, brjot1 at MFS01.cc.monash.edu.au (Benjamin Jotkowitz) says:
> >
> >Could someone please explain to me simply the theories of Darwin, Lamarck 
> >and others on human evolution. References would also be appreciated.
> >        With thanks in advance,
> >                Benji.
> Simply stated, evolution is the belief that physical systems (in this case biological systems)
> spontaneously through random processes organize themselves into states of
> higher-order.  Unfortunately, this violates the entropy laws which tell us that all physical
> systems tend toward greater disorder.
> Ref:  Thermodynamics With an Introduction to Thermostatistics, 
> Herbert B. Callen, 3rd ed. 

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