Life Works Against the Tide of Entropy

The harsh, demystifying light of science has left the modern biologist with one last miracle, a miracle of organization. Somehow, back in the planet's youth, molecules organized themselves into a structure that could reproduce itself. Dust quickened, and into an inanimate world came animation. All the rest has followed, the flight of the pelican, the fragrance of a baby's skin, the songs of wolf and whale. These latter developments are relatively recent and we know in a general way how they came about. We can roughly trace their evolution backward. They are miracles several times removed.

But the original quickening was an entirely new principle. It was something like an idea, a beneficence. It was a miracle. That it happened here on earth, is more than one small planet could ever hope for.

One of the wonders of the new principle is, having come into being it endured. There are potent forces of disorganization loose in the universe. Order is the exception here, increasing disorder is the rule. When a bullet strikes a rock--and time and the universe are full of this kind of violence--the energy of the bullet's motion is translated into random motions of the bullet's atoms and the atoms of the rock become hot. Heat is the scribbly signature of disordered energy. The event is irreversible. Disordered energy can't reassemble itself into the orderly kinetic energy of the moving bullet and fly backward down the barrel of the gun. It's a one-way street, an incline down which order slides. That's how the cosmic cookie crumbles.


While everything else in the universe is trending toward disorder, life works against the trend.

Folksonomies: life entropy thermodynamics

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Energy (0.964560): dbpedia | freebase
Force (0.765260): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Universe (0.738145): dbpedia | freebase
Atom (0.661951): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Heat (0.649629): dbpedia | freebase
Potential energy (0.648241): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Kinetic energy (0.638858): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Thermodynamics (0.615477): dbpedia | freebase

 Miracle Earth
Periodicals>Magazine Article:  Brower, Kenneth and Brower, David (10/01/1978), Miracle Earth, Omni Magazine, October 1978, Retrieved on 2012-12-25
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: science speculation science fiction


    30 DEC 2013

     Life Fights Entropy

    Memes on the fact that life is increasing organization in a world of increasing chaos.
    Folksonomies: life entropy thermodynamics
    Folksonomies: life entropy thermodynamics