Lovelock Gets the Second Law of Thermodynamics Wrong

Let us again look at the laws of thermodynamics. It is true that at first sight they read like the notice at the gait of Dante's Hell; but in fact, tough as they are and although like income tax they cannot without penalyt be evaded, they can with forethought be avoided. The Second Law states unequivocally that the entropy of an open system must increase. Since we are all open systems, this means that all of us are doomed to die.


He gets this backwards. The Second Law only applies to closed systems. We and our planet are not closed systems, we are open systems; therefore, mortality is not required of us. In fact, the second law states that, so long as we can keep exporting entropy by taking in energy from outside sources, we can live forever.

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 Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Lovelock, James (2000-11-23), Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth, Oxford University Press, USA, Retrieved on 2011-04-11
Folksonomies: evolution gaia environmentalism earth ecology


11 APR 2011

 We Can Live Forever

Death is Not a Law of Biology > Contrast > Lovelock Gets the Second Law of Thermodynamics Wrong
There is not biological law that says we must die, and since we are open systems, we can potentially live for as long as we can get external energy from somewhere in the Universe.