Monday, July 23, 2018

Life vs. the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Editorial note: I wrote the paragraph below in my ongoing effort to finish the draft of Chapter 6, about philosophical implications, in my book outline. The paragraph makes a point better than I've made it before. As such I offer the paragraph here as a standalone post.

As we have reviewed before, the 2nd law of thermodynamics challenges us who would explain the existence of Living Things (LTs). The Resource-Patterns Model of Life (RPM) meets this challenge with a theory which offers to explain the increase in material order in some locations (the bodies of LTs), with localized gating or control of the down-gradient flow of matter. Some order is dissipated overall in each interaction (as required by the 2nd law) but properly chosen interventions within the overall flow can create, for a time, locales of increased order. The set of choices required to make these properly chosen interventions becomes the challenge which life must meet. Since we LTs exist, we may infer that life does indeed overcome the challenge. It is a challenge of information processing, a challenge of “mind”. RPM provides a platform in which we observe and experiment with this information processing.

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