Entropy Is Not What It Used To Be
Dear Everybody,

This is a awesome article on "Why doesn’t life and evolution violate the second law of thermodynamics? Don’t living things reverse entropy?"

Apparently 99% of all our food that we eat goes into fighting entropy, replacing our skin and cells. It also explains how plants seem go from high entropy (dirt, water and air) to low entropy (a plant,"ordered")


http://www.askamathematician.com/2013/03/q-why-doesnt-life-and-evolution-violate-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics-dont-living-things-reverse-entropy/


I also found this article rather interesting an interesting article on how brain entropy was measure to increase with age. Using fMRI, it was a bit too complicated for my understanding. But still found the idea facinating. Measuring Entropy within the brain? Dice is one thing but the brain.... Thoughts anyone?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3793229/

P.S not academically related but this is an awsome short sci-fi called "The last Question" by Isaac Asimov, on the topic of whether Entropy can ever be reversed.

edit:
Nic Brown




Yeeeeeees. I'm sure this is absolutely right, except: remember that, IMO, equating entropy with order makes it harder to understand, not easier. Words like "order" are just so ambiguous. This is especially clear in cosmology, but really it's true everywhere.

I do like "The Last Question". Very relevant! Thanks!

If people want marks for their contributions to these discussion pages, they might like to add their names, for reasons which are probably obvious!

Jason





If you think of entropy in terms of 'micro-states' then does life really reduce entropy? I've been trying to imagine how life would be reducing the number of total micro-states, I'm not really sure how you could actually tell.

I agree with Jason that entropy in terms of disorder doesn't really make sense, how is an organism really more ordered than a pile of dirt/gas? If something is made from a bunch of other simpler things, how is it then more 'ordered' than the components it was made from? I would think that life is more 'disordered' as everything that makes up an organism would have an increased number of possible 'micro-states' than if those same components remained in the dirt/ in the air.

Bryce Rock - u4838645




Thanks, Bryce.

Yup. It's a mystery to me why anyone ever says that life reduces entropy.

By the way, for people who are still using the discussion board, it's no longer worth participation marks now that the teaching period's finished, but you're still extremely welcome to use it, forever basically, including using it to discuss the final assignment.

Jason