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  #1  
Unread January 27th, 2009, 04:12 PM
James Brody James Brody is offline
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Arrow Thermodynamics & Biology

from a listserve...

"N.H. Barton & J.B. Coe, 2009. On the application of statistical physics to evolutionary biology. Jour. Theoretical Biology IN REVIEW. Expanding upon the work of Guy Sella et al., Nick Barton & Jonathan Coe write: 'There is a close analogy between statistical thermodynamics and the evolution of allele frequencies under mutation, selection, and random drift. ...This analogy with statistical thermodynamics brings together previous ideas in a general framework, and justifies a maximum entropy approximation to the dynamics of quantitative traits. ...We believe that the analogy with thermodynamics may lead to a better understanding of just how natural selection builds up the information that specifies complex organisms'."
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  #2  
Unread January 29th, 2009, 11:01 PM
ToddStark ToddStark is offline
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Default Re: Thermodynamics & Biology

Intriguing irony!
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  #3  
Unread January 30th, 2009, 09:22 AM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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Default Re: Thermodynamics & Biology

The authors say:
Quote:
We believe that the analogy with thermodynamics may lead to a better understanding of just how natural selection builds up the information that specifies complex organisms.
Todd says “intriguing irony.”

I OTOH, find their sentiments to be little more than nonsense, a non sequitur of sorts.

The 2lot tells us that entropy (or roughly randomness) only increases. A result of NS, OTOH, at least by their reckoning, is an increase in information. How does the inexorable increase in entropy (randomness) resemble their increase in information? It’s doesn’t.

Using the 2lot to explain evolution is rather silly, except in the sense that the 2lot tells us that the only reason there is a 2lot is b/c entropy was/is so inexplicably low in the first place, and that reality is what has made the evolution of life possible. Again, the mystery is why/how entropy ever got to be so low in the first place.

Here’s a more reasonable statement:
Quote:
Because we find ourselves in a universe having inexplicably low entropy, we can actually observe much micro-evolution resulting from mutations and selection pressures.
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