Entropy vs. Anti-Entropy (How DNA Defeats the Blackhole)

Discussion in 'Alternative Theories' started by tonylang, Jan 28, 2015.

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  1. tonylang Registered Member

    Entropy vs. Anti-Entropy the two opposing forces that balance the existential equation. Entropy is the tendency (or force if you will) to decrease the organization or complexity of systems. Anti-entropy is the opposite tendency which is to increase the organization of systems. This is simplistically stated but sufficient for our purposes.

    These are the two sides of the war for existence. The goliath in the camp of entropy, and its ultimate expression is the black hole. Although there are many generals that operate on behalf of entropy, the black hole is the beast with no equal that we know of. Likewise, the ultimate expression of anti-entropy is, believe it or not, an equally potent goliath which may seem more like a David, is the DNA molecule. Yes, life is the ultimate expression of the tendency to increase order throughout existence.

    These two opposing forces wage the war for dominance throughout existence. Entropy and its handy work are very familiar to us. The tendency toward disorder of everything around us seems intuitive and obvious even if we aren’t familiar with the terms Entropy and anti-entropy. We realize that even the most robust of structures ultimately are eroded to increasingly minute components. Even the blackhole, after it is good and done carrying out the work of entropy by reducing any organization within its reach, finally circum to its master’s appetite.

    Then there is life. We are part of life. We are privileged enough to have life all around us. Make no mistake however; life may be just as rare as it seems to be in the universe. You see, where a blackhole requires a tremendous amount of hardware (matter) to exist, its nemesis, life requires an equal amount of software to exist. This software is present and contained in DNA’s genome and epigenome combination. That’s right the existential equation is balanced on one side by the likes of blackholes which do the bidding of entropy, and on the other side of the equal sign by the likes of DNA and its constituent structures of anti-entropy.

    Everything that happens in existence, in this universe as well as in all the other universes, in all dimensions, are factors in this equation. You, me, every atom and every planet, the galaxies and quarks, and superstrings everywhere in existence are all factors in the existential equation. And the equation must always balance. Our ancestors although largely ignorant to the concept of entropy had an intuitive feeling about these concepts. They represented them as all seeing gods and their agents. Little did they know that the actual incarnation of their religious ideas and faith had a fundamentally scientific basis in entropy and anti-entropy.

    Interestingly, in our science we have studied entropy far more than anti-entropy. This is curious because it is anti-entropy that created life for the purpose of, and with the power to, independently increase the organization of the universe, even if the only mechanism to do so is to procreate. In this regard humans are an ultimate weapon of sorts in that we have an extra potential for increasing order through science and technology, even while resisting an almost equal pension for creating disorder. But weather we are human, or beaver, or bird, our skills and talents are the least of it. Our DNA is anti-entropies real weapon. Life balances the existential equation. Each DNA molecule on this planet, or anywhere else, contains a magnitude of anti-entropic order able to balance the disorder of an untold number of blackholes working hard for many years.

    Life is how anti-entropy provides the mathematical impact that balances entropies’ unrelenting influence. The cosmic frequency of something coming apart or reducing in complexity is quite high and each occurrence has a tiny probabilistic impact on the grand formula. Whereas the cosmic frequency of DNA level order and the resulting living organisms it produces is comparatively extremely low but each occurrence has a significant probabilistic impact on the grand formula.

    We hardly ever consider how important the software of the universe is to the grand process. We are instinctually hardware rational. The touchy feely is clear to us. But nature operates on levels that we can barely fathom at this point. In nature the ‘small’ packs as much punch as the very large in the existential formula. The quantum particles that ultimately erode the blackhole need no help in doing their work.

    Part of the difficulty for us in understanding the war of the entropies is that much of the battle is invisible to us. After all, how can the order expressed by tiny life forms in a universe balance the epic disorder in that universe? How can the little ‘David’ DNA molecule sustain against the awesome Goliath of a blackhole? You see the war of the entropies is statistical in nature. It is interesting that we all have an innate feeling that nature is somehow governed by statistics or probabilities. Our science has recognized and very accurately quantified the probabilistic nature of existence, which is at the heart of Quantum Physics. The statistics is not the anomaly; it is the point. For existence to persist, the statistics must balance. From the quark to the Galaxy clusters the mathematics must work out. The existential equation must balance. That is why mathematics is the language of the universe and can expose phenomena that we could never see. Existence persists mathematically. In this regard, a single life can statistically balance the contribution of a black hole.

    As the magnitude of entropy reached a critical point in the developing universe anti-entropy operated at the relatively tiniest scales that are less vulnerable to the majority of the chaos reeked by entropic forces like explosions and fire and impacts etc. The smaller things get the harder they are to break apart. While entropy is a very obtuse operator, anti-entropy on the other hand is more subtle. It requires long spans of time to do its work and relatively stable environments, laboratories if you will. These laboratories are principally defined by a relatively low magnitude of entropy. Anti-entropies’ principle ally are the laws of statistical probability which are oddly fundamental to the laws of physics. These laws dictate and enforce that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, every push has a pull, every hot produces a cold, you get the point. These laws together with applicable cosmic speed limits and relativistic mass-energy build up constraints guarantee that however rampant entropy and its agents may get it can’t be everywhere at once in a universe as appropriately immense as this one.

    Nature doesn't require our definitions or our understanding. Nature does and has only ever done one thing and one thing only: "crunch the numbers" balance the math. It is doing that every time you stand on one leg, every time a baby gestates in the womb, every time the mail man puts mail in your mailbox, every time a car hits the brakes, every time a star goes nova, every time a big bang occurs etc. The only thing going on in nature is running the numbers. Everything else emerges from this metaphorical number crunching. We don’t possess the mathematical or computing capabilities to model very much of nature but this is mostly just circumstantial up to a point. We are making steady progress.

    In this article I submit for your consideration that the mathematics of life, if we're ever able to fully realize it we would see is very potent in the mathematics of nature. What exactly is being comparing between the DNA molecule and a Black hole?
    Our most powerful computing systems programmed with our best models running non-stop for months can barley model the folding of a basic protein. Step that concept up to the full expression of a complex protein not to mention the Ribosome which is the tiny factory that builds proteins in living organisms, step that up all the way to modeling a living bacteria.

    This mathematical contribution of DNA and its systems, regardless of how we define them, is potent to the mathematics of nature and each instance is a multiplier of this mathematical potency. Each instance is each DNA strand in each cell that has ever been created in the four plus billion years that DNA has existed on Earth. Put in these terms you can begin to appreciate how earth life has contributed to nature as a very potent mathematical factory contributing to balancing the existential formula.

    On the other hand, we are much more capable of modeling a star like our Sun or even a black hole which we all know are both physically much larger than a DNA molecule or a Ribosome or your cat. As I'm sure you can see size doesn't matter in this regard. Likewise complexity can be deceptive to the human eye but is well defined in mathematical terms. The reason we are more able to model a Star is because the processes that make a star are far simpler mathematically than those that define a protein to a bacteria. Modeling a star is only a few orders of magnitude more difficult than simulating the aerodynamics and thermodynamics of the Space shuttle. Simulating even a single bacteria is far, far more complex.

    I do not presume to suggest how these complex factors combine, or cancel, or interact with each other or even suggest that they are fundamentally separate and distinct entities. On the most fundamental levels I suspect they may be ultimately indistinguishable. Nature balances itself and we can only hope for a glimpse into its workings. There is some profoundly important perspective to be gleaned from the comparisons.
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Anti-entropy seems to be something you have invented. At least, I'm unfamiliar with it. Entropy is usually defined as dS =dQ rev/T (per Clausius), or S = k lnW (per Boltzmann). It is not clear to me from these how you would define anti-entropy.

    Can you point me to a definition?
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  5. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    This is ridiculus. Life is not anti-entropy. Do you think when dew forms on the grass that is anti-entropy? There is no doubt that the entropy of the water decreases when dew forms.

    Life looks like a decreasing entropy because we consume a huge amount of energy to make the order in our bodies. Life increases the entropy of the universe. It looks like life decreases entropy to you because you are looking at the open system and not including the vast amounts of energy that in put into the system (food). We consume 1000s of kcal a day just to maintain ourselves.
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  7. tonylang Registered Member


    This link or any thorough science text may assist you.
    There is no more proof for entropy than there is for anti-entropy these are both symmetrical concepts of each other that mankind has always struggled to comprehend.
    The point of the article is not to simply regurgitate accepted understanding but to bring a new perspective to concepts we may have all seen before but seen differently.
  8. tonylang Registered Member

    No, life is not anti-entropy nor is it entropy nor is it hot or cold or high pressure or low pressure, these are all concepts conceived by mankind to attempt to quantify and understand nature. The article submits for your consideration the role life plays in nature.
  9. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    I'm afraid this is not science at all, it's woo.

    Entropy is an extremely well characterised term in thermodynamics and is fundamental to the understanding of physical and chemical processes. "anti-entropy", as defined by that crank site you linked to, is by its own admission a vague and woolly term. It evidently has no thermodynamic meaning (and I don't believe it will be found in any science text, thorough or otherwise, unless you can provide a reference). So there is no symmetry about it at all.

    All the processes of life are driven by the overall increase in entropy that occurs during metabolism of the organism, as Origin points out above.

    There is no mystery to explain here. As a foetus grows in its mother's womb, the mother/foetus system will decrease in entropy, but that system is not closed. The mother takes in nutrients and oxygen and expels waste, water and carbon dioxide. The net entropy of a closed system including all these components increases.

    Just the same thing happens when water freezes. The entropy of the water decreases, but Latent Heat of Fusion is given off, with the result that the overall entropy of the water plus its immediate environment, i.e. of the whole system, goes up.

    Trying to invent some spurious balance between order and disorder, as if life is somehow required as an antidote to black holes, or whatever it is, is just ignorant mysticism.
  10. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    That is absurd. Entropy may seem like this strange magical thing to you but ask any chemical engineer and you will find it is a huge part of many different thermal processes and is not mysterious.
  11. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    Sorry but life is like any other process in the universe and it increases the entropy of the universe.
  12. tonylang Registered Member

    I've never heard anyone challenge the existence of the concepts of entropy and anti-entropy before.
    I will not spend too much time on this as its not the point of the article but I'll offer this paper and let you do your own research; http://www.di.ens.fr/users/longo/files/CIM/anti-entropy.pdf
  13. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    Well now you have.
    There is one point in the paper where they author imply that there is an increasing level of complexity in life as time goes on. I think that is wrong. An apatosaurus is as complex as any animal today. The authors IMO are quite confused.
  14. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    To be clear, nobody is challenging the concept of entropy. It is the concept of anti-entropy that we are calling into question.

    Thank you for the reference. These French authors appear to be attempting to define anti-entropy, for the first time, in this paper, which dates from 2009. By their own admission it has no meaning in physics. Having read their paper, I honestly wonder if it is a spoof. They seem unable to say what this concept really does: see for example the concluding paragraph, which starts off clearly enough but swiftly degenerates into incomprehensibility, laced with references to Schroedinger, who had no particular competence in analysing biological complexity. There is also a bizarre reference to the equivalence of mass and energy, mentioned in the context of biomass, as if the mass present in living things is somehow made of "energy" as opposed to mass derived from inanimate nutrients etc. Quite baffling and awfully confused.

    The paper seems to me a terrible piece of work. Has it been followed up by others or is it a joke?
  15. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    Life requires constant energy input and other resources to sustain its 'anti-entropy' engine that builds information, and a black hole requires no energy other than gravitation to collapse and render most of its internal informational content incapable of rejoining the universe beyond its event horizon until and unless it evaporates to a mass / energy less than it was shortly before the initial collapse. The black hole wins the entropy tug-of-war hands down.

    Lee Smolin, with whom I find myself mostly in agreement, has a slightly different definition of entropy. Using his definition, maybe it's a slightly closer race, but I still think the bh will ultimately win if put to the test. Even a red giant like our Sun will eventually become will do a pretty fair number on destroying any data stores we have not sent away in space ships bearing time capsules, in about 5 billion years or so. Something as large as a bh is not necessary to destroy what little information we manage to produce, including our DNA.
  16. tonylang Registered Member

    Nature has no dependency upon human beings, nor on our spacecraft, or upon any of our technological constructs. The only life that exists and has ever existed is the living cell in all of its variations regardless of any evolved form cells may assume. For billions of years, here on earth and probably elsewhere, it was and is the cell that holds all of the keys to life and determines the role life assumes in nature.

    Nature is not the hardware of the universe that we perceive such as technology or species or the cell nor its constituent components nor even its atoms or even energy as we understand it. It is only the underlying quantum states (software if you will) of existence that nature operates upon. This software is only comprehensible to us human beings via mathematics.

    What we see as nature is the instant-by-instant interaction of this natural software; everywhere in existence. It is this software that this article compares, not in the usual; how big is it? hardware centric manner to which we inevitably migrate, but rather in terms of natural complexity best expressed mathematically. It is the mathematical potency or density of this software present in life, in the living cell and all of its evolved structures, that is a prime mover in nature. This impact may not be observable via the standard set of properties that we are accustomed to measuring with or usual fair of instrumentation.

    This natural software exists as an ocean of quantum states a fraction of which our science is already familiar with. It comprises all of the structures and phenomena we observe in nature. All of the subatomic particles and forces of the current and any future standard models emerge from this entangled ocean of quantum states, as are every atom and molecule. As well as the planets and stars in all their many forms. So too is life.

    However, life is clearly unlike any other natural phenomena in a number of obvious regards but none that influences nature as does life’s mathematical potency, its software density if you will. Living structures are nature’s most concentrated implementation of nature’s software. You have only to attempt to mathematically simulate living structures vs. non living ones to demonstrate this. In living beings the software potency expressed in its mathematical complexity spikes in a real quantitative manner. Until we’ve developed the mathematics to properly express life we will continue to be at a loss to understand and appreciate the true impact life has upon nature. I suspect that this impact is quite significant if not pivotal at this stage in this universes evolution particularly if earth-life is the only, or one of very few instances of life that exists.
  17. exchemist Valued Senior Member


    OK that's a lot better, without the "anti-entropy" stuff.

    If, by this "software" idea, you mean that all nature follows a certain ordered behaviour arising ultimately from quantum mechanical interactions, then I suppose that must be right. Certainly, as one studies increasingly complex macroscopic phenomena it becomes harder and harder to trace the observed properties and behaviour all the way back to the quantum-scale interactions of the particles of which matter is composed. And again, yes I think it must be true that the chemical and physical processes involved in living organisms are the most complicated systems we know of in nature.

    But I think you are on the wrong track to start speculating about some special mathematics that "expresses" (do you mean "models"?) life and that by understanding this we will somehow see, for the first time the degree of influence of life upon (the rest of?) nature. This seems - on the face of it - to be just a rather mystical assertion. Why do you say this? Do you have any evidence for it?
  18. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    This is a common misconception. Entropy is a thermodynamic quantity - i.e. it is about the movement (dynamics) of heat (thermo), or of energy in general. It is not about the "organization" of "things". Entropy is not the tendency of things to fall apart; it is the tendency of energy to dissipate.
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  19. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Nicely expressed.
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics clearly allows for spatially and/or temporally local reversals of entropy. Our universe will eventually be devoid of organization, but until it reaches that final state, bits of organization will appear and disappear just as they do now.

    Life, specifically, can be defined very simply as a local reversal of entropy. Organisms kill other organisms, destroying the organization they had when living, and use their tissues for nutrition. This manifests as a significant decrease of entropy in the organism that ate the other one, but there is also an increase of entropy in the organism that was eaten.

    The increase of entropy in the now-dead organism is enormous: it will be dead forever, and in fact will continue to decay until the organization that drives its metabolism and keeps its tissues in place is completely gone. Whereas the decrease of entropy in the organism that ate it is of much lesser magnitude. It will have to find another organism to tear apart and eat before too long, and will continue to look for more to eat for the rest of its life. This is but one example of the net change in the entropy of the universe: its entropy continues to increase as it approaches 100%.

    The universe may collapse back in on itself, as all of the particles and antiparticles collide and poof out of existence, or it may continue to expand forever as the particles become so far apart that they almost never collide. In either case, the Second Law of Thermodynamics rules, and entropy trumps everything.
  21. Yazata Valued Senior Member


    For a historical discussion of thinking on entropy and life

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  22. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Thanks for these. However the "anti-entropy" proposed - obscurely - by these French authors not the same as the "negative" entropy mentioned in these references, which is simply a term for an entropy deficit relative to the surroundings and as such can fairly easily be understood.

    In fact the second reference is the more helpful as it clarifies that what Schroedinger was really talking about in his 1944 book was Free Energy. Gibbs Free Energy, G which is expressed in terms of Enthalpy H, takes into account work done by the reactants, or done on them, by the atmosphere (H = U + PV), is what chemists use day in, day out, to account for and predict the direction and extent of chemical reactions and equilibria. It is particularly suitable for chemistry, as most reactions in the lab take place at constant (atmospheric) pressure.

    So, of course, do the chemical reactions that drive the processes of life.

    The key thing to appreciate about free energy is it allows for the trade off that can occur between enthalpy change and entropy change: ΔG = ΔH - TΔS. In nature it frequently occurs that enthalpy pulls one way and entropy pulls the other. One example is the one I gave earlier about water freezing. The enthalpy change is -ve (heat is given off and the system moves to a lower enthalpy state, which is generally favoured), but the entropy decreases, which is generally disfavoured, as shown by the minus sign in front of the TΔS term. Which term wins is determined by the variable in the equation which is T, the temperature. So when T is large, the TΔS term overpowers the enthalpy term and when T is small the reverse happens.

    One can easily treat the processes of living things by this principle as well.
  23. tonylang Registered Member


    This line of thinking is a rational and reasonable extrapolation given that as far as our relationship to the concept of mathematics as being the language of nature goes, we are as earthworms are to the concept of farming. We may have a foot in the mud but it is folly to believe we’ve done more than scratch the surface. Before Newton having practically single handedly develop the Calculus there was no means of expressing dynamic aspects of nature mathematically, after he did… we could.

    Further, if mathematics can describe some of nature then it does ultimately describe all of nature. Life is part of nature. To speak of an unrealized branch of mathematics that could effectively quantify and express (or model if you prefer) living structures is indeed reasonable. Also to take the further small leap to suggest that given the computational indications that in nature a bacterium, for example, may be to the software (natural complexity) of nature as an average star is to the hardware of nature may be strange at first, but not at all unreasonable. “If one cannot handle, ‘strange’ in today’s scientific climate then one should perhaps take up religion.”

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    In other words if each cell(s) that has ever existed on Earth is indeed as fundamentally influential in nature as say, a star is, we begin to see how life, as opposed to non-life, may be a very potent factor to an aspect of nature science doesn't yet acknowledge.
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