is life about the survival of the fittest chemistry?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by globali, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. However it seems to be news of a new technique for studying the organising principles of life, rather than any results from such study.

    A different approach is taken by Jeremy England at MIT. He has a very interesting hypothesis that life is a natural result of the tendency in thermodynamics for entropy to increase. https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-new-thermodynamics-theory-of-the-origin-of-life-20140122

    His claim is that living things dissipate heat ( i.e. increase entropy) more effectively than inanimate matter and that there is therefore a natural driving force towards the development of structures that do that.

    That they do so by virtue of becoming themselves more organised is a nice irony of the hypothesis.

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  3. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Excerpt;
    Would this be a result of the law of "movement in the direction of greatest satisfaction" ?
     
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    How is that not part of a Darwinian explanation for the evolution of X?
     
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    IMO, it is part of Darwinian evolution. I believe all gradual change into a "stronger" or "more efficient" pattern (in the direction of greatest satisfaction) is part of Darwinian evolution even for inanimate objects. Darwin just applied the concept to animals, but mutation and natural selection already happens at molecular scales.
     
  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Very good point. The fact that the person quoted speaks of X and Y "evolving" means an evolutionary process of some sort has to occur. Although this could be one of these epigenetic or other processes I suppose.

    Actually I find England's thermodynamic concept more helpful in addressing abiogenesis biochemistry than evolution. I cannot see how one can ever in practice determine which of two traits (say long legs vs. a long neck, in a giraffe) leads to more efficient energy dissipation. But for evaluating biochemical precursors to life, the idea might possibly add something.
     

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