Thermodynamics and abiogenesis, new theory
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23-01-2014, 11:55 PM
Thermodynamics and abiogenesis, new theory
Great article, I like the idea that life is thermodynamically "preferable" and hopefully it will get verified *crosses fingers irrationally*

https://www.simonsfoundation.org/quanta/...y-of-life/

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24-01-2014, 12:12 AM
RE: Thermodynamics and abiogenesis, new theory
Love his creativity and imagination.
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24-01-2014, 12:16 AM
RE: Thermodynamics and abiogenesis, new theory
Not new theory so much as new theorizer. Tongue

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27-01-2014, 02:28 PM
RE: Thermodynamics and abiogenesis, new theory
A book I can highly recommend on the subject is Into the cool: Energy flow, thermodynamics and life, which elaborates not just on the origin of life, but a thermodynamic theory of life in general. About how the 2nd law of thermodynamics operates to transform higher grades of energy into complex physical phenomena (of which life is just one among many) in the context of energy and material gradients. Should be accessible to laymen.

It also gives a nice review of the history surrounding the subject of thermodynamics, and how thinking on the subject in both physics and biology eventually lead to the development of thermodynamics and subsequently altered how we see physical systems through statistical physics and quantum theory. Which in turn now also changed how we see life (and it's origin).

Oh and, since it is written from the viewpoint of the 2nd law of thermodynamics, you can't help but understanding the law better after having read it. Which can never be a bad thing, since there's so many misconceptions about the 2nd law of thermodynamics going around.

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29-01-2014, 04:49 AM
RE: Thermodynamics and abiogenesis, new theory
Thanks Rumraket.

I haven't had time to read the OP's link properly yet, I fully intend to though. One of my experiments I started in 2006 and have been toying with for several years since was an abstract model to see what thermodynamic properties were required for self-reproducing patterns to come from a collection of simple particles that can bind together. I haven't yet published the results, I am not sure they are interesting enough.

I could get a random bunch of simple abstract particles to clump together and to even feed off their environment and other clumps, but I couldn't get them to reproduce. I was testing the ideas of Eric Chaison who postulated that it was the waves of increasing energy that disrupted systems causing them to break apart and come together to form more complex structures. I didn't find that was required.

I definitely recommend Chaison's book 'Epic of Evolution: Seven Ages of the Cosmos'. It describes much the same thing, how complexity has risen from the very beginnings of the universe due to thermal gradients caused by the expansion of the universe. He starts to skimp a bit when he discusses the transition from chemical to biological complexity so the book you recommend might fill in the gaps.

I came to the conclusion that I needed to completely re-write my experiment as a 3D continuous model rather than a 2D discrete grid which is quite a bit of work.
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