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Origin of Order: Emergence and Evolution of Biological Organization as a Problem in Thermal Physics

DOI: 10.5923/j.als.20110101.06

Keywords: Second Law Of Thermodynamics, Entropy, Law Of Temporal Hierarchies, Supramolecular Thermodynamics, Biological Evolution

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Abstract:

According to a mechanistic and naturalistic view of the origin of life, the reality is evolution — a single process of self-transformation started from a primordial chaotic or random state of matter reaching to modifications through natural selection. The simplest form of life requires thousands of different kinds of molecules, to produce very complex protein DNA and RNA molecules subunits arranged in a precise sequence. Chemical and physical processes acted for many hundreds of millions of years, before true cellular life was brought into being. Biological evolution was able to create complex, harmonic, and very effective biocybernetic control systems governing the DNA behavior and the evolution of animal cognition abilities. But the present postulates on the origin of life do not satisfy the criteria of a scientific immensity theory, where all related laboratory experiments are mere exercises in organic chemistry. The immensity of the problem is appreciated by physics through applying the thermodynamics laws which are indeed universal. The catalysts in biological systems are coded in the genes of the DNA, so is a fourth law needed for thermodynamics about the self-organizing phenomena observed in biology? Can the physics-based theories robustly address phenomena of emergence and evolution without having recourse to the type of vitalism that was in the beginning of the twentieth century? Is the origin of life beclouded because we don't know enough about thermodynamics? Why this should be called a scientific attitude when all the scientific evidences continue to support special creation, or indeed an omnipotent Creator?

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