Preprint Short Note Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Life and Evolution in Terms of Maximum Entropy Production Principle

Version 1 : Received: 29 April 2020 / Approved: 2 May 2020 / Online: 2 May 2020 (15:54:19 CEST)

How to cite: Martyushev, L. Life and Evolution in Terms of Maximum Entropy Production Principle. Preprints 2020, 2020050017. Martyushev, L. Life and Evolution in Terms of Maximum Entropy Production Principle. Preprints 2020, 2020050017.


Maximum entropy production principle (MEPP) has been formulated in the mid-twentieth century, and today it has acquired the status of an important principle of science, which is extremely effective in considering various non-equilibrium problems. In this study, for the first time, definition of life is based on an easily measurable physical quantity that is entropy production. Life and evolution are discussed from the point of view of MEPP and the Universe, but not a human


definition of life; evolution; entropy production; MEPP


Biology and Life Sciences, Biophysics

Comments (2)

Comment 1
Received: 6 August 2020
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: Very important to remember!

Thermodynamic entropy is not needed to identify the direction of natural processes

G.P. Gladyshev
N. N. Semenov Institute of Chemical Physics of RAS
New results confirm the assertion that thermodynamic entropy, as a separate function, is not needed to identify spontaneous processes that occur according to the second law of thermodynamics in natural systems.
Key words: thermodynamics, entropy, second principle, hierarchies, stability, evolution.

More than 20 years have passed since the creation of the journal Entropy. In my opinion, the appearance of the journal is quite justified, if only because many problems of science are now identified that are associated with modern concepts of diverse ideas about entropy. In addition, misunderstandings related to the fact that science has become a mass phenomenon and many non-professional researchers, amateurs, and visionaries appear among scientists have been identified. This is especially manifested in thermodynamics - area of knowledge that require profound professionalism.
"Entropy" journal was founded by Dr. Shu-Kun Lin, who decided to publish all the works concerning all the various ideas about entropy, often related only to the term itself, but not its physical meaning. So, it was supposed to publish the ideas of I. R. Prigogine on the production of entropy in systems far from equilibrium, when “entropy” is a kinetic function, since it does not have a full differential. Dr. After 20 years of hard work, Shu-Kun concluded that Prigogine’s theory of said entropy “does not conform with the second law of thermodynamics”.
At that time, I often spoke with the Editor-in-Chief of the new journal and shared his point of view in publishing in the journal research using various ideas about entropy. Although I relied in my publications only on the concepts of classical thermodynamic entropy in accordance with the works of Rudolf Clausius, J. W. Gibbs, K. Denbigh, F. Daniels, R. Alberty and other classics.
The purpose of this brief note is to once again draw the attention of researchers to the inappropriateness of using the concept of thermodynamic entropy to identify the direction of spontaneous processes in natural systems that proceed in accordance with the second law of thermodynamics and can be a subject of experimental researches.
Currently, new publications have appeared that draw attention to the fact that a change in the thermodynamic entropy does not determine the direction of spontaneous processes in real natural biological systems, which are close to equilibrium quasi-equilibrium systems.
All equilibrium and close to equilibrium systems can be characterized by state functions, including entropy. At the same time, these systems are not simple isolated systems. The ideas about the production of entropy by L. Boltzmann, E. Schrödinger, I. Prigogine allow us only to assert an increase in the entropy of the Universe and cannot be experimentally verified. In these cases, entropy cannot determine the direction of spontaneous processes in real systems. The increase in the entropy of L. Boltzmann is applicable to identify the direction of spontaneous processes only to simple isolated systems, the internal energy of which is constant and in which no work is performed, other than the work of expansion.
The direction of spontaneous natural processes close to equilibrium is determined by the Gibbs free energy, which tends to a minimum. Hierarchical thermodynamics, created on the basis of the extended Gibbs theory, is the physical foundation of extended Darwinism, applicable to the evolution of all hierarchies of the universe. The evolutionary thermodynamic theory of “hierarchically multidirectional forces” is based on the principle of substance stability and does not need to be understood about entropy as a function that reveals the direction of spontaneous processes in nature.

The concept of the entropy of natural systems far from equilibrium, as well as the concept of the production of entropy of natural systems close to equilibrium, as a separate parameter striving for an extreme value, should not be used to identify the direction of spontaneous processes in the study of natural phenomena.

1. Shu-Kun Lin. Molecular Diversity Preservation International Entropy 1999, 1(1), 1.
2. Gladyshev G.P. On General Physical Principles of Biological Evolution, International Journal of Research Studies in Biosciences. 2017, Volume 5, Issue 3, Page No: 5-10. 3. Georgi Gladyshev, Hierarchical Thermodynamics: Foundation of Extended Darwinism. "Imperial Journal of Interdisciplinary Research (IJIR), 2017
4. Hierarchical thermodynamics 5. Gladyshev G.P. The time has come to revive and develop the classics: hierarchical thermodynamics and life, Norwegian Journal of development of the International Science, №26/2019, Vol. 2, pp. 15-20. ISSN 3453-9875
6. Spyros G Tzafestas. Energy, Information, Feedback, Adaptation, and Self-organization: The Fundamental Elements of Life and Society. Springer International Publishing, Jan 29, 2019 -Technology & Engineering
7. Life - A Complex Spontaneous Process Takes Place against the Background of Non-Spontaneous Processes Initiated by the Environment
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Comment 2
Received: 18 October 2021
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: The comment of prof. Gladyshev is apparently correct but it suffers of the limitations of many thermodynamics treatements after the pubblication of the H. G. Callen book Thermodynamics in 1960. In that book Callen proved definitely that a thermodynamic system may be analysed coherently from a mathematical point of view inidcating exactly the set of variables in which it is analysed. The set of variables to introduce energy and entropy is a set of extensive variables, while the common set of variables to introduce Gibbs free energy is a set in which P and T (intensive variables) are present. From this poiint of view S=S(U,V,N) while (one of ) its Legendre transform is G=G(P,T,N); in their respective set of variables S is maximum and G is minimum at equilibriium if the system is unique and the informational content of its mathematical description is fully equivalent. The approach of prof. Gladyshev is the typical approach of general chemistry which neglects the mathematical coherence rigidly applied by Callen; the entropy in that case has an unknown variable set or eventually is defined in terms of P and T which reduces its informational content for the system in study.
As a consequence the claim of the author that entropy production may be used fro a general life definition is in my opinion correct; eventually I have to note that the specific entropy production of a star may depend on its temperature and so it may vary along its radius, being its internal at an higher temperature.

reference Callen H.G. Thermodynamics Thermodynamics ed 1 1960 or Thermodynamics and an introduction to Thermostatistics 2 ed 1985 Wiley ; chapters 5 and 6 analyze exactly this problem and identity establishing that in a coherent mathematical set of variables an open or closed system (this is not crucial) may be analysed at equilbrium using one or the other extrema being them fully equivalent in their proper variable set.
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