On the divide between animate and inanimate
Annila, A., & Kolehmainen, E. (2015). On the divide between animate and inanimate. Journal of Systems Chemistry, 6 (2). doi:10.1186/s13322-015-0008-8
Published inJournal of Systems Chemistry
© 2015 Annila and Kolehmainen; licensee Springer. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
Vitalism was abandoned already for a long time ago, yet the impression that animate beings differ in some fundamental way from inanimate objects continues to thrive. Here, we argue that scale free patterns, found throughout nature, present convincing evidence that this demarcation is only imaginary. Therefore, all systems ought to be regarded alike, i.e., all are consuming free energy in least time. This way evolutionary processes can be understood as a series of changes from one state to another, so that flows of energy themselves naturally select those ways and means, such as species and societies or gadgets and galaxies to consume free energy in the least time in quest of attaining thermodynamic balance in respective surroundings. This holistic worldview, albeit an accurate account of nature, was shelved soon after its advent at the turn of the 18th century, because the general tenet did not meet that time expectations of a deterministic law, but now it is time to reconsider the old universal imperative against observations rather than expectations. ...