For citation purposes: Houck PD. Should negative entropy be included in the fundamental laws of biology? OA Biology 2014 May 10;2(1):7.

Critical review

 
Human

Should negative entropy be included in the fundamental laws of biology?

P Houck,
 

Authors affiliations

(1) Baylor Scott & White Healthcare, Temple, Texas, USA

(2) Texas A&M Health Sciences Center, Bryon College Station, Texas, USA

* Corresponding author Email: phouck@sw.org

Abstract

Introduction

Fundamental laws of biology are not currently recognized by biologists. Furthermore, negative entropy has been controversial since the concept was reshaped by the physicist Erwin Schrödinger. Self-organization, self-repair seems to be unique to biology; but, is clearly evident in the universe where galaxies sprang from hot plasma. Organization from chaos is possible if there are underlying fundamental laws that transforms chaos into organization. In biology, chaos within the DNA informational molecule results in mutations that allows life to survive when the environment changes. This is the underlying force of evolution. Disease is an expression of increased entropy and a new definition of disease is failure to maintain low entropy. Entropy is favorable promoting evolution so life can survive in a changing environment. Entropy is also unfavorable causing disease and individual lives to decay. Life has to combat entropy to maintain health.

Quantification of entropy by statistical mechanics can be accomplished by understanding life processes and probabilities at each stage of development and repair. These processes estimate of the inverse of disorder - organization. From these estimates the energy of syntropy can be estimated. Entropy is not time dependent but is process dependent since probabilities change at each stage of development. This method determines why men have shorter lives than women. The entropic power of the virome and microcosm are evident from their large numbers.

Conclusion

Entropy is critical to life, evolution, disease, health maintenance, biologic function, age, and eventual death. Life, as opposed to non-living, exhibits negative entropy; developing order out of chaos. (The energy to support negative entropy is yet to be defined.) This law indeed should be one of the fundamental laws of biology.

Licensee OA Publishing London 2014. Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY)
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