[Fis] Fwd: Entropy, the Second Law, and Life

Pedro C. Marijuan pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es
Fri Jan 8 14:39:39 CET 2021

Dear Arieh & FISers,

My appreciation for your elegant and lively contribution. Reading about 
labeling the food on their "negentropy content"  or advising on low 
entropy food (icy water!) was a most humorous way to criticize all the 
nonsense and "mystical mystery tours" around entropy. Particularly, 
Atkins (& Dawkins) quasi-religious views have always been unswallowable 
for me. Anyhow, two further aspects I would like to hear from you.

First, to put it most briefly, what basic, visual image would you convey 
for an intuitive understanding of entropy beyond the technicality of 
SMI? Uncertainty, chaos, disorder, diffusion, dispersal... some many 
terms around!  I could see years ago some heated exchanges you had with 
Frank Lambert, the champion of entropy as energy dispersal. There is 
also a longish comment on how Steven Pinker approaches 
entropy-information-evolution-cognition as the four fundamental concepts 
in our scientific understanding of the world. He is wrong (IMO) in all 
of them! Although it he is an extraordinary social psychologist the 
basic sci. background he proposes is tainted. If we could give a more 
sound "tetrad" even with those same concepts, it would be a great 
outcome. Clarifying entropy in all aspects we could advance would a 
terrific step.

And second (maybe to be discussed later on) do you accept "dimensions" 
for entropy? The units of jules/degreeK aren't they derived from having 
entered the Boltzmann's constant? Why do we need at all separate units 
for temperature and energy?

Thanks for all the exchanges so far!


Pedro C. Marijuán
Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group

pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es

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