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Journal of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics

Founded by Keller, Jürgen U.

Editor-in-Chief: Hoffmann, Karl Heinz

Managing Editor: Prehl, Janett / Schwalbe, Karsten

Ed. by Michaelides, Efstathios E. / Rubi, J. Miguel

4 Issues per year


IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 1.714

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Online
ISSN
1437-4358
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In This Section
Volume 35, Issue 3 (Jan 2010)

Issues

Physical foundations of evolutionary theory

Arto Annila
  • Department of Biosciences, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland; Institute of Biotechnology, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland; and Department of Physics, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland. E-mail:
/ Stanley Salthe
Published Online: 2010-10-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jnetdy.2010.019

Abstract

The theory of evolution by natural selection is herein subsumed by the 2nd law of thermodynamics. The mathematical form of evolutionary theory is based on a re-examination of the probability concept that underlies statistical physics. Probability regarded as physical must include, in addition to isoenergic combinatorial configurations, also energy in conditional circumstances. Consequently, entropy as an additive logarithmic probability measure is found to be a function of the free energy, and the process toward the maximum entropy state is found equivalent to evolution toward the free energy minimum in accordance with the basic maxim of chemical thermodynamics. The principle of increasing entropy when given as an equation of motion reveals that expansion, proliferation, differentiation, diversification, and catalysis are all ways for a system to evolve toward the stationary state in its respective surroundings. Intriguingly, the equation of evolution cannot be solved when there remain degrees of freedom to consume the free energy, and hence evolutionary trajectories of a non-Hamiltonian system remain intractable. Finally, when to-and-from flows of energy are balanced between a system and its surroundings, the system is at the Lyapunov-stable stationary state. The principle of maximal energy dispersal, equivalent to the maximal rate of entropy production, gives rise to the ubiquitous characteristics, conventions, and regularities found in nature, where thermodynamics makes no demarcation line between animate and inanimate.

Keywords.: Evolution theory; non-Hamiltonian systems; second law of thermodynamics; natural selection

About the article

Received: 2009-10-14

Accepted: 2009-12-17

Published Online: 2010-10-18

Published in Print: 2010-10-01



Citation Information: Journal of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics, ISSN (Online) 1437-4358, ISSN (Print) 0340-0204, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jnetdy.2010.019. Export Citation

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[1]
Umberto Lucia
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[3]
Umberto Lucia
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[4]
Stanley N. Salthe
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[5]
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[6]
Umberto Lucia
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[8]
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[9]
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[10]
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[11]
Arto Annila and Stanley Salthe
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[12]
Tuomas K. Pernu and Arto Annila
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[13]
Arto Annila
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2012, Volume 423, Number 2, Page 1973
[14]
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ISRN Computational Mathematics, 2012, Volume 2012, Page 1
[15]
Peter Würtz and Arto Annila
Biosystems, 2010, Volume 100, Number 1, Page 70
[16]
Michael T. Turvey and Claudia Carello
Ecological Psychology, 2012, Volume 24, Number 1, Page 3
[18]
Adrian Bejan and Sylvie Lorente
Physics of Life Reviews, 2011, Volume 8, Number 3, Page 209
[19]
Federica Gobattoni, Raffaele Pelorosso, Giuliana Lauro, Antonio Leone, and Roberto Monaco
Landscape and Urban Planning, 2011, Volume 103, Number 3-4, Page 289
[20]
Mikael Koskela and Arto Annila
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2011, Volume 417, Number 3, Page 1742
[21]
Arto Annila
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2011, Volume 416, Number 4, Page 2944
[22]
Jani Anttila and Arto Annila
Physics Letters A, 2011, Volume 375, Number 43, Page 3755
[24]
Teemu Mäkelä and Arto Annila
Physics of Life Reviews, 2010, Volume 7, Number 4, Page 477
[25]
Carsten Herrmann-Pillath and Stanley N. Salthe
Biosystems, 2011, Volume 103, Number 3, Page 315

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