Harold BlumThis is a featured page

Harold Francis Blum (possible photo)
A possible photo of Blum. [5]
In evolutionary thermodynamics, Harold Francis Blum (1899-1980) was an American biologist (chnopsologist) noted for his 1950 book Time’s Arrow and Evolution, in which he aimed to reconcile the second law of thermodynamics with organic evolution; an issue that he had been thinking about since 1933. [1]

Blum touches on both entropy and free energy in his argument.

Blum argues that evolution did not begin with the formation of the first life, nor was the origin of life a precise event—rather, since the beginning of the universe, physical and chemical laws have inexorably channeled the course of change, so that possibilities were already limited and that life emerged. [3]

The anchor point for Blum’s work seems to have been English astronomer Arthur Eddington’s 1928 The Nature of the Physical World, wherein the term “time’s arrow” was originally coined, in connection to the second law.

Time's Arrow and Evolution (Blum)
Blum's 1951 Time's Arrow and Evolution.

Blum graduated from the University of California in 1922 and completed his PhD from Harvard Medical School in 1927. [2]

His career in higher education included posts at the University of California, Temple University Skin and Cancer Hospital, Columbia University, Harvard Medical School, Princeton University, the Naval Medical Research Institute, the National Cancer Institute, and the State University of New York at Albany. Much of his work was focused on photobiology, such as his work on irradiation experiments on mice and cancer.

1. Blum, Harold F. (1951). Time's Arrow and Evolution. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
2. (a) Blum, Harold Francis (1899-1980) – The Internet Encyclopedia of Science.
(b) The Harold F. Blum Papers, 1939-43 – The University of Tennessee.
3. Time’s Arrow and Evolution (review) – InnovationWatch.com.
4. Harold F. Blum (about) – Special Collections, University of Tennessee.
5. Harold Blum (photos) – Ancestry.com.

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