In evolution thermodynamics, thermodynamic evolution is an oft-used term that describes the process of the structural change and development of life through time according to the laws of thermodynamics. [1] An example is "social evolution" or the thermodynamic study of the evolution of culture and society; as some have analyzed through the second law. [2] The science of evolution thermodynamics is the study of thermodynamic evolution, i.e. the process of evolution from the thermodynamic point of view.

Some of the first to write about the thermodynamics of evolution include English oceanographer James Johnstone (1921) and English physical chemist Alfred Lotka (1922). [6]

In 1976, French anthropological sociology writer Roger Caillois summarized the century-long debate or contrast between thermodynamic evolution, seen as the directionality of systems from order to chaos, and biological evolution, seen as the directionality of systems from chaos to order, by stating, infamously, that: "Clausius and Darwin cannot both be right.” [3] Writer Michael Bushev, in 1994, defined thermodynamic evolution, in its colloquial Boltzmann sense, as “evolution from order to chaos.” [4] The adjacent video gives a loose take on the relations between evolution and thermodynamics. [5]


1. (a) Blum, Harold F. (1951). Time's Arrow and Evolution. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
(b) Fox, Ronald F. (1988). Energy and the Evolution of Life. New York: W.H. Freeman and Co.
(c) Gladyshev, Georgi, P. (1997). Thermodynamic Theory of the Evolution of Living Beings. Commack, New York: Nova Science Publishers.
(d) Thims, Libb. (2007). Human Chemistry (Volume One), (preview). pgs. 86-90, ch. 5 "Molecular Evolution". Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
2. Halvor, Naess. (2005). “Evolution of Culture in the Light of the Second Law of Thermodynamics”, (key words: second law, social evolution), Frontier Perspectives, June 22.
3. (a) Caillois, Roger. (1976). Coherences Aventureuses. Paris: Gallimard.
(b) Thaxton, Charles B., Bradley, Walter L., Olsen, Roger L. (1992). The Mystery of Life’s Origin: Reassessing Current Theories, (ch. 7: “Thermodynamics of Living Systems”, ch. 8: “Thermodynamics and the Origin of Life”). Lewis and Stanley.
4. Bushev, Michael. (1994). Synergetics: Chaos, Order, Self-organization, (pg. 130). World Scientific.
5. "Scientific Definitions: Evolution and Thermodynamics" (March 24, 2007) by YouTuber: TheFallibleFiend.
6. Lotka, Alfred J. (1922). "Contribution to the Energetics of Evolution" (PDF). Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 8 (6): 147.

External links
Thermodynamic evolution - Institute of Human Thermodynamics.
Molecular evolution table - Institute of Human Thermodynamics.

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