See related: Chemistry professor paradoxIn his 1925 Anatomy of Science (§7: Non-Mathematical Sciences), Lewis delves into the tricky question of evolution of the animate things/living things (terms which he rotates usage of) from atoms and molecules in the context of physical science. To begin with he starts with the famous what’s the difference between a rock and a human query. He points out that so-called living cells have optically active substances. Then, however, he says:
“It is possible, however, that we may find some missing link to connect the animate with the inanimate?”
“Inanimate things we describe as obeying laws which are fixed for all time, but the living organism is an opportunist, making new laws from time to time in its constant evolution.”
“We should see a process of evolution, each molecule reproducing itself exactly, until an accidental rearrangement would set a new molecule to propagating itself. Would not this be reproduction with transmission of acquired characteristics?”
“Suppose that this hypothetical experiment could be realized, which seems not unlikely, and suppose we could discover a whole chain of phenomena [evolution timeline], leading by imperceptible gradations form the simplest chemical molecule to the most highly developed organism [human molecule]. Would we then say that my preparation of this volume [Anatomy of Science] is only a chemical reaction [extrapolate up approach], or, conversely that a crystal is thinking [extrapolate down approach] about the concepts of science?”
“Nothing could be more absurd, and I once more express the hope that in attacking the infallibility of categories I have not seemed to intimate that they are the less to be respected because they are not absolute. The interaction between two bodies is treated by methods of mechanics; the interaction of a billion such bodies must be treated by the statistical methods of thermodynamics.”
“They are the same bodies and presumably follow the same behavior, but a great group of new phenomena emerges when we study an immense number, and by this we must mean merely that phenomena appear that never would have been recognized of dreamed of if the two bodies alone had been studied.”
“It was an act of desperation. For six years I had struggled with blackbody theory. I knew the problem was fundamental, and I knew the answer. I had to find a theoretical explanation at any cost, except for the inviolability of the two laws of thermodynamics.”
|Frederick Rossini, Lewis' most noted student, in respect to the human chemical thermodynamics. |
See main: Lewis school of thermodynamicsLewis, after schooling himself at the MIT school of thermodynamics, became the head of the chemistry department at the University of California, Berkeley, stimulating thermodynamics research there, between the years 1912 and 1946. His influence, and many students, have since come to be associated with the “Lewis school”, including Frederick Rossini, noted for his 1950 textbook Chemical Thermodynamics textbook and for his 1971 "Chemical Thermodynamics in the Real World" wherein he suggested that chemical thermodynamics could be used to explain the nature of freedom and security in social existence, a conjecture that, following 9/11, sparked the famous 2006-launched Rossini debate on the possibility of the reality of the science of human chemical thermodynamics.
"The science of physics rests on the postulate of determinism; the science of biology, unless it is to ignore deliberately the phenomenon of behavior, must abandon this postulate and substitute therefor a postulate of choice or freedom."
“Perhaps our genius for unity will some time produce a science so broad as to include the behavior of a group of electrons and the behavior of a university faculty, but such a possibility seems now so remote that I for one would hesitate to guess whether this wonderful science would be more like mechanics or like a psychology.”In retrospect, the future "science" Lewis here speaks of seems to hmolscience, and or a combination or one or another of: human chemistry, human thermodynamics, and human physics, depending.
“[Living organisms are] cheats in the game of entropy, [which] alone seem able to breast the great stream of apparently irreversible processes. These processes tear down, living things build up. While the rest of the world seems to move towards a dead level of uniformity, the living organism is evolving new substances and more and more intricate forms.”
|A summary of Merle Randall, according to chemist William Jolly, as seemingly being Randall’s note taker, throughout the writing of his famous textbook, rather than as an actual co-author. |
See main: Chemical affinity, Affinity table, Elective affinity, etc.To give an idea of the density of the word ‘affinity’, of which entire historical treatises have been written, per century, the following is the opening explanation of Lewis as to how his textbook came about:
|Left: caricature of Lewis, by American chemistry historian William Jensen, depicted as a prophet of the chemical bond for the vision of his dot structure notation developed as an aid to students during his 1902 chemistry lectures at Harvard.  Right: retouched caricature of Lewis, by Libb Thims, as one of the prophets of modern thermodynamics, for the publication of his 1923 chemical thermodynamics textbook, soon known as the "bible" of thermodynamics (see: thermodynamic bible), for, in the words of chemistry historian Henry Leicester, (a) replacing the word "affinity" by the word "free energy" throughout the English speaking world, and most importantly (b) through the simplification of 700-equation treatise of Willard Gibbs into the following truncated equation: ΔG < 0, which has since come to be called the Lewis inequality for natural processes, an equation which has been found to govern both human nature and chemical nature (see: human free energy) or as put succinctly by Goethe "there is, after all, only one nature".|
|Lewis cubit atoms bonding at electron corners to form chemically bonded cubit molecules B, in such a matter that each atom finds the most atom finds the most stability when it satisfies "Abegg's law of valence" (shells filled with eight electrons are especially stable).|
“Two atoms may conform to the rule of eight, or the octet rule, not only by the transfer of electrons from one atom to another, but also by sharing one or more pairs of electrons...Two electrons thus coupled together, when lying between two atomic centers, and held jointly in the shells of the two atoms, I have considered to be the chemical bond. We thus have a concrete picture of that physical entity, that "hook and eye" which is part of the creed of the organic chemist.”
“I therefore take the liberty of proposing for this hypothetical new atom, which is not light but plays an essential part in every process of radiation, the name photon.”(add)
See main: Founders of thermodynamics and suicideLewis, who is politely reported to have died from a heart attack, was found dead with a bottle of poisonous liquid hydrogen cyanide near his body, only hours after meeting with his long-time rival Irving Langmuir, who, it is said, won all the glory for Lewis' work.
“The influential textbook [Thermodynamics and the Free Energy of Chemical Substances] of G.N. Lewis and Merle Randall led to the replacement of the term ‘affinity’ by the term ‘free energy’ [throughout] the English-speaking world.”— Henry Leicester (1956), The Historical Background of Chemistry “The fact that Lewis never was awarded the Nobel Prize for breathtaking work is one of the stains in the history of this prize. Yet the very same Lewis was the direct mentor of more Nobel Prize winners in chemistry than any Nobel Prize winner in any category.”— Adriaan de Lange (1998), Thread: “Entropy” 
“Lewis, Randall and Guggenheim must be considered as the founders of modern chemical thermodynamics because of the major contributions of these two books in unifying the applications of thermodynamics to chemistry.”— Juliana Boerio-Goates (2000), Chemical Thermodynamics: Principles and Applications 
|German thermodynamics historian Helge Kragh’s 2008 take on Lewis and his views on entropy, irreversibility, and the universe. |
“Perhaps our genius for unity will some time produce a science so broad as to include the behavior of a group of electrons and the behavior of a university faculty, but such a possibility seems now so remote that I for one would hesitate to guess whether this wonderful science would be more like mechanics or like a psychology.”— Gilbert Lewis (1925), The Anatomy of Science
“Organic chemistry is one of the less mathematical sciences. The whole theory of structure requires about as much mathematics as a child needs for building houses with blocks.”— Gilbert Lewis (1925), The Anatomy of Science
“While I have flirted with many problems, I was for many years pretty loyal to the main task which I had set for myself, namely, to weave together the abstract equations of thermodynamics and the concrete data of chemistry into a single science. This is the part of my work in which I feel the greatest pride, partly because of its utility, and partly because it required a considerable degree of experimental skill. That part of my work therefore which has given me the greatest amount of personal satisfaction was the study of the free energy of formation of the most important compounds and, in particular, the electrode potentials of the elements.”— Gilbert Lewis (1928), “Letter to James Partington” 
"Time is not one of the variables of pure thermodynamics."References— Gilbert Lewis (1930), “The Symmetry of Time in Physics”