[permaculture] Re: Emelia Hazelip Quote re entropy

Richard Morris webmaster at pfaf.org
Thu Sep 23 15:21:41 EDT 2004

> From: "robscott at freeshell.org" <robscott at freeshell.org>
> Subject: [permaculture] Emelia Hazelip Quote re entropy
> To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> Message-ID: <Pine.NEB.4.60.0409221717200.14194 at sdf.lonestar.org>
> Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed
> Though I've appreciated the stories about Emelia Hazelip, I have not seen 
> much response to the initial quote regarding entropy. I've seen 
> connections, but no one has addressed it specifically.
> I say:
> Thermodynamic Law 1 (in closed system, entropy always increases) doesn't 
> hold for living systems because they aren't closed -- they are open to 
> solar radiation (ie photosynthetic cells) or other energy source inputs 
> (consuming plant tissue for instance).
> There is a colloquial usage of "entropy" to mean "a bloody mess" that 
> perhaps Emelia was using in her quote... as in, a non-equilibrium system 
> that could undermine the conditions for human life. But if life continues 
> without humans, the biosphere will not be "entropic" in the strict sense 
> mentioned above.
> -Rob Scott

Interestingly I was listerning to the radio today about "what is life?"
(BBC radio 4, in ourtime, you may be able to hear it on the bbc 
website). They had four definitions of what life was:
metabolism, self replication, and
"reverse the entropy gradient". i.e. its precisely what you say
"a (non closed) local system where entropy decreases". So it seems its 
you have hit the nail on the head and agree with the top scientists.

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