Laywoman’s Physics. Here’s me rambling. Don’t expect a) math or b) accuracy. Just jazzing around.

Question: If the second law of thermodynamics means that entropy (not chaos) will increase, balancing an ordered state against an entropic state, what is life?

Growing a cell is not a purely ordered process. We can’t guarantee what we’re going to get when a cell grows. All sorts of things can happen in between DNA and expression. DNA can be ordered, but it’s influenced by chaos (non-linear order) as well as entropy. On a larger scale, we can’t predict, given sexual reproduction, which gametes will develop. Will baby have grandma’s eyes? Or uncle’s temper?

So. It’s not pure order. And life, since it’s able to make order, isn’t pure entropy.

Just reading A Brief History of Time, and I’m wondering about this because Stephen Hawking notes that if you remember all the information in the book, you’ve increased the order in the universe by about two millions units of information, but you would have consumed about twenty million million million million units of energy while doing it. But what about all the other order that’s created when we live?

Heh. And if you write a book, and enough people read it to pay off your energy-debt, are you ahead of the game?