Chapter

Thermoeconomics: Beyond the Second Law

Peter A. Corning

in Holistic Darwinism

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780226116136
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226116334 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226116334.003.0014
Thermoeconomics: Beyond the Second Law

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This chapter discusses the relevance of thermodynamics to biological evolution beyond the entropy law. It proposes the concept of thermoeconomics which is based on the proposition that the role of energy in biological evolution should be defined and understood in terms of economic criteria as productivity, efficiency, and especially the costs and benefits of the various mechanisms for capturing and utilizing available energy to build biomass and carry out work. This chapter argues that economic criteria provide a better account of the advances in bioenergetic technologies than does any formulation derived from entropy law.

Keywords: thermodynamics; biological evolution; entropy law; thermoeconomics; energy; economic criteria; bioenergetic technologies

Chapter.  10226 words. 

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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