Erwin Schrödinger (1887–1961)

  • What is life? 1944
  • Question of entropy
  • Life = retained order
  • Order is upheld by information (memory) plus energy
  • Life stabilizes itself, far from any thermodynamical equilibrium

    Building block of life must be terribly complicated. Protein discovered, must be it! Not quite correct, actually DNA, but he had the right idea.

Life retains order: when entropy increases e.g. a room gets more chaotic, you clean up, put stuff in their proper place. Everything you do, such as standing straight, is an instance of reversing entropy.

When you die, you no longer reverse entropy. Come back to your corpse in three weeks and it smells: entropy has done its work, which was blocked while you were alive.

Universal entropy is universal deadness.

The Enigma machine. How to use the concept of entropy to decode messages.

Other important results

  • All life is cellular (modular)
  • No current ongoing creation of life
  • Photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation
  • The details of sexual reproduction
  • The complementary structure of DNA
  • All life functions basically the same – "The Central Dogma"

Final summary

  • Life is not any longer a deep problem for physico-logical scientific analysis
  • There are, however, still plenty of interesting problems. For example: How do complex organisms manage with such few genes?

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Created (13 months ago)