Timeless Laws in a Changing World: Reconciling Physics and Biology
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Keywords: cosmology, laws, non-equilibrium thermodynamics, information, time, evolution ABSTRACT A major goal of science is to discover laws that underlie all regular phenomena. This goal is best satisfied by eternal principles that leave fundamental properties unchanged and unchangeable. Science has been forced to accept that some processes, especially biological processes, are inherently time oriented. It can either forgo the ideal of universal principles, and account for temporality through specific boundary conditions, or else incorporate the sources of change directly into fundamental principles that are the same for all times and places, and for all temporal scales. In the past, unifying principles adequate for biology have caused trouble for physics, and vice versa. Recent work at the intersection of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics and information theory suggests that physics and biology can finally be reconciled
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