Saturday, April 11, 2009

Entropy and Information

What I'm doing here is beginning to dig into the relationship between entropy and information as it applies to replication in earliest life. Based on my amateur and sparsely read understanding, the cost in energy of adding a specific monomer out of a group of potential monomers to a growing polymer should be much higher than that of adding a random monomer.

For the moment I'm going to leave it at that, adding further as comments as they become appropriate. Any comments that help improve understanding of this subject will be very welcome.

Note: I'm not going to allow this thread to devolve into a debate over creationism of any sort (including "ID").

Links to Relevant Papers (Abstracts only where I couldn't find full texts.)

Shannon entropy applied from panda's thumb

Entropy and Information Theory by Robert M. Gray

Evolution of Biological Information by Thomas D. Schneider

Evolved RNA Secondary Structure and the Rooting of the Universal Tree of Life by Gustavo Caetano-Anollés

Life's Emergence is Not an Axiom: A Reply to Yockey by Avshalom C. Elitzur

About a Symmetry of the Genetic Code by A. J. Koch and J. Lehmann

Self-organization vs. self-ordering events in life-origin models by David L. Abela, and Jack T. Trevors

Global similarities in nucleotide base composition among disparate functional classes of single-stranded RNA imply adaptive evolutionary convergence. by E Schultes, Hraber, and T H LaBean

Evolution in thermodynamic perspective: An ecological approach by Bruce H. Weber, David J. Depew, C. Dyke, Stanley N. Salthe, Eric D. Schneider, Robert E. Ulanowicz and Jeffrey S. Wicken

The Origin and Evolution of tRNA Inferred from Phylogenetic Analysis of Structure by Feng-Jie Sun and Gustavo Caetano-Anollés


Causation and the Origin of Life. Metabolism or Replication First? by Addy Pross

The Driving Force for Life’s Emergence: Kinetic and Thermodynamic Considerations by Addy Pross

On the Emergence of Biological Complexity: Life as a Kinetic State of Matter by Addy Pross

Thermodynamics, information and life revisited, Part I: To be or entropy by Peter A. Corning, Stephen Jay Kline

Thermodynamics, information and life revisited, Part II: Thermoeconomics and Control information by Peter A. Corning, Stephen J. Kline

Modeling the Emergence of Complexity: Complex Systems, the Origin of Life and Interactive On-Line Art by Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau

What is complexity? by Christoph Adami

Does complexity always increase during major evolutionary transitions? by Mercedes Bleda-Maza de Lizana, Hannelore Brandt, Ille C. Gebeshuber, Michael MacPherson, Tetsuya Matsuguchi, and Szabolcs Számadó

I'll add further links in subsequent comments as I find them, so this post can be left unchanged.

1 comment:

  1. Reading The Driving Force for Life’s Emergence: Kinetic and Thermodynamic Considerations by Addy Pross (Note that I haven't finished the paper):

    Page 402/10: "The process of kinetic selection discovers that the way to facilitate increasing complexification within a permissible thermodynamic framework is through the incorporation of an energy gathering facility. Thus the powerful kinetic control of the replicating reaction manages to overcome growing thermodynamic constraints by finding and exploiting some external energy source".

    I have a real problem with this, because for the replication process to have begun in the first place there must be an energy cascade. The replication process itself is thermodynamically "uphill" (isn't it?), so some external source of energy must already have been in place.

    The right version of a "metabolism first" model could solve this issue, by assuming (with Kauffman) that many random combinations of catalysts were created through an isolating mechanism (e.g. cloud droplets, vesicles, small volumes in sea-floor hot-springs). Some portion of these could have been capable of co-catalysing the creation of all the necessary catalysts for metabolism, leading to vesicle growth. The lumen of such a vesicle could then have been an appropriate place for replication to arise.