"Life exists to modify carbon"?
May 5, 2015 5:48 PM   Subscribe

I read an article several years ago in which the following argument was made: "life" exists to modify carbon. The assertion was that "life" arose as the most efficient method for creating certain forms of carbon utilizing all available resources, including sunlight, etc. Does anyone know of the article or of the broader theory?
posted by jefficator to Science & Nature (3 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: It sounds a bit like physicist Jeremy England's theory about the connections between thermodynamics and evolution:
The formula, based on established physics, indicates that when a group of atoms is driven by an external source of energy (like the sun or chemical fuel) and surrounded by a heat bath (like the ocean or atmosphere), it will often gradually restructure itself in order to dissipate increasingly more energy. This could mean that under certain conditions, matter inexorably acquires the key physical attribute associated with life.
Discussed here. That was only last year, though.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 6:02 PM on May 5, 2015 [10 favorites]

Response by poster: That was it. Apparently my memory files badly!
posted by jefficator at 6:41 PM on May 5, 2015

You might also like the quote "Given enough time, Hydrogen starts to wonder where it came from, and where its going." Attributed to Edward R Harrison.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 7:47 PM on May 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

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