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Information/Complexity: bacterium vs. Windows OS


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Yes I notice the same confusion. The concept seems to be consistant but the application seems to vary. Is that because of entropy of entropy? Does entropy reflect it's own entropic nature? Is the entropic nature of entropy a process or a measurement? Is entropy only entropic in a closed dictionary? Does the word "Entropy" fade when the book is closed? If a tree becomes entropic in a forest and no one is around to measure it ...

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Nope. you're wrong FreeThinker. Entropy is NOT a process. It is a measure of the degree of randomness or disorder of a system, or, it is the degree of disorder of the system. Think about temperature. It is the average translational kinetic energy of molecules: that is not a measure, but a state. However, if we measure that average translational kinetic energy of molecules, we then have temperature. So temperature is either the 'state' or the measure of that state. Same kind of thing with entropy.


What you are doing is analogous to saying that if it's 90 degree F at noon, and it's 70 degrees at 8 pm, then temperature occurred. No, a change in temperature occurred. Same with entropy: if the state od disorder of a system increases, then an increase in entropy occurred.


Here's some supporting scientific material. Emphasis on the word MEASURE added to the following.


Physics Material


“Entropy is a measure of disorder or randomness. … The rigorous definition of entropy actually involves counting or calculating the number of possible rearrangements of the microscopic

quantum-mechanical properties of the elementary constituents of a physical system that do not

affect its gross macroscopic properties (such as its energy or pressure). The details are not

essential so long as you realize that entropy is a fully quantitative quantum-mechanical concept

that precisely measures the overall disorder of a physical system.” (The Elegant Universe:

Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory, Brian Greene, W. W.

Norton & Company, 1999, p333-334)


“Entropy: A measure of the amount of disorder in the Universe, or the availability of energy to do work. As energy is degraded into heat, it is less able to do work, and the amount of disorder in the

Universe increases. This corresponds to an increase in entropy. In a closed system, entropy never

decreases, so the Universe as a whole is slowly dying. In an open system, (for example, a growing

flower), entropy can decrease and order can increase, but only at the expense of a decrease in

order and an increase in entropy somewhere else (in this case, in the Sun, which is supplying the

energy that the plant feeds off).” (Q is for Quantum: An Encyclopedia of Particle Physics, John

Gribbin, Free Press, 1998, p126)


“The entropy also has an interpretation in terms of the microscopic view of the thermal system: it

is a measure of disorder in the system, and all the ramifications of the second law can be derived

by treating entropy as disorder. The entropy is thus closely linked to statistical ideas.” (Modern

Physics, Jeremy Bernstein, Paul M. Fishbane, & Stephen Gasiorowicz, Prentice Hall, 2000, p20)



Cell Biology Material


”Entropy S is a measure of the degree of randomness or disorder of a system. Entropy increases as a system becomes more disordered and decreases as a system becomes more structured. … To see this, suppose that a 1.0 M solution of glucose is separated from a large volume of water by a

membrane through which glucose can diffuse. Diffusion of glucose molecules across the

membrane will give them more room in which to move, with the result that the randomness, or

entropy, of the system is increased. Maximum entropy is achieved when all molecules can diffuse

freely over the largest possible volume – that is, when the concentration of glucose molecules is

the same on both sides of the membrane. … Many biological reactions lead to an increase in

order, and thus a decrease in entropy ([change in]S < 0). An obvious example is the reaction that

links amino acids together to form a protein. A solution of protein molecules has a lower entropy

than does a solution of

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We can see that such tools as usage convention are lost on you.


In examples you yourself provide, we see how certain termonology is constructed for efficient communications of agreed concepts. Frmo one of your above sources


ramifications of the second law can

??? WHICH second law? I don't see one specified. The phraseology is obviously faulty!


But don't panic yet!


We KNOW by agreed convention, that when involved with discussions on Entropy, unless OTHERWISE SPECIFIED, any reference to a 2nd law, or second law or such can be understood as the "second law of thermodynamics".


Just as it is a well established agreed convention that since discussions about entropy are moste like about it's "increase". We find this convention used extensively even in related scientific discourse. Take even highly selective phrases such as


"towards entropy"


Obviously there can;t be a tendency towards an unspecified ruberic. The phrase is just plain incorrect if we do not allow acceptance of such agreed conventions. And if we do a Google of it


Results 1 - 10 of about 969 for "towards entropy".


plus if we make a simple spelling change and drop the "s".


Results 1 - 10 of about 536 for "toward entropy".


And so on as we use various combinations of phrases that utilize simple agreed conventions in our discourse. This is why when the word is found in the dictionary, it includes definitions based on it's established common usage.


Try looking up "gay".


If you are incapable of dealing with these usually accepted conventions, we will try to spell it out for you in greater detail when you get confused. Just ask.

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FreeThinker: [TeleMad,] Try looking up "gay".


Really, FreeThinker, what in the world does gay have to do with the actual discussion? Whatever far fetched connection you dream up, are you sure that gay is the ONLY possible word you could have chosen to make your "point". I don't think so. Grow up.

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