Darwin-L Message Log 1:83 (September 1993)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

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<1:83>From T80MAV1%NIU.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU  Thu Sep  9 14:54:10 1993

Date: Thu, 09 Sep 1993 14:52 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: entropy, order and chaos
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

To add my own two cents worth to the discussion on entropy as a
directional force, isn't there a theory that entropy is not a dead-
end, but a force that eventually leads to new order? The argument,
as I understand it, goes somewhat like this: orderly matter degrades
into entropy (chaos), which can build up as heat, for example, until
there is so much of this entropy/heat that it shoves the system back
into a higher state, and thus into new order. I believe this idea
came from Ilya Prigogine's book _Order Out of Chaos_, but my
understanding of the work may be very flawed. Can someone explain to
me how close to the mark I am on this? And what effect would this
concept have on theories of directionality caused by entropy?

Mark VanderMeulen

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