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Complexity and the Arrow of Time by Charles H. Lineweaver, Paul C.W. Davies, Michael Ruse

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2 Directionality principles from cancer to cosmology

P. C. W. Davies

2.1 The big picture

One of the gloomiest scientific predictions of all time was made in 1852 by the physicist William Thompson (later Lord Kelvin) (Thompson, 1852). From a consideration of the laws of thermodynamics, and the nature of entropy, Thompson declared that the universe is dying. The second law of thermodynamics, which had been formulated a few years earlier by Clausius, Maxwell, Boltzmann and others (see, for example, Atkins, 2010), states that in a closed physical system, the total entropy – roughly ...

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