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Toward a 0-super-th Law of Thermodynamics: Order-Creation Complexity Dynamics from Physics and Biology to Bioeconomics

  • Bill McKelvey


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    The evolutionary economics part of bioeconomics has its origins in attempts to justify why only rational firms survive, or to introduce dynamics into economic orthodoxy. To the extent that these views persist, this aspect of bioeconomics appears outdated. A more recent view is that the most significant dynamics in bio- and econospheres are not variances around equilibria. Instead order is now seen to be due to the interactions of autonomous, heterogeneous agents energized by contextually imposed tensions induced by energy differentials. While Darwinian selection is still an important process at the tail end of the order-creation process, other natural forces surrounding the biosphere are seen as causing the more significant changes in biological entities over the millennia. This view is set forth within the framework of thermodynamics. It also calls for a change away from the definition of science rooted in the equilibrium mathematics of Newton's orbital mechanics. This new message from natural science is about rapid-fire dynamics calling for a fast-motion science of order-creation before the equilibria of the 1-super-st Law of Thermodynamics take hold. The 2-super-nd Law of Thermodynamics is seen to dominate the 1-super-st Law as the root cause of change. The possibility of a 0-super-th law -- of agents' self-organization toward order creation -- is considered. Key works by Prigogine, Ashby, Lorenz, Haken, Kelso et al., Salthe, Gell-Mann, Mainzer, OmnËs, and Kauffman are reviewed. Nine premises -- tracing the path toward an emerging 0-super-th law -- are discussed, with some variance also evident. The view of Kelso et al. most easily leads to a one-sentence statement of a possible 0-super-th law of order creation that could offer something of value to bioeconomists.

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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Bioeconomics.

    Volume (Year): 6 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 65-96

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jbioec:v:6:y:2004:i:1:p:65-96
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