Georgi P. Gladyshev (2015) Natural Selection and Thermodynamics of Biological Evolution. Natural Science, 2015, 7, 117-126 Published Online March 2015 Pub. Date: March 9, 2015
DOI: 10.4236/ns.2015.73013 http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ns.2015.73013
Abstract The author of this article proposes that the representation of Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace’s theory on “variation and selection” in the living world is a reflection of the action of hierarchical thermodynamics. Hierarchical thermodynamics is based on the law of temporal hierarchies and on the principle of substance stability. This principle enables the transmission of thermodynamic information between lower and higher structural hierarchies, in both forward and reverse direction: from nucleic acids to higher structural hierarchies and back. The principle of substance stability, in fact, is the main dynamical and thermodynamic mechanism of natural selection. It is alleged that the natural selection of atoms, molecules, organisms, populations, and other hierarchical structures takes place under the action of a variety of internal factors within organisms and the external environmental factors that can be considered as tropisms. Forms (design) of living organisms are formed as a result of spontaneous and non-spontaneous processes that lead to the adaptation of living systems to the environment. The selection is carried out as a result of the impacts of different energy types and the principle of substance stability at all levels of hierarchical structures. Actions of tropisms are presented by various members of the generalized Gibbs equation.