The free energy principle states that biological organisms maintain their order by minimizing a function called variational free energy (VFE). While it is the case that the minimum to VFE also minimizes Helmholtz free energy under certain assumptions, VFE is distinct from Gibbs free energy or Helmholtz free energy and is borrowed from statistics (variational Bayesian inference). It measures the degree to which the approximate posterior deviates from the exact posterior.
It has been argued that the free energy principle explains many facts about brain function. However, I would like to learn about biologists' views on the broader claims as a principle that seeks to explain all aspects of the function of living organisms. I would be grateful for direct answers and for any references that discuss this issue.