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Assuming that all environmental conditions on Earth remain the same in distant future, the tendency of nature to increase entropy would cause the chemistry and the mechanism of DNA replication to create more and more "errors".

Could these errors accumulate over time for all life, resulting in failure of replication by means known today, bringing life as we know it to extinction?

In other words, will life eventually fail to continue reproducing due to the inability to maintain its inherent state of non-equilibrium?

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi Dennis, you've misunderstood entropy and the second law of thermodynamics. Increased entropy doesn't create more genetic mutations. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Aug 25 at 23:42
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    $\begingroup$ Also, the "errors" do exist, they are basically what drives evolution and what made life what it currently is. $\endgroup$ – Alexlok Aug 26 at 2:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Andrew is not what makes this errors appear. Replication and protein synthesis are chemical proceses, and they increase the entropy. The more errors in replication, the more chemical reactions, then the more entropy. $\endgroup$ – Dennis Fr Aug 26 at 3:50
  • $\begingroup$ What i say @Alexlok, is that over time, the amount of errors could make imposible the appearence of new feasible organisms, because there would be more and more chunks of useless DNA. This would happen in the very long term. My thinking is that replication seems like a continuous chemical process, but it can't last forever. or can it? $\endgroup$ – Dennis Fr Aug 26 at 3:50
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    $\begingroup$ DNA replication won't possible in the heat death of the universe, but any creaters and planets will have disappeared long before that. $\endgroup$ – jinawee Aug 26 at 13:47
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The principle that entropy (disorder) must increase is true for a closed system. An organism, however, is not a closed system; it obtains energy from outside itself and with that energy can maintain order. This is referred to as negative entropy; see the Wikipedia article on Entropy and Life.

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    $\begingroup$ Well said. Living organisms have been creating order from disorganized stardust for billions of years, so the premise that entropy is generally increasing among living creatures is false. $\endgroup$ – Nuclear Hoagie Aug 26 at 14:21
  • $\begingroup$ But the cost is that universe entropy increases, thats what i was refering to. $\endgroup$ – Dennis Fr Aug 26 at 15:57
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Assuming that all environmental conditions on earth remain the same in distant future, the tendency of nature to increase entropy would cause the chemistry and the mechanism of DNA replication to create more and more "errors". Could these errors accumulate over time for all life,

An accumulation of errors in replication over time can certainly be assumed and observed. However, these errors -also called evolution- are generally not related to entropy. Entropy, as a statistical concept (Boltzmann), describes the population of different states, like heads or tail in a coin-flip. If you toss 100 coins, the outcome of 50 heads would correspond to the maximum entropy, while 0 or 100 heads would be the lowest possible entropy. Boltzmann also describes that higher temperatures equalize the population of different states. Too high and too low entropy would both mean death.

resulting in failure of replication by means known today, bringing life as we know it to extinction?> In other words, will life eventually fail to continue reproducing due to the inability to maintain its inherent state of non-equilibrium?

If an error leads to a decreased probability of reproduction, it dies out and will not accumulate. On the other hand, in the rare instances that the error actually increases the probability of reproduction, it has a high chance to accumulate. So in general, accumulation of errors would increase the ability of reproduction.

Not being able to maintain the correct state of entropy definitely is fatal and is the natural end of life when you grow old.

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