If life creates negative entropy, how is the rest of the universe affectted?

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My understanding is that an organism uses metabolism to convert the energy of its surroundings into its own negative entropy. If the energy of the surroundings and the entropy of the system (the organism) are both decreased, is that alone enough to satisfy the first law of thermodynamics? In other words, no energy is actually lost because it is “converted into order”.

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Actually, nothing can create negative entropy. Any process that destroys entropy is impossible. What’s really is happening is that we produce entropy within ourselves, and then transfer it to the surroundings via heat, thus stabilizing the value of the entropy of a living organism.
By transferring entropy to the surroundings via heat, we are increasing the entropy of the universe. Thus everything is ok with the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
And also, the first law of thermodynamics is conservation of energy, and has nothing to do with entropy.


Entropy and Order are… fun topics =)
Its true that we lifeforms increase order. But the energy is never lost or created, it only changes form. Its a long route, but for every increase in order, there is an increase in entropy, and it can usually be traced to the fusion in the sun.
Eventually this fusion will stop, which will end the cycle– even life is not a perpetual motion machine!


actually life is a perpetual motion machine….if we look at at it as any continuing species.
A tree which grows, sheds off seeds every year, and when this tree dies, it is perpetually ‘continuing’ through it’s offspring. Energy is diverted in the host tree to create seeds/eaves…and to grow within it’s self….etc.
perpetual motion or negative entropy are actually quite real and do exist…despite the widely held belief being they do not exist….but it takes creative thinking to reveal it.
Good question (lowering entropy and input energy)….waste heat is thus reduced…and you would seemingly have a more efficient system at hand (the organism is more efficient). Is this possible? Yes…it is called evolution of the organism…in which it’s genetic structure is highly evolved and able to make use of surrounding environment more efficient. Example? an organism which can use available food source (material) PLUS the Sun’s light for photosynthesis…and it’s not a plant, but an animal….as we know all plants make use of water and soil and sunlight…but an animal which makes use of sunlight for food would be a more evolved lifeform….


Q0YmjA Very true! Makes a change to see someone spell it out like that. 🙂


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