Hi Stan,

Stan: Abiotic dissipative structures will degrade their gradients as fast
as possible given the bearing constraints. They are unconditional
maximizers. Life that has survived has been able to apply conditions upon
its entropy production, but that does not mean that it has enacted energy
conservation or energy efficiency policies.  Its mode is still maximizing,
but within limits.

Terry:  Your phrases "given the bearing constraints" and "within limits"
are the critical issues to be focused on in my opinion [as I noted in my
response to Guy]. But I do indeed argue that living processes can and do
enact entropy rate regulating mechanisms. This is of course an empirical
question, and I have seen studies suggesting both results. My point is only
that autogenesis (which I use as a proxy for the simplest life-like
dynamic) is a dissipative system that regulates the boundary constraints on
its rate of dissipation, and that this non-linearity is a critical
game-changer.

In particular, for this discussion, I argue that this constraint-ratcheting
effect—where a distinctive dynamical configuration can change the boundary
constraints on its own constraint dissipation tendency—is what makes
reference and significance possible. The resulting higher order synergy
constraint is neither a physical nor chemical constraint, but a formal
constraint. Because of this it is thereby substrate transferrable so that
reference and significance are maintainable despite complete replacement of
physical substrates, i.e. via reproduction. Without this property
biological evolution is not possible.

— Terry
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