MIT professor, Jeremy England will speak at this week’s Chautauqua lecture, discussing the nature of evolution.
England, a biophysicist and cosmologist who works as a professor at MIT in the physics department, is presenting his lecture titled “Entropy and Irreversible Change: The Thermodynamics of Evolution Adaptation” Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in O’Donnell Hall in the Whitlock Building.
England’s theory revolves around the emergence of life in the early stages of the universe, said Erik Liddell, chautauqua coordinator. He’s worked extensively on the idea of Dissipative Adaptation, which focuses on the possibility of self-organized life in the early universe.
England hopes to trace a boundary between inanimate and living matter. To flesh out his theory, England set out to understand organizational patterns in space and time that form the basis of life. England points toward theoretical physics as a way to better understand biological phenomena, and the physics that he focuses on is entropy, which is the measure of the tendency of matter to disperse.
Entropy is what is meant to have caused life to start on Earth. Charles Darwin is best known for his research and knowledge of the evolution of life, but Pulitzer Prize-winning science historian Edward Larson said England’s theory is so significant he could be known as the next Darwin.