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Hypothesis & Theory ARTICLE

Front. Physiol., 27 February 2012 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2012.00039

The inert vs. the living state of matter: extended criticality, time geometry, anti-entropy – an overview

Giuseppe Longo1,2* and Maël Montévil3*
  • 1 École Polytechnique, Centre de Recherche en Épistémologie Appliquée, Paris, France
  • 2 CNRS, Paris, France
  • 3 École normale supérieure, Paris, France

The physical singularity of life phenomena is analyzed by means of comparison with the driving concepts of theories of the inert. We outline conceptual analogies, transferals of methodologies and theoretical instruments between physics and biology, in addition to indicating significant differences and sometimes logical dualities. In order to make biological phenomenalities intelligible, we introduce theoretical extensions to certain physical theories. In this synthetic paper, we summarize and propose a unified conceptual framework for the main conclusions drawn from work spanning a book and several articles, quoted throughout1.

Keywords: criticality, biological time, anti-entropy, theoretical biology, symmetry, allometry, incompleteness

Citation: Longo G and Montévil M (2012) The inert vs. the living state of matter: extended criticality, time geometry, anti-entropy – an overview. Front. Physio. 3:39. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2012.00039

Received: 29 November 2011; Paper pending published: 24 December 2011;
Accepted: 10 February 2012; Published online: 27 February 2012.

Edited by:

Bruce J West, U.S. Army Research Office, USA

Reviewed by:

Bruce J West, U.S. Army Research Office, USA
Paolo Grigolini, University of North Texas, USA

Copyright: © 2012 Longo and Montévil. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited.

*Correspondence: Giuseppe Longo, CNRS, CREA - Polytechnique et CIRPHLESS - École normale supérieure, Paris, France. e-mail: longo@di.ens.fr; Maël Montévil, CREA - Polytechnique et ED 474 FDV, Paris V Descartes, Paris, France. e-mail: montevil@di.ens.fr