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The synthesis of non-equilibrium thermodynamics and biology, pursued in fits and starts over the years by an eccentric cast of thinkers, has produced a few scientific red herrings, but the overall idea has expanded our biophysical horizons.  I'll summarize what I've come to understand about the development of biological thermodynamics and its implications, while trying to skirt the rabbit holes.
Life's Fall

Life's Fall

Jul 21 2011 | comment(s)

Life's Fall

How many years can a mountain exist,
before it is washed to the sea?

As a rock tumbles from its perch
atop a cliff into the water below,
impelled by gravitational acceleration,
it is potential transformed to kinetic,
object to process, noun to verb.
This crumbling topology
is the metaphoric substance of life - 
mountains thrust up
by Earth’s violent bowel
laboriously digesting its nickel/iron core
and ground down by wind and rain,
warped by spacetime - the ephemeral
thermodynamic erosion
of elevated electrons.

Biological water mills
capture density-dependent flow,
energy to turn their wheels