Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2021-135
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2021-135

  29 Jun 2021

29 Jun 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Comment on K. Michaelian and A. Simeonov (2015) “Fundamental molecules of life are pigments which arose and co-evolved as a response to the thermodynamic imperative of dissipating the prevailing solar spectrum”

Lars Olof Björn Lars Olof Björn
  • Department of Biology, Lund University, SE-224 67 Lund, Sweden

Abstract. This is a comment to: “Fundamental molecules of life are pigments which arose and co-evolved as a response to the thermodynamic imperative of dissipating the prevailing solar spectrum” by K. Michaelian and A. Simeonov, Biogeosciences, 12, 4913–4937, 2015. Michaelian and Simeonov formulate the leading thought in their article “The driving force behind the origin and evolution of life has been the thermodynamic imperative of increasing the entropy production of the biosphere through increasing the global solar photon dissipation rate”. I doubt that the reasoning that follows regarding the role of “pigments” (in which they include all substances able to absorb solar radiation) is correct.

Lars Olof Björn

Status: open (until 10 Aug 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2021-135', William Martin, 29 Jun 2021 reply
    • CC1: 'Reply on RC1', Karo Michaelian, 03 Jul 2021 reply
      • RC3: 'Reply on CC1', William Martin, 20 Jul 2021 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on bg-2021-135', Axel Kleidon, 15 Jul 2021 reply
    • CC2: 'Reply on RC2', Karo Michaelian, 18 Jul 2021 reply
    • RC4: 'Reply on RC2', William Martin, 20 Jul 2021 reply
      • RC5: 'Reply on RC4', Axel Kleidon, 20 Jul 2021 reply
      • CC3: 'Reply on RC4', Karo Michaelian, 23 Jul 2021 reply
        • AC1: 'Reply on CC3', Lars Olof Björn, 23 Jul 2021 reply
        • RC6: 'Reply on CC3', William Martin, 23 Jul 2021 reply

Lars Olof Björn

Lars Olof Björn

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Short summary
The origin and evolution of life does not contradict the laws of thermodynamics, but we have no proof that it is an inevitable consequence of these laws. We do not know if the first life arose under illumination or in darkness in the deep ocean or in the Earth's crust. We have no proof that it arose due to a "thermodynamic imperative of dissipating the prevailing solar spectrum", as there are other ways for entropy increase of solar radiation. The biosphere may, instead delay entropy production.
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