photo neededIn hmolscience, Naoki Sato (c.1960-) is a Japanese genomics of photosynthetic organisms researcher noted for []

In 2012, Sato, in his Entropy journal article “Scientific Elan Vital: Entropy Deficit or Inhomogeneity as a Unified Concept of Driving Forces of Life in Hierarchical Biosphere Driven by Photosynthesis”, positioned to introduce the concept of “entropy deficit” to be the new unified driving force of the biosphere; the abstract of his argument is as follows: [11]

Life is considered something different from non-living things, but no single driving force can account for all the different aspects of life, which consists of different levels of hierarchy, such as metabolism, cell physiology, multi-cellular development and organization, population dynamics, ecosystem, and evolution. Although free energy is evidently the driving force in biochemical reactions, there is no established relationship between metabolic energy and spatiotemporal organization of living organisms, or between metabolic energy and genetic information. Since Schrödinger pointed out the importance of exporting entropy in maintaining life, misunderstandings of entropy notion have been obstacles in constructing a unified view on the driving forces of life. Here I present a simplified conceptual framework for unifying driving forces of life at various different levels of hierarchy. The key concept is “entropy deficit”, or simply, ‘inhomogeneity’, which is defined as the difference of maximal possible entropy and actual entropy. This is equivalent to information content in genetic information and protein structure (see: protein thermodynamics), and is also defined similarly for non-homogeneous structures in ecosystems and evolution. Entropy deficit or inhomogeneity is a unified measure of all driving forces of life, which could be considered a scientific equivalent to ‘élan vital’ of Bergson.”

This is an example of someone lost in the garden of thermodynamics.
Entropy of the universe (Stenger 2007)
American physicist Victor Stenger's 1995 "entropy per unit volume" model of the origin of order in the universe; a model which Sato seems to cull from concept is “entropy deficit”, or simply, ‘inhomogeneity’, which is defined as the difference of maximal possible entropy and actual entropy. . [2]

Difficulties on theory
A number of issues are involved in this abstract, the foremost of which is that Sato seems to be unaware of the historical attempts (as tabulated: here and in more detail: here) to quantify large scale social-population aspects of human systems and other bio-animate systems using a Gibbs free energy differential-based formulation, which is the correct “driving force” for in the “hierarchical biosphere” as Sato labels it, as was first clearly summarized by Gilbert Lewis (1923).

Secondly, Sato’s “entropy deficit”, or inhomogeneity, which he defined as the difference between maximal possible entropy and actual entropy, is nothing but an “entropy antonym” of which there are dozens; and furthermore the notion that “order” is something that results within the gap of maximal possible entropy and actual entropy seems to be a culling of Victor Stenger’s 1995 model of the universe (as diagramed adjacent).

Third, Sato’s equating of his “entropy deficit” with Henri Bergson’s century-old notion of “élan vital” associates his theory with vitalism, which is a defunct scientific theory, implying that his theory is also defunct.

Fourth, in his article he mixes in information theory, arguing that DNA is an "information-carrying molecule", and attempts to re-define entropy in units of bits, using the Shannon information model, which as Claude Shannon warned (1955) is a model not to be used outside of communication theory proper: [4]

“Workers in other fields should realize that the basic results of the subject [communication channels] are aimed in a very specific direction, a direction that is not necessarily relevant to such fields as psychology, economics, and other social sciences.”

Lastly, Sato’s opinion that “life is considered something different from non-living things”, highlights the fact that Sato is unaware that the concept of “life” is now a defunct scientific theory (see: defunct theory of life), replaced by the science of animate thermodynamics, the energetic and entropic study of carbon-based animated molecular structures (or “animated beings” as Henry Adams calls them; or animated matter, among other names); the first artificially synthesized (see: laboratory produced life) walking molecule being 9,10-Dithioanthracene (DTA) is the first molecule ever to be able to "walk" in a straight line by, in effect, mimicking the bipedal motion of a human being.
walking molecule (2011)
Scottish chemists Max von Delius and David Leigh’s 2011 depiction of a DNA-based "walking molecule", a view from which the "life | non-life" issue dissolves into the nonsensical (see: defunct theory of life). [3]

More recent examples being macroscopic movements are powered by molecular motors from the dynein, myosin and kinesin superfamilies. These motor proteins literally walk, step by step, along polymeric filaments, carrying out essential tasks such as organelle transport, according to which view the "life | non-life" divide or “unbridgeable gap model” dissolves, after which one is forced to conceded that the notion of “life”, particularly at the origin of life level (where atoms, chemicals, and molecules reign), is a religio-mythology based forced-contrivance passed along to us via our cultural heritage (Anunian theology, for 72% of the world; or yellow river mythology for about 10% of the world), albeit a notion that becomes defunct under the rigor of the chemical thermodynamic microscope.

Naoki currently is a professor of genomics of photosynthetic organisms in the department of biological sciences graduate school of science at the University of Tokyo.

1. Sato, Naoki. (2012). “Scientific Elan Vital: Entropy Deficit or Inhomogeneity as a Unified Concept of Driving Forces of Life in Hierarchical Biosphere Driven by Photosynthesis” (abs), Entropy, 14(2): 233-51.
2. (a) Stenger, Victor J. (1995). The Unconscious Quantums: Metaphysics in Modern PHysics and Cosmology (pg. 227-30). Prometheus Books.
3. (b) Edis, Taner. (2002). The Ghost in the Universe: God in the Light of Modern Science (pgs. 67-68, 80). Prometheus Books.
Delius, Max von and Leigh, David A. (2011). “Walking Molecules” (abs), Chemical Society Reviews, 40: 3656-3676.
4. Tribus, M. (1998). “A Tribute to Edwin T. Jaynes”. In Maximum Entropy and Bayesian Methods, Garching, Germany 1998: Proceedings of the 18th International Workshop on Maximum Entropy and Bayesian Methods of Statistical Analysis (pgs. 11-20) by Wolfgang von der Linde, Volker Dose, Rainer Fischer, and Roland Preuss. 1999. Springer.

External links
‚óŹ Naoki Sato (faculty) – University of Tokyo.

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