Time’s Arrow and Evolution. Harold Francis Blum. Princeton University Press.

Time's Arrow and Evolution Book Cover Time's Arrow and Evolution
Harold Francis Blum
Princeton University Press

Evolution, says Dr. Blum, did not begin with the formation of the first life, nor was the origin of life a precise event. From the beginning of the universe, physical and chemical laws have inexorably channeled the course of evolution, so that possibilities were already limited during the time when the first life emerged. In a keen argument that will cause vigorous discussion among evolutionists, Dr. Blum uses “times arrow,” the second law of thermodynamics, as a key concept to show how the nature and evolution of the nonliving world place limits upon the nature and evolution of life. Written in a lucid style, the book is self-contained and amply illustrated so that it can be understood by the serious lay reader interested in a new approach to the central problem of evolution.

Sir Arthur Eddington gave the name “times arrow” to the second law of thermodynamics because it is the great physical law that points the direction of events in time; Dr. Blum shows how times arrow has pointed the direction of evolutionary events since the creation of the universe – through the formation of the earth, into the period when conditions favored the appearance life, and beyond the first life into the evolution of diverse living organisms.

Dr. Blum, best known for his work in photobiology, is a member of the National Cancer Institute and a visiting lecturer at Princeton University.