Darwin-Lotka energy law

In ecological thermodynamics, Darwin-Lotka energy law states that there is an evolutionary advantage to organisms that maximize energy flow. [1] This has also been states such that whenever it is necessary to transform and restore a given amount of energy at the fastest possible rate, some fifty percent of it must be lost due to the work involved. [3]

The statement comes from Austrian-born American physical chemist Alfred Lotka’s 1922 article “Contributions to the Energetics of Evolution” and was proclaimed a law by Howard Odum in his 1971 Energy, Power, and Society. [2]

1. Fernández-Galiano, Luis. (2000). Fire and Memory: On Architecture and Energy (pg.203-04). MIT Press (written: 1982).
2. (a) Lotka, Alfred J. (1922a). “Contribution to the energetics of evolution” [PDF]. Proc Natl Acad Sci, 8: pp. 147–51.
(b) Odum, Howard. (1971). Energy, Power, and Society (pg. 31). Wiley-Interscience.
(c) Odum, Howard. (2007). Energy, Power, and Society for the Twenty-first Century: the Hierarch of Energy (Maximum Power, Darwin, Lotka Energy Law, and Fourth Energy Law, pg. 37). Columbia University Press.
3. Bennett, Robert J. and Chorley, Richard J. (1978). Environmental Systems: Philosophy, Analysis, and Control (pg. 486). Taylor & Francis.

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