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y'know how every university department has a yearly "retreat"?

The parent poster made an incisive reference to: "living things are not closed systems, the inevitable increase in the sum total entropy in the universe.."; and so it is. A living process maintains its own internal order at the cost of the entropy and energy of its surroundings. Life increases the entropy of its surroundings at a higher rate than in its absence. (of course so does fire, and that's why this is only not the worst definition)

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