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Jeremy England is an American physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who uses statistical physics arguments to explain the spontaneous emergence of life, and consequently, the modern synthesis of evolution.[3][4][5][6] England terms this process "dissipation-driven adaptation".[7]

Jeremy England
Alma mater
Known forDissipation-driven adaptation hypothesis of abiogenesis
Scientific career
InstitutionsMassachusetts Institute of Technology
ThesisTheory and Simulation of Explicit Solvent Effects on Protein Folding in Vitro and in Vivo (2009)
Doctoral advisorVijay S. Pande[2]
WebsiteOfficial Website


Early lifeEdit

England's mother was the daughter of Polish Jewish Holocaust survivors while his father was a non-observant Lutheran.[8] England was born in Boston[9] and raised in a college town in New Hampshire. He was raised Jewish but did not study Judaism until he attended graduate school at Oxford University. He now considers himself an Orthodox Jew.[8]

England earned a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Harvard in 2003. After being awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, he studied at St. John's College, Oxford from 2003 until 2005. He earned his Ph.D. in physics at Stanford in 2009.[1][10] In 2011, he joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Physics Department as an Assistant Professor.[9]

Theoretical workEdit

England has developed a hypothesis of the physics of the origins of life, that he calls 'dissipation-driven adaptation'.[3][4][6] The hypothesis holds that random groups of molecules can self-organize to more efficiently absorb and dissipate heat from the environment. His hypothesis states that such self-organizing systems are an inherent part of the physical world.[8]

Pulitzer-Prize winning science historian Edward J. Larson said that if England can demonstrate his hypothesis to be true, "he could be the next Darwin."[8]

In popular cultureEdit

England and his 'dissipation-driven adaptation' theory features in Dan Brown's novel Origin. The fictional character is not related to the real Jeremy England.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Curriculum Vitae- Jeremy L. England (PDF),, retrieved December 17, 2014
  2. ^ England, Jeremy (2009). Theory and Simulation of Explicit Solvent Effects on Protein Folding in Vitro and in Vivo (PhD thesis). ProQuest, UMI Dissertation Publishing. ISBN 978-1243607553.
  3. ^ a b Wolchover, Natalie (Jan 28, 2014). "A New Physics Theory of Life". Scientific American. Retrieved Dec 11, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Massachusetts physicist claims he solved mystery of how life emerged from matter". RT. Jan 23, 2014. Retrieved Dec 11, 2014.
  5. ^ Tafarella, Santi (Jan 28, 2014). "Dissipation-Driven Adaptive Organization: Is Jeremy England The Next Charles Darwin?". Prometheus Unbound. Retrieved Dec 11, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Jones, Orion (Dec 9, 2014). "MIT Physicist Proposes New "Meaning of Life"". Big Think. Retrieved Dec 11, 2014.
  7. ^ Perunov, Nikolai; Marsland, Robert; England, Jeremy (2016). "Statistical Physics of Adaptation". Physical Review X. 6 (2): 021036. arXiv:1412.1875. Bibcode:2016PhRvX...6b1036P. doi:10.1103/PhysRevX.6.021036.
  8. ^ a b c d Meet the Orthodox Jewish physicist rethinking the origins of life" by Simona Weinglass, The Times of Israel, October 29, 2015.
  9. ^ a b Faculty biography of Jeremy England, MIT Dept. of Physics, accessed Jan. 9, 2015.
  10. ^ England, Jeremy. "Curriculum Vitae". englandlab. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  11. ^ "Statement on Origin".

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit