Pinero, J; Sole, R

Life evolved on our planet by means of a combination of Darwinian selection and innovations leading to higher levels of complexity. The emergence and selection of replicating entities is a central problem in prebiotic evolution. Theoretical models have shown how populations of different types of replicating entities exclude or coexist with other classes of replicators. Models are typically kinetic, based on standard replicator equations. On the other hand, the presence of thermodynamical constraints for these systems remain an open question. This is largely due to the lack of a general theory of statistical methods for systems far from equilibrium. Nonetheless, a first approach to this problem has been put forward in a series of novel developements falling under the rubric of the extended second law of thermodynamics. The work presented here is twofold: firstly, we review this theoretical framework and provide a brief description of the three fundamental replicator types in prebiotic evolution: parabolic, malthusian and hyperbolic. Secondly, we employ these previously mentioned techinques to explore how replicators are constrained by thermodynamics. Finally, we comment and discuss where further research should be focused on.