Entropy is a term from physics that describes the tendency for matter to move from order into disorder. Life can be seen as a process that is deliberately working against entropy.
If you ever watched the old Get Smart TV show, or the more recent movie, the good guys were called “Control,” and the bad guys were “Chaos.” For living creatures like us, that pretty well describes the situation. Chaos is where entropy draws everything naturally; control is the conscious ordering, the structure that we have to impose on ourselves and our environment in order to survive and flourish.
For most living creatures, instincts take charge of a lot of the necessary ordering which life requires; finding food, mating, sleep cycles, protective behavior, etc. The Austrian physicist Erwin Schrodinger in his book, “What is Life,” proposed a molecule that directed these processes to counter entropy with “negative entropy,” and his hypothesis became an inspiration for Watson and Crick’s search for and discovery of DNA.
But we humans are different in a fundamental way: our basic survival tool is our mind, and unlike instinctual animals, we can choose to use our basic tool of survival… or not.