This article provides answers to the two questions posed in the title. It is argued that, contrary to many statements made in the literature, neither entropy, nor the Second Law may be used for the entire universe. The origin of this misuse of entropy and the second law may be traced back to Clausius himself. More resent (erroneous) justification is also discussed.
Life was long thought to obey its own set of rules. But as simple systems show signs of lifelike behavior, scientists are arguing about whether this apparent complexity is all a consequence of thermodynamics.
While Ball has a broad area of interests and coverage in his work, he’s certainly one of the best journalists working in this subarea of interests today. I highly recommend his work to those who find this area interesting.