In 1961, Rolf Landauer argued that that the least possible amount of energy required to erase one bit of information stored in memory at temperature is where is Boltzmann’s constant.
This is called the Landauer limit, and it came after many decades of arguments concerning Maxwell’s demon and the relation between information and entropy.
In fact, these arguments are still not finished. For example, here’s an argument that the Landauer limit is not as solid as widely believed:
• John D. Norton, Waiting for Landauer, Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (2011), 184–198.
But something like the Landauer limit almost surely holds under some conditions! And if it holds, it puts some limits on what organisms can do. That’s what David Wolpert spoke about at our workshop! You can see his slides here:
You can also watch a video: