I have since found out that all standard models of the big bang require entropy to be constant on an expanding volume basis of the Universe (see Stephen Weinberg "The First Three Minutes") and is more straight forward for cosmology than looking at mass-energy conservation. Entropy is conserved like mass and energy in cosmology. Fixed volumes in "empty" space are decreasing in entropy/volume in proportion to the volume expansion. Gravitational systems are emitting entropy. This decreases the amount of entropy they contain, like a black hole emitting hawking radiation and thereby decreasing in surface area in the same proportion. The thermodynamic 2nd law in the non-exact verbal form (see Feynman's lecture on thermodynamics) is "entropy always increases for isolated systems". But there is no such thing as an isolated system (see wiki's heat death of universe article). It's just an engineering ideal to make approximations. So the 1800's 2nd law, which was declared by some to be the most rigid law in all of physics, has been quietly overthrown by cosmology. There is such a religious belief in it that people studying evolution can't believe life is "causing" an increase in order on Earth (it's not "life" causing anything, it's the dynamics of matter that is causing entropy to be emitted to the universe which we perceive as life). An example of the order-creation is when we remove O2 from ores to create metals and silicon. Look at the specific entropy/mole of SiO2 verses Si, or Fe3O2 verse Fe solids. The resulting structures are stronger bonds with much less entropy (tighter bonds are less entropy because atom movements are more tightly controlled which means fewer quantum momentum*position states). By having less entropy these structures are in a tighter state that allows for more control, survivability, and faithful reproduction. It also happens to allow for solar cells that are 20x more efficient per area than photosynthesis, motors that are 200x more cost-efficient than muscle, and CPUs that can control electrons for thinking that weigh 40,000 times less than the ions brains have to use (DNA by itself was not able to smelt metals, so it had to use ions instead of electrons). SD cards hold 10 MBytes on the silicon chip in a volume the size of a red blood cell. Neurons are dead meat in economic reality; if you can't program or use computers in a way that replaces the usefulness and expense of other brains, you are nearly economically irrelevant already.
Thinking (CPUs) to figure out how to move matter (motors) with energy (solar cells) and proper programming are all that's needed for the reproduction of the thinking device. Muscles and bones are the way brains make copies of themselves. Buildings, motors, and solar cells are the way computers make copies of themselves. In order for these things to work together in a system, each structure needs to have low entropy (high order) and be connected in a low entropy way so that each pieces state and their relation is known and controllable. And yet, in the CPU itself, the bits represent an enormous complexity information. This increases the physical entropy, but it is currently still an incredibility small amount compared the lowered physical entropy reductions of our machines compared to their natural state of ores. CPUs still need people to get programmed, but they are "trying" to get people out of the economic picture via corporate control of actors (professional emotion manipulators) in governments, subverting democracy. The machines are so good at reducing entropy, they can still give people great wealth (money printing, legal rights) with plenty of room to spare for their expansion. Again, it's just mindless physics at work, not really anyone pulling the strings: not people, not corporations or bankers, not CPUs. It's cosmology and physics. Minds have no primary force. It's something that's hard for me to imagine, but even harder for me to avoid as a logical consequence of the physics, and it resolves some questions I had concerning evolution. All forces moving matter come from the expansion of the universe in time and space. We do not influence it. We are part of its expression.
For these reasons "life" is the result of physical principles that demand a reduction in entropy. Genes are the memory of what has happened. They have no internal force they can exert on the environment. Only the environment has potential energy gradients that cause forces that give genes the power (watts) to act. Genes are the most efficient route of enzymatic reactions that the environment has stored as a memory in low-entropy DNA crystals. Life is the result of the cosmological principle of constant entropy per expanding volume of the universe, not its own cause. Not even a force in its future. It's an idea I can't hold for long, but something demanded by my view of the physics.
I suspect the perception that one is distinct from the rest of the Universe is why we perceive a clock and the expansion. I suspect an accurate viewpoint would see everything and nothing at the same time and place.
I need to clarify one point: I have not been able to convince myself entropy on Earth is decreasing as a whole. Converting SiO2 to O2 and Si is not a net reduction in entropy on a per mass basis, but about break even, because O2 as a gas is high entropy/mole, offsetting the gains. The point is that we need the Si in our reproducing economic structures. However, the Gibbs free energy on Earth increases (energy can be gained from Si+O2 => SiO2) as the waste heat and excess entropy from the inefficiencies in SiO2=>S + O2 production "engines" is sloughed off to the universe. so as Schrodinger later corrected his "What is Life?" booklet let me correct here: life increases Gibbs free energy on Earth, not exactly cause a decrease entropy as a whole. It is the structures we call life that have lower entropy that those atoms had in their natural state.
Mass reduction via entropy release decreases the curvature of space-time, so gravity's "twisting up" of space-time seems to store entropy by some direct relationship. Since the units of speed are meters*i/meters = unitless, speed is a questionable concept. Especially since every observer moving at any speed always observes all photons in the universe traveling the speed of light, there is no such thing as being "near the speed of light" except by other observer's viewpoint. In other words, "speed" has serious problems, and it's required for relativistic calculations. I have thought about instead of allowing speed to exist in physics, we let the speed of light change. In relativistic equations you have speed/c ratios. For speed to be constant which forces c to change. All the math stays the same, just our perception changes. Instead of requiring photons to change energy relative to different observers, lets just make speed a constant in all frames of reference and make all photons keep their assigned energy. The only way to do this is to let c change. c by the way is a speed. So by the relativistic idea of distance being equal to time in 4D space-time, relativity identifies a fundamental flaw in its own precepts: speeds like c have no units. It can't be a physical constant like other constant. Does that mean it can or should be variable? So a changing c assigned to different space-time volumes could be the varying quantity that produces entropy. Minimal entropy might occur when c does not vary in a space-time volume, and max entropy occurs when there is the maximal variation. Entropy of a black hole is the max per space-time volume that is possible. Don't ask me how charge and spin might fit in.