I would probably say instead that traditional thermodynamics equations work easiest and best for studying/describing systems near equilibrium (which would be above and below star formation)- it gets quite complicated quite fast and they are much harder to study in systems that are far from equilibrium/driven by powerful external energy sources. They do ‘uniformly apply everywhere’ but it is just very difficult to apply the equations in far from equilibrium systems.
In his most recent papers, many of the simulated systems did tend to just dissipate out to ‘nothingness’ so to speak. But for some initial settings, the system ended up evolving to fix points far from equilibrium, vigorously cycling through chemical reactions by harvesting the maximum energy possible from the environment-living creatures also maintain steady states of extreme forcing like this. England’s work show that it can arise basically right away, without extremely long wait times. Ultimately what he’s showing is that as long as you can harvest energy from your environment, order will spontaneously arise and self-tune. There’s a lot more to be figured out here but it is very interesting to say the least.