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 Not the second law again...
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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2005 :  11:49:16  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
Gah, who'd have thought.

IBM (where I work) has an internal blog system. The company encourages blogging almost obsessively... and so I did. But guess who got stuck discussing evolution/creationism through it? That's right, yours truly. I need help, folks. Ya people know SFN is my first (and so far, only) experience in science debate.

So, let the show commence. Person posits:

quote:
The Second Law of Thermodynamics helps show that the universe had a beginning. The reason is that if, as the first and second law conclude, the universe is running out of energy, logically it had a starting amount. If the universe had a beginning, then you either have "noone created something from nothing" or "someone created something from nothing." Which is more logical to you? Neither, in my opinion, allow for pantheism. To me, this is a noone or someone, atheistic or monotheistic respectively question. Based on my comments above, you know which one I choose. Another part of the second law is the law of entropy, which says things are becoming more disordered from order. This is commonly used against macroevolution. The common argument against this used is that the law pertains to a closed system. I don't know enough to say which is right, but something seen in the world (even in a closed system) like the law of entropy makes more sense to me than something never observed in human kind, even in a closed system, like macroevolution.

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown

Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2005 :  12:56:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Siberia

Gah, who'd have thought.

IBM (where I work) has an internal blog system. The company encourages blogging almost obsessively... and so I did. But guess who got stuck discussing evolution/creationism through it? That's right, yours truly. I need help, folks. Ya people know SFN is my first (and so far, only) experience in science debate.

So, let the show commence. Person posits:

quote:
The Second Law of Thermodynamics helps show that the universe had a beginning. The reason is that if, as the first and second law conclude, the universe is running out of energy, logically it had a starting amount. If the universe had a beginning, then you either have "noone created something from nothing" or "someone created something from nothing." Which is more logical to you? Neither, in my opinion, allow for pantheism. To me, this is a noone or someone, atheistic or monotheistic respectively question. Based on my comments above, you know which one I choose. Another part of the second law is the law of entropy, which says things are becoming more disordered from order. This is commonly used against macroevolution. The common argument against this used is that the law pertains to a closed system. I don't know enough to say which is right, but something seen in the world (even in a closed system) like the law of entropy makes more sense to me than something never observed in human kind, even in a closed system, like macroevolution.




OK. I'll start off an let the more experienced folks refine/amend what I have learned.

The Second law of Thermodynamics refers to closed systems. The world as we know it is not a closed system by any stretch of the imagination. The input from the Sun is staggering as well as the literally tons of particulate deposited by impacting space rocks and comets/comet dust.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2005 :  12:58:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
First of all, Evolution does not posit an alternate explination for the beginning of the universe, the way the universe has formed, and most IMPORTANTLY the creation of non-life from life. (Abiogenisis, a new field in science and learning fast)

If the topics go in that direction you should stop the conversation and send them to the Philosophy Blog. Part of the problem is the VS. part, as Creation covers many topics while the only one pertenent to the debate is man and other life forms. First you must have both sides agree on man's part in the arguement, as many on the Creation side consider man to be separate from the rest of the fauna.

The Theory of Evolution (redefine a proper Theory for them) ONLY covers the changes to self-replicating organisms over time caused by numerous environmental influences, such as energy availability, atmospheric or water pressure and chemical makeup, weather, radiation, other life forms and genetic drift to name a few.

The fact that Darwin was wrong about many aspects of the Theory of Evolution does not make it incorrect, it only shows how science becomes more effective over time by correcting the misunderstood parts by adding data from many sources, Darwin had only himself and a few sources, which were not looking for the data he needed in particular, that and he had a nasty habit of clinging to Biblical history whilst interpreing data.
--
Feel free to use my words and make plenty of use out of the Talkorigins site as it is very comprehensive.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
Edited by - BigPapaSmurf on 07/18/2005 13:00:19
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2005 :  13:46:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
Well done, Siberia! I've no doubt that you well handle it well.

As previously stated, use TO for a reference and don't hesitate to give us a holler. And don't let them get away with claiming the ToE is something that it is not, a favorite trick.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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dv82matt
SFN Regular

760 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2005 :  14:19:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send dv82matt a Private Message
Hey Siberia, I thought I'd have a little fun with your anonymous person's comments. Feel free to do with them what you will.
quote:
The Second Law of Thermodynamics helps show that the universe had a beginning. The reason is that if, as the first and second law conclude, the universe is running out of energy, logically it had a starting amount.
Right, but evolution doesn't cover how the universe began, so speculations about the beginning of the universe are irrelevant to it.
quote:
If the universe had a beginning, then you either have "noone created something from nothing" or "someone created something from nothing." Which is more logical to you?
First, this is just false. Who says that the universe had to be created from nothing? Second, if there really were nothing, then your someone must really be nothing. So what it really boils down to is that the universe must have been made from something, or the universe must have been made from nothing. Which is more logical to you?
quote:
Neither, in my opinion, allow for pantheism. To me, this is a noone or someone, atheistic or monotheistic respectively question.
This is just an arbitrary restriction which you have imposed. If it is possible that the universe was created by one being, then clearly it is possible that the universe was created by many beings.
quote:
Another part of the second law is the law of entropy, which says things are becoming more disordered from order. This is commonly used against macroevolution. The common argument against this used is that the law pertains to a closed system.
That's right, it only pertains to closed systems.
quote:
I don't know enough to say which is right, but something seen in the world (even in a closed system) like the law of entropy makes more sense to me than something never observed in human kind, even in a closed system, like macroevolution.
So you're saying that basing your understanding of evolution on a misunderstanding of entropy is reasonable?
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2005 :  14:32:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Siberia
Person posits:

quote:
The Second Law of Thermodynamics helps show that the universe had a beginning. The reason is that if, as the first and second law conclude, the universe is running out of energy, logically it had a starting amount.

I'm not sure whether or not the entire Universe can be considered a closed system. There are some theories (such as the multiverse) which might say we don't have enough information to make that call. And then of course there is vacuum energy, which is responsible for the spontaneous appearance and destruction of matter throughout the Universe. Thus, I'm guessing the 2LoTD cannot apply to the entire Universe, but maybe someone more knowledgeable than I can state the answer definitively. However, as far as I know, the Universe is gradually cooling and will probably one day reach an equilibrium of static, cold matter. (The Universe isn't "running out" of energy, energy is just being more evenly dispersed.)

However, the person's conclusions from this are what are really skewed.

quote:
If the universe had a beginning, then you either have "noone created something from nothing" or "someone created something from nothing." Which is more logical to you? Neither, in my opinion, allow for pantheism.
This dichotomy is complete rubbish, as the phrase "no one created something from nothing" is phrased to make it sound absurd. A non-person doesn't create period. This phrase is designed so that the alternative will sound infinitely more reasonable. But of course it isn't. The correct dichotomy is "The Universe was either created or it was not." Having a beginning is not an indication of having been created. Thunderstorms can pop up and begin to rain without an agent actively creating them.

And of course any option will allow for pantheism. Many god's could have worked together to create the Universe, some gods, one god created while the others laughed at him, no gods did anything but the Universe appeared anyway, no gods exist, etc. That's just a stupid aside I'm sure the person added because it's what they believe. It doesn't follow from any of the arguments made.

quote:
Another part of the second law is the law of entropy, which says things are becoming more disordered from order. This is commonly used against macroevolution. The common argument against this used is that the law pertains to a closed system. I don't know enough to say which is right, but something seen in the world (even in a closed system) like the law of entropy makes more sense to me than something never observed in human kind, even in a closed system, like macroevolution.
More nonsense that some of the other posters have already addressed. The 2LoTD does not apply to Earth and evolution in no way violates it. Incidentally, the poster sets up another false dichotomy, since "macroevolution" isn't contingent upon the acceptance of the 2LoTD.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 07/18/2005 15:08:53
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2005 :  15:01:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
quote:

The Theory of Evolution (redefine a proper Theory for them) ONLY covers the changes to self-replicating organisms over time caused by numerous environmental influences, such as energy availability, atmospheric or water pressure and chemical makeup, weather, radiation, other life forms and genetic drift to name a few.


I find a clearer way to say this is:

It doesn't matter to evolution how the universe was created, or even if it was created at all. The only thing that matters to evolution that it is here, and we know that it is because we live in it. In the same way, how life first came to be doesn't matter to evolution. The only thing that matters is that life was created, and we certainly know that it was.

Once these things happen, evolution can take place. How they happen does not matter, to evolution that is.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2005 :  15:15:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
Thanks, guys. I shall try to elaborate a logical, semi-coherent reply tomorrow, taking all into consideration. Since I wasn't feeling well today, I refrained replying, but shall do tomorrow.

Should be interesting.

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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R.Wreck
SFN Regular

USA
1191 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2005 :  15:56:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send R.Wreck a Private Message
Application of the 2nd Law depends on how you define the system. The earth is an open system, therefore its entropy is allowed to decrease without violating the 2nd Law. What has to happen then is that the overall entropy of the rest of universe must increase by a larger amount than the decrease of entropy on earth. If you define your system as the earth and sun (which would be reasonable because the sun supplies vitually all the energy that earth receives, then the entropy increase in the sun just has to be greater than the entropy decrease on earth, which is the case.

The foundation of morality is to . . . give up pretending to believe that for which there is no evidence, and repeating unintelligible propositions about things beyond the possibliities of knowledge.
T. H. Huxley

The Cattle Prod of Enlightened Compassion
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9664 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2005 :  16:29:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Anonymous
The Second Law of Thermodynamics helps show that the universe had a beginning. The reason is that if, as the first and second law conclude, the universe is running out of energy, logically it had a starting amount.
The Universe isn't running out of energy as such. It's just getting more dispersed and generally less organised.
But the laws of thermodynamics does allow for local concentrations of less entropy (like the Sun and the Earth, and the planetary system)

quote:
If the universe had a beginning...
Leading scientists in the study of Big Bang (among other Steven Hawking) aren't sure the universe had a beginning. We have no means to scientifically measure the beginning of the universe, only mathematical simulations and predictions, and while they come close, none really gets there. The absolute beginning of the universe is therefore currently outside the realm of science. Theories cannot answer the why and how. A non-theist Dr. Mabuse is glad that it did happen, and content with not knowing how and why.

quote:
you either have "none created something from nothing" or "someone created something from nothing."
As pointed out earlier, "nothing" may actually be something. We don't know yet.

quote:
Which is more logical to you? Neither, in my opinion, allow for pantheism. To me, this is a noone or someone, atheistic or monotheistic respectively question.
That's a false dichotomy. There may be several more options. "Something" might have triggered it.

quote:
Another part of the second law is the law of entropy, which says things are becoming more disordered from order.
The total entropy in a closed system increases (gets on average more disordered). Thus far, the Universe is the only true closed system.
A thermos comes close to a closed system.
Planet Earth is absolutely not a closed system. The Sun pours in floods of energy, and the Earth bleeds out infra-radiation to space.
Tons of space dust enters the atmosphere each year, and lots of gas molecules and atoms escape from the atmosphere as well. Especially Hydrogen and Helium.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The second law of thermodynamics only applies to potential, chemical, and kinetic energies on atomic/molecular levels.
The increasing disorder in Dr. Mabuse's lab (making it harder for him to find that blasted HDD-cable he know is there somewhere) is only a metaphor or analogy, of the principle of increasing entropy, and is as such: a flawed implementation of 2nd LoT.
The same applies to increasing complexity of self replicating macro-molecules such as DNA in an already living organism.

quote:
This is commonly used against macroevolution.
The term Macro-evolution is a creationist construction in order to try to drive a wedge into the theory. There is no micro/macro evolution, just evolution, over shorter or longer periods of time.

quote:
The common argument against this used is that the law pertains to a closed system. I don't know enough to say which is right, but something seen in the world (even in a closed system <Syntax Error> ) like the law of entropy makes more sense to me<agrument from incredulity?> than something never observed in human kind<Syntax Error>, even in a closed system<Syntax Error>, like macroevolution<Syntax Error>.

(red notes above by Dr. Mabuse, though I'm uncertain if the incredulity is the correct classification of the logical fallacy, please comment on that)

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

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Edited by - Dr. Mabuse on 07/18/2005 16:32:59
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25970 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2005 :  16:48:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by R.Wreck

Application of the 2nd Law depends on how you define the system. The earth is an open system, therefore its entropy is allowed to decrease without violating the 2nd Law. What has to happen then is that the overall entropy of the rest of universe must increase by a larger amount than the decrease of entropy on earth.
Larger or equal. SLOT only states the total entropy cannot decrease, not that it must increase.
quote:
If you define your system as the earth and sun (which would be reasonable because the sun supplies vitually all the energy that earth receives, then the entropy increase in the sun just has to be greater than the entropy decrease on earth, which is the case.
Again, has to be greater or equal to the entropy decrease on Earth.
quote:
Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse
The term Macro-evolution is a creationist construction in order to try to drive a wedge into the theory.
Actually, the term was created by biologists:
In evolutionary biology today, macroevolution is used to refer to any evolutionary change at or above the level of species. It means the splitting of a species into two (speciation, or cladogenesis, from the Greek meaning "the origin of a branch") or the change of a species over time into another (anagenesis, not nowadays generally used). Any changes that occur at higher levels, such as the evolution of new families, phyla or genera, is also therefore macroevolution, but the term is not restricted to the origin of those higher taxa.
— "Macroevolution"
Of course, as defined, there are plenty of instances of macroevolution, so that's not the problem. What is? The insistence of creationists that - once they're shown that macroevolution is at the species level, and exists - they be able to redefine "macroevolution" to mean phylum-level changes only (nevermind that the fossil record shows such changes).

Of course, the real issue is that creationists insist that lots of small changes can't possibly lead to the larger changes, but when asked to demonstrate the biological impediments that allegedly forbid phylum-level changes, they go mute.
quote:
...though I'm uncertain if the incredulity is the correct classification of the logical fallacy, please comment on that
Yeah, that's correct. "It doesn't make sense to me" or "it makes less sense to me" or "it seems ridiculous to me" are all arguments from incredulity: the idea of "that which I do not find credible is false."

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9664 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2005 :  02:37:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.
Actually, the term was created by biologists:

I stand corrected.
However, creationists are falsely making the claim that micro- and macro-evolution are two separate processes.

quote:
Yeah, that's correct. "It doesn't make sense to me" or "it makes less sense to me" or "it seems ridiculous to me" are all arguments from incredulity: the idea of "that which I do not find credible is false."
It was "<the other alternative> makes more sense" that made me unsure if it actually was an argument from incredulity.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25970 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2005 :  06:16:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

It was "<the other alternative> makes more sense" that made me unsure if it actually was an argument from incredulity.
Any argument which is based upon whether one possibility makes more sense, or is more intuituve, or the like than the other offered possibility is an argument from incredulity. After all, "A makes more sense [to me] than B" can be reworded as "B isn't as believable to me as A."

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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furshur
SFN Regular

USA
1536 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2005 :  11:01:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send furshur a Private Message
To eliminate the confusion between open and closed systems I prefer the statement that processes increase the entropy of the universe.

Using this definition; whether we are talking about a car, an animal growing, pumping up a bicycle tire or evolution you can see that the entropy of the universe increases.

Another way that we can look at entropy is to say you cannot get something for nothing, or no process returns more energy than is put into it.

Now as Dave pointed out the entropy change can be zero - which I suppose could actually occur on the atomic level. Possibly a collision between 2 neutrons could have a net entropy of zero.

Entropy is not really that hard to understand - all it is saying is that no process is greather than 100% efficient AND that some of the waste energy cannot be reused.

If I pump up a bicycle tire the entropy of the molecules in the tire has decreased. But the overall entropy of the universe has increased. The increase in entropy comes from the inefficient use of my muscles using the pump. My muscles (such as they are) produce heat which is lost to the environment. There is fricion in the pump which again produces waste heat which is lost to the environment. The increase in the tire pressure has an associated increase in temperature (PV=nRT), which is again lost to the environment.
Overall for the tire pumping process the entropy of the universe increases.

Flubber(tm) would be a good example of something that violated the 2nd law. If you recall from the movie about flubber(tm) if you drop a ball of it on the ground it will bounce higher with each bounce instead of lower.



If I knew then what I know now then I would know more now than I know.
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9664 Posts

Posted - 07/25/2005 :  07:34:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
Siberia, what happened with that discussion/debate?

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 07/25/2005 :  08:11:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
Ah, yes; I had to pause it as I've been horribly busy during my work hours (I warned the person about it, too) and as I can only access it during work hours... but today I might have some free time to tackle it.

Edit: ok, I posted my semi-decent reply today. Let's see what happens.

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
Edited by - Siberia on 07/25/2005 10:43:54
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