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ar
New Member

30 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2005 :  21:53:21  Show Profile Send ar a Private Message
How do evolutionists resolve the creationist's argument that evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics?

ronnywhite
SFN Regular

501 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2005 :  22:19:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send ronnywhite a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ar

How do evolutionists resolve the creationist's argument that evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics?



Here's a good link that explains it.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/thermo/probability.html

In a nutshell, they explain how the Creationists are misinterpreting it. "Probabilities" (as are referred to when considering the law) are localized, and aren't "fixed"... they vary continuously with time and the flow of energy from one region to another. In other words, within a given locality, the entropy and probabilty of organization arising from disorder can continuously (and sometimes abruptly) rise or fall. A small overall temperature change in a region can cause snowflakes to rapidly form, for example... the probability of this "organization" taking place in a subregion- within a given timeframe- increases dramatically when the transition temperature is subceded. Concurrently to a snowflake forming, the energy lost in the organization causes a change in the local and regional probabilities of further organization occuring. More-probable one place, less-probable another. It all balances out in the big scheme of things. Nothing whatsoever to say "organization" of life (like us) couldn't become locally more-likely, having been less-likely. Just like a snowflake.

A problem with Creationist interpretation of scientific principles which are defined in mathematical terms involves the difficulties intrinsic to accurately translating symbolic meaning- as in equations-to linguistic meaning for application to the world around us. Equations are defined rigorously, for proper application within very specific circumstances. Improperly applying them out of their intended context is very easy. And probabilities are easy to mess-up, too... After the Big Bang the probability of carbon-based life (starting with amino acids) organizing on Earth wasn't "low"... it was ZERO... for a very long time, until localized energy and matter distributions, and their associated entropies made it begin to rise, as "the right" molecules began bouncing-around in the right places.

If Creationists take it back a step further, and say such organization implies a "programmed structure" inherent to matter, and the energy distribution on the Earth, the Universe etc. to make such organization possible, this still doesn't suggest a diety with an "intelligent design" in mind had anything to do with us being here... it does say, however, that the argument should be moved out of the science departments, and into philosophy and/or theology- take your pick.


Ron White
Edited by - ronnywhite on 10/31/2005 00:07:45
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  06:01:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
In short they say the Earth is a closed system, forgetting the energy delivered by the sun.

"...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
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furshur
SFN Regular

USA
1536 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  07:04:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send furshur a Private Message
quote:
How do evolutionists resolve the creationist's argument that evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics?

By explaining to the creationists what the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics means.

Entropy of the universe increases for processes. I can blow up a balloon and the entropy of the air molecules in the balloon has decreased but the energy expended to blow up the balloon has increased the entropy of the universe. Check out a physics book and compare what it says about entropy to what the creationsist have told you.

Welcome SFN

edited to add the last paragraph.


If I knew then what I know now then I would know more now than I know.
Edited by - furshur on 10/31/2005 07:15:38
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sts60
Skeptic Friend

141 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  09:39:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sts60 a Private Message
In fact, the creationist claim that "order can't come from disorder" is constantly and inconveniently being violated by Nature all the time. Crystal growth is a simple example; the beautiful order of the water molecules in a snowflake came from the disorder of scattered water vapor. But it comes at the expense of an increase in overall entropy of the universe. So does the growth of a child inside its mother, for that matter. Neither the snow clouds nor the mother is a closed system; nor is the Earth.
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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  09:47:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message
It is a closed system if you are closed minded.

Thank you, thank you, you've been a wonderful audience. I'll be here all week.

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
Edited by - pleco on 10/31/2005 10:02:19
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moakley
SFN Regular

USA
1884 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  10:10:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send moakley a Private Message
I thought that the SLOT argument was falling out of favor among creationist. Althought the following link is a parody, in light of what we have seen, it doesn't seem that far fetched.

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28308

Life is good

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. -Anonymous
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ar
New Member

30 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  12:14:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send ar a Private Message
Thank you ronnywhite for the thoughtful reply. I'm at work at the moment and can't give it the necessarily detailed reading, but I've printed it out for later.

In the meantime, for those who have said the argument does not apply because earth is not a closed system, please give me an example of nature creating information or order from energy. And no, I am not satisfied by "snowflakes" as the information already existed in the electronic structure of the atoms forming the crystals.

For a little background, I am skeptical of creation and evolution, as both seem to imply creation "ex nihilo."
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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  12:25:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ar

For a little background, I am skeptical of creation and evolution, as both seem to imply creation "ex nihilo."


Quick friendly reminder: evolution doesn't care about how life appeared (it's a point creationists constantly fail to see). It worries about how life, once there, changed over time. Don't confuse evolution with abiogenesis - one does not necessarily imply the other.

"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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ar
New Member

30 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  12:40:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send ar a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Siberia

quote:
Originally posted by ar

For a little background, I am skeptical of creation and evolution, as both seem to imply creation "ex nihilo."


Quick friendly reminder: evolution doesn't care about how life appeared (it's a point creationists constantly fail to see). It worries about how life, once there, changed over time. Don't confuse evolution with abiogenesis - one does not necessarily imply the other.



Thank you for the clarification. Although now I'm a bit confused as to why this forum is labeled "creation/evolution" instead of "creation/abiogenesis." Evolution, it might seem, does not exclude a supernatural origin? Perhaps I incorrectly translated the "/" in "creation/evolution" as a "versus."

But now that you mention it, it is obvious that evolution, by technical definition of the word at least, does not address origins.

Noted.
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furshur
SFN Regular

USA
1536 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  12:52:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send furshur a Private Message
quote:
In the meantime, for those who have said the argument does not apply because earth is not a closed system, please give me an example of nature creating information or order from energy.


1. A tree
2. A person
3. A Loris
4. A hurricane


If I knew then what I know now then I would know more now than I know.
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ar
New Member

30 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  13:17:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send ar a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by furshur

quote:
In the meantime, for those who have said the argument does not apply because earth is not a closed system, please give me an example of nature creating information or order from energy.


1. A tree
2. A person
3. A Loris
4. A hurricane





"A tree" pre-supposes evolution.
"A person" pre-supposes evolution.
"A Loris" pre-supposes evolution.
"A hurricane" contains no information; like sand dunes, it is an illusion of information based on complex physical interactions.
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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  13:30:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message
quote:
In the meantime, for those who have said the argument does not apply because earth is not a closed system, please give me an example of nature creating information or order from energy.

furshur already gave the example of a few multicellular organisms and I thought I'd just elaborate a little on that. Multicellular organisms consist of several cells (duh!), each containing genetic material (with a few exceptions such a red blood cells). When these organisms grow, they often do so by dividing individual cells, creating more of them. The result is an increase in the number of cells and also in the amount of genetic material. Every now and then, while copying this genetic material, mistakes are made. Since genetic material is information, a growing multicellular organism constantly increases the amount of information within it. The same argument can be used for single celled organisms as well. While these cells do not "clump together", there are still mistakes created when they divide and this will often lead to a cell being different from the one it split from. As a population of these organisms continue dividing, more information is created.

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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furshur
SFN Regular

USA
1536 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  13:30:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send furshur a Private Message
quote:
"A tree" pre-supposes evolution.
"A person" pre-supposes evolution.
"A Loris" pre-supposes evolution.
"A hurricane" contains no information; like sand dunes, it is an illusion of information based on complex physical interactions.

No this is not correct.

An acorn grows into a tree. The atoms and molecules from the environment are arranged in an extremely orderly manner to form an oak tree. It has nothing to do with evolution. Same thing with the animals - but they do not come from acorns.

AR you said:
quote:
please give me an example of nature creating information or order from energy

A Hurricane is clearly a highly ordered system. It is an extremely oredered and efficient heat engine. Is the request for 'order from disorder' no longer one of the items to address?




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
9672 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2005 :  13:31:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ar
In the meantime, for those who have said the argument does not apply because earth is not a closed system, please give me an example of nature creating information or order from energy. And no, I am not satisfied by "snowflakes" as the information already existed in the electronic structure of the atoms forming the crystals.

How do you define order?
How do you define information?
How do you define information exchange?

The problem with information is that information is an abstract property, the application or interpretation of a set data. The second law of thermodynamics apply to energy in chemical reactions, and is thus not applicable to information.
To make an analysis of DNA and any information content within it, the system is just too large.

When a cell is preparing to divide it uses energy to replicate a copy of the DNA. (Energy the cell got from its host, which might be the reproduction area of a human, or simply the food the bacteria has gotten from its surroundings) A small error in the copying process inserts an extra base-pair somewhere, deactivating one protein, and creating a new one.
This new protein might be new to the world, allowing the bacteria (I'm thinking of the Nylon Bug* here) to digest something new (nylon).
If you insist of (mis-) applying 2nd LoT here, then the energy came from the bacterial digestion.

What is information and what is not is a totally different question, and as I mentioned earlier, somewhat abstract. Volume of data may have nothing to do with the information content of a message. Just look at any speech today's politicians make, especially from the White House.

*ask about the Nylon Bug and someone will tell you the whole story, I'm pressed for time right now...

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 - 10/31/2005 :  14:27:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ar

quote:
Originally posted by Siberia

quote:
Originally posted by ar

For a little background, I am skeptical of creation and evolution, as both seem to imply creation "ex nihilo."


Quick friendly reminder: evolution doesn't care about how life appeared (it's a point creationists constantly fail to see). It worries about how life, once there, changed over time. Don't confuse evolution with abiogenesis - one does not necessarily imply the other.



Thank you for the clarification. Although now I'm a bit confused as to why this forum is labeled "creation/evolution" instead of "creation/abiogenesis." Evolution, it might seem, does not exclude a supernatural origin? Perhaps I incorrectly translated the "/" in "creation/evolution" as a "versus."

But now that you mention it, it is obvious that evolution, by technical definition of the word at least, does not address origins.

Noted.


Indeed, evolution doesn't exclude, per se, a supernatural origin. But most creationists don't see that, hence the forum's name.

Creationists oppose evolution because they see it as the same as, or one with, abiogenesis, which is wrong. Many also think humans and all animals were created as-is from the hands of a deity, and that natural features can't rise on their own. Which, according to all evolutionary science, is wrong.

"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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