2nd Law of Thermodynamics and evolution

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2nd Law of Thermodynamics and evolution

Postby a_haworthroberts » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:50 am

A clear statement in an article on a major young Earth creationist website: "There are a lot of wrong ideas out there, such as saying that microbes-to-man evolution is not possible because it goes in the opposite direction to the Second Law of Thermodynamics".
http://creation.com/world-winding-down

Something to refer to if you encounter a creationist trotting out this 'argument'.
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Re: 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and evolution

Postby AlanB » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:15 pm

This is my first ever post here.
There are a lot of wrong ideas out there, such as saying that microbes-to-man evolution is not possible because it goes in the opposite direction to the Second Law of Thermodynamics (or 2LT).

Do not forget that creationists do not just fight against science, they also have their own internal squabbles. This particular nonsence involving the science of thermodynamics comes via, if not from, Henry Morris of ICR. The following is still up on the ICR site: http://www.icr.org/article/evolution-thermodynamics-entropy/. Here, he succeeds in arriving at such a sweeping generalisation that he demolishes not only evolution but everything else that was not falling apart already. It is for this reason that the quotation above was needed.
Not daunted by his own lack of understanding of thermodynamics, he has another go: Henry Morris, Ph.D. 1976. Entropy and Open Systems. Acts & Facts. 5 (10) http://www.icr.org/article/86/. Here we have the idea that biological and other process that increase complexity need a blueprint; evolution lacks such a document, hence evolution is impossible but there is no restriction on any other processes, they can proceed in accordance with accepted science. Since then the idea has been extended to include Information Theory - that includes the word 'entropy' as well.
So it goes on and this book seems to be the latest trap for the unwary. I have not read the book but the http://creation.com/world-winding-down-study-guide gives an idea about what it contains except perhaps for those ' footnotes with extra scientific detail'. It is the same old Henry Morris stuff in a more popularist form; the same old 'entropy=disorder'.
The terrible thing about all this is that this book is obviously intended for educational purposes. The poor student will come away with a superficial but throughroughly outdated explanation of the subject that has in addition been twisted to fit in with creationism.
Some people in creationism know far more about thermodynamics than Henry Morris. They are dangerous because they can make any explanation seem as technical as they like. Underneath it all you always the same old Henry Morris version.
I would like to find time to write on the subject more fully.
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Re: 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and evolution

Postby Brian Jordan » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:55 pm

AlanB wrote:The terrible thing about all this is that this book is obviously intended for educational purposes. The poor student will come away with a superficial but throughroughly outdated explanation of the subject that has in addition been twisted to fit in with creationism.
Some people in creationism know far more about thermodynamics than Henry Morris. They are dangerous because they can make any explanation seem as technical as they like. Underneath it all you always the same old Henry Morris version.
I would like to find time to write on the subject more fully.
Welcome to the forum. Alan.
Sadly, Professor Andy McIntosh was once intended for educational purposes, but he has both swallowed and disseminated creationist nonsense about thermodynamics and jumped on the Information Bandwagon. Further writing would be a good idea - I haven't come across a concise derailing of that bandwagon that is at once comprehensive and easily understood.
"PPSIMMONS is an amorphous mass of stupid" - Rationalwiki
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Re: 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and evolution

Postby Malcolm Stein » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:03 am

Here is a lucid and entertaining takedown of Andy McIntosh's misuse of the 2nd Law as an argument against evolution. Posted here in the BCSE site back in 2007.

"Thus McIntosh as good as says '2LT is really an unbreakable law about entropy but it's also a manifestation of the rule of thumb that everything degrades. So the rule of thumb is an unbreakable law and the genome must degrade."

The whole post is well worth a read.

http://bcseweb.org.uk/index.php/Main/McIntoshsLaw
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Evolution

Postby a_haworthroberts » Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:06 pm

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Re:

Postby a_haworthroberts » Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:21 pm

It looks like quite an interesting blog:
http://agnophilo.wordpress.com/2013/10/ ... st-debate/

I also see that this blog is up and running again:
http://brucegerencser.net/
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