"A Man's a Man for all that!" - Rabbie Burns

"Religion? No thanks. I prefer not to outsource my brainwashing." - Bunc
Trying to get your average Joe creationist to understand the phrase scientific theory is as hard as getting a fish to enjoy mountaineering. Its an unimagined world for them - it requires a complete reversal of their normal modes of thinking and being. The fact that humans could explain the complexities of this world without a creating God is a world view they cannot grasp. It's like asking a tuna if it appreciates the view from the top of Mount Everest. Bunc

Nov 29, 2008

Order from disorder and Liars for Jebus

I was reading and commenting on a couple of Liars for Jebus (tm) blogs recently and among the grab bag of misrepresentations and distortions there were the usual comments about how evolution supposedly can't happen because somehow it is supposed to run counter to the second law of thermodynamics.

Now the usual rebuttal to this is to simply point out to IDiots that the second law only applies to closed systems and that it is not applicable therefore, in the simplistic way they use it, to looking at life on earth. Why? Well to put it at its simplest life on earth does not function within a closed system because the earth receives a constant supply of energy from the sun. There are, in addition plenty of examples of order arising from disorder. If you gave your wife a diamond engagement ring then the diamond itself is proof of this.

Over at Pharyngula P.J.Meyers has however posted about a specific mathematical approach to the issue of evolution and entropy which addresses a paper by the physicist Daniel Styer on "Entropy and Evolution". The paper makes quantitative estimates of how much entropy might be decreased by the process of evolution. Worth checking out. Any reader wishing to suggest that evolution is not possible due to the second law might care to enter into the debate over at P.J.Meyers blog.

5 comments:

Marf said...

One of the best arguments I've seen on this matter was when someone said something along the lines of:

"Order can only arise out of disorder if it is driven by an external energy source. For all the life on earth to have evolved, there would have to have been an extremely large energy source and scientists would have found it by now if it existed."

Then someone pointed out that the sun exists.

Bunc said...

ROFL. That's hilarious. It really demonstrates just how dumb about science and the world many fundamentalists are.

Looney said...

"the second law only applies to closed systems"

I never use the second law for the purposes cited, but technically there is an open system version of the second law when done in a purely mathematical form: It includes a boundary flux integral.

Dedwarmo said...

I would tend to not want to listen to someone who called me an IDiot.

Bunc said...

Most of them dont listen anyway in my experience

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