Sunday, March 15, 2015

IDiots say that evolution violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Over on the main "science" blog of the Intelligent Design Creationists, that famous scientist, kairosfocus, says on Piotr (and KS, DNA_Jock, VS, Z et al) and “compensation” arguments vs the energy audit police ..., quoting that other famous scientist Granville Sewell,
The discovery that life on Earth developed through evolutionary "steps," coupled with the observation that mutations and natural selection -- like other natural forces -- can cause (minor) change, is widely accepted in the scientific world as proof that natural selection -- alone among all natural forces -- can create order out of disorder, and even design human brains, with human consciousness. Only the layman seems to see the problem with this logic. In a recent Mathematical Intelligencer article ["A Mathematician's View of Evolution," The Mathematical Intelligencer 22, number 4, 5-7, 2000] I asserted that the idea that the four fundamental forces of physics alone could rearrange the fundamental particles of Nature into spaceships, nuclear power plants, and computers, connected to laser printers, CRTs, keyboards and the Internet, appears to violate the second law of thermodynamics in a spectacular way.
There's obviously a problem. The IDiots have to believe and trust one set of scientists and not another.

Since the evidence for evolution is overwhelming, the Second Law of Thermodynamics must be wrong.

Stupid chemists.


Photo credit: Aubrey Hirsch

82 comments :

  1. It is very entertaining watching Girdon (KairosFocus) Mullings of Montserat demonstrate how little he knows about the second law of thermodynamics.

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  2. What the fucking fuck! That article looks and reads like something by a not-too-bright 7th grader who has just realized his science project is due tomorrow, and cuts and pastes a bunch of stuff vaguely related to his topic that he found on the internet.

    And this is one of the brightest minds of the ID movement? He must be, since they let him post articles on their website.

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    1. Kairosfocus loves the art of collage (and exploded views of mechanical devices).

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  3. If SLoT was violated by evolution, then so would growth, development, mass increase of children, reproduction, growth of crystals, and anything else that happened in the real world.

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  4. Oh come on now, don't you know that while micro thermodynamics follows well known natural laws it just doesn't explain macro thermodynamics.

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    1. ... the 2nd law has been inextricably understood to be a direct consequence of the microstate, statistical underpinnings of macro-state conditions ...


      March 16, 2015 at 8:54 am

      http://www.uncommondescent.com/molecular-animations/piotr-and-ks-dna_jock-vs-et-al-and-compensation-arguments-vs-the-energy-audit-police/#comment-554227

      Looks like KF reads this blog ...

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  5. After reading Gordon Elliott Mullings comments, I wonder if he has had many interactions with people over twelve years of age. His tone is so arrogant and condescending that no adult would tolerate it. And, frankly, neither would children. They are too smart for that.

    I guess "bully" is the best description for him. Given that Barry Arrogant is also a bully, it is no surprise that he would give Mr. Mullings posting privileges on UD.

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  6. Poor Granville! He's been flogging this dead horse so long that even PETA is giving him grief! Pitiful.

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  7. The second law of thermodynamics states that perpetual motion does not exist. This disproves creationism.

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  8. I already made posts at Panda's Thumb a few years ago noting that the Second Law arguments of creationists (not of "design theorists", these are outright creationist arguments) prove too much. They prove that plants can't grow. (See also OgreMkV's comment above).

    Since plants do grow, the 2LOT must be wrong. I hope Larry will tell the physicists.

    Actually, once people try to pin down Sewell or other UD denizens on this point, it turns out that they are not talking about the 2LOT, but about a creationist version which might be called the CLOT. It has to do with "order" and not with distribution of energy.

    As for the 2LOT, natural selection involves reproduction of organisms and their survival, which requires energy to flow through those organisms, and the energy comes from the sun or from chemotrophy. None of that flow violates the 2LOT, of course.

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    1. Actually, once people try to pin down Sewell or other UD denizens on this point, it turns out that they are not talking about the 2LOT, but about a creationist version which might be called the CLOT.

      It is so amazing to read those threads. They are told very patiently that, while they may have other reasons for doubting naturalistic mechanisms behind OOL and evolution, the 2LOT cannot be one of them.

      As you say, they are actually arguing from some undefined alternative version (although, in reality, they just don't understand the law) where compensation and even entropy itself is unimportant, but they won't even acknowledge that.

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    2. «I already made posts at Panda's Thumb a few years ago noting that the Second Law arguments of creationists (not of "design theorists", these are outright creationist arguments) prove too much. They prove that plants can't grow. (See also OgreMkV's comment above).»

      And snowflakes can't form too.

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  9. Like... really, creationists? Ok, this paper was written in 2008: http://www.fisica.net/epistemologia/STYER_Entropy_and_Evolution.pdf, and explains that because there’s a large positive entropy throughput on earth, the small decrease in entropy evolution can cause is compensated. There’s energy input from the sun (the earth is not an isolated system, nor living things!).

    The same phenomenon is seen in the sun (local decrease in entropy).

    This is basic chemistry.

    (See also: http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2008/11/entropy-and-evo.html)

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  10. Other paper (that looks at living organisms more in depth) even claims that organisms are so good at dissipating energy that they end up increasing entropy as well.

    (https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/entropy-and-evolution-controversy.368741/)

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  11. The central problem, as evident from the UD threads, is that the debate is between people who know a great deal about the 2LOT and people whose opinions are guided by inklings and intuitions about what should be and what shouldn't be possible in this universe.

    They would be well-advised to just stick to communicating their inklings and not bring up the 2LOT at all, but then they would lose that patina of scientific legitimacy that comes from invoking genuine scientific principles.

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  12. One of the important bits to note is that the Entropy formulation of the 2nd law came from reconciling evolution with Physics. In the 19th century most physicists thought that evolution was at best a temporary theory in biology, because in the Darwin-Wallace version it was a stochastic theory and physical theories at and up to that point in time had been deterministic. There simply was no space for stochasticity in nature according to the Physicists. Boltzmann was convinced by the evidence for evolution and build his work on the idea that fundamentally the universa was stochastic and that the determinism Physicists were seeing everywhere was the result of laws of large number. That entailed assuming atomism (which at the time was controversial and remained so until Einsteins seminal 1905 paper on Brownian motion). The Entropy version of the 2nd law was the outcome of this, based on very few assumptions about microscopic physics.
    The irony of crationists using the 2LOT is that it is the first physical law that was in line with evolution. Newtonian mechanics is fundamentally at odds with evolution. So are the Maxwell-equations. These however turn out to be only approximately true - the issue is resolved by QM and QED.

    In general creationist have an uncanny ability to pick things that are the worst for their argument. What did Claude Shannon do before he invented information theory?

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    1. Heh, I just looked it up. The irony never stops to amaze.

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    2. Thanks, Simon. I knew that Boltzmann was quite interested in evolution, and whether it could be reconciled with his view of entropy, and that he concluded that it could. But this places his views in a broader context. In my presidential address to the Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution this summer in Vienna I hope to deal with some aspects of this with a ridiculously oversimplified model, so any background helps. And of course Boltzmann was from Vienna.

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    3. An interesting reference there is Pulte, H.(2008) "Darwin's relevance for nineteenth-century physics and physicists : a comparative study" in Engels, E.M. et al (eds.) "The reception of Charles Darwin in Europe", Continuum, London(UK) New York (USA).

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    4. Speaking of the reception of Darwin's work by physicists, the late historian David Hull's first book, which was his Ph.D. thesis work, was Darwin and His Critics: The Reception of Darwin's Theory of Evolution by the Scientific Community., He collected together reviews by scientists of Darwin's time. The mathematicians and physicists tended to give Darwin's theory negative reviews. After all, they knew what a theory looked like -- it had mathematical theorems. Darwin's work didn't have them, so it must be wrong or meaningless.

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    5. The most prominent physicist of the 19th Century, James Clerk Maxwell was reputed to be somewhat dubious of Darwin's theory, although it is my information that he did not reject it out of had, as some creationists have claimed.

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    6. Wasn't it Maxwell who compared the "evolution" of the telephone microphone and speaker (from one device playing both functions to two separate pieces, each fine-tuned for only one specialised task, transmitting or receiving) to divergence from a common ancestor? Even if he meant it as a joke, it's still a good illustration of duplication followed by functional divergence.

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    7. I just looked on Google Books into a book that was collected papers of Maxwell. You could read an 1878 lecture on "The Telephone". That was the year before Maxwell died. He does have a remark that having both ends of the line have the same device at both ends (a speaker/microphone) would be considered very primitive by "an evolutionist of the Spencerian type". Then he goes on to talk about efforts to differentiate the speaker from the microphone. It was not an analysis of evolution but a fanciful analogy.

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    8. I must have read too much sense into it (I admit I only have a vague recollection of the lecture). Still, it's something that could be used even today to illustrate the divergence and specialisation of duplicated "organs".

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  13. When do the Darwinian adapt ro 21 century biology? An evolving cell is a complex Information processing system, prepared to face the challenges of the environment, not a blob of 19th century protoplasm.



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    1. when will the creationists adapt to the 20 century biology (let alone the 21 century)? There is no "darwinism" in modern biology, but modern evolutionary synthesis.

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    2. Thank you Peer for this paradigm-shifting view. We are all enlightened now.

      But, just out of curiosity, what does this have to do with creationists not understanding the 2LOT?

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    3. [...] not a blob of 19th century protoplasm.

      That's no way to talk about my grandpa.

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    4. "An evolving cell is a complex Information processing system, prepared to face the challenges of the environment, not a blob of 19th century protoplasm."

      That's worth a good chuckle given that it's on Larry's blog and he got his PhD under Bruce Alberts. Would you mind if Larry contacts Bruce about this so he can update his textbook, especially about the part where the cell isn't just a bag of protoplasm?

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  14. Wow, reading through the comments at UD, I see that KF is so desperate that, when shown that entropy is no barrier for the formation of pretty complex shit and phenomena, KF goes and asks for the whole explanation of the origin of life. "Yes. This and this happens, but try and make it work for a full set of proteins, cells, information processing machine, and chirality! That requires statistical miracles!"

    Those idiots can't learn. The minute someone shows a complete history of the origin of life, with energy flows perfectly calculated, etc, he will ask for the story from that origin to a complete modern-like bacterium, then for the whole thing up to humanity, then for a quantum by quantum history. No explanation at the quantum level?! Hah! You evolutionists and your fairy tales!!!!! You will never provide an explanation at the quantum level because you can't! You can't because evolution is a lie!!!!!

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    1. Speaking of chirality, here's an article that you all may find interesting:

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150311185836.htm

      This article about 'foreign' genes is worth a look too:

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150312123319.htm

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    2. Did you see what those idiots wrote about the foreign genes?

      http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/horizontal-gene-transfer-we-have-foreign-genes-say-researchers/

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    3. photosynthesis, I just now looked at that thread on UD, and the remark by "News" (dense o'sneery) is amazingly stupid:

      "Well perhaps we had better start by banning discussion of horizontal gene transfer in the schools and textbooks—their purpose, after all, is to promote tax-funded Darwinism, not the study of evolution as such."

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  15. I just took a quick look at the 2lot thread on UD (I had to make it quick because too long an exposure to kf''s bloviating, stupid, tyrannical insanity makes me feel ill). I really got a kick out of Piotr's comment at number 67. It was right on the button, and it obviously pissed off kf.





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  16. It's very simple KF the IDiot,

    1. If the origin of life broke the second law of thermodynamics, then life itself would break the second law of thermodynamics. If that were so, then scientists would have never discovered such a law. Guess what? They discovered it.

    2. You'r implying that therefore there's a need to break these laws, and that the breaker can only be what you call "God" Yours and yours only. That because you see organization produced every day by human intelligence (while you ignore all the organization produced by other natural phenomena, of course). Yet, that would imply that human intelligence breaks the second law of thermodynamics. If that were so, then we would have never discovered the second law, since our ability to "break it" would make it into anything except a law. Yet, guess what? The law was discovered. Make some effort and think (I know, thinking is hared for an IDiot like yourself, but try nonetheless) how the second law was first understood and discovered?

    KF, you're too much of an imbecile to notice the nonsense that you're proposing out of your misunderstanding of both, science, and the implications of your claims. I love that you present your imbecility with pride. Makes laughing at your stupidity all the more pleasant.

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  17. «You'r implying that therefore there's a need to break these laws, and that the breaker can only be what you call "God" Yours and yours only. (...)» Yes... for them, their god did it no matter what. But even if the OOL or evolution break the 2nd LOT is not to be taken for granted that a god did it - let alone their god. well, they could go on with the mantra "no known natural mechanisms/ laws explain bla bla". But note: No KNOWN natural mechanisms.

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    1. To them "no known" means "none whatsoever." As I said, they will not be convinced until scientists have quantum by quantum explanations from the first appearance(s) of life in the planet to each and every individual that can be found in the planet (maybe they would not be convinced even if that was attainable). Anything less means "The-Christian-God-Did-It!"

      They're a sad and desperate lot holding to fantasies. Stupidly and proudly so.

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  18. niwrad at UD said:

    Can I laugh? The “scientific community” is what has maintained alive for 150 years the biggest unscientific lie in the history of mankind, evolutionism. Do you know how much I trust the “scientific community”…

    How ironic. Then why the hell is this Idiot talking about the second law of thermodynamics? Scientists can't be trusted, right? Then just shut up and read your book of fantasies (aka bible).

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  19. Can't believe they're still trying to get away with this one, it was debunked the first time they ever tried it. They keep forgetting to mention, probably intentionally, that the Second Law of Thermodynamics only applies in a closed system. Evolution takes place in Earth's ecosphere, which is anything but closed. We receive outside energy, principally from the Sun, with minor contributions from geothermal sources, and even smaller amounts from radioactive decay. Really, IDiots, this is high school science.

    Dave Bailey

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    1. They have no idea Dave. They don't even see how nonsensical the consequences of what they propose can be. Let's take their "side" for a second, but be honest about it: if the origin of life and/or evolution break the laws of thermodynamics, then life also does so. If, as they propose, machines could not exist without intelligence, then they imply that intelligence breaks the laws of thermodynamics. If they can't see how stupid those propositions are, then there's no point in discussing it any further with them. They're too stupid. They won't get it.

      I think they are both stupid and openly dishonest. They don't want to understand, so they won't.

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    2. The second law applies to all systems (at least any system smaller than a galactic supercluster). The simplest formulation is for a closed system.

      But, yes, it's their failure to account for cross-boundary flux that sinks their argument.

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  20. I disagree with the lady in that photo. The answer is not that the level of entropy is increasing in the universe (however true you might think that statement is, does not matter). The answer is that the tendency towards increasing entropy drives evolution, that without the second law of thermodynamics we would have no evolution to talk about. We would not be here in the first place.

    But IDiots will be idiots.

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    1. Indeed. I blame the 'entropy = disorder' meme. Increasing entropy means that something out of equilibrium is moving towards it, which has all manner of handy applications! You don't get much out of dead calm.

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    2. I think it matters that entropy only decreases locally because the law of thermodynamics applies to the entirety of an isolated system, and if the earth itself (and living beings end up contributing by dissipating energy) compensates the local entropy decrease, than there's no problem. However, your answer can be considered stronger to shut creationists up (if that was even possible) and completes the rest.

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    3. Granville Sewell likes to complain that the "compensation" argument makes no sense. If someone says, well entropy may be decreasing locally but that's OK because it is increasing when you take Neptune into account, does that satisfy you? I think that it does not satisfy me because Neptune is not not involved in the evolution of life forms.

      Where Sewell really goes off track, with respect to the 2LOT, is that there are energy flows from the sun to and through the biosphere, and when you take those into account the resulting increase of entropy of the whole system more than compensates for the local decreases of entropy, It isn't just that changes on Neptune mysteriously happen to compensate for the local decrease of entropy.

      (It also turns out that Sewell is actually discussing "order", not the actual 2LOT, but that's another matter.)

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    4. Typo: "not not" should be just "not".

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    5. «Granville Sewell likes to complain that the "compensation" argument makes no sense. If someone says, well entropy may be decreasing locally but that's OK because it is increasing when you take Neptune into account, does that satisfy you?» Not completely. As I said before: "because there’s a large positive entropy throughput on earth, the small decrease in entropy evolution can cause is compensated. There’s energy input from the sun (the earth is not an isolated system, nor living things!)." Then, I also said: "organisms are so good at dissipating energy that they end up increasing entropy as well."

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    6. My apologies. I commented without reading closely enough to see that you had already addressed this issue head on. I think that if the compensation is on Neptune, Sewell has a point. But it isn't just there, as you made clear.

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  22. More stupidity from ID creationists [and some good responses, contradicting some of the nonsense]: http://www.uncommondescent.com/origin-of-life/second-thoughts-on-the-second-law-extending-an-olive-branch/

    They now claim that the "skeptics" (a.k.a. creationists) didn't say what (at least some of them) said. Someone already dismitified that.

    Reading it, I was ready to explode... I thought: "If I see the word skeptic one more time in this text, I... Ugh." This is not skepticism. This is stupidity. And I know they're saying this as we were like acritical/"Darwin followers" bla bla bla and they were the critical thinkers and skeptics. Ugh.

    MissAtheist32

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  23. My response to the IDiots:

    «As for the origin of life, I’ve read about a physicist who says that the laws of thermodynamics are favorable to the origin of life under certain conditions. I’m saying this without looking at it. I think a link a link was posted a while ago at sandwalk.

    As for probabilities… do you even know that, for instance, the event of someone who is black having a white twin is improbable, and much more so the probability of having a black twin x the probability of both having brown eyes x the probability of both having small ears x … (whatever traits)? And I don’t think we need to go that far – any genetic conbination that you might have is improbable.»

    MissAtheist32

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  24. And if we are to talk about ahnnon information, snowflakes have lots of it.

    MissAtheist32

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    1. Now, god made each one of them just for our eyes to admire :)

      MissAtheist32

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  25. Ho boy. There goes Granville Sewell again. Publicizing the latest edition of his book, he has a post at Uncommon Descent. He left comments open for a chance so pro-evolution commenter "keith s" is making some uncomfortable points.

    We just had UD poster "niwrad" put up a long list of misconceptions that anti-ID folks are supposed to have. It seems that these misguided critics have the mistaken idea that creationists are saying that the Second Law prevents evolution from happening. But the creationists are not talking about the Second Law at all!

    Now here comes Granville Sewell, two posts later at UD. And he says that there is a conflict between evolution and "the more general statements of the second law of thermodynamics, such as 'In an isolated system, the direction of spontaneous change is from order to disorder.'"

    Oops.

    Will the denizens of UD notice the blatant contradiction?

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    1. Typo: "for a chance" should of course be "for a change".

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    2. We've just forced Kairosfocus to close one of the "2LOT" threads and escape via the emergency exit. I don't think Sewell's appearance is well timed.

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    5. Attacking or even mentioning families is not allowed on Sandwalk.

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    6. On one of the 2LOT threads, I like Collin's perceptive comment:

      Scordova, I’m glad for your forthrightness on this.
      Some lingering questions though:
      The Sun has had an abundance of high order energy for billions of years. Why no life on the Sun?


      Gotcha, evolutionists!

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    12. We do not discuss people's families on this blog, especially their children.If you don't like my rules then don't comment on my blog.

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    13. Fine... We won't (well, at least I won't)

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    14. I agree with Larry 100%.
      You Miss are also guilty of encouraging Quest to kill himself. I think Larry let it go but the issue remains. No one really knows who is who on this blog with the exception of very few. Quest could have been a kid playing an adult here.
      Kids kill themselves because of cyber-bulling. This blog is no different.

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    15. Johnny, What a hell? Now I'm "guilty" and a "bully", and therefore I should be called out on it from time to time for the rest of my life while commenting here? Someone called me out at the time, I accepted. But, now I see no purpose on you bring it up, once it was pointed out to me before, other than to mess around. And by the way, I wasn't the only one at fault and I didn't start messing with him for no reason.

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    16. Johnny, since you agree with Larry 100%, will you go back to UD and call out He Who Shall Not Be Named and Joe G for equivalent for much worse actions?

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    17. Diogenes,

      You must be a family-man, so you can appreciate how careful we all need to be about our public statements about the ones who may overreact and do something stupid. You wouldn't want someone to drag your family into this kind of stuff, would you? I wouldn't want mine. So, if you are upset because Larry is ultra careful in handling these issues, you may find that in few days you may not feel that way anymore.

      You did do the right thing in correcting MissA for her comments about Quest and I was really impressed with your rational thinking. Now, the time came for you to be corrected, so try apply the same rational thinking.

      Reg. UD. I don't care too much for that blog. There are too many conflicting ideas being advocated there including some you have mentioned.

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    18. MissA,

      "I did bully him. It's done. Move on."

      You are lucky you didn't get banned here for this as cyber-bulling is a serious offence in North America.

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    19. Excuse me, does that gives you the right to mess with me for that after so long and especially after I accepted I didn't handle Quest's bullying (yes, he bullied me first) in a good way? With no logical purpose behind it since I was already corrected? If you do not move on like an adult and keep on complaining that I'm (paraphrasing) "bad" like a child, then you're not worthy of my time.

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    20. «You are lucky you didn't get banned here for this as cyber-bulling is a serious offence in North America. - By the way, I didn't know it was such a serious matter for you guys.

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    21. I don't know exactly what Quest did or didn't do because his posts were removed. From what Diogenes wrote it looks like you went too far but you still continue to try to justify your mistake.
      It doesn't matter what we think what is serious and what is not. It's the law.

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    22. I said I accepted that i didn't handle thing well, but it wasn't unprovoked - just for you to know that it was reactive, not pro-active. I do not do that.

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    23. If you kill a guy in self-defense, because you felt threatened, you're still a killer, but it's not as bad as if you premeditated and unprovokedly killed someone. - At least it's what the law says.

      This will be my last comment in response to you. Grow up.

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  26. Piotr's response to the old post (in the new 2nd law post comment section) is pretty good:

    « Good, we have established that the creation of life from sctratch is impossibly difficult. There goes creationism. Stepwise increase of complexity seems to be the only viable notion. We may not know the right scenario yet, but maybe you recall Boltzmann’s remarks about the chemistry of photosynthesis and plant metabolism. He had no idea what the details were, but the general principle was clear to him.

    So what about those calculations? You see, I’m just a linguist who’s overstepped his limits, placing too much trust in the wrong school of thought. But you are well-versed in Boltzmann and Gibbs; and since you’ve recommended Robertson’s book to me, I assume you know it yourself. If not, this place is aswarm with experts. Is the problem too hard for your brain trust? I’m pretty sure it would be no problem for Sal Cordova, but this is precisely the reason why he chose to part company with the rest of you. All right, it’s easy to arrive at a ballpark estimate, so I’ll give you a little time.

    In my example, the chances that a member of the next generation will survive and produce offspring are 10^(-1) — something that may well happen in nature. After 100 years we have a population consisting entirely of individuals 10^100 times “more improbable” than the initial generation. This makes your thresholds pathetically low. To paraphrase Crocodile Dundee, that’s not an improbability — THAT’s an improbability!»

    Because... all creationist arguments end up with the "tornado probability". Nice.

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  27. And the IDiots still ask? If there's no other explanation, then what's the cause? [They want it to be their god.]

    I responded:

    «If there is no other explanation then what was the cause?» – Some more or less stepwise process, probably… just like Piotr explained.

    And because we don’t know everything about that, doesn’t mean we should jump in to conclusions, saying “God did it”. I could say the same about your “god hypothesis”: you don’t know everything. How the hell did your God did all of that? What were the processes involved? You don’t know? So, god didn’t do it!
    I chose the natural origin of life hypothesis, because the alternative is to postulate the existence of a god without independent confirmation and the hypothesis itself has nothing useful. No processes involved. Nothing.»

    Now, I've seen creationists making God-of-the-gaps arguments. The ones who do not do this, shouldn't be pissed, because it doesn't fit them.

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