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Re: 2nd law of thermodynamics
I apologize for the diversion into the realm of physics here, but I thought
it might prove useful for debunking yet another creationist ploy ;o)
I'm not sure exactly what the creationist argument re: the 2nd Law of Thermo
is, but here is some info:
2nd Law, Version 1)
"It is not possible to change heat completely into work, with no other
change taking place."
This, of course, has no bearing whatever on evolution, and neither aids nor
hinders the creationist's argument.
2nd Law, Version 2)
"In any thermodynamic process that proceeds from one equilibrium state to
another , the entropy of the system+environment either remains unchanged or
Again, evolution is not, last I knew, a thermodynamic process, so this
statement is also irrelevant to the creationist's arguement.
Now, the creationist's arguement that natural systems go from ordered to
disordered is proof of "the hand of God", as opposed to evolution, is
nonsense. This creationist view stems, most likely, from the mistaken
belief that more recent organisms are more advanced than previous ones, thus
more "ordered." Since this doesn't happen naturally (allegedly because of
the 2nd Law of Thermo.), it must be directed by Divine Will. What this (and
probably others) creationist fails to comprehend is that a) organisms do not
proceed from "less order" to "more order," and b) evolution is not a
thermodynamic system! Evolution is not brought about by heat transfer
processes, so trying to apply ANY Law of Thermodynamics is preposterous, to
say the least.
Furthermore, evolution does not proceed from one "equilibrium state" (in the
physics sense) to the next. And finally, the natural changes from "order to
disorder" only take place if no energy is put into the system. As any
ecologist or physiologist will tell you, there are a great number of energy
infusions into natural systems, be it the environment or an organism. So,
we shouldn't expect to see this "order -> disorder" pattern when dealing
with living organisms, as the creationists claim we would, were it not for
the Directing Hand of God. I claim that the creationists simply don't have
a clue what they're arguing. We don't see it because the 2nd Law argument
is irrelevant to any serious discussion about evolution.
Again, I apologize for the non-dinosaurian nature of this post. Please be