Dispatches from the Creation Wars

More Bad Entropy Arguments

Our old friends at the laughably named intellectualconservative.com are back with yet another ridiculous article on evolution. This time it’s the tried and false “evolution violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics” nonsense. For crying out loud, how many times does an argument have to be soundly disproven before it dies? This is an idiotic argument based solely on a bad definition of the 2nd law and it has been demolished a thousand times. PZ Myers has an appropriately blistering response.

Comments

  1. #1 KipEsquire
    May 30, 2005

    The rebuttal piece is unnecessarily complicated in my opinion. The second law of thermodynamics only applies to closed systems. The earth’s biosphere isn’t closed, since it is perpetually fed new energy by the sun. QED.

  2. #2 spyder
    May 30, 2005

    An extensive three day discussion on the Ranganathan piece has been taking place over at Entropy and intelligence!

    Most of the posters there are physicists so most of the posts are fairly obtuse, but they do thrash the ID world to its core.

  3. #3 Duane Smith
    May 31, 2005

    The fact that this and other perennial canards continue to come up causes me to believe that the creationists (ID or otherwise) purposely ignore the facts of the matter. Most of these “arguments” are many decades old (many over one hundred years old) and have been repeatedly definitively refuted. It seems to me that the choice is between the creationists going out of their way not to understand the science or simply lying. Whichever it is, they are clearly disinterested in engaging the science however much they want science to engage their ill-informed opinions.

  4. #4 Chris Krolczyk
    May 31, 2005

    Duane Smith:

    The fact that this and other perennial canards continue to come up causes me to believe that the creationists (ID or otherwise) purposely ignore the facts of the matter. Most of these “arguments” are many decades old (many over one hundred years old) and have been repeatedly definitively refuted.

    Here’s a bit of amusing anecdotal evidence: head over to Google groups. Go to talk.origins directly, or make it easier on yourself by going to Google’s advanced search page to search by year or phrase. Then, type in a phrase like, oh, “second law of thermodyamics” or “thermodynamics disproves evolution” or something similar. Then witness a virtual blizzard of nearly identical reposts of the very canard you’re complaining about.

    It isn’t just that creationists are stupid; they’re exceedingly redundant in their stupidity.

  5. #5 Chuck
    June 2, 2005

    The argument against evolution from the Second Law is so lazy that thoughtful people shouldn’t waste their time pointing out the text of the law to the miscreants and theocrats who can’t or won’t understand science. The definition of a system is precise in thermodynamics, and organisms are nothing if not open systems. Let the problem be thought of this way: all life on this planet is a giant cell culture. Life is a population of cells that has divided so much that different populations of cells have emerged to have different properties. Selective preening of different cell populations is responsible for the diversity of life on earth; the common ancestry of all cells is responsible for the unity of life. The system in question, the biosphere, is constantly fed by the enormous Gibbs energy output of the sun, ultimately, and the chemical, geothermal, and tidal secondary sources.

    There is no credible alternative biology to Darwin’s.