Disproving Evolution – Part 26 – Second Law of Thermodynamics

Disproving Evolution – Part 26 – Second Law of Thermodynamics July 23, 2015

[Index of series posts]

Continuing the rebuttal of the article,  “9 Scientific Facts Prove that “The Theory of Evolution” is wrong.

Scientific fact #7 – “Chaos From Organization Proves Evolution is Wrong

The author states,

The second law of thermodynamics proves that organization cannot flow from chaos. Complex live organisms cannot rearrange themselves into an organism of a higher form as claimed by evolutionists. This is scientifically backwards according to the second law of thermodynamics, which has never been proven wrong.

The universe is slowing down to a lower state, not higher. The genes of plants, insects, animals, and humans are continually becoming defective, not improving. Species are becoming extinct, not evolving. Order will always move naturally towards disorder or chaos.

Of course, the author doesn’t support the notion that life’s genes are “continual becoming defective, not improving” (sort of a “there are no beneficial mutations” fallacy). The author says species are becoming extinct, not evolving, as though the two are mutually exclusive. If it wasn’t for evolution, there’d be a lot more extinction.. and all we’d have is primitive single-celled organisms, maybe.

And no, order does not always move towards disorder. Even the quote he cited said “on the average, things will get into disorder” (more on this later). Apparently the author breaks the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics every time he/she cleans a room.

He cites someone (Evolution and Human Destiny, by Kohler) who agrees with them, and then follows up with:

This scientific law actually refutes and contradicts the Theory of Evolution in its entirety.

Not even remotely. It’s somewhat ironic that the previous argument made me take a double-take, and was then followed up with the Pascal’s Wager of anti-Evolution arguments.

I could just say “Earth is not a closed system“, and be done, having completely annihilated the argument… but they think that’s just word games, or some irrelevant technicality.

I took three semesters of Thermodynamics in college (clearly making me a thermodynamics god). I wish I could find my book, because my homework examples were riddled with the laws, in practice. The very first thing you do, when working on thermodynamics problems with define the system. This is akin to drawing up your free body diagram in introductory physics.

What’s the next thing you do? You establish whether there’s any work and/or energy entering or exiting that system. This is the absolute key-critical core to being able to do anything in thermodynamics. “Entropy” isn’t just some observation that the state of the system can “decay” (which, of course, is the only way creationists view the concept, like mutations are always categorized as “mistakes”)… it’s an calculable evaluation of the system, which can be increased or decreased by adding and/or removing energy and/or work.

… that’s how you can use thermodynamics to define heat engines, or determine what the temperature/pressure/volume of a system is if it changes in volume, changes temperature, etc. Entropy isn’t always something that just goes up. If energy/work is added to the system, it can actually decrease. Anyone who’s taken a thermo course will have done such homework assignments until his/her eyes bleed (which doesn’t take long).

There’s one scenario where this is guaranteed (Edit: setting aside a system where the net energy/work transfer is out)… and we have a special label for it – “closed system”. What does that mean? It means that neither work nor energy are entering or exiting the system. The average entropy of that system increases. It’s important to note the word “average”. There’s no violation of this law if the localized entropy of one part of that system increases and another decreases because of it.

It’d be like saying that the average of the set {x: 5, y: 5} cannot exceed 5. Changing it to {x: 2, y: 8} is fine. We didn’t say that an individual component cannot exceed 5… but rather that the average can’t.

So, let’s go through this. Let’s draw our system around the earth.

Drew a dotted line around the earth, labeling it the 'system'

Is there any work entering or leaving that system? Let’s draw those (though this is an incredibly informal “drawing” of the system).

Drew a rocket leaving the system, and a meteor entering the system.

This work is negligible, and barely worth noting. Early in Earth’s history, we got our geothermal heat from impacts added to the system… not so much anymore. “Work” is usually more having a crankshaft entering/exiting the system… so this is about the closest I can figure.

Is there any energy entering the system?

Yes, there’s…

Drew the sun adding energy to the system

And the plants are all like…

In case this is difficult to read, "Yisss! Give me all your outside-earth energy so I can photosynthesize and decrease my entropy!"

… and that’s not even counting the localized transfers of entropy, within the Earth system, such as with the Earth’s stored geothermal energy.

Therefore, the Earth is not a closed system, therefore the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is not in violation. Our universe can be considered a closed system. The Earth, however, cannot.

Making this mistake isn’t a minor quibble. It’d be like trying to write in English, without any adherence to the concepts of “words”, so that any attempt to comsdouasjs fadf jsapqwujjfkasdmrja;dksfasdiopejkrkl;kld;safjfiadjfp;ekrl;esk][asfpfmasdfioyf

 

 

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