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Recently we had some interesting comments on a post about Tafil-Xanor For Sale, Ben Stein's upcoming creationist propaganda film, Expelled.  Since the comments section was exceeding length of the original article, I thought it would be best to write a series of new posts and address each of "Seeker of Truth's" objections to evolution one at a time. Tafil-Xanor interactions, The Second Law of Thermodynamics does NOT say evolution is impossible. 

The claim:

"...referring to the universe as the system in question, not just the earth, discount Tafil-Xanor. Cheap Tafil-Xanor no rx, The law of entropy as far as science can tell applies to the entire universe. Thus intervention from outside the universe would have been needed to inject order into it, about Tafil-Xanor, Fast shipping Tafil-Xanor, or at least temporarily violate the law of entropy to produce the higher degree of order."

The claim was buttressed by a quote from Duane Gish, a Ph.D, Tafil-Xanor schedule. Real brand Tafil-Xanor online, in biochemistry who works at the Institute for Creation Research:
“Of all the statements that have been made with respect to theories on the origin of life, the statement that the Second Law of Thermodynamics poses no problem for an evolutionary origin of life is the most absurd… The operation of natural processes on which the Second Law of Thermodynamics is based is alone sufficient, where can i buy cheapest Tafil-Xanor online, Where can i buy Tafil-Xanor online, therefore, to preclude the spontaneous evolutionary origin of the immense biological order required for the origin of life.”

So, buy Tafil-Xanor without a prescription, Tafil-Xanor from mexico, our commentor concluded:
"...for every transition from low order to high order system such as a single embryo growing in complexity into a human with fully developed organs, we see the effect of the external intervention of this transcendent agent who programmed the system through the genetic code to overcome the law of thermodynamics, Tafil-Xanor canada, mexico, india. Without this intervention natural laws could not have produced the precise complexity we see, Tafil-Xanor For Sale. Buying Tafil-Xanor online over the counter, Long periods of time would only increase the disorder of such system."

This claim is based on a poor understanding of the Second Law of Thermodynamics and a couple of flaws in logic.  The law can be stated in a few equivalent ways:
In an isolated system, a process can occur only if it increases the total entropy of the system, japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal. Purchase Tafil-Xanor for sale, Heat cannot spontaneously flow from a material at lower temperature to a material at higher temperature.

It is impossible to convert heat completely into work.

So first off, purchase Tafil-Xanor online no prescription, Comprar en línea Tafil-Xanor, comprar Tafil-Xanor baratos, notice that the Second Law does NOT say that no order can arise, ever.  It also does NOT say that heat can not be converted into work, online buying Tafil-Xanor. Tafil-Xanor results, To apply thermodynamics to evolution, we first have to look at a reasonably closed system.  The Earth is obviously not a closed system, Tafil-Xanor blogs, Purchase Tafil-Xanor online, since the sun is constantly inputting huge amounts of energy.  The solar system as a whole, though, Tafil-Xanor gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, My Tafil-Xanor experience, is pretty far away from any other stars so we can say it's reasonably isolated.  The sun is constantly fusing hydrogen into helium, pouring out energy in the process.  This energy is lost as far as the sun is concerned, no prescription Tafil-Xanor online, Tafil-Xanor over the counter, and only a tiny, tiny fraction of that energy even hits a planet where it could be used to do some sort of work, Tafil-Xanor reviews. Tafil-Xanor For Sale, So at this point all is well with the Second Law.  The vast, vast majority of the energetic processes in the solar system occur inside the sun and the vast, vast majority of the heat generated is radiated off where it spreads thinner and thinner as it travels outward. Tafil-Xanor online cod, The teeniest fraction of a fraction of that energy hits the Earth.  Now, the Earth itself is already radiating waste heat from processes like volcanism but those are so small (and also Second Law friendly) that we can ignore them for now.  We know for a fact that the energy from the sun hitting the earth causes some spontaneous order to appear - uneven heating of different surfaces causes weather, order Tafil-Xanor online c.o.d, Buy Tafil-Xanor no prescription, for example.  But those are big huge systems that require a lot of energy - the formation of proteins or RNA from simpler molecules would require a ridiculously small fraction of the energy it takes to create a hurricane.  All of these processes are inefficient, never converting 100 percent of the incoming solar energy into work, ordering Tafil-Xanor online. Online buy Tafil-Xanor without a prescription, The claim of the creationist is:  in a system where the vast majority of heat is radiated into space (high entropy, no work is done), where to buy Tafil-Xanor, Tafil-Xanor pharmacy, the tiny fraction of energy that hits a planet which CAN cause the spontaneous generation of hurricanes CAN NOT contribute an even smaller fraction to inefficiently cause the spontaneous generation of proteins, RNA, Tafil-Xanor dosage, Is Tafil-Xanor safe, etc. and then life.  Not even over billions of years.

Stepping back for a moment, let's look at the Second Law from a historical perspective.  The first person to begin to figure out the Second Law was Sadi Carnot.  He was trying to figure out how to convert heat into useful work, and he discovered that the efficiency depends on the heat differential.  The Second Law is depressing for perfectionists because it tells us that you can never be 100 percent efficient.  But it is not so depressing as Duane Gish and our commenter would have us believe - it is entirely possible for work to be done at a lower efficiency.  If this were not true, Carnot would have given up on engines and we'd all be still be riding horses.

How does the Second Law really apply to evolution?  Well, it tells us that evolution can not, say, fill the volume of the solar system with algae.  It leaves plenty of room for the creation of a thin layer of diverse species on the surface of one little planet.  Looking at the system as a whole, entropy and disorder is always increasing - evolution on Earth is a mind-bogglingly minuscule sideshow of localized, temporary order, not a violation, Tafil-Xanor For Sale.

Now for the flaw in logic.  In our commenter's second quote, we see the claim that the genetic code was programmed (by the creator) to overcome the Second Law. The genetic code is all over the place (you are shedding millions of copies right now through dead skin cells), so this means that violations of the Second Law can be found all over the place - amazingly common.  With this many violations, we can't really call it a law anymore, can we?  This whole argument rests on the Second Law being absolute, and then posits that we are surrounded (and made up of) billions of instances of violations of that law.

We have a pretty good understand of the genetic code, and we're learning more bout it every day.  No one studying genetics or microbiology has ever uncovered any cases that violate the Second Law - it would be huge news!  We have absolutely no evidence that the genetic code overcomes entropy.  Every single chemical reaction that occurs within the cell results in the entropy of the system as a whole increasing.

So again, we come to my challenge to creationists from the previous article:  give me evidence.  You can't just posit that DNA violates entropy without citing evidence that it actually does.  You can't just invoke the Second Law of Thermodynamics without showing specifically how it is violated.  I'm sorry that this is hard work, but that's just how science is.

Think I'm off base?  Please tell me how in the comments below.

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  1. The law of entropy should be observed in the context of the entire universe, not just the earth. Even though the energy required by biological processes is much smaller than that required by a hurricane, the complexity of biological processes is far higher than that of a hurricane. The amount of energy required to drive a system is not proportional to the complexity of that system. But that complexity implies an intelligence to achieve the precision and balance of the system.

    I’m not saying that biological processes violate the second law of thermodynamics, but rather that biological processes are directed by a programming of information through DNA such that there is a net effect of overcoming the tendency toward disorder to the extent that more order is produced as an organism develops even though the effects of the second law win out as the organism eventually dies. However, I don’t see how the laws of physics we observe today with hard empirical data, can produce the observed order we find especially in living systems.

    Seeker of truth
    January 3rd, 2008 at 6:22 am
  2. How can someone be so intellectually accurate about the Adblock and Firefox, and so intellectually tangled on the “creationism is not science” bit? I won’t waste time on an argument, it’s always pointless.

    January 4th, 2008 at 8:30 am
  3. Thanks one again for participating, Seeker, and I appreciate that you’re following up on the thermodynamic argument. Your comment is contradicting itself – you say that we need to look at the context of the entire universe, but then you start talking about DNA and biological processes as if they are isolated systems. DNA does not overcome entropy. Organisms only develop because of massive inputs of energy over their lifetimes. Biological processes create plenty of entropy – think of all the waste heat radiating from each 98.6 degree human. Not to mention all the solid waste. You are willing to admit the Second Law always wins in the end.

    Energy is the ability to do work, and putting things in order is a perfectly valid form of work. I’m no physicist, but I’ve read enough to know that entropy and complexity in thermodynamic terms are not just measures of how complicated something looks to you. You can’t just claim that DNA overcomes the tendency toward disorder without evidence. We actually know a good deal about how DNA works now, down to individual reactions involved in transcription and replication, and no one has ever found any steps that violate the Second Law.

    If you could provide me with an actual case where a biological process actually violates the Second Law, I would be ecstatic. You (or whoever discovered it) would win the Nobel Prize. But every serious observation of cell biology, metabolism, and ecology we have – empirical data – has confirmed that life can proceed comfortably without violating the laws of physics.

    Here’s a great introduction into the thermodynamics of biology.

    January 4th, 2008 at 10:09 pm
  4. [...] you know that we’ve been discussing problems with Creationism.  In part one we looked at the Second Law of Thermodynamics and why it doesn’t invalidate evolution (or biology in general).  Despite what some wealthy political figures with delusions of [...]

    Creationism is Not Science, Part 2: God in the Gaps - Unsought Input
    January 5th, 2008 at 1:03 am
  5. You guys argue this until the cows come home. Me I’m going to find out what Toyota did to become #1 and then copy them!

    Uncle B
    April 26th, 2008 at 5:38 pm
  6. You’re preaching to the choir. Nobody who believes in creationism understands logic or the scientific process, nor do they want to understand it. So it doesn’t matter what you say it can’t possibly have an influence.

    “Don’t argue with stupid people. They will only drag you down to their level and beat you with their experience.”

    April 28th, 2008 at 6:53 pm
  7. Thanks for the comment, Jack. Normally I would agree with you, but I guess what bothers me is when people cloak their ignorance in pseudo-scientific terms and try to convince people they really know what they are talking about.

    April 28th, 2008 at 9:35 pm
  8. I agree with Jack on how pointless it is to argue with the people who actually believe in Creationism. Yes these people should be ignored as much as possible. However these people are making progress on a lot of school boards etc. and then get to choose what is placed in educational text books and this cannot be ignored. In my opinion this obvious misquoting of science is an attempt to legitimize their claims enough to influence these committees. The fact that disclaimers to the theory of evolution exist in any educational science book shows how dangerous it is to ignore the influence of creationism. The saying about empty vessels making the most noise comes to mind.
    I would like to personally thank you Jason; I think any effort made which so clearly refutes these claims is worthwhile.

    June 23rd, 2008 at 8:13 pm
  9. Being smart is tough, ’cause everyday you hear people chatting BS to each other, all sorts of stuff, not just science. Its fustrating but you have got to let it go, only another idiot will actually listen to BS. Infact BS explinations for stuff are useful if you need to tell a non-techy how your fixing something, or why your doing XYZ. The problem comes when a BS spouting person has a position of influnce….
    Its not to big a problem here in European schools yet…
    you guys have another Wall St Credit Crisis, and well see you after the JUMP!

    June 26th, 2008 at 9:27 pm
  10. Actually,
    Scientists need to make a religion out of science. The idiots out there would be well impressed by the miracles you could do in mass, with some mirrors and a projector. Then heal the sick with some cough medicine. If there too dumb to understand the scientific journels, or understand the scienctific process, lets package it in a form they understand!!!
    Once we have a big enough following, we can have an inquisition, and burn all the fooking moron heritics!!

    June 26th, 2008 at 9:34 pm
  11. I got into an arguement with a now ex-friend of mine
    about evolution and the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
    I mentioned the contribution of solar energy into the Earth’s energetic processes…I mentioned that scientists in the late 50′s had synthesized amino acids using electric sparks and a synthesised primitive atmoshpere…
    and I was told (loudly) that I was COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY WRONG about it, and TOTALLY WRONG about literally ALL the opinions I had ever had about EVERYTHING ELSE in life,
    and therefore — because of this, as well as my recent political shift from far-right conservatism to center-leftism — I was now: A) unworthy of respect, B) an America-hater, and C) a Communist.

    Julian the Apostate
    August 21st, 2008 at 1:07 am

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