2nd Law of Thermodynamics



     It is really upsetting to hear the argument of 2nd law of thermodynamics used to disprove biological evolution. I can safely say that whoever uses this argument does not know or understand what the 2nd law says, let alone the rest of the laws of thermodynamics. This argument has been used for over fifty years and we still find it in creationist’s literature. The more I read their literature the more I become convinced that they are purposefully passing false information to further their cause. They tend to misquote, take quotes out of context, or plainly edit information misguiding their readers. Contrary to what creationists think, there is no law of entropy, specifically what we do have is the the 2nd Law of Thermodynamic. Before we define the 2nd Law we must first understand what an open, close, and isolated system is. If anything can pass into, or out of, a system, we identify at as an open system. If only matter can pass into, or out of, a system, but not energy, then we identify it as a closed system. If neither matter nor energy can pass into, or out of, systems, then we identify it as an isolated system. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is defined as the entropy of any isolated system not in thermal equilibrium almost always increases. What creationists tend to leave out is the word "isolated" from the definition, deliberately misinforming their readers. Morris on the other hand writes, 
“In the first place, the entropy principle applies at least as much to open systems as to closed systems. In an isolated real system, shut off from external energy, the entropy (or disorganization) will always increase. In an open system (such as the earth receiving an influx of heat energy from the sun), the entropy always tends to increase, and, as a matter of fact, will usually increase more rapidly than if the system remained closed!”[1] 
His statement gives the impression that their should be even more disorder in an open system than an isolated system, therefore, it is more unlikely for order to arise in an open system than an isolated system. The part that Morris leaves out conveniently is that without influx of energy order cannot arise out of disorder. This was proved by the Miller-Urey experiment were electrodes supplied energy to the chemicals resulting in hydrocarbon chains and amino acids—the gases, in an isolated system, were in a disorder state and order was created using influx of energy resulting in complex molecules. Also according to Morris statement, if we were to drop, lets say, amino acids on hot sand, what should happen? According to Morris, should they not become more disorganized since there is an influx of energy? To a lay person reading Morris writings i believe the answer would be yes. In reality when such an experiment is conducted, what does happen is the amino acids combine to create complex molecules. His whole article is extremely misleading with false understanding of evolution and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics riddled with total nonsense. The 2nd law of thermodynamics is no way against biological evolution--the entropy of a particular system can decrease as long as the entropy of the universe, plus its surroundings, increases. It is important to note that the 2nd law of thermodynamics applies only to isolated systems in thermodynamic equilibrium and cannot be applied "as is" without regard to the isolated or equilibrium state of the system. If the system were not isolated, then entropy would spill out of the system, and the entropy decreases instead of increases. 



[1] http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=245

2 comments:

  1. If the 2nd law applies to all systems, why weaken it by specifying that it applies to isolated systems only? Those poor, deluded scientists are selling thier theory short!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The second law does not apply to all systems--that is the point. It does not weaken the theory in anyway because the theory applies only to certain conditions. In science, we do not make the universe operate how we wish it to, but rather it is the universe that tells us how it works.

      Delete