The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is a Problem for Evolution (Part 9)

>> Thursday, September 3, 2009

The big argument that evolutionist make about the Second Law of Thermodynamics is that it only applies to closed systems. Earth is an open system because it receives energy from the sun. Therefore, things on Earth don’t necessarily decay, but might evolve over time into something better.

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is the universal law that everything will ultimately fall apart and disintegrate over time, and that nothing is eternal. Clothes will become faded, and everything ages and wears out.

From the Evolutionist point of view:

“What thermodynamics says is that we can only get useful work out of a physical system if we have a difference in energy levels. For example, if we have a high potential in one place and a low potential in another we can get useful work out of the current flow. It also says that we will lose some of the available energy along the way; increased entropy is a way of saying that we have lost usable energy.

Now the Earth is constantly radiating energy into empty space which has a very low energy level. It is intercepting energy from the Sun which has a very high energy level. This flow of energy through the Earth is available for useful work; biological life is a small ripple in this energy flow.

In a closed system where there is nothing coming in or going out everything goes to equilibrium, i.e. the energy level everywhere is the same; this is known as heat death. In an open system where there is energy constantly flowing through system, you can have local complex perturbations that are not in equilibrium. Life is a local complex perturbation. The important thing to understand from the viewpoint of thermodynamics is that evolution is irrelevant to the thermodynamics of life. Each cell is a little island of reduced entropy. If we are calculating the reduction in entropy due to life, it doesn't matter how the cells are arranged; all that matters is the total volume of cells. It is also important to realize that life is really a very small perturbation in the over all energy flow." --- Richard Harter

"As a professor who taught thermodynamics to engineering students for many years, I first entered the creation / evolution controversy in 1978. I was motivated to combat what I then considered -- and still consider -- being the promotion of grossly erroneous if not deceitful arguments concerning entropy and the second law. I viewed this as being particularly serious, not only because thermodynamics is an important engineering science (in fact, it began as an engineering analysis by Carnot) but also because I found that it was engineers in the creationist movement who were shaping their apologetics based on the laws of thermodynamics. Indeed, I have since found that engineering educators, senior engineers, and registered professional engineers are perhaps the most prominent leaders of the creationist movement. As an engineering professor and a registered engineer myself, I felt it would be professionally irresponsible to let this travesty continue without comment.

This paper attempts to expose the nature of the creationist movement, the role that professional engineers have played in its leadership, and the level of scientific incompetence (particularly in thermodynamics) that these creationist engineers have exhibited both in public speaking and in print. I would hope that similarly revealing exposes will also be forthcoming from such non-engineering perspectives as biochemistry, biology, paleontology, physics, etc. but these I will leave to those professionals whose expertise and teaching responsibilities fall in those areas."
Evolutionist Point of View

Richard Harter is an Engineer, and is an expert on the Laws of Thermodynamics, but in this article he goes on to explain biology and how the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics doesn't apply to cells. Evolutionist believe that cells can become more complex because they have reduced entropy. That is absurd. I would like to see an example of a cell becoming more complex? Have they ever demonstrated that?

“Paul Davies, the prolific British writer on astronomy, is another. He, like Capra, is not an atheistic evolutionist, but a pantheistic evolutionist. He has faith that order can come out of chaos, that the increasing disorder specified by the entropy law (second law of thermodynamics) can somehow generate the increasing complexity implied by evolution. "

--We now see how it is possible for the universe to increase both organization and entropy at the same time. The optimistic and pessimistic arrows of time can co-exist: the universe can display creative unidirectional progress even in the face of the second law.

And just how has this remarkable possibility been shown? Capra answers as follows:

It was the great achievement of Ilya Prigogine, who used a new mathematics to reevaluate the second law by radically rethinking traditional scientific views of order and disorder, which enabled him to resolve unambiguously the two contradictory nineteenth-century views of evolution.”

Now again Paul, what example can you present to demonstrate order coming from chaos?

“Naturalistic Evolutionism requires that physical laws and atoms organize themselves into increasingly complex and beneficial, ordered arrangements. Thus, over eons of time, billions of things are supposed to have developed upward, becoming more orderly and complex.”

This sounds fine and dandy, but the problem with this is that there has never been any experiment in the history of science where the 2nd law of Thermodynamics wouldn’t apply, and it doesn’t matter if it is a closed system or an open system!!!

Emmett Williams, Ph.D:
"It is probably no exaggeration to claim that the laws of thermodynamics represent some of the best science we have today. While the utterances in some fields (such as astronomy) seem to change almost daily, the science of thermodynamics has been noteworthy for its stability. In many decades of careful observations, not a single departure from any of these laws has ever been noted."

What actually happens when a dead plant receives energy from the Sun? The internal organization in the plant decreases; it tends to decay and break apart into its simplest components. The heat of the Sun only speeds the disorganization process. The increase in order is only temprary.

Where are the examples that override the 2nd Law since we are in an open system? The atheists sure do want to attack ICR and Dr. Gish for explaining the truth about the 2nd Law, but if they don’t agree, why can’t they present a valid example that everybody can observe.

The distinguished scientist and origins expert, Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith, puts it this way:
"What is the difference then between a stick, which is dead, and an orchid which is alive? The difference is that the orchid has teleonomy in it. It is a machine which is capturing energy to increase order. Where you have life, you have teleonomy, and then the Sun's energy can be taken and make the thing grow - increasing its order" [temporarily].

teleonomy: Information stored within a living thing. Teleonomy involves the concept of something having a design and purpose. Non-teleonomy is “directionlessness,” having no project. The teleonomy of a living thing is somehow stored within its genes. Teleonomy can use energy and matter to produce order and complexity.

An open system exchanges both matter and energy with its surroundings. Certainly, many evolutionists claim that the 2nd Law doesn’t apply to open systems. But this is false. Dr John Ross of Harvard University states:

… there are no known violations of the second law of thermodynamics. Ordinarily the second law is stated for isolated systems, but the second law applies equally well to open systems. … There is somehow associated with the field of far-from-equilibrium thermodynamics the notion that the second law of thermodynamics fails for such systems. It is important to make sure that this error does not perpetuate itself.

Open systems still have a tendency to disorder. There are special cases where local order can increase at the expense of greater disorder elsewhere. One case is crystallization, covered in Question 2 below. The other case is programmed machinery, that directs energy into maintaining and increasing complexity, at the expense of increased disorder elsewhere. Living things have such energy-converting machinery to make the complex structures of life.


The fact is that the 2nd Law is a problem for evolution and that is why many scientists are abandoning the theory of evolution. Again, Paul is attacking Creationist claiming that they are just crazy fundamentalist, but in fact, Creationist are looking at the true science that was created by God. Evolutionist are the ones that have their facts confused. There religion is what is clouding their scientific judgement. Saying that Order can come from chaos is absurd.

The evolutionist always makes it seem like their theory is always black and white, but that definitely isn't the case. You can just google this topic and see all the discussion about the Laws of Thermodynamics.

To me it is common sense that things break down. I see that happening with everything I do, and for the evolutionist to try and go against the 2nd Law and claim it doesn't apply to open systems is just nonsense, and it definitely isn't science.

Go To Part 10


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