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Can creationists explain thermodynamics to me

Discussion in 'Creation & Evolution' started by perplexed, May 27, 2006.

  1. perplexed

    perplexed Senior Member

    +105
    Seeker
    Can creationists explain thermodynamics to me?
     
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  2. JohnR7

    JohnR7 Well-Known Member

    +191
    Pentecostal
    Married
    I doubt it, what does creationism have to do with thermodynamics?

    I am sure we could find you a creationist with a degree in physics that could explain it to you though.
     
  3. Mocca

    Mocca MokAce - Priest of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

    +43
    Atheist
    US-Libertarian
    I doubt most of them could.

    I mean, we're talking about a population most of which though the 2LoT refuted the Theory of Evolution a few months ago here.

    But, I guess they're not blame. Most of their knowledge of thermodynamics probably came from the deceptive creationist websites on the 'net.
     
  4. perplexed

    perplexed Senior Member

    +105
    Seeker
    But many creationists use thermodynamics in their argument against evolution, without explaining it.
     
  5. JohnR7

    JohnR7 Well-Known Member

    +191
    Pentecostal
    Married
    You doubt that someone with a physics degree can explain physics? Is that sort of like saying I doubt if a plumber knows anything about plumbing or to doubt that a doctor knows anything about medicine?
     
  6. JohnR7

    JohnR7 Well-Known Member

    +191
    Pentecostal
    Married
    Yeah, that is wild isn't it. But I was not talking about people that do not know what they are talking about. I was talking about people with a degree in physics that have actually studied the subject intensively. What do they say about the arguement that creationists make using the law of thermodynamics?

    It amazed me that someone can spend 4 years of their life (on the average) to get a degree in something. Then someone that has never even taken one class or read one book thinks they are qualified to come up with a theory on how one appys to the other.

    We run into this all the time with people who think they are experts on the Bible, when they have never taken a Bible study class and have never studied the Bible. Yet they feel qualified to make all sorts of comments about something they do not know anything about.
     
  7. Dragar

    Dragar Like the root of -1

    +213
    Atheist
    Based on some of the lectures I've sat in, I'm absolutely certain that some people with PhDs in physics can't even explain physics.

    But there's a difference between knowing your stuff and being able to explain it. It wouldn't surprise me if creationists could give you a precise definition of the four laws, and then in the next breath claim evolution violates them.
     
  8. Dragar

    Dragar Like the root of -1

    +213
    Atheist
    Well, technically, I could graduate with my BSc in less than a month if I chose to do so (but I'll be sticking around another year instead to get an MSci).

    I think that argument of theirs is complete nonsense.
     
  9. Mskedi

    Mskedi Senior Veteran

    +470
    Methodist
    Married
    US-Green
    Oh... apparently I've been missing out on some fun. How, exactly, do creationists use thermodynamics to disprove evolution? That's a new one to me.

    The most recent creationist argument I heard was saying dinosaur bones were actually the bones of giants (a la Goliath) and were intentionally reassembled wrong by scientists who want to turn people away from God.

    That was pretty fabulous, but the thermodynamics one could possibly be even better. Please please fill me in here. :)
     
  10. JohnR7

    JohnR7 Well-Known Member

    +191
    Pentecostal
    Married
    Lots of people have degrees in something and yet they have never taken a class on how to teach. Even I have been told that there are people with a degree in education that do not know much about how to teach. I took three teacher training classes at the Bible college and I know I have a lot more to learn about it. So really I am another year from having an associate degree level of knowledge on how to teach. It would take at least 6 teacher training classes for me to know how to teach. Although there are some books out there on it that I could read and be more self taught on the subject.
     
  11. JohnR7

    JohnR7 Well-Known Member

    +191
    Pentecostal
    Married
    Thermodynamics as it's name would imply has to do with heat and energy. There are people who try to appy it to something else that has little to do with heat and energy. On top of that, they only use a part of it perhaps because they only know the theory in part.
     
  12. Dragar

    Dragar Like the root of -1

    +213
    Atheist
    Enjoy.
     
  13. Micaiah

    Micaiah Well-Known Member

    +35
    Christian
    The discussion on this topic centres on entropy, which loosely defined is a measure of the randomness of a system. Most naturally occuring processes result in an increase in entropy. That contradicts the idea that natural systems could evolve from the simple to the complex, from the disordered to the ordered.

    Entropy is a concept that is common to a range of areas. For example, I've heard of thermodynamic entropy, chemical entropy, statistical entropy and information entropy. It does not have the same units in all contexts. The concept of randomness seems common to all. In therrmodynamics, this randomness relates to the motion of atoms. From memory, in information theory, the randomness relates to communication errors or noise.

    There is a discussion on entropy here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy

    There are a number of articles on the topic here:

    http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/3038/

    A good starting point for a rigorus treatment on the subject is provided here:

    http://www.ldolphin.org/mystery/chapt7.html

    Can you, in your own words, respond with a rational, readable and robust refutation to the rhetoric referred to in the links?

    This should be funny.
     
  14. TooCurious

    TooCurious Kitten with a ball of string

    +216
    Atheist
    In Relationship
    US-Democrat
    Given that I'm already engrossed in another debate at the moment, and given the fact that it's after 8am where I am and I haven't slept yet, I won't be responding to this matter now, but I wanted to say this: nice alliteration! :thumbsup:
     
  15. Micaiah

    Micaiah Well-Known Member

    +35
    Christian
    Thankyou Toocurious for telling us your thoughts on the topic. :D
     
  16. TooCurious

    TooCurious Kitten with a ball of string

    +216
    Atheist
    In Relationship
    US-Democrat
    I'm always glad to share my thoughts on one of my favorite literary devices. Of course, my thoughts on thermodynamics must wait until I've gotten some sleep; surely that's reasonable?
     
  17. Micaiah

    Micaiah Well-Known Member

    +35
    Christian
    Yes, you need to get some sleep. Just think, if you lived in Australia you could go to bed at 9.00 pm in 5 minutes time and wake up Monday morning bright as a button.
     
  18. TooCurious

    TooCurious Kitten with a ball of string

    +216
    Atheist
    In Relationship
    US-Democrat
    Yes, but then I'd have to walk around on my head all day, and my neck would get sore. ;)

    Alright, I'm making bad jokes now. I need to sleep. Goodnight.
     
  19. Dragar

    Dragar Like the root of -1

    +213
    Atheist
    No, it doesn't, because

    a) Populations evolve, not individuals ('systems').
    b) Even treating the population as one system, only the entropy of isolated systems must always go up or remain constant. Entropy of open systems can go down.
    c) Entropy has a very specific definition, which is being ignored when discussing evolution - like, right now.

    Perhaps you'd like to name a single process in evolution that violates any of the laws of thermodynamics?


    The first link is a collection of links, including the one I linked to.

    The second link is pretty much a calculation about the origins of life.
     
  20. Frumious Bandersnatch

    Frumious Bandersnatch Contributor

    +306
    Unitarian
    Chemical entropy is thermodynamic entropy. The entropy calculated from statistical mechanics is equivalent to thermodynamic entropy when certain conditions (the fundamental postulates of statistical mechanics) are met. The dimensions on thermodynamic entropy are Energy/(Temperature*quantity) J/(KM). (Formally entropy is energy/temperature but the amount must be specified because entropy is an extensive variable). Entropy from Shannon's theory of communication, called information entropy is dimensionless. The connection between the two is more subtle than many people seem to realize.

    The connection of thermodynamic entropy to randomness and "disorder" is more subtle than many people realize, perhaps because of the examples that are sometimes used to illustrate the principles of statistical thermodynamics.

    I can and am sure that others here can as well but it will take some time. First the classical definition of entropy and the second law.

    Clausius postulated that on any reversible path between equilbrium states, there is a quantity S whose change can be calculated as dS = dQ/T which can be integrated to determine the entropy change going from state A to state B as SB – SA = Integral (A-B) dQ/T.

    For a cyclic process between equilibrium states over a reversible path in a closed system connected to a reservior the temperature of the reservior and the system are always identical and the entropy change in the reservoir is always the negative of the entropy change in the system so the total entropy change is 0. All real processes are irreversible because of temperature differences between the system and the reservior and the total entropy change of the system + the reservoir is always greater than 0. This is the second law.

    Entropy is a state function which means that the entropy of a state is not dependant on the path to that state and it is an extensive property, meaning that the more of a thing there is the more entropy it has (except maybe in some very energetic processes beyond the scope of this discussion).

    A consequence of the second law is that no process can exist whose sole effect is to transfer heat from a cooler body to a warmer body.

    It means that energy can't be concentrated in one place without becoming more dispersed somewhere else.

    The second law also forbids the existence of a perptual motion machine of the second kind, that produces exactly as much energy as it uses in a process.

    Now let me start by asking for an answer to this question.

    What step, required for for the evoluiton of life on earth from common ancestors decreases the entropy of both the evolving system and its surroundings each and every time it might occur?

    Do random mutations violate the 2nd law? Does natural selection? Does genetic drift? Does exon shuffling? How about gene duplication? How about chromosomal segmental duplication?

    Is there any process postulated to be required for macroevolution that is known to violate the second law each and every time it might occur? Do any of the above processes have the sole result of transferring heat from a cold to a hot reservoir? Do any of these processes concentrate energy in one place without resulting in it being more dispersed somewhere else?

    Thermodynamics is a quantitative science so the answer should be quantitative.

    The Frumious Bandersnatch
     
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