The Second Law of Thermodynamics and Evolution

Simple rebuttal to that arguement SuperM0nk: photosynthesis. The raw, undirected, uncontrolled energy comming from the sun is obviously helpful to all those plants out there, so raw energy can be constructive. Uncontrolled energy does not mean that the energy is supplied in such a great amount that it is unable to be used constructively. Now, if the plant was placed on the surface of the sun…

If my understanding is wrong somewhere in there, please correct me.

It doesn’t matter anyway, because most mutations die. The net effect is still in accordance with the Second Law. For one bit in a successful organism, there are lots of lost bits in rotting flesh.

For photosynthesis to take place, the energy is actually being directed and controlled. For example, without the protective layer of ozone in the upper atmoshphere which absorbs most of the ultraviolet light coming from the sun, life on earth would be impossible. This is because ultraviolet light, or irradiation of any kind, breaks chemical bonds and thus randomizes and destroys the highly complex structures found in biologically active macromolecules, such as proteins and DNA.

You’re forgetting the oceans. They would provide a lot of shielding.
I thought that was how the ozone layer came to be in place anyway; a bi-product of the oxygen in the atmoshere produced by early aquatic life. This paved the way for life on land some time later.

There’s also the possibility that life arose underground somehow, usng chemosynthesis.

You’re right Jurph. I should have explained myself better. Creationists often refer to the second law of thermodynamics when discussing the increase in order in the living world. My point was twofold:

  1. The ordering happens at a genetic level. Genetic information to cake new proteins is the comodity at stake here. Thermodynamics is not.

  2. As such, the second order of thermodynamics is the wrong tool for the job when it comes to discussing changes in species.

You have to be careful when talking about order too. It’s not unreasonable to define order as ‘low entropy’ but if you do you must stick to that definition. For example: most people would have the idea that a collection of random rocks in space coalescing due to gravity as an increase in order, howver it actually represents an increase in entropy which can confuse people who equate entropy with their own personal defintion of ‘order’ and ‘disorder’.

Of course you can apply entropy to discrete systems as you can define it in terms of macrostates and microstates. You can also connect the ideas of information and entropy as Shannon did.