Does the second law of thermodynamics refute evolution?
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09-09-2014, 05:58 PM
Does the second law of thermodynamics refute evolution?
No.

The four laws of thermodynamics define fundamental physical quantities (temperature, energy, and entropy) that characterize thermodynamic systems. The laws describe how these quantities behave under various circumstances, and forbid certain phenomena (such as perpetual motion).

The four laws of thermodynamics in informal terms are:

Zeroth law of thermodynamics: states that if each of two systems is in thermal equilibrium with a third, they are in thermal equilibrium with each other. This law helps define the notion of temperature.

First law of thermodynamics: states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. Equivalently, perpetual motion machines of the first kind are impossible.

Second law of thermodynamics: states that the entropy of a closed system tends to increase to its maximum value (entropy is the amount of energy not available for work, sometimes in formerly referred to as “disorder” or “chaos”). Equivalently, perpetual motion machines of the second kind are impossible.

Third law of thermodynamics: reduces to the conclusion that absolute zero can never be reached in a finite amount of time.

I bring this up because it seems that pseudoscience type creationists, and those who puppet their words even though they do not understand the principles in question, like to posit that the second law of thermodynamics refutes evolution. They grasp at this straw of disingenuous misinformation by claiming that since entropy increases in a closed system, evolution or the emergence of an ordered universe is impossible, requiring an outside creator.

As a solid rebuttal, it is easy to point out that the earth, bombarded by energy from the sun, is not a closed system, and though our observed universe is probably indeed a “closed system” (if that means anything), the second law of thermodynamics applies only to the energy of particles, which did not exist at the earliest stage of the Big Bang. The second law of thermodynamics is irrelevant to the topic of evolution, and completely useless as a theistic argument.

You can further debunk your opponent by following up with this question, “since you obviously imagine that the Second law, which is derived from within the universe, applies to the universe as a whole, does the First law also apply? Since the First law states that energy/matter cannot be created, doesn’t that rule out the creation of the universe?”

DroolingSmartass

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"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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09-09-2014, 06:14 PM
RE: Does the second law of thermodynamics refute evolution?
I just say:

Prove to me that the Universe it a closed system so the 2nd law can be applied.
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09-09-2014, 06:17 PM
RE: Does the second law of thermodynamics refute evolution?
ooookay, i thought their claim wasn't about evolution but about bad understandings in astrophysics, just googled christian 2nd law of thermodynamics, and yep... a bunch of nonsense about evolution floods the search. Weeping

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09-09-2014, 06:18 PM
RE: Does the second law of thermodynamics refute evolution?
(09-09-2014 06:17 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  ooookay, i thought their claim wasn't about evolution but about bad understandings in astrophysics, just googled christian 2nd law of thermodynamics, and yep... a bunch of nonsense about evolution floods the search. Weeping

Yeah I have been the recipient of that BS claim several times, including by one of our recent trolls, figured I'd put it in easy to understand terms for non science smart folks like myself, and for the usage of others if they so incline.

Drooling

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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09-09-2014, 07:55 PM
RE: Does the second law of thermodynamics refute evolution?
(09-09-2014 05:58 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  No.

The four laws of thermodynamics define fundamental physical quantities (temperature, energy, and entropy) that characterize thermodynamic systems. The laws describe how these quantities behave under various circumstances, and forbid certain phenomena (such as perpetual motion).

The four laws of thermodynamics in informal terms are:

Zeroth law of thermodynamics: states that if each of two systems is in thermal equilibrium with a third, they are in thermal equilibrium with each other. This law helps define the notion of temperature.

First law of thermodynamics: states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. Equivalently, perpetual motion machines of the first kind are impossible.

Second law of thermodynamics: states that the entropy of a closed system tends to increase to its maximum value (entropy is the amount of energy not available for work, sometimes in formerly referred to as “disorder” or “chaos”). Equivalently, perpetual motion machines of the second kind are impossible.

Third law of thermodynamics: reduces to the conclusion that absolute zero can never be reached in a finite amount of time.

I bring this up because it seems that pseudoscience type creationists, and those who puppet their words even though they do not understand the principles in question, like to posit that the second law of thermodynamics refutes evolution. They grasp at this straw of disingenuous misinformation by claiming that since entropy increases in a closed system, evolution or the emergence of an ordered universe is impossible, requiring an outside creator.

As a solid rebuttal, it is easy to point out that the earth, bombarded by energy from the sun, is not a closed system, and though our observed universe is probably indeed a “closed system” (if that means anything), the second law of thermodynamics applies only to the energy of particles, which did not exist at the earliest stage of the Big Bang. The second law of thermodynamics is irrelevant to the topic of evolution, and completely useless as a theistic argument.

You can further debunk your opponent by following up with this question, “since you obviously imagine that the Second law, which is derived from within the universe, applies to the universe as a whole, does the First law also apply? Since the First law states that energy/matter cannot be created, doesn’t that rule out the creation of the universe?”

DroolingSmartass

It's patently false. It's very easy to demonstrate the Second Law is maintained, and in no way refuted by Evolution. In fact it's promoted. Energy is released.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxidative_phosphorylation

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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09-09-2014, 09:16 PM
RE: Does the second law of thermodynamics refute evolution?
I prefer this formulation of the Three Laws of Thermodynamics:
  1. You can't win.
  2. You can't even break even.
  3. You can't get out of the game.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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11-09-2014, 03:27 AM
RE: Does the second law of thermodynamics refute evolution?
Observations:
  • The "Laws" of thermodynamics is a misnomer. They should be called the "Axioms" of thermodynamics, i.e., you assume they are true and go from there.
  • The discovery that the rate of expansion of the universe is still increasing indicates to me that the universe is not a closed system.
  • It's been a long time since I studied thermodynamics but as I recall the laws only apply to systems in equilibrium or near equilibrium. The universe will not reach equilibrium for trillions of years, maybe never.

Sapere aude
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