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Posts: 182
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2006,11:17   

Since then Granville and I have corresponded and he forwarded a follow-up piece entitled, “Can Anything Happen in an Open System?”

The interesting thing about Granville Sewell's argument is that his fallacy can be pinpointed precisely and demonstrated very easily.  Here's the fallacy:  
If we look at the diffusion of, say, carbon, in a solid instead of the conduction of heat, and take U(x, y, z, t) now to be the carbon concentration instead of the temperature, we can repeat the analysis in the Appendix for ”carbon entropy” (Q is just U now), showing again that in a closed system (no carbon crosses the border) this entropy cannot decrease, while in an open system, the decrease in entropy cannot be greater than the entropy exported through the boundary.
(Emphasis mine.)

Sewell is stating that his analysis in the appendix applies to carbon concentration as well as temperature.  This is a naked assertion, and it's demonstrably wrong.  The problem is that his analysis is premised on the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (see the sentence preceding equation (2)), and the 2nd Law doesn't apply to carbon concentration.

Anyone who doubts this should test Sewell's conclusion.  Is it true that "in a closed system (no carbon crosses the border) this entropy cannot decrease"?  Of course not.  Take a large room with several people in it, with nobody going in or out.  This is a closed system (no carbon crosses the border).  Now have everyone in the room gather together for a group hug.  We've just decreased the "carbon entropy" of the room, which Sewell says is impossible.

UD is basically a remake of Weekend at Bernie's, with the UD puppeteers trying to prop up long-dead arguments and make them dance.

"I wasn't aware that classical physics had established a position on whether intelligent agents exercising free were constrained by 2LOT into increasing entropy." -DaveScot

  29999 replies since Jan. 16 2006,11:43 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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