Joined: Dec. 2005
Yet another example of DaveScot's hilarity.
Apparently DaveScot has allowed William Demski to make this absurd post on his blog.
|March 3, 2006|
Thermodynamics and Intelligent Design
Check out the following online lecture/tutorial by Granville Sewell (Texas A&M) on the connection between thermodynamics and ID: www.math.tamu.edu/~sewell/odes_pdes/thermo.html
Filed under: Intelligent Design — William Dembski @ 86 am
The comments are really where it's at.
The article is extremely informative. Sewell points out IDists are on the whole uncomforatable with the old creationist arguments from the 2nd law. I certainly am. Thaxton, Bradley, and Olsen used an innovative approach by combining thermal entropy with configurational entropy to make a 2nd law-like argument, but I found it rather inelegant. I think the idea of a 4th law clarifies the issue better….
Sewell makes the point there is an underlying principle to the 2nd law (probability). I do feel comfortable with that. I think (and I could be wrong), that the laws of probability underlie both the 2nd and 4th law. Thus his point (as I see it) is evolution is in violation of principles even more fundamental than the second law.
All in all, a wonderful link!
Comment by scordova — March 3, 2006 @ 8:54 am
Wow! Great example of the beauty of simplicity!
Comment by jacktone — March 3, 2006 @ 9:22 am
According to his line of reasoning I would have to conclude that the formation of everything from the initial atoms to galaxies, stars, and planetary systems is equally a concievable violation of the 2nd Law. Granted that the information in life is more complex and potentially less probable, but the principle is the same. Everywhere we look in the universe we see thermal order that, by the arguments reasoning, should not be there.
I think the probability angle makes for the best 2nd Law argument that I have heard, but it really does not address the classic failings of such arguments.
Comment by ftrp11 — March 3, 2006 @ 11:29 am
Pretty impressive. Usually I don’t care for that argument, but he presented it well.
Comment by Teddy — March 3, 2006 @ 11:52 am
It’s presented well, but it is a fallacious tautology he presents. Here is a simple counter-example: A highly improbable event would be for energetic water molecules to start sticking to each other in an ordered, symmetric way. Yet, it is made more probable by simply reducing the temperature of the system. (Frost in your fridge.) Heat leaving the boundry of this open system is how this is possible. How does his tautology explain such an event?
By the way: what is the 4th Law of Thermo?
Comment by danb — March 3, 2006 @ 124 pm
So it sounds like his argument has little to do with thermodynamics, but is rather just a restatement of ID beliefs—that NS+RM is extremely unlikely to have produced the complexity and diversity we see. There certainly doesn’t seem to be a claim that any physical laws are violated.
Comment by physicist — March 3, 2006 @ 1:53 pm
“According to his line of reasoning I would have to conclude that the formation of everything from the initial atoms to galaxies, stars, and planetary systems is equally a concievable violation of the 2nd Law.”
–This is an EXCELLENT OBSERVATION and exactly correct.
–That the existence of the material universe is a violation of the 2nd Law is ENTIRELY CONSISTENT with the logical inference we make from what we have learned from the development of the Big Bang theory–the origens of the material universe cannot have had a material origin.
“Everywhere we look in the universe we see thermal order that, by the argument’s reasoning, should not be there.”
Comment by Red Reader — March 3, 2006 @ 1:54 pm
“I think the probability angle makes for the best 2nd Law argument that I have heard, but it really does not address the classic failings of such arguments.”
What are those classic failings? The principal and oft-repeated assertion I have seen is the assertion that the second law does not apply to open systems, which is nonsense. I would be interested to hear about specific failings of 2nd law arguments.
Comment by Eric Anderson — March 3, 2006 @ 3:38 pm
("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."--Jonathan Swift)