The Math Forum

Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.

Math Forum » Discussions » sci.math.* » sci.math

Replies: 4   Last Post: Dec 25, 2012 6:57 AM

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List Jump to Tree View Jump to Tree View   Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
Pentcho Valev

Posts: 5,005
Registered: 12/13/04
Posted: Dec 24, 2012 4:42 AM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

A reasonable argument advanced by an intelligent design advocate:
Granville Sewell: "If an increase in order is extremely improbable when a system is closed, it is still extremely improbable when the system is open, unless something is entering which makes it not extremely improbable. (...) Order can increase in an open system, not because the laws of probability are suspended when the door is open, but simply because order may walk in through the door.... If we found evidence that DNA, auto parts, computer chips, and books entered through the Earth's atmosphere at some time in the past, then perhaps the appearance of humans, cars, computers, and encyclopedias on a previously barren planet could be explained without postulating a violation of the second law here.... But if all we see entering is radiation and meteorite fragments, it seems clear that what is entering through the boundary cannot explain the increase in order observed here."
"So, if we saw a video of a tornado, running backward, would we conclude that the second law was being violated by what was happening or not? According to many physics textbooks, such as the Ford text quoted in my video "Evolution is a Natural Process Running Backward" (above), the answer is yes. In any case, if we actually watched a video of a tornado, running backward, it would certainly not occur to us to make any of the above arguments to claim that what we were seeing did not technically violate the second law, as formulated in physics textbooks. We would immediately recognize that what we were seeing violated a fundamental law of Nature, whether it violated the manmade formulations of this law or not. And even if we were told that what actually happened took a long time and the video had been speeded up, we would still not be interested in anyone's "scientific" explanation for what we were seeing in the video; we would immediately recognize that the video must be running backward, because what we were seeing was completely unnatural. So, how does the spontaneous rearrangement of matter on a rocky, barren, planet into human brains and spaceships and jet airplanes and nuclear power plants and libraries full of science texts and novels, and super computers running partial differential equation solving software, represent a less obvious or less spectacular violation of the second law - or at least of the fundamental natural principle behind this law - than tornados turning rubble into houses and cars? Here is a thought experiment for you: try to imagine a more spectacular violation than what has happened on our planet. Granville Sewell is a mathematician at the University of Texas, El Paso..."

Sooner or later scientists will have to admit that "the spontaneous rearrangement of atoms on a barren planet into intelligent brains, libraries full of science texts and encyclopedias, jet airplanes, and computers connected to keyboards, LCDs, laser printers and the Internet" is impossible, even in an open system, unless:

(A) order from outside sources has entered the system (as Granville Sewell suggests).

(B) Nature is able to harness disordered thermal energy, in violation of the second law of thermodynamics.

In my view, (B) is easy to prove - I am just writing a paper entitled "Maxwell's demons all over the place".

Pentcho Valev

Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© The Math Forum at NCTM 1994-2017. All Rights Reserved.