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Hi cmb, you wrote,

>>Congrats - I think you have managed to put every argument creationists have now abandoned as insupportable on one evolution page! I've been spending a fair amount of time on the newsgroup talk.origins, and found it excellent for generating both thoughtful responses and revealing jeers. Or if you don't want to appear there and strut your stuff, I'm willing to engage in e-mail person-to-person.<<

I will be forever waiting for you to expose the great creation myth and raising your '
jeers revealing' the evidence for evolution. You haven’t yet, perhaps your next reply? I encourage you to spread the good news at ‘talk’ to read my website. Tell ‘em they are ‘all talk and no substance’. I’m convinced however (they like you) are people who religiously believe in evolution regardless of facts to the opposite.

Concerning the 2nd law, you say we can get ‘order from disorder’. And I’m wrong when I say, “The Second Law of Thermodynamics may be the most verified law of science. It states that systems become more disordered over time, unless energy is supplied and directed to create order…..” You say -


>>This is false. Energy is applied to the earth's surface from without, and is directed by conditions on the ground to benefit organisms disproportionately in proportion to how much of it each can snag. This alone is enough to guarantee natural selection - the primary requirement for evolution to proceed.<<

It doesn’t '
guarantee' any such thing. If it did, you would get your ‘self-producing bicycle’ or your push bike would turn into a Norton given enough time.

It's true the 2nd Law has to be formally defined in terms of an idealized closed system, but it's always tested on open systems, because there is no such thing in nature as a truly closed system. The entropy law applies to open and closed systems.

That "
energy…from without" is nothing more than a bull in a china shop - it performs work, but it can neither create nor maintain organization. There are no specifications to follow, no information on how ‘to proceed’. The results are destructive - the same sort of results brought about by a bull wandering through a china shop. Simply to say that all that is required to create complex organizations is an open system and an adequate energy supply is a totally inadequate explanation - it explains nothing of how things could go uphill.

The 2nd Law explains why no machine or process is 100% efficient and why perpetual motion machines are impossible. This is why everything eventually wears out, runs down and dies. Even those systems which seem to show increasing order for a time eventually lose out to the principle of decay.

So while simple elements may combine naturally to form complex compounds, or molecules may grow into crystals, a baby may grow, animals may multiply, man's knowledge may accumulate, yet these all are open systems and their increased organization is derived from a source outside themselves.

The crystal finally disintegrates, the adult finally dies, the species becomes extinct, even great civilizations perish as the result of outside conquest or famine etc. Yet every apparent increase of order and complexity is, at best, only local and temporary, and at the cost of greater disorder to the environment from which it extracts its ephemeral ordering energy.

Evolution demands a universal change upward but the real processes of nature involve a universal change downward. Wherever and whenever the entropy principle has been subjected to scientific test; it has always worked, with no exception. Universal evolution, on the other hand, requires that the degree of order of at least most portions of the universe must be increasing but no scientific experiments confirm this at all.

Concerning ‘
natural selection’.

Natural selection is not “evolution”, it can cause some information on the DNA to be lost, but it can't create any new information. It’s a process in nature which weeds out the harmful/disorderly effect of mutation, thus preserving a created kind.
Even evolutionists agree - "Gradual evolutionary change by natural selection operates so slowly within established species that it cannot account for the major features of evolution." [Steven M. Stanky (Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA), 'A theory of evolution above the species level'. Proceedings of the National Academy or Science USA, vol 72(2), Feb.1975, p.646].

"In other words, natural selection over the long run does not seem to improve a species' chance of survival but simply enables it to "track" or keep up with, the constantly changing environment." [R.C. Lewontin (Profes. Of zoology, University of Chicago, and Co-Editor of the American Naturalist), 'Adaptation'. Scientific American, vol 239(3), Sept.1978, p.159].

I mentioned that “the Second Law applies to closed, or isolated systems, and the Earth is not a closed system (eg it gets raw energy from the Sun). However, all systems, open or closed deteriorate. Eg, living organisms are open systems but they decay and die”. You reply,

>>Before that - they heal, often replacing entire complex organs from nothing but raw materials; atoms in some cases. And, of course, after they die they are taken apart atom by atom fo feed other organisms repeating the cycle - making this a non-sequitur.<<

But they still die, proving the 2nd law valid. You have not said anything that questions the 2nd law. Any ‘healing’ or regeneration of existing organs is solely on the account of information already built into the DNA. 'The cycle' won’t 'repeat' if there’s a loss of information or the information is damaged. After death they return to dust, no upward complexity. I mentioned “the universe in total is a closed system”. You reply,

>>This also may be false. i recommend a good cosmology textbook or two. However, it doesn't matter. because the rest of the universe is pretty much an irrelevant variable when dealing with biological systems on the planet's surface.<<

Cosmologists have been outside the universe looking in? Evolutionists are the ones talking about ‘open systems’ and the universe discounting the 2nd law. You made the point “
energy is applied to the earth's surface from without” and now make the point that’s just an ‘irrelevant variable’? You wrote,

>>To say the chaos of the big bang has transformed itself into the human brain with its 120 trillion connections is contrary to the Second Law. That would certainly be true if it had happened in one step. Another non-sequitur.<<

Millions steps would be required and all in perfect order. I can’t see that happening no matter how many times the sun goes around the earth. Only a blind faith will believe that ‘true’. I mentioned “the availability of raw energy to a system is a necessary but far from sufficient condition for a local decrease in entropy to occur”. You reply,

>>That's correct - one also needs a system designed to do the conversion, and matter from earlier energy. Enter any living organism - you may pick one at your leisure. All have the hardware to perform this step, starting with bacteria (Viruses don't metabolize). Straw Man Argument or Irrelevancy.<<

Your mention of “
enter any living organism” begs the question where and how it came to be. The “system designed to do the conversion” is just what I’m saying. Without a “system designed” there is no using of the 'energy' for good effect. Living organisms don’t 'enter' just by 'energy' input. Random 'energy' pouring into a system will increase the tendency to restructuring of matter to disorder, unless it is harnessed by a specific mechanism. To put it simply, if something flows down hill naturally, we might be able to pump it up-hill with a motor and the right machinery. In the same way, complex machines can be forced to arise from simple matter by appropriating programmed machinery (as occurs when living things make copies of themselves). But the programmed machinery cannot itself arise from non-living matter in the absence of such mechanism. To achieve that would require the direct input of mind or intelligence.

So the application of a ‘
blowtorch’ to bicycle parts will not result in a bicycle being assembled - only the careful application of directed energy and intelligence will. Ie from the hands of a person following a plan. You reply,

>>However, you can use a blowtorch to drive a steam engine to make bicycle parts - provided the hardware is there, as in my response above. Bad analogy.<<

You need to make the ‘
steam engine’ to start with. You need a plan of the ‘bicycle parts’ and the right ‘hardware’ to start with, as well as a maker. Your ‘blowtorch’ will blow the ‘steam engine’ apart if used without intelligence. But I suppose that’s no problem to you, you seem to think that explosions in bike factories result in bicycles. You wrote,

>>By the way, if you can provide a case of a self-reproducing bicycle, you will have earned a great deal of respect - but I'm not holding my breath in anticipation.<<

You are right (don’t hold it, you will die, then where will you be?). We can’t provide ‘self-reproducing bicycles’ just by chance, time, ‘raw materials’ and raw 'energy'. It would require a huge amount of intelligence to make such a carefully crafted machine. What respect we should have for the creator and how foolish to assume the ‘self-reproducing’ machine happened by chance, time and just raw energy.

As I said ‘the presence of energy from the Sun does NOT solve the evolutionist's problem of how increasing order could occur on the Earth, contrary to the Second Law.’ You replied,

>>In fact it does, and you will not be able to find more than 5% of biologists who believe otherwise. Certainly no planetologists or planetary ecologists either, i should think. Argument from emphasis, IIRC.<<

So can get a ‘
self-reproducing bicycle’ from the sun? If biologists believe that, they will believe anything. One biologist said, “Biologists are simply naïve when they talk about experiments designed to prove evolution. It is not testable. They may happen to stumble across facts which would seem to conflict with it’s predictions. These facts will invariably be ignored and their discoveries will undoubtedly be deprived of continuing research grants” [Whitten. Pro. of Genetics Univs. of Melbourne. 1980 Assembly Week address].

This biologist (with 2 Ph.D’s) says, "The origin of life could not have occurred by a gradual process but must have been instantaneous. The reason this must be true is simple. Every machine must have a certain minimum number of parts for it to function, and if one part this minimum is removed, the machine will cease to function....Biologists know only that all life derives from preceding life, and that the parents organism's offspring are always of the same kind" [J. Bergman ‘In Six Days’ Ed.J.Ashton New Holland 1999 pg.15,18]. You wrote,

>>As you can see, appropriate responses to these points are not only easy to come by - a lot of them are decades old.<<

Well your ‘responses’ are easily answered. Modern science today knows more about the problems of evolution theory than ever before. You wrote,

>>Feel free to post this and your response to talk.origins; there are real experts there, and I am just a hobbyist...–cmb<<

You mean there are 'real' evolutionists there. My experience with such people is that they don't allow any other points of view:- (But I did try)

Regards
Mark


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