Originally posted by dj2becker:
Let me try and lay it out for you as I see it. Feel free to refute or correct anything I say at any time.
Second law of Thermodynamics:
"Every system, left to its own devices, always tends to move from order to disorder, its energy tending to be transformed into lower levels of availability (for work), ultimately becoming totally random and unavailable for work.
The entropy of a closed system cannot decrease.
(Entropy is a measure of (1) the amount of energy unavailable for work within a system or process, and/or (2) the probability of distribution or randomness [disorder] within a system.)
To help ensure an adequate understanding of what the second law means, consider the following, also from Isaac Asimov:
“Another way of stating the second law then is: ‘The universe is constantly getting more disorderly!’ Viewed that way, we can see the second law all about us. We have to work hard to straighten a room, but left to itself it becomes a mess again very quickly and very easily. Even if we never enter it, it becomes dusty and musty. How difficult to maintain houses, and machinery, and our bodies in perfect working order: how easy to let them deteriorate. In fact, all we have to do is nothing, and everything deteriorates, collapses, breaks down, wears out, all by itself -- and that is what the second law is all about.”
[Smithsonian Institute Journal, June 1970, p. 6]
This is the essence of Classical Thermodynamics. Similarly, the “generalized 2nd law” applies to probability of distribution matters in Information Theory in such a way that, left to itself over time, the information conveyed by an information-communicating system will end more distorted and less complete than when it began (again, a higher measure of, or increase in, entropy—in this case informational entropy)—and likewise, applied to matters Statistics, left to itself over time, the order or regularity of a system will be less than when it began (and again, a higher measure of, or increase in, entropy—in this case statistical entropy).
Your Evolutionary theory faces a problem in the second law, since the law is plainly understood to indicate (as does empirical observation) that things tend towards disorder, simplicity, randomness, and disorganization, while the theory insists that precisely the opposite has been taking place since the universe began (assuming it had a beginning).
Beginning with the “Big Bang” and the self-formation and expansion of space and matter, the evolutionist scenario declares that every structure, system, and relationship—down to every atom, molecule, and beyond—is the result of a loosely-defined, spontaneous self-assembly process of increasing organization and complexity, and a direct contradiction (i.e., theorized violation) of the second law.
This hypothesis is applied with the greatest fervor to the speculations concerning biological life and its origin. The story goes that—again, in violation of the second law—within the midst of a certain population of spontaneously self-assembled molecules, a particularly vast and complex (but random) act of self-assembly took place, producing the first self-replicating molecule.
Continuing to ignore the second law, this molecular phenomenon is said to have undergone multiple further random increases in complexity and organization, producing a unique combination of highly specialized and suitably matched molecular “community members” which formed what we now know as the incredibly efficient, organized self-sustaining complex of integrated machinery called the cell.
Not only did this alleged remarkable random act of self-transformation take place in defiance of the second law, but the environment in which it happened, while itself presumably cooperating with the second law’s demand for increased disorder and break-down, managed (by some further unknown random mechanism) to leave untouched the entire biological self-assembly process and the self-gathered material resources from which the first living organism built itself.
The theory of Evolution takes its greatest pride in applying this same brand of speculation to the classic Darwinian hypothesis in which all known biological life is said to have descended (by means of virtually infinite—yet random—additional increases in organized complexity) from that first hypothesized single-celled organism. This process, it is claimed, is directly responsible for the existence of (among other things) the human being.
For some background info you can read the following:
The above has been claimed before in these forums and I thought it would be nice to address it properly in a thread of its own. It will be nice to have a thread to refer back to if it comes up again.