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Knight
December 5th, 2008, 01:11 PM
This thread is designed so that we TOL'ers can discuss the One on One that is now taking place between Bob Enyart and Johnny.

The One on One is titled: Entropy and Evolution: Bob Enyart & Johnny (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53199), and is located here (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53199).

Bob and Johnny's One on One will end on December 19th.

Knight
December 5th, 2008, 01:18 PM
Has johnny ever posted any info about himself on TOL? What does he do for a living? Is he a teacher, doctor, or scientist? Johnny if you read this and you wouldn't mind telling us a bit about yourself that would be much appreciated. I only ask because it makes the One on One even more interesting knowing a bit about the participants. Thank you in advance if you choose to give us a quick bio, and if not that's fine as well. :up:

Stripe
December 6th, 2008, 05:30 AM
Just to be clear I never suggested that the second law of thermodynamics was the problem evolutionists have. I consistently indicated in LoL's thread that the second law was most commonly applied to situations of heat transfer, but that it was just as applicable to other situations.

Yorzhik
December 6th, 2008, 06:10 AM
There are some interesting things about the argument from information against evolution. One is that Shannon's definition of information fits. Another is that the energy problem is so closely tied to the information problem because information must always be carried on a medium - it cannot exist intrinsic to itself - and the medium itself is subject to the 2nd law's tendency to break things down.

It's like a symphony of coherence against the cacophony of noise from evolutionists.

NarrowWay
December 6th, 2008, 05:12 PM
I like the point that Bob makes about how complex systems tend to break down instead of becoming more structured. Tends to make me think that evolutionists would be in favor of more toxic dump sites and pollution and all. Who's to know that we may be hindering the development of a cosmic mixture of elements that will produce a superbeing capable of curing cancer or thinking of the solution to bring about world peace. After all, who should judge what is right or wrong and if the elements exist then why shouldn't we let them be together, right? Who can tell us who can be a compound and who can't? I say we start legislation right now in California. Proposition 9 for the union of pollutants and contaminants. After all you should't judge them as unhealthy. It just might be my definition of healthy!! California is such a hypocritical state. Down with the EPA!!!

Stripe
December 6th, 2008, 09:03 PM
:chuckle:

chatmaggot
December 6th, 2008, 09:53 PM
I think I understand what Bob was saying here:


Sorry. Actually, the paper didn't even make the distinction between information entropy and heat entropy that I just did. So, to realize what Styer's paper actually claimed, just delete the two bracketed words above:

that evolution on earth can appear to violate the 2nd Law locally because a decrease in entropy as a squid evolves in the sea is offset by a fluctuation of entropy in a galaxy far, far away.

When Johnny stated...


Styer's paper claims no such thing. He doesn't even say that evolution appears to violate the 2nd law. In fact, he actually goes out of his way to state that the view that evolution even appears to violate the second law is based on a misunderstanding of what entropy actually is! Where are you getting that Styer says that "evolution...can appear to violate the 2nd law"? Do you have a citation? I have the paper open right in front of me. Maybe you can point me to the right paragraph.

...in regards to the paragraph I quoted from Bob, I wonder if Bob could explain further. I wonder if Bob's point wasn't made in the way he meant to mean it.

ThePhy
December 6th, 2008, 10:33 PM
I like the point that Bob makes about how complex systems tend to break down instead of becoming more structured. Tends to make me think that evolutionists would be in favor of more toxic dump sites and pollution and all. Who's to know that we may be hindering the development of a cosmic mixture of elements that will produce ... It just might be my definition of healthy!! California is such a hypocritical state. Down with the EPA!!!
Your first sentence was on subject. The second one was a bit of a stretch. After that was pure drivel.

Got anything to say actually pertinent to the 1 on 1?

bybee
December 7th, 2008, 08:20 AM
Your first sentence was on subject. The second one was a bit of a stretch. After that was pure drivel.

Got anything to say actually pertinent to the 1 on 1?

Jukia
December 8th, 2008, 02:19 PM
There are some interesting things about the argument from information against evolution. One is that Shannon's definition of information fits. Another is that the energy problem is so closely tied to the information problem because information must always be carried on a medium - it cannot exist intrinsic to itself - and the medium itself is subject to the 2nd law's tendency to break things down.

It's like a symphony of coherence against the cacophony of noise from evolutionists.

Well except for that pesky ol' sun that provides an energy input to living things (directly or indirectly) that tends to keep things running.

Stripe
December 8th, 2008, 07:57 PM
Well except for that pesky ol' sun that provides an energy input to living things (directly or indirectly) that tends to keep things running.Someone has not read the latest posts or figured out the problems for atheists from all the previous ones ... :chuckle:

Yorzhik
December 9th, 2008, 08:26 AM
I wonder if ThePhy could give what his answer to the first post would have been.

Johnny
December 9th, 2008, 05:33 PM
Has johnny ever posted any info about himself on TOL? What does he do for a living? Is he a teacher, doctor, or scientist? Johnny if you read this and you wouldn't mind telling us a bit about yourself that would be much appreciated. I only ask because it makes the One on One even more interesting knowing a bit about the participants. Thank you in advance if you choose to give us a quick bio, and if not that's fine as well. :up:Hi Knight -- here's a little bit more about me!

I'm John (no one in real life actually calls me Johnny, it was just available here). I grew up in South Florida and attended a local private Christian school. I was raised Christian, but not really affiliated with any single denomination. My family went through different phases (baptist, pentecostal :O, non-denominational, etc.) I did my undergraduate studies at the University of South Florida, double majoring in physics (biomedical concentration) and biology, and graduating in 2005. The fall of that year I started medical school in the midwest, and I'm now a senior medical student doing my externships in south florida. Early this summer I will begin my residency training in internal medicine in south florida, and from there I plan to do a fellowship in either cardiology or gastroenterology. Currently I'm involved with a research project investigating the role of omega-3 fatty acids in cell membrane stabilization and the role of this phenomenon in secondary prevention of coronary artery disease. I'm also in the process of designing a retrospective study looking at the relationship between heart disease and inflammatory biomarkers in patients with chronic inflammation.

I've been married to my beautiful wife for nearly 2 years now. She's a staunch creationist :shocked:, but I survive. I like to watch movies, throw down a mean tennis / raquetball game, play video games, make music, and obviously I like to spend way too much time arguing here :chuckle:.

My religious views probably don't fit into the box of any one denomination, though I attend a presbyterian church. I'm an evolutionist and a determinist (settled view). I'm a pretty strict methodological naturalist, and I believe that the best path to knowledge and understanding of our physical world is through the scientific method. I am sharply critical of any pseudoscience I encounter. Faith does play a role in my life (though I sometimes struggle to precisely define exactly what role that is), as I am a believing Christian.

That's me in a nutshell!

The Ugly Christian
December 9th, 2008, 06:03 PM
Bob’s last post was awesome---pointing out that evolutionist authors are, at best, disingenuous and, at worst, intentionally misleading in their articles.

I read most of the Creation magazines and have to admit that, until now, I was unaware of the distinction between heat and informational entropy as it relates to the 2nd law. It is only human nature that scientific arguments for and against creationism will be on the wrong track from time to time. It could be argued that it is the creationists whom are more willing to change as more information come available. I’d argue as my examples how evolutionists still use the peppered moth and embryonic recapitulation arguments.

BTW, Johnny sounds like a really interesting guy. His research into omega 3 is also really interesting. In my limited knowledge of nutrition I find only vitamin C to be more important that omega 3 and I take it every day.

chatmaggot
December 9th, 2008, 06:14 PM
Hi Knight -- here's a little bit more about me!

I'm John (no one in real life actually calls me Johnny, it was just available here). I grew up in South Florida and attended a local private Christian school. I was raised Christian, but not really affiliated with any single denomination. My family went through different phases (baptist, pentecostal :O, non-denominational, etc.) I did my undergraduate studies at the University of South Florida, double majoring in physics (biomedical concentration) and biology, and graduating in 2005. The fall of that year I started medical school in the midwest, and I'm now a senior medical student doing my externships in south florida. Early this summer I will begin my residency training in internal medicine in south florida, and from there I plan to do a fellowship in either cardiology or gastroenterology. Currently I'm involved with a research project investigating the role of omega-3 fatty acids in cell membrane stabilization and the role of this phenomenon in secondary prevention of coronary artery disease. I'm also in the process of designing a retrospective study looking at the relationship between heart disease and inflammatory biomarkers in patients with chronic inflammation.

I've been married to my beautiful wife for nearly 2 years now. She's a staunch creationist :shocked:, but I survive. I like to watch movies, throw down a mean tennis / raquetball game, play video games, make music, and obviously I like to spend way too much time arguing here :chuckle:.

My religious views probably don't fit into the box of any one denomination, though I attend a presbyterian church. I'm an evolutionist and a determinist (settled view). I'm a pretty strict methodological naturalist, and I believe that the best path to knowledge and understanding of our physical world is through the scientific method. I am sharply critical of any pseudoscience I encounter. Faith does play a role in my life (though I sometimes struggle to precisely define exactly what role that is), as I am a believing Christian.

That's me in a nutshell!

Thanks Johnny.

It's always good to know a little about the people debating.

Knight
December 9th, 2008, 06:33 PM
Hi Knight -- here's a little bit more about me!Thank you! :up:


I've been married to my beautiful wife for nearly 2 years now. She's a staunch creationist :shocked:

I am a believing Christian.So... you are both creationists but have differing opinions regarding the nature of that creation, correct?


That's me in a nutshell!So you admit you are a nut!! :freak:

;)

Johnny
December 9th, 2008, 06:49 PM
So... you are both creationists but have differing opinions regarding the nature of that creation, correct?Yes -- I am a creationist in the sense that I believe God created the universe. She is a creationist in the sense of a young earth creationist.


So you admit you are a nut!! :chuckle:

Stripe
December 9th, 2008, 08:29 PM
Hmm .. Johnny's latest post throws down the gauntlet. The challenge to evolution from entropy has to come from laws that may well exist, but have not been defined in any particular field. As I see it the thermodynamics equation can be balanced and the information equation can be balanced, but evolutionists have no way of linking the two or explaining how to convert between the types of entropy. Nor do they have any interest in doing such work.

Jefferson
December 9th, 2008, 10:57 PM
Bob’s last post was awesome---pointing out that evolutionist authors are, at best, disingenuous and, at worst, intentionally misleading in their articles.

I read most of the Creation magazines and have to admit that, until now, I was unaware of the distinction between heat and informational entropy as it relates to the 2nd law. It is only human nature that scientific arguments for and against creationism will be on the wrong track from time to time. It could be argued that it is the creationists whom are more willing to change as more information come available. I’d argue as my examples how evolutionists still use the peppered moth and embryonic recapitulation arguments.

BTW, Johnny sounds like a really interesting guy. His research into omega 3 is also really interesting. In my limited knowledge of nutrition I find only vitamin C to be more important that omega 3 and I take it every day.Welcome to TOL. 2 questions:
1 - Why did you choose The Ugly Christian as your name?
2 - How did you find us?

Jukia
December 10th, 2008, 12:39 PM
Hmm .. Johnny's latest post throws down the gauntlet. The challenge to evolution from entropy has to come from laws that may well exist, but have not been defined in any particular field. As I see it the thermodynamics equation can be balanced and the information equation can be balanced, but evolutionists have no way of linking the two or explaining how to convert between the types of entropy. Nor do they have any interest in doing such work.

Well then it sounds like something that a creation scientist should jump on.

Knight
December 10th, 2008, 01:11 PM
I was glad to see Johnny's last post. Clearly he did some research and he is taking this discussion seriously. Good job Johnny. :up:

ThePhy
December 10th, 2008, 06:33 PM
Reading without Understanding

I have had to read (and reread) Bob’s posts in this thread several times to try to understand where the disconnect is between what Styer’s paper says and what Bob is claiming it says. Bob thinks Styer is conflating information entropy and thermodynamic entropy. Bob, to his credit, points out that the two forms of entropy are not the same, and indeed to mix them indiscriminately in an article like Styer’s would be incorrect.

Bob’s misunderstanding starts to manifest itself when, in his opening post he says:

This is the argument in the paper LsOL referred to, that evolution on earth can appear to violate the 2nd Law locally because a decrease in [information] entropy as a squid evolves in the sea is offset by a fluctuation of [heat] entropy in a galaxy far, far away. Okaay.
Bob’s statement above about “this is the argument” is in reference to something from another creationist author, Jeremy Walter. Enyart seems to not understand what Walter was referring to when Enyart quoted the following from Walter: “… the threat of the second law is to be found in statistical thermodynamics." (my bold). I spoke just briefly with Enyart about this a couple years ago when we met for a casual conversation, but I did not have time to develop that idea in depth. Let me rectify that now.


Thermodynamics – Twice

Specifically – what is this “statistical” thermodynamics that Walter alludes to? Is it different in any substantive way from the more generic “Thermodynamics”? The answer is YES. Let me give the punch line at the front – Statistical Thermodynamics (also known as Statistical Physics) covers all the same ground, and gives all the same results as traditional Thermo. But in addition, it provides some insights not available from the traditional Thermodynamics. Most important among these, at least in the present discussion, is the question of order and disorder.

*** Traditional Thermo (Thermo the hard way) ***

Let me provide some historical context to help understand the relationship between traditional Thermodynamics and Statistical Thermodynamics. Initially, the laws of thermo were formalized over many years in response to very practical problems – like the problems associated with the heat that boring out a cannon barrel generated. Thermodynamics as developed this way was very much an empirical science, meaning it was the formalization of observed rules of nature. In the same way that Newton’s Law of Gravity tells us what gravity does - but not why - so also the Laws of Thermodynamics gave the “what”, but not the “why” it worked that way. For example, it was known that heat flowed from a hot body to a cold one, but what heat actually is was a mystery. Since it “flowed” in a sense like an invisible fluid from one body to another, it was vaguely thought of as a mysterious fluid that was given the name “caloric”. Our legacy word of “calories” comes from that usage.

*** Thermo from atoms (Thermo the easy way) ***

Towards the end of this first formulation of Thermodynamics, near the time of Lord Kelvin, another idea in physics was maturing – that of the atomic theory of matter. John Dalton, in the early 1800s, put science on the path of thinking that maybe all substances really were composed of discrete combinations of vast numbers of small particles called atoms. And if atoms were real, and had mass, and had motion, then each atom had kinetic energy (the energy due to motion). And if the atoms in one substance were moving (or maybe vibrating in place) with more vigor than slow moving atoms in another substance, then it stood to reason that the fast atoms would “bump” into the slow atoms where the substances touched. Like billiard balls, the fast “cue ball” atom would be slowed down after the impact, and the impacted “8-ball” atom would rebound, hitting the other balls behind it, and so on. Since this transfer of motion is between atoms, which are far too small to see, it would not be visible to the human eye. Long story short – Maybe that is what this “caloric” is, just the flow of energy at the atomic level.

So starting with that premise that heat is just a measure of the energy in individual atoms, as opposed to the energy in the motion of the “big” object that the atoms comprised, physicists were able to again derive the Laws of Thermodynamics, but this time from a more fundamental starting point. Due to the impossibility of accounting for gazillions of atoms individually, statistical methods were used, and thus this way of deriving the Laws of Thermodynamics has become known as “Statistical” Thermodynamics. This development of Statistical Thermodynamics took into the 20th century to complete, partially because there were some anomalies that eluded solution until the early 20th century understanding of Quantum Mechanics was developed. But once done, not only did we have thermodynamics from a new perspective, but starting at the atomic level actually provided insights that could not be derived from the older “classical” derivation of Thermo.

*** Pick your way to learn thermo***

On my shelf I have a physics text titled “Fundamentals of Statistical and Thermal Physics”, by Reif (McGraw-Hill, 1965, ISBN 07-051800-9). As the title implies, the text covers Thermo from both the classical viewpoint, and from the atomic viewpoint. This text allows the teacher to take the students though the classical derivation of Thermo (which involves rather abstract subtleties), or the more direct modern approach used in the atomic statistical derivation.


Entropy and Disorder

One of the major understandings of nature from the Second Law (from traditional Thermodynamics) is this idea that every interaction uses up some of the available energy. The inevitable decrease in useable energy was formalized into a mathematical relationship called entropy.

From the atomic approach, it turns out that the statistical laws governing the disorder observed in the mixing of massive numbers of particles, when looked at from the energy involved, gives the entropy relationship. The significant difference is that the atomic approach to Thermo (the Statistical approach) includes the rules of how individual particles mix (disorder). The traditional Thermodynamics is limited to looking at the energy involved, and gives no insight into individual particles. Even though the derivation of “entropy” from the atomic approach is actually a more general formulation that the one from classical thermodynamics, the fundamental equations are largely unchanged, and involve a “temperature”. It is beyond the level of this discussion to explain what “temperature” is when discussing the mixing of particles (and contrary to our daily experience, the temperature of “heat” is also a surprisingly abstract concept to formalize).

In the atomic viewpoint, one possibility is when the particles are restricted to being in discrete configurations (A classical problem along this line is to consider, in a bottle of ordinary air, how often you might find all the oxygen atoms at one end, and all the nitrogen at the other end.) These possible patterns are referred to as “states” (or within Styer’s article they are called “microstates”).


Walter’s “Statistical” is not Enyart’s “Information”

So when when Enyart prepended the word “information” in front of entropy, in fact he was not echoing what Walter was referring to when he speaks of “statistical thermodynamics.” Enyart was running the “information” rabbit trail without his buddy Walter anywhere near.


Keeping Information Entropy and Thermodynamic Entropy Stoutly Separated

As Bob says in his opening post:

Heat transfer entropy and information entropy are two very different phenomenas.

Bob quotes Timothy Stout, an experienced engineer (and creationist author), as saying (sans reference) that evolutionists are guilty of mixing up the two forms of entropy. I have no doubt that has happened, but not in Styer’s paper. In fact, in section III of Styer’s paper (“ENTROPY REQUIRED FOR EVOLUTION”), he quickly defines the system he is discussing in terms of the microstates. Once again, this is referring to the various configurations the particles can be in, and this has NO reference to any information that may be encoded in the patterns.

So, in summary, Johnny is correct. Styer repeatedly clarifies that he is discussing Thermodynamic Entropy. “Information” entropy has been introduced, and argued, and demolished, straw-man style, solely by Enyart.


Spare Ribs

In his OP, Bob transparently takes the opportunity to inject a dig against astrophysics (in what he call’s a “rib”). Brave, for someone who has a recorded history of astrophysical misunderstandings. Like flip-flopping on whether Orion’s Belt is gravitationally bound or being loosed (with both contrary conclusions proving Biblical inspiration), and on how the presence of volcanoes on Jupiter’s moon Io was completely unexpected (except for the paper predicting Io’s volcanoes that came out in Science before the volcano was ever seen), and how NASA blew it with the Hubble Deep Field (except the way Bob deduced that showed he had no idea how to know what was in the HDF picture), and planets that can’t have retrograde spin (ignoring the numerous collisions expected in the nascent solar system), and his ridicule of the direction of Moslem prayer rugs (and finding that Moslems for hundreds of years have known more about the shape of the earth than Bob does), and …

Spare ribs of roasted pastor are delicious.

Nick M
December 10th, 2008, 06:53 PM
Well then it sounds like something that a creation scientist should jump on.

GDI! :thumb:

Yorzhik
December 10th, 2008, 07:27 PM
And with that... ThePhy weighs in. Thanks, ThePhy.

The Ugly Christian
December 10th, 2008, 07:33 PM
Welcome to TOL. 2 questions:
1 - Why did you choose The Ugly Christian as your name?
2 - How did you find us?


Explanation #1. Because I’m ugly (duh):-). In fact, that’s why I had to leave Alaska, they passed an “Ugly Law.” Here in Colorado they’re more liberal and therefore much kinder that the red-necks in Alaska so I only have to wear a bag over my head when I go out.

Explanation # 2. OK, really, it’s from the book “The Ugly American” that came out in the 60‘s. Like most liberal books, it’s 99.999999999% lies. The book says that Americans traveling all over the world are ugly to the native peoples, that they think they’re better that everybody else, have rude habits, don’t respect the customs in native lands, and expect that these “lesser” peoples will do anything for the almighty American dollar. Of course, the opposite is true as Americans are by far the most generous in both giving donations to world causes as well as going overseas and giving their time and, in many cases, their lives to bring freedom, prosperity and Christ to poor, enslaved peoples.

More and more, liberals and atheist, with the assistance of the media and the “entertainment” conglomerations are feeling better and bolder in labeling Christians as “ugly” in much the same way. They, the liberals, have gone completely off the deep end with this and no other fact can prove it more than when they accuse anybody whom didn’t vote for Barrack Satin Obama as being a raciest (did I get his middle name right?).

As to how I found you, I’ve been a Bob Enyart Live fan for 15 years and have posted in the past with a different moniker but don’t

Stripe
December 10th, 2008, 08:40 PM
Reading without Understanding

I have had to read (and reread) Bob’s posts in this thread several times to try to understand where the disconnect is between what Styer’s paper says and what Bob is claiming it says. Bob thinks Styer is conflating information entropy and thermodynamic entropy. Bob, to his credit, points out that the two forms of entropy are not the same, and indeed to mix them indiscriminately in an article like Styer’s would be incorrect.

Bob’s misunderstanding starts to manifest itself when, in his opening post he says:

Bob’s statement above about “this is the argument” is in reference to something from another creationist author, Jeremy Walter. Enyart seems to not understand what Walter was referring to when Enyart quoted the following from Walter: “… the threat of the second law is to be found in statistical thermodynamics." (my bold). I spoke just briefly with Enyart about this a couple years ago when we met for a casual conversation, but I did not have time to develop that idea in depth. Let me rectify that now.


Thermodynamics – Twice

Specifically – what is this “statistical” thermodynamics that Walter alludes to? Is it different in any substantive way from the more generic “Thermodynamics”? The answer is YES. Let me give the punch line at the front – Statistical Thermodynamics (also known as Statistical Physics) covers all the same ground, and gives all the same results as traditional Thermo. But in addition, it provides some insights not available from the traditional Thermodynamics. Most important among these, at least in the present discussion, is the question of order and disorder.

*** Traditional Thermo (Thermo the hard way) ***

Let me provide some historical context to help understand the relationship between traditional Thermodynamics and Statistical Thermodynamics. Initially, the laws of thermo were formalized over many years in response to very practical problems – like the problems associated with the heat that boring out a cannon barrel generated. Thermodynamics as developed this way was very much an empirical science, meaning it was the formalization of observed rules of nature. In the same way that Newton’s Law of Gravity tells us what gravity does - but not why - so also the Laws of Thermodynamics gave the “what”, but not the “why” it worked that way. For example, it was known that heat flowed from a hot body to a cold one, but what heat actually is was a mystery. Since it “flowed” in a sense like an invisible fluid from one body to another, it was vaguely thought of as a mysterious fluid that was given the name “caloric”. Our legacy word of “calories” comes from that usage.

*** Thermo from atoms (Thermo the easy way) ***

Towards the end of this first formulation of Thermodynamics, near the time of Lord Kelvin, another idea in physics was maturing – that of the atomic theory of matter. John Dalton, in the early 1800s, put science on the path of thinking that maybe all substances really were composed of discrete combinations of vast numbers of small particles called atoms. And if atoms were real, and had mass, and had motion, then each atom had kinetic energy (the energy due to motion). And if the atoms in one substance were moving (or maybe vibrating in place) with more vigor than slow moving atoms in another substance, then it stood to reason that the fast atoms would “bump” into the slow atoms where the substances touched. Like billiard balls, the fast “cue ball” atom would be slowed down after the impact, and the impacted “8-ball” atom would rebound, hitting the other balls behind it, and so on. Since this transfer of motion is between atoms, which are far too small to see, it would not be visible to the human eye. Long story short – Maybe that is what this “caloric” is, just the flow of energy at the atomic level.

So starting with that premise that heat is just a measure of the energy in individual atoms, as opposed to the energy in the motion of the “big” object that the atoms comprised, physicists were able to again derive the Laws of Thermodynamics, but this time from a more fundamental starting point. Due to the impossibility of accounting for gazillions of atoms individually, statistical methods were used, and thus this way of deriving the Laws of Thermodynamics has become known as “Statistical” Thermodynamics. This development of Statistical Thermodynamics took into the 20th century to complete, partially because there were some anomalies that eluded solution until the early 20th century understanding of Quantum Mechanics was developed. But once done, not only did we have thermodynamics from a new perspective, but starting at the atomic level actually provided insights that could not be derived from the older “classical” derivation of Thermo.

*** Pick your way to learn thermo***

On my shelf I have a physics text titled “Fundamentals of Statistical and Thermal Physics”, by Reif (McGraw-Hill, 1965, ISBN 07-051800-9). As the title implies, the text covers Thermo from both the classical viewpoint, and from the atomic viewpoint. This text allows the teacher to take the students though the classical derivation of Thermo (which involves rather abstract subtleties), or the more direct modern approach used in the atomic statistical derivation.


Entropy and Disorder

One of the major understandings of nature from the Second Law (from traditional Thermodynamics) is this idea that every interaction uses up some of the available energy. The inevitable decrease in useable energy was formalized into a mathematical relationship called entropy.

From the atomic approach, it turns out that the statistical laws governing the disorder observed in the mixing of massive numbers of particles, when looked at from the energy involved, gives the entropy relationship. The significant difference is that the atomic approach to Thermo (the Statistical approach) includes the rules of how individual particles mix (disorder). The traditional Thermodynamics is limited to looking at the energy involved, and gives no insight into individual particles. Even though the derivation of “entropy” from the atomic approach is actually a more general formulation that the one from classical thermodynamics, the fundamental equations are largely unchanged, and involve a “temperature”. It is beyond the level of this discussion to explain what “temperature” is when discussing the mixing of particles (and contrary to our daily experience, the temperature of “heat” is also a surprisingly abstract concept to formalize).

In the atomic viewpoint, one possibility is when the particles are restricted to being in discrete configurations (A classical problem along this line is to consider, in a bottle of ordinary air, how often you might find all the oxygen atoms at one end, and all the nitrogen at the other end.) These possible patterns are referred to as “states” (or within Styer’s article they are called “microstates”).


Walter’s “Statistical” is not Enyart’s “Information”

So when when Enyart prepended the word “information” in front of entropy, in fact he was not echoing what Walter was referring to when he speaks of “statistical thermodynamics.” Enyart was running the “information” rabbit trail without his buddy Walter anywhere near.


Keeping Information Entropy and Thermodynamic Entropy Stoutly Separated

As Bob says in his opening post:


Bob quotes Timothy Stout, an experienced engineer (and creationist author), as saying (sans reference) that evolutionists are guilty of mixing up the two forms of entropy. I have no doubt that has happened, but not in Styer’s paper. In fact, in section III of Styer’s paper (“ENTROPY REQUIRED FOR EVOLUTION”), he quickly defines the system he is discussing in terms of the microstates. Once again, this is referring to the various configurations the particles can be in, and this has NO reference to any information that may be encoded in the patterns.

So, in summary, Johnny is correct. Styer repeatedly clarifies that he is discussing Thermodynamic Entropy. “Information” entropy has been introduced, and argued, and demolished, straw-man style, solely by Enyart.


Spare Ribs

In his OP, Bob transparently takes the opportunity to inject a dig against astrophysics (in what he call’s a “rib”). Brave, for someone who has a recorded history of astrophysical misunderstandings. Like flip-flopping on whether Orion’s Belt is gravitationally bound or being loosed (with both contrary conclusions proving Biblical inspiration), and on how the presence of volcanoes on Jupiter’s moon Io was completely unexpected (except for the paper predicting Io’s volcanoes that came out in Science before the volcano was ever seen), and how NASA blew it with the Hubble Deep Field (except the way Bob deduced that showed he had no idea how to know what was in the HDF picture), and planets that can’t have retrograde spin (ignoring the numerous collisions expected in the nascent solar system), and his ridicule of the direction of Moslem prayer rugs (and finding that Moslems for hundreds of years have known more about the shape of the earth than Bob does), and …

Spare ribs of roasted pastor are delicious.
Nice information, Phy, but you've missed the point.

The challenge to evolution from entropy involves information. In order to answer the challenge evolutionists need to account for the conversion between heat and information. If Styer does not account for the distinction he has not responded to the challenge.

I think the point is that Pastor Enyart thinks Styer should describe both types of entropy, not that he has.

ThePhy
December 11th, 2008, 12:32 AM
The challenge to evolution from entropy involves information.
If there is an “information entropy” challenge to evolution, Styer was not speaking to it. As Johnny pointed out, Styer was focused on thermodynamics.

In order to answer the challenge evolutionists need to account for the conversion between heat and information.
Good luck. As Enyart shows in one of his posts, there are fundamental differences between the two types of entropy. If you can show that there is a fundamental conversion between them, then the world of science will bow to you.

If Styer does not account for the distinction he has not responded to the challenge.
What challenge? Styer was addressing the oft-proposed argument that thermodynamic entropy disallows the natural development of life.

I think the point is that Pastor Enyart thinks Styer should describe both types of entropy, not that he has.
That’s not at all what I saw in Enyart’s posts. It was Enyart that stuffed the word “information” in front of “entropy” in the paraphrase of Styer, making it both wrong, and what Styer did not say.

Stripe
December 11th, 2008, 01:10 AM
If there is an “information entropy” challenge to evolution, Styer was not speaking to it. As Johnny pointed out, Styer was focused on thermodynamics.
And, as I pointed out in the thread that started all this, LoL's article missed the point of the challenge.


Good luck. As Enyart shows in one of his posts, there are fundamental differences between the two types of entropy. If you can show that there is a fundamental conversion between them, then the world of science will bow to you.
Again you do not understand. You've just shown that you think the challenge to evolution is unanswerable.


What challenge? Styer was addressing the oft-proposed argument that thermodynamic entropy disallows the natural development of life.
And as Pastor Enyart is trying to show that challenge is poorly constructed and easily dismissed. Now would you mind addressing the actual issue?


That’s not at all what I saw in Enyart’s posts. It was Enyart that stuffed the word “information” in front of “entropy” in the paraphrase of Styer, making it both wrong, and what Styer did not say.
That might be an easy mistake to make if you have not been following the discussion. Most of the atheists who did follow the conversation still don't understand the challenge.

ThePhy
December 11th, 2008, 01:19 AM
And, as I pointed out in the thread that started all this, LoL's article missed the point of the challenge.

Again you do not understand. You've just shown that you think the challenge to evolution is unanswerable.

And as Pastor Enyart is trying to show that challenge is poorly constructed and easily dismissed. Now would you mind addressing the actual issue?

That might be an easy mistake to make if you have not been following the discussion. Most of the atheists who did follow the conversation still don't understand the challenge.
You and I apparently have different ideas on what the substance of the debate is over. I'm comfortable with what I have said. You and I are only on the sidelines. Let’s see what Johnny and Bob come up with.

Yorzhik
December 11th, 2008, 05:38 AM
You and I apparently have different ideas on what the substance of the debate is over. I'm comfortable with what I have said. You and I are only on the sidelines. Let’s see what Johnny and Bob come up with.
The problem with the article is that it says there is enough available energy to drive evolution, correct?

ThePhy
December 11th, 2008, 07:22 AM
The problem with the article is that it says there is enough available energy to drive evolution, correct?
I would phrase it slightly differently, since a) it is not a “problem” at all, and b) “driving” something gives the impression that it is forcing it. It just makes the point that from a thermodynamic viewpoint, limitations on evolution imposed by entropy are non-issues.

elected4ever
December 11th, 2008, 08:14 AM
Why don't you guys just think of a tree falling in the woods. The sound that is made is made regardless of the ability of the receiver to to disseminate the energy transference or if the receiver is present at all has no bearing on the energy producing the effect. Energy is never lost just transformed into another form. The absence of the receive to disseminate equals silence. All energy carries with it information. It is the ability to discern that information that makes it possible to describe the information given.

Stripe
December 11th, 2008, 09:00 AM
The problem with the article is that it says there is enough available energy to drive evolution, correct?My problem with the article was that it tried to describe a qualitative aspect of entropy (that creatures evolve into more complex forms) with a quantitative measure (statistics).

Statistics cannot describe information, it can only analyse data and represent it with generalisations.

This is the challenge to evolution and something not addressed by the article LoL presented.

elected4ever
December 11th, 2008, 09:19 AM
My problem with the article was that it tried to describe a qualitative aspect of entropy (that creatures evolve into more complex forms) with a quantitative measure (statistics).

Statistics cannot describe information, it can only analyse data and represent it with generalizations.

This is the challenge to evolution and something not addressed by the article LoL presented.I am with you on that. Just because a specie develop differing DNA in differing environments for survival purposes does not mean that all life came from a single cell. All life did have a single source, God! It is this fact that modern evolutionist deny.

ThePhy
December 11th, 2008, 12:20 PM
My problem with the article was that it tried to describe a qualitative aspect of entropy (that creatures evolve into more complex forms) with a quantitative measure (statistics).
Makes no difference. Statistical Thermo encompasses everything traditional Thermo does. If you don’t like it, then you are going to have to discredit thermo altogether.

Statistics cannot describe information, it can only analyse data and represent it with generalisations.

This is the challenge to evolution and something not addressed by the article LoL presented.
You are correct that “information” was not addressed. As has been repeatedly pointed out, in Styer’s opening sentence he says he is addressing the relationship between Thermodynamic Entropy and Evolution. Maybe you feel that information theory or other things prohibit evolution. Fine - then make your arguments based on those things. But the claim that Thermodynamic Entropy precludes Evolution is one of the most frequent ones made by creationists. Numerous threads in these forums make that claim.

Styer has moved beyond the usual “Does too!”, “Does not!”, “Does too!” claims to specific numbers. Now either some creationist that is technically qualified to respond to the math needs to show a specific error in Styer’s paper, or else Creationists need to find a new pseudo-science argument to replace the fallacious thermodynamics one.

Yorzhik
December 11th, 2008, 12:48 PM
I would phrase it slightly differently, since a) it is not a “problem” at all, and b) “driving” something gives the impression that it is forcing it. It just makes the point that from a thermodynamic viewpoint, limitations on evolution imposed by entropy are non-issues.
Quite. My post was poorly worded.

Let's see if I can explain better. The article says limitations on evolution are a non-issue because the increase in entropy came from the heat flux of the sun-earth system. Is that clearer?

Stripe
December 11th, 2008, 12:56 PM
Makes no difference. Statistical Thermo encompasses everything traditional Thermo does. If you don’t like it, then you are going to have to discredit thermo altogether.
No. We just have to agree that numbers, averages and regression do not say anything about a biological entity other than to reduce its quantitative parts down to a set of numbers. If thermodynamic and entropy laws are unable to guide thought on how the real world operates then what good are they?


Maybe you feel that information theory or other things prohibit evolution. Fine - then make your arguments based on those things. But the claim that Thermodynamic Entropy precludes Evolution is one of the most frequent ones made by creationists. Numerous threads in these forums make that claim.
:doh:

The idea that thermodynamic entropy is the only thing involved in the challenge to evolution is absurd. The challenge has consistently been for evolutionists to show how thermal and informational entropies convert one into the other.


Styer has moved beyond the usual “Does too!”, “Does not!”, “Does too!” claims to specific numbers. Now either some creationist that is technically qualified to respond to the math needs to show a specific error in Styer’s paper, or else Creationists need to find a new pseudo-science argument to replace the fallacious thermodynamics one.
The error in Styer's paper is that he misses the point of the challenge. He addresses the issue of thermodynamic entropy without addressing the issue of information entropy. I stated this clearly in my first response to the original thread and numerous times throughout.

ThePhy
December 11th, 2008, 01:21 PM
No. We just have to agree that numbers, averages and regression do not say anything about a biological entity other than to reduce its quantitative parts down to a set of numbers. If thermodynamic and entropy laws are unable to guide thought on how the real world operates then what good are they?
I am not overly interested in pursuing a continuum of vague rationalizations arguing against a specific application of a fundamental law of physics to a specific problem. A goal of science is to show that the Laws can be applied to specific applications.

:doh:

The idea that thermodynamic entropy is the only thing involved in the challenge to evolution is absurd. The challenge has consistently been for evolutionists to show how thermal and informational entropies convert one into the other.
I didn’t say thermodynamic entropy was the only challenge. I said it turns out to be a non-issue. Any other challenges depending on different arguments are unaffected.

The error in Styer's paper is that he misses the point of the challenge. He addresses the issue of thermodynamic entropy without addressing the issue of information entropy. I stated this clearly in my first response to the original thread and numerous times throughout.
Interesting. Styer sees a common argument made by Creationists. He addresses that specific argument. And now some yo-yo on some obscure web site decides he knows what it is that Styer should have been addressing. Do you want to tell him what cereal to eat in the morning, too?

Stripe
December 11th, 2008, 01:33 PM
I am not overly interested in pursuing a continuum of vague rationalizations arguing against a specific application of a fundamental law of physics to a specific problem. A goal of science is to show that the Laws can be applied to specific applications.
How does the sun generate more information in the genome?


Interesting. Styer sees a common argument made by Creationists. He addresses that specific argument. And now some yo-yo on some obscure web site decides he knows what it is that Styer should have been addressing. Do you want to tell him what cereal to eat in the morning, too?:idunno: Styer may well have responded according to the challenge he was issued, but LoL brought Styer's paper in saying that a challenge had been answered. I immediately told LoL that he did not understand what the challenge was and reiterated that challenge. Since then I had not even mentioned Styer, read the article or even clicked on LoL's link.

I was responding to LoL.

And, yeah, I told him he should have Co-co Pops...

ThePhy
December 11th, 2008, 02:12 PM
How does the sun generate more information in the genome?
Who said it does?

:idunno: Styer may well have responded according to the challenge he was issued, but LoL brought Styer's paper in saying that a challenge had been answered. I immediately told LoL that he did not understand what the challenge was and reiterated that challenge. Since then I had not even mentioned Styer, read the article or even clicked on LoL's link.

I was responding to LoL.
My comments, and Styer’s paper, address Thermodynamic Entropy. It is clear that Enyart thinks that Styer was surreptitiously speaking of Information entropy in discussing the exchange of entropy from one place to another. But that was wrong, Styer was hard-lined to an analysis of the Thermodynamic issues involved. You are welcome to think that there are issues beyond Styer’s paper.

Stripe
December 11th, 2008, 07:45 PM
Who said it does?
All the atheists responding to the (errant) challenge to evolution from the second law of thermodynamics.


My comments, and Styer’s paper, address Thermodynamic Entropy.Then it is unresponsive and irrelevant.


It is clear that Enyart thinks that Styer was surreptitiously speaking of Information entropy in discussing the exchange of entropy from one place to another. But that was wrong, Styer was hard-lined to an analysis of the Thermodynamic issues involved. You are welcome to think that there are issues beyond Styer’s paper.
:idunno: I'll let you (or perhaps Johnny) thrash that out with Pastor Enyart.

It seems perfectly clear that Styer fails in one of two ways. If he was responding to the the challenge then he needed to address information entropy. You claim he did not address information entropy.

Johnny
December 11th, 2008, 07:54 PM
It seems perfectly clear that Styer fails in one of two ways. If he was responding to the challenge then he needed to address information entropy. You claim he did not address information entropy.The challenge, however, is not just from information entropy. Creationists have erroneously used the 2nd law as a challenge -- i.e. the challenge from thermodynamic entropy. Styer writes,


Does the second law of thermodynamics prohibit biological evolution?

The erroneous answer “yes” is sometimes presented in the creationist literature, and more often in creationist web sites. Henry Morris, for example, finds it “obvious that the Second Law of Thermodynamics constitutes a serious problem to the evolution model” because “every system left to its own devices always tends to move from order to disorder.” (cite: Henry M. Morris, Scientific Creationism, 1974.) The Henry Morris challenge from the second law is the challenge he addressed.

Stripe
December 11th, 2008, 08:01 PM
Styer states exactly what challenge he was responding to. He writes, Does the second law of thermodynamics prohibit biological evolution? The erroneous answer “yes” is sometimes presented in the creationist literature, and more often in creationist web sites. Henry Morris, for example, finds it “obvious that the Second Law of Thermodynamics constitutes a serious problem to the evolution model” because “every system left to its own devices always tends to move from order to disorder.” (cite: Henry M. Morris, Scientific Creationism, 1974.)That's the challenge he addressed.Application of the second law is part of the challenge.

I believe Pastor Enyart is saying that he could have struck down the challenge far more effectively had he shown its incompatibility and incompleteness. Just as throughout LoL's thread certain posters told me a number of times that the second law only applies to thermodynamic entropy so Styer would have been far more effective.

But I'd prefer it if y'all would thrash that out.

Yorzhik
December 12th, 2008, 10:51 AM
Creationists have never questioned that energy from the sun was not available or not enough to power evolution.

What has been questioned is two-fold; on the information front, that the sun does not convert heat energy to information and so there is no source for the information content in DNA. And on the thermodynamic front, that the sun's energy must be channeled through a mechanism to start life and to create the diversity we see in organisms today.

Jukia
December 12th, 2008, 10:58 AM
Creationists have never questioned that energy from the sun was not available or not enough to power evolution.

What has been questioned is two-fold; on the information front, that the sun does not convert heat energy to information and so there is no source for the information content in DNA. And on the thermodynamic front, that the sun's energy must be channeled through a mechanism to start life and to create the diversity we see in organisms today.

DNA is created by the standard chemical/physical processes that create every molecule in your body. This information/DNA argument is totally bogus.

Yorzhik
December 12th, 2008, 01:39 PM
DNA is created by the standard chemical/physical processes that create every molecule in your body. This information/DNA argument is totally bogus.
Normally Jukia says nothing, but with this he says something completely uninformed and to put a proper label on it, stupid.

Stripe
December 12th, 2008, 06:48 PM
Normally Jukia says nothing, but with this he says something completely uninformed and to put a proper label on it, stupid.Leave the poor guy alone. He has a reputation to uphold :D

ThePhy
December 12th, 2008, 07:32 PM
The text of the front part of Styer’s article, starting with the first sentence and going through the entire text that Enyart included in the photocopy can be seen at The Panda’s Thumb (http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2008/11/entropy-and-evo.html). Click on page one on the comments tab, then look down the page for the comment from Nick Matzke dated Nov 10, at 5:16 PM. The text is the entire colored block that makes up the majority of Nick’s comment.

chair
December 14th, 2008, 07:35 AM
Bob Enyart:
I believe this is the first time I have tried to follow Bob Enyart in a discussion of this type. My overall impression is that he is intellectually dishonest. He misrepresents the paper under discussion, knowing that most of the audience does not have access to the paper in question.

To Stripe and Yorzhik:

Are you agreed then that the second law of thermodynamics does not prohibit evolution? It seems that you do agree with this statement. A simple yes or no would do the trick here.

If that is the case, we should move on o the next stage:
If there is a challenge to evolution from information theory, let's hear it. Please explain what the challenge is, and if is based on particular 'laws' of information theory, please tell us which.

Yorzhik
December 14th, 2008, 08:12 AM
To Stripe and Yorzhik:

Are you agreed then that the second law of thermodynamics does not prohibit evolution? It seems that you do agree with this statement. A simple yes or no would do the trick here.

If that is the case, we should move on o the next stage:
If there is a challenge to evolution from information theory, let's hear it. Please explain what the challenge is, and if is based on particular 'laws' of information theory, please tell us which.
The SLoT is a problem for evolution. All heat must be controlled to keep it from breaking things down as fast as it could build things up.

Stripe
December 14th, 2008, 08:23 AM
Bob Enyart:
I believe this is the first time I have tried to follow Bob Enyart in a discussion of this type. My overall impression is that he is intellectually dishonest. He misrepresents the paper under discussion, knowing that most of the audience does not have access to the paper in question.

To Stripe and Yorzhik:

Are you agreed then that the second law of thermodynamics does not prohibit evolution? It seems that you do agree with this statement. A simple yes or no would do the trick here.

If that is the case, we should move on o the next stage:
If there is a challenge to evolution from information theory, let's hear it. Please explain what the challenge is, and if is based on particular 'laws' of information theory, please tell us which.
This discussion is not dependent upon thermodynamics. No need to "move on".

Is it possible that you accuse Pastor Enyart of lying based on the fact that you don't know what is going on?

Stripe
December 14th, 2008, 08:38 AM
I'd love to get some reader input on this in the discussion thread:

Is Styer unclear as to what the misconceptions are?

He does not list misconceptions after he states there are two and then adds a third misconception. If one already knew the misconceptions then they should be obvious.




Do you think this was bad writing on Styer's behalf?

Poorly structured and mismatched.




Should this argument be extended any longer?

Yes. The very point of this discussion is that evolutionists do not understand the challenge. Many creationists get it wrong as well. If we are going to let poor understanding continue to produce poor explanations then the cycle will continue. This discussion should continue until either side concedes that the article is, or is not, poorly written and defends an improper challenge.

chair
December 14th, 2008, 09:02 AM
The SLoT is a problem for evolution. All heat must be controlled to keep it from breaking things down as fast as it could build things up.

So you do NOT agree, then. With me, or with Bob Enyart, for that matter.

chair
December 14th, 2008, 09:08 AM
This discussion is not dependent upon thermodynamics. No need to "move on".

Is it possible that you accuse Pastor Enyart of lying based on the fact that you don't know what is going on?

The paper that is being discussed is about thermodynamics. But if yoiu are agreed that the second law of thermodynamics does not make evolution impossible (again, a yes or no answer is all that is needed), then by all means please state what laws, whether physical or of information theory, do make it impossible.

A relevant answer to this post will contain:
1. a yes or no answer to the question: Does the 2nd law of thermodynamics make evolution impossible?
2. If not, what law does make evolution impossible?

Regarding Bob Enyart: It is more likely that I accuse him of being intellectually dishonest because I do know what is going on.

Stripe
December 14th, 2008, 09:39 AM
The paper that is being discussed is about thermodynamics. But if yoiu are agreed that the second law of thermodynamics does not make evolution impossible (again, a yes or no answer is all that is needed), then by all means please state what laws, whether physical or of information theory, do make it impossible.

A relevant answer to this post will contain:
1. a yes or no answer to the question: Does the 2nd law of thermodynamics make evolution impossible?
2. If not, what law does make evolution impossible?

Regarding Bob Enyart: It is more likely that I accuse him of being intellectually dishonest because I do know what is going on.
Clearly you do not know what is going on. This discussion is not about whether the second law of thermodynamics works against evolution. If you're not prepared to acknowledge that then you render your contributions irrelevant.

The answer to your first question is irrelevant. Yorzhik may well have a point to make or you might be correct. The challenge to evolution is that it shows a local decrease in entropy with no means to account for that decrease.

chair
December 14th, 2008, 09:48 AM
Clearly you do not know what is going on. This discussion is not about whether the second law of thermodynamics works against evolution. If you're not prepared to acknowledge that then you render your contributions irrelevant.

The answer to your first question is irrelevant. Yorzhik may well have a point to make or you might be correct. The challenge to evolution is that it shows a local decrease in entropy with no means to account for that decrease.

OK. I see an article by Dan Styer entitled:
"Entropy and Evolution"

Abstract: Quantitative estimates of the entropy involved in biological evolution demonstrate that there is no conflict between evolution and the second law of thermodynamics. …

I see a discussion going on that centers around this article, which is clearly about the "conflict between evolution and the second law of thermodynamics"- but you say that the discussion is "not about whether the second law of thermodynamics works against evolution. "

So please explain to me what you think the discussion is about.

Stripe
December 14th, 2008, 09:55 AM
OK. I see an article by Dan Styer entitled:
"Entropy and Evolution"

Abstract: Quantitative estimates of the entropy involved in biological evolution demonstrate that there is no conflict between evolution and the second law of thermodynamics. …

I see a discussion going on that centers around this article, which is clearly about the "conflict between evolution and the second law of thermodynamics"- but you say that the discussion is "not about whether the second law of thermodynamics works against evolution. "

So please explain to me what you think the discussion is about.:doh:

The challenge to evolution is from entropy. Not from the second law of thermodynamics. If Styer wishes to refute the challenge to evolution he has to answer the information aspect as well as the thermodynamic aspect. You're following Johnny in trying to insist that Styer only refers to thermodynamics. Pastor Enyart is showing that Styer includes information entropy but fails to distinguish between the two.

Regardless of who is correct Styer's paper does not address the challenge of "Entropy and Evolution". If he meant to discuss thermodynamics only (as you and Johnny claim) then he is ignoring half the challenge. If he does discuss information then he didn't do a very good job of it.

chair
December 14th, 2008, 10:05 AM
:doh:

The challenge to evolution is from entropy. Not from the second law of thermodynamics. If Styer wishes to refute the challenge to evolution he has to answer the information aspect as well as the thermodynamic aspect. You're following Johnny in trying to insist that Styer only refers to thermodynamics. Pastor Enyart is showing that Styer includes information entropy but fails to distinguish between the two.

Regardless of who is correct Styer's paper does not address the challenge of "Entropy and Evolution". If he meant to discuss thermodynamics only (as you and Johnny claim) then he is ignoring half the challenge. If he does discuss information then he didn't do a very good job of it.

OK
Styer deals with the thermodynamic second law, and thermodynamic entropy. If you think he doesn't- fine. We can leave it alone.

What you are claiming, and correct me if I am wrong, is that the laws of information theory, which include a concept called "entropy", make evolution impossible. Is that right?

If I have understood you correctly, then please explain what laws of information theory make evolution impossible. I do not have a background in information theory, so references would be appreciated.

Stripe
December 14th, 2008, 10:33 AM
OK
Styer deals with the thermodynamic second law, and thermodynamic entropy. If you think he doesn't- fine. We can leave it alone.
:doh:

This discussion is all about whether or not Styer's response answers the challenge.


What you are claiming, and correct me if I am wrong, is that the laws of information theory, which include a concept called "entropy", make evolution impossible. Is that right?:nono:

Entropy, which includes different kinds like information and thermodynamic, is the challenge to evolution. If you want to segregate the discussion into those two categories you are only attempting to redefine the challenge.


If I have understood you correctly, then please explain what laws of information theory make evolution impossible. I do not have a background in information theory, so references would be appreciated.Information theory is mostly the study of statistics and how they can analyse data and rate that data's potential usefulness. There are some simple tests one could do to show that adding noise to a sample will always increase a signal's entropy, but there are no laws written yet that directly prohibit evolution.

chair
December 14th, 2008, 10:55 AM
:doh:

This discussion is all about whether or not Styer's response answers the challenge.

:nono:

Entropy, which includes different kinds like information and thermodynamic, is the challenge to evolution. If you want to segregate the discussion into those two categories you are only attempting to redefine the challenge.

Information theory is mostly the study of statistics and how they can analyse data and rate that data's potential usefulness. There are some simple tests one could do to show that adding noise to a sample will always increase a signal's entropy, but there are no laws written yet that directly prohibit evolution.

How do you manage it , Stripe? You so often seem on the verge of saying something concrete and intelligent, but somehow you just never get there. How do you do it?

It seems that you admit that there are no current laws in thermodynamics or information theory that make evolution possible- but there could and should be. Is that it? Or is it something else?

Stripe
December 14th, 2008, 11:11 AM
How do you manage it , Stripe? You so often seem on the verge of saying something concrete and intelligent, but somehow you just never get there. How do you do it?
What are you talking about? :idunno:


It seems that you admit that there are no current laws in thermodynamics or information theory that make evolution possible- but there could and should be. Is that it? Or is it something else?
Entropy describes the tendency of all things to break down and discontinue. Everything we see that is not broken down and useless can be explained by the action of intelligence or by clearly understood or observed physical processes.

Evolution does not have such an answer.

Styer has attempted to refute the challenge from the second law of thermodynamics. According to you he has ignored or not understood that or for some other reason omitted the fact that entropy applies to more than just thermodynamics.

Instead of pretending that I'm not capable of saying something intelligent, how about you back up this correct analysis of Styer's paper (the same one I made when LoL posted it) or give an answer to the challenge?

chair
December 14th, 2008, 11:23 AM
What are you talking about? :idunno:


Entropy describes the tendency of all things to break down and discontinue. Everything we see that is not broken down and useless can be explained by the action of intelligence or by clearly understood or observed physical processes.

Evolution does not have such an answer.

Styer has attempted to refute the challenge from the second law of thermodynamics. According to you he has ignored or not understood that or for some other reason omitted the fact that entropy applies to more than just thermodynamics.

Instead of pretending that I'm not capable of saying something intelligent, how about you back up this correct analysis of Styer's paper (the same one I made when LoL posted it) or give an answer to the challenge?

Teh paper is about the second law of THERMODYNAMICS and how it relates to evolution. It doesn't claim to do anything else.

If you can state your challenge clearly and logically, I could try to relate to it. So far you have come up with the challenge being not the 2nd law of thermodynamics, and not any current laws of information theory.

Your "challenge" then, comes down to the idea that information in general can't increase without the intervention of an intelligent being. Is that correct?

kmoney
December 14th, 2008, 11:30 AM
I'd love to get some reader input on this in the discussion thread:
Is Styer unclear as to what the misconceptions are?
Do you think this was bad writing on Styer's behalf?
Should this argument be extended any longer?
I think that to explicitly state the misconceptions instead of listing corrected statements, as you say he did, would have been more clear. However, I don't think the way he did it should present any real problems. Any reader should be able to understand. And no, I don't think this point is important enough to keep arguing. :nono:

Knight
December 14th, 2008, 12:52 PM
And no, I don't think this point is important enough to keep arguing. :nono:I agree that Johnny should concede. :up:

ThePhy
December 14th, 2008, 01:37 PM
The SLoT is a problem for evolution. All heat must be controlled to keep it from breaking things down as fast as it could build things up.
Rather than hand-waving and claiming that the SLoT says this or that, how about doing as Styer did and plug in the numbers? The SLoT has a very precise mathematical formulation. If you feel the math is above you, then Fred Williams of BEL Real Science Friday fame is intimately involved with a group that claims hundreds of creationists with advanced degrees. Surely a few of those can handle the math.

Yorzhik
December 14th, 2008, 01:39 PM
So you do NOT agree, then. With me, or with Bob Enyart, for that matter.
No. I agree with Bob Enyart. Please understand, my argument is a problem for evolution. Bob's argument is ANOTHER problem for evolution.

You asked specifically about the thermo aspect of entropy, and so I answered your question directly about where the problem is. But I didn't elaborate because this thread is about Bob's thread and his argument.

Yorzhik
December 14th, 2008, 02:31 PM
Rather than hand-waving and claiming that the SLoT says this or that, how about doing as Styer did and plug in the numbers? The SLoT has a very precise mathematical formulation. If you feel the math is above you, then Fred Williams of BEL Real Science Friday fame is intimately involved with a group that claims hundreds of creationists with advanced degrees. Surely a few of those can handle the math.
No hand waving required. It's your theory, you have to do the math. Then I can come along and see if your numbers add up.

We can start another thread about it.

kmoney
December 14th, 2008, 03:05 PM
I agree that Johnny should concede. :up:

I wouldn't necessarily call it a concession by Johnny but.....

Flipper
December 14th, 2008, 05:07 PM
Yeah but the typical challenge by creationists is not one of information entropy, but rather that evolution is in violation of the SLOT. Yorzhik has made it himself.

I am pleased to see that Bob agrees that this is based on a misunderstanding of the SLOT. Interestingly though, Answers In Genesis does not include the argument from the SLOT on its "Arguments Creationists Should Not Use" (http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/dont_use.asp) web page, also I suppose it could be because it hasn't been updated recently.

Interestingly, there is a thermodynamics-related question in there, but it doesn't cover using it as an argument against evolution. Instead, it is "The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics began at the Fall."

Maybe Bob should get his webmaster friend at AIG to get that page updated. After all, lots of creationists seem to be mistakenly using thermodynamics as an argument.

And Yorzhik, remember that time you totally failed to explain how evolution is in violation of the SLOT when hurricanes somehow aren't? Get cracking!

ThePhy
December 14th, 2008, 05:13 PM
No hand waving required. It's your theory, you have to do the math. Then I can come along and see if your numbers add up.

We can start another thread about it.
Styer's paper has the numbers. Get cracking and tell us if the numbers add up. No new thread needed.

ThePhy
December 14th, 2008, 05:22 PM
In the one-on-one it appears there is not much left to discuss as far as to whether the SLoT precludes evolution. Styer is standing in the end zone with the football, the coach is signaling a touchdown, but the crowd is arguing over why Styer went left instead of up the middle, and why the popcorn is stale, and whether the cloudy weather might be to blame. Even if it could be shown that 98% of the secular scientists conflated evolution and information theory, and 102% of the creationists did the same, still Styer’s mathematical analysis of Thermodynamic entropy and evolution is untouched.

Bob Enyart
December 14th, 2008, 05:57 PM
Phy,

Could you reply to this from the 1 on 1:


Second, did Styer overstate his case when he said: "the entropy of any part of the universe can decrease with time, so long as that decrease is compensated by an even larger increase in some other part of the universe."

For example, can an entropy increase in ANY Location 1 really compensate for an entropy increase in Location 2, as in:
Location 1: outer space to one parsec around Alpha Centauri
Location 2: equipment operating on the Phoenix Mars Lander (NASA's has finally lost its signal by the way).

The "parts" of the universe that have the offsetting entropies must be adjacent. No? For example, a discrete amount of decreased entropy in Denver Colorado, say from an air conditioner cooling Denver Bible Church, cannot be accounted for by a slightly greater increase in entropy on Planet FFTE, a planet orbiting a star in a galaxy furthest from the earth. I realize the entire physical universe is "connected" (CMB light, etc.). But isn't it true that the offsetting entropy must occur contiguous to the decreasing entropy, in that the distances separating these must be close enough to physically allow for the transfer of entropy? Thus I'm asking if it is slightly misleading (and I'm not making a federal case out of this Johnny, just asking) to a college student reading AJP to say, "the entropy of any part of the universe can decrease compensated by an even larger increase in some other part of the universe."

Phy, Styer's sixth reference (from his second inferred misconception :) ) is to the pages by John Patterson which include this quote (http://books.google.com/books?id=bjYPs9siZzgC&pg=PA104&lpg=PA99&ots=lTFnp1EUdG&dq=%22John+W.+Patterson%22+%22thermodynamics+and+e volution%22+1983):

"According to the second law, the entropy decrease (ΔS2 < 0) may occur spontaneously as long as it is coupled to increases... that overcompensate the entropy inventory [i]nearby."

Just wondering what your thoughts are on this.

Thanks,

-Bob Enyart
KGOV.com

Stripe
December 14th, 2008, 08:25 PM
Teh paper is about the second law of THERMODYNAMICS and how it relates to evolution. It doesn't claim to do anything else.
We know. The problem is (and the discussion is centred around) whether it is hiding an information component.


If you can state your challenge clearly and logically, I could try to relate to it. So far you have come up with the challenge being not the 2nd law of thermodynamics, and not any current laws of information theory.E-N-T-R-O-P-Y.

You do know what entropy is, right? You do know there is more than one kind, right?


Your "challenge" then, comes down to the idea that information in general can't increase without the intervention of an intelligent being. Is that correct?No.

Known (uninformed) physical processes can also lower local entropy.

But feel free to keep asking the same questions, chair. Perhaps I'll get frustrated and answer one incorrectly so you can continue to respond to anything but the point...

ThePhy
December 14th, 2008, 09:40 PM
Phy,

Could you reply to this from the 1 on 1:


Second, did Styer overstate his case when he said: "the entropy of any part of the universe can decrease with time, so long as that decrease is compensated by an even larger increase in some other part of the universe."

For example, can an entropy increase in ANY Location 1 really compensate for an entropy increase in Location 2, as in:
Location 1: outer space to one parsec around Alpha Centauri
Location 2: equipment operating on the Phoenix Mars Lander (NASA's has finally lost its signal by the way).

The "parts" of the universe that have the offsetting entropies must be adjacent. No? For example, a discrete amount of decreased entropy in Denver Colorado, say from an air conditioner cooling Denver Bible Church, cannot be accounted for by a slightly greater increase in entropy on Planet FFTE, a planet orbiting a star in a galaxy furthest from the earth. I realize the entire physical universe is "connected" (CMB light, etc.). But isn't it true that the offsetting entropy must occur contiguous to the decreasing entropy, in that the distances separating these must be close enough to physically allow for the transfer of entropy? Thus I'm asking if it is slightly misleading (and I'm not making a federal case out of this Johnny, just asking) to a college student reading AJP to say, "the entropy of any part of the universe can decrease compensated by an even larger increase in some other part of the universe."

Phy, Styer's sixth reference (from his second inferred misconception :) ) is to the pages by John Patterson which include this quote (http://books.google.com/books?id=bjYPs9siZzgC&pg=PA104&lpg=PA99&ots=lTFnp1EUdG&dq=%22John+W.+Patterson%22+%22thermodynamics+and+e volution%22+1983):

"According to the second law, the entropy decrease (ΔS2 < 0) may occur spontaneously as long as it is coupled to increases... that overcompensate the entropy inventory [i]nearby."

Just wondering what your thoughts are on this.

Thanks,

-Bob Enyart
KGOV.com

The Second Law mathematics used by Styer does not depend on the heat exchange being between adjacent objects. There is good reason for this.

One goal of expressing scientific laws is to “minimize the inputs”. In other words, do not include any preconditions that must be met unless the correctness of the law depends on them.

Example – Newton’ Law of Gravitation. The apocryphal apple bounced off Newton’s head, he looked up and saw the moon, and suddenly a realization that both the apple and the moon were being attracted by the earth’s gravity came to him. Had he written and published his Law of Gravity in the next few minutes, it may have said that the force of gravity was [ F = g * Me * Mo / (Re^2) ] where F is force, g is the gravitational constant, Me is the mass of the earth, Mo is the mass of the object (moon or apple or …), and Re is the distance from the center of the earth. Correct, but it is only a subset of the Law of Gravity he actually put forth. Why?

Being the insightful (fringe) Christian scientist that he was, Newton realized that the force of gravity was acting not only between the earth and moons and satellites and falling applies, but between any two objects that have mass. Bob’s computer (Al the 6th) in Denver is pulling on this computer (Alice the 7th) some 1000 miles away, with the force between them exactly described by the real Law of Gravity: [ F = g * Ma * Mb / (R^2) ] where Ma is now the mass of the first object, Mb is the mass of the second, and R is the distance between them. (I keep a small block of lead in my office near my wall opposite Denver, just to counter the pull of Al on Alice.)

So in the context of minimizing the restriction on the inputs, Newton made his law much more useful by deleting any need for one object to be the earth, or close by.

A similar rule holds on the SLoT. Use the minimum number of restrictions possible in developing the law. Nothing in the mathematical formulation of entropy stipulates locality. It deals only with energy budgets. (I use the word “budget” because of Johnny’s insightful response about money in the 1-on-1).

If we move away from the rigid formalism of the mathematical logic, isn’t it true that energy exchanges are always somewhat local? Yes, as far as we can tell right now. I think Styer was perhaps a bit extreme in his examples, but maybe he was trying to make a point. Even the energy budget on the earth is massively greater than required to come to his answer.

But to impose locality as a necessary limitation on the SLoT is not only to introduce extraneous non-value added complications, but in fact it can subtly involve the SLoT in decisions it has no part in. The structure of space-time is an active field of research, and saying SLoT can only be applied locally would define part of the structure of space-time. Let’s let General Relativity and Quantum (and String Theory?) do their jobs of finding restrictions on the need for locality, free of unwarranted restrictions imposed by the SLoT.

chair
December 14th, 2008, 11:33 PM
We know. The problem is (and the discussion is centred around) whether it is hiding an information component.

E-N-T-R-O-P-Y.

You do know what entropy is, right? You do know there is more than one kind, right?

No. Known (uninformed) physical processes can also lower local entropy.

But feel free to keep asking the same questions, chair. Perhaps I'll get frustrated and answer one incorrectly so you can continue to respond to anything but the point...

Stripe,

If you can clearly state what "the challenge" is, I will meet it. As it stands, it is vague, and I can only guess at what you mean.

You spell entropy very nicely, but it is not at all clear what you mean when you use the term. The term has a defined meaning in thermodynamics, and a defined meaning in information theory. What do you mean when you use the term?

chair
December 14th, 2008, 11:41 PM
Bob, John,

You have spent a lot of time discussing whether Styer was clear enough in explaining his topic. A literary discussion, perhaps interesting to some, but I suspect that giving his essay a grade on clarity isn't what interests most people here.

Aren't there more substantive issues here?

Thanks

Chair

Stripe
December 15th, 2008, 01:09 AM
Stripe,

If you can clearly state what "the challenge" is, I will meet it. As it stands, it is vague, and I can only guess at what you mean.

You spell entropy very nicely, but it is not at all clear what you mean when you use the term. The term has a defined meaning in thermodynamics, and a defined meaning in information theory. What do you mean when you use the term?Entropy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In many branches of science, entropy is a measure of the disorder of a system. The concept of entropy is particularly notable as it is applied across physics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physics), information theory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_theory) and mathematics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics).
The word "entropy" is derived from the Greek (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_language) εντροπία "a turning towards" (εν- "in" + τροπή "a turning").


Bob, John,

You have spent a lot of time discussing whether Styer was clear enough in explaining his topic. A literary discussion, perhaps interesting to some, but I suspect that giving his essay a grade on clarity isn't what interests most people here.

Aren't there more substantive issues here?

Thanks

Chair
The substantive issue is that the majority on both sides have misunderstood what the challenge to evolution from entropy is. Quit confusing matters.

ThePhy
December 15th, 2008, 03:44 AM
Chair asked:

Stripe,
If you can clearly state what "the challenge" is, I will meet it. As it stands, it is vague, and I can only guess at what you mean.

You spell entropy very nicely, but it is not at all clear what you mean when you use the term. The term has a defined meaning in thermodynamics, and a defined meaning in information theory. What do you mean when you use the term?
Stripe responded:

Entropy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In many branches of science, entropy is a measure of the disorder of a system. The concept of entropy is particularly notable as it is applied across physics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physics), information theory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_theory) and mathematics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics).
The word "entropy" is derived from the Greek (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_language) εντροπία "a turning towards" (εν- "in" + τροπή "a turning").

The substantive issue is that the majority on both sides have misunderstood what the challenge to evolution from entropy is. Quit confusing matters.
Chair, it is abundantly clear that your challenge is to root out every misinformed secular scientist, and every secular scientist who is not hyper-explicitly clear on what type of entropy is being discussed, every creationist without exception (except for maybe one), and re-educate the lot of them.

Or, alternatively, you can note the common use of the term across the disparate fields listed in the wiki article, and undertake to show that it has a causal connection across all of them. Show that a change in information entropy forces a change in thermo. Disregard that the wiki article makes no reference that there is a functional dependency between the various applications of the term. This rewriting the laws of science is for Stripe, who seems to be adverse to admitting that entropy is dealing with separate concepts as it is applied in different fields. Good luck.

Stripe
December 15th, 2008, 08:53 AM
Entropy deals with separate concepts as it is applied in different fields.

The challenge to evolution is that there is no known means by which sunlight, or any energy, can be turned into information without intelligent guidance.

ThePhy
December 15th, 2008, 09:15 AM
Entropy deals with separate concepts as it is applied in different fields.

The challenge to evolution is that there is no known means by which sunlight, or any energy, can be turned into information without intelligent guidance.
Outside what the Styer paper addresses.

dodgi
December 15th, 2008, 01:32 PM
The challenge to evolution is that there is no known means by which sunlight, or any energy, can be turned into information without intelligent guidance.

Replication

chair
December 15th, 2008, 01:41 PM
Entropy deals with separate concepts as it is applied in different fields.

The challenge to evolution is that there is no known means by which sunlight, or any energy, can be turned into information without intelligent guidance.

Stripe- Do you accept that there is a thing sometimes called "micro-evolution"?

ThePhy
December 15th, 2008, 02:15 PM
The challenge to evolution is that there is no known means by which sunlight, or any energy, can be turned into information without intelligent guidance.
If God chose to, could He make a simple modification to DNA that adds information to it?

Stripe
December 15th, 2008, 07:47 PM
Outside what the Styer paper addresses.
Then you've conceded all of Johnny's points for him. You also agree with my instant response to LoL's original thread. Styer has not addressed the full and correct challenge to evolution from entropy.


Replication
I see. And would you mind sharing how it is that biological evolution ignores the trends imposed on everything else by entropy?


Stripe- Do you accept that there is a thing sometimes called "micro-evolution"?
I'll not use that term. Far too confusing. Populations and features follow trends that change over time. Those changes adhere to the principles of entropy in that a new feature always comes at a net cost to the population.


If God chose to, could He make a simple modification to DNA that adds information to it?
Yes.

Flipper
December 15th, 2008, 08:31 PM
Hey Bob Enyart,

Next time you're doing a real science friday, can you press Fred Williams to update the Arguments Creationists Should Not Use section on AIG to include an entry on the SLOT?

I bring this up because until this recent clarification on TOL, almost all challenges that I have seen presented by creationists regarding entropy have been formulated in regards to thermodynamic entropy.

It's nice to hear that AIG are now formally onboard with what evolutionists have been saying for years - thermodynamical entropy has nothing to do with whether evolution is possible or not. So they really should get the message out to the flock, don't you think? I mean, since they care so much about science and all.

chair
December 15th, 2008, 11:04 PM
I'll not use that term. Far too confusing. Populations and features follow trends that change over time. Those changes adhere to the principles of entropy in that a new feature always comes at a net cost to the population.



Ah. Can you give an example of how this works?

Stripe
December 15th, 2008, 11:45 PM
Ah. Can you give an example of how this works?
Sure.

Ever been to Fiji?

ThePhy
December 16th, 2008, 03:35 AM
Then you've conceded all of Johnny's points for him. You also agree with my instant response to LoL's original thread. Styer has not addressed the full and correct challenge to evolution from entropy.
Just so we are not crossing paths with semantics, when you say that “Styer has not addressed the full and correct challenge to evolution from entropy”, I am going to presume you must be including information entropy, since no one I’ve seen is even pretending to counter him on thermodynamic entropy.

But since, as has been shown several times, Styer made it explicitly clear that he was addressing Thermodynamic entropy, and only Thermodynamic entropy, then you are correct that he has not covered the full range. He never intended to.

As to my upending Johnny, remember Johnny is the one-on-one participant. I am just on the sidelines, and what I say is not what decides the outcome.

chair
December 16th, 2008, 04:04 AM
Sure.

Ever been to Fiji?

No, I haven't. OS please describe the changes in the population and what the cost was.

Stripe
December 16th, 2008, 06:06 AM
Just so we are not crossing paths with semantics, when you say that “Styer has not addressed the full and correct challenge to evolution from entropy”, I am going to presume you must be including information entropy, since no one I’ve seen is even pretending to counter him on thermodynamic entropy.
The challenge is from entropy. Information and thermodynamics are two fields that utilise this observed trait that can be applied to all scientific fields.


But since, as has been shown several times, Styer made it explicitly clear that he was addressing Thermodynamic entropy, and only Thermodynamic entropy, then you are correct that he has not covered the full range. He never intended to.
Do you think he would be interested in addressing the challenge as it now stands?


As to my upending Johnny, remember Johnny is the one-on-one participant. I am just on the sidelines, and what I say is not what decides the outcome.
:chuckle: I do tend to lump you guys together a bit, don't I. Apologies. That was not my intent. Just overly strong emphasis on the point I wanted to make...

Stripe
December 16th, 2008, 06:13 AM
No, I haven't. OS please describe the changes in the population and what the cost was.
I think the changes wrought in Fijian natives is obvious if one assumes they originated in the Middle East...

I guess the cost is that they would be forced through a genetic bottleneck were a sample group of them ever transplanted to an environment that pushed for lighter skin. With all the genetic code for both light skin and dark skin it would be simple to adapt to one extreme by dropping off the information for the other. But a return to the original environment could never see them regain all that lost genetic code.

Not sure if my biological terminology is correct and I'm sure it's a bit more complex than that, but the simple point is that entropy ensures that there will be a cost. I can be certain it exists whether or not I have an idea of what it might be.

I can also be certain that if we are talking about genetics then the cost exists in a genetic medium rather than in sunlight.

Jukia
December 16th, 2008, 07:58 AM
Not sure if my biological terminology is correct and I'm sure it's a bit more complex than that, but the simple point is that entropy ensures that there will be a cost. I can be certain it exists whether or not I have an idea of what it might be.



A bit more complex than Stripe understands---ya think???

Stripe
December 16th, 2008, 08:43 AM
A bit more complex than Stripe understands---ya think???Ah .. another Jokia post. Another dose of :spam:

bybee
December 16th, 2008, 11:46 AM
A bit more complex than Stripe understands---ya think???

I wonder, as I wander, in the maze of entrophy and thermodynamics,Is someone saying that matter is disappearing, ceasing to exit? and, conversely, that matter is being created out of nothing to fill the space vacated by the matter which has been destroyed? I am, somewhere in left field! What? bybee

Stripe
December 16th, 2008, 11:50 AM
I wonder, as I wander, in the maze of entrophy and thermodynamics,Is someone saying that matter is disappearing, ceasing to exit? and, conversely, that matter is being created out of nothing to fill the space vacated by the matter which has been destroyed? I am, somewhere in left field! What? bybeeMake it support evolution and your nobel is guaranteed. :thumb:

:chuckle:

ThePhy
December 16th, 2008, 01:43 PM
The challenge is from entropy. Information and thermodynamics are two fields that utilise this observed trait that can be applied to all scientific fields.
I don’t know what “this observed trait is”. If you are speaking of entropy, then it is not an observed trait common to both fields, anymore than showing fear (to quail) is the same as eating a type of bird called quail.

Do you think he would be interested in addressing the challenge as it now stands? I have no idea where Styer’s future interests lie. E-mail him and ask.

I do tend to lump you guys together a bit, don't I. Apologies.
Apology accepted. Johnny reminds me of some of my colleagues, great guys who honor their faith yet are not afraid of doing honest science.

ThePhy
December 16th, 2008, 06:13 PM
Win or lose in this One-on-One debate should be on the debate subject. The problem is, the specific question to be decided is not declared external to the debate, but has to be inferred from the opening post.

After presenting some preliminaries, in referring to Styer’s paper Enyart asserts:

But the paper repeats an error that Henry Morris made fifty years ago,
which error Enyart goes on to say is that of conflating the two definitions of entropy. In his OP Enyart relies on claims by Timothy Stout, and then talks a bit more about entropy confusion. But nowhere in his OP, other than by saying it is so, did Enyart show that Styer mixed up the disparate definitions of entropy. That is the challenge of this debate – did Styer cheat by relying on two different concepts of entropy?.

Enyart has shown that the confusion over entropy exists in both the evolutionist community and the Creationist community. The thing that he has not done is to show that Styer was confused, or that Styer relied on that confusion in the larger community to establish his point.

Enyart has faulted Styer for not being hyper-explicit about saying that his use of the word “entropy” referred to thermodynamics. Yet, as Johnny showed, both in Styer’s opening sentence and continuing throughout the paper, he is speaking of Thermodynamics.

Styer’s analysis discrediting thermodynamic entropy as a barrier to evolution is untouched by Enyart’s repeated efforts to show that Stryer relied on a confused definition of entropy.

And note that in his One-on-One post of Dec 14 Enyart includes an offer for Johnny to concede in the title of his post, but in the body of his Dec 16 post he has lowered his sights and is now asking for a tie. Wonder why?

Dan Styer
December 16th, 2008, 06:42 PM
On 5 December 2008 Bob Enyart said that my paper on "Entropy and Evolution" claims that



evolution on earth can appear to violate the 2nd Law locally because a decrease in entropy as a squid evolves in the sea is offset by a fluctuation of entropy in a galaxy far, far away.


In fact, I never said this, nor anything like it.

1. The phrase "to violate the 2nd Law [of thermodynamics] locally" has no meaning. The second law says that "heat flow is from high temperature to low temperature" -- the notion of "local" doesn't appear in the second law.

2. I have never in my life used the term "fluctuation of entropy" because I've never understood what it meant.

3. My paper shows that the decrease in entropy as a squid evolves in the sea can be offset by an increase in the entropy of the microwave background. The microwave background is not "far, far away" ... it's right here. We're immersed in it.

====================================

Bob Enyart goes on to say



Entropy is NOT a manifestation of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

It is not.

The reverse is true.

The 2nd law is a manifestation of entropy.


Notice that Bob just states this claim with no supporting evidence.

There are a number of different approaches to entropy, but the historical one is to begin with the second law -- "heat flow is from high temperature to low temperature" -- and from it derive the existence of entropy. (This derivation is long and subtle, and is perhaps the most beautiful piece of logic I've ever encountered. If you haven't seen it, I recommend Fermi's old and very clear book Thermodyamics.) As such, entropy is not a "manifestation" of the second law of thermodynamics but a consequence of it. However, the word "manifestation" is unclear here, so I'm not entirely sure what Bob means.

================================

Bob Enyart speaks long and hard about the difference between "heat entropy" and "information entropy". It is quite clear from context that by entropy I mean "thermodynamic/statistical mechanical entropy". A simple glance at the equations in my paper would have made that abundantly clear.

================================

Bob Enyart goes on to say



Entropy has to do with the move from order to disorder in any organized system, whether it is organized by energy states, ergonomics (arrangement of utensils in your kitchen, etc), aesthetic values, information content, etc.


This is very false. My paper "Insight into Entropy" (also in American Journal of Physics) is devoted to overturning this misconception. Frank Lambert has also devoted considerable energy (in the non-physics sense of the word!) to the same end. See

http://www.entropysite.com/

(By the way, Bob criticizes me severely for not distinguishing between "heat entropy" and "information entropy", but in the passage quoted above he does exactly the same thing!)

Dan Styer
December 16th, 2008, 07:16 PM
Radio announcer Bob Enyart takes me to task for not distinguishing between "heat entropy" and "information entropy" in my American Journal of Physics article "Entropy and Evolution". Any knowledgeable person could just look at the equations in my paper and see that I mean "thermodynamic/statistical mechanical entropy".

The word "entropy", like most words, has many meanings, and the meaning in use is determined from context. If I say "Run away from danger", you don't think "A run is a small stream, so I must follow a small stream away from danger".

Here I want to present some of the other meanings of the word "entropy", to emphasize that it would have been silly to say that I'm not talking about each of them:

information entropy

topological entropy

Kolmogorov entropy

Kolmogorov-Sinai entropy

metric entropy

Gibbs entropy

Boltzmann entropy

Tsallis entropy

von Neumann entropy

Shannon entropy

Rényi entropy

volume entropy

If I spend so much time talking about what I'm not going to be talking about, the paper would have been quite long indeed!

bybee
December 16th, 2008, 07:50 PM
Radio announcer Bob Enyart takes me to task for not distinguishing between "heat entropy" and "information entropy" in my American Journal of Physics article "Entropy and Evolution". Any knowledgeable person could just look at the equations in my paper and see that I mean "thermodynamic/statistical mechanical entropy".

The word "entropy", like most words, has many meanings, and the meaning in use is determined from context. If I say "Run away from danger", you don't think "A run is a small stream, so I must follow a small stream away from danger".

Here I want to present some of the other meanings of the word "entropy", to emphasize that it would have been silly to say that I'm not talking about each of them:

information entropy

topological entropy

Kolmogorov entropy

Kolmogorov-Sinai entropy

metric entropy

Gibbs entropy

Boltzmann entropy

Tsallis entropy

von Neumann entropy

Shannon entropy

Rényi entropy

volume entropy

If I spend so much time talking about what I'm not going to be talking about, the paper would have been quite long indeed!

Sounds sort of like denominations to me.....So many split hairs. way beyond me. bybee

ThePhy
December 16th, 2008, 08:35 PM
On 5 December 2008 Bob Enyart said that my paper on "Entropy and Evolution" claims that … [snipped]
Dan - fair warning. I think you have stepped in it now.

One thing Reverend Enyart delights in is getting scientists with name recognition to respond to him. Long after you have left these forums, he will construe what you said the way he wants, with little regard for how truthful his portrayal is. Currently Enyart sells videotapes of where he goaded Michael Shermer (founder of Skeptics Society and frequent Scientific America writer) into a confrontation (over the phone, and during which Shermer finally just hung up in disgust). Similarly, he sells tapes of a telephone discussion with Eugenie Scott (head of National Center for Science education). I will be very surprised if he doesn’t similarly leverage your response to his liking.

Enyart is the Christian equivalent of Howard Stern, and has cultivated an audience that thrives on his brand of confrontational theology. If you took the time to listen to many of his shows, you would hear him asking his audience to ferret out people who disagree with him, and have them confront him on the air.

Yorzhik
December 16th, 2008, 08:37 PM
The second law says that "heat flow is from high temperature to low temperature"
ThePhy; I can repeat this as a property of the 2nd Law from now on, right?

Dan Styer
December 16th, 2008, 08:46 PM
Dan - fair warning. I think you have stepped in it now.

One thing Reverend Enyart delights in is getting scientists with name recognition to respond to him.

Well I'm safe, then, because I have no name recognition!

ThePhy
December 16th, 2008, 08:55 PM
Well I'm safe, then, because I have no name recognition!
Perhaps before, but not now. Whether you like it or not, in authoring your seminal paper you have joined the ranks of a small cadre of very influential scientists in the Creationism – evolution debate. You paper is generating a lot of attention in many forums like this. It has passed out of your hands now.

Knight
December 16th, 2008, 08:58 PM
Dan - fair warning. I think you have stepped in it now.

One thing Reverend Enyart delights in is getting scientists with name recognition to respond to him. Long after you have left these forums, he will construe what you said the way he wants, with little regard for how truthful his portrayal is. Currently Enyart sells videotapes of where he goaded Michael Shermer (founder of Skeptics Society and frequent Scientific America writer) into a confrontation (over the phone, and during which Shermer finally just hung up in disgust). Similarly, he sells tapes of a telephone discussion with Eugenie Scott (head of National Center for Science education). I will be very surprised if he doesn’t similarly leverage your response to his liking.

Enyart is the Christian equivalent of Howard Stern, and has cultivated an audience that thrives on his brand of confrontational theology. If you took the time to listen to many of his shows, you would hear him asking his audience to ferret out people who disagree with him, and have them confront him on the air.Wow... the venom. :shocked:

Those comments are way out of line. We are thankful that Bob is able to take the time to participate in discussions like this, as we are also thankful that Mr. Styer took the time to register and post on TOL.

Knight
December 16th, 2008, 08:58 PM
Well I'm safe, then, because I have no name recognition!Either way, we appreciate your participation very much. Welcome to our forum. :up:

Stripe
December 17th, 2008, 12:06 AM
Welcome to the forum, Professor. :)

chair
December 17th, 2008, 03:28 AM
Wow... the venom. :shocked:

Those comments are way out of line. We are thankful that Bob is able to take the time to participate in discussions like this, as we are also thankful that Mr. Styer took the time to register and post on TOL.

"venom"? Much milder than much of what gets posted here on TOL. And though I have not followed Mr. Enyart's carreer, i suspect this venom is accurate. Sometimes the truth is unpleasant.

Yorzhik
December 17th, 2008, 07:13 AM
Styer's paper has the numbers. Get cracking and tell us if the numbers add up. No new thread needed.
Since I cannot see the numbers, just let me know if this is true: Styer measures the amount of energy required for evolution and it turns out the sun is more than adequate to provide this energy. Does that pretty much sum it up?

Yorzhik
December 17th, 2008, 07:17 AM
Dr. Styer:

Bob Enyart has a different argument in his discussion with Johnny. And it includes elements of information theory. I feel that an additional argument can be made against evolution from the standpoint of thermo-entropy.

chair
December 17th, 2008, 07:18 AM
Bob Enyart is being very unreasonable in his expectations of Styer's paper. The paper is published in a physics journal, whose audience is trained scientists. He states (as far as I know, having not read the entire article) what he set out to show, in a manner that is quite clear to his audience.

To expect him to unravel decades of confusion amongst creationists (or 'evolutionists'- a term that only creationists use) in a professional physics journal is unreasonable, at best. In fact, it is quite likely that had he spent a few paragraphs trying to unravel the history of the misunderstanding, that section of the paper would have been edited out as irrelevant to the target audience- namely professional scientists.

Now Bob: Can you point towards a law of physics or information theory that makes evolution impossible? I mean a specific law, not just saying "entropy!" and waving your hands in the air. If someone has done the calculations, that is even better. It may not be the subject of your current one on one, but it is more important.

GuySmiley
December 17th, 2008, 09:19 AM
To expect him to unravel decades of confusion amongst creationists (or 'evolutionists'- a term that only creationists use)
You are the second person I've seen recently objecting to the term 'evolutionist.' Why? What a weird thing to care about.

ThePhy
December 17th, 2008, 09:46 AM
Since I cannot see the numbers, just let me know if this is true: Styer measures the amount of energy required for evolution and it turns out the sun is more than adequate to provide this energy. Does that pretty much sum it up?
Nope. Styers article (and its title) is “ENTROPY and Evolution”, not “ENERGY and evolution”. Different animals.

chair
December 17th, 2008, 09:59 AM
You are the second person I've seen recently objecting to the term 'evolutionist.' Why? What a weird thing to care about.

There is a group of people called "Physicists". That's what they call themselves, and they deal with physics. Like wise for chemists, biologists, geologists and a host of other fields of study.

"Creationists" invented the term "evolutionists" and apply it to others, who don't apply it to themselves. It seems to be an attempt to level the playing field, where "creationists" and "evolutionists" are parallel groups, each based on beliefs.

It is not a major issue, but I find it difficult to adopt the creationist terminology.

ThePhy
December 17th, 2008, 10:28 AM
You are the second person I've seen recently objecting to the term 'evolutionist.' Why? What a weird thing to care about.
I am cognizant that I am on somewhat thin ice, since I was recently publically reprimanded by Knight (and he whacked my knuckles in private as well). But Enyart uses the terms “evolutionist” and “atheist” almost completely interchangeably, and frequently applies either (or both) to astrophysicists, geologists, biologists, or scientists of any sort with whom he has issues.

It would facilitate communication if he would use the correct term. In this debate, Johnny is not an atheist, but he is an evolutionist.

Jefferson
December 17th, 2008, 10:41 AM
I just got off the phone with Bob. He is aware Dan Styer has posted and is planning to reply to his 2 posts (#98 and 99) later tonight.

Stripe
December 17th, 2008, 10:54 AM
It would seem (If Professor Styer, Johnny, Pastor Enyart are willing) that the current one-on-one would benefit from a replacement for one of the participants. :)

GuySmiley
December 17th, 2008, 11:04 AM
There is a group of people called "Physicists". That's what they call themselves, and they deal with physics. Like wise for chemists, biologists, geologists and a host of other fields of study.

"Creationists" invented the term "evolutionists" and apply it to others, who don't apply it to themselves. It seems to be an attempt to level the playing field, where "creationists" and "evolutionists" are parallel groups, each based on beliefs.

It is not a major issue, but I find it difficult to adopt the creationist terminology.
Do you have another suggestion? Maybe Non-creationists, maybe a symbol we could refer to as people-formerly-known-as-evolutionists. But here I am a creationist, naming you, so those will be automatically rejected.

GuySmiley
December 17th, 2008, 11:08 AM
I am cognizant that I am on somewhat thin ice, since I was recently publically reprimanded by Knight (and he whacked my knuckles in private as well). But Enyart uses the terms “evolutionist” and “atheist” almost completely interchangeably, and frequently applies either (or both) to astrophysicists, geologists, biologists, or scientists of any sort with whom he has issues.

It would facilitate communication if he would use the correct term. In this debate, Johnny is not an atheist, but he is an evolutionist.
I agree that the correct term should be used at the correct time. The recent objections I've seen to 'evolutionist' are weird to me though. It seems there is a correct time for the term.

Sorry this discussion is off-topic I think though. (my fault)

Yorzhik
December 17th, 2008, 12:19 PM
Nope. Styers article (and its title) is “ENTROPY and Evolution”, not “ENERGY and evolution”. Different animals.
Really? In light of this quote from Dr. Styer:
The second law says that "heat flow is from high temperature to low temperature" I would have figured you could forgive me the layman's transfer of terms... you know what I meant.

Since I cannot see the numbers, just let me know if this is true: Styer measures the amount of entropy required for evolution and it turns out the sun is more than adequate to provide this increase. Does that pretty much sum it up?

ThePhy
December 17th, 2008, 12:59 PM
Really? In light of this quote from Dr. Styer: I would have figured you could forgive me the layman's transfer of terms... you know what I meant.

Since I cannot see the numbers, just let me know if this is true: Styer measures the amount of entropy required for evolution and it turns out the sun is more than adequate to provide this increase. Does that pretty much sum it up?
One of the problems with some of these conversations is that imprecise use of terms leads to incorrect understandings. This is particularly true with concepts that are more abstract, like entropy.

With that proviso, let me address your evolution – energy question.

How much energy has to be available for evolution to occur?

Simple case – envision a really simple, yet alive, and reproducing, single-celled organism. Now if some mild DNA change occurs, that organism can exist in environments where it could not have before – more tolerant of the destructive effects of sunlight, or able to metabolize some new nutrient, or a limited amount of new mobility, or whatever. Evolution.

How much energy is required for that? Well, if I light a match and hold the flame directly under my palm, I am very quickly and painfully aware that the energy in that modest flame is sufficient to destroy, and even vaporize, literally hundreds of my skin and nerve cells every second. If that match flame has enough energy to totally rip cells by the hundreds apart (breaking literally millions of atomic bonds in each cell), then do you think that might be enough energy to rearrange a couple of atomic bonds in a single strand of DNA in that single-celled creature?

Now remember that in big animals (like me) evolution is initially just the change in a single germ cell that will mature to become another “me”. So for me to have kids that are evolutionarily different from me involves not much more energy than the change in that single celled creature.

Yeah, the sun is ‘nuff. The simple availability of energy is not the issue.

(But this is apart from entropy. You asked about the “amount of entropy required”. Entropy is not a quantity that you store on a shelf, like energy. No object has 10 “units” of entropy.)

Yorzhik
December 17th, 2008, 02:48 PM
One of the problems with some of these conversations is that imprecise use of terms leads to incorrect understandings. This is particularly true with concepts that are more abstract, like entropy.

With that proviso, let me address your evolution – energy question.

How much energy has to be available for evolution to occur?

Simple case – envision a really simple, yet alive, and reproducing, single-celled organism. Now if some mild DNA change occurs, that organism can exist in environments where it could not have before – more tolerant of the destructive effects of sunlight, or able to metabolize some new nutrient, or a limited amount of new mobility, or whatever. Evolution.

How much energy is required for that? Well, if I light a match and hold the flame directly under my palm, I am very quickly and painfully aware that the energy in that modest flame is sufficient to destroy, and even vaporize, literally hundreds of my skin and nerve cells every second. If that match flame has enough energy to totally rip cells by the hundreds apart (breaking literally millions of atomic bonds in each cell), then do you think that might be enough energy to rearrange a couple of atomic bonds in a single strand of DNA in that single-celled creature?

Now remember that in big animals (like me) evolution is initially just the change in a single germ cell that will mature to become another “me”. So for me to have kids that are evolutionarily different from me involves not much more energy than the change in that single celled creature.

Yeah, the sun is ‘nuff. The simple availability of energy is not the issue.

(But this is apart from entropy. You asked about the “amount of entropy required”. Entropy is not a quantity that you store on a shelf, like energy. No object has 10 “units” of entropy.)
OK. I'm curious how we know entropy is "increased" or "decreased" if there is no measure?

When we talk about "Entropy and Evolution" what measurements are we talking about? Since math is involved, are there units associated with the numbers derived?

Please note: I've never denied the sun had enough energy to drive evolution. I've denied that the energy can be utilized for the OOL, and further, that the available energy can be utilized to change one body type to another.

PS, you didn't answer this question: Can I repeat this as what the second law says in any future discussion we have?
The second law says that "heat flow is from high temperature to low temperature"

Jukia
December 17th, 2008, 02:57 PM
OK. I'm curious how we know entropy is "increased" or "decreased" if there is no measure?

When we talk about "Entropy and Evolution" what measurements are we talking about? Since math is involved, are there units associated with the numbers derived?

Please note: I've never denied the sun had enough energy to drive evolution. I've denied that the energy can be utilized for the OOL, and further, that the available energy can be utilized to change one body type to another.
PS, you didn't answer this question: Can I repeat this as what the second law says in any future discussion we have?

Please define body type.

Yorzhik
December 17th, 2008, 03:14 PM
Please define body type.
Phylum

Jukia
December 17th, 2008, 03:38 PM
Phylum

So you have no issue with the evolution of all extant species in the phylum chordata from one ancestor?

Flipper
December 17th, 2008, 03:45 PM
Dr. Styer:

Bob Enyart has a different argument in his discussion with Johnny. And it includes elements of information theory. I feel that an additional argument can be made against evolution from the standpoint of thermo-entropy.

Yeah, except that it's just you who thinks that on this thread.

Hurricanes, Yorzhik.

ThePhy
December 17th, 2008, 04:08 PM
I am not a One-on-One contestant, but since Enyart has referred to my arguments in support of his position, I would like to respond. My initial reaction is to wonder how Enyart managed to misconstrue what I said, but Dan Styer’s recent posts show he is also of the opinion that Enyart is misconstruing his position as well.

Recently Stripe spoke of energy turning into information, and I simply commented that was outside of the scope of Styer’s paper. Enyart quotes that exchange as evidence there is confusion about the issue of entropy and evolution. He’s right, but that confusion was not on my part, nor on Styers.

I have no idea on what basis Enyart then says I “wrongly conflated” the two types of entropy. From my first post in this thread I have maintained, along with Johnny (and Styer himself just confirmed this) that Styer’s article was about Thermodynamic entropy, and no other form of entropy.

Then Enyart claimed that I “indicated that there are no known unintelligent means by which energy can be turned into information other than the means addressed by Styer.” Wow! I don’t where that came from. I don’t know what it means to turn energy into information. Is that like turning modern dance into the color red?

In Enyart’s zeal to show that the creationist community is addressing the confusion of thinking that information entropy and heat entropy are fundamentally related, he mentions a recent article in the Sept/Oct 2008 Creation Matters, written by the creationist Timothy Stout. I absolutely concur that such clarification is to be commended. But the real irony is that in this debate Enyart himself recently said in the 1-on-1 (and Styer picked up on this):

Entropy has to do with the move from order to disorder in any organized system, whether it is organized by energy states, ergonomics (arrangement of utensils in your kitchen, etc), aesthetic values, information content, etc.
Thermodynamic entropy in fact has nothing to do with most of the things in this list. Enyart reaffirmed this misunderstanding in his “Real Science Friday” BEL radio show with Fred Williams just a couple days ago. Here is the dialogue, starting at 10:37 into the program:

========================= =

Bob: And this is an informal debate. It’s two weeks. And it has to do with evolution, and entropy. And entropy is the idea that things tend to break down. That’s a very layman’s way of saying it.

Fred: Exactly, deteriorate over time. You leave your room to, you know, to your son, and a week later, it’s a mess.

Bob: Yeah, your kids clean their room, and what happens? You have a nice garden. Even your driveway. If you leave a drive… or a parking lot of a shopping center that gets abandoned, and if it’s not maintained, and you look at it 15 years later, it could look almost like a park. It’s like, what’s going on out there, it’s a parking lot. So things tend to break down, and even stars burn out and die.

Fred: That’s right. And you make a good point though on this debate, Bob.

Bob: Well, it’s fun because it started with a American Journal of Physics article that was just published, November 2008 by Dan Styer. And he claimed, after doing a few calculations that there’s no problem for evolution from entropy. There’s no problem. The fact that things break down, and here creatures are evolving from molecules up to man. No problem, the fact that everything tends to break down, that’s not a problem for evolution, where it’s supposed to go the opposite direction. Well I point out that these guys are guilty of confusing thermodynamics, heat, and energy, with information. They’re mixing the two. And when you talk about entropy, and that things tend to break down, you’ve got to separate heat from information, because they’re different.

======================== =

Notice that Enyart points to rooms getting messy and parking lots deteriorating as illustrative of entropy. Then he turns right around and mocks the claim that evolution thinks it can go in the opposite direction. He even quotes from part of Stout’s paper (published in a religiously motivated journal) saying the same thing, that the trend must be towards disorder.

Well, with all due respect to the creationists Stout and Bob, the physicist Frank Lambert (who Yorzhik likes), some 9 years before Stout’s article was published, addressed the issue in a journal that is focused solely on the scientific merits of the arguments. This is what he said there: (http://www.jce.divched.org/Journal/issues/1999/Oct/abs1385.html)

The thermodynamic entropy change from human-defined order to disorder in the giant Egyptian stones themselves, in the clothing and books in a room or papers on a desk, and in the millions of cards in the world's casinos is precisely the same: ZERO. (my bold and caps) ... There is no more widespread error in chemistry and physics texts than the identification of a thermodynamic entropy increase with a change in the pattern of a group of macro objects.
Lambert goes on to say that whatever information change may be in such rearrangements, it is not a change in thermodynamic entropy. If Bob wants to speak to messy rooms, then he is obligated to make it very clear that any associated mention of entropy is not speaking of the Second Law. Nowhere does Styer confuse the two, but in two places now Bob, and his cohort Fred Williams, have been guilty of confusing the two, the very thing that Styer (and I and Johnny) stand accused of.

ThePhy
December 17th, 2008, 04:19 PM
OK. I'm curious how we know entropy is "increased" or "decreased" if there is no measure? Look at the defining equations, available for free on wiki.

When we talk about "Entropy and Evolution" what measurements are we talking about? Since math is involved, are there units associated with the numbers derived?
Again, do a dimensional analysis of the equations.

Please note: I've never denied the sun had enough energy to drive evolution. I've denied that the energy can be utilized for the OOL, and further, that the available energy can be utilized to change one body type to another. OOL?

PS, you didn't answer this question: Can I repeat this as what the second law says in any future discussion we have? Feel free. Do you understand when that is an appropriate answer to a question about heat flow?

fool
December 17th, 2008, 04:19 PM
It would seem (If Professor Styer, Johnny, Pastor Enyart are willing) that the current one-on-one would benefit from a replacement for one of the participants. :)


I accept the nomination.

Johnny
December 17th, 2008, 04:30 PM
It would seem (If Professor Styer, Johnny, Pastor Enyart are willing) that the current one-on-one would benefit from a replacement for one of the participants.Indeed. It makes no sense for me to argue over what someone else meant when that someone else is right here among us.

(but it appears I was right ;) )

Flipper
December 17th, 2008, 04:45 PM
Fred: Exactly, deteriorate over time. You leave your room to, you know, to your son, and a week later, it’s a mess.

Bob: Yeah, your kids clean their room, and what happens? You have a nice garden. Even your driveway. If you leave a drive… or a parking lot of a shopping center that gets abandoned, and if it’s not maintained, and you look at it 15 years later, it could look almost like a park. It’s like, what’s going on out there, it’s a parking lot. So things tend to break down, and even stars burn out and die.

Yeah, my first thought when I read this was "does ice have higher or lower entropy than water in the Bob Enyart universe?"

Dan Styer
December 17th, 2008, 07:48 PM
Styer measures the amount of entropy required for evolution and it turns out the sun is more than adequate to provide this increase. Does that pretty much sum it up?

That is an excellent summary. The only thing I would change is that I estimate the amount of entropy required for evolution rather than measure it. However I believe it's an overestimate, and the amount of entropy available through the sun (namely through the sun heating the earth, plus the earth heating the microwave background), is about a trillion times my overestimate. So even if my estimate is a thousand times too low (which I seriously doubt) it's still true that evolution doesn't violate the second law of thermodynamics.

Stripe
December 17th, 2008, 08:02 PM
Then Enyart claimed that I “indicated that there are no known unintelligent means by which energy can be turned into information other than the means addressed by Styer.” Wow! I don’t where that came from. I don’t know what it means to turn energy into information. Is that like turning modern dance into the color red?

Yes. Energy turning into information is like dance turning into a colour.


Thermodynamic entropy in fact has nothing to do with most of the things in this list.

Pastor Enyart was not speaking about thermodynamic entropy only.


Lambert goes on to say that whatever information change may be in such rearrangements, it is not a change in thermodynamic entropy. If Bob wants to speak to messy rooms, then he is obligated to make it very clear that any associated mention of entropy is not speaking of the Second Law. Nowhere does Styer confuse the two, but in two places now Bob, and his cohort Fred Williams, have been guilty of confusing the two, the very thing that Styer (and I and Johnny) stand accused of.

If Professor Styer does not address information entropy then his paper does not answer the updated and correct challenge to evolution from entropy. Would he be willing to respond to the new challenge?


I accept the nomination.

:rotfl:


Indeed. It makes no sense for me to argue over what someone else meant when that someone else is right here among us. (but it appears I was right ;) )

Professor Styer agrees with your assessment that he never meant to speak about information entropy in his paper.

Pastor Enyart still has a case to make that the paper refers to information in a way that is not properly distinguished.

Regardless of who is correct I do think a discussion on the merits of evolution against the notion of entropy (all kinds) would be a lot more interesting.

But that discussion would be much easier if one side or the other would concede their position with regards to the nature of Professor Styer's paper.

Dan Styer
December 17th, 2008, 08:14 PM
A common misconception -- which appears several times on this thread -- is that entropy is some measure of disorder, that "smooth" or homogeneous things have high entropy, while "everything in its place" arrangements have low entropy.

The falseness of the "entropy as disorder" supposition is seen from this example. (To follow the argument, you must know that when something cools, it always decreases in entropy, and when something warms up it always increases in entropy. For Bob's benefit, let me say that in this and all other cases, when I say "entropy" I mean "thermodynamic entropy".) Get a cup of water and put it in your freezer. It starts out smooth. Then a few ice crystals form. More and more of the liquid water turns to ice. Eventually it becomes uniform ice. So the water goes from homogeneous to inhomogeneous to homogeneous again, yet at every step it has been decreasing in entropy.

Now take the cup out of your freezer and smash the ice into a thousand fragments. Put them in a bowl on your kitchen counter. They will melt into smooth, homogeneous liquid water. The smooth liquid water certainly appears more orderly that the chaotic jumble of ice shards, but the liquid water has more entropy.

There are many more examples showing that entropy is not disorder. I wrote a paper called "Insight into Entropy" about this topic, and the chemist Frank Lambert has been particularly active in battling this misconception. I heartily recommend his web site

http://www.entropysite.com

Stripe
December 17th, 2008, 08:29 PM
A common misconception -- which appears several times on this thread -- is that entropy is some measure of disorder, that "smooth" or homogeneous things have high entropy, while "everything in its place" arrangements have low entropy.

The falseness of the "entropy as disorder" supposition is seen from this example. (To follow the argument, you must know that when something cools, it always decreases in entropy, and when something warms up it always increases in entropy. For Bob's benefit, let me say that in this and all other cases, when I say "entropy" I mean "thermodynamic entropy".) Get a cup of water and put it in your freezer. It starts out smooth. Then a few ice crystals form. More and more of the liquid water turns to ice. Eventually it becomes uniform ice. So the water goes from homogeneous to inhomogeneous to homogeneous again, yet at every step it has been decreasing in entropy.

Now take the cup out of your freezer and smash the ice into a thousand fragments. Put them in a bowl on your kitchen counter. They will melt into smooth, homogeneous liquid water. The smooth liquid water certainly appears more orderly that the chaotic jumble of ice shards, but the liquid water has more entropy.

There are many more examples showing that entropy is not disorder. I wrote a paper called "Insight into Entropy" about this topic, and the chemist Frank Lambert has been particularly active in battling this misconception. I heartily recommend his web site

http://www.entropysite.com

Professor. This discussion is about distinguishing between different types of entropy. We should all be certainly aware by now that there are specific traits that only pertain to thermodynamics. However the idea of disorder is a useful description when it comes to speaking of entropy as a general observation. Perhaps disorder is not the best or only description that might be used to describe the overall idea of entropy, but I do not see how it might be unsuitable.

Dan Styer
December 17th, 2008, 08:34 PM
Bob Enyart criticizes my paper "Entropy and evolution" because when I use the term "entropy" I don't distinguish between thermodynamic entropy and information entropy.

If this is indeed a defect, then Bob is guilty of it himself. I have looked at his four essays posted December 5 through 8. He uses the term "entropy" 97 times, and 46 of those times he doesn't distinguish between thermodynamic entropy and information entropy.

Stripe
December 17th, 2008, 08:55 PM
Bob Enyart criticizes my paper "Entropy and evolution" because when I use the term "entropy" I don't distinguish between thermodynamic entropy and information entropy.

If this is indeed a defect, then Bob is guilty of it himself. I have looked at his four essays posted December 5 through 8. He uses the term "entropy" 97 times, and 46 of those times he doesn't distinguish between thermodynamic entropy and information entropy.

That's probably because he is speaking of entropy in general.

ThePhy
December 17th, 2008, 10:25 PM
I asked:

If God chose to, could He make a simple modification to DNA that adds information to it?
Stripe responded:

Yes.
If God can make that simple change to the DNA that adds information, is there any reason the same change could not happen by mutation?

Stripe
December 17th, 2008, 10:36 PM
If God can make that simple change to the DNA that adds information, is there any reason the same change could not happen by mutation?
Yes.

ThePhy
December 17th, 2008, 11:06 PM
Yes.
What is the reason?

Stripe
December 18th, 2008, 06:59 AM
What is the reason?
Entropy. Information entropy in particular.

Jukia
December 18th, 2008, 08:27 AM
Entropy. Information entropy in particular.

A couple of comments:
1. Styer's post about water/ice/entropy was superb and easy to understand. The entropy = disorder is a common claim of creationists who need to dispute the real world evidence. This clearly puts the lie to it.
2. Pastor Bob's comment about a parking lot becoming overgrown and therefore entropy rules unless there is some continuing input into the parking lot system to keep it up to snuff is silly. I suggest that an overgrown parking lot is much more complicated (has much more information in it) than a parking lot.
3. Which brings me to----what is meant by "information entropy"? Seems to me that #2 above takes care of that issue. Haven't we gone from the nice uncomplicated parking lot (asphalt with perhaps some information in the directional arrows and parking place stripes) to a space overgrown with vegetation, with lots of critters each of whom has within its cells more information than the parking lot? And where did that information come from? Eventually that big bright ball in the sky.
4. So Stripe, what is the issue? If it is someone's OOL (origin of life) then deal with that, but clearly it is not a current entropy issue or one which prohibits evolution as now understood.

chair
December 18th, 2008, 08:29 AM
Entropy. Information entropy in particular.

Stripe, my apologies to you and to myself for trying this again, but...
Saying "entropy" is the reason for something is about the same as saying "temperature" is the reason for something. It doesn't really amount to a reason at all.

For example, when speaking of thermodynamics (yes, I know we are talking about other things here as well) one can say-erroneously-that the second law doesn't allow for evolution, or that it does allow for evolution, but to say "entropy" doesn't allow for evolution doesn't really mean anything.

Do you follow?

Stripe
December 18th, 2008, 08:49 AM
A couple of comments:
1. Styer's post about water/ice/entropy was superb and easy to understand. The entropy = disorder is a common claim of creationists who need to dispute the real world evidence. This clearly puts the lie to it.
Disorder is a description that might be applied for an understanding of entropy. It may not be useful for specific fields or specific examples. This discussion is not solely about thermodynamic entropy. Thus while Professor Styer's example may be right on the money it does nothing to further the discussion.


2. Pastor Bob's comment about a parking lot becoming overgrown and therefore entropy rules unless there is some continuing input into the parking lot system to keep it up to snuff is silly. I suggest that an overgrown parking lot is much more complicated (has much more information in it) than a parking lot
A parking lot is a man-made space designed to accommodate cars. It is not a biological system. Adding biological systems to a car-lot might increase the genetic information residing atop the space, but it does nothing for the car-lot. You are guilty, once again, of mixing your entropies.


3. Which brings me to----what is meant by "information entropy"? Seems to me that #2 above takes care of that issue. Haven't we gone from the nice uncomplicated parking lot (asphalt with perhaps some information in the directional arrows and parking place stripes) to a space overgrown with vegetation, with lots of critters each of whom has within its cells more information than the parking lot? And where did that information come from? Eventually that big bright ball in the sky.
The information is inherent in the design. With well marked lines and a well maintained surface a parking lot's purpose is obvious. With neglect that information will only ever become obscured (even if it being obscured by something that has a greater information content within another system). Note that no amount of overgrowth will ever make a parking lot a better parking lot. You'll never see a tree grow with a spiral ramp to a 6th level parking lot.


4. So Stripe, what is the issue? If it is someone's OOL (origin of life) then deal with that, but clearly it is not a current entropy issue or one which prohibits evolution as now understood.
The issue is that the different forms of entropy are being confused every time you post something. How is anyone supposed to explain anything to you if you will not grasp the basics?


Stripe, my apologies to you and to myself for trying this again, but...
Saying "entropy" is the reason for something is about the same as saying "temperature" is the reason for something. It doesn't really amount to a reason at all.
Fair enough. Entropy is a description of the fact that every known system breaks down or defers toward an average. When I use entropy as a reason for something I am using an abstract concept to describe a common observation. Apologies if my semantics are not entirely correct. I'll work on it.


For example, when speaking of thermodynamics (yes, I know we are talking about other things here as well) one can say-erroneously-that the second law doesn't allow for evolution, or that it does allow for evolution, but to say "entropy" doesn't allow for evolution doesn't really mean anything. Do you follow?
I understood what you said. I don't agree though.

Stripe
December 18th, 2008, 08:52 AM
The information is inherent in the design. With well marked lines and a well maintained surface a parking lot's purpose is obvious. With neglect that information will only ever become obscured (even if it being obscured by something that has a greater information content within another system). Note that no amount of overgrowth will ever make a parking lot a better parking lot. You'll never see a tree grow with a spiral ramp to a 6th level parking lot.
I might be guilty of my own accusation here. How about we coin a new term - design entropy. Information entropy doesn't fit with what I'm saying.

Jukia
December 18th, 2008, 08:54 AM
A parking lot is a man-made space designed to accommodate cars. It is not a biological system. Adding biological systems to a car-lot might increase the genetic information residing atop the space, but it does nothing for the car-lot. You are guilty, once again, of mixing your entropies.




Well then, so is Pastor Bob, since I only used the example he used.

Jukia
December 18th, 2008, 09:06 AM
I might be guilty of my own accusation here. How about we coin a new term - design entropy. Information entropy doesn't fit with what I'm saying.

How about we don't.

Stripe
December 18th, 2008, 09:11 AM
Well then, so is Pastor Bob, since I only used the example he used.
:doh:

It was you that suggested a plant's genetic code could add to the information entropy of a carpark. Pastor Enyart rightly stated that a plant would break down the entropy (type not important) of a caryard.

Jukia, perhaps you should stick to your useless one liners instead of trying to post anything constructive. Or at least go and practice a bit of common sense on Punisher1984 of HappyCetacean before trying to mix it with people who know what they're talking about.

:wave2:

Jukia
December 18th, 2008, 09:19 AM
:doh:

It was you that suggested a plant's genetic code could add to the information entropy of a carpark. Pastor Enyart rightly stated that a plant would break down the entropy (type not important) of a caryard.

Jukia, perhaps you should stick to your useless one liners instead of trying to post anything constructive. Or at least go and practice a bit of common sense on Punisher1984 of HappyCetacean before trying to mix it with people who know what they're talking about.

:wave2:

Nice try. Enyart's comment, and the standard position of creationists is that disorder is evidence of entropy and since things always tend toward entropy, evolution (meaning becoming more ordered---although that is probably not an appropriate definition, nonetheless it is one that fundy creationists love to use because their audience seems to "understand" it) is impossible.
You guys love to jump on "information" these days. It seems clear to me that the example Pastor Bob gave only shows that there is more information in the parking lot space after it is overgrown.

And I would be glad to talk with those who know what they are talking about--who might they be? Clearly not Stripy.

fool
December 18th, 2008, 10:08 AM
Bob;

Is your argument against evolution or abiogenisis?

ThePhy
December 18th, 2008, 10:53 AM
Entropy. Information entropy in particular.
When you said God could make a small change to DNA that added information, doesn’t that mean he rearranged a couple of base pairs, or maybe flipped a segment of DNA, or duplicated a piece of the DNA, or deleted a small segment? Isn’t that what “small change to DNA” means?

But isn’t that exactly what mutations do to DNA? What is to prevent a mutation from ever happening to make the same small modifications that God made? Are you saying that mutations can change base pairs, duplicate DNA strands, flip pieces around, deleted sections (all of why have been seen in mutations), unless it happens to be the same change that God made?

Stripe
December 18th, 2008, 11:12 AM
When you said God could make a small change to DNA that added information, doesn’t that mean he rearranged a couple of base pairs, or maybe flipped a segment of DNA, or duplicated a piece of the DNA, or deleted a small segment? Isn’t that what “small change to DNA” means?

But isn’t that exactly what mutations do to DNA? What is to prevent a mutation from ever happening to make the same small modifications that God made? Are you saying that mutations can change base pairs, duplicate DNA strands, flip pieces around, deleted sections (all of why have been seen in mutations), unless it happens to be the same change that God made?
I don't know. Could you flip something around or duplicate it and make a better monkey?

ThePhy
December 18th, 2008, 11:29 AM
I don't know. Could you flip something around or duplicate it and make a better monkey?
If that is what God did when he added information by making the small change to the DNA, fine. Can’t mutation do that too?

pozzolane
December 18th, 2008, 11:47 AM
Wow... the venom. :shocked:

Those comments are way out of line. We are thankful that Bob is able to take the time to participate in discussions like this, as we are also thankful that Mr. Styer ( To be respectful, it's Dr. Styer, or Prof. Styer - unless he's given you permission to address him informally) took the time to register and post on TOL.

Knight,

In your defense of the rev. Bob Enyart, you equally insult the achievements of professor Styer...

I'm not saying you did it on purpose, I'm just clarifying for your own information. :)

Knight
December 18th, 2008, 11:54 AM
Knight,

In your defense of the rev. Bob Enyart, you equally insult the achievements of professor Styer...

I'm not saying you did it on purpose, I'm just clarifying for your own information. :)
:freak:

Jefferson
December 18th, 2008, 11:57 AM
Prof. Styer: Just to make sure you notice it, Bob Enyart addressed you in his latest post on the one on one quoted below:


Prof. Styer, I am very thankful that you've considered the argument in this debate, that your paper furthered the confusion between heat and information entropy. Could you please consider replying to the examples in Post 12 (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1919372&postcount=12) which has specific examples of how I believe you furthered this widespread confusion?

ThePhy
December 18th, 2008, 01:22 PM
Well, Johnny, it seems you are not going to win this debate, or at least Enyart simply won’t give you the satisfaction of acknowledging he lost.

Johnny is standing in the ring, casually leaning on the ropes in his corner, hardly a hair on his head mussed. Enyart is in his corner, on one knee, one gloved hand draped over the top rope to keep from falling over, two black eyes (although it must be admitted one was blackened by Styer sneaking into the ring). But if you bend down close enough to his drooping head and listen carefully, Enyart is mumbling that Johnny is asking. “Why continue?”, and that Johnny has one last chance, and so far the fight has been a clean sweep for Bob.

Uhhhh, right.

Bob Enyart
December 18th, 2008, 02:44 PM
Recently Stripe spoke of energy turning into information, and I simply commented that was outside of the scope of Styer’s paper. Enyart quotes that exchange... I have no idea on what basis Enyart then says I “wrongly conflated” the two types of entropy... Enyart claimed that I “indicated that there are no known unintelligent means by which energy can be turned into information other than the means addressed by Styer.” Wow! I don’t where that came from....

Phy. If you would, can you indicate what you meant by your reply to Stripe? You can grab more of the context from this discussion thread if you'd like. I reprinted this from the 1-on-1 for convenience.


Post #79:

The challenge to evolution is that there is no known means by which sunlight, or any energy, can be turned into information without intelligent guidance.

Post #80, 22 minutes later, from ThePhy, and this is his entire reply:

Outside what the Styer paper addresses.

Phy indicated that: there are no known unintelligent means by which energy can be turned into information other than the means addressed by Styer.

Of course, Styer did not address ANY means of turning energy into information. Stripe was attempting clarifying the difference bewteen the two issues, Phy wrongly conflated them.
Phy, am I misunderstanding your reply to Stripe?

Dan Styer
December 18th, 2008, 06:34 PM
On his post of 12 December 2008, Bob Enyart claims that


Styer was intending for his reader to guess the two creationist misconceptions. No. He intended to list them. But then forgot to. And the editors missed it also.

Bob certainly gives an incorrect impression here. I'll quote from my paper, Entropy and Evolution:


[The above] argument rests upon two misconceptions about entropy:

Disorder is a metaphor for entropy, not a definition for entropy. ...
Although the entropy of the universe increases with time, the entropy
of any part of the universe can decrease with time, ....



First of all, I never said that the misconceptions are creationist misconceptions. I have taught thermodynamics for almost 25 years, and I can testify that many people of various persuasions hold these misconceptions.

Second, in no way did I "forget" to list them. It's obvious that the two misconceptions were the two bullet points.

If I said


Cain had two parents:

Adam
Eve


would Bob say "Styer intended to list the parents of Cain, but then forgot to ... he just moved on to a random list of individuals"? I hope he would not. It's entirely clear that the intent is


Cain had two parents:

one parent was Adam
the other parent was Eve.


Third, Bob owes an apology to the editors of the American Journal of Physics. AJP is the most carefully edited journal I have ever read, or written for. My manuscript was scrutinized by three editors of AJP as well as two independent referees, and every one of them came up with useful suggestions for improvement. I acknowledge the contributions of the two referees in my paper. My manuscript acknowledged the editors, also, but as a point of policy the AJP editors always excise any acknowledgment of themselves.

Since I can't say it in print within the AJP, let me say it here: The AJP editors Dr. John Mallinckrodt, Dr. Jan Tobochnik, and Dr. Harvey Gould all carefully read my paper Entropy and Evolution and suggested improvements. I thank them for their selfless work on my paper and, in general, for their work promoting the understanding of science. Any remaining errors in the paper are, of course, my own responsibility.

Dan Styer
December 18th, 2008, 06:40 PM
...Mr. Styer ( To be respectful, it's Dr. Styer, or Prof. Styer - unless he's given you permission to address him informally...

I don't stand on formality, you can call me Dan.

But what I do want is respect for reason, for observation, and for the extraordinary universe that is our home.

Nick M
December 18th, 2008, 07:21 PM
I am amazed at the people that pick "Christian" in their profile, yet deny God and his word at every turn. Specifically Johnny, who commented on the literal intrepretation of Gensesis.

Just so you know, Jesus refered to the flood in a literal sense. That it did happen.

Knight
December 18th, 2008, 07:24 PM
I don't stand on formality, you can call me DanThanks Dan. :up:

Nick M
December 18th, 2008, 09:06 PM
On his post of 12 December 2008, Bob Enyart claims that


Styer was intending for his reader to guess the two creationist misconceptions. No. He intended to list them. But then forgot to. And the editors missed it also.

Bob certainly gives an incorrect impression here. I'll quote from my paper, Entropy and Evolution:


[The above] argument rests upon two misconceptions about entropy:

Disorder is a metaphor for entropy, not a definition for entropy. ...
Although the entropy of the universe increases with time, the entropy
of any part of the universe can decrease with time, ....



First of all, I never said that the misconceptions are creationist misconceptions. I have taught thermodynamics for almost 25 years, and I can testify that many people of various persuasions hold these misconceptions.



Thanks for coming to the forum and posting. Really, glad to have the source. I have a question. What is the topic of your paper? What is it called?

Stripe
December 18th, 2008, 10:29 PM
If that is what God did when he added information by making the small change to the DNA, fine. Can’t mutation do that too?

In order to add information God would have to perform a change that brought about an improvement. A random act cannot achieve such a change.

chair
December 18th, 2008, 11:30 PM
Bob:

The correct thing to do now is to admit that you were wrong. That Dan Styer was sufficiently clear in his paper.
This will only make you look better in the eyes of honest thinking people. It won't make you less of a man- quite the opposite.

I hope that you are capable of this.

ThePhy
December 19th, 2008, 04:02 AM
In order to add information God would have to perform a change that brought about an improvement. A random act cannot achieve such a change.

If your “mutations can’t add information” mantra is valid, in this specific case you must show why the mutation is unable to make the same DNA change that God did.

To make the question more concrete, assume that God’s change to the DNA was to move a stop codon by a few base pairs. There are well-documented examples of stop codon shifting as a result of mutations. What physical process would prevent nature from shifting the same stop codon that God shifted?

Stripe
December 19th, 2008, 05:49 AM
If your “mutations can’t add information” mantra is valid, in this specific case you must show why the mutation is unable to make the same DNA change that God did.

To make the question more concrete, assume that God’s change to the DNA was to move a stop codon by a few base pairs. There are well-documented examples of stop codon shifting as a result of mutations. What physical process would prevent nature from shifting the same stop codon that God shifted?
Either you accept entropic process or you don't. A mutation can no more make better DNA than a frying pan can heat up in a freezer.

ThePhy
December 19th, 2008, 05:58 AM
Either you accept entropic process or you don't. A mutation can no more make better DNA than a frying pan can heat up in a freezer.
Then are you saying that if God chose to improve DNA by moving a stop codon by a couple of locations, there is some overriding principle that prohibits a mutation from moving that same stop codon by the same number of locations that God did? A simple “Yes” or “No” will suffice.

Stripe
December 19th, 2008, 06:17 AM
Then are you saying that if God chose to improve DNA by moving a stop codon by a couple of locations, there is some overriding principle that prohibits a mutation from moving that same stop codon by the same number of locations that God did? A simple “Yes” or “No” will suffice.

No.

Dan Styer
December 19th, 2008, 06:21 AM
I am new to this forum and haven't yet fathomed its social conventions, but my understanding is that the main "one on one" between Bob Enyart and Johnny is set to end today. So I want to summarize what I see in their "one on one" debate.

Bob Enyart criticizes the language and the writing in my paper. I believe that both Johnny and I have shown those criticisms to be baseless. But the important point is that Bob contests only my superficial wording choices. He never criticizes the substance of the paper -- the calculations, the claims, or the conclusions. Those conclusions are:

1. Earth's entropy throughput each second is about
420 x 10^{12} J/K.

2. The decrease in entropy of the biosphere each second due to evolution is smaller that 302 J/K.

3. "Presumably the entropy of the Earth's biosphere is indeed decreasing by a tiny amount due to evolution, and the entropy of the cosmic microwave background is increasing by an even greater amount to compensate for that decrease. But the decrease in entropy required for evolution is so small compared to the entropy throughput that would occur even if the Earth were a dead planet, or if life on Earth were not evolving, that no measurement would ever detect it."

4. "There is no conflict between evolution and the second law of thermodynamics."

Dan Styer
December 19th, 2008, 06:44 AM
I have to get my son ready for school this morning, but I want to make one point that has gotten lost in this discussion about the details of wording choices and of calculations, and that point concerns the role of science. I admit right up front that these are my personal beliefs, and that not all scientists agree with me.

We know a whole lot about stars and rocks, bacteria and trees, crystals and molecules. There's even more that we don't know. This knowledge helps make our lives longer and more fulfilling through antibiotics and computers and jet planes and so forth, and I don't want to minimize the importance of making lives longer and more fulfilling. But there's another dimension that's easy to miss:

Everything scientists discover -- what we discover about biogeography and evolution, about crystals and clouds, about atoms and galaxies, about black holes and quantum mechanics -- demonstrates the glory of God. If I had been creator of the universe, it would have been a much more prosaic, much more humble, and much less interesting place. Our scientific discoveries of course are now and will remain forever incomplete, but what we do know shows us a universe more arresting, more magnificent, more sublime than anything a human could have created.

chair
December 19th, 2008, 07:25 AM
I have to get my son ready for school this morning, but I want to make one point that has gotten lost in this discussion about the details of wording choices and of calculations, and that point concerns the role of science. I admit right up front that these are my personal beliefs, and that not all scientists agree with me.

We know a whole lot about stars and rocks, bacteria and trees, crystals and molecules. There's even more that we don't know. This knowledge helps make our lives longer and more fulfilling through antibiotics and computers and jet planes and so forth, and I don't want to minimize the importance of making lives longer and more fulfilling. But there's another dimension that's easy to miss:

Everything scientists discover -- what we discover about biogeography and evolution, about crystals and clouds, about atoms and galaxies, about black holes and quantum mechanics -- demonstrates the glory of God. If I had been creator of the universe, it would have been a much more prosaic, much more humble, and much less interesting place. Our scientific discoveries of course are now and will remain forever incomplete, but what we do know shows us a universe more arresting, more magnificent, more sublime than anything a human could have created.

Beautiful.
Maimonides would agree.

Yorzhik
December 19th, 2008, 09:56 AM
In order to add information God would have to perform a change that brought about an improvement. A random act cannot achieve such a change.
We run up to something a mutation can do that God can't; God cannot be irresponsible. He cannot divest liability in any change He would make. Whereas mutations are not responsible by necessity/definition.

Yorzhik
December 19th, 2008, 10:22 AM
So you have no issue with the evolution of all extant species in the phylum chordata from one ancestor?
I'm saying that evolution is hard to distinguish from sexual recombination and other DNA programs that create change that can be fixed in a population. So it's best to make a clear line that creationists say cannot be crossed and evolutionists say was crossed.

Yorzhik
December 19th, 2008, 11:00 AM
Look at the defining equations, available for free on wiki.

Again, do a dimensional analysis of the equations.
Stop freaking out. I'm not asking unreasonable questions. Prof. Styer was able to answer this cordially and clearly (and I agree "estimate" is a better word and I thank him for correcting me):


That is an excellent summary. The only thing I would change is that I estimate the amount of entropy required for evolution rather than measure it. However I believe it's an overestimate, and the amount of entropy available through the sun (namely through the sun heating the earth, plus the earth heating the microwave background), is about a trillion times my overestimate. So even if my estimate is a thousand times too low (which I seriously doubt) it's still true that evolution doesn't violate the second law of thermodynamics.


OOL?
Origin of Life


Feel free. Do you understand when that is an appropriate answer to a question about heat flow?
Yes. When we are talking about the 2nd law in the context of heat.

Bob Enyart
December 19th, 2008, 01:17 PM
2. Pastor Bob's comment about a parking lot becoming overgrown and therefore entropy rules unless there is some continuing input into the parking lot system to keep it up to snuff is silly.

Jukia, in that Real Science Friday show that ThePhy excerpted, Fred Williams and I used an example of a parking lot, and Fred added that of a teenager's bedroom.

Interestingly, in Dan Styer's 2000 AJP paper, he mentioned the same bedroom analogy. Of course, always seeking better analogies that help give us a more intuitive understanding of (heat) entropy.

-Bob

Bob Enyart
December 19th, 2008, 03:05 PM
From Post #20 of the One on One:

I wrongly accused ThePhy of conflating heat and information in a reply of his to Stripe. I apologize to ThePhy. Correcting my misunderstanding of what ThePhy wrote to TOL's Stripe, Johnny wrote (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1921952&postcount=18):

…if you mentally insert the words "That is" in front of ThePhy's response, you'll get a better picture of what he was saying.

OK, I understand and I apologize to ThePhy for misunderstanding his comment. I see that Phy meant, "That subject is" outside what Styer was writing about. I thought he was asserting, about Stripe's missing mechanism to convert energy into information:

You mean outside of what Styer addresses, as though he was claiming that Styer had indeed addressed such mechanisms.

I'm sorry Phy.

-Bob Enyart
KGOV.com

Granite
December 19th, 2008, 03:15 PM
Today's episode: Enyart made a gigantic mountain out of a molehill and Johnny cut him off at the knees.

kmoney
December 19th, 2008, 05:24 PM
I think Johnny's post #18 sealed the deal.

Johnny FTW.

KINGOFKNGS
December 19th, 2008, 09:41 PM
Either you accept entropic process or you don't. A mutation can no more make better DNA than a frying pan can heat up in a freezer.

A frying pan can heat up when placed in a freezer.

Knight
December 20th, 2008, 01:07 AM
And that's all she wrote!

jjMfQG4DejQ

Thanks to both Johnny and Bob for participating in this discussion. And thanks to professor Styer for adding his thoughts as well. :up:

ThePhy
December 20th, 2008, 12:17 PM
...Thanks to both Johnny and Bob for participating in this discussion. And thanks to professor Styer for adding his thoughts as well. :up:
Is this thread still open for post-game analysis?

fool
December 20th, 2008, 12:19 PM
Is this thread still open for post-game analysis?

Looks that way.

Knight
December 20th, 2008, 12:28 PM
Is this thread still open for post-game analysis?Absolutely!

:up:

ThePhy
December 22nd, 2008, 05:23 PM
Fluxing the Fluctuations
I presume that Dr Styer has moved on, and so will I will address a couple of the last-minute misunderstandings Bob has of what Dan said. Bob justifies his mention of using the phrase “fluctuation of entropy” by showing where Dan had spoken of the “Entropy Flux Through The Earth.” Sorry, Bob, in physics “flux” is a commonly used and explicitly defined term (it is most effectively expressed in terms of a calculus equation). But though the term “fluctuation” is a common term throughout English, in physics it is far more ambiguous and not at all a meaningful equivalent for “flux”.


Whispering to Bob
Bob contests Dan’s claim that we are immersed in the CMB right here on earth, and uses two wiki articles to make his point. He seems to be relying on the fact that the temperature of the earth is vastly higher than the CMB temperature. So? The CMB is a whisper (an electromagnet whisper). If you are in a noisy room, does a whisper no longer exist? If you suddenly silence everything else in the room, and now you start to hear the whisper, does that mean it was not there a moment earlier?

In fact, if the CMB were not permeating the very space in which we live, then cosmologists would be confronted with an anomaly of immense import. It would mean that our own world was an exception to the process that created the universe.

Bob refers to the wiki to say that “The CMB is viewed as ‘the space between stars and galaxies’”. Not so. It is viewed (best) in the space between the stars and galaxies, for the same reason a microphone trying to record a whisper that permeates all of space will record it best in a direction with no strong noises. Bob’s bolded text “ that is not associated with any star, galaxy, or other object. is correct, just as a whisper that permeates everything is not associated with any object.

The nearest thing Bob gives to show that the CMB is not among us is quoting Dan in saying, “…The Earth radiates electromagnetic radiation… where it eventually joins the cosmic microwave background.”. In fact the earth’s radiation joins the CMB, in the same way a shout joins a whisper.


Good Deeds Locally
Bob says he has given answer to Dan saying “The phrase ‘to violate the 2nd Law [of thermodynamics] locally’ has no meaning….”. I missed that response from Bob, but I will respond anyway by referring to what I understand Bob’s own theology to be. Bob understands what he thinks one must do for salvation. If someone says to Bob that he must also do something else, Bob would be justified in pointing out that this new requirement, even though it has nothing innately evil about it, is not a requirement for salvation. For example, “good deeds”, and the actions required for salvation might be good companions, but in Bob’s theology, salvation is not contingent on the “good deeds”. And in physics, “local”, comforting as it might be when thinking about heat transfer, is not an innate requirement for the Second Law.


Flashback to June 28, 1997, Las Vegas
Bob’s semi-final post was the one to watch out for. In his last “Real Science Friday” show Bob said how desperately he wanted to get that eyeball issue into the debate. And he did. Up to that post, there was at least a modicum of allegiance to the debate subject. But, in the closing moments, as his coach and trainer each had one of his arms draped over their shoulders as they were helping the staggering Bob back to his corner, he came into true form. He rallied, spun around, and yanked out a switchblade and threw it at Johnny, then a brick from within the other glove, and even a horseshoe went flying at Dan Styer in the first row. In a debate with judges who consider debate rules and protocol as part of their scoring criteria, the last-minute introduction of such a flurry of off-subject material would have warranted an immediate forfeit on Bob’s part.

But when defeat is imminent, for Bob nothing is lost (except integrity) in trying to make it look like a convincing win by injecting a bunch of childish graphics and then segueing that into the presentation of a bunch of off-subject biology. Perhaps Bob feels he can now say that he put forth some arguments that Johnny never even touched. Is that a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear that just fell out of Bob’s lips?


Flashback to April 10, 2002, Las Vegas
In April of 2002, Bob attended a broadcaster’s convention in Las Vegas. While there, he debated a number of people, and (according to him) never lost even once. Of course, he was the sole judge of who won the debate, as well. Sound just a bit suspicious? Not much has changed. Once again Bob assumes to himself the role of debate judge. Be that as it may, Bob’s win is not even close to being recognized by those who are most scientifically qualified to judge this debate. Even Dan Styer’s own comments are dismissively handled by Bob. Bob won – in Bob’s mind. (Hardly surprising.) But thankfully, science pays little attention to obscure talk show hosts and pastors.

Evolution happened. Deal with it.

Flipper
December 22nd, 2008, 06:56 PM
Yeah, for some reason I don't think we'll be seeing the printed and bound copy of this debate for sale on the KGOV web site.

It's odd that Bob asserted that we're not affected by the CMBR on earth. It seems like anyone with a basic knowledge of the CMBR and modern cosmology should have heard of Penzias and Wilson who were created with the accidental discovery of the CMBR. In fact, it's in the Wiki article on the CMBR that Bob cited.


Their instrument had an excess 3.5 K antenna temperature which they could not account for. After receiving a telephone call from Crawford Hill, Dicke famously quipped: "Boys, we've been scooped."[1][30][31] A meeting between the Princeton and Crawford Hill groups determined that the antenna temperature was indeed due to the microwave background.

Also, if I recall correctly, a certain proportion of the EM static that is visible on an old analog antenna TV (not tuned to a particular broadcast frequency) is attributable to the CMBR.

I would suggest that if the CMBR is detectable wherever we point an antenna, then clearly we are immersed in it. Also, if it comes from everywhere in the sky around us, why would we assume that our neck of the galaxy would somehow be different assuming a putative observer detecting CMBR elsewhere? The CMB is one of the best predictions/arguments for the big bang, and it would make little sense if the milky way was somehow exempt. Nor is that what has been observed by experiments such as WMAP.

I know there's a couple of other hypotheses doing the rounds like Alton Harp's Tired Light, but as I am not really in a position to evaluate their relative worth. When mainstream science shifts its position, I'll move accordingly. There are plenty of questions left open in standard cosmology.

I am not wedded to the Big Bang; it's just the best supported partial explanation that we have at the moment. I'm not even wedded to the theory of evolution, but I really can't imagine a more effective explanation that can effectively reconcile observations from so many different disciplines.

jasonwill
February 12th, 2009, 01:43 AM
I have watched in Dec 19 th........................:third:

Bob Enyart
December 6th, 2009, 08:44 AM
Hi guys. Hey, it's almost a year later. This was a fun debate, and I just LOVED Styer's closing comment about the majesty of the Creator of course.

I just ran across this from Stripe so I thought I'd post it: "Styer did not address ANY means of turning energy into information. Stripe was attempting clarifying the difference between the two issues, Phy wrongly conflated them."

-Bob Enyart

ThomasSeidler
January 8th, 2012, 10:39 AM
who won it? I've got to say I think the most profound argument for creation of confusion was very simple and unarguable, and by Styer's own confession: he said there are all these types of entropy - topological entropy, Kolmogorov entropy, Kolmogorov-Sinai entropy, metric entropy, Gibbs entropy, Boltzmann entropy, Tsallis entropy, von Neumann entropy, Shannon entropy, Rényi entropy, volume entropy... and he's only writing about one!

So why on earth did he title his article "Entropy & Evo" if he didn't want to confuse. If what he said is the case, he needs to go back and re-title his article, as it will clearly be the springboard for years of future confusion.

Like writing an article on the social sciences and evolution and calling it "Science and evolution". This would lead to confusion 100% guaranteed. I want to limit my article about one aspect of a subject, and I knowingly, deliberately name my article in such a way as to indicate it covers the whole realm? Talk about poor writing, it's fundamentally poor titling! We've all done it, but title clearly clearly is in error and highly misleading (esp if it's ever just used in footnotes/references as the folk won't read the first line which then says: this is just about social science and evolution etc).

Good stuff to read though, I'd defo been confused about information/heat entropy hitherto. U've saved me some pain/embarrassment! ;)

Forgive me once again for resurrecting thread. My laziness prevented me read 11 pages of discussion thread to see if anyone had hammered that 'title' drum further. I think that was the victory point.