Johnny, I wouldn't be so quick to ask Professor Styer to take your place. Before I quote from his article of a decade ago, look at the resistance to discussing this problem from two physicists, Dan Styer and ThePhy (hi Phy):

Confusion On Top Of Confusion

No kidding Phy!! This is getting amusing. I'm arguing that there are different kinds of entropy: thermo, ergo, info, etc., and both Styer and ThePhy are confused that the list I present are not all thermo? The confusion (or rivalry) must run deep.

1) There is abroad conceptof entropy that encompasses differing fields including information, physics, and even sociology (see Jeremy Rifkin's Entropy: A New World View).

2) There is heat entropy which can be considered a consequence of the 2nd Law (a law not relevant to certain other fields that experience the broad concept of entropy).

Therefore, the broad concept of entropy is NOT a consequence of the 2nd Law.

There is evidence, though it is far from proven, that the broad concept of entropy is an attribute that permeates disparate aspects of objective reality. Eventually I expect this will be widely known.

I believe Dan Styer says this is false for two reasons:Originally Posted byDan Styer

* because he is resisting the notion that the last three items are non-thermo, and

* because he is well-known for publishing 10 years ago in AJP that 'disorder' is not a perfect analogy or definition for heat entropy but rather: "I suggest an additional simile, namely 'entropy as freedom,' which is to be used not by itself but'entropyonlyin conjunction withas disorder.'"

So Prof. Styer, instead of saying, "This is very false," you could have said, "Given the clear need for an intuition concerning entropy," [as you wrote 10 years ago] I would agree to your description of the broad concept of entropy if you include my concept of "entropy as freedom" in your causal description.

Then Professor Styer wrote:

Prof. Styer, I just read yourOriginally Posted byDan StyerInsight into Entropyarticle. It deals ONLY WITH thermodynamic entropy. It has interesting examples of thermodynamic entropy, it laments the difficulty of developing fully accurate metaphors for entropy, and it gives great illustrations (gas, poker hands) for the reader to try to understand statistical concepts related to thermodynamic entropy.

Professor Styer, your paper does not even mention information entropy. After ten years, if you haven't recently re-read your paper, you may have been recalling the following four out of your 33 footnotes, which do mention information. But I don't think you would want to maintain that these four references amount to your:

Here are your four statements, and the references that followed them which contain your footnote-only references to "information" in your Dec. 2000 AJP paper:Originally Posted byDan Styer

* "Even von Neumann^{[1]}claimed that 'nobody really knows what entropy is anyway,'" from your footnote #1: "Oral remark by John von Neumann to Claude Shannon, recalled by Shannon. See page 354 of Myron Tribus, ‘‘Information theory and thermodynamics,’’ inHeat Transfer, Thermodynamics, and Education.

* "The qualitative character of entropy has been discussed widely,^{[2–13]}from your footnote #6: "Harvey S. Leff and Andrew F. Rex, Eds.,Maxwell’s Demon: Entropy, Information, Computing."

* "The qualitative character of entropy has been discussed widely,^{[2–13]}from your footnote #11: "J. Machta, 'Entropy, information, and computation,' Am. J. Phys. 67, 1074–1077 ~1999."

* "Gibbs^{[14]}mentioned 'entropy as mixed-up-ness.' Images such as these can be useful and important, but if taken too literally they can confuse as well as enlighten, and when misused^{[15,16]}they can result in simple error," from your footnote #16: "Duane T. Gish, Creation Scientists Answer their Critics @sic# ~Institute for Creation Research, El Cajon, California, 1993!. An Appendix contribution by D. R. Boylan seeks to split entropy into the usual entropy which is 'due to random effects' and a different sort of entropy related to the 'order or information in the system' ~p. 429."

Professor Styer, your 2000 AJP paper can't be devoted to a topic that it does not mention, and is clearly not devoted to addressing the confusion between information and heat entropy. Rather, your paper seeks to find improved metaphors to help us get a better intuitive understanding of ONLY thermodynamic entropy, which is the only subject of your paper.

Please join those of us trying to clear up the confusion of heat and information entropy!

-Pastor Bob Enyart

Denver Bible Church & KGOV.com