Discussion thread for Bob and Johnny's One on One

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Jukia

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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

Well-known member
Temp Banned
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

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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

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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

New member
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.
 

Stripe

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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

New member
: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.
 

ThePhy

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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

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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?
 

pozzolane

BANNED
Banned
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 ([whisper] To be respectful, it's Dr. Styer, or Prof. Styer - unless he's given you permission to address him informally[/whisper]) 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. :)
 

Jefferson

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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 which has specific examples of how I believe you furthered this widespread confusion?
 

ThePhy

New member
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

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Staff member
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Phy, can you explain what you said to Stripe...

Phy, can you explain what you said to Stripe...

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

New member
A list of two misconceptions

A list of two misconceptions

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

New member
Titles

Titles

...Mr. Styer ([whisper] To be respectful, it's Dr. Styer, or Prof. Styer - unless he's given you permission to address him informally[/whisper]...​

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.
 
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