Discussion thread for Bob and Johnny's One on One

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Nick M

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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.
 

Nick M

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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

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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

Well-known member
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

New member
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

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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

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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

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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

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Substance of the paper "Entropy and Evolution"

Substance of the paper "Entropy and Evolution"

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

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My thoughts about the role of science

My thoughts about the role of science

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

Well-known member
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

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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

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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

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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):

Dan Styer said:
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.

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

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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

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Apology to ThePhy: I misunderstood your comment to Stripe

Apology to ThePhy: I misunderstood your comment to Stripe

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:
Johnny said:
…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

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Today's episode: Enyart made a gigantic mountain out of a molehill and Johnny cut him off at the knees.
 
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