Entropy and Evolution: Bob Enyart & Johnny...

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Johnny

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Bob Enyart said:
Johnny, thank you for being direct with so many of your answers! I have enjoyed talking with you.
I have enjoyed it as well. As most people I debate with will attest, I have nothing to hide and I am always as direct with my answers as possible. To me, it is very important to understand the implication's of one's own position, and often time those implications are best drawn out by someone else's questioning.

Bob Enyart said:
Regarding money, I want to quote Real Science Friday co-host Fred Williams about mutations being the supposed primary source of change for evolution, even though they are overwhelmingly destructive, or neutral, or even fatal: "is like the merchant who loses a little on every sale, but he's hoping to make it up in volume."
That's another topic, as you well understand, but the key difference between evolution and your analogy is that evolution only has to win a little every once in a rare while.

Bob Enyart said:
You mentioned your copy of Harrison's Principles of Medicine and said you wouldn't "criticize them for not clearing up some... medical misconceptions people have." What if a journal article on catching a cold and sleeping under a chilly breeze reported that it is the rhinovirus and other germs that often trigger a cold, and not a breeze, and they ended there. Then a million grandmothers would wonder, why then, do they recall so many times that their kids and grandkids DID catch a cold coincident with sleeping in a chill? If the article did not consider whether the cold breeze can tax the body's resources and lower its ability to fight germs that are often in plentiful supply, then the paper may be guilty of an ivory tower effect, doing too little investigation and thereby furthering the confusion by ignoring what is really happening in the world around them, until someone comes along and looks more carefully at the matter.
My entire point with that analogy was that a book, or paper, or whatever, is always written with intent -- and criticizing someone's intent

Johnny said:
Earlier you had denied that the two misconceptions were supposed to be listed in Dan Styer's two bullet points, and claimed they were lurking somewhere in the preceding text. But Professor Styer kindly clarified when he replied, "It's obvious that the two misconceptions were the two bullet points." Yes, I thought so too . Johnny, you couldn't find them even when looking so carefully!
This is kind of getting old, and just like when you misunderstood ThePhy, your lack of careful reading is perhaps the culprit here.

The two misconceptions are lurking in the preceding text. They're in the argument Dr. Morris presented, and they're in the subsequent summarized creationist argument just prior to the words "This argument rests upon two misconceptions about entropy." That sentence means that the prior argument contains two misconceptions.

Bob Enyart said:
I pointed out that NOT EVEN YOU Johnny had listed Dan's two misconception (Professor Styer was happy to have us use his first name), and you reply by S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G … I-T … O-U-T as clearly as you can, but then you only listed ONE MISCONCEPTION and not two! Good grief!
The second one was left as an exercise to you or the reader. You note that I use a singular form of misconception, that's because I was referencing only the first misconception. That's probably due to sloppy writing on my behalf.

Just so we're insanely clear here:
Misconception #1: Disorder is a definition of entropy.
Misconception #2: The entropy of a system must increase with time.

As you note, this horse is beat.

Regarding my bias against information:

Bob Enyart said:
Johnny, I submit to you and to the reader that your answer to my Question 7 is a dramatic example of evolutionists being extremely biased against open consideration of matters regarding information...

Johnny, did you want to answer this question, or did you only want to obfuscate? You demonstrate that evolutionists have a bias against dealing forthrightly with the concept of information...

So you dig in even further and write that: "increasing information [is] not a primary aspect of Darwinian evolution."...

Every religion has its martyrs. Someone has to take the hit. And Johnny, here you took one for the team. But because God created life in all its awesome splendor, you're "taking it" for the wrong team...
My answer to question #7 was direct and honest. Information is a very difficult topic, and given that you didn't attempt to answer the questions I posed in my response (perhaps so as to avoid furthering the point of the illustrations), I think you saw the point of my response.

However, I do want to refute your position that "...evolutionists have a bias against dealing forthrightly with the concept of information..."

Evolutionists have no problem with the idea that the information content in the genome can increase. That's part of what natural selection can explain. Just like you, evolutionists marvel at the complexity and organization of life. To claim that evolutionists can't deal forthrightly with the subject is silly -- there are entire books devoted to the subject written by evolutionists! There are also a ton of papers on the same subject. Here's some good papers regarding the subject that evolutionists can't deal forthrightly with:

Schneider, T. D., 2000. Evolution of biological information. Nucleic Acids Research 28(14): 2794-2799

Decadt, Y. JG, 2000. On the origin and impact of information in evolution (available online)

Adami, C., Ofria, C. & Collier, T.C., 2000. Evolution of biological complexity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 97(9): 4463-4468.

and two boks:

Information Theory and Evolution by John Avery

Information theory, evolution, and the origin of life by Hubert Yockey

Thus, I don't think your position that evolutionists "...evolutionists have a bias against dealing forthrightly with the concept of information..." is very supportable position.

It's been fun discussing this with you Bob. As expected, little is resolved between us, but hopefully we stimulated some thought!
 

Nathon Detroit

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Just a reminder that I will close this One on One tonight at midnight (MDT), therefore if you have any last thoughts please post them before then. Thanks again to Johnny and Bob for a fun discussion.
 

Bob Enyart

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A squid, the CMB, and a magical entropic black box on Planet FFTE

A squid, the CMB, and a magical entropic black box on Planet FFTE

Johnny, I know this won't surprise you but, I wasn't agreeing earlier when I stated that:

Bob Enyart said:
The most substantive point that Prof. Styer has added to the debate so far, which comes while he's disputing one of my points, saying in the Discussion Thread Post 98: "The microwave background is not 'far, far away' ... it's right here. We're immersed in it."

I'm about to dispute that. But first, regarding my point about the importance of the locality of the entropy exchange (that it must be "nearby" as Patterson indicated), you wrote:

Johnny said:
Entropy can be thought of similarly. In theory, causal chains do exist in energy transformations (as in the bank, your money did physically go somewhere -- but it's inconsequential…)
And:

Johnny said:
So no, Styer did not overstate his case when he said that "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."

And Dan Styer (if you are still reading, and it's been an honor to have you involved and I certainly don't expect that you are following this till the end, but… just in case), I think you were being a bit too hard on me complaining about my phrase, "fluctuation of entropy," as you wrote, "I have never in my life used the term 'fluctuation of entropy' because I've never understood what it meant," whereas your 2008 AJP paper has the heading: "Entropy Flux Through The Earth." That's what I meant.

And you wrote:

Dan Styer said:
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.

Johnny made the exact objection, and I quoted your words to him with my added brackets:
Dan Styer said:
If entropy here on Earth [locally] is decreasing [i.e., appears to violate the 2nd law] due to evolution, where is the other piece of the universe [a galaxy far, far away] where the entropy is increasing?

Dan then objected to my characterization with these three points:

Dan Styer said:
1. The phrase "to violate the 2nd Law [of thermodynamics] locally" has no meaning….
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.

I hope I've already shown your first two objects here unnecessary. Now I realize this is daring, but I'm going to disagree with you also on your third point.

The microwave background is far away, and we, here on Earth's surface, and certainly a would-be evolving squid, in the sea, we are not immersed in the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB). We're not.

First, the temperature of the CMB is 2.7 Kelvin whereas the temperature of the Earth is 248 K.

Second, and please excuse me for using a Wikipedia article for this, but it's quick and I'm running out of time. The CMB is viewed as "the space between stars and galaxies (the background)" and it has "a faint background glow, almost exactly the same in all directions, that is not associated with any star, galaxy, or other object.

And Dan, YOU YOURSELF WROTE in the very AJP paper we're debating:

Dan Styer said:
The Sun heats the Earth… The Earth radiates electromagnetic radiation… into outer space, where it eventually joins the cosmic microwave background.

Thou protesteth too much :), you and Johnny, to my characterization of your paper, that it misleads readers to believe 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.​

And I've been stressing that nearby-ness and adjacency of the entropy exchange regarding any supposed evolution because I think it will help when people think more clearly and prevent them from imagining a magical entropic black box on Planet FFTE that somehow offsets ientropy, i.e., information entropy, here on Earth!

-Bob Enyart
KGOV.com
 

Bob Enyart

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only once in a rare while: written for Dan's paper, now re-written for Johnny

only once in a rare while: written for Dan's paper, now re-written for Johnny

Johnny, I'll stand up in this debate for the Creator for as long as these fingers can type… or at least until Knight closes this thread :). You wrote:

Johnny said:
…evolution only has to win a little every once in a rare while.

OK, I've been DYING FOR THIS OPENING FOR TWO WEEKS! (I feel like a prosecutor and Johnny has just opened the door to cross examination on information entropy...!)

:chuckle: :rain: :patrol: :cheers: :noway: :party: :king: :box: :zoomin: :ha: :greedy: ;) :rain: :cheers: :up: :singer: :jump:

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:wave: :thumb: :idea: :juggle: :king: :chew: :p:car: :DK: :box: :zoomin: :ha: :argue: :chuckle: :dog: :dhelm:

:WA: :geek: :darwinsm: :TomO: :aimiel: :coffee: :reals: :Wamba: :jolly: :sinapisN: :1Way: :DK: :guitar: :juggle:

:roses: :cool: :Grizzly: :chew: :noway: :the_wave:

Once in a rare while? There are more than a million interrelated species to evolve, each with millions of supposed changes in amino acid pairs. Just for a three-foot Australopithecus afarensis ape with inner ear balance support for knuckle-walking to evolve into a human being with our upright stature (and a thousand other differences), would require millions of randomly-generated mutations then replicating through the entire population, and all that in just a few million years? Rare? Slow? So slow we can’t discern it? Scientists are monitoring a million species and we should see dramatic Darwinian breakthroughs in plants and animals every year, not unlike if we were watching a single species for one million years. And you wrote:

Johnny said:
Evolutionists have no problem with the idea that the information content in the genome can increase. That's part of what natural selection can explain.

Natural selection cannot select anything until it exists. And the googols of permutations of amino acid pairs in the quadrillions of eventually viable base pairs of the DNA information banks of all living species would need googols of eons of millions of years to occur by random chance before natural selection could even begin an attempt to select those variations.

The Bob Enyart Live staff commissioned this diagram from Denver Bible Church member Apryl List as an illustration of one of the tiniest design hurdles that Darwinism faces in overcoming its challenge of information entropy, and I just re-wrote the text below that expounds on this:



Let’s assume evolution is true, and go back to when the development of the environ of the eye had been coming along well. I'm not a biologist or anatomist but have looked at the eye's Trochlea and can see that to continue progressing, the evolving system had a need to re-route a muscle that helps rotate the eyeball. In order to rotate the eye downward, say to look where you’re walking, the muscle that's attached to its top had to overcome a minor technical challenge. Whether there were too many muscles needing access to too many structures in too small a space, or simply to improve the angle of attachment, this muscle would work best by traversing an indirect route:

attachment.php


Today we call this muscle the Superior Oblique. Back then, before the re-routing, the skull at a point near the frontal bone for no reason began to randomly mutate (over centuries, or millennia) and a defect began to form. But it turns out that the defect was a base in a place that would turn out to be in just the right location that permitted a further defect to form, in the shape of a loop, which we now call a Trochlea. The Superior Oblique, having no intention to re-route itself through the Trochlea (in fact, having no intention of any kind), begins by random mutation to in fact re-route itself, threading itself through the Trochlea. However, the eye muscles have a wide shape more like a belt than a cord, and a cord-shape would function better just for the portion of the muscle threaded through the Trochlea, so the nerve modified itself into a cord shape just along the section adjacent to the Trochlea. In the end, the re-route provided relief to muscular overcrowding in the orbit and significantly improved one of the angles of attachment:

attachment.php


Yes, this design change required hundreds of random mutations to occur. They had to happen somewhat simultaneously (in epochal terms) and coordinated between different tissue types and systems (nerves, skull, cartilage, muscles), in order to re-route and thread this muscle through the Trochlea sling and then back to the eyeball. Of course this had to happen without the overall system possessing any goal whatsoever of accomplishing that task, and even without any awareness that there even is a task of re-routing a muscle to be accomplished. And symmetry being as useful as it is, whatever design improvements develop, they’d have to be replicated to function the same for both eyeballs, and inverted. And all of these developments must begin as random changes, yes, but NOT EVEN to the Superior Oblique itself, that would be challenging enough. But before natural selection can favor a re-routed tendon, these random changes must hit the correct thousands of amino acids, out of billions, without ANY pressure or tendency to aim at, or hit, i.e., mutate by random chance and targeting, the correctly corresponding acids:

attachment.php


So the mutations must occur, not in the eye muscles, bones, cartilage (the only cartilage in the skull's eyeball cavity by the way) or nerves, but they must occur on the nucleotide rungs on the DNA ladder! Even though this muscle was enduring increasingly poor working conditions, of needing more space and a better angle from which to operate, by Darwinism, those factors could have absolutely no bearing on any random changes to the amino acid rungs of the double helix.

How many amino acid pairs (rungs) are there in the human double helix DNA molecule? Three billion. That's the equivalent of text characters in average-sized books in a library of 4,000 titles in its stacks. Evolutionists make fun of creationists saying that we argue from incredulity, but with every utterance they should look in the mirror and realize that they have taken the reverse approach, and exercise seemingly infinite credulity. Believing almost anything is not the mark of a skeptical scientist. Imagine that all the genetic changes for re-routing of the Superior Oblique are almost complete, and there remain only five rungs of the DNA ladder to be altered, and then the Trochlea system will function! So at this point, random chance mutations must hit the five correct letters in the correct stacks in the correct books on the correct pages in the correct lines in the correct words, all by random chance, and then at that point they have to make the proper changes to the existing acids. Not in the muscle, but in here:

attachment.php


Natural Selection gets its shot at this only AFTER random mutations bring about the improved functionality from the sling.

attachment.php


This muscle's routing requirement is only one of millions of sophisticated random design changes that must occur in a Darwinian development of the vision system. How much more complex than the routing of a cord is the overall system? The complexity of developing vision like that shared by primates and humans is probably a million times greater than the complexity of re-routing this one muscle (well, okay, two muscles, for both orbs). For example, there is no "projector" inside the brain displaying the analog image hitting the lens, but rather, the impact of the incoming photons is converted to an electro-chemical signal that symbolizes the image, which symbolic data is then transmitted to the brain, and then interpreted. And Johnny (and Dan), the packing and unpacking of that visual information would have been especially difficult to evolve since Darwinism is supposed to work by way of the physical laws, yet, being "physical" laws, they have no symbolic logic functions. So chemical reactions, cell divisions, electrical pulses, enzymes doing their thing, etc., none of this has any correspondence to symbolic logic and the decoding of an effectively digitized image. The whole system is so wildly complex, and then, the system must begin the extraordinarily difficult process of moving from black and white to color? Taking unavoidable missteps into account, the slow reproductive system would have to process quadrillions of random alternatives, just in a single protein, and then quadrillions of variations on how to fold that protein, before giving Natural Selection something to consider (and then getting that fortuitous mutation to spread through the genome is itself improbable, even with improved organism functionality).

attachment.php


So now Johnny, this brings us back to your three comments:

Johnny said:
Evolution is not about "an increase in information."

…evolution only has to win a little every once in a rare while. [And]

Evolutionists have no problem with the idea that the information content in the genome can increase. That's part of what natural selection can explain.

And so, when Dan includes in his heat entropy calculations those DNA permutations that yield living organisms, he is unaware that he is encapsulating an enormous amount of information theory into his thermodynamics equations. And that's not allowed :).

-Bob Enyart
KGOV.com
 
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Bob Enyart

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Demonstrating the Glory of God...

Demonstrating the Glory of God...

The author of the paper, Dan Styer himself, is a great example of my point (sorry Dan :() that evolutionists confuse information and heat entropy. Dan thinks, based on his claims in the TOL Discussion Thread, that he devoted an entire paper to distinguishing between the entropy of heat and other forms of entropy like information entropy. HE HASN'T! Instead, Dan wrote an entire paper on developing better metaphors for HEAT ENTROPY! That's IT! I've just read Dan Styer's 2000 AJP paper, Insight into Entropy, and it does NOT distinguish between various forms of entropy. It doesn't. Dan is a physicist and an evolutionist, two factors that compound such that even while discussing this very issue of confusing forms of entropy, Dan has a hard time recognizing if he is talking ONLY about heat entropy and not about other forms of entropy, and vice versa, he has a hard time realizing when he is doing heat calculations to supposedly compensate for an increase in information!

I think this is probably why neither Dan nor you Johnny, rebutted my claim that I met the challenge that you defined for winning this TOL One on One debate.

Johnny, you laid out what the challenge would be, for me to win. I indicated that I accepted the challenge. And a few posts later, claimed to meet it, and both you and Professor Styer in the Discussion Thread refrained from disputing that evidence.

Johnny: "Your challenge, then, is to demonstrate exactly where Styer confuses the thermodynamic concept of entropy with the information concept of entropy."

And I replied: "Yes. That is my challenge."

And then I asserted explicitly where I met that challenge, and you let it go (you should have let the missing misconceptions go, and addressed this claim :):

Bob Enyart said:
Challenge Met
If Styer were not referring to information content, he would not need to reference one [DNA] configuration over another, because from a strictly quantum energy state perspective, the various configurations are irrelevant. It is from an information perspective that the need develops to reference various configurations….
And I added that if Styer were not talking about the information content in E. coli:
Bob Enyart said:
If that were true, Styer would not have considered only a smaller percentage of configurations. He wrote, "Some of these configurations correspond to living bacteria, but most do not." This shows that Styer was not disciplined to only focus on heat and not information. When he writes that "organisms diversified into remarkable variety" and that "the biosphere's entropy decreased due to evolution at the rate calculated" and then asks, "How much 'improved…' would each organism be," this references information. Stripe is right. Information is hiding in Styer's paper: in plain sight.

Now, I've saved something fascinating for last, just for Chair. As though this all were not difficult enough, I'm adding a theological, psychological observation. Just as energy becomes less useful in the physical realm, and as random changes to information move it toward disorder, so too each human being left to himself tends toward moral destruction.

If this is true, we can then expand the domain of Entropy such that:
Entropy describes an attribute of reality that applies to disciplines as diverse as physics and information theory, to energy, aesthetics, ergonomics, information, and spirituality.​

I close thanking Johnny (and his staunch creationist TOL-widow wife) for the hours he put into this debate, and especially for his agreement to help reduce the confusion regarding information and heat entropy. And I ask Professor Styer to help out also. When Albert Einstein talked about God, I realize that he later clarified that he believed in Spinoza's God, which is nature and no God at all. And I don't know anymore about Dan Styer than his online bio, his posts here and his 2000 and 2008 AJP papers, but I am very grateful for Dan's perspective as he presented it in our TOL One on One Discussion Thread:

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.

-Pastor Bob Enyart
Denver Bible Church
1-800-8Enyart, Bob@KGOV.com
 
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