Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Second Law Of Thermodymanics and Evolution

Some really stupid creationists will sometimes try to argue that the 2nd law of thermodynamics proves that evolution cannot happen. The 2nd law states that in a closed system, entropy or disorder, always increases. And since evolution means that complexity will increase over time in organisms, this somehow violates the necessary increase in entropy - unless a god can intervene.

The argument is easy to refute and has been done so many times. Unfortunately, many unlearned creationists have never bothered to look up the evidence refuting the argument and they let their confirmation bias get the better of them.


First, the earth is clearly not a closed system. We are part of a solar system and we have a sun. The sun provides us energy, and that energy can allow complexity to increase without a violation of the 2nd law, which only applies to closed systems.

Furthermore, Brian Green in his first book The Elegant Universe notes, “Everything tends towards greater disorder. Even if you clean your cluttered desk, decreasing its entropy, the total entropy, including that of your body and the air in the room, actually increase. You see, to clean your desk you have to expend energy, you have to disrupt some of the orderly molecules of fat in your body to create this energy for your muscles, and as you clean, your body gives off heat, which jostles the surrounding air molecules into a higher state of agitation and disorder. When all of these effects are accounted for, they more than compensate for your desk’s decrease in entropy, and thus the total entropy increases.” (pp. 334-335)

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