Sunday, February 15, 2009

Give the entropy thing a rest

About 5 weeks ago, I received a comment on one of my posts. The post was about a common misconception that humans are some kind of linear progression from chimps. The comment was from a Young-Earth creationist who calls himself, Schnoodle. It contained the often-used and tired argument about how the laws of thermodynamics prevent evolution from taking place. I ignored the post until now, but think I'll respond to it as I realised that I do not yet have a post on this topic.

I also want to say that I have a strong feeling this guy is not a scientist. The language he uses is wrong, as much as he might like us to think that he has science training.

Schnoodle's text is in blue, my response is in black.

Saying that man did not come from the chimps but rather both came from a common ancestor is semantics at best. What the creationists mean is that evolution teaches that man evolved from a lower primate. Stating that man did not evolve directly from the monkey does not invalidate the creationist position that man did not evolve from any primate, no matter what the primate is called.

I didn't know that the purpose of my post was to invalidate the creationist position. I thought it was to clear up a common misunderstanding of the theory. Thanks for letting me know. Did you know that man IS a primate, by definition of the word?

In the aspect of simpler life forms “evolving” into more complex ones it violates some important scientific laws. The first and foremost is that of entropy.

I have to admit that this is where your post put me to sleep and caused me to ignore it for weeks. You think you're the first person to ever give me this argument? Yawn. As I stated above, I'm only responding to this garbage now because I don't yet have a post on the subject.

Also, no it doesn't violate any scientific laws. Why is it that you, a person who is not a scientist, think that you have noticed something so fundamentally wrong with the theory, that has not been noticed by the actual scientists who do the work on the subject? Don't you think that if thermodynamics excluded evolution as a possibility, that oh I don't know, some actual physicists might point that out?

Everything and I do mean everything, moves from usable to unusable states. That is everything is in a state of degradation.

No, this is a misunderstanding of thermodynamics; the layman's definition, if you will. I read an article recently by an actual thermodynamics researcher who was complaining that the public doesn't understand what it means or when it applies. If your statement were true, then it would be impossible for a baby to grow in a mother's womb. And we know that happens, so evolution is also in the clear.

So to accept the proposition that everything “evolved” I must suspend the “observable”, which by the way is the foundation of all scientific study, and accept the unobservable. That is, I must concede that the scientific laws do not constrain evolution but they constrain everything else that is observable.

Fail. Your assumption from above (pun) is wrong, and that is the problem with your entire post below that assumption.

I guess the laws were different in the past to allow for evolution to happen because we do not scientifically witness macro-evolution still happening

Macro-evolution? You're giving yourself away as a non-scientifically-trained bible-thumper. No, the rules did not have to be different in the past, and it is still happening today. The answer is simply that it happens slowly. Are you seriously unable to figure this out? Would you have been able to witness it in the past? No!

– and don’t waste my time and insult my intelligence by postulating that genetic mutations prove evolution. All genetic mutations are harmful not beneficial, and this cannot account for an increase in genetic information, which would be required for evolution to work.

Don't worry, you don't need me to insult your intelligence. You're doing a fine job of it yourself. No, all mutations are not harmful, and there are beneficial mutations. Who told you that? Your preacher? The high-school educated Kirk Cameron? Try reading the scientific literature. If there were any proof of your statement, evolution would be pretty much dead in the water. On the contrary, there are scientific papers documenting beneficial mutations which occurred under observation in the lab, as well as those taken from studies in nature. I even read about some last night, and the night before that. Where is your research which supports your argument?

However, instead of baiting an augment over secondary issues, such as the complexity of life, let us get to the heart of the real issue. Whence the first cell? I mean where did the very first living cell come from?

Off the top of my head, I don't know. But I'm sure scientists have some ideas which are under study, if they haven't already cracked it. Do you know? Do you know how your imaginary friend pieced together the first cell? What process did it use? See, we're at a point here where I say nature did it, and you say a ghost did it. You are then challenging me to back up my statement and explain further, but think yours gets a free pass because your imaginary buddy can do whatever it wants. That's intellectual dishonesty.

And Please!!! Do not insult my intelligence like Richard Dawkins did and postulate the notion that aliens put the first cell here or that the first cell on this planet came from another planet (however you want to word it).

I guarantee you that Richard Dawkins does not think the only possible way for life to have originated on Earth was from aliens seeding the planet. It's called panspermia, by the way. You'd have known that if you were actually scientifically educated on this topic.

But I wonder why you think it would insult your intelligence to say this. After all, it's a better theory than yours! Why? Because we can show that other planets exist! We don't even have to be able to show that they can support life, because that's already more evidence for panspermia than you have for your god! More importantly, we know panspermia is possible, BECAUSE WE HAVE DONE IT! We lowly humans have transported organisms to the moon, and possibly even to Mars or other bodies in the solar system. So panspermia is proven to be possible! Take that, dumbass!

His response to Ben Stein was not an answer to Stein’s question; rather it just moved it to a different location and was guilty of infinite regression.

The only way you can possibly make a statement like this without realising how dumb and hypocritical it makes you look is if you have no desire to figure out where your god came from. However, for anybody who can think, it would demand an explanation!

Where did the very first living cell come from? And please come up with a logical answer.

Ha! IDiot!

Louis Pasteur proved that living cells must come from living cells,

As opposed to spontaneous generation, which evolution does not claim. By the way, I love how you people always reference scientists who died more than a hundred years ago, without any care that we've moved forward in understanding since then.

hence the law of biogenesis. At least Dawkins understood the implications of this law well enough not to postulate the idea that living cells come from nonliving matter.

Huh? Dawkins said what now?

So, where did the first cell come from?

I don't know. Do you? Does it make you uncomfortable to know that there are still unanswered questions? Does it make you run and hide in fear with your imaginary friend? Need a pacifier?

Since all contingent beings need a necessary cause,

Yes, including your god! IDiot! How can you not realise how stupid you seem right now?

please explain the necessary cause of living cells. For the sake of logic, please be consistent with your worldview. That is, come up with a logical explanation that has the explanatory power to justify were living cells come from, or how living cells can have their origin in nonliving matter.

Be consistent? Like you are by not demanding an explanation for the origin of your god? Stop saying that the first cells came from non-living matter! Depending on which definition you want to use for life, this is not believed to be true.

This is why I wrote the post about why scientifically-illiterate people should shut up! You should be asking questions of those who understand it better than you, not arguing against it in public!


Anonymous said...

I believe Dawkins answered the "where does life come from" question in detail in his book "The Blind Watchmaker". I should see if I can find the passage, but it was thoroughly (for me, a layman) explained, without any logical cop outs.

Piyonugget said...


I like what you do. I don't have the patience to contribute to these theism arguments anymore. It all ended with a dialogue I wrote back in college between myself and Aquinas. Aquinas was wrong and I was right.