Darwinism Evolution Intelligent Design

Evolution is to biology what the Second Law of Thermodynamics is to physical sciences?

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David Penny, the New Zealand evolutionary biologist at New Zealand’s Massey University who is trying to save Darwinism by claiming that Darwin attached no importance to the Tree of Life is, it must be said, one convinced Darwinist. In “20 Points on the structure and testability of Darwin’s theory” ( Biology International: Evolution in Action, September 2010), he explains,

Darwin’s theory of evolution is analyzed, firstly as the three major areas of microevolutionary processes, macroevolution, and the sufficiency of microevolutionary processes for macroevolution. The overall theory is then divided into 20 components, each of which has been thoroughly tested. A conclusion is that microevolution is simply inevitable; there is no way that we could stop, for example, the evolution of RNA viruses. Nor do we find well studied areas where microevolution is not able to account for macroevolution, though this is still an active area of research. 

What to make of that last sentence? Darwinists seize on the tiniest evidence for micro becoming macro, and it never seems to happen, a fact that many admit.

It’s an active area of research for the same reason as you keep looking for your glasses if you haven’t found them yet. He also allows us to know,

Evolution is as fundamental to biology as the second Law of Thermodynamics is to the physical sciences. 

Does this make sense? The Second Law is about what must happen in the observed universe; evolution is not in any sens a law and need not happen or happen in any particular direction. There are living fossils, extinct animals, and animals that have devolved. Where it actually occurs, evolution is a history, not a single theory or a law.

Is this hyperbole beginning to sound like a last hurrah?

Hat tip: Pos-Darwinista

11 Replies to “Evolution is to biology what the Second Law of Thermodynamics is to physical sciences?

  1. 1
    uoflcard says:

    Nor do we find well studied areas where microevolution is not able to account for macroevolution, though this is still an active area of research.

    Isn’t the burden of proof on them to show positive evidence of microevolution accounting for macroevolution? It’s like a prosecuting attorney saying “until the defense disproves all possible ways he could have done it, he is guilty!”

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    correction to title;

    Evolution is to biology what the Perpetual Motion Machine is to physical sciences?

    ================

    ‘Physical science’ i.e. physics, is not kind to neo-Darwinism in the least;

    Falsification of neo-Darwinism;

    First, Here is the falsification of local realism (reductive materialism).

    Here is a clip of a talk in which Alain Aspect talks about the failure of ‘local realism’, or the failure of reductive materialism, to explain reality:

    The Failure Of Local Realism – Reductive Materialism – Alain Aspect – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/4744145

    The falsification for local realism (reductive materialism) was recently greatly strengthened:

    Physicists close two loopholes while violating local realism – November 2010
    Excerpt: The latest test in quantum mechanics provides even stronger support than before for the view that nature violates local realism and is thus in contradiction with a classical worldview.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....alism.html

    Quantum Measurements: Common Sense Is Not Enough, Physicists Show – July 2009
    Excerpt: scientists have now proven comprehensively in an experiment for the first time that the experimentally observed phenomena cannot be described by non-contextual models with hidden variables.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142824.htm

    (of note: hidden variables were postulated to remove the need for ‘spooky’ forces, as Einstein termed them — forces that act instantaneously at great distances, thereby breaking the most cherished rule of relativity theory, that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.)

    And yet, quantum entanglement, which rigorously falsified local realism (reductive materialism) as the complete description of reality, is now found in molecular biology on a massive scale!

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA & Protein Folding – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    Quantum entanglement holds together life’s blueprint – 2010
    Excerpt: When the researchers analysed the DNA without its helical structure, they found that the electron clouds were not entangled. But when they incorporated DNA’s helical structure into the model, they saw that the electron clouds of each base pair became entangled with those of its neighbours (arxiv.org/abs/1006.4053v1). “If you didn’t have entanglement, then DNA would have a simple flat structure, and you would never get the twist that seems to be important to the functioning of DNA,” says team member Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford.
    http://neshealthblog.wordpress.....blueprint/

    The relevance of continuous variable entanglement in DNA – July 2010
    Excerpt: We consider a chain of harmonic oscillators with dipole-dipole interaction between nearest neighbours resulting in a van der Waals type bonding. The binding energies between entangled and classically correlated states are compared. We apply our model to DNA. By comparing our model with numerical simulations we conclude that entanglement may play a crucial role in explaining the stability of the DNA double helix.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1006.4053v1

    Quantum Information confirmed in DNA by direct empirical research;

    DNA Can Discern Between Two Quantum States, Research Shows – June 2011
    Excerpt: — DNA — can discern between quantum states known as spin. – The researchers fabricated self-assembling, single layers of DNA attached to a gold substrate. They then exposed the DNA to mixed groups of electrons with both directions of spin. Indeed, the team’s results surpassed expectations: The biological molecules reacted strongly with the electrons carrying one of those spins, and hardly at all with the others. The longer the molecule, the more efficient it was at choosing electrons with the desired spin, while single strands and damaged bits of DNA did not exhibit this property.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....104014.htm

    Information and entropy – top-down or bottom-up development in living systems? A.C. McINTOSH
    Excerpt: This paper highlights the distinctive and non-material nature of information and its relationship with matter, energy and natural forces. It is proposed in conclusion that it is the non-material information (transcendent to the matter and energy) that is actually itself constraining the local thermodynamics to be in ordered disequilibrium and with specified raised free energy levels necessary for the molecular and cellular machinery to operate.
    http://journals.witpress.com/paperinfo.asp?pid=420

    i.e. It is very interesting to note that quantum entanglement, which conclusively demonstrates that ‘information’ in its pure ‘quantum form’ is completely transcendent of any time and space constraints, should be found in molecular biology on such a massive scale, for how can the quantum entanglement ‘effect’ in biology possibly be explained by a material (matter/energy space/time) ’cause’ when the quantum entanglement ‘effect’ falsified material particles as its own ‘causation’ in the first place? (A. Aspect) Appealing to the probability of various configurations of material particles, as neo-Darwinism does, simply will not help since a timeless/spaceless cause must be supplied which is beyond the capacity of the energy/matter particles themselves to supply! To give a coherent explanation for an effect that is shown to be completely independent of any time and space constraints one is forced to appeal to a cause that is itself
    not limited to time and space! i.e. Put more simply, you cannot explain a effect by a cause that has been falsified by the very same effect you are seeking to explain! Improbability arguments of various ‘specified’ configurations of material particles, which have been a staple of the arguments against neo-Darwinism, simply do not apply since the cause is not within the material particles in the first place!
    ,,,To refute this falsification of neo-Darwinism, one must falsify Alain Aspect, and company’s, falsification of local realism (reductive materialism)!

    ,,, As well, appealing to ‘non-reductive’ materialism (multiverse or many-worlds) to try to explain quantum non-locality in molecular biology ends up destroying the very possibility of doing science rationally;

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    ,,,Michael Behe has a profound answer to the infinite multiverse (non-reductive materialism) argument in “Edge of Evolution”. If there are infinite universes, then we couldn’t trust our senses, because it would be just as likely that our universe might only consist of a human brain that pops into existence which has the neurons configured just right to only give the appearance of past memories. It would also be just as likely that we are floating brains in a lab, with some scientist feeding us fake experiences. Those scenarios would be just as likely as the one we appear to be in now (one universe with all of our experiences being “real”). Bottom line is, if there really are an infinite number of universes out there, then we can’t trust anything we perceive to be true, which means there is no point in seeking any truth whatsoever.

    “The multiverse idea rests on assumptions that would be laughed out of town if they came from a religious text.” Gregg Easterbrook

    =================

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007

    =========================

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    To dovetail into Dembski and Marks’s work on Conservation of Information;,,,

    LIFE’S CONSERVATION LAW: Why Darwinian Evolution Cannot Create Biological Information
    William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II
    http://evoinfo.org/publication.....ation-law/

    ,,,Encoded classical information, such as what we find in computer programs, and yes as we find encoded in DNA, is found to be a subset of ‘transcendent’ quantum information by the following method:,,,

    This following research provides solid falsification for Rolf Landauer’s contention that information encoded in a computer is merely physical (merely ‘emergent’ from a material basis) since he believed it always required energy to erase it;

    Quantum knowledge cools computers: New understanding of entropy – June 2011
    Excerpt: No heat, even a cooling effect;
    In the case of perfect classical knowledge of a computer memory (zero entropy), deletion of the data requires in theory no energy at all. The researchers prove that “more than complete knowledge” from quantum entanglement with the memory (negative entropy) leads to deletion of the data being accompanied by removal of heat from the computer and its release as usable energy. This is the physical meaning of negative entropy.
    Renner emphasizes, however, “This doesn’t mean that we can develop a perpetual motion machine.” The data can only be deleted once, so there is no possibility to continue to generate energy. The process also destroys the entanglement, and it would take an input of energy to reset the system to its starting state. The equations are consistent with what’s known as the second law of thermodynamics: the idea that the entropy of the universe can never decrease. Vedral says “We’re working on the edge of the second law. If you go any further, you will break it.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....134300.htm

    ,,,And here is the empirical confirmation that quantum information is ‘conserved’;,,,

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....tally.html

    ===================

    Evolution Vs. Thermodynamics – Open System Refutation – Thomas Kindell – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4143014

    “there are no known violations of the second law of thermodynamics. Ordinarily the second law is stated for isolated systems, but the second law applies equally well to open systems.”
    John Ross, Chemical and Engineering News, 7 July 1980

    “…the quantity of entropy generated locally cannot be negative irrespective of whether the system is isolated or not.”
    Arnold Sommerfel, Thermodynamics And Statistical Mechanics, p.155

    “Bertalanffy (1968) called the relation between irreversible thermodynamics and information theory one of the most fundamental unsolved problems in biology.”
    Charles J. Smith – Biosystems, Vol.1, p259.

    “The laws of probability apply to open as well as closed systems.”
    Granville Sewell – Professor Of Mathematics – University Of Texas El Paso
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-347999

    Can “ANYTHING” Happen in an Open System? – Granville Sewell PhD. Math
    Excerpt: If we found evidence that DNA, auto parts, computer chips, and books entered through the Earth’s atmosphere at some time in the past, then perhaps the appearance of humans, cars, computers, and encyclopedias on a previously barren planet could be explained without postulating a violation of the second law here (it would have been violated somewhere else!).
    http://www.math.utep.edu/Facul.....endixd.pdf

    Can Anything Happen In A Open System – Granville Sewell PhD. Math – video
    http://www.math.utep.edu/Facul.....ondlaw.htm

  4. 4
    Joseph says:

    Evolution is as fundamental to biology as the second Law of Thermodynamics is to the physical sciences.

    “Evolution” in this sense just means change- IOW it is an equivocation.

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    H’mm:

    Why is it that I have never heard a physicist say:

    Evolution [The Second Law of Thermodynamics] is to biology [physics] what the Second Law of Thermodynamics [Macro-evolution] is to physical [biological] sciences?

    Macroevolution — despite some ill advised and question-begging attempts to reclassify it as “fact” — is a speculative reconstruction of the remote, unobserved past.

    The second law — by utter contrast — in its various forms is the summary of a large body of directly observed evidence in the present and of associated empirically grounded analysis that in effect random micro-molecular motion cannot wholly be converted into work, in effect organised forceful motion. And, of course, many related extensions or equivalents.

    The very attempt to make that comparison is reflective of a huge error of conception of what science is and how it should work.

    BA 77 is right to compare the assertions of the materialist evolutionists to those who advocate perpetual motion machines of the second kind.

    Prediction 1: Confident of the implications of the principles of 2LOT and linked info theory, you are not going to get an observed case of complex, functionally specific organisation emerging on chance plus blind necessity within the observable cosmos.

    Prediction 2: claimed cases — particularly including Weasel and kin — will equally reliably turn out to be errors or cheats. Somewhere in the system, intelligently based active info is the root of outperforming random chance.

    GEM of TKI

  6. 6
    Eugene S says:

    Kairosfocus,

    The formulations of LOTs are for a thermodynamic system “as a whole”. Local perturbations of entropy at the expense of an even greater deterioration of order elsewhere ARE possible and ARE observed. Archetypal examples are crystallisation and the chemical clock.

    I can see that macroevolution is not supported by actual evidence.

    But…

    ID claims that while you can in principle have self-organisation, you cannot by chance and/or necessity generate CSI (i.e. without intelligence). However, I am not an expert on ID to assess the validity of this claim.

    Am I right in thinking that according to ID, the probability of such an increase is negligibly low, where “negligibly low” means “universally implausible”?

    The concept universal implausibility as far as I understand cannot filter out quantum effects.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but according to what I know the only computation of SCI was that of the flagellum of E. coli.

    As far as this particular computation is concerned, has anyone addressed in detail the problems identified in the article on CSI in Wikipedia?

    As far as I remember, in particular somebody said that Dembski was out by a factor of 10^65 there. Also, if I remember rightly, the article claims that Dembski’s calculation assumes independent propabilities of spontaneous generation of all constituents of the flagellum whereas some of those might have been a result of preadaptation, which would have changed the picture drastically.

    E.g. Behe responds to claims of possible preadaptation in the case of the flagellum very simply: show me examples. His reasoning is sound to me: he shows by examples that evolutionary thinking has little to do with practice.

    But something tells me it should be more grounded ideally. E.g. preadaptation does occur even though its scope may be limited as Axe shows.

    I think that one particular criticism is right: we cannot reliably assess all the involved the probabilities.

    In short, it would be nice to read a rebuttal, if one exists.

    Thanks.

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    Eugen:

    Thanks.

    Correct, as far as what you say goes.

    Maybe I was excessively cryptic.

    My reference to WHOLLY implies of course the issue of exhaustion to the low temp reservoir SOMEWHERE, and the same underlying point of random vs ordered motion obtains. I am particularly impressed with Clausus’ example of dQ flow from hot to cold body in a system. The energy importing body tends to raise its entropy, absent coupling — to do shaft work or the like, and exhausting waste heat in some form.

    Local order — once you have sufficient of molecules etc that statistical fluctuations are utterly improbable [e.g. the point where an object in a fluid is big enough that Brownian motion effectively vanishes] is at the expense of disorder elsewhere and crystallisation etc are examples.

    Of course, this raises the point of design theory that organisation and order are distinct. Organisation requires a wiring diagram and a step by step assembly, once a certain threshold of complexity is reached. Which provides the teeth behind the CSI issue.

    My note on counter-flow is here.

    GEM of TKI

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Wiki is hardly a reliable source on this issue. I refer you to the Durston et al paper of 2007 in which FSC values for 35 protein families were published; which I have used. Functional sequence complexity is a subset of CSI (Durston et al simply provided a method for evaluating the informational capacity of certain proteins in light of AA patterns). I cannot immediately go into a point by point on the Wiki article’s objections, perhaps some one else can take that up meanwhile.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    ES: I address the Wiki case over in the CSI thread as it better fits there. Folks, let’s take time to take Wiki apart on CSI on that thread. G

  10. 10
    Eugene S says:

    Kairosfocus,

    Much appreciated. I am looking forward to reading this. Probably, it is worth pointing to this at the level of FAQ on this site, if obviously, this has not been done yet. Ta.

  11. 11

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