# Failure of the “compensation argument” and implausibility of evolution

Granville Sewell and Daniel Styer have a thing in common: both wrote an article with the same title “Entropy and evolution”. But they reach opposite conclusions on a fundamental question: Styer says that the evolutionist “compensation argument” (henceforth “ECA”) is ok, Sewell says it isn’t. Here I briefly explain why I fully agree with Granville. The ECA is an argument that tries to resolve the problems the 2nd law of statistical mechanics (henceforth 2nd_law_SM) posits to unguided evolution. I adopt Styer’s article as ECA archetype because he also offers calculations, which make clearer its failure.

The 2nd_law_SM as problem for evolution.

The 2nd_law_SM says that a isolated system goes toward its more probable macrostates. In this diagram the arrow represents the 2nd_law_SM rightward trend/direction:

organization … improbable_states … systems ====>>> probable_states

Sewell says:

“The second law is all about using probability at the microscopic level to predict macroscopic change. […] This statement of the second law, or at least of the fundamental principle behind the second law, is the one that should be applied to evolution.”

The physical evolution of a isolated system passes spontaneously through macrostates with increasing values of probability until arriving to equilibrium (the most probable macrostate). Since organization is highly improbable a corollary of the 2nd_law_SM is that isolated systems don’t self-organize. That is the opposite of what biological evolution pretends.

See the picture:

Styer’s ECA.

Since the 2nd_law_SM applies to isolated systems the ECA says: the Earth E is not a isolated system, then its entropy can decrease thanks to an entropy increase (compensation) in the surroundings S (wrt to the energy coming from the Sun). Unfortunately to consider open the systems is useless, because, as Sewell puts it:

“If an increase in order is extremely improbable when a system is closed, it is still extremely improbable when the system is open, unless something is entering which makes it not extremely improbable.”

Here is how Styer applies the ECA to show that “evolution is consistent with the 2nd law”.
Suppose that, due to evolution, each individual organism is 1000 times more improbable that the corresponding individual was 100 years ago (Emory Bunn says 1000 times is incorrect, it should be 10^25 times, but this is a detail). If Wi is the number of microstates consistent with the specification of an initial organism I 100 years ago, and Wf is the number of microstates consistent with the specification of today’s improved and less probable organism F, then

Wf = Wi / 1000

At this point he uses Boltzmann’s formula:

S = k * ln (W)

where S = entropy, W = number of microstates, k = 1.38 x 10^-23 joules/degrees, ln = logarithm.

Then he calculates the entropy change over 100 years, and finally the entropy decrease per second:

Sf – Si = -3.02 x 10^-30 joules/degrees

By considering all individuals of all species he gets the change in entropy of the biosphere each second: -302 joules/degrees. Since he knows that the Earth’s physical entropy throughput (due to energy from the Sun) each second is: 420 x 10^12 joules/degrees he concludes: “at a minimum the Earth is bathed in about one trillion times the amount of entropy flux required to support the rate of evolution assumed here”, then evolution is largely consistent with the 2nd law.

The problem in Styer’s argument (and in general in the ECA).

Although it could seem an innocent issue of measure units the introduction of the Boltzmann’s formula with k = 1.38 x 10^-23 joules/degrees in this context is a conceptual error. With such formula the ECA has transformed a difficult problem of probability (in connection with the arise of ultra-complex organized systems) into a simple issue of energy (“joule” is unit of energy, work, or amount of heat). This assumes a priori that energy is able to organize organisms from sparse atoms. But such assumption is totally gratuitous and unproved. That energy can do that is exactly what the ECA should prove in the first place. So Styer’s ECA begs the question.

Similarly Andy McIntosh (cited by Sewell) says:

Both Styer and Bunn calculate by slightly different routes a statistical upper bound on the total entropy reduction necessary to ‘achieve’ life on earth. This is then compared to the total entropy received by the Earth for a given period of time. However, all these authors are making the same assumption—viz. that all one needs is sufficient energy flow into a [non-isolated] system and this will be the means of increasing the probability of life developing in complexity and new machinery evolving. But as stated earlier this begs the question…

The Boltzmann’s formula in the ECA, with its introduction of joules of energy, establishes a bridge between probabilities and the joules coming from the Sun. Unfortunately this link is unsubstantiated here because no one has proved that joules cause biological organization. On the contrary, in my previous post “The illusion of organizing energy” I explained why any kind of energy per se cannot create organization in principle. To greater reason, thermal energy is unable to the task. In fact, heat is the more degraded and disordered kind of energy, the one with maximum entropy. So the ECA would contain also an internal contradiction: by importing entropy in E one decreases entropy in E!

The problem of Boltzmann’s formula, as used in the ECA, is then “to buy” probability bonus with energy “money”. Sewell expresses the same concept with different words:

The compensation argument is predicated on the idea […] that the universal currency for entropy is thermal entropy.

That conversion / compensation is not allowed if one hasn’t proved at the outset a direct causation role of energy in producing the effect, biological organization, which is in the opposite direction of the 2nd_law_SM rightward arrow (extreme left on the above diagram). In a sense the ECA conflates two different planes. This wrong conflation is like to say that a roulette placed inside a refrigerated room can easily output 1 million “black” in a row because its entropy is decreased compared to the outside.

Note that evolution doesn’t imply a single small deviation from the trend, quite differently it implies countless highly improbable processes happened continually in countless organisms during billion years. Who claims that evolution doesn’t violate the 2nd_law_SM, would doubt a violation if countless tornados always turned rubble into houses, cars and computers for billion years? Sewell asks (backward tornado is the metaphor he uses more). In conclusion Roger Caillois is right: “Clausius and Darwin cannot both be right.”

Implausibility of evolution.

Styer’s paper is also an opportunity to see the problem of evolution from a probabilistic viewpoint. You will note the huge difference of difficulty of the probabilistic scenario compared to the above enthusiastic thermal entropy scenario, with potentially 1,000,000,000,000 times evolution!
In Appendix #2 he proposes a problem for students: “How much improved and less probable would each organism be, relative to its (possibly single-celled) ancestor at the beginning of the Cambrian explosion? (Answer: 10 raised to the 1.8 x 10^22 times)”. Call this monster number “a”, Wi = the initial microstates, Wf = the final microstates, W = the total microstates. According to Styer’s answer (which is correct as calculation) we have:

Wf = Wi / a

The probability of the initial macrostate is Wi / W. The probability of the final macrostate is Wf / W. Suppose Wf = 1, then Wi is = a. W must be equal or greater a otherwise (Wi / W) would be greater than 1 (impossible). Therefore the probability to occur of the final macrostate is:

(Wf / W) equal or less (1 / a)

This is the probability of evolution of a single individual organism in the Cambrian:

1 on 10 raised to the 1.8 x 10^22

a number with more than 10^22 digits (10 trillion billion digits). This miraculous event had to occur 10^18 times, for each of other organisms.

Dembski’s “universal probability bound” is:

1 / 10^150

1 on a number with “only” 150 digits. Therefore evolution is far beyond the plausibility threshold. In conclusion: the ECA fails to prove that “evolution is consistent with the 2nd law”, and we have also a proof of the implausibility of evolution based on probability.

Some could object: “you cannot have both ways, if the ECA is wrong then Appendix #2 is wrong too, because it uses the same method, then the evolution probability is not correct”.
Answer: the method is biased toward evolution both in ECA and in Appendix #2. This means the evolution probability is even worse than that, and the implausibility of evolution holds to greater reason.

## 646 Replies to “Failure of the “compensation argument” and implausibility of evolution”

1. 1
kairosfocus says:

Niw, another bite at this I see. Budgie cheeping season continues, I can only note I suggest directly use Joules per Kelvin, J/K not “degrees.” KF

PS: Let me just note that to be genuinely compensatory, a relevant energy flow needs to be just that — relevant. Causally connected as with flow through a conversion device giving shaft work or micro equivalents such as electricity currents, then coupling of such to info-rich organisation with exhaust of adequate waste degraded energy. Typically, heat.

PPS: Let me try a nice typable diag (you did a doozie on 2LOT stat-mech form):

EN Source –> En Conv –> Shaft work + waste en

Shaft work + control info + constructor –> organisation + waste en

NET:

En s + control info –> En conv + constructor –> org work + tot waste en

Where, lucky noise cannot credibly substitute for control info, energy converter and constructor.

2. 2
Jim Smith says:

Good point. Add even more energy to the earth, raise the surface temperature to 10,000 degrees and that would make life even more probable!

3. 3
Zachriel says:

niwrad: The physical evolution of a isolated system passes spontaneously through macrostates with increasing values of probability until arriving to equilibrium (the most probable macrostate).

However, during the evolution of the system, regions within the system may experience significant decreases in entropy and still be consistent with the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

niwrad: Since organization is highly improbable a corollary of the 2nd_law_SM is that isolated systems don’t self-organize.

In fact, we observe spontaneous organization, typically seen when energy flows through a system.

4. 4
kairosfocus says:

Z, energy flows need to be relevant to constructive work for organisation to be reasonable, beyond 500 – 1,000 bits of descriptive complexity. KF

5. 5
Zachriel says:

kairosfocus: Z, energy flows need to be relevant to constructive work for organisation to be reasonable

Storm systems are areas of spontaneous organization with low entropy.

6. 6

Zachriel

Evidently you haven’t read the OP until the end. Your storms have big probabilities to occur everywhere and everyday. While your supposed spontaneous biological evolution has probabilities that to define infinitesimal is to be very generous.

7. 7
Box says:

// Kauffman’s confirmation of Niwrad’s definition of the 2nd law of statistical mechanics and other info. //

The basics of statistical mechanics are fundamentally simple. The centerpiece of the theory with respect to the second law of classical thermodynamics, the one-way increase of entropy, and thus the explanation of the arrow of time, is that a system of particles will, by chance (formalized as something called the ergodic hypothesis, which we will encounter in a later chapter), evolve to more-probable “macrostates” from less-probable macrostates. Thus a droplet of ink on a petri plate will typically diffuse to a uniform distribution. It will not un-diffuse from a uniform distribution to reconstitute the ink drop.
To be a bit more precise, think of the petri dish divided mathematically into many tiny volumes. Each possible distribution of ink molecules among these tiny volumes is a microstate. Clearly there are many more microstates corresponding to an approximate equilibrium distribution of the ink through the petri plate than there are microstates corresponding to the ink droplet in the center of the plate. Thus the uniform ink distribution is more probable than the ordered ink-drop distribution. The greater the number of microstates corresponding to the diffuse “macrostate,” the greater the disorder of that macrostate: the same macrostate, here the diffuse distribution, can result from very many different microstates. The entropy of a macrostate is the mathematical logarithm of the number of microstates in that macrostate. So the ink in the center of the petri plate has fewer microstates, hence lower entropy, and is less probable than the higher-entropy, diffuse distribution to which the ink drop evolves. In other words, by random collisions, the ink system flows from the less probable to more probable macrostate. This one-way flow is the statistical-mechanics version of the second law in classical thermodynamics, the one-way increase in the entropy of a closed system. In the generally accepted view, classical thermodynamics has been successfully reduced to the random collisions of many particles under Newton’s laws of motion. Thus statistical mechanics has reduced the arrow of time to the statistical increase in entropy.

[“Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion”, p.26, Stuart A. Kauffman]

8. 8
Zachriel says:

Storms have *low* thermodynamic entropy. Among other effects, they are low pressure zones, so they have fewer available microstates than the surrounding air. Such a region is vanishingly improbable to occur due to chance arrangement of microstates, but are the result of thermodynamic work.

niwrad: The physical evolution of a isolated system passes spontaneously through macrostates with increasing values of probability until arriving to equilibrium (the most probable macrostate).

While entropy increases in a closed system, the Earth’s weather system will never reach equilibrium as long as it continues to receive energy from the Sun. Furthermore, as energy moves through the system, the atmosphere can exhibit regions with both very low and very high thermodynamic entropy.

niwrad: ince organization is highly improbable a corollary of the 2nd_law_SM is that isolated systems don’t self-organize.

If we consider the Sun and Earth as a single system, the overall entropy will increase as the vast majority of the Sun’s energy dissipates into space. However, regions of the system can exhibit both very low and very high thermodynamic entropy. This includes everything from snowflakes to solar flares.

9. 9
kairosfocus says:

Z, order is not functionally specific complex organisation. KF

10. 10
Box says:

Niwrad’s argument, as I understand it, is two-fold:

– the 2nd law turns all organization into disorder
– and furthermore it prevents organization to form by pure natural forces.

Zachriel points out that there are instances of order – low thermodynamic entropy – in nature; such as snowflakes and storms. He is right, however there are no known cases of order progressing towards organization – e.g. no ice watches – so it doesn’t address the argument put forward by Niwrad.

11. 11
Zachriel says:

kairosfocus: order is not functionally specific complex organisation

That’s immaterial to thermodynamic entropy.

Box: – the 2nd law turns all organization into disorder

That’s incorrect. While overall entropy within a system increases, local entropy can decrease. Read this carefully:

Storms are characterized by low pressure zones, so they have fewer available microstates than the surrounding air. Such a region is *vanishingly improbable* to occur due to chance arrangement of microstates.

12. 12
Box says:

Zachriel,

Read this very carefully: any argument featuring storms or snowflakes is not an argument relevant to organization.

13. 13
scordova says:

Since organization is highly improbable a corollary of the 2nd_law_SM is that isolated systems don’t self-organize.

Isolated systems can self-organize if they are in thermodynamic NON-equilibrium AND if they have an intelligence within them and/or are front-loaded to do so. Hypothetical example: an isolated system with a large cold reservoir to which heat can be added from a nuclear source. If there are people inside this system they can build and organize cities using the energy from the nuclear reactor. Same would hold for robots in the system.

corollary of the 2nd_law_SM is that isolated systems don’t self-organize.

The organization (the improbable microstates of interest to Design proponents) of systems is not the type of organization which the 2nd law deals with. The 2nd law (Clausius formulation) deals with energy microstates, it has nothing or little to do with the microstates of interest to ID.

Example, we at UD confronted Nick Matzke about a system 500 fair coins. The microstates in question were the heads/tails states of the system, with one of the microstates being 100% heads. 100% heads is one of the specified complex (specified improbable) microstates out of 2^500 possible heads/tails microstates.

But heads/tails microstates have nothing to do with the thermodynamic microstates (or thermodynamic entropy) of 500 fair coins. If the coins are hypothetically pure copper pennies weighing 3.11 grams each at 298 Kelvin, the number of thermodynamic microstates is:

2^(8.636 x 10^25)

and the thermodynamic entropy is

826.68 J/K or 8.636 x 10^25 bits

based on standard molar entropy tables for copper. A student of chemistry, physics and engineers should be able to derive this sort of textbook result. The particular thermodynamic microstate the 500 coins are in is changing all the time since the molecules are vibrating, we actually don’t know which thermodynamic microstate is in play at any given moment, but we do know which heads/tails microstate is in play.

Thermodynamic entropy can spontaneously go down in an isolated part of a system if the system is in non-equilibrium. Example:

A system consisting of a hot brick and a cold brick. The hot brick spontaneously has a reduction of thermodynamic entropy even though the total entropy of the system increases. See:
http://web.mit.edu/16.unified/.....ode41.html

The heads/tails microstates in a system of 500 fair coins can be said to be the design space microstates. The more complex and vast the design space (like say 10,000 coins instead of 500), the HIGHER the design space entropy, hence design space entropy must INCREASE not decrease for specified complexity to increase. One can look at Bill Dembski’s No Free Lunch, page 131 and you see entropy much INCREASE for specified complexity to increase:

….
As an aside, this information theoretic entropy measure is mathematically identical to the Maxwell-Boltzmann-Gibbs entropy from statistical mechanics

No Free Lunch
page 131

And finally, why this obsession with reducing entropy (both thermodynamic and design space entropy)? A warm living human being has far more entropy than a dead lifeless ice cube. Here are the textbook calculations to demonstrate this:

Let S_human be the thermodynamic entropy of a human, and S_ice_cube the thermodynamic entropy of an ice cube.

Order of magnitude entropy numbers just using the liters of water in humans alone:

S_human > 30 liters * 55.6 mol/liter * 69.95 J/K = 116,677 J/K

S_ice_cube ~= 0.012 liters * 55.6 mol/liter * 41 J/K = 27 J/K approximately (ice is a little less dense than liquid water, but this is inconsequential for the question at hand).

The human having a larger number of distinguishable molecules and arrangements also has higher design space entropy.

Thus warm living human has substantially more thermodynamic entropy than a lifeless cube of ice. So why this obsession with reducing thermodynamic entropy? It’s not about having much or little thermodynamic entropy, but it’s about having just the right fine-tuned amounts.

14. 14

scordova

And finally, why this obsession with reducing entropy (both thermodynamic and design space entropy)?

Entropy is not MY obsession, it is obsession of evolutionists because they use it to obfuscate. My formulation of the 2nd_law_SM in this OP does NOT use that term. It uses only the concept of probability and micro/macro state.

Isolated systems can self-organize if they are in thermodynamic NON-equilibrium AND if they have an intelligence within them and/or are front-loaded to do so.

Agree if you mean that intelligence is the cause and thermodynamic non-equilibrium an effect.

The 2nd law (Clausius formulation) deals with energy microstates, it has nothing or little to do with the microstates of interest to ID. […]
The organization (the improbable microstates of interest to Design proponents) of systems is not the type of organization which the 2nd law deals with.

2nd_law_SM implicitly deals with organization because deals with states in general and organization is states. 2nd_law_SM establishes a fundamental dissymmetry: while increase of entropy destroys order AND organization, decrease of entropy does NOT create organization. These AND and NOT, whose devastating effects are evident to all, point indeed to the fact that 2nd_law_SM has a lot to do with organization.

15. 15
Piotr says:

This is the probability of evolution of a single individual organism in the Cambrian:

1 on 10 raised to the 1.8 x 10^22

a number with more than 10^22 digits (10 trillion billion digits). This miraculous event had to occur 10^18 times, for each of other organisms.

Dembski’s “universal probability bound” is:

1 / 10^150

1 on a number with “only” 150 digits. Therefore evolution is far beyond the plausibility threshold. In conclusion: the ECA fails to prove that “evolution is consistent with the 2nd law”, and we have also a proof of the implausibility of evolution based on probability.

This is of course pure nonsense. Invoking Dembski’s “universal probability bound” in this way is an obvious fallacy — so obvious that you must be mathematically challenged to commit it. With this logic, no event would possibly happen if it belonged to a sample space defining more than 10^150 possible outcomes with a flat probability distribution. For example, it would be impossible to toss a fair coin 500 times, because there are more than 3×10^150 possible outcomes, all of them equally probable! The fact that a particular individual is “extremely improbable” does not mean that its evolution was impossible. It only means that organisms actually living represent a very, very small subset of organisms that could in theory have evolved, but didn’t. The probability calculus is maths, not physics. It uses abstract sample spaces not constrained by the size of the universe, the number of elementary particles in it, or the number of nanoseconds that have elapsed since the Big friggin’ Bang!

Survival is limited and only an astronomically small number of living beings actually come into existence in comparison with those that “could be” if every organism in the past had survived and produced numerous descendants. In other words, we are dealing with population resampling over a large number of generations, under constraints placed by nature on its size (exponential growth is not sustainable). Chance (random drift) and differential fitness (natural selection) are important aspects of this process. The outcome is guaranteed to be “extremely improbable”, just like a long series of coin flips, and it’s equally possible despite all that “big exponent” hocus pocus.

16. 16
kairosfocus says:

Z:

You will note that, consistently I have spoken to the statistical, microstate underpinnings that have been inextricably connected to statements of 2LOT for 100+ years.

It is that context that brings out what you would obfuscate, the need to adequately account for organisation beyond a threshold of specifically functional complexity that exceeds the blind chance and necessity search capacity of the sol system or the observed cosmos. 500 – 1,000 bits. Take it as referring to fluctuations from dominant equilibrium if you will.

FSCO/I is real and relevant to cell scale life. Thus, to specifically OOL.

The pretence is that irrelevant heat or energy and mass flows can account for FSCO/I, appealing to lucky noise. Not only has that not been observed but it is a consistent evasion of what is observable, information rich functionally specific complex organisation and what we see is causally adequate. This also calls up the informational perspective on thermodynamics, a school of thought you seem to wish to willfully ignore. To rhetorical convenience doubtless, but at a price of failure to properly address epistemic duties of care.

Let me again clip my always linked note, Section A:

_____________

>> . . . let us consider a source that emits symbols from a vocabulary: s1,s2, s3, . . . sn, with probabilities p1, p2, p3, . . . pn. That is, in a “typical” long string of symbols, of size M [say this web page], the average number that are some sj, J, will be such that the ratio J/M –> pj, and in the limit attains equality. We term pj the a priori — before the fact — probability of symbol sj. Then, when a receiver detects sj, the question arises as to whether this was sent. [That is, the mixing in of noise means that received messages are prone to misidentification.] If on average, sj will be detected correctly a fraction, dj of the time, the a posteriori — after the fact — probability of sj is by a similar calculation, dj. So, we now define the information content of symbol sj as, in effect how much it surprises us on average when it shows up in our receiver:

I = log [dj/pj], in bits [if the log is base 2, log2] . . . Eqn 1

This immediately means that the question of receiving information arises AFTER an apparent symbol sj has been detected and decoded. That is, the issue of information inherently implies an inference to having received an intentional signal in the face of the possibility that noise could be present. Second, logs are used in the definition of I, as they give an additive property: for, the amount of information in independent signals, si + sj, using the above definition, is such that:

I total = Ii + Ij . . . Eqn 2

For example, assume that dj for the moment is 1, i.e. we have a noiseless channel so what is transmitted is just what is received. Then, the information in sj is:

I = log [1/pj] = – log pj . . . Eqn 3

This case illustrates the additive property as well, assuming that symbols si and sj are independent. That means that the probability of receiving both messages is the product of the probability of the individual messages (pi *pj); so:

Itot = log1/(pi *pj) = [-log pi] + [-log pj] = Ii + Ij . . . Eqn 4

So if there are two symbols, say 1 and 0, and each has probability 0.5, then for each, I is – log [1/2], on a base of 2, which is 1 bit. (If the symbols were not equiprobable, the less probable binary digit-state would convey more than, and the more probable, less than, one bit of information. Moving over to English text, we can easily see that E is as a rule far more probable than X, and that Q is most often followed by U. So, X conveys more information than E, and U conveys very little, though it is useful as redundancy, which gives us a chance to catch errors and fix them: if we see “wueen” it is most likely to have been “queen.”)

Further to this, we may average the information per symbol in the communication system thusly (giving in terms of -H to make the additive relationships clearer):

– H = p1 log p1 + p2 log p2 + . . . + pn log pn

or, H = – SUM [pi log pi] . . . Eqn 5

H, the average information per symbol transmitted [usually, measured as: bits/symbol], is often termed the Entropy; first, historically, because it resembles one of the expressions for entropy in statistical thermodynamics. As Connor notes: “it is often referred to as the entropy of the source.” [p.81, emphasis added.] Also, while this is a somewhat controversial view in Physics, as is briefly discussed in Appendix 1 below, there is in fact an informational interpretation of thermodynamics that shows that informational and thermodynamic entropy can be linked conceptually as well as in mere mathematical form. Though somewhat controversial even in quite recent years, this is becoming more broadly accepted in physics and information theory, as Wikipedia now discusses [as at April 2011] in its article on Informational Entropy (aka Shannon Information, cf also here):

At an everyday practical level the links between information entropy and thermodynamic entropy are not close. [–> note, on the table for literally years] Physicists and chemists are apt to be more interested in changes in entropy as a system spontaneously evolves away from its initial conditions, in accordance with the second law of thermodynamics, rather than an unchanging probability distribution. And, as the numerical smallness of Boltzmann’s constant kB indicates, the changes in S / kB for even minute amounts of substances in chemical and physical processes represent amounts of entropy which are so large as to be right off the scale compared to anything seen in data compression or signal processing. [–> again, on the table long since, but as we know, entropy can be partitioned and relevant components addressed, cf how Thaxton et al address clumping then configuring in TMLO. Entropy is state-linked, not path-linked.]

But, at a multidisciplinary level, connections can be made between thermodynamic and informational entropy, although it took many years in the development of the theories of statistical mechanics and information theory to make the relationship fully apparent. In fact, in the view of Jaynes (1957), thermodynamics should be seen as an application of Shannon’s information theory: the thermodynamic entropy is interpreted as being an estimate of the amount of further Shannon information needed to define the detailed microscopic state of the system, that remains uncommunicated by a description solely in terms of the macroscopic variables of classical thermodynamics. For example, adding heat to a system increases its thermodynamic entropy because it increases the number of possible microscopic states that it could be in, thus making any complete state description longer. [–> again, on the table in easily accessible sources and pointed out long since] (See article: maximum entropy thermodynamics.[Also,another article remarks: >>in the words of G. N. Lewis writing about chemical entropy in 1930, “Gain in entropy always means loss of information, and nothing more” . . . in the discrete case using base two logarithms, the reduced Gibbs entropy is equal to the minimum number of yes/no questions that need to be answered in order to fully specify the microstate, given that we know the macrostate. [–> yes, repeatedly cited and pointed out but routinely ignored]>>]) Maxwell’s demon can (hypothetically) reduce the thermodynamic entropy of a system by using information about the states of individual molecules; but, as Landauer (from 1961) and co-workers have shown, to function the demon himself must increase thermodynamic entropy in the process, by at least the amount of Shannon information he proposes to first acquire and store; and so the total entropy does not decrease (which resolves the paradox).

Summarising Harry Robertson’s Statistical Thermophysics (Prentice-Hall International, 1993) — excerpting desperately and adding emphases and explanatory comments, we can see, perhaps, that this should not be so surprising after all. (In effect, since we do not possess detailed knowledge of the states of the vary large number of microscopic particles of thermal systems [typically ~ 10^20 to 10^26; a mole of substance containing ~ 6.023*10^23 particles; i.e. the Avogadro Number], we can only view them in terms of those gross averages we term thermodynamic variables [pressure, temperature, etc], and so we cannot take advantage of knowledge of such individual particle states that would give us a richer harvest of work, etc.)

For, as he astutely observes on pp. vii – viii:

. . . the standard assertion that molecular chaos exists is nothing more than a poorly disguised admission of ignorance, or lack of detailed information about the dynamic state of a system . . . . If I am able to perceive order, I may be able to use it to extract work from the system, but if I am unaware of internal correlations, I cannot use them for macroscopic dynamical purposes. On this basis, I shall distinguish heat from work, and thermal energy from other forms . . .

And, in more details, (pp. 3 – 6, 7, 36, cf Appendix 1 below for a more detailed development of thermodynamics issues and their tie-in with the inference to design; also see recent ArXiv papers by Duncan and Samura here and here):

. . . It has long been recognized that the assignment of probabilities to a set represents information, and that some probability sets represent more information than others . . . if one of the probabilities say p2 is unity and therefore the others are zero, then we know that the outcome of the experiment . . . will give [event] y2. Thus we have complete information . . . if we have no basis . . . for believing that event yi is more or less likely than any other [we] have the least possible information about the outcome of the experiment . . . . A remarkably simple and clear analysis by Shannon [1948] has provided us with a quantitative measure of the uncertainty, or missing pertinent information, inherent in a set of probabilities [NB: i.e. a probability different from 1 or 0 should be seen as, in part, an index of ignorance] . . . .

[deriving informational entropy, cf. discussions here, here, here, here and here; also Sarfati’s discussion of debates and the issue of open systems here . . . ]

H({pi}) = – C [SUM over i] pi*ln pi, [. . . “my” Eqn 6]

[where [SUM over i] pi = 1, and we can define also parameters alpha and beta such that: (1) pi = e^-[alpha + beta*yi]; (2) exp [alpha] = [SUM over i](exp – beta*yi) = Z [Z being in effect the partition function across microstates, the “Holy Grail” of statistical thermodynamics]. . . .

[H], called the information entropy, . . . correspond[s] to the thermodynamic entropy [i.e. s, where also it was shown by Boltzmann that s = k ln w], with C = k, the Boltzmann constant, and yi an energy level, usually ei, while [BETA] becomes 1/kT, with T the thermodynamic temperature . . . A thermodynamic system is characterized by a microscopic structure that is not observed in detail . . . We attempt to develop a theoretical description of the macroscopic properties in terms of its underlying microscopic properties, which are not precisely known. We attempt to assign probabilities to the various microscopic states . . . based on a few . . . macroscopic observations that can be related to averages of microscopic parameters. Evidently the problem that we attempt to solve in statistical thermophysics is exactly the one just treated in terms of information theory. It should not be surprising, then, that the uncertainty of information theory becomes a thermodynamic variable when used in proper context . . . .

Jayne’s [summary rebuttal to a typical objection] is “. . . The entropy of a thermodynamic system is a measure of the degree of ignorance of a person whose sole knowledge about its microstate consists of the values of the macroscopic quantities . . . which define its thermodynamic state. This is a perfectly ‘objective’ quantity . . . it is a function of [those variables] and does not depend on anybody’s personality. There is no reason why it cannot be measured in the laboratory.” . . . . [pp. 3 – 6, 7, 36; replacing Robertson’s use of S for Informational Entropy with the more standard H.]>>

________________

Yes, thermodynamics, in light of statistical underpinnings and the bridge to information, is very relevant to the matters at hand.

Sewell, in this light, has long been apt:

. . . The second law is all about probability, it uses probability at the microscopic level to predict macroscopic change: the reason carbon distributes itself more and more uniformly in an insulated solid is, that is what the laws of probability predict when diffusion alone is operative. The reason natural forces may turn a spaceship, or a TV set, or a computer into a pile of rubble but not vice-versa is also probability: of all the possible arrangements atoms could take, only a very small percentage could fly to the moon and back, or receive pictures and sound from the other side of the Earth, or add, subtract, multiply and divide real numbers with high accuracy. The second law of thermodynamics is the reason that computers will degenerate into scrap metal over time, and, in the absence of intelligence, the reverse process will not occur; and it is also the reason that animals, when they die, decay into simple organic and inorganic compounds, and, in the absence of intelligence, the reverse process will not occur.

The discovery that life on Earth developed through evolutionary “steps,” coupled with the observation that mutations and natural selection — like other natural forces — can cause (minor) change, is widely accepted in the scientific world as proof that natural selection — alone among all natural forces — can create order out of disorder, and even design human brains, with human consciousness. Only the layman seems to see the problem with this logic. In a recent Mathematical Intelligencer article [“A Mathematician’s View of Evolution,” The Mathematical Intelligencer 22, number 4, 5-7, 2000] I asserted that the idea that the four fundamental forces of physics alone could rearrange the fundamental particles of Nature into spaceships, nuclear power plants, and computers, connected to laser printers, CRTs, keyboards and the Internet, appears to violate the second law of thermodynamics in a spectacular way.1 . . . .

What happens in a[n isolated] system depends on the initial conditions; what happens in an open system depends on the boundary conditions as well. As I wrote in “Can ANYTHING Happen in an Open System?”, “order can increase in an open system, not because the laws of probability are suspended when the door is open, but simply because order may walk in through the door…. 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 . . . But if all we see entering is radiation and meteorite fragments, it seems clear that what is entering through the boundary cannot explain the increase in order observed here.” Evolution is a movie running backward, that is what makes it special.

THE EVOLUTIONIST, therefore, cannot avoid the question of probability by saying that anything can happen in an open system, he is finally forced to argue that it only seems extremely improbable, but really isn’t, that atoms would rearrange themselves into spaceships and computers and TV sets . . .

I will say, in closing, that there is a notorious zero concessions policy on any strong argument a design thinker may bring to the table so I find the fact of strident dismissals, caricatures and irrelevant but superficially plausible talking points about compensating heat flows to be business as usual, strawman tactics as usual.

I no longer expect reasonableness on the part of many objectors to design thought so their usual talking points on this only deserve to be exposed and corrected for record.

If you wish to be a case in point, well, so be it.

The record stands for those willing to attend to it.

KF

17. 17
Joe says:

Piotr:

Chance (random drift) and differential fitness (natural selection) are important aspects of this process.

They are both impotent, Piotr. People invoke Dembski for the simple reason that your position has nothing-> no evidence, no entailments, no predictions, no hypotheses and no models.

You have nothing. Grow up and deal with it

18. 18
Box says:

The organization we find in life can be said to have just the right amount of entropy. The 2nd law poses an enormous thread to this finely calibrated entropy. When discussing life we are talking about low entropy, so in general the 2nd law has the tendency to steer life towards increased entropy (disorder). Some have rightly pointed out that there is an exception to this generality: the 2nd law allows for local decreases in entropy (order). However such a decrease in entropy is equally destructive for the finely calibrated entropy of life.
Scordova stated the problem very aptly:

It’s not a matter of having too much or too little entropy, but just the right amounts.

So we have organization with finely calibrated entropy and the 2nd law that wants to mess with it one way or the other. The question arises: what prevents the 2nd law to have its way with an organism – as it does, in fact, at the moment of death? What preserves this finely calibrated entropy exactly for a lifetime and not a moment longer?

19. 19

New on the market: Darwin Blocks®! Start with our patented Chance-Magic® free-floating lifeless molecules and watch as they spontaneously assemble themselves into a stable, fully functioning self-replicating 3D printer! Keep watching as random print errors produce diverse life forms and an entire stable ecosystem complete with intelligent life and an advanced technological civilization! No instuctions included – none are necessary! Just add sunlight!

20. 20

Piotr #15

10^150 is the product of the physical resources of the universe:

10^17 [sec] x 10^43 [transitions per sec] x 10^90 [particles]

Traversing a physical state space has a cost in terms of physical resources.
Independently on how you specify sec, transitions and particles, to reach a specific functional state among (10 raised to 1.8 x 10^22) states exceeds such limit, then it is implausible.

or David Abel, “The first gene”, chap.11.

21. 21
kairosfocus says:

F/N: It seems objectors need to take a timeout to read the now longstanding universal plausibility bound article by Abel:

http://www.tbiomed.com/content/6/1/27

KF

PS: 500 bits specifies a config space of 3.27 * 10^150 possibilities, and squaring that to get 1,000 bit’s worth, 1.07*10^301 possibilities ensures that no search process on the gamut of the observed cosmos can pick 1 in 10^150 of the possibilities. Hence the 500 – 1,000 bit threshold. For practical purposes I suggest fast chem rxns rates of 10^-13 s or 10^-14 s (ionic, fast for organics) and 10^57 atoms for 10^17s in sol sys or 10^80 in the observed cosmos.

22. 22
fifthmonarchyman says:

Piotr says,

The fact that a particular individual is “extremely improbable” does not mean that its evolution was impossible. It only means that organisms actually living represent a very, very small subset of organisms that could in theory have evolved, but didn’t.

I say,

Agreed. That is why specification is so important in these discussions. It is not enough for a particular event to improbable it must also be specified.

Any given sequence resulting from a coin toss is equally improbable. But 500 heads from a fair coin toss is both highly improbable and highly specified.

That is why examples of generic snow flakes and storms are totally irrelevant. They might be improbable but they are not highly specified.

On the other hand if I happen on to an event that is both highly specified and highly improbable (like 500 fair coin heads) I naturally will suspect that there has been some intelligent manipulation of the process so as to skirt the implications of the 2nd law.

That is what the discussion is about.

Now it’s possible that there is some hidden unknown algroythym that “naturally” produces heads every time with this one particular fair coin. But the burden of proof is on those who would make that claim.

peace

23. 23
Box says:

Piotr: The fact that a particular individual is “extremely improbable” does not mean that its evolution was impossible. It only means that organisms actually living represent a very, very small subset of organisms that could in theory have evolved, but didn’t.

In #18 I argue that there is not “just” a problem with the coming into existence of an organism, but also with its continued existence. Ironic how evolutionists always pretend to be blissfully unaware of this “minor” fact.

IOW the beat – the assault on the finely calibrated entropy (see #18) – goes on also in the extremely unlikely event that an organism is formed.

24. 24
Zachriel says:

Box: Read this very carefully: any argument featuring storms or snowflakes is not an argument relevant to organization.

Ignoring the point won’t make it go away.

Box: Read this very carefully: any argument featuring storms or snowflakes is not an argument relevant to organization.

They are thermodynamic processes, and if your understanding of thermodynamics is contradicted by the facts, then your understanding must be in error.

kairosfocus: You will note that, consistently I have spoken to the statistical, microstate underpinnings that have been inextricably connected to statements of 2LOT for 100+ years.

A storm has low entropy compared to the surrounding atmosphere. The storm is extraordinarily improbable as due to chance arrangements of microstates. The low entropy is due to work being performed.

Box: the 2nd law allows for local decreases in entropy (order).

That’s right.

Box: However such a decrease in entropy is equally destructive for the finely calibrated entropy of life.

The 2nd law of thermodynamics allows for high entropy, low entropy, and in-between entropy. Life does not violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics. It takes work to maintain the entropy of living organisms.

Box: Ironic how evolutionists always pretend to be blissfully unaware of this “minor” fact.

niwrad: 10^150 is the product of the physical resources of the universe

How many microstates do twenty pennies have?

25. 25

Box #18

The question arises: what prevents the 2nd law to have its way with an organism – as it does, in fact, at the moment of death?

Intelligent design has organized all organisms with countless advanced ultra-sophisticated homeostatic cybernetic systems to maintain constant functionalities despite of all internal and external injuries and to contrast the 2nd_law_SM trend. When this organization shuts down the 2nd_law_SM does its destructive job, amen.

26. 26
Zachriel says:

niward: Intelligent design has organized all organisms with countless advanced ultra-sophisticated homeostatic cybernetic systems to maintain constant functionalities despite of all internal and external injuries and to contrast the 2nd_law_SM trend.

While storms aren’t cybernetic, they do exhibit homeostasis and resistance to injury, and “contrast the 2nd_law_SM trend”. Indeed, a storm is extraordinarily improbable as due to chance arrangements of microstates.

27. 27
kairosfocus says:

Z, you are repeating things that have been answered. L K Nash used coins as a classic first introduction, where a coin is a one-bit register, so 500 have 2^500 possibilities and 20 would have — as a real toy case, 2^20. At that level, the general pattern of the statistics will already be evident, with a sharp peak of configs near 50-50 H-T, in no particular order. 20 bits is about 3 ascii characters, so the threshold of information that is relevant to the design inference is nowhere near to such. KF

28. 28
Zachriel says:

kairosfocus: L K Nash used coins as a classic first introduction, where a coin is a one-bit register, so 500 have 2^500 possibilities and 20 would have — as a real toy case, 2^20.

A toy model, an analogy.

A storm is extraordinarily improbable as due to chance arrangements of microstates, far more unlikely than 500 heads with 500 coins.

29. 29
Piotr says:

The argument is bogus. Let me repeat: the sample space is abstract, not real. The resources of the Universe have nothing to do with it. In the case of a fair coin flipped 500 times, you have 3,273390…e+150 possible outcomes, and the probability of each of them, calculated a priori, is 3,054936…e-151. Does it mean that none of them can happen because “the world is not enough” to store them all, and the probability is below the “Dembski limit”? Not at all. You can toss the coin 1000 times, getting a unique result from a sample space of 10^301 elements.

Let’s imagine a realistic situation. You have one million bacteria in a culture. There is just enough substrate supplied to let one million survive, keeping the size of the population stable. Every bacterium from your culture splits into two “daughters” once a day. However, the culture can’t grow to two million: on an average, 50% of the cells will starve to death.

Let’s now pick a bacterium from generation zero (Gen0) and call her Betty. Betty splits into two daughters, Mary and Ann, who belong to the first generation of descendants (Gen1). Assuming that Mary and Ann are equally fit, they may both die (p=0.25), they may both survive (p=0.25), or one of them may die and the other survive (p=0.5). Therefore, the expected number of surviving descendants left by Betty in the next generation is 0.25×0 + 0.25×2 + 0.5×1 = 1.

For Mary, the probability of living long enough to split is 0.5, likewise for Ann, and likewise for all Gen1 bacteria, provided that they are all equally fit. They are all equally “probable” (p=0.5). For the next generation (Gen2), the a priori probability of their survival and reproductive success will equal 0.25. Two years later we have generation number 730, consisting of bacteria whose a priori chances were 2^(-730) = 1,770529…e-220, seventy orders of magnitude below Dembski’s “universal limit”.

In fact, since bacteria can mutate and differentiate, their fitness will not be uniform. Population genetics will tell you what happens if their survival chances are not quite equal. But still, even the best adapted bacteria in Gen730 simply shouldn’t exist according to your understanding of probability theory. Good news! We don’t need antibiotics. Dembski’s probability limit will kill every bug after a few hundred rounds of replication!

You UD folks do a great disservice to the ID community with those ridiculuos OPs, showing your abysmal ignorance of basic physics and maths (not to mention real biology). It’s not an exaggeration; I mean every word of it. And you make it worse by sticking to your guns doggedly and starting thread after thread based on the same ignorant misconceptions (even after being shown your errors for the nth time). As KF has pointed out, I’m not an expert on thermodynamics and probability theory. I’m a poor ol’ linguist, but even I have to know something about physics and statistics to do my job. If a Humanities guy like me can easily demolish your number tricks, just think what a real expert could do if one of them cared to visit your blog.

30. 30
scordova says:

I wrote

And finally, why this obsession with reducing entropy (both thermodynamic and design space entropy)?

Entropy is not MY obsession, it is obsession of evolutionists because they use it to obfuscate.

I was referring to “entropy reduction” as in this statement

the total entropy reduction necessary to ‘achieve’ life on earth.

I pointed out, it’s not about entropy reduction, but fine tuning thermodynamic entropy for starters. And even then, that is merely a necessary, not sufficient condition.

The second law is all about using probability at the microscopic level to predict macroscopic change. […] This statement of the second law, or at least of the fundamental principle behind the second law,

Like what fundamental principle behind the second law, something akin to, uh, LAW OF LARGE NUMBERS (LLN). It’s been said before:

http://www.uncommondescent.com.....nt-design/

For 500 coins heads, the macrostates are:

The most likely macrostates are say 50% heads +/- a few standard deviations. Hence by LLN, the system tends to 50% heads, not 100% heads.

2nd law follows similar large number tendencies.

IDists should use LLN (law of large numbers) not 2LOT. Why? 2nd law deals with thermodynamic microstates and thermodynamic entropy, whereas design deals with non-thermodynamic microstates and non-thermodynamic entropy. I gave a simple illustration with coins that one should absolutely not equivocate the thermodynamic microstates with design space microstates. The same applies to the design space microstates of biological organsisms.

In a sense the ECA conflates two different planes. This wrong conflation is like to say that a roulette placed inside a refrigerated room can easily output 1 million “black” in a row because its entropy is decreased compared to the outside.

Agreed it’s wrong to apply the 2nd law in favor of evolution because of the conflation error. But neither then should IDists use that same sort of conflation to argue against evolution using the 2nd law.

IDists should use the LLN or some similar principle since LLN (or some similar idea) is the basis of 2LOT, not the other way around!

31. 31
Joe says:

Zachriel is such a clueless little child. It doesn’t understand that its position cannot account for storms…

32. 32
Joe says:

Earth to Piotr= You don’t have an argument. Your position doesn’t have any supporting evidence because it doesn’t have any entailments. Obviously you don’t realize any of that or perhaps you do and that is why you attack us so you can distract from the fact that you have nothing.

You can’t demolish anything, Piotr. To demolish ID and its metrics you need actual evidence not your hopeless misrepresentations. You do a great disservice to humanity with your childish bickerings and inability to support your position.

33. 33

Piotr #29

The problem is not to flip a coin 500 times. If any flip lasts 1 second you ends in 500 seconds. The problem is to physically search for a specific physical state in a physical state space composed of 3.2733906078961×10^150 states. If any state search needs 1 sec you need 3.2733906078961×10^150 sec and the Universe can give you only 10^17 sec.

Analogously, in the case of the Cambrian evolution, the physical state space is composed of (10 raised to 1.8 x 10^22) states. If any state search needs 1 sec you need (10 raised to 1.8 x 10^22) sec and the Universe is 10^17 sec.

P.S.
Your insults to the UD folks are sign that our ID arguments are ok.

34. 34
kairosfocus says:

Piotr:

Still busy, but I can snatch a moment for:

The resources of the Universe have nothing to do with it. In the case of a fair coin flipped 500 times, you have 3,273390…e+150 possible outcomes, and the probability of each of them, calculated a priori, is 3,054936…e-151. Does it mean that none of them can happen because “the world is not enough” to store them all, and the probability is below the “Dembski limit”? Not at all. You can toss the coin 1000 times, getting a unique result from a sample space of 10^301 elements.

You know or should full well know that the states are divisible in clusters in a very natural way. The odds of getting any one prespecified state be chance tossing of 500 coins is practically nill. E.g. All H or all T, or the code for the first 72 ASCII characters of this post.

Let’s pick that up: we can separately specify functional clusters of configs (e.g. via a description language for parts and how they go together to make a working whole). This deeply constrains acceptable possibilities to a zone T that forms an island of function in a much larger space. The challenge is, by blind chance and necessity driven needle in haystack search that on the gamut of the sol system is as one straw to a cubical haystack comparably thick as our galaxy, to hit such a T in W.

To all but the ideologically locked in, that is an obviously hopeless task.

Yes, we can argue over hill-climbing algors, they are about improvements within a zone T, not getting there blindly.

And yet it took only a short time for me, by intelligently directed configuration, to type out those letters. And yes, to do that I have energy flows and mass flows. But that is not all, I have a constructor and intelligently sourced informational control.

I could readily arrange 500 coins on a table in the right code. But all the energy of wind, rain, table shaking, earthquakes etc will reliably not achieve the FSCO/I rich zones.

The problem is as you full well know or should, is to get to the shores of function by blind search, and the statistical underpinnings of 2LOT show why that will predictably fail.

KF

35. 35
DNA_Jock says:

kairosfocus,

we can separately specify functional clusters of configs (e.g. via a description language for parts and how they go together to make a working whole). This deeply constrains acceptable possibilities to a zone T that forms an island of function in a much larger space. The challenge is, by blind chance and necessity driven needle in haystack search that on the gamut of the sol system is as one straw to a cubical haystack comparably thick as our galaxy, to hit such a T in W.

together with

Yes, we can argue over hill-climbing algors, they are about improvements within a zone T, not getting there blindly.

that you are using a definition of T which differs from Dembski’s : specifically, in order to avoid having to consider the effects of hill-climbing algorithms, you are viewing T as being the space of minimally selectable functions.

I approve. Would you care to calculate P(T|H) for any such minimally selectable function? A calculation that avoided your “bit-counting” fallacy would be a first.

36. 36
Piotr says:

The problem is to physically search for a specific physical state in a physical state space composed of 3.2733906078961×10^150 states.

#34 KF,

The odds of getting any one prespecified state be chance tossing of 500 coins is practically nill.

Another fallacy (a straw man). Evolution is not a search for a specific state. Bacteria just go on reproducing; they aren’t trying to hit a small target in a vast config space.

According to most estimates, there are more than 10^30 individual organisms on Earth at present (most of them prokaryotic), and each of them represents a viable solution of the problem “how to survive and reproduce” (viruses add another order of magnitude, if you count them). They can be divided into millions of extremely varied species, exploiting innumerable survival strategies. During the history of the planet, some ten billion times as many other states and strategies have been tried. So much for organisms that have physically existed. The number of viable organisms that could conceivably have existed but have had no opportunity to evolve (the unrealised possibilities) dwarfs all these numbers.

37. 37

scordova #30

But neither then should IDists use that same sort of conflation to argue against evolution using the 2nd law. IDists should use the LLN or some similar principle since LLN (or some similar idea) is the basis of 2LOT, not the other way around!

I disagree. There is a fundamental law of physics — 2nd_law_SM — that says that processes spontaneously go in the opposite direction of organization and IDists should not use it against evolutionism, which claims spontaneous organization?

To disprove the conflation (ECA), as I did here, doesn’t mean to conflate.

38. 38
Zachriel says:

niwrad: There is a fundamental law of physics — 2nd_law_SM — that says that processes spontaneously go in the opposite direction of organization and IDists should not use it against evolutionism, which claims spontaneous organization?

Well, calculate the odds. What is the probability that a low pressure zone will form in the atmosphere based on a statistical distribution of microstates?

39. 39

Piotr #36

Evolution is not a search for a specific state. Bacteria just go on reproducing; they aren’t trying to hit a small target in a vast config space.

This is exactly the reason why bacteria remain bacteria. If you don’t search for how can you find?

40. 40
Box says:

Probably group Zachriel reads “order” where it says “organization”.

41. 41
Joe says:

Piotr:

Bacteria just go on reproducing; they aren’t trying to hit a small target in a vast config space.

Yes, we all know that it is impotent. Bacteria remain bacteria. OK for baraminology but not OK for evolutionism.

42. 42
Joe says:

Would you care to calculate P(T|H) for any such minimally selectable function?

Provide H in a scenario in which there isn’t a minimal selectable function until 5 different proteins are specifically arranged- starting without any of those proteins.

Good luck…

43. 43
Piotr says:

Prokaryotes possibly account for most of the biomass on earth. They are enormously successful, and they wouldn’t be if they hadn’t been adapting to all possible ecological niches for billions of years. Don’t underestimate bacteria. They invented most of the biochemistry inherited by the “higher” life forms. Since they also gave rise to eukaryotes, it isn’t true that they have all “remained bacteria”.

44. 44
Zachriel says:

Box: Probably group Zachriel reads “order” where it says “organization”.

We read and understood the difference. It doesn’t change the calculation of entropy.

What is the probability that a low pressure zone will form in the atmosphere based on a statistical distribution of microstates? Let’s make it easy. Assume a 50 millibar depression, a temperature drop of -5°C, and a kilometer^3 of air affected. What is the difference in microstates? What are the odds of this occurring due to chance fluctuations in the available microstates.

45. 45
Joe says:

Piotr:

Prokaryotes possibly account for most of the biomass on earth.

Yes they do. However unguided evolution cannot explain prokaryotes and it doesn’t have a mechanism capable of getting beyond prokaryotes given them to start with.

Are you really oblivious to that?

46. 46
Joe says:

What is the probability that a low pressure zone will form in the atmosphere based on a statistical distribution of microstates?

In an intelligently designed universe, on an intelligently designed planet, the probability approaches 1, ie a certainty.

47. 47
Piotr says:

Niwrad’s formulation of “the second law of statistical mechanics”:

processes spontaneously go in the opposite direction of organization

There is no such “fundamental law of physics”. Physicists wouldn’t use a fuzzy, unquantifiable term like “organisation” to formulate a law, anyway.

48. 48
scordova says:

There is a fundamental law of physics — 2nd_law_SM — that says that processes spontaneously go in the opposite direction of organization

That’s not in most physics texts or literature except paraphrasing popularization like Asimov (which is wrong). A few textbooks may use the word “disorder” but that is not as accurate a entropy based on microstates or the Clausius inequality.

There is a fundamental law of physics — 2nd_law_SM — that says that processes spontaneously go in the opposite direction of organization

Crystals and snowflakes spontaneously order themselves. The 2nd law doesn’t preclude that.

This is the statement of the 2nd law:

CLAUSIUS

Heat can never pass from a colder to a warmer body without some other change, connected therewith, occurring at the same time

KELVIN-PLANK

It is impossible, by means of inanimate material agency, to derive mechanical effect from any portion of matter by cooling it below the temperature of the coldest of the surrounding objects

There aren’t many serious physics books that say:

There is a fundamental law of physics — 2nd_law_SM — that says that processes spontaneously go in the opposite direction of organization

I don’t think IDists should attempt to teach that definition to students of chemistry, physics, and engineering. I’d teach them the Clausius and/or Kelvin-Plank formulation. Those formulations are widely viewed as correct, not Asimov’s.

49. 49
Box says:

Scordova & Piotr,

The physical evolution of a isolated system passes spontaneously through macrostates with increasing values of probability until arriving to equilibrium (the most probable macrostate). Since organization is highly improbable a corollary of the 2nd_law_SM is that isolated systems don’t self-organize.

1. 2nd_law_SM states that isolated systems tend to the most probable macrostate.
2. organization is a highly improbable macrostate
3. compensation argument is invalid.

conclusion:

4. 2nd_law_SM “states” that processes spontaneously go in the opposite direction of organization.

50. 50

scordova

That “processes spontaneously go in the opposite direction of organization”, about which you are so scandalized, is a direct corollary of the fact that isolated systems go toward their more probable states. Do you deny that? And maybe you affirm that textbooks say they go toward their less probable states?

51. 51
harry says:

Piotr @29,

The Universe is finite. So is the amount of time it has existed. The notion of the Universe having existed eternally is as dead as the notion of a flat Earth. So there are finite limits to the number of ways the matter in the Universe might arrange itself given the time it has had to do so. Relative to all the configurations of matter and energy that are possible, only an infinitesimally small fraction of them would create an environment that would allow for self-replicating units of some kind to emerge and for their replication to be sustained such that natural selection could take place. Roger Penrose calculated the odds of the Big Bang producing a universe with low enough entropy to make life even a possibility to be 1 in 10^10^123. In other words, it was virtually impossible for that to have happened mindlessly and accidentally.

If such an environment was miraculously arrived at, we then need another miracle: the mindless, accidental assembly of the first of those self-replicating units. How likely is that? Well, for the sake of clarity, let’s use as an example something much, much less functionally complex than life. How likely would the mindless, accidental assembly of a computer that could manufacture another computer be? Ultimately, all the elements a computer requires can be derived from naturally occurring substances. The miracle we need is for the laws of physics combined with chance to mindlessly and accidentally configure an environment in which a significantly functionally complex unit of matter and energy (a computer) will be accidentally assembled. Significant functional complexity is required for several reasons, not the least of which is that it must be capable of manufacturing another computer like itself. If it can’t do that its fortunate assembly was to no avail; it will eventually disintegrate into the more likely state of the matter from which it emerged.

If an environment accidentally coming about in which a computer might accidentally be assembled seems like an absurd notion, that is because it is just that. And since it is just that, the notion that an environment accidentally came about that mindlessly assembled that first single-celled, reproducing life form is even more absurd, as the functional complexity of life is light years beyond that of a computer. If you think that analogy is bogus because the first single-celled reproducing life forms weren’t nearly as functionally complex as life is now, you haven’t though about it enough.

To arrive at a self-replicating unit of any kind you need a way to constructively harness available energy in order to do the work of self-replication, if for no other reason. That alone requires significant functional complexity.

If such a self replicating unit “dies” after manufacturing just one unit, the population size of its descendants will never be more than one unit. So you need a way for such a unit to sustain itself, to resist the inexorable tendency of matter to disintegrate into a more likely, less functional state. You need some kind of “metabolism.” That alone requires significant functional complexity.

If the tendency of matter to disintegrate into a more likely state is not inexorable, if environments that allow for the assembly of self-replicating, self-sustaining units are not extremely unlikely, then why is life the sole example of such units? Why aren’t there a plethora of other kinds of self-replicating, self-sustaining units around, like computers capable of manufacturing more computers? If such environments are not all that unlikely, more of them should exist and natural selection should have created many self-replicating, self-sustaining phenomena other than life by now. It hasn’t. Life is the sole exception. That is because the probabilistic resources provided by the entire Universe aren’t sufficient to mindlessly and accidentally create environments with the precision required to allow for self-replicating, self-sustaining units, or to assemble such units if the required environment were to miraculously come about.

The fact that life is digital-information-based is a huge clue atheistic materialists seem to have missed. The accidental assembly and configuration of the required protein machines into a functional unit is well beyond the probabilistic resources the Universe provides. That is why the assembly of such functionally complex units must be directed by digital information. And, other than an intellect, how many sources of massive quantities of digitally stored, precise functional information can you list for me?

52. 52
Piotr says:

#50

Isolated systems? On this planet, with all these energy cascades? We don’t live on an asteroid drifting in interstellar space and frozen to the core.

53. 53
scordova says:

Box,

2nd law states that isolated systems tend to most probable microstate.

It is most probable MACRO-state not microstate. One of the foundational postulates of statistical mechanics:

every microstate is equally probable, that means one is not more probable than another! See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ergodic_hypothesis

2nd law states that processes spontaneously go in the opposite direction of organization

The 2nd law does not state that, I provided above the actual statements as framed by Clausius and Kelvin-Plank. If anything energy spontaneously organizes itself into the most probable macrostate, namely the macrostate with maximum multiplicity. See:

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.g.....p2.html#c1

Finally, I have to protest what is going on here. We’re supposed to be teaching good science to the next generation of IDists. Teaching them distorted notions of entropy, the 2nd law, microstate, macrostate, etc. This isn’t good. There are better ways to argue ID, using distortions of the 2nd law and 2nd-law entropy concepts is hurting the ID movement. It’s not helping. Use the Humpty Dumpty argument and LLN. That will be more fruitful.

Using the Order vs. Disorder view of thermodynamics is only a teaching tool, it is slightly wrong:
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.g.....ntrop.html

Caveats and Objections

There are some subtleties in the nature of entropy and other thermodynamic quantities, subtleties that we try to put into word pictures and sketches which sometimes oversimplify. In teaching thermodynamics, I have always tried to keep in mind the words of one of the great physics teachers of the mid-20th century, Mark Zemansky:

“Teaching thermal physics
is as easy as a song:
You think you make it simpler
when you make it slightly wrong.”

The diagrams above have generated a lively discussion, partly because of the use of order vs disorder in the conceptual introduction of entropy. It is typical for physicists to use this kind of introduction because it quickly introduces the concept of multiplicity in a visual, physical way with analogies in our common experience. Chemists, on the other hand, often protest this approach because in chemical applications order vs disorder doesn’t communicate the needed ideas on the molecular level and can indeed be misleading. The very fact of differences of opinion on the use of order and disorder can itself be instructive.

The top diagram depicts time’s arrow as pointing from order to disorder, but one must admit that the apparent tendency to move from order to disorder is not the most fundamental way to look at the top diagram. At ordinary temperatures, the internal energy of a gas would give the molecules high velocities, and it is evident that this orderly arrangement would be very rare because there are only a few ways to do it. If it occurred, it would be for a brief instant and then the molecules would move to some other configuration. The diagram at left depicts a more random or disordered configuration, but the key point is that there is a vast number of ways that such configurations could be achieved. So multiplicity is the key concept – molecular ensembles will spontaneously tend to evolve from configurations of lower multiplicity to configurations of greater multiplicity.

The bottom diagram is again a picture with which common experience immediately identifies – there are more ways to create a jumbled pile of bricks than a neatly stacked arrangement. Again, the idea of multiplicity is the key point. Objections to this kind of introduction to entropy come from the fact that the useful applications of entropy are thermodynamic ones and involve nature on the atomic and molecular scale. The ordered bricks vs the jumbled pile may be a useful introductory visualization, but if these two piles of bricks were at the same temperature, then the numerical value of the entropy would be almost identical for the two stacks. If the contributions to entropy involves the multiplicity of the ways that the vast number of molecules in the two stacks of bricks can be arranged, then the fact that the macroscopic orientations of the bricks is different is a negligible contribution to the total entropy. Entropy is a crucial microscopic concept for describing the thermodynamics of systems of molecules, and the assignment of entropy to macroscopic objects like bricks is of no apparent practical value except as an introductory visualization.

IDists don’t help their argument using kindergaden type distorted versions of the 2nd law.

500 fair coins sponataneously organize themselves toward the 50% heads macrostate plus or minus a few standard deviations when they are subject to processes that maximize the uncertainty of their state (like shaking and flipping them). The 2nd law also spontaneously organizes systems in terms of energy distributions that have highest multiplicity (entropy).

Using vague phrases like this isn’t helpful for training the next generation of IDists.

2nd law states that processes spontaneously go in the opposite direction of organization

The heads/tails organization has nothing to do with the 2nd law, and I demonstrated this by showing the 2nd law thermodynamic entropy values of 500 pure copper pennies.

54. 54
Box says:

Scordova:

Box: 2nd law states that isolated systems tend to most probable microstate.

It is most probable MACRO-state not microstate.

I corrected my mistake within 2 minutes – see #49 it says MACROstate – , unfortunately you are very quick. 🙂

55. 55
Zachriel says:

Box: 2nd_law_SM states that isolated systems tend to the most probable macrostate.

What is the probability that a cold, low pressure zone will form in the Earth’s atmosphere based on a statistical distribution of microstates?

56. 56
scordova says:

I corrected my mistake within 2 minutes – see #49 it says MACROstate – , unfortunately you are very quick. 🙂

🙂

57. 57

scordova

Your pedagogism with Box is ridiculous, as your I-have-to-protest-what-is-going-on-here directed to me. Suggestion: you could try to expel me from the ID movement.. ah ah

I haven’t written my posts about the 2nd_law_SM to convince you, because I know you stay on the side of evolutionists. In war I wouldn’t like to have you as kameraden.

58. 58
scordova says:

The issue is the proper way to falsify evolution. We both agree it is false, but imho, the 2nd law doesn’t falsify it. I’ve said the proper way is via LLN or variations of the Humpty Dumpty argument.

The 2nd law is stated as follows:

Heat can never pass from a colder to a warmer body without some other change, connected therewith, occurring at the same time

That is Clausius statement. It does not follow from this statement, “evolution can’t happen”.

I’m suggesting we teach the 2nd Law with this definition (Clausius):

Heat can never pass from a colder to a warmer body without some other change, connected therewith, occurring at the same time

Not:

2nd law states that processes spontaneously go in the opposite direction of organization

The 2nd law deals with the organization of thermodynamic energy (or position/momentum) microstates, not the microstates associated with specified complex designs.

I illustrated that with the 100% fair coins heads design and its independence from the thermodynamic microstates of 500 fair coins made of copper.

Students of engineering, physics, and chemistry should appreciate the significance of the derivations and calculations I provided.

If there is an independence of design space microstates from thermodynamic microstates, then the 2nd law should not be applied to design space microstates.

What I have provided are textbook answers. It’s okay to deviate from textbook answers, but we should be fair to the readers and tell them that this statement isn’t the consensus textbook definition of the 2nd law:

2nd law states that processes spontaneously go in the opposite direction of organization

Finally, The one who said, “Clausius and Darwin cannot both be right” was a philosopher who studied games, he wasn’t a physicist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Caillois

59. 59
Box says:

Scordova,

Scordova: If anything energy spontaneously organizes itself into the most probable macrostate, namely the macrostate with maximum multiplicity.

How does that differ from what I said in #49 ?:

1. 2nd_law_SM states that isolated systems tend to the most probable macrostate.

I would like you to comment on the other points as well:

2. organization is a highly improbable macrostate.
3. compensation argument is invalid.

conclusion:
4. 2nd_law_SM “states” that processes spontaneously go in the opposite direction of organization.

Where do things go wrong in your opinion?

[edit:] It may be more accurate to say: the 2nd_law_SM informs us that processes spontaneously go in the opposite direction of organization.

60. 60
HeKS says:

You said:

I haven’t written my posts about the 2nd_law_SM to convince you, because I know you stay on the side of evolutionists. In war I wouldn’t like to have you as kameraden.

I’m not sure what you’re trying to say there. Are you trying to suggest that because scordova ultimately agrees with ID he should feel duty-bound to agree with every argument that any ID proponent uses?

I’ve been defending Sewell’s papers over at TSZ for the past week or so, not in the sense of arguing that they are definitely correct (I don’t feel qualified to ultimately pronounce on that), but simply defending them against endless misrepresentations. I say that so you know I have no strong feelings on the correctness of any argument from the second law (though I tend to think that the statistical/probabilistic principle on which Sewell’s arguments are based is sound), so I’m not defending scordova because I necessarily agree with him. I just don’t agree with what I take to be your claim that ID proponents should simply maintain a unified front at the possible expense of their own intellectual honesty. Is that really the kind of message you want to send?

But then, perhaps I misread you.

HeKS

61. 61
scordova says:

I haven’t written my posts about the 2nd_law_SM to convince you, because I know you stay on the side of evolutionists. In war I wouldn’t like to have you as kameraden.

No need to take it so personally, I was hoping you’d accept the suggested theoretical improvements to your anti-evolutionary arguments.

The evolutionists are usually wrong, but in this case, IDists swearing by the 2nd law arguments are not defending ID from textbook science, and the evolutionists are right to disagree.

A case against evolution can be defended by textbook science, but the 2nd law isn’t one of the tools to use, LLN and variations of Humpty Dumpty (down to the chemical expectation) is the more solid way.

LLN arguments look like 2nd law arguments because the 2nd law is based on LLN type statistical principles, but not the other way around.

62. 62
kairosfocus says:

Piotr et al:

Let’s see what Dembski actually wrote in NFL:

>> p. 148:“The great myth of contemporary evolutionary biology is that the information needed to explain complex biological structures can be purchased without intelligence. My aim throughout this book is to dispel that myth . . . . Eigen and his colleagues must have something else in mind besides information simpliciter when they describe the origin of information as the central problem of biology.

I submit that what they have in mind is specified complexity [[cf. here below], or what equivalently we have been calling in this Chapter Complex Specified information or CSI . . . .

Biological specification always refers to function. An organism is a functional system comprising many functional subsystems. . . . In virtue of their function [[a living organism’s subsystems] embody patterns that are objectively given and can be identified independently of the systems that embody them. Hence these systems are specified in the sense required by the complexity-specificity criterion . . . the specification can be cashed out in any number of ways [[through observing the requisites of functional organisation within the cell, or in organs and tissues or at the level of the organism as a whole. Dembski cites:

Wouters, p. 148: “globally in terms of the viability of whole organisms,”

Behe, p. 148: “minimal function of biochemical systems,”

Dawkins, pp. 148 – 9: “Complicated things have some quality, specifiable in advance, that is highly unlikely to have been acquired by ran-| dom chance alone. In the case of living things, the quality that is specified in advance is . . . the ability to propagate genes in reproduction.”

On p. 149, he roughly cites Orgel’s famous remark from 1973, which exactly cited reads:

In brief, living organisms are distinguished by their specified complexity. Crystals are usually taken as the prototypes of simple well-specified structures, because they consist of a very large number of identical molecules packed together in a uniform way. Lumps of granite or random mixtures of polymers are examples of structures that are complex but not specified. The crystals fail to qualify as living because they lack complexity; the mixtures of polymers fail to qualify because they lack specificity . . .

And, p. 149, he highlights Paul Davis in The Fifth Miracle: “Living organisms are mysterious not for their complexity per se, but for their tightly specified complexity.”] . . .”

p. 144: [[Specified complexity can be more formally defined:]“. . . since a universal probability bound of 1 [[chance] in 10^150 corresponds to a universal complexity bound of 500 bits of information, [[the cluster] (T, E) constitutes CSI because T [[ effectively the target hot zone in the field of possibilities] subsumes E [[ effectively the observed event from that field], T is detachable from E, and and T measures at least 500 bits of information . . . ” >>

Similarly, under relevant circumstances, the resource shortage for search overwhelms any hoped for golden search.

Take 500 coins as a useful model.

A search is a subset (chosen at random) from the power set for W = 3.27*10^150 configs. You are hoping for a golden search that somehow overwhelms the first tier blind needle in haystack search challenge. The problem is, search for search (S4S) is a blind sample from the power set.

An utterly stiffer challenge.

And so the issue of getting to shores of islands of function where in nice cases gradients can lead in happy directions, is the dominant problem.

Where also the requisites of correctly coupled and arranged parts to achieve specific function naturally confine us to very narrow zones in the overall space, hence, islands of function.

Where the concept of a description language and string thus length of string to specify state, indicates that considerations on bit strings are effectively WLOG.

KF

PS: Your projection of strawman is also a turnabout, as I started with trivial cases then IMMEDIATELY went on to more complex ones, to illustrate what functionally specific complex organisation and information, FSCO/I, is about.

63. 63
kairosfocus says:

SalC: I draw attention to 16 above:

http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-556746

I do not have time for an exchange, but believe some balance i/l/o the informational school of thought is relevant. As is the fact that for 100+ years, 2LOT has been inextricably linked to statistical underpinnings. As s is a state func, with path independence, there is no problem with partitioning a component to a baseline and addressing it. Here, scattered vs clumped vs functionally organised states.

To move from one to the next more and more sharply constrains number of possibilities consistent with the macro-picture, and in particular the scarcity of complex functionally specific, organised state-clusters readily explains why such are not to be reasonably sought on blind forces.

Relevant energy flows, mass flows, information flows and constructors are the empirically warranted cluster that achieves FSCO/I. The statistical analysis undergirds why and shows why an irrelevant flow is not going to reasonably account for FSCO/I per alleged “compensation.”

Sewell has a serious point.

KF

64. 64
scordova says:

Box,

Hope this helps.

1. 2nd_law_SM states that isolated systems tend to the most probable macrostate.

You won’t find 2nd_law_SM in text books. It’s the 2nd law of thermodynamics. The 2nd law can be derived from equilibrium statistical mechanics under some constraints, it hasn’t been satisfactorily derived form non-equilibrium statistical mechanics though most physicist conjecture it should be.

isolated systems tend to the most probable macrostate.

That is correct as far as thermodynamics. But it should not be applied to the question of ID except with extreme care, which I’m not seeing being done.

2. organization is a highly improbable macrostate

Not in traditional physics textbooks where organization is so vaguely defined. If I defined organization to allow highly probable macrostates, then I could just as well say organization is a highly probable macrostate!

It is more correct to say, “design is a highly improbable organization of parts”. Invoking themodynamic terms like macrostate to the ID argument can lead to equivocation. See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equivocation

Designs are framed in terms of the organization of parts of a system (like the protein translation machines in cells), not the organization of energy in terms of thermodynamic micrsotates that realize thermodynamic macrostates.

I tried to show calculations to demonstrate how organization of energy in thermodynamic microstates are different than the organization of parts of a design with the 500 fair coins example.

When the 500 copper coins are at 298 Kelvin, the system is in the following macrostate:

MACROSTATE: 500 copper coins weighing 3.11 grams at 298 K.

That’s it, that is the macrostate, there is no further statement about the macrostate that is really necessary!

Given that macrostate, the energy distribution can be realized by:

2^(8.636 x 10^25) microstates

Just like the macrostate of 2 dice being 7 is realized by 6 microstates,

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.g.....trop2.html

a system of 500 copper coins at 298 Kelvin at equilibrium is in in a macrostate realized by 2^(8.636 x 10^25) thermodynamic microstates.

Btw, a thermodynamic macrostate is usually defined by the following variables:

N = number of particles
E = internal energy
T = temperature
P = pressure (if applicable)
V = volume (if applicable)

Classical thermodynamics describes macroscopic systems in terms of a few variables (functions of state): temperature, pressure, volume…

http://theory.physics.manchest.....ode55.html

NOWHERE does it define macrostate in terms of design type configurations (flagellum is composed of stator, rotor, gear, etc.).

What is happening is some IDists are equivocating and conflating thermodynamic macrostates with design organization. That is scientifically wrong. The 500 fair coins example and the associated calculations tried to bring that point home. One could do the same with motors or 747 and see that design organization has nothing or little to do with thermodynamic macrostates.

I gave an example showing a working 747 having HIGHER thermodynamic entropy than one that got hit by a tornado! See:
http://www.uncommondescent.com.....se-part-2/

3. compensation argument is invalid.

It’s moot whether right or wrong since the 2nd law doesn’t really apply to the organization of designs. Besides, I showed cases where it’s desirable to thermodynamic INCREASE entropy to make a complex design, not reduce it (i.e. high entropy warm living humans vs. low entropy lifeless ice cubes).

PS
If you want to see examples of how microstates are counted and can be inferred from macrostates (defined by N and E) see my “homework” answers to Professor Elzinga:

http://www.creationevolutionun.....s_v1_c.doc

and

http://www.creationevolutionun.....und_v1.doc

If you really want to see some other ways thermodynamic microstates are counted for given thermodynamic macrostate, see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.....l_ensemble

or

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.....miltonian)

YIKES!

65. 65
Zachriel says:

kairosfocus: And so the issue of getting to shores of islands of function where in nice cases gradients can lead in happy directions, is the dominant problem.

That’s an empirical question, not a mathematical one, meaning strictly logical arguments are insufficient to resolve the question.

66. 66
67. 67
Joe says:

Piotr, you are clueless. There isn’t any evidence there that supports unguided evolution. Attacking ID will NEVER be positive evidence for your position. And attacking it without understanding it is just poor. Joe Felsenstein is the master at misrepresenting ID. Anything ID he has a hand in is doomed to failure.

68. 68
Piotr says:

There’s little to attack or to understand, Joe. ID is amorphous and inconsistent, has no theory and generates no predictions.

69. 69
Joe says:

Piotr, what predictions does unguided evolution produce? ID is only inconsistent in the eyes of the willfully ignorant, Piotr. We stand by our testable entailments while you can’t even produce any for unguided evolution.

You don’t even know your place. If your position had something then you wouldn’t even need to attack ID. And you can’t even demonstrate you understand ID in the first place, so that would be another problem. You sure as heck don’t seem to understand what is being debated.

The way to stop ID is to support the claims of unguided/ blind watchmaker evolution. Anything less is a coward’s way.

70. 70
fifthmonarchyman says:

Piotr says.

Evolution is not a search for a specific state.

I say,

Exactly, And that is the problem.

Evolution is offered as an explanation of specific (ie highly specified)states like the origin species and complex structures but it is not searching for them.

Logically the probability that any one highly specified state is the result of evolution can not be any more than that of random chance.

It’s no different than claiming that a particular intricate statue is the result of wind action.

Natural selection is not a help because you have already conceded that it is not selecting for any specific target.

peace

71. 71
Box says:

Scordova:

2. organization is a highly improbable macrostate

Not in traditional physics textbooks where organization is so vaguely defined. If I defined organization to allow highly probable macrostates, then I could just as well say organization is a highly probable macrostate!

Common sense informs us that this is not a serious objection. We do not see computers, spaceships and libraries self-organize by natural forces. The truth of the statement – organization is a highly improbable macrostate – is obvious to anyone; even to those who deny it.

It seems to be your main objection to the argument, but I’m not convinced that you have point here.

72. 72
fifthmonarchyman says:

All,

Maybe instead of thinking about coins it might be better to think of a variation of Schroedinger’s cat thought experiment.

Instead of the decay of just one atom the Cat killing device is dependent on 50 atoms all decaying at precisely the same exact time.

We lift the box and the amazingly we find that the cat is dead.

Did the mechanism at the exact time of the triggering have more or less entropy than it did one picosecond earlier?

peace

73. 73
scordova says:

We do not see computers, spaceships and libraries self-organize by natural forces. The truth of the statement – organization is a highly improbable macrostate – is obvious to anyone; even to those who deny it.

I didn’t say ordinary (natural if you will) spontaneously create computers and space ships. However, the word MACRO-state in thermodynamics is defined by: Energy, Temperature, Number of Particles, Pressure, Volume.

Thermodynamic macrostates are not defined by words like computer, spaceship, or other designed objects.

Sure, one can define designed macrostate in terms of designed objects, but that would have nothing or little to do with the terminology associated with the 2nd law thermodynamics.

I’ll tell you how illogical some of these discussions sound to me. It’s like someone saying, “Newton’s 2nd law of motion shows naturalistic evolution is false”. It just doesn’t make sense.

I believe in Newton’s 2nd law for its appropriated domain (low speed relative to lightspeed), I disbelieve in naturalistic evolution, but I’d never say: “Newton’s 2nd law of motion shows naturalistic evolution is false”.

In like manner, I wouldn’t say: “The 2nd law of thermodynamics demonstrates naturalistic evolution is false”. I’d say that it is the right conclusion (“naturalistic evolution is false”), but a wrong, non-sequitur inference.

It’s like saying, “1+1=2, therefore the sky is blue”. The conclusion may be correct, but the line of reasoning is illogical.

74. 74
Curly Howard says:

“It’s no different than claiming that a particular intricate statue is the result of wind action.”

Statements like this may work here at UD, where biological knowledge approaches zero, but anyone who actually understands the basics of evolution would laugh at what you have said.

75. 75
fifthmonarchyman says:

Curly Howard.

Statements like this may work here at UD, where biological knowledge approaches zero, but anyone who actually understands the basics of evolution would laugh at what you have said.

I say,

I’m sure lots of folks at UD would laugh at what I said as well 😉

Do you agree that evolution is not targeting anything specific?

Do you agree that something specific is not especially likely to result from a process that is not targeting it?

peace

76. 76
Curly Howard says:

The most important thing evolution does is target better adaptation to the environment in species. The adaptations aren’t “perfect” because they are limited by both the alleles already present in a population and the nature of the pre-existing traits and also the fact that there is always trade-offs between traits.

77. 77
fifthmonarchyman says:

Curly Howard says,

The most important thing evolution does is target better adaptation to the environment in species.

I say,

Agreed,

Do you think that targeting better adaptation to the environment in species makes it likely you will produce particular specific things like the origin of species and complex structures that are not at all related to better adaptation to the environment?

If so why?

peace

78. 78
franklin says:

Curly Howard

The most important thing evolution does is target better adaptation to the environment in species. The adaptations aren’t “perfect” because they are limited by both the alleles already present in a population and the nature of the pre-existing traits and also the fact that there is always trade-offs between traits.

Absolutely! A key example is found in the results from lenski’s group long-term E coli experiment where a IC aerobic citrate transport system arose.

79. 79
fifthmonarchyman says:

franklin said,

a IC aerobic citrate transport system arose.

I say,

Granting this for the sake of argument. Did evolution target this particular system or would any ole aerobic citrate transport system do just as well?

Peace

80. 80
CJYman says:

I see the confusion with attempting to artificially constrict all entropy discussions into a J/K measurement (and no, I am not j/k) instead of looking at how the general principle of entropy and the probabilities involved can apply the principles of 2LOT — irreversibility & entropy — beyond merely J/K measurements. Furthermore, even within configuration entropy, a direct connection must be made to thermodynamics when one considers how energy must be precisely generated, constrained and directed (low configuration entropy macrostate) in order to generate further low configuration entropy states such as the aforementioned doghouse mentioned in the previous 2LOT threads. In this case, we are dealing with thermodynamics (energy flow), micro/macrostates, irreversibility of configuration entropy, and the exact same statistical mathematics even though we may not be dealing specifically with J/K measurements.

From http://entropysite.oxy.edu/ :
“Overcoming Misconceptions about Configurational Entropy in Condensed Phases”, Evgenuii I. Kozliak, from the Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 86, pp. 1063-1068, September 2009., pg. 5

The main disconnect between thermodynamics and configuration entropy appears to be in relation to the third law as discussed in the above paper. However, out of the few articles I’ve read through on the above site, it appears that calculating configuration entropy (through statistics) of a thermodynamic system provides the same measurement, when normalized, as the thermodynamic calculation — hence statistical thermodynamics. So, apparently there is no significant difference between configuration entropy and thermodynamic entropy when it comes to the direction of entropy and the second law. As an aside, I do agree with the above site’s general view on ‘order’ & ‘disorder’ but only because they are discussing the terms as generally (and improperly I will add) applied while not being precisely defined. It seems that a more precise definition of order, pertaining to ‘relative periodicity,’ would solve many if not all the problems discussed and still provide an intuitive and teach-ably useful sense of 2LOT.

Now, back to the discussion at hand. Just because we are not looking specifically for a J/K measurement, doesn’t mean that the violation of the statistically derived concept of entropy for a paramagnetic model, dice model, Einstein solid or my doghouse example earlier in the previous thread would also not prove a violation of 2LOT, since all are founded on the same statistical principles, along with the same definition of entropy — multiplicity — and it is the probability associated with those principles which would be apparently violated. Furthermore, it is the very probability of configuration multiplicity which provides the rationale for how 2LOT ‘works.’ If the mathematics are apparently ‘violated’ for configuration entropy, then 2LOT is apparently violated and statistical thermodynamics will either need a complete re-write or it is merely ‘statistics,’ divorced from thermodynamic considerations . Is there anyone here promoting a re-write of statistical thermodynamics? The difference between purely configuration entropy verses ‘J/K entropy’ is in the choice of the measured macrostate. Volume, temperature, and pressure are not the only macrostates available for measurement. Functional tolerance is an actual, precise, macrostate that is utilized in the industry within which I work (industrial automation — automotive to be precise). Once components fall out of tolerance, catastrophic functional failure becomes a likely option. That is one widely utilized example of a practically measurable macrostate that is not specifically calculating for J/K.

The statistical measurement of bit macrostates is so useful to the understanding of 2LOT that it is used as a textbook example of the principles of 2LOT (referencing the paramagnetic model, coins, or dice). Of course the textbooks could be teaching a bad habit, but I’m going to need a good reason to believe that especially when the examples rely on the exact same statistical mathematics that provide the foundation for how 2LOT ‘works.’ As far as I am aware, there is no other overarching law other than 2LOT, which provides a general understanding of the ‘directionality of time’ while also providing a precise explanation of how it all works through rigorous statistical mathematics that is applicable to macrostates in general. Again, if the mathematics are apparently ‘violated’ for configuration entropy, then 2LOT is apparently violated and statistical thermodynamics will need a complete re-write.

Here follow the points relevant to the original example of a tornado busting through a city block or energy from the sun whipping up a doghouse, laid out as simple and straightforward as possible:

1. 2LOT deals with the irreversibility of macrostates.

2. Entropy can be defined, statistically, in terms of multiplicity of macrostates.

3. Mutiplicity is the number of microstates that possibly make up a given macrostate.

4. Macrostates are defined by properties of a collection of units.

If anyone disagrees with any of the preceeding points, please simply lay out your disagreements with references and relevant argument showing how the above can not be true even in principle. I really shouldn’t have to ask this, but please leave out all ad hominem — ie: ‘bank robbers [or creationists] also have the same understanding as you so you must be wrong. You obviously believe in BRLOT. neener neener.’ Well, maybe those ‘bank robbers’ are smarter than you … oh the horror! But of, course we all know that could never happen …

The final syllogism:

P1. Configuration multiplicity provides the basis for statistical thermodynamics.

P2. Statistical thermodynamics provides the rationale behind why 2LOT exists.

P3. If configuration entropy is apparently violated, then statistical thermodynamics is apparently violated.

P4. If statistical thermodynamics is apparently violated then 2LOT is apparently violated.

C. Therefore, a violation of configuration entropy would be a violation of 2LOT.

The whole point from the very beginning of the tornado vs. city block example was that certain macrostates require very specific conditions beyond simply uneven heat transfer for any sort of reversibility and are indeed irreversible even under conditions of mere open system heat flow. Simply put: a compensation factor is required for certain configurational macrostates (Tornado vs. city block or sun vs. doghouse examples) to be reversible and anyone who states otherwise is promoting an apparent violation of the very foundations of the operation of 2LOT. When we finally have that understanding settled, we can carry on with a discussion of what is the required compensation — mere heat flow in an open system or a prior thermodynamic system of lower configuration entropy or something else?

81. 81
franklin says:

FMM

Granting this for the sake of argument. Did evolution target this particular system or would any ole aerobic citrate transport system do just as well?

There is no granting for argument the development of the IC aerobic citrate transport system’s evolution in this bacterial strain since it is a clear result of this experiment with the evolutionary pathway clearly delineated.

But, no, Evolution did not target the development of this system nor did it (evolution) target any of the other observed changes that were observed and documented during this experiment.

82. 82
Curly Howard says:

Well fifth, I don’t think your question is worded very well.
We can get rid of
“particular specific things like the origin of species and complex structures”
And not lose anything important.
Now we have
“Do you think that targeting better adaptation to the environment in species makes it likely you will produce “things” that are not at all related to better adaptation to the environment?

Basically you are asking me “when species adapt to their environment, can this also produce change in ways that are not related to environmental adaptation?”
And the answer is a resounding yes.
This is due to the fact that there are always trade-offs between traits, not to mention the fact that adaptation to the environment often allows for species to change their behavior to a certain extent which can have significant effects on a vast number of characteristics.
It is often forgotten that behavior can adapt just as well.

83. 83
fifthmonarchyman says:

franklin says,

Evolution did not target the development of this system nor did it (evolution) target any of the other observed changes that were observed and documented during this experiment.

I say,

Then the experiment and the transport system is irrelevant to the discussion at hand is it not?

Evolution may or may not produce all kinds of nifty things but it does not render likely the production of anything specific?

Just as I said

peace

84. 84
fifthmonarchyman says:

Curly Howard says,

Basically you are asking me “when species adapt to their environment, can this also produce change in ways that are not related to environmental adaptation?”

I say,

That is not what I’m asking at all.

I’m asking if evolution makes SPECIFIC things not related to environmental adaption more likely.

Can’t you see the difference?

peace

85. 85
franklin says:

Do you agree that something specific is not especially likely to result from a process that is not targeting it?

My answer was directed at this and as Lenski’s data clearly show ‘something specific’ that was not especially likely did arise from a process that was not targeting the observed result any more than any of the other observed changes were likely yet were observed to evolve in this species of bacteria during this expt.

so…

.Then the experiment and the transport system is irrelevant to the discussion at hand is it not?

is a incorrect statement and the results are directly relevant to the discussion.

86. 86
Curly Howard says:

Yes, evolution makes specific things more likely and other things less likely.
This is due to the fact that the possible evolution of “specific” things is dependent on what already exists in the species.
I can say, quite certainly, that whales will never evolve gills.

87. 87
scordova says:

not specifically calculating for J/K.

J/K can be converted to bits with this conversion factor:

1 Joule/Kelvin = 1 / (1.381 x 10^-23) / ln (2) Shannon Bits =

1.045 x 10^23 Shannon Bits

But that does not mean any old Shannon bits can be reverse converted back to J/K! If one isn’t dealing with thermodynamic microstates, this reverse conversion would be inappropriate.

http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ober-2000/

1. 2LOT deals with the irreversibility of macrostates.

2Lot deals with thermodynamic macrostates not non-thermodynamic macrostates.

A example of a functional non-thermodynamic macrostate is being “alive” or “dead” biologically speaking. 2LOT entropy doesn’t have much to say about this, further the non-thermodynamic microstates that realize non-thermodynamic macrostates is not covered by 2LOT nor should it be.

Of course statistics can be thrown at these sort of non-thermodynamic states, but that doesn’t justify throwing 2LOT at it because 2LOT is concerned with thermodynamic energy (or position/momenetum) microstates and the resulting macrostates.

2. Entropy can be defined, statistically, in terms of multiplicity of macrostates.

3. Mutiplicity is the number of microstates that possibly make up a given macrostate.

4. Macrostates are defined by properties of a collection of units.

This is most surely acceptable outside of thermodynamics, but not all entropies are covered by 2LOT. LLN (law of large numbers) would be the more general law appropriate for this, not 2LOT. LLN is implicitly at the heart of 2LOT, not the other way around.

I laid out an example with the 500 fair coins. There is an entropy derived from the heads/tails configuration. The Shannon entropy is 500 bits, the number of microstates is 2^500, the “around 50% heads” state can be asserted as a macrostate and the associated multiplicity of this macrostate determined by the binomial distribution.

However 2LOT governs nothing of the evolution of the heads heads/tails configuration or entropy. It would be totally incorrect to multiply the 500 bits of heads/tails entropy by the reverse conversion factor above and conclude the system had a J/K entropy based on a mere 500 bits!

The thermodynamic entropy (as based on 2LOT and 3LOT stanadard molar entropy ) yields totally different numbers because thermodynamic entropy deals with totally different microstates than head/tails configuration.

Number of thermodynamic micrsotates if the coins are pure copper at 298K weighing 3.11 grams

2^(8.636 x 10^25)

and the thermodynamic entropy is

826.68 J/K or 8.636 x 10^25 bits

I do agree with the above site’s general view on ‘order’ & ‘disorder’ but only because they are discussing the terms as generally (and improperly I will add) applied while not being precisely defined. It seems that a more precise definition of order, pertaining to ‘relative periodicity,’ would solve many if not all the problems discussed and still provide an intuitive and teach-ably useful sense of 2LOT.

I do not share that view as it leads to non-intuitive counter examples. A functioning 747 has millions of times more thermodynamic entropy than a crumpled piece of aluminum foil on a baking pan. Using the idea “entropy is disorder” would make no sense since it would wrongly imply the 747 is more disordered or disorganized than a junk scrap of foil.

Finally, from the entropy website:

“Entropy is disorder” is an archaic, misleading definition of entropy dating from the late 19th century before knowledge of molecular behavior, of quantum mechanics and molecular energy levels, or of the Third Law of thermodynamics. It seriously misleads beginning students, partly because “disorder” is a common word, partly because it has no scientific meaning in terms of energy or energy dispersal. Ten examples conclusively demonstrate the inadequacy of “disorder” in general chemistry.

Yet it is exactly this archaic misleading definition of entropy so many IDists appeal to in order to invoke the 2nd law in favor of ID. I note also from that website:

The 36 Science Textbooks That Have Deleted “disorder” From Their Description of the Nature of Entropy

(As advocated in the publications of Dr. Frank L. Lambert, Professor Emeritus, Chemistry, Occidental College.)

Ergo, I suggest IDists stop trying to defend ID with 2LOT, the more appropriate law would be something like LLN (which is at the heart of 2LOT anyway).

References:

Standard Molar Entropy:
http://www.presentingscience.c.....tropy.html

Dimensionless Entropy (in bits):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boltzmann_constant

and derivation of dimensionless entropy

http://creationevolutionuniver.....&t=72

and

http://www.uncommondescent.com.....cs-and-id/

88. 88
Joe says:

Curly Cue:

The most important thing evolution does is target better adaptation to the environment in species.

Only intelligent design evolution can target. Unguided evolution doesn’t target anything. You are obviously an ignorant troll.

89. 89

scordova

I suggest IDists stop trying to defend ID with 2LOT, the more appropriate law would be something like LLN (which is at the heart of 2LOT anyway).

An absurd suggestion, it would help only your evolutionists friends.

Your next affirmation is incoherent. If “at the heart of 2LOT” there is an ID argument, one doesn’t understand why “IDists should stop trying to defend ID with 2LOT”.

In my previous post “The illusion of organizing energy” I had begun with simple words to defend Granville Sewell’s ID argument from the 2nd_law_SM, by pointing out that energy cannot organize. Intelligent IDers offered valuable contributions.

Evolutionists were without reasonable counter-arguments.

In my actual post with simple words I had continued the defense, by refuting Styer’s evolutionist “compensation argument” and also finding in his very paper calculations that clearly show the implausibility of evolution. In both posts I never used the terms entropy, order, disorder. Intelligent IDers offered valuable contributions.

Evolutionists were without reasonable counter-arguments.

At this point you come in and begin to attack me and the above IDers (and, last but not least, indirectly also Sewell). You accuse us of “bad science”, “using vague phrases”, confusion about entropy, order, disorder, “using kindergaden type distorted versions of the 2nd law”, “hurting the ID movement”…

Evolutionists laugh.

What to say. Only one thing. If in the ID army the “friend-fire” is at this level, it is unlikely this army will win the war.

90. 90
Piotr says:

Evolutionists laugh.

Hasn’t it ever occurred to you that the laugh may be deserved, and that you would profit from listening to people from your own camp who understand thermodynamics better?

If you adopt this warrior mentality (Close the ranks! No dispute! We’ve got a battle to win first!), you’ll just dig your hole deeper — much to the amusement of passing “evolutionists”.

91. 91
fifthmonarchyman says:

franklin says

Lenski’s data clearly show ‘something specific’ that was not especially likely did arise from a process that was not targeting the observed result

I say

Evolution did not make that specific result more likely. Another result would have been just as likely.

That is the point

Evolution could care less whether this particular aerobic citrate transport system is Irreducibly Complex or not.

This is an important point because in nature we see lots of highly specified events with low entropy that are not particularly related to environmental adaptation.

Evolution can not be the explanation for these events.

Curly Howard says,

evolution makes specific things more likely and other things less likely.

I say,

What????

Are you saying that evolution makes non specific things less likely??

Curly Howard says,

This is due to the fact that the possible evolution of “specific” things is dependent on what already exists in the species.

I can say, quite certainly, that whales will never evolve gills.

I say,

That is a statement of the limits of evolution not of it’s strengths.

You apparently are saying highly specified low entropy events are even less likely if they don’t follow an expected sequence.

check this out

Given that sponges have thrived in their environment for millions of years with out them do you think evolution makes the arrival of neurons (twice) a likely event?

Peace

92. 92
Box says:

Scordova: However, the word MACRO-state in thermodynamics is defined by: Energy, Temperature, Number of Particles, Pressure, Volume.

If ‘Specified Functionality’ is on that list we would not be having this discussion. In every post you harp on the fact that it isn’t included as if we are not aware of that fact. Please be so kind to assume that we know.

The question is whether the 2nd law’s tendency towards probable macrostates – despite the absence of e.g. Specified Functionality in the definition of macrostate – nonetheless precludes the formation of spaceships, computers and the internet by purely natural forces. You seem to hold that it does not.

Scordova: Thermodynamic macrostates are not defined by words like computer, spaceship, or other designed objects.

Indeed, otherwise we would not be having this discussion. And yes we know ….

Scordova: It’s like saying, “1+1=2, therefore the sky is blue”. The conclusion may be correct, but the line of reasoning is illogical.

Here is another objection towards your style of critique: this comparison is entirely unfair and so is saying that the line of reasoning is illogical. It is simply not true.

You seem to be claiming that there is a total disconnect between the 2nd law and organization. Those two have nothing to do with each other so the line of reasoning is illogical. However you cannot prove this. You would only do so if you were able to show that the most probable macrostate – in thermodynamic terms – can result in organization (spaceship, computer, internet or an organism).

Scordova: I didn’t say ordinary (natural if you will) spontaneously create computers and space ships.

Scordova: If anything energy spontaneously organizes itself into the most probable macrostate, namely the macrostate with maximum multiplicity.

The question remains: “can a spontaneous macrostate with maximum multiplicity ever be a computer or a space ship?”
Some of us hold that the answer to that question is a resound “NO”. And if that answer is correct what does that tell us about the relationship between the 2nd law and organization?

93. 93
Joe says:

Evolutionists don’t have anything anyway so who cares about the 2LoT?

94. 94
Joe says:

franklin:

There is no granting for argument the development of the IC aerobic citrate transport system’s evolution in this bacterial strain since it is a clear result of this experiment with the evolutionary pathway clearly delineated.

It isn’t IC and no one can say if blind and undirected processes produced it.

95. 95
fifthmonarchyman says:

Hey scordova,

Could you briefly address my variation of Schroedinger’s cat thought experiment in 72.

peace

96. 96
Joe says:

Dear Salvador Cordova- If you are going to quote me then quote it all. Do NOT quote me out-of-context as it shows you to be a piss-poor person.

Thank you. Now run back to TSZ and tell them I am picking on you too.

97. 97
Zachriel says:

fifthmonarchyman: Instead of the decay of just one atom the Cat killing device is dependent on 50 atoms all decaying at precisely the same exact time.

Radioactive decay is a stochastic process, so fifty atoms decaying within a given window of time would be feasible, but not “at precisely the same exact time”. The hydrocyanic acid will never be released, and the cat will live. However, the entropy of the system will increase due to the radioactive decay, not to mention the metabolism of the cat which will continue to burn its food reserves.

98. 98
Zachriel says:

fifthmonarchyman: Do you agree that evolution is not targeting anything specific?

Evolution doesn’t target anything specific, but specific things evolve. Those specific things that confer an advantage are more likely to be propagated, but many things evolve and persist that are not necessarily advantageous.

99. 99
Zachriel says:

CJYman: Just because we are not looking specifically for a J/K measurement, doesn’t mean that the violation of the statistically derived concept of entropy for a paramagnetic model, dice model, Einstein solid or my doghouse example earlier in the previous thread would also not prove a violation of 2LOT, since all are founded on the same statistical principles, along with the same definition of entropy — multiplicity — and it is the probability associated with those principles which would be apparently violated.

The 2nd law of thermodynamics concerns the flow of energy. In statistical terms, thermodynamic entropy is a measure of available microstates due to thermal fluctuations.

CJYman: C. Therefore, a violation of configuration entropy would be a violation of 2LOT.

And yet doghouses exist.

100. 100
EugeneS says:

Yes, books are just collections of sheets of compressed cellulose pulp [(C6H10O5)n], with haphazard blots of typographic ink on them. And that is a perfectly valid description! Nobody cares, of course, that it misses the whole point about whether they are intelligently produced.

101. 101
kairosfocus says:

Dr Selenski, indeed. And yet, a lot of mass, energy and information flow was passed through constructors to end with the finished product, which is in a tightly defined macro-observable functionally specific state. And the configurational process to get there is not credibly the result of lucky noise and the simple binding of ink to paper or the like. Where, the statistical underpinnings that for 100+ years have been tied closely, inextricably, to 2LOT, highlight why that is so. Where, the generality involved extends to the origin and body plan level diversification of cell based life. Mere irrelevant flows do not explain configurational work beyond reasonable threshold of resulting functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information. But, oh, how hard it is for so many to see that. KF

102. 102
scordova says:

Box,

In every post you harp on the fact that it [design] isn’t included [in description of thermodynamic macrostates] as if we are not aware of that fact. Please be so kind to assume that we know.

So then what’s the excuse for continuing to conflate and equivocate non-thermodynamic macrostates with thermodynamic ones? As was done in the very next sentence:

The question is whether the 2nd law’s tendency towards probable macrostates – despite the absence of e.g. Specified Functionality in the definition of macrostate

You wrote:

You seem to be claiming that there is a total disconnect between the 2nd law and organization. Those two have nothing to do with each other so the line of reasoning is illogical. However you cannot prove this.

I don’t need to demonstrate a total disconnect, a few counter examples (several already provided) are all that are needed to show it is inappropriate to enlist 2LOT entropy as an argument against evolution of design.

Example: the 2LOT entropy of a functioning 747 is millions of times greater than a crumpled junk piece of aluminum foil from a baking pan.

Even though universal 2LOT entropy is increasing, how then does increase of 2LOT entropy preclude mindless evolution of design given that I just showed an example where a designed functioning object has MORE 2LOT entropy than a piece of junk? I did the same sort of calculation with a 747 hit by a tornado and showed the tornado REDUCED 2LOT entropy in the 747. If there are many cases (and there are) of 2LOT entropy being inversely correlated with design (such as crumpled junk foil vs. 747s), then it is pointless to enlist universal 2LOT entropy increase as an argument against mindless evolution of design.

103. 103
EugeneS says:

Zachriel

“Evolution doesn’t target anything specific, but specific things evolve.”

I can see you firmly believe in this but all that counts is evidence.

104. 104
Zachriel says:

EugeneS: Yes, books are just collections of sheets of compressed cellulose pulp [(C6H10O5)n], with haphazard blots of typographic ink on them. And that is a perfectly valid description! Nobody cares, of course, that it misses the whole point about whether they are intelligently produced.

The blots are not haphazard, and books are certainly intelligently produced. The production, however, no matter how clever the craftsman, has to conform to the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

105. 105
Zachriel says:

Zachriel: Evolution doesn’t target anything specific, but specific things evolve.

EugeneS: That is an interesting sci-fi story.

A simple example, provided above, is the evolution of an aerobic citrate transport system in Lenski’s E. coli long-term evolution experiment. The mutations involved can be shown to be random with respect to the given function, and the specific pathway was contingent on potentiating mutations.

An even simpler example is a single point mutation, not targeted, but very specific.

106. 106
EugeneS says:

KS,

Yes.

A nice new book by David L. Abel about the foremost problem of the origin of life research:

http://goo.gl/YDfcbo

Clear, informal and down to earth.

107. 107
franklin says:

joe

There is no granting for argument the development of the IC aerobic citrate transport system’s evolution in this bacterial strain since it is a clear result of this experiment with the evolutionary pathway clearly delineated.

It isn’t IC and no one can say if blind and undirected processes produced it.

Pf the evolved aerobic citrate transport system is not IC then you should have no problem telling us which parts of the system may be removed and the aerobic transport of citrate remains functional. Will you do that for us joe?

The mutational pathway taken in this expt. is clearly documented so please describe for us, joe, the statistical methodology that ID uses to determine if the pattern fits a ‘blind or unblinded’ process. REcall that every nucleotide base, in this strain of bacteria, has been mutated at least once in this expt.

108. 108
EugeneS says:

Zachriel,

I encourage you to carefully investigate what your evidence really shows.

Nobody argues that intelligent causation leads to physical realizations that ultimately and invariably should conform to the second law. That is beside the point.

The case in point is that certain types of ‘pattern’ i.e. organized systems can only come about in practice as a result of intelligent causation. Massive observation exists to support it. The toolkit of thermodynamics, albeit perfectly valid, is not capable of grasping that distinction between organization and order, which you keep avoiding. It is not the right level of modeling. That’s all.

109. 109
franklin says:

fmm

Evolution did not make that specific result more likely. Another result would have been just as likely.

that would be true within the limits of historical contingency of the bacterial genome in question.

110. 110
Zachriel says:

EugeneS: The toolkit of thermodynamics, albeit perfectly valid, is not capable of grasping that distinction between organization and order, which you keep avoiding. It is not the right level of modeling.

The toolkit of thermodynamics … is not capable of grasping the distinction between organization and order…. It is not the right level of modeling.

111. 111
scordova says:

What to say. Only one thing. If in the ID army the “friend-fire” is at this level, it is unlikely this army will win the war.

Friendly fire? Like using misleading and archaic definitions of the 2nd law entropy to defend ID? Like saying “entropy is disorder”?

How much of the “entropy is disorder” arguments have been put forward by IDists promoting “2LOT must be used to defend ID”? Bear in mind:

“Entropy is disorder” is an archaic, misleading definition of entropy dating from the late 19th century before knowledge of molecular behavior, of quantum mechanics and molecular energy levels, or of the Third Law of thermodynamics. It seriously misleads beginning students, partly because “disorder” is a common word, partly because it has no scientific meaning in terms of energy or energy dispersal. Ten examples conclusively demonstrate the inadequacy of “disorder” in general chemistry.

Who has been the one misleading and polluting the minds of pro-ID chemistry, physics, and engineering students with “entropy is disorder”? Not me. 🙂

Note:

The 36 Science Textbooks That Have Deleted “disorder” From Their Description of the Nature of Entropy

(As advocated in the publications of Dr. Frank L. Lambert, Professor Emeritus, Chemistry, Occidental College.)

I see several IDists sticking to their guns with “entropy is disorder”.

Why does a functioning 747 have millions of times more entropy than a crumpled junk piece of foil if “entropy is disorder”? Why must design space entropy INCREASE (Dembski, NFL page 131) for design complexity to increase if “entropy is disorder”? Answer: entropy is not disorder, it is only occasionally correlated with it.

Evolutionists laugh.

A few IDists laugh at 2LOT arguments (or should I say roll their eyes), they just don’t say anything publicly. Why should they?

112. 112
kairosfocus says:

Dr Selenski, yes, classical Thermo_D is indeed not the correct level. An informationally informed look at the microscopic view that for 100+ years has shaped our understanding of inter alia 2LOT, does provide some tools. But, we must be willing to actually look through the telescope to see the imperfections on the Moon or the satellites of Jupiter. KF

PPS: This caught my eye right off, pp. 122 – 3:

>>3.15 Complexity does not equal abstract concept,
organization or functionality

“Emergence” is the term used in an effort to give substance to belief
in self-organization. Emergence describes a supposedly spontaneous rise in
integrative utilitarian controls and formal functionality of a system. The
contention is, “Organized bio-function didn’t have to be prescribed. It just
emerged,” meaning, “it just happened.”

The first topic of discussion should be to ask HOW, by what
mechanism, did organized bio-function just “emerge?” What is the scientific
basis for this notion? How was it established that faith in “emergence” is
anything more than blind-belief and superstition? Are we sure that the notion
of emergence is not just a product of having to remain logically consistent
with a purely metaphysical, materialistic, philosophic commitment?

Relentless research into mere “complexity” in an effort to elucidate
the key to life’s controls has led nowhere. 313 Mere complexity cannot steer
physicodynamic events toward formal organization, biochemical
productivity, energy capture, transduction, storage and
utilization. 6,31,62,70,85,86,275,314 Maximum complexity is randomness, not
formal function. Local and temporary movement away from equilibrium
arises only from expedient operation of Maxwell’s demon’s trap door. 29,30
Life does not spring from complexity. Life springs from quality parts
production, imaginative integration of those components, efficient
management, constant negative and positive feedback regulation, and quality
control. In short, cellular organization and integration of its component
systems into a holistic metabolism require expert programming. 26,27,315 |

Life is hardware, wetware and software. Programming is a form of
Prescriptive Information (PI). 2,6,7,20,39

Regulation, the new “buzz word” of contemporary systems biology, is
a form of control that must be formally prescribed, not physically
constrained.

Sinewave patterns prescribe no specific function. Pattern is not
synonymous with prescription. Pulsar signals are not meaningful messages.
Wave-induced redundant patterns in the bay-shore sand serve no unique
prescriptive function. They simply reflect redundant, unimaginative
physicodynamic interaction, such as the moon’s gravitational force on bodies
of water.

Complexity has little to do with PI. Much confusion results from not
leaving behind pervasive faulty concepts of “information,” with all of their
illegitimate epistemological definitions and measurements, and concentrating
on the ontological Prescription Principle. >>

Dr Selenski, thanks for the late Christmas present!

113. 113
Joe says:

franklin:

Pf the evolved aerobic citrate transport system is not IC then you should have no problem telling us which parts of the system may be removed and the aerobic transport of citrate remains functional.

How many parts are there, franklin? Even Behe’s mousetrap had 5. If it has less than 5 it does not qualify.

You don’t falsify something by going after the minimum. Throwing a 5 yard pass does not mean you can throw a 60 yard pass.

The mutational pathway taken in this expt. is clearly documented so please describe for us, joe, the statistical methodology that ID uses to determine if the pattern fits a ‘blind or unblinded’ process.

It is something blind and undirected processes could not do. Taking the exact gene and duplicating it so it is under the control of a proper promoter doesn’t seem like a blind and undirected process.

114. 114
EugeneS says:

KS,

My pleasure 🙂

I have been waiting for this book. It does well in attempting to disentangle a terminological knot around the OOL.

115. 115
kairosfocus says:

SalC, please reflect on the actual serious argument on the table. If you will, state is a concept that has different levels of meaning and depending on how particular, there is a different level of specificity involved. At macro level convenient for gross heat and energy flows, classic variables at lab level will do such as PVT etc. But when observable state can be functionally specified and is connected to much finer grained constraint, we are dealing with the micro level, and the imposition of configurational constraints at that level becomes material. It is no accident that cells rely on prescriptive info in D/RNA, ribosomes as assemblers and loaded tRNAs which are where the force of translation comes out. For the CCA end universal joint tool tip could in principle take any AA, but based on tRNA config a particular loading enzyme loads a specific AA. This guides protein chain assembly with start, sequencing and stop. Algorithm. Going further, it seems some experiments have been carried out with alternative loadings to create novel AA chains. In short we see here how open systems couple energy and mass flows under informational control to do constructive work in constructor machines. The proteins then come about by onward processes of folding, agglomeration, modification/activation, etc. So, the actual observations point to cybernetic processes not reliance on irrelevant energy or mass flows. Including random thermal agitation leading to diffusion etc. KF

116. 116
scordova says:

Hey scordova,

Could you briefly address my variation of Schroedinger’s cat thought experiment in 72.

peace

I wouldn’t go there. To quote Stephen Hawking:

“When I hear about Schrodinger’s cat, I reach for my gun.”

117. 117
kairosfocus says:

Dr Selenski, thanks again. When this budget season — talk about politics = folly + tricks — is finally over, I am going to have me a reading feast. Classics and new stuff, plus a couple of Java Books for light reading. KF

118. 118
velikovskys says:

Joe

How many parts are there, franklin? Even Behe’s mousetrap had 5. If it has less than 5 it does not qualify.

“A single system which is composed of several interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, and where the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning”…Darwin’s Black Box

Definition of several…
1.
more than two but not many.

You don’t falsify something by going after the minimum. Throwing a 5 yard pass does not mean you can throw a 60 yard pass.

But until you throw a five yard pass ,we don’t you can even do that.

119. 119
franklin says:

joe

How many parts are there, franklin? Even Behe’s mousetrap had 5. If it has less than 5 it does not qualify.

So a system that cannot function if any of the parts is removed is only IC if it has at least 5 parts……..2, 3, or 4 parts don;t count even if the removal of any of them eliminate function. What is the definition of irreducibly complex again….it seems it has been changed from what has been put forth previously.

joe

You don’t falsify something by going after the minimum. Throwing a 5 yard pass does not mean you can throw a 60 yard pass.

It also means that continued 5-yard passes moves the ball down the field but it also doesn’t preclude completing a 60 yard pass as well.

joe

It is something blind and undirected processes could not do.

that is an assertion of yours with no supporting evidence. Clearly the system evolved so I’m asking what methodological rigor do you brin g to the table to differentiate ‘blind and undirected versus directed and unblinded;?

joe

Taking the exact gene and duplicating it so it is under the control of a proper promoter doesn’t seem like a blind and undirected process.

“doesn’t seem” is severely lacking in scientific rigor, joe.

Perhaps you could outline the statistical methodology that IDists use to analyze such data/results which clearly delineate that the process was directed versus undirected. If yu cannot do this could you explain why not?

120. 120
Box says:

Scordova,

Scordova:

Box: In every post you harp on the fact that it [design] isn’t included [in description of thermodynamic macrostates] as if we are not aware of that fact. Please be so kind to assume that we know.

So then what’s the excuse for continuing to conflate and equivocate non-thermodynamic macrostates with thermodynamic ones? As was done in the very next sentence:

Box: The question is whether the 2nd law’s tendency towards probable macrostates – despite the absence of e.g. Specified Functionality in the definition of macrostate

I cannot remember ever been quoted so incorrectly! This is what I wrote:

Box: The question is whether the 2nd law’s tendency towards probable macrostates – despite the absence of e.g. Specified Functionality in the definition of macrostate – nonetheless precludes the formation of spaceships, computers and the internet by purely natural forces.

Now explain where in this sentence do I “conflate and equivocate non-thermodynamic macrostates with thermodynamic ones”?
Moreover you conveniently ignore the central question of my post:

The question remains: “can a spontaneous macrostate with maximum multiplicity ever be a computer or a space ship?”
Some of us hold that the answer to that question is a resound “NO”. And if that answer is correct what does that tell us about the relationship between the 2nd law and organization?

– –
//
More on your quotations: In #111 you “quote” Niwrad saying “entropy is disorder” and go on about it at length, but where does Niwrad say “entropy is disorder”? I cannot find it. What I did find however is Niwrad saying in post #89, speaking about his last two posts on this subject, that “in both posts I never used the terms entropy, order, disorder.”

121. 121
Curly Howard says:

Fifth, it’s not true at all that specific adaptations require an expected sequence of events.
The strength of evolution is it’s ability to drive adaptation.

Now you point me to a highly controversial idea in species at the very base of the evolutionary tree of animals that we don’t know much about and that have been evolving for hundreds of millions of years. The evolution of neurons twice is less likely than it happening just once based on “chance” alone and with all other things being equal. But this is not how it works and all other things are not equal. We are talking about a time in evolutionary history when new tissue types are being experimented with by evolution and the arrival of “proto-neural tissue” is not as impossible as the article makes it out to be. They mention that neurons must physically connect with each other and that they must be able to send and receive signals, but all cells/tissues do these things.
Don’t take secondhand information that has been punched-up and dumbed-down, as gospel.

122. 122
Joe says:

franklin:

So a system that cannot function if any of the parts is removed is only IC if it has at least 5 parts……..2, 3, or 4 parts don;t count even if the removal of any of them eliminate function. What is the definition of irreducibly complex again….it seems it has been changed from what has been put forth previously.

Way to ignore what I posted and prattle on like a loser.

It also means that continued 5-yard passes moves the ball down the field but it also doesn’t preclude completing a 60 yard pass as well.

many people can throw a 5 yard pass. Only a few can throw a 60 yard pass.

that is an assertion of yours with no supporting evidence.

All you have are evidence-free assertions.

Perhaps YOU could post the entailments for unguided evolution so we can see if Lenski’s experiment fits.

123. 123
Joe says:

vel, Lenski’s experiment can only account for ONE component. ONE is less than several. And not only that the component was already there.

Losers

124. 124
Piotr says:

#106

Clear, informal and down to earth.

And self-published. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Long View Press–Academic seems to exist solely in order to print books written or edited by David L. Abel — “peer-reviewed publications“, as he calls them. Like the Department of ProtoBioCybernetics and ProtoBioSemiotics, the Gene Emergence Project, and the Origin of Life Science Foundation, Inc., this fake publishing company is part of a cargo-cult enterprise satisfying one man’s epic vanity.

125. 125
Joe says:

Piotr, you are wrong. Try taking on the evidence as opposed to all else.

126. 126
Joe says:

RE Lenski- The entire system existed in the organism. In an anaerobic environment it functioned just fine. In an aerobic environment the gene that coded for the transport protein was not expressed.

The entire system was already in place. All that happened was the existing gene for that transport protein was duplicated and placed under the control of a promoter that was not turned off by oxygen such that the gene was expressed, the protein made and the system ran as designed. 😉

127. 127
franklin says:

joe

RE Lenski- The entire system existed in the organism.

no, there was no aerobic citrate transport system in this strain of e coli. In fact the absence of such function constitutes the bases for the Citrate test which is a diagnostic tool used to identify e coli versus other pathogenic bacteria.

joe

n an anaerobic environment it functioned just fine. In an aerobic environment the gene that coded for the transport protein was not expressed.

true. the e coli strain used in the Lenski expt did not possess the ability to transport citrate across the cell membrane, in the presence of oxygen, prior to the evolution of that function….which represents, of course, an IC system that once did not exist and now does.

joe

The entire system was already in place.

no. The aerobic citrate transport system did not exist prior to its evolution in this expt.

joe

All that happened was the existing gene for that transport protein was duplicated and placed under the control of a promoter that was not turned off by oxygen such that the gene was expressed, the protein made and the system ran as designed.

you’ve forgotten to include the potentiating mutations as well as the activating mutations that occurred in the evolutionary pathway of this irreducibly complex system.

I’ve asked you several times before what statistical methodology do ID researchers use to differentiate designed versus non-design in this expt. Does this methodolgy exist or is it as joe said before….’it seems designed to me’ the depth of the scientific riogr that ID brings to the table?

128. 128
velikovskys says:

Joe:
vel, Lenski’s experiment can only account for ONE component. ONE is less than several.

According to you,so is 3 and 4

129. 129
Joe says:

No vel, I was just using Behe’s most simple example as a starting point.

130. 130
Joe says:

franklin, What is your problem? The entire system existed- the citrate transport system existed, just one protein was not present when in an aerobic environment.

Statistical methodology? You have to be desperate. Gene duplication is evidence enough for design. The type of gene duplication that took place in this case is definitely evidence for it. What else is there besides sheer dumb luck? How is that science?

131. 131
kairosfocus says:

Franklin:

What type of biological system could not be formed by “numerous successive, slight modifications?” Well, for starters, a system that is irreducibly complex. By irreducibly complex I mean a single system composed of several well-matched interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the [core] parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning. [DBB, p. 39]

Several and complex, while not given in precise quantitative terms, do indicate multiple (several, AmHD:1. Being of a number more than two or three but not many”) parts that must fit and couple together in a complex to yield a function. Where, complex, per Collins ED means: “1. made up of various interconnected parts; composite.”

That is, you want something with a core of at bare minimum four to five interconnected interacting parts such that absence, loss or material defect of any one of the core parts implies non-function or loss of function. In the classic case, the flagellum, the number of parts is of order in the low multiple dozens.

Thus, you face the Menuge challenge C1 – 5:

For a working [bacterial] flagellum to be built by exaptation, the five following conditions would all have to be met:

C1: Availability. Among the parts available for recruitment to form the flagellum, there would need to be ones capable of performing the highly specialized tasks of paddle, rotor, and motor, even though all of these items serve some other function or no function.

C2: Synchronization. The availability of these parts would have to be synchronized so that at some point, either individually or in combination, they are all available at the same time.

C3: Localization. The selected parts must all be made available at the same ‘construction site,’ perhaps not simultaneously but certainly at the time they are needed.

C4: Coordination. The parts must be coordinated in just the right way: even if all of the parts of a flagellum are available at the right time, it is clear that the majority of ways of assembling them will be non-functional or irrelevant.

C5: Interface compatibility. The parts must be mutually compatible, that is, ‘well-matched’ and capable of properly ‘interacting’: even if a paddle, rotor, and motor are put together in the right order, they also need to interface correctly.

( Agents Under Fire: Materialism and the Rationality of Science, pgs. 104-105 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004). HT: ENV.)

Setting up and knocking over a strawman caricature may be convenient and may give comfort to those looking for an excuse to dismiss, but it neither answers the material issue nor commends itself as serious-minded.

KF

132. 132
velikovskys says:

Joe
If it has less than 5 it does not qualify.

“A single system which is composed of several interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, and where the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning”…Darwin’s Black Box”

No vel, I was just using Behe’s most simple example as a starting point.

Sorry, I thought you were using his definition

133. 133
Joe says:

The example clarified the definition.

134. 134
velikovskys says:

Joe:
Gene duplication is evidence enough for design. The type of gene duplication that took place in this case is definitely evidence for it.

To be clear, Lenski’s experiment was supporting evidence for design?

The example clarified the definition.

So several means five or more, got it.

135. 135
franklin says:

kf

Several and complex, while not given in precise quantitative terms, do indicate multiple (several, AmHD:1. Being of a number more than two or three but not many”) parts that must fit and couple together in a complex to yield a function. Where, complex, per Collins ED means: “1. made up of various interconnected parts; composite.”

Which the evolved IC system in Lenski expt fits to a tee! If you, as well as joe, think that this is not a evolved IC system which component(s) may be removed and have the aerobic transport of citrate function be maintained?

kf

Setting up and knocking over a strawman caricature may be convenient and may give comfort to those looking for an excuse to dismiss, but it neither answers the material issue nor commends itself as serious-minded.

yes I agree your construction of a strawman charicature is irrelevant. We are discussing the aerobic transport of citrate which clearly evolved in the Lenski expt and the mutational pathway is well documented. The aerobic tranport of citrate in e coli is clearly a novel function as well as IC.

jow

The entire system existed- the citrate transport system existed, just one protein was not present when in an aerobic environment.

simple question, joe, did the strain of E coli used in Lenski’s expt have the ability to transport citrate across the cell membrane in the presence at the start of the expt? Or is it an evolved function?

So it is as i thought. ID has no methodology to determine if a sequence of mutational events is designed or not. thank you for clarifying what was obvious to most everyone outside of the ID camp. It ‘seems’ to be designed is the best that the ID pseudoscience paradigm can muster.

kf

That is, you want something with a core of at bare minimum four to five interconnected interacting parts such that absence, loss or material defect of any one of the core parts implies non-function or loss of function. In the classic case, the flagellum, the number of parts is of order in the low multiple dozens.,/blockquote>

you will have to do better in jsutifying why a system of, say, three components is not irreducibly complex if you cannot remove one and have the function be maintained. please stop moving the goalposts and deal with the actual data from lenski’s expt.

136. 136
velikovskys says:

KF:

Several and complex, while not given in precise quantitative terms, do indicate multiple (several, AmHD:1. Being of a number more than two or three but not many”) parts

Why the exclusion of “many”, the more interdependent the more persuasive it seems. Perhaps this is just an informal definition, though if this was to be the silver bullet, precision would seem to be warranted.

Just curious ,could you estimate the increase of FSCO in the ecoli if any?

137. 137
fifthmonarchyman says:

Sal says,

I wouldn’t go there.

I say,

That is a shame. I really think that that particular thought experiment gets to the heart of the misunderstanding. The connection between microstates and macro-organization.

Oh well. We can still be allies even if we disagree from time to time

peace

138. 138
fifthmonarchyman says:

Curly Howard says,

The evolution of neurons twice is less likely than it happening just once based on “chance” alone and with all other things being equal.We are talking about a time in evolutionary history when new tissue types are being experimented with by evolution and the arrival of “proto-neural tissue” is not as impossible as the article makes it out to be.

I say,

You are still completely missing the point.

Evolution is not targeting neurons. Neurons are beside the point as far as evolution is concerned.

Sponges demonstrate that neurons are not particularly vital for species to adapt to the environment another simpler system would surely work just as well. So “Evolution” is not a particularly appropriate explanation for neurons.

Yet neurons show up …..twice.

like I said before explaining low entropy highly specified events with “evolution” is like explaining an intricate statue by appealing to the force of the wind.

peace

139. 139
fifthmonarchyman says:

Hey All.

I would not waste a lot of time debating Lenski’s experiment here. IMHO It’s just a red hearing attempt by the critics to avoid the actual issue being discussed,

Peace

140. 140
Joe says:

franklin:

simple question, joe, did the strain of E coli used in Lenski’s expt have the ability to transport citrate across the cell membrane in the presence at the start of the expt?

Yes, it did, in an anaerobic environment. Everything was there, in working order. Lenski’s E coli had everything they needed- as in they didn’t need any new components, ie proteins.

Or is it an evolved function?

ID is OK with evolution.

ID has no methodology to determine if a sequence of mutational events is designed or not.

Yes, we do. Read “Not By Chance” by Dr Lee Spetner.

141. 141
Joe says:

vel:

So several means five or more, got it.

In the case of IC, yes.

142. 142
fifthmonarchyman says:

zac says

The hydrocyanic acid will never be released, and the cat will live. However, the entropy of the system will increase due to the radioactive decay,

I say,

Against my better judgement.

If it were possible for the atoms to decay simultaneously would the entropy of the system increase or decrease at that very instant?

Remember we are talking about an instant with a before and an after.

At time T1 the entropy is X (the 50 atoms are disorganized)

At time T2 the entropy is Y (The 50 atoms are highly organized)

Could we in theory subtract X from Y?
Would the result be negative or positive?

Thanks

peace

143. 143
Zachriel says:

fifthmonarchyman: If it were possible for the atoms to decay simultaneously would the entropy of the system increase or decrease at that very instant?

Why not just make it a window of time instead? In any case, radioactive decay increases the entropy of the system.

144. 144
Curly Howard says:

I am not missing the point at all fifth, the problem is that you don’t have the necessary understanding to see my point.
Let me spell it out.
Yes evolution is not specifically targeting the highly specialized neuron cells that we see today, but evolution at that time was targeting the formation of simple tissues. This requires at least the things I mentioned: physical interactions between cells and communication between cells.

Sponges demonstrate exactly what is needed to survive in their ecological niche.

“Evolution is not a particularly appropriate explanation for neurons”
It is the only explanation.
And as to your “wind-statue” example, again.
Have you thought about being a comedian?

145. 145
mike1962 says:

“[blind] evolution…targeting”

Uh okay

146. 146
Box says:

Meanwhile … the 2nd law targets quite the opposite.

147. 147
fifthmonarchyman says:

Zac says,

Why not just make it a window of time instead?

I say,

Because we are trying to eliminate noise and focus on just the relevant factors.

You say,

In any case, radioactive decay increases the entropy of the system.

I say,

Cool so you agree that entropy in microstates can have a relationship to macro-organization. So the second law is not necessarily irrelevant.

That is something at least.

In this case an increase in entropy equals death of the cat.

Peace

148. 148
fifthmonarchyman says:

Curly Howard says,

but evolution at that time was targeting the formation of simple tissues.

I say,

Was evolution actually targeting the formation of simple tissues or was it merely targeting adaption to the environment?

Simple tissues are beside the point as far as evolution goes. All evolution is concerned about is adaptation

Bacteria demonstrate quite nicely that things besides simple tissues would have worked just as well.

you say,

Sponges demonstrate exactly what is needed to survive in their ecological niche.

I say,

Is evolution concerned that a particular niche is filled? I thought it was all about adaption to the environment.

you say,

I am not missing the point at all fifth

I say,

apparently you are

you say,

the problem is that you don’t have the necessary understanding to see my point.

I say,

I see your point it’s just that your point is irrelevant to the current discussion.

Evolution may or may not produce all kinds of nifty things by accident it just does not target anything in particular.

This is really simple.

What any process engineer will tell you.

If a process does not target a thing it can’t be relied on to produce it.

peace

149. 149
fifthmonarchyman says:

Curly Howard says,

Have you thought about being a comedian?

I say,

I know this conversation has been good for a few laughs from my perspective.

😉

150. 150
Curly Howard says:

Oh my ,fifth. Oh my.
Formation of simple tissues and adaptation in this case are one in the same. Simple tissues are besides the point as far as evolution goes? Are you kidding me? There is a huge advantage in being able to communicate with nearby cells. In fact bacteria demonstrate this: many species form biofilms.

Adaptation of a species to an environment fits that species into its niche, so yes, evolution is certainly concerned with filling niches.

For the last time, you don’t understand what you are talking about.
Any biologist would look at the things you are saying and laugh.

151. 151
franklin says:

joe

franklin:

simple question, joe, did the strain of E coli used in Lenski’s expt have the ability to transport citrate across the cell membrane in the presence at the start of the expt?

Joe: Yes, it did, in an anaerobic environment.

The correct answer is no, the bacterial strain (E coli) used in this expt did not possess the ability to transport citrate, in the presence of oxygen, across the cell membrane.

joe

So several means five or more, got it.

In the case of IC, yes.

reference required

jow

Yes, we do. Read “Not By Chance” by Dr Lee Spetner.

nope nothing there that describes the methodology to ascertain if a sequence of mutations in an expt such as Lenski are designed or not. Try again or just admit ID has nothing available to make this determination.

152. 152
Joe says:

Dear Curly Cue,

The point is you don’t have a mechanism that can get you beyond prokaryotes and that is given starting populations of prokaryotes. Dr (Margulis) Sagan’s work with endosymbiosis has never progressed beyond “shucks those organelles look like they coulda been prokaryotes at one time”, AND it doesn’t account for the nucleus, without which you don’t have a eukaryote.

A neuron without the proper ions and pumps is useless. But then again I am sure you are ignorant of all of that.

153. 153
Curly Howard says:

Fifthmonarchy and Joey!

154. 154
fifthmonarchyman says:

CH says,

Formation of simple tissues and adaptation in this case are one in the same.

I say,

Of course there other obvious cases when simple tissue formation is not conducive at all to adaptation. It really depends on the situation.

and if it depends on the situation then the situation is the cause and not evolution.

Again that is the point.

you say,

Adaptation of a species to an environment fits that species into its niche, so yes, eviction is certainly concerned with filling niches.

I say,

Once again evolution is concerned with fitting a species to it’s niche not at all concerned in filling a particular niche with a species.

Evolution does not target particular things. Your posts have only served underline that point.

you say,

Any biologist would look at the things you are saying and laugh.

You say

I happen to know one or two who chuckle a bit at the obvious observation I’m making. 😉

peace

155. 155
Joe says:

franklin, Obviously you have reading comprehension problem. Yes all of the genetics were in place. The E. coli all had the ability to utilize citrate and transport it across the membrane. The transport protein is just not expressed in an aerobic environment.

No new proteins were formed. No new machinery was formed. Everything already existed.

Reference for IC and a minimum of 5 components- Behe “Darwin’s Black Box”

“Not By Chance” definitely states and provides the reasoning that gene duplications are not chance events.

And AGAIN all you have is “it just happened, dude” so perhaps you should just sit back and shut up.

156. 156
Joe says:

Hurly Coward, your insipid trolling is getting boring. Why do you think your ignorance means something?

Do you really think that you can bully us with your imbecilic ranting?

157. 157
Joe says:

Curly Cue, at least TRY to learn the basics:

InTelligent Design is NOT anti-evolution

158. 158
Curly Howard says:

Situation and environment are one in the same and plays an integral role in the process of evolution.

The species will fill a niche, it does not matter which one to evolution.

Evolution targets species to become more adapted to their environment through changes to what already exists.

I’m sure you have “biologist friends” chuckling somewhere, congratulations.

You are talking in circles and therefore this conversation is going to go absolutely nowhere.
Please go find a biologist and tell them that “wind-statue” one-liner, I wish I could be there to see it.
Goodbye.

159. 159
Joe says:

The species will fill a niche, it does not matter which one to evolution.

Several different species can fill the same niche. And it’s all cool with baraminology.

160. 160
Zachriel says:

fifthmonarchyman: Because we are trying to eliminate noise and focus on just the relevant factors.

Schrödinger’s cat (as opposed to Henri, le chat existentielle) concerns quantum effects. The stochastic nature of the events are essential to the experiment, and unavoidable in any case.

fifthmonarchyman: Cool so you agree that entropy in microstates can have a relationship to macro-organization.

You’re using the word “organization”, so it’s not clear what you mean. However, there is certainly a relationship between the microstates and the macrostate of a thermodynamic system. The Boltzmann equation relates the entropy to the the number of available microstates in the macrostate.

fifthmonarchyman: Is evolution concerned that a particular niche is filled?

“Concerned” is not really the right word. If there’s an available niche, and an adaptation available to evolution to fill that niche, then evolution will tend to fill the niche.

fifthmonarchyman: it just does not target anything in particular.

A gas released in a vacuum chamber fills the chamber, but the gas does not target the corners of a vacuum chamber.

161. 161
franklin says:

joe

franklin, Obviously you have reading comprehension problem. Yes all of the genetics were in place.

No I read what you wrote and noted that it did not address the question I asked….a very simple and clear cut question that you appear to be loath to answer. Failure to answer the question borders on the absurd given the answer is the basis of the diagnostic tool used to differentiate E coli from other pathogenic bacteria, i.e., Citrate test.

If all the genetics were in place E coli would have the ability to transport citrate into the cell in the presence of oxygen and a entire diagnostic tool would have never been developed, i.e., the Citrate test.

joe

No new proteins were formed. No new machinery was formed. Everything already existed.

Of course everything did not already exist. If it did the e coli in the experiment would have been able to use the citrate in the culture media from day one….it did not….that ability had to evolve. The newly evolved ‘machinery’ is clearly the aerobic citrate transport system that did not exist prior to the start of the expt and did not arise for many thousands of generations.

jpw

Reference for IC and a minimum of 5 components- Behe “Darwin’s Black Box”

Vel already posted (several times in fact) the definition of IC as used by IDists and there is no mention of a minimum of a five component system only that function will cease if any part is removed. Your example is not the definition. Nice try (but pathetic) at redefining the terms in order to ignore the data.

Joe

“Not By Chance” definitely states and provides the reasoning that gene duplications are not chance events.

I am not looking for ‘reasoning’ or ‘statements’ I want a description of the analytical methodology used to analyze the sequence of mutational events in the Lenski expt that lead to a design conclusion. Recall that every nucleotide in these bacteria have been mutated at least once. The description will necessarily include a statistics in some form……you’ve been asked repeatedly and everyone can see you cannot provide the ID methodology…..likely because it does not exist. Write it up as it would appear in a Mat. and Met. section in a journal submission with sufficient detail (and references) so anyone could repeat the anslysis for themselves.

162. 162
Joe says:

franklin:

If all the genetics were in place E coli would have the ability to transport citrate into the cell in the presence of oxygen and a entire diagnostic tool would have never been developed, i.e., the Citrate test.

That doesn’t follow. The E coli had the gene to the citrate transport protein. It had the ability to digest citrate once the citrate was transported inside the cell.

Of course everything did not already exist.

Then you should be able to name a component or gene that did not exist prior to the experiment.

Vel already posted (several times in fact) the definition of IC as used by IDists and there is no mention of a minimum of a five component system only that function will cease if any part is removed.

Actually he posted an old definition. I used the example that went with that definition. I can’t help it if you are too dim to understand that.

The updated definition of IC was provided in “No Free Lunch”:

Irreducible Complexity:

IC– A system performing a given basic function is irreducibly complex if it includes a set of well-matched, mutually interacting, non-arbitrarily individuated parts such that each part in the set is indispensable to maintaining the system’s basic, and therefore original, function. The set of these indispensable parts is known as the irreducible core of the system. Page 285 NFL

Numerous and Diverse Parts If the irreducible core of an IC system consists of one or only a few parts, there may be no insuperable obstacle to the Darwinian mechanism explaining how that system arose in one fell swoop. But as the number of indispensable well-fitted, mutually interacting,, non-arbitrarily individuated parts increases in number & diversity, there is no possibility of the Darwinian mechanism achieving that system in one fell swoop. Page 287

Minimal Complexity and Function Given an IC system with numerous & diverse parts in its core, the Darwinian mechanism must produce it gradually. But if the system needs to operate at a certain minimal level of function before it can be of any use to the organism & if to achieve that level of function it requires a certain minimal level of complexity already possessed by the irreducible core, the Darwinian mechanism has no functional intermediates to exploit. Page 287

Dr Behe responds to IC criticisms:

One last charge must be met: Orr maintains that the theory of intelligent design is not falsifiable. He’s wrong. To falsify design theory a scientist need only experimentally demonstrate that a bacterial flagellum, or any other comparably complex system, could arise by natural selection. If that happened I would conclude that neither flagella nor any system of similar or lesser complexity had to have been designed. In short, biochemical design would be neatly disproved.- Dr Behe in 1997

Given Behe’s example of a 5-component mouse trap being out of the reach of blind and undirected processes, that would be the place to start if you wanted to chip away at IC.

Let the whining begin.

I am not looking for ‘reasoning’ or ‘statements’ I want a description of the analytical methodology used to analyze the sequence of mutational events in the Lenski expt that lead to a design conclusion.

Right, and all your position has is “it just happened, dude”, so your complaints against ID are very hollow.

163. 163
franklin says:

joe

That doesn’t follow. The E coli had the gene to the citrate transport protein. It had the ability to digest citrate once the citrate was transported inside the cell.

Of course it follows, joe. Another simple straightforward question for you: What is the basis for the Citrate test?

Then you should be able to name a component or gene that did not exist prior to the experiment.

the gene coding for a protein involved in citrate transport that is expressed under aerobic conditions. Will you (or are you able to) acknowledge that this system was absent in the initial strain of e coli in the expt?

joe

IC system consists of one or only a few parts, there may be no insuperable obstacle to the Darwinian mechanism explaining how that system arose in one fell swoop.

Obviously, the results of the Lenski expt did not occur in ‘one fell swoop’ so how is this example applicable?

joe

He’s wrong. To falsify design theory a scientist need only experimentally demonstrate that a bacterial flagellum, or any other comparably complex system, could arise by natural selection. If that happened I would conclude that neither flagella nor any system of similar or lesser complexity had to have been designed.

The ‘lesser complex’ evolution of the aerobic citrate transport system in e coli debunks Behe’s concept IC.

Joe, nothing you posted states the minimum number of components required for a system to be considered to be IC. You can try again if you wish.

jow

Right, and all your position has is “it just happened, dude”, so your complaints against ID are very hollow.

It doesn’t matter what my position ahs or does not have. We are discussing ID and its concepts on a ID centric blog (outside of the great volume of religious posts) so all that matters is what ID can bring to the table. It is obvious to all that ID does not have the tools to be able to analyze the data from Lenski’s expt to determine ‘design’ versus ‘nondesign’ outside of your earlier assessment of ‘it seems designed to me’ which of course it the problem with all of ID.

164. 164
velikovskys says:

Joe:

No new proteins were formed. No new machinery was formed. Everything already existed.

But it was non functional, it was missing parts. Can you have functional information in something that is non functional?

165. 165
fifthmonarchyman says:

Zac says,

A gas released in a vacuum chamber fills the chamber, but the gas does not target the corners of a vacuum chamber.

I say,

That is a great way to look at it.

As far as evolution is concerned the amazing highly specified low entropy things we see in nature are produced by the equivalent of gas filling up the various corners of a vacuum chamber.

According to evolution any particular highly complex configuration we see is no more likely than any other possible grouping of matter.

It just happens to have fallen that way.

like I said it’s precisely like explaining an intricate statue by appealing to the power of the wind.

Now do you get the relevance of the tornado in a junkyard analogy?

When we see such a thing we naturally assume it to be violation of the second law.

peace

166. 166
Joe says:

franklin:

The ‘lesser complex’ evolution of the aerobic citrate transport system in e coli debunks Behe’s concept IC.

Only a complete moron would think sio especially given what I posted.

Obviously you are just a deluded troll.

It doesn’t matter what my position ahs or does not have.

Of course it does! ID just has to reach the level of teh current paradigm. Your ignorance is also duly noted.

167. 167
Joe says:

vel:

But it was non functional, it was missing parts.

What gene was it missing? Franklin was too afraid to answer that question and I bet you won’t either.

168. 168
Joe says:

Then you should be able to name a component or gene that did not exist prior to the experiment.

the gene coding for a protein involved in citrate transport that is expressed under aerobic conditions.

What an ignorant tool! The gene was in the organism. No new genes were formed in this experiment.

You are one deluded chump, franklin.

I guess your desperation is borne from the fact that your position has nothing.

169. 169

At the very end the issue of this OP (coupled with my previous one) is very simple. I can summarize it in few words and one number:

-a- systems tend to probable states

-b- energy doesn’t organize and compensation arguments fail

-c- Cambrian evolution has infinitesimal probability, less than 1 / 10^(1.8 x 10^22)

Then evolution is implausible.

N.B. No need of entropy, order, disorder concepts.

Evolutionists (led by scordova) obfuscate what is very simple.

If they deny a and b they deny logic, physics, evidence.
If they deny c they deny Styer (an evolutionist) not me.

The trustworthy IDers who have fought this battle with me, better than me, have perfectly understood that. I wish to thank them for their indefatigable defense of the truth, here and elsewhere. Be quiet and calm, remember what was said:

“The truth is a reality that cannot be destroyed by what opposes it, rather the truth destroys what opposes it.”

170. 170
Zachriel says:

fifthmonarchyman: According to evolution any particular highly complex configuration we see is no more likely than any other possible grouping of matter.

You’re not very good with analogies, are you? The movement of gas molecules is stochastic. A gas released into a vacuum chamber is an example of how something can “not target anything in particular”, yet still find particular things, in this case, the nooks and crannies of a vacuum chamber.

The evolutionary fitness space is multidimensional and much more complex than a vacuum container, while the gas is much more tenuous than in the thought-experiment.

fifthmonarchyman: As far as evolution is concerned the amazing highly specified low entropy things we see in nature are produced by the equivalent of gas filling up the various corners of a vacuum chamber.

Actually, an important question is how much of evolution is like filling the nooks and crannies and how much is contingent.

niwrad: systems tend to probable states

Unless work is done.

171. 171
Piotr says:

-c- Cambrian evolution has infinitesimal probability, less than 1 / 10^(1.8 x 10^22)

Rubbish. This is not even what Styer actually says. What he does say is this: assuming that at the end of the Cambrian explosion [sic] there were 10^18 individual multicellular animals, any given individual was 10^(1.8 x 10^22) times “less probable” than their common ancestor. It doesn’t mean that the Cambrian explosion itself was infinitesimally probable, or impossible, or whatever. And let me repeat for the umpteenth time that probabilities don’t mean much by themselves and have to be interpreted in a context.

172. 172

Piotr

From what Styer says, one can mathematically calculate the probability of one Cambrian individual organism, by mean of the simple reasoning I provide at the end of the article. If you are so scientifically educated person as you say you should have no problem to understand such basic elementary calculation.

173. 173
Zachriel says:

niwrad: Cambrian evolution has infinitesimal probability, less than 1 / 10^(1.8 x 10^22)

What are the odds of a storm center forming from a chance arrangement of microstates which is -50 millibars and -5°C from equilibrium.

174. 174
fifthmonarchyman says:

zac says.

A gas released into a vacuum chamber is an example of how something can “not target anything in particular”, yet still find particular things, in this case, the nooks and crannies of a vacuum chamber.

I say,

Correct, just like helium finds the nooks and crannies in a thanksgiving day balloon.

Imagine if someone tried to explain the intricate shapes of the Mikey Mouse float by appealing to the helium.

That’s some comedy for ya 😉

peace

175. 175
Zachriel says:

fifthmonarchyman: Imagine if someone tried to explain the intricate shapes of the Mikey Mouse float by appealing to the helium.

The nature of a gas doesn’t explain the intricate shape, but is an example of how something can “not target anything in particular”, yet still find particular things.

176. 176
fifthmonarchyman says:

Zac says,

The nature of a gas doesn’t explain the intricate shape

I say,

exactly !!!!

Evolution like the gas is not targeting anything in particular therefore it is not an explanation for anything in particular.

That is my point.

As far as evolution is concerned a highly specified low entropy event is no more likely than any other possible configuration of matter.

Therefore as you granted evolution can not be used as an explanation for these events.

Notice I’m not saying that particular events like these are impossible only that evolution is not the reason they exist.

I rest my case.

peace

177. 177
Zachriel says:

fifthmonarchyman: Evolution like the gas is not targeting anything in particular therefore it is not an explanation for anything in particular.

The shape of the balloon is the fit of the phenotype to the environment.

178. 178
fifthmonarchyman says:

Zac says,

The shape of the balloon is the fit of the phenotype to the environment.

I say

Actually the shape of the “balloon” is entirely due to the constraints of the environment.

All the helium (evolution) does is fill up the space.The shape is there all along even when the balloon is deflated.

peace

179. 179
CJYman says:

Scordova, I do see and appreciate the point you are making, however you appear to be glossing over the main point as brought to your attention by myself and others, as reiterated by Box (#92). As such, your argument while partially true, is somewhat devolving into an explanation of personal preference rather than dealing with statements of fact. I’ll respond to your conflation of order and organization in a later comment, but first I would wish for you to deal with the main point that I repeated a few times in my last comment and reiterated in the final syllogism.

But first, a response to one thing you stated:
“…but not all entropies are covered by 2LOT. LLN (law of large numbers) would be the more general law appropriate for this, not 2LOT. LLN is implicitly at the heart of 2LOT, not the other way around.”

1. How can 2LOT not cover energy flow configurations that are not measured in J/K, that are highly constrained (low multiplicity) and required for building a 747 for example?

2. Isn't LLN the explicit basis for statistical thermodynamics as the explanation for why we have a second law of thermodynamics?

In the end, I will agree with part of your assessment of the situation if you can show the 2LOT only applies, in principle to J/K measurements, even if configuration entropy (as opposed to 'J/K' entropy) also deals specifically with the configuration of heat flow (thermodynamics) in 'non-J/K' macrostate terms that utilize all the same principles as statistical thermodynamics. If it is indeed the case that referring to an apparent violation of configuration entropy of energy flow (high constraint in generation and direction/application) is not related to thermodynamics, then my final syllogism only needs a simple re-wording and the impact remains the same:

P1. Configuration multiplicity provides the basis for statistical thermodynamics.

P2. Statistical thermodynamics provides the rationale behind why 2LOT exists.

P3. If configuration entropy is apparently violated, then statistical thermodynamics is apparently violated.

P4. If statistical thermodynamics is apparently violated then the foundation of our understanding of why 2LOT is true is apparently violated.

C1. Therefore, a violation of configuration entropy would be a violation of the foundation of 2LOT.

C2. If the 'change in J/K' measurements of 2LOT are to remain correct, a re-write of the connection between statistical thermodynamics and 2LOT would be required.

In the end, the fact is that this discussion is based on nuanced connections between entropy that defines all macrostates vs. entropy that defines thermodynamic states as measured in J/K. If 2LOT only deals with J/K measurements then the most that can be said is that if a violation of configuration entropy is allowed then a violation of 2LOT is allowed unless statistical thermodynamics is incomplete in that regard. However, if 2LOT deals with thermodynamics beyond only J/K measurements then it appears that qualifiers are not necessary since there are more measurements of thermodynamic systems in regards to macrostates than merely temperature, pressure, and volume. Degree of constraint and applied direction of energy flow (ie: energy flow 'tolerance') required to create further low multiplicity systems would be one such measurement.

Either way, the point that has been carried through all these discussions remains, even if we need to be more careful in our technical descriptions and wording. Scordova, can you tell me if Granville has indeed been careful with the technical details in your opinion?

With that being said, do you agree with my conclusions on the discussion to this point, as quoted verbatim from my last post:

"The whole point from the very beginning of the tornado vs. city block example was that certain macrostates require very specific conditions beyond simply uneven heat transfer for any sort of reversibility and are indeed irreversible even under conditions of mere open system heat flow. Simply put: a compensation factor is required for certain configurational macrostates (Tornado vs. city block or sun vs. doghouse examples) to be reversible and anyone who states otherwise is promoting an apparent violation of the very foundations of the operation of 2LOT. When we finally have that understanding settled, we can carry on with a discussion of what is the required compensation — mere heat flow in an open system or a prior thermodynamic system of lower configuration entropy or something else?"

180. 180
Zachriel says:

fifthmonarchyman: Actually the shape of the “balloon” is entirely due to the constraints of the environment.

That’s not correct. For instance, the characteristics of constituent atoms determines how a protein will fold, and the distribution of charges on its surface. Another instance, the strength of bone tissue helps determine the cross-sectional size of limb bones. It’s the relationship of the phenotype to the environment that determines the fitness.

Meanwhile, stochastic processes explore the surrounding fitness landscape.

181. 181
Joe says:

Zachriel:

For instance, the characteristics of constituent atoms determines how a protein will fold,

Maybe for some proteins but most need chaperones otherwise they won’t fold:

It has recently become clear that protein folding in the cellular environment is not a spontaneous, energy-independent process akin to that observed when chemically denatured purified polypeptides are refolded in vitro. Rather, in vivo protein folding strongly relies on accessory proteins known as molecular chaperones and foldases.–Molecular Chaperones and Foldases (bold added)

182. 182
fifthmonarchyman says:

Zac

Of course you know that Evolution does not determine the characteristics of constituent atoms or the load bearing distinctives of calcium.

This has like all conversations with you become boring.

I only wish someone on your side were capable of a genuine honest discussion.

oh well

peace

183. 183
Piotr says:

It’s funny how you manage to get everything backwards, including the “simple reasoning” copied from Styer’s “Entropy and Evolution”. It doesn’t mean what you think it means (in a way, it means the reverse of what you make of it), but I can see by now that any attempts to explain it to you are futile.

184. 184

Piotr

It’s funny how you evolutionists, who routinely ask IDers to provide quantitative results (“how much CSI?”, “quantify organization!”, “ID is not scientific for it doesn’t provide calculations” …), behave when IDers provide results in numbers that you don’t like. As in this case about a probability calculation, … “probabilities don’t mean much by themselves and have to be interpreted in a context” — you say — … aahh, when numbers are against evolution then numbers don’t matter! Double standard.

“I get everything backwards, including the “simple reasoning” copied from Styer’s “Entropy and Evolution””??

Have you resolved Styer’s student problem #2 in Appendix? I doubt it, given you accuse me of “getting everything backwards”. At least Styer has honestly computed and reported the numeric solution (likely without being aware that this way he would have shot himself and all evolutionists on the foot). I simply added 1 bit to the story to get the probability. Do the homework. Maybe you will understand Styer and also my final bit you dislike so much.

185. 185
Zachriel says:

fifthmonarchyman: Of course you know that Evolution does not determine the characteristics of constituent atoms or the load bearing distinctives of calcium.

That’s exactly right. Evolution fits the phenotype to the environment, the phenotype being the available structures. Evolution doesn’t work on a blank space, but this highly complex interrelationship. Gravity may be the environment, but the characteristics of muscle and bone are what evolution manipulates (among other adaptations).

186. 186
Piotr says:

Of course I know how to do the calculations (which are indeed simple). Do you? Here’s a challenge for you: I’ll give you 24 hours. It’s a generous deadline, since the exercise (Problem #2) can be done in 15 minutes. Since you claim that “IDers provide results in numbers that [I/we] don’t like”, show me/us how you IDers arrive at those numbers. A brief explanation would be welcome to prove that you know what those computations mean. If you don’t do it, I’ll take it as your admission that you have no idea what you are talking about (though you keep talking none the less). Of course after 24 hrs I’ll show you my solution.

187. 187
scordova says:

this discussion is based on nuanced connections between entropy that defines all macrostates vs. entropy that defines thermodynamic states as measured in J/K

I gave a very simple example. Ask a statistician whether he would reject the chance hypothesis as an explanation of 500 fair coins in the 100% heads configuration.

He’ll reject it based on the LLN, not 2LOT. Here is a clear cut case where the heads/tails configuration and heads/tails entropy of the system is considered in making a design (non-chance) inference without conflating it with 2LOT.

No statistician I know of would reject the chance hypothesis by saying :

clearly 500 fair coins in the 100% heads configuration is not the result of chance because “heat can never pass from a colder to a warmer body without some other change, connected therewith, occurring at the same time [aka Clausius statement of 2LOT]”

Such a statement sounds like a non-sequitur because it is a non-sequitur.

If such a non-sequitur line of reasoning won’t fit the simple example of 500 fair coins, why is it reasonable to try to apply these same sorts of non-sequiturs to more complex designs.

If similarly someone says,

a 747 won’t spontaneously assemble by a tornado because
“heat can never pass from a colder to a warmer body without some other change, connected therewith, occurring at the same time [aka Clausius statement of 2LOT]”

this would be a non-sequitur.

Tornados won’t make the 747, but 2LOT isn’t the reason, LLN is.

Scordova, can you tell me if Granville has indeed been careful with the technical details in your opinion?

I think he was careful and gallantly did his best, but he would have been served better if the reviewer were someone like Dr. Lambert who was referenced in:

http://entropysite.oxy.edu/

I don’t think they would have sanctioned any notion that equated disorder with entropy, and that was at the heart of Dr. Sewell’s argument.

Further, No Free Lunch (NFL), by Dembski page 131, most certainly showed entropy INCREASE was necessary for complexity increase. NFL most certainly did not equate entropy with disorder or disorganization.

188. 188
Joe says:

The relationship between entropy, order, and disorder in the Boltzmann equation is so clear among physicists that according to the views of thermodynamic ecologists Sven Jorgensen and Yuri Svirezhev, “it is obvious that entropy is a measure of order or, most likely, disorder in the system.”[13] In this direction, the second law of thermodynamics, as famously enunciated by Rudolf Clausius in 1865, states that:“The entropy of the universe tends to a maximum.”

I guess it isn’t so obvious for some people, hey Sal, Piotr, TSZ?

189. 189
Piotr says:

Joe,

Since you know so much about these things, perhaps you could help Niwrad with Styer’s student exercise #2?

190. 190
Joe says:

Piotr, I am just pointing out there are scientists, non-ID scientists, who say entropy = disorder. But I understand that would get you all upset.

Do you really think I have been following along? I don’t need the 2LoT- I know your position doesn’t have anything and that makes the 2LoT irrelevant to the discussion. If you ever come up with something we can see if the law applies.

191. 191
scordova says:

I guess it isn’t so obvious for some people, hey Sal, Piotr, TSZ?

Or to Dr. Lambert and those involved from removing the term “disorder” in the definition of entropy.

“Entropy is disorder” is an archaic, misleading definition of entropy dating from the late 19th century before knowledge of molecular behavior, of quantum mechanics and molecular energy levels, or of the Third Law of thermodynamics. It seriously misleads beginning students, partly because “disorder” is a common word, partly because it has no scientific meaning in terms of energy or energy dispersal. Ten examples conclusively demonstrate the inadequacy of “disorder” in general chemistry.

Who has been the one misleading and polluting the minds of pro-ID chemistry, physics, and engineering students with “entropy is disorder”? Not me. 🙂

Note:

The 36 Science Textbooks That Have Deleted “disorder” From Their Description of the Nature of Entropy

(As advocated in the publications of Dr. Frank L. Lambert, Professor Emeritus, Chemistry, Occidental College.)

And the wiki pedia reasoning goes like this, entropy is disorder because:

The entropy of the universe tends to a maximum.

That can be proven without recourse to assuming entropy is disorder, it can be derived by the Clausius inequality and associated integral. Therefore what Wikipedia reported is wrong.

Care to do the calculation of universal entropy rise from the Clausius definition of delta-S, Joe, since you supposedly know so much. 🙂

192. 192
CJYman says:

scordova, I agree with almost everything you’ve written in your last post. However, you still are only referring to personal preference, and ‘the way things have been done’ and you are not dealing with either my final syllogism or the main point.

Scordova:
“He’ll reject it based on the LLN, not 2LOT. Here is a clear cut case where the heads/tails configuration and heads/tails entropy of the system is considered in making a design (non-chance) inference without conflating it with 2LOT.”

Of course, because he’s thinking just deep enough to reference the LLN, and indeed he is correct. Problem is, if he stops there, he’s not thinking as deep as he could when tracing the development of said pattern. Every single configuration of matter is the result of energy transfer — thermodynamics. So, before I continue with my argument (and re-iterate and expand key points) I need to ask you if, as a matter of either principle or mathematics, 2LOT can only deal with J/K measurements. If there was another subcategory of thermodynamic measurement that was derived from statistical mathematics, dealing with the movement from low to high multiplicity of macrostates, and if the only difference between this subcategory and J/K entropy was the choice of macrostate, would we be within reason to state that we are dealing with a type of thermodynamic entropy? Keep in mind that this subcategory still deals with measurements of energy transfer (thermodynamics), just not in J/K, thus not necessarily ‘heat’ measurements.

“No statistician I know of would reject the chance hypothesis by saying :

clearly 500 fair coins in the 100% heads configuration is not the result of chance because “heat can never pass from a colder to a warmer body without some other change, connected therewith, occurring at the same time [aka Clausius statement of 2LOT]”

Did anyone here, especially myself, even imply anything of the sort? Does my final syllogism or conclusion indicate anything of the sort? This statement of yours doesn’t seem to add to the discussion.

“If such a non-sequitur line of reasoning won’t fit the simple example of 500 fair coins, why is it reasonable to try to apply these same sorts of non-sequiturs to more complex designs.”

When did I ever apply that line of reasoning. Did I imply it in my final syllogism or conclusion somewhere? Furthermore, I haven’t mentioned anything, to my remembrance, pertaining to complexity of design other than indirectly in reference to multiplicity of macrostates, I guess.

“… a 747 won’t spontaneously assemble by a tornado because
“heat can never pass from a colder to a warmer body without some other change, connected therewith, occurring at the same time [aka Clausius statement of 2LOT]

this would be a non-sequitur.”

I see you are still missing my points. How does this relate to any of my points? I guess this type of statement from you is why I’ve asked you the question above in this post referencing a ‘hypothetical’ thermodynamic macrostate not specifically measuring ‘heat.’

“I think he was careful and gallantly did his best, but he would have been served better if the reviewer were someone like Dr. Lambert who was referenced in:

http://entropysite.oxy.edu/

I don’t think they would have sanctioned any notion that equated disorder with entropy, and that was at the heart of Dr. Sewell’s argument.”

No they definitely would not. However, there is some sloppy reasoning when they go from people’s misinterpretation of homogeneity/equilibrium as ‘order’ to jumping to the conclusion that intuitive concepts such as order and disorder are no good in this discussion. Instead, I think those intuitive concepts should be properly and rigorously defined without conflating order and organization. I’m actually surprised by their lack of curiosity. Is there any possibility of rigorously defining and including order into an understanding of 2LOT? I believe so, but it seems a proper attempt hasn’t even been made … by that group of researchers at least.

I do think that ‘entropysite’ is an excellent site, and we will definitely have to discuss order, and organization soon. I think these concepts are ripe for rigorous development, especially in their their relation to thermodynamics and 2LOT. But I’ll leave it at that for now. We’ll get back to that in the future.

Finally, do you disagree with Granville’s conclusion that the mere opening of a system to heat flow does not automatically make the highly improbable become probable? That appears to be his main point. It appears that you merely disagree with how he gets to that position, correct?

“Further, No Free Lunch (NFL), by Dembski page 131, most certainly showed entropy INCREASE was necessary for complexity increase. NFL most certainly did not equate entropy with disorder or disorganization.”

Configuration entropy or J/K entropy? An important distinction since it appears that we both realize that J/K entropy is a subset of configuration entropy, while not all configuration entropy is J/K entropy. NFL also probably (I haven’t fully read it yet, so correct me if I’m wrong) didn’t attempt to rigorously define order and organization. I presume that wasn’t in it’s scope. I have however read many times through, ‘Specification: The Pattern that Signifies Intelligence.’ This paper was a clarification of some of the points within NFL if I’m not mistaken. It’s been a while.

193. 193
scordova says:

would we be within reason to state that we are dealing with a type of thermodynamic entropy?

No, imho. 500 fair copper pennies in a stable heads/tails configuration is modeled classically as being at rest after being flipped or whatever, hence zero kinetic energy even though there is kinetic energy in the vibrating copper molecules (thermodynamic). The classical macroscopic energy state defined by each coin at rest is 0:

KE = 1/2 m v ^2

v = 0, ergo KE = 0 even though there is kinetic energy in the copper molecules. This energy state gives us ZERO information about the heads/tails configuration of the coins.

Additionally, thermodynamic entropy is a state function, meaning, the history of how it got to that level of entropy is not embedded into the entropy amount.

Example: the thermodynamic entropy of 500 pure copper pennies is:

826.68 J/K or 8.636 x 10^25 bits

We don’t know that it got there via being first cold or hot in the last 10 minutes. We know the KE state function of the coins is zero Joules of energy, but we don’t know how it came to rest by the current KE number.

More significantly, we can’t tell that something is heads or tails by the present KE number or thermodynamic entropy number, and that is a problem if one is trying to infer present mechanical configuration based on functions defined only by present energy such as total kinetic energy and thermodynamic entropy! By way of induction, delta-S values are also almost as meaningless unless one has the entire history of the system in some other records.

The necessary physical information for inferring design is driven by the history or total boundary conditions involved. Unfortunately that information is erased or not present in state function variables.

Thankfully, even though we might not have necessary information, there are a few cases we might providentially have sufficient information. Example: the symbolic information (like the coins being 100% heads), we don’t need all the history of the coin’s evolution, we have sufficient information to reject the chance hypothesis.

The bottom line is that although energy is influential in determining design, state functions that are merely functions of present kinetic energy (thermal entropy is a state function of the kinetic energy of the molecules, number of molecules, volume, pressure), do not give us sufficient information that is of interest to ID proponents.

In that sense 2LOT entropy has insufficient information regarding evolution of design because it is a state function, not a historical record.

One can of course bypass the need of historical records in inferring design if one providentially deals with a situation where LLN can be applied such as 500 fair coins 100% heads, or provisionally “all amino acids left handed despite thermal disordering tendencies”, etc.

I think LLN is more general,foundational and elementary than 2LOT or statistical mechanics.

Here is a terse paraphrase of LLN: “average value tends toward expected value in chance processes”. With this in mind I can say,

500 fair coins 100% heads is not by chance because average value of should tend is expected value and 100% heads is sufficiently far from expectation to warrant rejecting the chance hypothesis

In no way could I even attempt to reject the chance hypothesis using 2LOT. If this can’t be done for such trivial designs as coins using 2LOT, I don’t think it can be done for more complex designs. That’s why I would recommend to next generation IDists, rely on LLN not 2LOT.

194. 194

Piotr

Call “a” the answer requested by Styer

Cambrian = 542-488 = 54 x 10^6 years = 1.703 x 10^15 seconds

organisms = 10^18

change entropy all biosphere each sec = -302 J/K (Styer Eq.5)

change entropy 1 organism during Cambrian:

-302 x 1.703 x 10^15 / 10^18 = -514.316 x 10^-3 J/K

Wf = Wi / a

entropy difference between final and initial state:

Sf-Si = k x ln(Wi /a) – k x ln (Wi) = k x ln(1/a)

-514.316 x 10^-3 = 1.38 x 10^-23 x ln(1/a)

ln(1/a) = -372.69 x 10^20

a = e^(372.69 x 10^20) = 10^(1.62 x 10^22)

From this a value you continue reading the paragraph “Implausibility of evolution” above to get the probability of the final state “evoluted”.

Note: I get 1.62 while Styer gets 1.8, likely due to rounding somewhere, but the substance is equal.

195. 195
Joe says:

Sal:

Or to Dr. Lambert and those involved from removing the term “disorder” in the definition of entropy.

It doesn’t make it right, Sal. You are confused.

And the wiki pedia reasoning goes like this, entropy is disorder because:

The entropy of the universe tends to a maximum.

No, Sal, I quoted the part that says the reasoning. Obviously you do have issues.

AGAIN:

The relationship between entropy, order, and disorder in the Boltzmann equation is so clear among physicists that according to the views of thermodynamic ecologists Sven Jorgensen and Yuri Svirezhev, “it is obvious that entropy is a measure of order or, most likely, disorder in the system.”[13]

Who has been the one misleading and polluting the minds of pro-ID chemistry, physics, and engineering students with “entropy is disorder”?

196. 196
Piotr says:

Congratulations, the solution is correct. I got the same value of a without doing much rounding, so a small rounding error was probably introduced by Styer himself.

Of course the exercise contains some questionable assumptions: why should the mean decrease of the biosphere’s entropy per unit of time due to evolution have been even approximately constant over 54 million years? Why divide it by the number of organisms at the end of the process, ignoring earlier population sizes? Also the “probability decrease” rate of 10^3 per century is not explicitly justified and there are reasons to think that it should be much higher (see Bunn 2009) — but, as you say, these are details. One can use a more refined model with more realistic coefficients and get a more plausible estimate. It doesn’t matter much.

What does matter is the fact that due to evolution an “improved and therefore less probable” organism can reach a macrostate which is indeed extremely improbable in comparison with its distant ancestors.

So far, so good. The question now is how to interpret this result. Your numbers are OK, but your understanding of them isn’t. You seem to take this vast decrease of probability as proof that the organism in question can’t have evolved at all, therefore evolution is impossible. This is wrong. Styer’s model assumes evolution in the first place. His purpose is to calculate if the entropy reduction in the biosphere required by evolution is not unrealistically high, given the energy/entropy limitations holding on Earth (as a result of energy flow from the Sun to the Earth and from the Earth to cold outer space).

Both Styer’s back-of-envelope calculations and Bunn’s “more robust” argument confirm that only an infinitesimal fraction of the available energy flow is sufficient to support the required local entropy decrease (keeping life away from thermal equilibrium and providing usable energy for self-organisation), and so evolution doesn’t come anywhere close to violating the 2LOT.

The fact that any particular organism at the end of an evolutionary process represents an extremely unlikely macrostate (because of its extremely precise specification) doesn’t mean that it can’t have evolved. It only means that the precise (narrowly specified) outcome of evolution after millions of years cannot be predicted, and that if you ran the same process again, you could not get the same result (i.e. “the same” macrostate in terms of sufficiently detailed specification). But evolution has no target and never produces exactly the same thing twice. Any outcome will do.

Let’s compare that again with flipping a fair coin 1000 times. The probability of any specific outcome is 10^(-301), far exceeding Dembski’s limit, thought it takes, say, an hour to perform the experiment (not the age of the Universe multiplied by an enormous factor). But some outcome is inevitable, it just can’t be predicted accurately. And if you run the experiment again, and again, and again, you will never get the same result. So don’t be misled by Really Big Numbers. They only refer to the size of an abstract sample space (measured in the number of definable microstates) and don’t tell you that something is impossible,

197. 197
Joe says:

Piotr, The issue is your position doesn’t have any evidence. It doesn’t have any methodology. It doesn’t have any entailments.

That is why people bring up probabilities, LLN and 2LoT. If you had something no one would bring those up.

198. 198
Box says:

Piotr:

Let’s compare that again with flipping a fair coin 1000 times. The probability of any specific outcome is 10^(-301), far exceeding Dembski’s limit, thought it takes, say, an hour to perform the experiment (not the age of the Universe multiplied by an enormous factor). But some outcome is inevitable, it just can’t be predicted accurately.

500 heads & 500 tails is a macrostate which contains the most microstates (in other words: it is the most likely macrostate/outcome), next macrostate in line wrt to microstates is 501H & 499T and 499H & 501T – and so forth. If an organism is comparable to e.g. 1000H or 1000T than that outcome constitutes a macrostate that is highly improbable ( each contains just 1 microstate).

199. 199
Zachriel says:

Box: If an organism is comparable to e.g. 1000H or 1000T than that outcome constitutes a macrostate that is highly improbable.

Sure. So is a weather storm based on the assumption that it is a chance arrangements of microstates.

200. 200
Joe says:

So is a weather storm based on the assumption that it is a chance arrangements of microstates.

No.

201. 201
EugeneS says:

#196

Piotr, I am with you as regards the interpretation of the results. Just a low probability won’t do. To get a clear answer here, we need to have a map of all possibilities as well as a statistic on what gets realized. At some point, given a genome it will be possible to construct such a map.

However, I disagree with you on the general capabilities of unguided evolution. It is too broad a characterization on your part, I am afraid. When you start getting into detail, you will see that it is not actually capable of producing organized systems in practice. It is only capable of producing small scale adaptations as the environment changes. Anything is possible, but far not anything is statistically plausible.

I am using the work ‘organized’ here to mean a pragmatically functional whole composed of multiple parts each contributing to the single function. Function is about concept, not physicality.

That is why I think that thermodynamics does not provide a sensible means to actually distinguish between bona fide organization and order. It simply ignores the specification because it is not meant to be able to do it. It is a different level of abstraction. From the point of molecular interactions, it does not matter whether something is truly organized (like a meaningful string of symbols) to prescribe function or is a random sequence without any meaning. Semantics & concept/purpose are an altogether different cattle of fish.

To thermodynamics it makes no difference what kind of machine it is to do work as long as it does work. However, in practice e.g. linguistic machines require intelligence to produce. That there needs to be energy enough to build and sustain organized systems is a different matter. An important one but different.

Prescription and logic come first as far as organized systems are concerned. And only then comes physical implementation that is subject to the second law.

Thermodynamics gives us a syntactic physical outline. It does not give us an insight into the semantics of organized systems.

202. 202

Piotr

Congratulations also to you for you correct homework. At least on numbers we agree. Now let’s examine the meanings.

I explain in simple words why your reasoning based on the analogy between 1000 coin flip and bio-evolution is wrong.

You say that any 1000 coin flip sequence is equivalent, then it doesn’t matter if the probability of a specific single sequence is 1.0715086071863 x 10^-301.

Analogously, any bio-macrostate is equivalent, then it doesn’t matter if the probability of a specific macrostate is 10^-(1.62 x 10^22), because evolution has no target, you say.

Unfortunately, while it is true that any 1000 flip sequence is equivalent, because these sequences have no functionanility to perform, it is NOT true that any macrostate is equivalent, because only an ok bio-macrostate DOES perform functionanility.

In other words, most the other (1.62 x 10^22)-1 macrostates are NOT functioning organisms at all. This is due to the extreme specificity of any functional organization. Example, if in a car-engine (or whatever complex system) you apply a random 1% change you don’t get another engine, rather simply non functioning stuff. Go figure when you change 2%, 4%, 10%, 20%…

Therefore you cannot say “evolution has no target” then whatever macrostate is ok. Organisms are not bags filled with potatoes. If they were potatoe bags, your could rearrange the potatoes in infinite ways without problems, and you reasoning would be sound. In organisms whatever you change you risk the failure.

To sum up, the infinitesimal probability of an evoluted functioning bio-macrostate DOES matter. To match such probability in a oceanic state space is a big problem. Worse, this eventual match is only necessary but NOT sufficient condition. There is also the problem of specification and information. But on this my CSI ID collegues have just insisted a lot countless times.

203. 203
scordova says:

On page 131 of the pro-ID book No Free Lunch by Bill Dembski, the information amount specified complexity is related to Boltzman entropy.

Ergo, for specified complexity to increase entropy must INCREASE! Entropy must exist for specified complexity to exist.

If universal entropy is always increasing according to 2LOT, how then is this bad for designs since in many cases designs need entropy increase for designs to be achieved?

This also highlights the absurdity of equating entropy with disorder or disorganization. i.e. the most complex designs are ones with the highest design entropy, and in many cases (like space shuttles) they have a lot of thermodynamic entropy to boot (relative to crumpled scraps of aluminum foil).

204. 204
Piotr says:

Therefore you cannot say “evolution has no target” then whatever macrostate is ok. Organisms are not bags filled with potatoes. If they were potatoe bags, your could rearrange the potatoes in infinite ways without problems, and you reasoning would be sound. In organisms whatever you change you risk the failure.

That’s what selection does. It removes the failures at once and sweeps away the (vast) sets of microstates corresponding to them, making the surviving organisms more and more specific (and therefore technically “improbable”). From generation to generation, the genome is not scrambled and randomly rearranged, but inherited with very few changes, so that the danger of producing a lethal combination is minimised and improvement becomes possible. Evolution has no target — it only has a resticted numbers of paths leading to non-lethal macrostates from a given starting point. No-one knows in advance where the walk will lead.

205. 205

Piotr

“That’s what selection does.”

No, it cannot do that in principle, because survival as a goal has no navigator power to reach the ok macrostate in the state space. The “specificity” of selection for survival has no relation with the organizational specificity of the ok macrostate. They will never meet. This is a key-point. A “brownian motion” (I don’t use “search” because evolution doesn’t search) based on an extremely generic fitness function (as “survival”) cannot reach the ultra-specific target of the unique ok macrostate.

Metaphor, if your intention is only to vaguely “go to East”, you will never reach the top of Everest, which needs exact path, correct knowledge, apt equipment and countless other abilities.

206. 206
Joe says:

Piotr, Thank you for proving evolution is impotent. The process you described doesn’t have a chance at producing life’s diversity unless the diversity was already present when that process started.

207. 207
Piotr says:

There is no “unique OK macrostate”, see #36. If you have a genotype producing a viable phenotype, a small number of copying errors will usually lead to a slightly different but also viable phenotype (a neighbouring “OK macrostate”). If not, the phenotype dies and an unpromising line of search terminates. There is no Everest to reach in the fitness landscape, no “best” organism, no Holy Grail of evolution.

208. 208
Joe says:

Page 131 of NFL:

As an aside, this information-theoretic entropy measure is mathematically identical to the Maxwell-Boltzmann-Gibbs entropy from statistical mechanics provided the alphabet a1…an is reiterated as a partition of phase space and the probabilities p1,…pn are reinterpreted as the probabilities of particles being in those corresponding partition elements.

He says that H is maximal (H being entropy) when all the pis are identical (i.e. each pi = 1/n)

209. 209
Joe says:

Piotr:

If you have a genotype producing a viable phenotype, a small number of copying errors will usually lead to a slightly different but also viable phenotype (a neighbouring “OK macrostate”). If not, the phenotype dies and an unpromising line of search terminates.

Dr Sermonti calls that a wobbling stability:

Sexuality has brought joy to the world, to the world of the wild beasts, and to the world of flowers, but it has brought an end to evolution. In the lineages of living beings, whenever absent-minded Venus has taken the upper hand, forms have forgotten to make progress. It is only the husbandman that has improved strains, and he has done so by bullying, enslaving, and segregating. All these methods, of course, have made for sad, alienated animals, but they have not resulted in new species. Left to themselves, domesticated breeds would either die out or revert to the wild state—scarcely a commendable model for nature’s progress.

(snip a few paragraphs on peppered moths)

Natural Selection, which indeed occurs in nature (as Bishop Wilberforce, too, was perfectly aware), mainly has the effect of maintaining equilibrium and stability. It eliminates all those that dare depart from the type—the eccentrics and the adventurers and the marginal sort. It is ever adjusting populations, but it does so in each case by bringing them back to the norm. We read in the textbooks that, when environmental conditions change, the selection process may produce a shift in a population’s mean values, by a process known as adaptation. If the climate turns very cold, the cold-adapted beings are favored relative to others.; if it becomes windy, the wind blows away those that are most exposed; if an illness breaks out, those in questionable health will be lost. But all these artful guiles serve their purpose only until the clouds blow away. The species, in fact, is an organic entity, a typical form, which may deviate only to return to the furrow of its destiny; it may wander from the band only to find its proper place by returning to the gang.

Everything that disassembles, upsets proportions or becomes distorted in any way is sooner or later brought back to the type. There has been a tendency to confuse fleeting adjustments with grand destinies, minor shrewdness with signs of the times.

It is true that species may lose something on the way—the mole its eyes, say, and the succulent plant its leaves, never to recover them again. But here we are dealing with unhappy, mutilated species, at the margins of their area of distribution—the extreme and the specialized. These are species with no future; they are not pioneers, but prisoners in nature’s penitentiary.

210. 210
Box says:

It’s like attempting to play the St Matthew Passion by blindfolded throwing rocks at music instruments. 🙂

211. 211
Piotr says:

#210 Box,

Selection is the opposite of blind chance: it’s the bias imposed by the environment (which doesn’t mean that there is only one way or a unique “optimal way” in which an evolving population can respond to a selective pressure). Music (of a given style) has to follow certain conventions, but otherwise composers enjoy a lot of freedom. Is the St Matthew Passion the only possible musical composition? Is it the only Passion written by Bach? Did Bach “discover” it as a unique solution in the space of compositions, waiting for someone to find it and write it down? Was there no other way to compose it? Could someone else (not Bach) also find it? If you hand out the text of a poem to 100 skilled composers and ask each of them them to put it to music, will they all return the same song, or more probably 100 different songs?

212. 212
Upright BiPed says:

ES, you have mail.

🙂

213. 213
Joe says:

Piotr:

Selection is the opposite of blind chance: it’s the bias imposed by the environment (which doesn’t mean that there is only one way or a unique “optimal way” in which an evolving population can respond to a selective pressure).

That just makes it non-random as in there is unequal probability of elimination. Whatever is good enough gets the chance to reproduce.

214. 214
Box says:

Oh Piotr … your position is far more incoherent than you think. Allow me to quickly address some points:

First of all there is no organism! Given materialism there are no organisms – there are just particles in motion. And these particles in motion don’t give a hoot about some (non-existent) organism. These particles don’t form a whole, they are all doing their own thing, blissfully unaware of something bigger than them. And one cannot explain the coherence we see in organisms from blind uninterested parts.
So your basis of reasoning is a cause – the particles in motion – that is insufficient to explain the effect – a coherent whole, the organism.

And it’s safe to say that, during its life, a single cell is never the same. So we are talking about a dynamic equilibrium – not one single ‘ok macrostate’ but a ‘collection’ of interconnected macrostates. We are talking about a delicate balancing act performed by an organism (which doesn’t exist under materialism). And materialism cannot accommodate such a balancing act, because the parts have no reason whatsoever to do that.

And when we look at each and every organism we see that the parts are functionally subjugated by the whole. Parts in service (and in functional coherence) of the whole organism – which (again) does not exist under materialism.

“Details” such as these are often glossed over in discussions about evolution, but I hold that they show materialism to be utterly incoherent wrt life.

215. 215
Piotr says:

#214 Box,

Straw man alert. I have no idea how you define “materialism”, but nobody I know denies the existence of patterns, structures, systems, etc. After all, molecules, atoms and particles are also structures to which some kind of identity can be ascribed. It isn’t an immaterial life-force or spiritual energy that makes an organism. To say that parts “serve” the whole and “care” about its well-being is an anthropomorohic metaphor, not an explanation of anything. Is your liver your dutiful servant? Really? So if you develop liver cancer, the liver becomes a rebel servant, a traitor?

Anyway, I fail to see what this naive philosophy has to do with the operation of natural selection.

216. 216
CJYman says:

I stated: “… would we be within reason to state that we are dealing with a type of thermodynamic entropy?”

scordova: “No, imho.”

So, to be clear, you are saying that a state change from low multiplicity to high multiplicity of an energy macrostate (thermodynamic state, no?) is not an example of change in thermodynamic entropy unless the macrostate is measured in J/K?

Thank you for that record of your personal opinion. What follows from you does not explain your opinion in the slightest. I understood and agreed with the example of the copper pennies the first time you outlined it. I see no attempt from you to explain how it relates to any of my points. Remember, my question is simply about a ‘hypothetical’ macrostate that is most definitely thermodynamic — dealing with energy flow — yet not measured in J/K.

Instead, you keep wanting to talk about the disconnect between J/K measurements and specific cases of non-thermodynamic configuration entropy, but I already agree with your assessment of that specific disconnect at the classical ‘penny state’ level, so shall we carry on with my question to you?

Where is the non-arbitrary disconnect between two different thermodynamic macrostates that both follow the 2LOT as it relates to energy dispersal — the only difference between the two macrostates being the measurement. One is measured in J/K, the other is not, yet I emphasize *is still a measure of energy flow*.

scordova: “Additionally, thermodynamic entropy is a state function, meaning, the history of how it got to that level of entropy is not embedded into the entropy amount.”

… as it relates to J/K measurement. Understood. However, there is more to energy flow and its change from low to high multiplicity than merely J/K measurements, and it just so happens that 2LOT is all about the history of a system’s thermodynamic entropy as it relates to energy dispersal. 2LOT is not about the final state measurement, it is about the change in entropy. Again, you are attempting to change the discussion. I really hope I am just unfolding my position poorly, rather than you being disingenuous. I am not accusing you of anything, I just need clarification that you understand my argument up to this point.

scordova: “More significantly, we can’t tell that something is heads or tails by the present KE number or thermodynamic entropy number, and that is a problem if one is trying to infer present mechanical configuration based on functions defined only by present energy such as total kinetic energy and thermodynamic entropy! By way of induction, delta-S values are also almost as meaningless unless one has the entire history of the system in some other records.”

If I am indeed following correctly, I agree but that is irrelevant to my argument. I am not talking about a measurement of macrostate in terms of kinetic energy or J/K, but I am still talking about a change in thermodynamic macrostate. I’ve already begun to explain it in terms of energy flow configuration and in the end it will require a rigorous definition of organization and thermodynamic ‘tolerance.’ However, first, we need to decide based on good reason, if all thermodynamic macrostates that relate to energy dispersal are indeed related to and do indeed follow 2LOT. That is where I am presently at in this discussion.

Furthermore, it appears that my conclusion which is the same as Granville’s still stands and I have shown my final syllogism which shows the relation to 2LOT. To this point you have disagreed with neither my conclusion nor my final syllogism.

scordova: “The necessary physical information for inferring design is driven by the history or total boundary conditions involved. Unfortunately that information is erased or not present in state function variables.”

My argument is not yet dealing with design detection. That is much further down the road.

scordova: “The bottom line is that although energy is influential in determining design, state functions that are merely functions of present kinetic energy (thermal entropy is a state function of the kinetic energy of the molecules, number of molecules, volume, pressure), do not give us sufficient information that is of interest to ID proponents.”

Yes J/K measurements are useless in design detection as well as being useless as a compensation argument for certain processes as pointed out by Granville. Again, please refer to my conclusion that re-states what I see as Granville’s main point.

scordova: “In that sense 2LOT entropy has insufficient information regarding evolution of design because it is a state function, not a historical record.”

That should be “In that sense J/K entropy …” if what I am arguing is reasonable since there could be more than one measure of 2LOT entropy that deals with the direction of energy dispersal, which you haven’t really responded to yet. Furthermore, 2LOT deals specifically with historical and future probabilities — changes of entropy — which is exactly what this argument is all about.

scordova: “One can of course bypass the need of historical records in inferring design if one providentially deals with a situation where LLN can be applied such as 500 fair coins 100% heads, or provisionally “all amino acids left handed despite thermal disordering tendencies”, etc.”

Great, and that’s only part of the ID argument. The other part of the argument that I am discussing deals with the thermodynamic configuration and how it changes and can be directed, and will end up bolstering the design argument since it deals precisely with which historical probabilities are rational given initial thermodynamic configurations. My argument would also deal with thermodynamic configurations required for the generation and operation of intelligent systems and the difference in flow of energy configuration with intelligence present or absent (ie: energy flow –> intelligence –> energy flow –> design vs. energy flow –> uneven heating/open system –> energy flow –> ‘design’). Obviously the connection to non-thermodynamic configurations is that all configurations require energy flow to arrive at any relative state. The question becomes, must those arrows always follow 2LOT and what is the lowest probability and type of ‘designs’ in either case given the starting entropy in terms of both J/K entropy and ‘energy configuration’ entropy? Is there a qualitative and quantifiable difference? The end result could be examined via LLN, but the process, the real reason why we can see such drastic differences in the ‘LLN style analysis,’ is because of a certain law which governs the flow of energy. This could provide the necessary link from a measurement perspective between intelligence and its designs rather than relying on only inference. Inference is only a start but we can do much, much better especially when it comes to linking intelligence to its designs and in defining intelligence, but again, I digress. That is the end game and I have now spilled the beans beyond what I should have. I’m jumping way ahead. We are still at Granville’s conclusions, my agreement with his conclusions and my final syllogism and the question that I keep asking because I have not received anything other than a flat out ‘imho, no.’ I need a reason, please, or I have no way to determine if your honest opinion could be correct or not.

scordova: “In no way could I even attempt to reject the chance hypothesis using 2LOT. If this can’t be done for such trivial designs as coins using 2LOT, I don’t think it can be done for more complex designs. That’s why I would recommend to next generation IDists, rely on LLN not 2LOT.”

That would make sense if there is good reason that 2LOT only deals with J/K measurements.

Simply put …

2LOT: dS>0, unless ‘compensated’

S = thermodynamic entropy, measured in J/K

Is there any reason, logical, mathematical, or otherwise other than personal preference why ‘S’ cannot in principle refer to multiplicity of energy flow macrostate (still thermodynamic entropy) as measured in non-J/K terms, presuming sufficiently rigorous definition and measurement of said macrostate?

If the answer is no, there is no good reason why that can’t be the case, then why would we not include that under 2LOT, presuming we are not making any changes to the definition of 2LOT as the direction of energy dissipation measured by change in thermodynamic entropy.

Finally, this idea that I am putting forward is still somewhat separate from Granville’s conclusion, my restatement (as a conclusion), and my final syllogism. It would definitely add to his conclusion, but I’m not sure that it is strictly required. I am also still interested to know if there is a logical flaw in my syllogism or if you disagree with Granville’s conclusion, notwithstanding how he arrives at that conclusion.

217. 217
Zachriel says:

CJYman: Is there any reason, logical, mathematical, or otherwise other than personal preference why ‘S’ cannot in principle refer to multiplicity of energy flow macrostate (still thermodynamic entropy) as measured in non-J/K terms, presuming sufficiently rigorous definition and measurement of said macrostate?

Can you give a very simple example of “multiplicity of energy flow macrostate (still thermodynamic entropy)”?

218. 218
scordova says:

So, to be clear, you are saying that a state change from low multiplicity to high multiplicity of an energy macrostate (thermodynamic state, no?) is not an example of change in thermodynamic entropy unless the macrostate is measured in J/K?

NO! J/K is dimensionless! It only indicates the method used to count the energy microstates.

1 Joule/Kelvin = 1 / (1.381 x 10^-23) / ln (2) Shannon Bits = 1.045 x 10^23 Shannon Bits

This is just a logarithmic measure of the number energy microstates.

500 fair coins also has 500 head/tails microstates or 500 bits. It would be wrong however to attempt the following sort of reverse conversion even if 500 bits is dimensionaless:

500 / (1.045 x 10^23 Shannon Bits) = 4.78 x10^-21 J/K = inappropriate and wrong conversion to J/K

That’s because heads/tails microstates aren’t energy micrsotates of thermodynamics, thus conversion of dimesionless heads/tails bits to J/K is meaningless and wrong.

219. 219
Piotr says:

#216 CJYman,

You may be intersted in KeithS’s response to your question. Keith can’t post here, but has asked me to direct you to what he says at TSZ:

http://theskepticalzone.com/wp.....ment-60276

220. 220
fifthmonarchyman says:

All,

Today has seen some great discussion. It appears that we might be close to actually dialog here please keep it up.

My praise especially goes to the critics. Thank you so much for doing your best to understand what the other side is saying and not fall into the same old tired talking points.

EugeneS says,

I think that thermodynamics does not provide a sensible means to actually distinguish between bona fide organization and order. It simply ignores the specification because it is not meant to be able to do it. It is a different level of abstraction.

I say,

That is simply the single best critique of the second law argument that I have seen. I think that it behooves folks on our side to provide a convincing rebuttal.

What we need to do is show how organization and order are related and that specification has a place in discussions of entropy.

If we can do that the 2nd law argument is valid if not it is defeated before it gets off the ground.

Piotr says,

There is no “unique OK macrostate”

I say

I think you are missing the point of specification and falling into the Zac’s old snow flake and storm trap.

If an event is highly specified there is indeed only a very limited number of macrostates that will do.

Think of the specification we call Pi. There is only one constant that meets the criteria of being the ratio of a circle’s circumference to it’s diameter. By the very same token there is only one macrostate that deliminates the difference between an organism that is “alive” and one that is dead.

Piotr says,

Did Bach “discover” it [the St Matthew Passion] as a unique solution in the space of compositions, waiting for someone to find it and write it down?

I say,

I believe the answer is yes. In a very real sense Bach did discover the compositions he wrote. Bach had freedom but it was a compatibilisitc freedom.

The St Matthew Passion like all specified things existed objectively and uniquely out side the cave before it existed in the materiel universe .

My question is

Is there any way to determine scientifically to determine whether you or I am right on this one?

peace

221. 221
fifthmonarchyman says:

Box said,

Given materialism there are no organisms – there are just particles in motion. And these particles in motion don’t give a hoot about some (non-existent) organism. These particles don’t form a whole, they are all doing their own thing, blissfully unaware of something bigger than them. And one cannot explain the coherence we see in organisms from blind uninterested parts.

I say,

Exactly!!!!

The problem of the one and the many is the original sin of materialism and it is at the heart of the misunderstandings about specification expressed here.

peace

222. 222

fifthmonarchyman #220

What we need to do is show how organization and order are related and that specification has a place in discussions of entropy.

Simply there is no phylogenetic relation between order and organization. Organization cannot be obtained by increasing order, whatever be the increase. You cannot get the Space Shuttle by increasing the size of a regular matrix of points, or multiplying the faces and angles of a crystal. Similarly you cannot obtain algebra or calculus by counting 1,2,3….n for whatever n, or by drawing whatever shapes. Algebra and calculus involve many hierarchical levels of abstract formalisms transcending integers and shapes. Similarly, organization potentially involves a limitless series of hierarchical levels of abstract formalisms transcending order. This limitlessness means organization is not a “closed” concept. On the contrary, it is a concept “open” to infinity, so to speak.

Specification, like complexity, information and many others, is an aspect of organization.

This is one of the reasons I have never used the concept of order in the actual ID argument from the 2nd_law_SM.
Entropy concept is useless too in such argument, and in fact I have never used it.

See the initial diagram in the OP. I simply put that the 2nd_law_SM is a BIAS (symbolized by an arrow) toward probability, while organization is extreme improbability. The BIAS points to right, organization is at the extreme left. Then I asked, following Sewell, how one could ever reach the left by going to right.

223. 223
Piotr says:

Given materialism there are no organisms – there are just particles in motion.

Freaking nonsense. Pardon my French, but I’m sick of your straw man tactics.

224. 224
Joe says:

Piotr, It isn’t nonsense as living organisms require immaterial information before they can live.

225. 225
Box says:

Piotr #233,

I’m truly sorry to hear that.

Do tell, what is an organism – under materialism – other than particles in motion?

Piotr #215: I have no idea how you define “materialism”, but nobody I know denies the existence of patterns, structures, systems, etc. After all, molecules, atoms and particles are also structures to which some kind of identity can be ascribed.

What are these structures you speak of – under materialism – other than particles in motion?

Or do you prefer the term “fermions and bosons”?

The basic things everything is made up of are fermions and bosons. That’s it. Perhaps you thought the basic stuff was electrons, protons, neutrons, and maybe quarks. Besides those particles, there are also leptons, neutrinos, muons, tauons, gluons, photons, and probably a lot more elementary particles that make up stuff. But all these elementary particles come in only one of two kinds. Some of them are fermions; the rest are bosons. There is no third kind of subatomic particle. And everything is made up of these two kinds of things. Roughly speaking, fermions are what matter is composed of, while bosons are what fields of force are made of.
Fermions and bosons. All the processes in the universe, from atomic to bodily to mental, are purely physical processes involving fermions and bosons interacting with one another. Eventually, science will have to show the details of how the basic physical processes bring about us, our brain, and our behavior. But the broad outlines of how they do so are already well understood.

[A.Rosenberg, The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, Ch.2 The nature of reality.]

226. 226
Zachriel says:

fifthmonarchyman: If an event is highly specified there is indeed only a very limited number of macrostates that will do.

And a snowflake is highly specific compared to the amorphous water from which it forms. You can determine this by comparing the available microstates for both forms.

fifthmonarchyman: By the very same token there is only one macrostate that deliminates the difference between an organism that is “alive” and one that is dead.

There’s are all sorts of living things that meet the specification “alive”. They range from bacteria to bamboo to bambiraptors.

fifthmonarchyman: Given materialism there are no organisms – there are just particles in motion.

That would probably be a surprise to most materialists. The question is whether it is possible to coherently recognize macroscopic objects; table, star, aardvark. It is.

fifthmonarchyman: These particles don’t form a whole, they are all doing their own thing, blissfully unaware of something bigger than them.

The same with the water molecules in snowflakes.

niwrad: I simply put that the 2nd_law_SM is a BIAS (symbolized by an arrow) toward probability, while organization is extreme improbability.

And, given liquid water, a snowflake is improbable as a chance arrangement of microstates. It takes work to move water molecules into the configuration of a snowflake, just as it takes work to weave warp and weft into a tapestry.

227. 227
fifthmonarchyman says:

Simply there is no phylogenetic relation between order and organization.

I say,

I agree, there is no phylogenetic relation but there is a mysterious real relation none the less.

There is a deep relationship between the immaterial organization that Bach “saw” in his head and the ordered smudges of ink on paper that he used to represent that organization. Its just not a physical relationship.

I think one has to go to theology specifically Christian theology to find a satisfying framework to express that relationship. It’s called incarnation, word made flesh.

2nd law arguments only work if we see that the ink smudges on paper are somehow real true manifestations of the immaterial organization they represent.

peace

228. 228
Joe says:

Zachriel’s position can’t account for water

229. 229

Zachriel #226

given liquid water, a snowflake is improbable as a chance arrangement of microstates.

Physical/chemical laws make snowflakes highly probable, given certain environmetal conditions. In those conditions snowflakes are probable states. If your intention is to claim that snowflakes represent cases where nature goes toward improbability you fail.

Days ago I wrote that to really prove that nature goes toward high improbability you should offer not simple snowflakes, rather, say, a functioning mechanic watch fully made of ice. I am still waiting for you coming with the ice-watch fallen from the sky during a snowfall. You continue to cite snowflakes…

230. 230
Zachriel says:

niwrad: Physical/chemical laws make snowflakes highly probable, given certain environmetal conditions.

Thought we were talking about the probability distribution of microstates. Our mistake.

Physical/chemical laws make living organisms highly probable, given certain environmental conditions.

niwrad: If your intention is to claim that snowflakes represent cases where nature goes toward improbability you fail.

They’re only thermodynamically improbable without the expenditure of work. Just like life.

231. 231
Box says:

Zachriel: Physical/chemical laws make living organisms highly probable, given certain environmental conditions.

Tell that to Dr. Koonin, who in Appendix B of his book, The Logic of Chance, argues that the origin of life is such a remarkable event that we need to postulate a multiverse, containing a very large (and perhaps infinite) number of universes, in order to explain the emergence of life on Earth.

232. 232

Zachriel #230

Physical/chemical laws make living organisms highly probable, given certain environmental conditions.

False. There is nothing in the physical/chemical laws that makes living organisms highly probable, exactly as there is nothing in the physical/chemical laws that makes functioning mechanic watches fully made of ice highly probable.

233. 233
Joe says:

Physical/chemical laws make living organisms highly probable sustainable, given certain environmental conditions.

Fixed it for you Z…

234. 234
Zachriel says:

Box: Tell that to Dr. Koonin, who in Appendix B of his book, The Logic of Chance, argues that the origin of life

Our statement didn’t concern abiogenesis, of which little is known, but the continuing existence and evolution of life.

niwrad: There is nothing in the physical/chemical laws that makes living organisms highly probable

Sure there is. Take a close look at one. It takes work, though, to maintain the organism.

Glad to see you gave up on the 2nd law of thermodynamics angle.

235. 235

Zachriel #234

ME:
There is nothing in the physical/chemical laws that makes living organisms highly probable.
YOU:
Sure there is. Take a close look at one. It takes work, though, to maintain the organism.

There is huge difference between “to maintain” and “to create”, so your reply is bogus. I am speaking of creation of organisms and you reply “It takes work, though, to maintain the organism” ??

Glad to see you gave up on the 2nd law of thermodynamics angle.

No the least intention to give up on the 2nd_law_SM as argument against evolution. It is you who routinely go off-topic.

236. 236
Zachriel says:

niwrad: I am speaking of creation of organisms and you reply “It takes work, though, to maintain the organism” ??

niwrad: No the least intention to gave up on the 2nd_law_SM as argument against evolution.

237. 237
Joe says:

1- Without the origin of life there wouldn’t be any evolution

2- How life originated is directly correlated with how it evolved

238. 238
Piotr says:

Do tell, what is an organism – under materialism – other than particles in motion?

A system of molecules and their complex interactions. As with all such systems, its behaviour crucially depends on how the patterns of interactions and is not descriptively reducible to the properties of molecules. But the molecules and the interactions are “material” in the sense that everything happens according to the laws of physics and no magic is involved.

Molecules themselves are composed of atoms, and atoms have nuclei composed of protons and neutrons, and protons and neutrons are composed of quarks and gluon fields… so what? How is any of that immaterial or spiritual?

If you think that according to “materialists” organised systems can’t exist, please cite one of them expressing such an opinion.

239. 239
EugeneS says:

Upright Biped,

I am glad to hear from you.

240. 240
Box says:

Piotr,

Box: Do tell, what is an organism – under materialism – other than particles in motion?

Piotr: A system of molecules and their complex interactions.

What is a “system of molecules and their complex interactions” – under materialism – other than particles in motion?

Piotr: As with all such systems, its behaviour crucially depends on how the patterns of interactions and is not descriptively reducible to the properties of molecules.

Are you arguing for “emergent properties”? If so, what is their importance to our discussion? Wetness is a property that we cannot ascribe to an individual H2O-molecule, however water is nothing but H2O-molecules. Do you agree?

Piotr: But the molecules and the interactions are “material” in the sense that everything happens according to the laws of physics and no magic is involved.

That’s what I’ve been saying all along: under materialism there *is* nothing but particles in motion. They are the carriers of *existence*. They *are*. An organism does not *exist*. “It” can only be said to exist as a temporary arrangement of things that do exist: particles in motion.

If you think that according to “materialists” organised systems can’t exist, please cite one of them expressing such an opinion.

Daniel Dennett: “There is something alien and vaguely repellent about this quasi agency we discover at this level – all that purposive hustle and bustle, and yet ‘there is nobody home’”

241. 241
Joe says:

Piotr:

But the molecules and the interactions are “material” in the sense that everything happens according to the laws of physics and no magic is involved.

Wrong. There isn’t any law governing the genetic code. Transcription, translation, alternative splicing, editing, splicing- none of happens merely according to the laws of physics.

242. 242
Piotr says:

Box,

If you wish to argue by misrepresenting my position and disingenuously attributing to me absurd ideas made up by yourself, I promise to ignore you.

Dennett is talking about an emergent “quasi-agency” displayed by complex systems, and does not say or imply that those systems don’t exist or are “just particles in motion”.

243. 243
Box says:

Piotr,

my claim is that – under materialism – an organism does not exist other than as a temporary collection of particles in motion.
IOW ontologically speaking: an organism does not exist, only particles in motion exist.
If you find that an absurd idea don’t take it out on me. Better throw out the materialistic handbook.

244. 244
Piotr says:

Since no “materialist” philosopher or scientist known to me makes such a claim, in a handbook or anywhere, I see you have rolled out the most sophisticated weapon in the creationist arsenal: the dreaded straw man.

OK, I’ll ignore you totally as promised.

245. 245
Zachriel says:

Box: What is a “system of molecules and their complex interactions” – under materialism – other than particles in motion?

You seem to be making the preposterous suggestion that materialists can’t treat a Frank or a frog as an entity.

Box: IOW ontologically speaking: an organism does not exist, only particles in motion exist.

From a scientific perspective, we can treat something as an entity if it has defined characteristics.

246. 246
Box says:

Zachriel: From a scientific perspective, we can treat something as an entity if it has defined characteristics.

Sure, but only as as a figure of speech, since under materialism an “entity” has no causal power – IOW there is no downward (top-down) causation. Only particles in motion have causal power (see “causal closure”) – IOW all causes flow from the bottom to the top; bottom up causation.

To summarize: under materialism an organism does not exist only particles in motion exist.

247. 247
Zachriel says:

Box: Sure, but only as as a figure of speech, since under materialism an “entity” has no causal power – IOW there is no downward (top-down) causation. Only particles in motion have causal power (see “causal closure”) – IOW all causes flow from the bottom to the top; bottom up causation.

You must be referring to something other than materialism, because there were plenty of materialists before Atomic Theory.

It’s more than a figure of speech to say that your car broke down, or that the daffodils are in bloom. The entities have defined characteristics, and treating them as a whole has a coherent meaning.

248. 248
Box says:

Zachriel: It’s more than a figure of speech to say that your car broke down, or that the daffodils are in bloom. The entities have defined characteristics, and treating them as a whole has a coherent meaning.

A car *is* nothing but a collection of molecules – particles in motion – right? As we all know, a car does not really exist as a person or an entity, right?
Well under materialism the same goes for an organism. Just like a “car” an organism does not exist as a person or an agency or an entity, only particles in motion exist and have causal powers.

249. 249
Zachriel says:

Box: A car *is* nothing but a collection of molecules – particles in motion – right?

Your car is a particular collection of particles in motion that constitute a coherent whole. You can define its characteristics, its mass, its range, its speed; characteristics which are specific to the entity.

Box: As we all know, a car does not really exist as a person or an entity, right?

A car is not a person, but is a physical entity.

250. 250
Box says:

And a “physical entity” is nothing but particles in motion.

251. 251
Zachriel says:

Box: And a “physical entity” is nothing but particles in motion.

A physical entity is particles in motion, but they are a specific arrangement that can be treated as a whole. Materialists generally have little trouble talking coherently about the weather.

252. 252
Box says:

Zachriel: A physical entity is particles in motion, but they are a specific arrangement that can be treated as a whole.

Yes they can be treated as a whole by us [N.B. “we” are also particles in motion], but if “we” treat them like wholes we do so knowingly that they are parts, so it is only as a figure of speech, because “we” know that only particles in motion exist [N.B. so “we” also know that “we” don’t exist].

– – –
I have to take a break here Zachriel. Too much thinking from the perspective of a materialist gives me a headache.

253. 253
fifthmonarchyman says:

Zac says,

A physical entity is particles in motion, but they are a specific arrangement that can be treated as a whole.

I say,

Yes!!! according to materialism organisms are just a useful fictions. The same can be said for species and biological structures and any whole thing for that matter.

We need to remember that according to this philosophy “there is no unique OK macrostate”. Any collection of “particles in motion” can be treated as a whole just as well as any other. It makes no difference it’s just an arbitrary grouping we humans make

For materialists there are no specified things that need explaining in the first place just a near infinite froth of matter that the human brain sometimes treats as differentiated wholes because it finds it evolutionarily useful to do so.

That is why when we talk about the 2nd law the other side counters with tales of thermodynamic compensation from the sun and stories of storms and snowflakes.

We are simply talking past each other.

peace

254. 254
Upright BiPed says:

Hello ES,

I sent you a note through a research group your are a member of. I look forward to hearing from you.

255. 255
fifthmonarchyman says:

Hey Pitor,

If you think that “whole” physical entities genuinely exist it is incumbent on you to explain how mere particles in motion can give rise to whole things given a materialistic framework.

I am all ears.

Simply pointing out that you know of no materialistic philosophers who discuss the problem of the one and the many does not make the problem go away.

Peace

256. 256
Piotr says:

#255

It’s simple. An invisible immaterial spook magically makes them genuine.

257. 257
fifthmonarchyman says:

Piotr says

It’s simple. An invisible immaterial spook magically makes them genuine.

I say,

1) apparently you have nothing

2) apparently you think mockery will make that fact less obvious

peace

258. 258
Zachriel says:

fifthmonarchyman: according to materialism organisms are just a useful fictions.

No. Physical objects are not just fictions. A water molecule may be made up of constituent parts, but that doesn’t make the molecule a fiction. Similarly with oranges and orangutans.

fifthmonarchyman: Any collection of “particles in motion” can be treated as a whole just as well as any other.

Funny thing about that. In the Universe, it turns out that matter and energy clump non-randomly so as to form what are known as physical entities, from molecules to molehills.

259. 259
fifthmonarchyman says:

against my better judgement

Zac says,

Funny thing about that. In the Universe, it turns out that matter and energy clump non-randomly so as to form what are known as physical entities, from molecules to molehills.

I say,

Exactly when, given materialism does a group of molecules become a molehill. Please be specific and provide explicit physical mechanisms

you say,

A water molecule may be made up of constituent parts, but that doesn’t make the molecule a fiction.

I say,

Please explain how given materialism we can determine which constituent parts belong to an actual specific individual molecule and which can be discounted as noise.

peace

260. 260
fifthmonarchyman says:

Box,

Do you realize the profound irony of Zac defending the possibility of singular macro physical entities given materialism while he insists on referring to himself in the plural?

That’s funny stuff I don’t care who you are

😉

261. 261
Mung says:

Sal:

NO! J/K is dimensionless! It only indicates the method used to count the energy microstates.

aren’t bits just used for counting?

aren’t bits dimensionless?

Why are J/K better than bits for counting energy microstates?

262. 262
Mung says:

Zachriel:

Funny thing about that. In the Universe, it turns out that matter and energy clump non-randomly so as to form what are known as physical entities, from molecules to molehills.

Funny thing about that. You wouldn’t know. How could you?

263. 263
Mung says:

The organization (the improbable microstates of interest to Design proponents) of systems is not the type of organization which the 2nd law deals with. The 2nd law (Clausius formulation) deals with energy microstates, it has nothing or little to do with the microstates of interest to ID.

lol.

264. 264
Mung says:

IDists should use LLN (law of large numbers) not 2LOT. Why? 2nd law deals with thermodynamic microstates and thermodynamic entropy, whereas design deals with non-thermodynamic microstates and non-thermodynamic entropy. I gave a simple illustration with coins that one should absolutely not equivocate the thermodynamic microstates with design space microstates. The same applies to the design space microstates of biological organsisms.

Salvador invents yet another term: non-thermodynamic entropy

design deals with non-thermodynamic microstates and non-thermodynamic entropy

How so? Design doesn’t deal with the real world? Is that why you are now a design denier?

265. 265
kairosfocus says:

SalC: The principle of relative statistical weight of clusters of microstates and likelihood that spontaneous change is towards dominant clusters is directly connected to the statistical foundation of 2LOT. It is that statistical context that shows why deeply isolated FSCO/I rich clusters will be maximally unlikely to emerge, absent relevant mass, energy AND information flows requiring (per observation and reasonable analysis) an energy converter to gain shaft work and/or relevant controlled flows, and a related constructor executing an information-rich assembly process. For instance cf protein assembly in ribosomes using mRNA and tRNA, leading to [chaperoned . . . ] folding and functional forms. The hope that irrelevant energy flows not coupled to such would “compensate” is ill-founded. KF

266. 266
Piotr says:

fifthmonarchyman,

Please explain how given materialism we can determine which constituent parts belong to an actual specific individual molecule and which can be discounted as noise.

Well, two or more atoms can be held together at small distances by chemical bonds (which in most cases means that they interact with one another by sharing or exchanging electrons). We humans call such a group of atoms a “molecule”. Please explain what’s wrong with this “materialist” definition and how it can be improved with recourse to “non-materialist” physics.

267. 267
Box says:

It’s puzzling to find myself explaining to materialists that materialism is a reductionist theory and on top of that offend them in the process.
Reduction as used in philosophy expresses the idea that if an entity x reduces to an entity y then y is in a sense prior to x, is more basic than x, is such that x fully depends upon it or is constituted by it. Saying that x reduces to y typically implies that x is nothing more than y or nothing over and above y.

It’s akin to unmasking illusions. Closer inspection informs us that x is nothing more than y. X is illusionary and does not exist. I thought it was a man standing in the meadow but on closer inspection “it” was nothing but a hat, straw and clothes. I thought it was a smooth surface but under the microscope it looked like a moon landscape.

Similarly – under materialism – an organism does not exist: on closer inspection we find that “it” is in fact nothing but particles in motion. Like the man in the meadow and the smooth surface, the organism is unmasked as an illusion.

Fifthmonarchyman: Any collection of “particles in motion” can be treated as a whole just as well as any other. It makes no difference it’s just an arbitrary grouping we humans make.

Exactly. Used like this the term “whole” is meaningless for a materialist. At best it means ‘arbitrarily chosen group’. Anything goes, a molecule is just as much a “whole” as a fossilized bone fragment, pond, cat, the solar system, amoebe or whatever. The only true whole to a materialist is an indivisible fundamental eternal particle – what used to be the atom (the “uncuttable”).

(#260) Zachriel are struggling with the problem of the one and the many in more than one way. 🙂

268. 268
JWTruthInLove says:

@Box:
A group of particles doesn’t exist, if it consists of several particles?!
Do materialists exist?

269. 269
fifthmonarchyman says:

Pitor says,

Please explain what’s wrong with this “materialist” definition and how it can be improved with recourse to “non-materialist” physics.

I say,

You are still missing the point. It’s not about definitions it’s about the worldview framework in which they operate.

Given materialism how do we observe/know that quark Y1 belongs to molecule 1 and quark y2 is part of the environmental background noise.

I’m not interested in theory I want to know about the parts of existing actual molecules that I can observe in isolation from their environment.

peace

270. 270
Box says:

JWTruthInLove: Do materialists exist?

Materialism is simple: nothing over and above particles in motion exist. So no, materialists do not exist as “persons”. “They” only exist as an arbitrary collection of particles in motion – just like a brick or a car.

FOR SOLID EVOLUTIONARY REASONS, WE’VE BEEN tricked into looking at life from the inside. Without scientism, we look at life from the inside, from the first-person POV (OMG, you don’t know what a POV is?—a “point of view”). The first person is the subject, the audience, the viewer of subjective experience, the self in the mind.
Scientism shows that the first-person POV is an illusion. Even after scientism convinces us, we’ll continue to stick with the first person. But at least we’ll know that it’s another illusion of introspection and we’ll stop taking it seriously. We’ll give up all the answers to the persistent questions about free will, the self, the soul, and the meaning of life that the illusion generates. (…)
The physical facts fix all the facts. The mind is the brain. It has to be physical and it can’t be anything else, since thinking, feeling, and perceiving are physical process—in particular, input/output processes—going on in the brain. We can be sure of a great deal about how the brain works because the physical facts fix all the facts about the brain. The fact that the mind is the brain guarantees that there is no free will. It rules out any purposes or designs organizing our actions or our lives. It excludes the very possibility of enduring persons, selves, or souls that exist after death or for that matter while we live. Not that there was ever much doubt about mortality anyway.

The fact that these answers are so different from what life’s illusions tell us from the inside of consciousness is just more reason not to take introspection seriously.

THE GRAND ILLUSION DOWN THE AGES AND UP FROM BIRTH

The neural circuits in our brain manage the beautifully coordinated and smoothly appropriate behavior of our body. They also produce the entrancing introspective illusion that thoughts really are about stuff in the world. This powerful illusion has been with humanity since language kicked in, as we’ll see. It is the source of at least two other profound myths: that we have purposes that give our actions and lives meaning and that there is a person “in there” steering the body, so to speak. To see why we make these mistakes and why it’s so hard to avoid them, we need to understand the source of the illusion that thoughts are about stuff.

[A.Rosenberg, The Atheist’s Guide To Reality ,ch.9]

271. 271
kairosfocus says:

Box:

Has Dr Rosenberg applied the same analysis to his own analysis . . . insofar as we can call a certain cluster of particles in flux Dr Rosenberg . . . if “we” is applicable per the above?

Self referential incoherence and implication of gross general delusion of humanity including of course oneself, on steroids.

Reduction to absurdity, via the problem of the one and the many.

KF

272. 272
Box says:

Kairsofocus,
often, after reading Rosenberg, I find myself restlessly walking through the house while continually shaking my head – unable to express an overwhelming mixture of disgust and incomprehension to so much self referential incoherence. Good to see that I’m not alone in this.

273. 273
kairosfocus says:

Box, are we seeing a case of desperately clinging to absurdity to not fall into the abyss of utterly unwelcome truth? Or, should that be, Truth? KF

274. 274
Piotr says:

#269 fifthmonarchyman,

If reality is “ontologically reducible” to the behaviour of elementary particles, it doesn’t mean that nothing else exists. Patterns of interaction are as real as the particles which participate in them. “Non-elementary” doesn’t mean “unreal”.

To give you an example from an abstract realm, the set of natural numbers and their arithmetic are generated by a few simple axioms. Thus, 223 (or any other number) can be “ontologically reduced” to 0 and the elementary “successor” function S(x): 223 = S(S(S(S…S(0)…))). Provable true statements about 223 (for example, “223 is a prime number”) can be ultimately “reduced” to the axioms. That doesn’t mean that the natural number we label 223 is less real (to a mathematician) than 0, or that the reduction itself is simple. Indeed, mathematics is mostly concerned with understanding how complex patterns relate to simpler ones.

It seems your vision of materialism comes from the 19th century, when “particles” were visualised as something like billiard balls: clumps of hard and tangible “matter”. But today we know that particles and interactions are made from the same stuff. There is no sharp distinction between “matter” and “immaterial information”. Dualism is dead.

Given materialism how do we observe/know that quark Y1 belongs to carbon molecule 1 and quark y2 is part of the environmental background noise.

The funny thing is that you can’t observe free quarks at all. An atom of carbon-12 contains twelve nucleons: six protons and six neutrons. Quarks are imprisoned in them; they cannot disperse freely in the universe. The reason for that confinment is in principle our old friend, the second law of thermodynamics. The formation of structures consisting of three interacting quarks was thermodynamically favoured in the early universe. The “compensatory” entropy was carried away by photons. So you can’t see a lonely quark. You can see only the structure that contains it, and your question becomes moot.

275. 275
Piotr says:

Box, are we seeing a case of desperately clinging to absurdity to not fall into the abyss of utterly unwelcome truth? Or, should that be, Truth?

This is pretty ironic, coming from someone to whom “Monks don’t fly” is an example of “selective hyperscepticism”.

276. 276
Box says:

Kairosfocus #273,
absolutely and it’s painful to watch.

Piotr: Patterns of interaction are as real as the particles which participate in them.

Nope, “patterns of interaction” are not something in and of itself, they ‘fully depend upon’, are ‘constituted by’, are ‘reducible to’, are ‘nothing but’ and are ‘nothing over and above’ particles in motion and their properties.

277. 277
Zachriel says:

fifthmonarchyman: Exactly when, given materialism does a group of molecules become a molehill. Please be specific and provide explicit physical mechanisms.

http://timemanagementninja.com.....lehill.jpg

fifthmonarchyman: Please explain how given materialism we can determine which constituent parts belong to an actual specific individual molecule and which can be discounted as noise.

Have no idea what you mean by “discounted as noise”, but buckminsterfullerenes, C60, are easily isolated as individual molecules. They’ve even been used to isolate individual water molecules. The molecules can be broken apart into atoms, and the atoms into subatomic parts.

Box: At best it means ‘arbitrarily chosen group’. Anything goes, a molecule is just as much a “whole” as a fossilized bone fragment, pond, cat, the solar system, amoebe or whatever.

The choice isn’t arbitrary, but based on definable characteristics. It is coherent to talk about organs that make up an organism. We can treat the organs as entities, or the organism made up of organs as an entity. That doesn’t make organs an illusion.

It’s incomprehensible that you think a materialist can’t coherently refer to her car keys.

Box: “They” only exist as an arbitrary collection of particles in motion – just like a brick or a car.

The collection is not arbitrary. The atoms in a brick are tightly bound into the solid structure of the brick. The brick has distinct characteristics and a distinct boundary condition. A brick constitutes an observable object.

278. 278
fifthmonarchyman says:

zac says,

We can treat the organs as entities

I say,

There you have it once again.

whole organs are a collections of particles in motion that we can treat as entities. Simply useful fictions.

peace

279. 279
fifthmonarchyman says:

Piotr says,

There is no sharp distinction between “matter” and “immaterial information”. Dualism is dead.

I say,

Instead of concentrating on the many areas in your last post which we disagree. I choose to focus on this one statement it contains a core of agreement that we can perhaps build upon.

more later

peace

280. 280
Zachriel says:

fifthmonarchyman: Simply useful fictions.

A car is not a fiction in materialism. It’s an observable object.

Materialists are known for subdividing the universe. Maybe you’re thinking of Zen Buddhists.

281. 281
fifthmonarchyman says:

Hey Piotr.

Please elaborate on the connection you see between matter and information.

What is the relationship between the immaterial organization that Bach “saw” in his head and the ordered smudges of ink on paper that he used to represent that organization?

Would an increase in the entropy in the ink smudges affect the composition? In what way?

What do you assume are the odds we could scramble the ink smudges and come up with an equally beautiful composition?

This could be fruitful. Thanks in advance.

peace

282. 282
fifthmonarchyman says:

Zac said,

Materialists are known for subdividing the universe. Maybe you’re thinking of Zen Buddhists

I say,

Actually Zen Buddhists are hoisted on the opposite horn of the one and the many problem.

Materialists have no way of getting from diversity to unity.
Zen Buddhists on the other hand have no way of getting from cosmic unity to diversity.

To the materialist a car is just a collection of plastic and steal particles that we can “treat as an entity”.

To the Zen Buddhist a car is just a particular aspect of the overall cosmic unity that we can “treat as an entity”.

peace

283. 283
Box says:

Zachriel,

Box: At best it [a “whole”] means ‘arbitrarily chosen group’. Anything goes, a molecule is just as much a “whole” as a fossilized bone fragment, pond, cat, the solar system, amoebe or whatever.

Zach: The choice isn’t arbitrary, but based on definable characteristics. It is coherent to talk about organs that make up an organism.

It sure is, but NOT under materialism! Organs are only to be understood in the context of functional submission to the whole organism; which implies downward causation, a definite ‘no no’ under materialism. IOW under materialism there is no such thing as a ‘whole organism’. Anything – including organisms – are nothing but particles in motion.

Zach: We can treat the organs as entities, or the organism made up of organs as an entity. That doesn’t make organs an illusion.

For an materialist to think of an organism as a whole is only a figure of speech, but not an accurate description of reality. When you ask a materialist: “is there actually an organism who is supported by its organs, which extend freedom of movement, vision and so forth to it?”, he would laugh at you for your implicit theistic world view. For a materialist any rigorous description of reality is equal to a description of the stuff that happens at the fundamental level of particles in motion.

Zach: It’s incomprehensible that you think a materialist can’t coherently refer to her car keys.

Just like anyone else a materialist can look for his car keys. However when you ask him: “is there actually – in reality – a ‘person’ looking for his car keys because he wants to go home?” he will again laugh at you for your implicit theistic world view : “OF COURSE THERE IS NO ONE”. Any rigorous description of reality is equal to a description of what happens at the fundamental level of particles in motion in the brain and elsewhere.

284. 284
Zachriel says:

fifthmonarchyman: To the materialist a car is just a collection of plastic and steal particles that we can “treat as an entity”.

There might be a materialist here and there who has trouble with the concept of an object, but most materialists would consider a car an observable object, one with definable characteristics and distinct boundaries; i.e. an entity.

As Box pointed out, anything can be treated as a “whole” by materialists, a molecule, a fossilized bone fragment, pond, cat, the solar system, amoeba. Most materialists would not consider these fictions, but real objects.

285. 285
Zachriel says:

Box: It sure is, but NOT under materialism! Organs are only to be understood in the context of functional submission to the whole organism; which implies downward causation, a definite ‘no no’ under materialism.

Box: What’s in the container.
Materialist Doctor: A kidney for transplant.
Box: No such thing. It just a fictional name for an arbitrary collection of quarks.
Materialist Doctor: No. Really. It’s a kidney.

Box: When you ask a materialist: “is there actually an organism who is supported by its organs, which extend freedom of movement, vision and so forth to it?”, he would laugh at you for your implicit theistic world view.

Just because someone thinks everything is material doesn’t mean that the arrangement of that material is irrelevant. A physical object is an arrangement of material.

286. 286
Box says:

Zachriel,

you are conflating what materialists say and do in daily life and what is to be hold as ultimately real under materialism. As WJM has often pointed out moral subjectivists behave as if there is an objective morality. Similarly those who hold that consciousness is an illusion behave as if it is real.

Zach: Just because someone thinks everything is material doesn’t mean that the arrangement of that material is irrelevant. A physical object is an arrangement of material.

An arrangement of matter is not something in and of itself, it ‘fully depends upon’, is ‘constituted by’, is ‘reducible to’, is ‘nothing but’ and is ‘nothing over and above’ particles in motion and their properties.

287. 287
Piotr says:

What is the relationship between the immaterial organization that Bach “saw” in his head and the ordered smudges of ink on paper that he used to represent that organization?

I don’t think Bach “saw immaterial organisation” in his head. More probably he “heard music”. Mental images are representations, not unlike the musical notation, and they also require a physical substrate — neurons and their activity. We can remember music “internally”, just like other sensory experiences, or we can use “external” media (notation, recordings). Before notation was invented, musicians had to memorise every composition, and the only way they could transmit “musical messages” to other people was via direct acoustic signals — that is, by playing music.

One of the important functions of the mind is to model “alternative reality” (as when we make plans, imagining hypothetical situations). Impressions produced by actual music can be simulated in a composer’s mind as if a physical (acoustic) stimulus were present. I have no idea what you mean by “an increase of entropy in the ink”. Entropy has a precise definition in physics and only unnecessary confusion can result from using the term loosely. Let’s imagine, however, that all material records of a composition have been destroyed, and all the people who remembered it are dead. It will be gone irreversibly and nobody will ever be able to restore it in the original form. What you call “immaterial organisation” can’t exist without a material medium, be it neurons firing in a living brain or a sheet of paper with ink marks on it.

288. 288
Zachriel says:

Box: you are conflating what materialists say and do in daily life and what is to be hold as ultimately real under materialism.

Under materialism, objects are arrangements of material. As arrangements of material observably exist, objects exist.

Box: An arrangement of matter is not something in and of itself, it ‘fully depends upon’, is ‘constituted by’, is ‘reducible to’, is ‘nothing but’ and is ‘nothing over and above’ particles in motion and their properties.

An arrangement of material is consistent with materialism. A materialist *defines* an object as a specific arrangement of material. As arrangements of material are observably real, so then are objects real.

289. 289
Box says:

Zach: As arrangements of material are observably real, so then are objects real.

I read nothing new …. Okay again: Nope, an arrangement is not something on its own, is not something in and of itself, is not something over and above particles in motion. And no, an object is not one thing or a whole, that’s only a figure of speech.

290. 290
Zachriel says:

Box: Nope, an arrangement is not something on its own, is not something in and of itself, is not something over and above particles in motion.

Of course an arrangement is something. Water is a molecular arrangement of hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Water is more than a figure of speech.

291. 291
Box says:

Zachriel: Water is more than a figure of speech.

Water is nothing but particles in motion.

292. 292
Zachriel says:

Oh gee whiz.

Materialism: Opposed to mind-body dualism is materialism, the view that nothing exists but matter and things made of matter.
http://www.manyworldsoflogic.com/mindbody.html

If you look at the various strains of materialism, they are generally based on their descriptions of entities, such as the relationship between the brain and the mind. In type physicalism, for instance, mental states are due to specific internal states (physical arrangements) of the brain (physical object).

293. 293
Box says:

Zach,

Okay, do tell what the ontological status is of “things” under materialism. If matter is all that exist what then are “things” – other than matter?

In type physicalism, for instance, mental states are due to specific internal states (physical arrangements) of the brain (physical object).

What do they mean by “are due to”? Why not say “are in fact” or “are nothing but” – IOW are illusions; see Rosenberg? Surely materialism cannot allow for the existence of something else than matter?

294. 294
Zachriel says:

Box: What do they mean by “are due to”?

In type physicalism, mental states are identical to internal states.

Box: If matter is all that exist what then are “things” – other than matter?

Arrangements of matter.

“According to the object-based conception, for example if rocks, trees, planets and so on are paradigmatic physical objects, then the property of being a rock, tree or planet is a physical property.”
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/physicalism/

295. 295
fifthmonarchyman says:

piotr says

I have no idea what you mean by “an increase of entropy in the ink”.

I say,

OK that is a good place to start then.

Suppose while the ink was wet I took a rag and smudged it beyond recognition. Would the entropy of the matter on the surface of the paper increase or decrease or remain the same?

You say.

What you call “immaterial organisation” can’t exist without a material medium, be it neurons firing in a living brain or a sheet of paper with ink marks on it.

I say,

I don’t agree entirely but perhaps there is a core we can build upon here. Let’s grant your claim for the sake of argument.

Which is logically ultimate the sheet of paper or the information it displays?

Keep in mind the same information can be stored in many many ways in a near infinite array of materiel mediums.

peace

296. 296
Joe says:

Piotr:

What you call “immaterial organisation” can’t exist without a material medium, be it neurons firing in a living brain or a sheet of paper with ink marks on it.

What you call “material medium” can’t exist without immaterial information.

297. 297
Joe says:

Materialism: Opposed to mind-body dualism is materialism, the view that nothing exists but matter and things made of matter.

Information is neither matter nor energy. Materialism fails.

Norbert Weiner:

Information is information, not matter or energy. No materialism which does not admit this can survive at the present day.

298. 298
Box says:

Zach,

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP): “According to the object-based conception, for example IF rocks, trees, planets and so on are paradigmatic physical objects, then the property of being a rock, tree or planet is a physical property.”

That seems to be a big “IF”, certainly in the case of a tree. What kind of physical property would “tree” be?
SEP goes on:

It is important to note that both conceptions of the physical remain silent on the question of whether topic-neutral or functional properties should be treated as physical or not. To borrow a phrase from Jackson (1998), however, it seems best to treat these properties as onlooker properties: given any set of physical properties, one might add onlooker properties without compromising the integrity of the set. But onlooker properties should not be treated as being physical by definition.

IOW onlookers – we – can assign functional properties to objects ( for example “this is an organ”, or “this object has the function of car” and so forth, however these assigned functional properties are not physical. That is, in reality they are not (objective) part of the material things we assign them too.

To summarize: this object-based conception of materialism does not convince and doesn’t seem to solve ‘the problem of one and many’ in areas where it really matters : functionality and life.

299. 299
Piotr says:

Suppose while the ink was wet I took a rag and smudged it beyond recognition. Would the entropy of the matter on the surface of the paper increase or decrease or remain the same?

Illegibility has little to do with entropy. Physics does not distinguish between ink marks that convey a meaning and those that don’t. As ink spontaneously disperses in water from the wet rag, entropy increases, but its increase is not altered at all by the fact that the marks may mean something to somebody.

300. 300
fifthmonarchyman says:

pitor says

As ink spontaneously disperses in water from the wet rag, entropy increases,

I say

So far so good. Now does the increase in entropy have any affect on the specified information contained on the surface of the sheet of paper?????

you say,

but its increase is not altered at all by the fact that the marks may mean something to somebody.

I say

Of course the 2nd law is merely a dumb “force” of nature it is oblivious of it’s effects on information. Entropy always increases regardless of the information involved or lack thereof.

The real question is. Does the increase in entropy have any effect on the composition that is represented in the ink marks?

I hope we can agree that it does.

Followup question

Suppose I found an ink blob that has spilled on my desk and attempted to wipe it up. As I do so I discover that before me is the St Matthew Passion.

Did the entropy of the ink on the surface of the desk increase decrease or stay the same?

peace

301. 301
Zachriel says:

Box: That seems to be a big “IF”, certainly in the case of a tree.

Your argument was that there were no objects at all in materialism.

Box: we – can assign functional properties to objects ( for example “this is an organ”, or “this object has the function of car” and so forth, however these assigned functional properties are not physical.

Even though the objects themselves are physical, our perspective of the objects, theories, categorizations, possible functions, may or may not be physical, depending on how we resolve the question of abstraction.

302. 302
Zachriel says:

fifthmonarchyman: The real question is. Does the increase in entropy have any effect on the composition that is represented in the ink marks?

Entropy increases when you make marks on the page, even if you are Shakespeare writing a sonnet.

303. 303
fifthmonarchyman says:

Pitor says now

Illegibility has little to do with entropy.

Pitor said before

[if] all material records of a composition have been destroyed, and all the people who remembered it are dead. It will be gone irreversibly and nobody will ever be able to restore it in the original form.

I say.

In the case of a musical composition enthropy can have a profound effect on illegibility and illegibility on the preservation of information don’t you agree?

peace

304. 304
fifthmonarchyman says:

zac says,

Entropy increases when you make marks on the page

I say,

Over all entropy increases yes but what about on the surface of the paper? Keep in mind we are talking about quill and blotter here

peace

PS I forgot I who I was talking to. The composition does not exist for you in reality anyway. It is only an arrangement of matter/useful fiction as far as you are concerned. So of course you would see it in
terms of an increase in entropy.

I’ll try and limit my discussions to someone who I can actually communicate with.

305. 305
Zachriel says:

fifthmonarchyman: Over all entropy increases yes but what about on the surface of the paper? Keep in mind we are talking about quill and blotter here

The ink will be absorbed somewhat by the paper, so thermodynamic entropy will increase; however, the drying is probably more important, so thermodynamic entropy of the ink will decrease. This effect is the same whether it is Shakespeare writing a sonnet, or someone making scribbles. The only difference is the amount of ink involved.

fifthmonarchyman: The composition does not exist for you in reality anyway. It is only an arrangement of matter/useful fiction as far as you are concerned.

Not sure why you would say that. Shakespeare’s sonnets are the pinnacle of the sonnet form, and exhibit meaning and beauty at multiple levels while still conforming to the rhyme and rhythm of the form.

306. 306
Upright BiPed says:

Physics does not distinguish between ink marks that convey a meaning and those that don’t.

And yet it must, under materialism. Temporal phenomena such as add glycine next could not occur otherwise. If such things cannot be evoked to occur by an arrangement of matter and interpreted by an arrangement of matter, such things could not happen. Yet, they did happen at the origin of the autonomous homeostatic self-replicating cell (or we would be having this conversation).

If the dynamic properties of matter do not explain the origin of representationalism, then what does? Do we need a source of organization that can establish something in arrangements of matter that is independent of the minimum to total potential energy state of the medium – something to explain this observed local (and lawful) independence arising from within an inanimate environment?

307. 307
Piotr says:

What kind of physical property would “tree” be?

None. It isn’t a physical property. Physics is interested in the most fundamental objects of which other things are composed, and in general laws which are the same across the Universe. Other disciplines deal with those “other things”: chemistry with molecules and chemical reactions, biology with life and its evolution, astronomy with planets, stars and galaxies, cultural anthropology with human societies, linguistics with language, etc. If you want to learn about trees, you had better ask a botanist, not a physicist (whatever some physicists might believe). The reducibility of “other things” to physics means only that, for example, a living organism cannot violate any laws of physics, but those laws are formulated in such general terms that they can’t (and aren’t meant to) describe all the interesting properties of objects studied by other disciplines.

In my discipline (linguistics) physics is quite important too. For example, sound, the medium of speech, is a longtudinal pressure wave travelling through the air. Linguistic “objects” such as vowels and consonants can be analysed in terms of their characteristic acoustic properties. Their production is constrained by the mechanics of speech articulation. Their acoustic spectrum can be predicted from the configuration of the vocal tract (it matters if your tongue is lowered or raised, fronted or retracted, or if the lips are rounded). Phonetics is basically applied physics. But laws of physics do not restrict the use of speech sounds as “letters” of a linguistic code. You can say CAT, CAB, COAT, BAT, COB, etc. without violating any physical principle. Similarly, any sequence of nucleotides in DNA is compatible with the laws of physics; that’s why such sequences are free to encode biological information.

308. 308
Piotr says:

A[nd] yet it must, under materialism.

Only if you equivocate between (1) physics as a discipline of science studying very fundamental objects/phenomena and very general principles (which is what I mean), and (2) physics = (figuratively) all reality underlain by such objects and principles (which I suppose is what you mean). Meaningful and meaningless marks on paper are equally permitted by physical laws. The meaning of a text belongs to a level of reality far removed from the area in which physics (a science) is interested, though the material form of the text can be treated as a physical object, when it matters.

309. 309
Upright BiPed says:

There is no equivocation Piotr. I repeat:

Physics does not distinguish between ink marks that convey a meaning and those that don’t.

And yet it must, under materialism. Temporal phenomena such as add glycine next could not occur otherwise. If such things cannot be evoked to occur by an arrangement of matter and interpreted by an arrangement of matter, such things could not happen. Yet, they did happen at the origin of the autonomous homeostatic self-replicating cell (or we would be having this conversation).

If the dynamic properties of matter do not explain the origin of representationalism, then what does? Do we need a source of organization that can establish something in arrangements of matter that is independent of the minimum total potential energy state of the medium – something to explain this observed local (and lawful) independence arising from within an inanimate environment?

310. 310
Zachriel says:

Piotr: Physics does not distinguish between ink marks that convey a meaning and those that don’t.

Upright BiPed: And yet it must, under materialism.

You seem to be conflating physics, a restricted area of science, and physicalism, the philosophy that everything supervenes on the physical.

311. 311
Piotr says:

BP,

You’ve said it once. Will you just repeat it verbatim every time I disagree? Go ahead; I’ll just shrug and carry on.

Physics does not have to explain why GGN encodes “glycine” during translation. There may be a physical explanation of some biasses in the code, but the fundamental fact is that a “meaningful” DNA sequence does not differ physically from a “meaningless” one. UUAGACACCGGG is as “legal” as AACCAAGACCCC, and they may or may not “mean” something depending on whether they undergo translation. Any number of other codes using the same nucleobases would be perfectly compatible with the laws of physics.

312. 312
Upright BiPed says:

So Piotr and Zachriel believe that physical law acting on the innate properties of matter cannot explain all physical reality.

Good to know.

313. 313
Box says:

Zachriel,

Zach: Your argument was that there were no objects at all in materialism.

I argue that – under materialism – objects are nothing but particles in motion. There are no “persons”, “entities” or “wholes” with any causal power or ontological status. Under materialism all causes flow from the bottom to the top.

Box: we – can assign functional properties to objects ( for example “this is an organ”, or “this object has the function of car” and so forth, however these assigned functional properties are not physical.

Zach: Even though the objects themselves are physical, our perspective of the objects, theories, categorizations, possible functions, may or may not be physical, depending on how we resolve the question of abstraction.

How we resolve the question of abstraction is irrelevant to the notion that whatever we assign to matter (categorizations, function and so forth) is in fact not part of the object. Terming a rock a paperweight does not endow a rock with new causal power, it does not change a rock in any way – despite all our assignments there is still not something over and above particles in motion.

314. 314
Zachriel says:

Box: There are no “persons”, “entities” or “wholes” with any causal power or ontological status.

We’ve provided two citations that indicate otherwise. Maybe you should just ask a couple of materialists.

Box: How we resolve the question of abstraction is irrelevant to the notion that whatever we assign to matter (categorizations, function and so forth) is in fact not part of the object.

Categorizations and functions are theories about the object, not properties. The object still exists even if our categorizations aren’t a physical characteristic of the object.

Box: Terming a rock a paperweight does not endow a rock with new causal power, it does not change a rock in any way –

No, but it’s still a rock.

315. 315
Zachriel says:

Upright BiPed: So Piotr and Zachriel believe that physical law acting on the innate properties of matter cannot explain all physical reality.

You’re still conflating physics with physicalism. Physics can’t and doesn’t explain everything, even for materialists.

316. 316
Upright BiPed says:

UB:
If the dynamic properties of matter do not explain the origin of representationalism, then what does? Do we need a source of organization that can establish something in arrangements of matter that is independent of the minimum total potential energy state of the medium – something to explain this observed local (and lawful) independence arising from within an inanimate environment?

Zach
You’re still conflating physics with physicalism. Physics can’t and doesn’t explain everything, even for materialists.

punt

317. 317
Upright BiPed says:

UB:
If the dynamic properties of matter do not explain the origin of representationalism, then what does?

Piotr:
Physics does not have to explain why GGN encodes “glycine” during translation.

punt

318. 318
Box says:

Zach: Categorizations and functions are theories about the object, not properties [of the object].

Exactly my simple point!

Zach: The object still exists (…).

Not in any meaningful way, since the “object” is nothing but particles in motion.

Box: Terming a rock a paperweight does not endow a rock with new causal power, it does not change a rock in any way –

Zach: No, but it’s still a rock.

Which is nothing over and above particles in motion.

319. 319
Box says:

Why this tedious discussion about materialism? Why are materialists – like Piotr and Zachriel – arguing that under materialism there is more than particles in motion, that “things” and “objects” exist on their own? Because they cannot deal with the argument presented in #214

Given materialism there are no organisms – there are just particles in motion. And these particles in motion don’t give a hoot about some (non-existent) organism. These particles don’t form a whole, they are all doing their own thing, blissfully unaware of something bigger than them. And one cannot explain the coherence we see in organisms from blind uninterested parts.
So your basis of reasoning is a cause – the particles in motion – that is insufficient to explain the effect – a coherent whole, the organism.

320. 320
fifthmonarchyman says:

Box says

Why this tedious discussion about materialism? Why are materialists – like Piotr and Zachriel – arguing that under materialism there is more than particles in motion, that “things” and “objects” exist on their own?

I say,

We must keep in mind that our Materialist friends were given the opportunity to justify their claims way back 255……

quote:

If you think that “whole” physical entities genuinely exist it is incumbent on you to explain how mere particles in motion can give rise to whole things given a materialistic framework.

end quote:

All we got was a mocking dodge……..followed by crickets.

Box you have done a great job of keeping the absurdity of materialistic presuppositions front and center.

It should be obvious by now that when it comes to the second law the two sides are not even discussing the same things.

peace

321. 321
phoenix says:

Box,

Why this tedious discussion about materialism?

Because you brought it up, Box.

If it’s illegitimate for a materialist to speak of macroscopic things — a lake, for instance — then why doesn’t a dualist face the same problem? Does an immaterial “lake soul” unite the particles into a coherent “lake whole”?

322. 322
phoenix says:

fifthmonarchyman,

It should be obvious by now that when it comes to the second law the two sides are not even discussing the same things.

That’s for sure. Piotr and Zachriel are discussing the second law of thermodynamics. God knows (so to speak) what you, Box, et al are talking about.

323. 323
fifthmonarchyman says:

phoenix says,

If it’s illegitimate for a materialist to speak of macroscopic things — a lake, for instance — then why doesn’t a dualist face the same problem?

I say,

I for one am a Christian. I really have no idea how a “dualist” would handle the problem.

But I as a Christian would point out that since both the one and the many are equally ultimate in the triune God and since temporal unity and plurality are the creation of the same God, then logically neither the “particle” nor the “whole” can demand the sacrifice of the other to itself.

It’s Christianity 101

peace

324. 324
kairosfocus says:

Phoenix: Oh, this . . . the underpinnings of 2LOT, inextricable from it for some 100+ years since Gibbs, Boltzmann et al, and the more recent link to an informational view:

_____________

Clip, App I my BN: >> . . . 3] So far we have worked out of a more or less classical view of the subject. But, to explore such a question further, we need to look more deeply at the microscopic level. Happily, there is a link from macroscopic thermodynamic concepts to the microscopic, molecular view of matter, as worked out by Boltzmann and others, leading to the key equation:

s = k ln W . . . Eqn.A.3

That is, entropy of a specified macrostate [in effect, macroscopic description or specification] is a constant times a log measure of the number of ways matter and energy can be distributed at the micro-level consistent with that state [i.e. the number of associated microstates; aka “the statistical weight of the macrostate,” aka “thermodynamic probability”]. The point is, that there are as a rule a great many ways for energy and matter to be arranged at micro level relative to a given observable macro-state. That is, there is a “loss of information” issue here on going from specific microstate to a macro-level description, with which many microstates may be equally compatible. Thence, we can see that if we do not know the microstates specifically enough, we have to more or less treat the micro-distributions of matter and energy as random, leading to acting as though they are disordered. Or, as Leon Brillouin, one of the foundational workers in modern information theory, put it in his 1962 Science and Information Theory, Second Edition:

How is it possible to formulate a scientific theory of information? The first requirement is to start from a precise definition. . . . . We consider a problem involving a certain number of possible answers, if we have no special information on the actual situation. When we happen to be in possession of some information on the problem, the number of possible answers is reduced, and complete information may even leave us with only one possible answer. Information is a function of the ratio of the number of possible answers before and after, and we choose a logarithmic law in order to insure additivity of the information contained in independent situations [as seen above in the main body, section A] . . . .

Physics enters the picture when we discover a remarkable likeness between information and entropy. This similarity was noticed long ago by L. Szilard, in an old paper of 1929, which was the forerunner of the present theory. In this paper, Szilard was really pioneering in the unknown territory which we are now exploring in all directions. He investigated the problem of Maxwell’s demon, and this is one of the important subjects discussed in this book. The connection between information and entropy was rediscovered by C. Shannon in a different class of problems, and we devote many chapters to this comparison. We prove that information must be considered as a negative term in the entropy of a system; in short, information is negentropy. The entropy of a physical system has often been described as a measure of randomness in the structure of the system. We can now state this result in a slightly different way:

Every physical system is incompletely defined. We only know the values of some macroscopic variables, and we are unable to specify the exact positions and velocities of all the molecules contained in a system. We have only scanty, partial information on the system, and most of the information on the detailed structure is missing. Entropy measures the lack of information; it gives us the total amount of missing information on the ultramicroscopic structure of the system.

This point of view is defined as the negentropy principle of information [added links: cf. explanation here and “onward” discussion here — noting on the brief, dismissive critique of Brillouin there, that you never get away from the need to provide information — there is “no free lunch,” as Dembski has pointed out ; ->) ], and it leads directly to a generalization of the second principle of thermodynamics, since entropy and information must, be discussed together and cannot be treated separately. This negentropy principle of information will be justified by a variety of examples ranging from theoretical physics to everyday life. The essential point is to show that any observation or experiment made on a physical system automatically results in an increase of the entropy of the laboratory. It is then possible to compare the loss of negentropy (increase of entropy) with the amount of information obtained. The efficiency of an experiment can be defined as the ratio of information obtained to the associated increase in entropy. This efficiency is always smaller than unity, according to the generalized Carnot principle. Examples show that the efficiency can be nearly unity in some special examples, but may also be extremely low in other cases.

This line of discussion is very useful in a comparison of fundamental experiments used in science, more particularly in physics. It leads to a new investigation of the efficiency of different methods of observation, as well as their accuracy and reliability . . . . [From an online excerpt of the Dover Reprint edition, here. Emphases, links and bracketed comment added.]

4] Yavorski and Pinski, in the textbook Physics, Vol I [MIR, USSR, 1974, pp. 279 ff.], summarise the key implication of the macro-state and micro-state view well: as we consider a simple model of diffusion, let us think of ten white and ten black balls in two rows in a container. There is of course but one way in which there are ten whites in the top row; the balls of any one colour being for our purposes identical. But on shuffling, there are 63,504 ways to arrange five each of black and white balls in the two rows, and 6-4 distributions may occur in two ways, each with 44,100 alternatives. So, if we for the moment see the set of balls as circulating among the various different possible arrangements at random, and spending about the same time in each possible state on average, the time the system spends in any given state will be proportionate to the relative number of ways that state may be achieved. Immediately, we see that the system will gravitate towards the cluster of more evenly distributed states. In short, we have just seen that there is a natural trend of change at random, towards the more thermodynamically probable macrostates, i.e the ones with higher statistical weights. So “[b]y comparing the [thermodynamic] probabilities of two states of a thermodynamic system, we can establish at once the direction of the process that is [spontaneously] feasible in the given system. It will correspond to a transition from a less probable to a more probable state.” [p. 284.] This is in effect the statistical form of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Thus, too, the behaviour of the Clausius isolated system above is readily understood: importing d’Q of random molecular energy so far increases the number of ways energy can be distributed at micro-scale in B, that the resulting rise in B’s entropy swamps the fall in A’s entropy. Moreover, given that FSCI-rich micro-arrangements are relatively rare in the set of possible arrangements, we can also see why it is hard to account for the origin of such states by spontaneous processes in the scope of the observable universe. (Of course, since it is as a rule very inconvenient to work in terms of statistical weights of macrostates [i.e W], we instead move to entropy, through s = k ln W. Part of how this is done can be seen by imagining a system in which there are W ways accessible, and imagining a partition into parts 1 and 2. W = W1*W2, as for each arrangement in 1 all accessible arrangements in 2 are possible and vice versa, but it is far more convenient to have an additive measure, i.e we need to go to logs. The constant of proportionality, k, is the famous Boltzmann constant and is in effect the universal gas constant, R, on a per molecule basis, i.e we divide R by the Avogadro Number, NA, to get: k = R/NA. The two approaches to entropy, by Clausius, and Boltzmann, of course, correspond. In real-world systems of any significant scale, the relative statistical weights are usually so disproportionate, that the classical observation that entropy naturally tends to increase, is readily apparent.)

5] The above sort of thinking has also led to the rise of a school of thought in Physics — note, much spoken against in some quarters, but I think they clearly have a point — that ties information and thermodynamics together. Robertson presents their case [–> in his Statistical Thermophysics, Prentice, 1993]; in summary:

. . . It has long been recognized that the assignment of probabilities to a set represents information, and that some probability sets represent more information than others . . . if one of the probabilities say p2 is unity and therefore the others are zero, then we know that the outcome of the experiment . . . will give [event] y2. Thus we have complete information . . . if we have no basis . . . for believing that event yi is more or less likely than any other [we] have the least possible information about the outcome of the experiment . . . . A remarkably simple and clear analysis by Shannon [1948] has provided us with a quantitative measure of the uncertainty, or missing pertinent information, inherent in a set of probabilities [NB: i.e. a probability should be seen as, in part, an index of ignorance] . . . .

[deriving informational entropy, cf. discussions here, here, here, here and here; also Sarfati’s discussion of debates and open systems here; the debate here is eye-opening on rhetorical tactics used to cloud this and related issues . . . ]

S({pi}) = – C [SUM over i] pi*ln pi, [. . . “my” Eqn A.4]

[where [SUM over i] pi = 1, and we can define also parameters alpha and beta such that: (1) pi = e^-[alpha + beta*yi]; (2) exp [alpha] = [SUM over i](exp – beta*yi) = Z [Z being in effect the partition function across microstates, the “Holy Grail” of statistical thermodynamics]. . . .[pp.3 – 6]

S, called the information entropy, . . . correspond[s] to the thermodynamic entropy, with C = k, the Boltzmann constant, and yi an energy level, usually ei, while [BETA] becomes 1/kT, with T the thermodynamic temperature . . . A thermodynamic system is characterized by a microscopic structure that is not observed in detail . . . We attempt to develop a theoretical description of the macroscopic properties in terms of its underlying microscopic properties, which are not precisely known. We attempt to assign probabilities to the various microscopic states . . . based on a few . . . macroscopic observations that can be related to averages of microscopic parameters. Evidently the problem that we attempt to solve in statistical thermophysics is exactly the one just treated in terms of information theory. It should not be surprising, then, that the uncertainty of information theory becomes a thermodynamic variable when used in proper context [p. 7] . . . .

Jayne’s [summary rebuttal to a typical objection] is “. . . The entropy of a thermodynamic system is a measure of the degree of ignorance of a person whose sole knowledge about its microstate consists of the values of the macroscopic quantities . . . which define its thermodynamic state. This is a perfectly ‘objective’ quantity . . . it is a function of [those variables] and does not depend on anybody’s personality. There is no reason why it cannot be measured in the laboratory.” . . . . [p. 36.]

[Robertson, Statistical Thermophysics, Prentice Hall, 1993. (NB: Sorry for the math and the use of text for symbolism. However, it should be clear enough that Roberson first summarises how Shannon derived his informational entropy [though Robertson uses s rather than the usual H for that information theory variable, average information per symbol], then ties it to entropy in the thermodynamic sense using another relation that is tied to the Boltzmann relationship above. This context gives us a basis for looking at the issues that surface in prebiotic soup or similar models as we try to move from relatively easy to form monomers to the more energy- and information- rich, far more complex biofunctional molecules.)] >>

_____________

The consequence of this is that the configurational work to create a functionally specific, complex organised entity demands adequate explanation; e.g. at OOL or onwards origin of body plans etc.

We readily observe that wiring diagram-based functional specificity beyond a modest description length of 500 – 1,000 bits (the last is 143 ASCII characters) is not plausibly accounted for on blind needle in haystack “search” based on chance and mechanical necessity. Instead, it comes from energy, mass and information flows connected to energy converters that generate shaft work and/or ordered flows, associated constructors that use information to assemble FSCO/I-rich configurations, and appropriate exhaust of waste, with algorithmic halting. The protein synthesis process is an apt example, as is the cellular metabolic network, also we can point to how a zygote becomes a fetus etc.

Thus, the claim or suggestion that irrelevant mass or energy flows without credible information flows and appropriate converter-constructor entities can somehow originate entities like this by in effect lucky noise is highly dubious.

Or in Sewell’s words:

. . . The second law is all about probability, it uses probability at the microscopic level to predict macroscopic change: the reason carbon distributes itself more and more uniformly in an insulated solid is, that is what the laws of probability predict when diffusion alone is operative. The reason natural forces may turn a spaceship, or a TV set, or a computer into a pile of rubble but not vice-versa is also probability: of all the possible arrangements atoms could take, only a very small percentage could fly to the moon and back, or receive pictures and sound from the other side of the Earth, or add, subtract, multiply and divide real numbers with high accuracy. The second law of thermodynamics is the reason that computers will degenerate into scrap metal over time, and, in the absence of intelligence, the reverse process will not occur; and it is also the reason that animals, when they die, decay into simple organic and inorganic compounds, and, in the absence of intelligence, the reverse process will not occur.

The discovery that life on Earth developed through evolutionary “steps,” coupled with the observation that mutations and natural selection — like other natural forces — can cause (minor) change, is widely accepted in the scientific world as proof that natural selection — alone among all natural forces — can create order out of disorder, and even design human brains, with human consciousness. Only the layman seems to see the problem with this logic. In a recent Mathematical Intelligencer article [“A Mathematician’s View of Evolution,” The Mathematical Intelligencer 22, number 4, 5-7, 2000] I asserted that the idea that the four fundamental forces of physics alone could rearrange the fundamental particles of Nature into spaceships, nuclear power plants, and computers, connected to laser printers, CRTs, keyboards and the Internet, appears to violate the second law of thermodynamics in a spectacular way.1 . . . .

What happens in a[n isolated] system depends on the initial conditions; what happens in an open system depends on the boundary conditions as well. As I wrote in “Can ANYTHING Happen in an Open System?”, “order can increase in an open system, not because the laws of probability are suspended when the door is open, but simply because order may walk in through the door…. 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 . . . But if all we see entering is radiation and meteorite fragments, it seems clear that what is entering through the boundary cannot explain the increase in order observed here.” Evolution is a movie running backward, that is what makes it special.

THE EVOLUTIONIST, therefore, cannot avoid the question of probability by saying that anything can happen in an open system, he is finally forced to argue that it only seems extremely improbable, but really isn’t, that atoms would rearrange themselves into spaceships and computers and TV sets . . . [NB: Emphases added. I have also substituted in isolated system terminology as GS uses a different terminology.]

Nothing much . . .

KF

325. 325
CJYman says:

First, Upright Biped, I enjoy reading through your posts. Your discussions of information & protocols are bang on. Please continue. The disconnect between information and physical law is one of the more powerful arguments for ID.

scordova:
“NO! J/K is dimensionless! It only indicates the method used to count the energy microstates.”

Then you should have no problems with anything I laid out in my last post #216.

My next reply will be to Keiths at TSZ, and work is very busy this weekend. The conversation is really just starting to take off so I’m looking forward to continuing where I left off discussing organization of energy flow. I’ll be joining back in as soon as I can.

Zachriel, again referencing your snowstorm example, improbable things happen everyday but that is only because of relevant compensation. IOW, probability is always contextual. Probabilities require ‘givens’ to be calculated. Some things may appear to be very improbable, but given specific circumstances, they can become almost guaranteed within a certain timeframe. Furthermore, this discussion is less about absolute entropy or probability measurement than a direction of entropy (multiplicity from low to high probability) and what it takes to locally reverse that direction. Finally this discussion is about the specific circumstances that allow this reversibility based on the macrostate that we are measuring. In the cases that we are dealing with temperature as a macrostate, what we need is a sufficiently uneven heat flow from a lower entropy area and also to a higher entropy area to locally and temporarily experience a negative change in entropy. But of course, remember that is when measuring temperature as a macrostate.

Did you already forget our exchange earlier where I stated:
“The ‘imbalance in energy, causing energy flow’ or ‘the earth is an open system and the sun provides all the energy we need’ compensation argument that has been flogged to death works perfectly fine in this case, both theoretically and experimentally. I fail to see your point as it relates to my 2 scenarios and further clarification and resulting point relating to 2LOT. Oh, and your response to my question seems to indicate that you think snowstorms are formed at seeming insurmountable odds. I’m not quite sure I follow. Could you please clarify.” IOW, snowstorms are formed at seeming insurmountable odds given … what conditions …

This relates very well to what you are discussing re: probability, entropy, life and snowstorms. I’ll post a small tidbit here of what I am going to be posting for Keiths at TSZ:
“I am already well aware of at least some of the assumptions required to discuss 2LOT. For one, an enabler such as ‘motional energy’ is required; for another ‘restraints’ must be taken into consideration to determine whether a higher level of entropy will indeed be actualized. Entropy always increases unless there exists what I and others have been calling ‘compensation.’ — the “change, connected therewith, occurring at the same time” according to Rudolf Clausius.

That has been half of the main point during this whole multi-thread discussion. The other half has to do with the connection between entropy, specific macrostates not defined in J/K terms, and the compensation required to ‘build’ these relatively low multiplicity macrostates. Then finally, how is this ‘non J/K’ entropy related to 2LOT?

Again, does anyone have a problem with the following premises and conclusions?

P1. Configuration multiplicity provides the basis for statistical thermodynamics.

P2. Statistical thermodynamics provides the rationale behind why 2LOT exists.

P3. If configuration entropy is apparently violated, then statistical thermodynamics is apparently violated.

P4. If statistical thermodynamics is apparently violated then the foundation of our understanding of why 2LOT is true is apparently violated.

C1. Therefore, a violation of configuration entropy would be a violation of the foundation of 2LOT.

C2. If the ‘change in J/K’ measurements of 2LOT are to remain correct, a re-write of the connection between statistical thermodynamics and 2LOT would be required.

“The whole point from the very beginning of the tornado vs. city block example was that certain macrostates require very specific conditions beyond simply uneven heat transfer for any sort of reversibility and are indeed irreversible even under conditions of mere open system heat flow. Simply put: a compensation factor is required for certain configuration macrostates (Tornado vs. city block or sun vs. doghouse examples) to be reversible and anyone who states otherwise is promoting an apparent violation of the very foundations of the operation of 2LOT. When we finally have that understanding settled, we can carry on with a discussion of what is the required compensation — mere heat flow in an open system or a prior thermodynamic system of lower configuration entropy or something else?”

326. 326
fifthmonarchyman says:

phoenix says,
Piotr and Zachriel are discussing the second law of thermodynamics. God knows (so to speak) what you, Box, et al are talking about.

I say,

Kelvin was a devote Christian and Rudolf Clausius’ father was a Protestant Pastor.

I would venture to bet that their presuppositions were similar to mine and when they formulated the second law they never dreamed of a universe in which “whole” things were nothing but arraignments of particles in motion.

peace

327. 327
phoenix says:

fifthmonarchyman,

If it’s illegitimate for a materialist to speak of macroscopic things — a lake, for instance — then why doesn’t a dualist [or any non-materialist] face the same problem? Does an immaterial “lake soul” unite the particles into a coherent “lake whole”?

You and Box goofed. You thought you were scoring a point against materialism, but you didn’t realize that your argument, if valid, would undermine your own position — unless you can defend the existence of immaterial lake souls, rock souls, iPhone souls, toilet souls, etc.

328. 328
fifthmonarchyman says:

assorted lord Kelvin quotes,

“The assumption of atoms can explain no property of body which has not previously been attributed to the atoms themselves.”

and

“I need scarcely say that the beginning and maintenance of life on earth is absolutely and infinitely beyond the range of all sound speculation in dynamical science. The only contribution of dynamics to theoretical biology is absolute negation of automatic commencement or automatic maintenance of life.”

and

“…Creative Power is the only feasible answer to the origin of life from a scientific perspective.”

and

“Overwhelming strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie around us.”

end quote:

😉

peace

329. 329
phoenix says:

fifthmonarchyman:

I would venture to bet that their presuppositions were similar to mine and when they formulated the second law they never dreamed of a universe in which “whole” things were nothing but arraignments of particles in motion.

You think they believed in toilet souls, or some other non-material entity that unites a toilet’s particles into a unified whole?

What happens when you pull the tank off the bowl? Does the toilet soul vanish, to be replaced by tank and bowl souls?

330. 330
fifthmonarchyman says:

phoenix says,

I say,

please pass the duct tape me head she is fixing to blow.

Is it really possible that someone could completely miss something when it is right in front of their face?

peace

331. 331
fifthmonarchyman says:

Hey phoenix,

Do you honestly believe that holding the one and the many to be equally ultimate means I believe in toilet souls or are you just Trolling?

Peace

332. 332
phoenix says:

CJYman,

P3. If configuration entropy is apparently violated, then statistical thermodynamics is apparently violated.

What does that mean? Entropy isn’t a law that can be violated.

333. 333
phoenix says:

Fifthmonarchyman,

If it’s so obvious, then tell us. How can a non-materialist speak coherently of lakes, rocks, iPhones and toilets if a materialist cannot?

What is the immaterial entity that unites all the rock particles into a rock whole? And what happens to that entity when the rock cracks in two?

You and Box didn’t think this through.

334. 334
phoenix says:

kairosfocus,

I am quite comfortable thinking of entropy in informational terms, but the fact that it can be viewed that way hardly justifies the bizarre notions of Sewell and others regarding the Second Law.

335. 335
Upright BiPed says:

Pheonix, the organization that Box and Fifth are trying to get Piotr and Zachriel to address (in earnest) only comes into being through the translation of an informational medium. Your counterexample, the formation of a lake, is irrelevant to the conversation.

336. 336
Upright BiPed says:

CJYman,

337. 337
fifthmonarchyman says:

What is the immaterial entity that unites all the rock particles into a rock whole?

I say,

third time

Particles and wholes are equally ultimate according to my worldview.

There is no need for an entity (immaterial or otherwise) to unite the particles.

peace

338. 338
phoenix says:

Upright Biped,

Pheonix, the organization that Box and Fifth are trying to get Piotr and Zachriel to address (in earnest) only comes into being through the translation of an informational medium. Your counterexample, the formation of a lake, is irrelevant to the conversation.

No, it’s quite relevant. Here’s Box:

Why are materialists – like Piotr and Zachriel – arguing that under materialism there is more than particles in motion, that “things” and “objects” exist on their own?

A lake is a “thing”, is it not?

PS How’s the website coming? Has EugeneS joined your “board of directors”?

339. 339
kairosfocus says:

phoenix: Dismissive not substantial. I have pointed out what the evidence warrants. Lucky noise and irrelevant energy flows allegedly substituting for relevant information flows and organising constructive work, is what is truly bizarre. KF

340. 340
phoenix says:

fifthmonarchyman,

Particles and wholes are equally ultimate according to my worldview.

There is no need for an entity (immaterial or otherwise) to unite them.

You’re still not thinking this through.

If there is no need for such an entity, then materialists, by your own admission, can speak coherently of macroscopic things.

You and Box got it wrong.

341. 341
phoenix says:

KF,

Do you believe that evolution and/or OOL violate the second law?

342. 342
fifthmonarchyman says:

phoenix says,

If there is no need for such an entity, then materialists, by your own admission, can speak coherently of macroscopic things.

I say,

Geez

Are you really this slow??

Unlike my worldview Materialism holds that particles are ultimate. Therefore it behooves the materialist to explain how given materialism that particles can yield whole things.

Since I don’t hold that particles are ultimate I don’t need to posit an explanation for how the whole arises.

Materialism can’t borrow my worldview’s conclusions when it denies it’s premises.

again geez

Peace

343. 343
phoenix says:

fifth,

Your worldview holds that toilets are ultimate?

And that when you separate the tank from the bowl, that “ultimate” toilet ceases to exist?

344. 344
Upright BiPed says:

Phoenix,

My take on it is that Box is trying to get his conversation partners to deal with the logical extension of their worldview. I am quite certain that both sides will agree that gravity acting on a fluid will form reservoirs on an uneven earth in accordance with thermodynamic law, but again, it is irrelevant to the larger issue – except to the extent that it provides a point of comparison to organization that comes into being only by the translation of a medium whose arrangements are inert to local thermodynamics.

345. 345
Andre says:

Phoenix

In a sense a toilet is ultimate. Materialism can’t even account for where the materials for the toilet comes from even less it’s arrangement to make an actual toilet. Give it a go .. good luck chump.

346. 346
phoenix says:

Also, my worldview doesn’t hold that particles are ultimate. It holds that fields are ultimate, unless we discover that they aren’t!

In any case, the fact that toilets are made up of particles doesn’t make it incoherent to speak of toilets, just as the fact that societies are made up of people doesn’t make it incoherent to speak about the United States. For anyone, including materialists.

You may want to slow down and think this through, fifth.

347. 347
phoenix says:

Andre,

Perhaps you can help fifthmonarchyman out.

He and Box claim that a toilet is more than an arrangement of matter. Yet he also says that no entity, material or otherwise, is needed to unite the matter into a “thing”.

What is the mysterious missing ingredient — this non-entity — that bestows toilethood on a toilet-like arrangement of porcelain, and lakehood on a lake-like arrangement of water?

348. 348
fifthmonarchyman says:

Hey phoenix,

what is with this fixation with toilets? Are you sure you are not trolling?

My worldview holds that the whole thing is just as primary it’s constituent parts. Any system that is missing it’s constituent parts is not a whole system.

you say,

just as the fact that societies are made up of people doesn’t make it incoherent to speak about the United States.

I say.

OK how many people does it take when you start with one and add one at a time to yield the United States??

I’m off to bed. Troll on

peace

349. 349
phoenix says:

fifth,

Toilets are a nice way to highlight the absurdity of your (and Box’s) caricature of materialism.

It is perfectly coherent to think of toilets as arrangements of matter, as you know but won’t admit.

350. 350
phoenix says:

OK how many people does it take when you start with one and add one at a time to yield the United States??

All of them. But how would that be a problem for materialists and not for everyone else, anyway?

You haven’t thought this through, fifth.

351. 351
Andre says:

Phoenix

Of course a toilet is an arrangement of matter but the question is can natural laws like gravity ever create a toilet with a bowl, seat, flusher and the plumbing associated to carry the excrement from leaving your bum all the way to a sewage plant that processes it and in turn cleans the water by separating your poo? Materialism can’t account for it, if they do they invoke intelligent design and for materialism that is a swear word and far more painful that uttering the word God.

352. 352
phoenix says:

Andre #345,

I liked it better when your comment said this:

Materialism can’t even account for where the matriarch of the toilet comes from…

353. 353
phoenix says:

Andre,

Of course a toilet is an arrangement of matter but the question is can natural laws like gravity ever create a toilet with a bowl, seat, flusher and the plumbing…

No, that is not the question. Box and fifth are arguing that materialists can’t speak coherently of objects like toilets and lakes, which is nonsense, as you seem to recognize:

Of course a toilet is an arrangement of matter…

354. 354
Andre says:

Phoenix

You don’t seem to understand what box, fifty and me are trying to say. Materialism can not account how such an arrangement is possible. Give it a go

355. 355
Andre says:

Phoenix good old auto correct on the cell phone caused to say matriarch. Fixed it

356. 356
phoenix says:

Andre,

You don’t seem to understand what box, fifty and me are trying to say.

Au contraire. You don’t understand what Box and “fifty” are trying to say. Box makes it clear, though:

Why are materialists – like Piotr and Zachriel – arguing that under materialism there is more than particles in motion, that “things” and “objects” exist on their own?

Andre:

Phoenix good old auto correct on the cell phone caused to say matriarch.

I figured. 🙂

357. 357
Andre says:

Phoenix

Things can’t exist on their own. Fifty and box know that. Piotr and Zach think they can. The problem is this, to be the cause of your own existence you have to exist before you existed. That counts for living and non living things and objects anything that comes into existence cannot be its own cause.

358. 358
phoenix says:

Andre and Upright,

Both of you are projecting your own pet ideas onto the discussion.

Andre wants this to be a “get your own dirt” argument.

Upright wants it to be about “biosemiosis”.

It’s neither. It’s just Box’s silly claim that materialists can’t talk about “things” or “objects”:

Why are materialists – like Piotr and Zachriel – arguing that under materialism there is more than particles in motion, that “things” and “objects” exist on their own?

Things, including toilets, are arrangements of matter. Arrangements of matter are perfectly compatible with materialism.

359. 359
Upright BiPed says:

Phoenix, lets test you out, shall we?

When someone wants to kill a conversation, they’ll often take a piece of their opponent’s comment and repeat it over and over and over again, like a jingle in a advertisement for soap and cereal. Or even more aptly, like a tool for rhetorical purposes.

This is the quote you’ve lifted and repeated over again from Box:

Why are materialists – like Piotr and Zachriel – arguing that under materialism there is more than particles in motion, that “things” and “objects” exist on their own?

Now let’s see the context of the actual quote (#319):

Why this tedious discussion about materialism? Why are materialists – like Piotr and Zachriel – arguing that under materialism there is more than particles in motion, that “things” and “objects” exist on their own? Because they cannot deal with the argument presented in #214

Given materialism there are no organisms – there are just particles in motion. And these particles in motion don’t give a hoot about some (non-existent) organism. These particles don’t form a whole, they are all doing their own thing, blissfully unaware of something bigger than them. And one cannot explain the coherence we see in organisms from blind uninterested parts. So your basis of reasoning is a cause – the particles in motion – that is insufficient to explain the effect – a coherent whole, the organism.

Wow, would you look at that!

It seems almost certain – almost beyond mistake by a reasonable reader – that Box is talking about the organization that takes place in living organisms.

And living organisms are what? That’s right, they only exist as the product of translated information, requiring arrangements of matter that are independent of the minimum total potential energy state of the medium (i.e. thermodynamic law).

And your counterexample of “lakes” are what? That’s right. Their formation is a direct product of water molecules collectively assuming their lowest potential energy state under the forces of gravity on terrestrial earth.

Now, Box can surely defend his own comments if he wishes, but on the face of it, am I ignoring the actual context of his comments at 319…or are you?

360. 360
phoenix says:

Upright,

Had you taken your own advice and read for context, you would have seen that Box’s reference to “things” and “objects” extends beyond organisms:

“They” only exist as an arbitrary collection of particles in motion – just like a brick or a car.

Oops.

Upright:

…on the face of it, am I ignoring the actual context of his comments at 319…or are you?

You are, obviously.

361. 361

Materialists naively think that materialism is a bottom-up worldview. It is not even that. Materialism is simply an absurd BOTTOM idea and as such cannot be properly a worldview at all, and in fact explains nothing. There is no UP whatsoever for materialism. Since materialism is FLAT (mono-dimensional) it cannot explain the higher dimensions (the UP), which all things imply (ex. their organization).

Differently, the correct worldview is necessarily top-down where at the top there is the “more” (Intelligence, Essence) and at the bottom there is the “less” (substance). If you want to express that in terms of modern science, we can say that information overarches matter (Abel would say “Formalism > Physicalism”). As such information explains matter, and not viceversa.

Since matter = energy we have that energy cannot explain information. That is exactly the point of my twin OPs: the evolutionist compensation argument (energy organizes…) fails.

362. 362
Upright BiPed says:

Phoenix,

Here again is the quote you’ve lifted:

“They” only exist as an arbitrary collection of particles in motion – just like a brick or a car.

Who is the “they” he speaks of? The answer is in the actual context at #270. Here is the actual quote:

Materialism is simple: nothing over and above particles in motion exist. So no, materialists do not exist as “persons”. “They” only exist as an arbitrary collection of particles in motion – just like a brick or a car.

What are materialists? Are they living organisms?

And will you now actually pretend that you don’t understand the tactic of voicing an unspoken logical conclusion of your opponent’s position in order to get them to address it head on?

Why don’t you wait and ask Box if he believes materialists don’t exist, or, if he just thinks they have to deal with the fact that they are unlike a brick or a car.

Perhaps you’ll get lucky and we’ll find that Box is guilty of having a conversation with an entity that he doesn’t believes exist. Who knows? Perhaps you’ll have your victory; I’ll be wrong about his intentions; and you won’t be purposely misreading him in order to create a meaningless rhetorical diversion.

363. 363
Upright BiPed says:

AS, let me help you out. It appears you could really use it.

This is a non sequitur:

UB: When someone wants to kill a conversation, they’ll often take a piece of their opponent’s comment and repeat it over and over and over again, like a jingle in a advertisement for soap and cereal. Or even more aptly, like a tool for rhetorical purposes

AS: So when you keep popping, apparently randomly into threads and posting a comment containing the word “semiosis”, your ploy is rhetorical?

And this is a (weird) strawman of your own making:

I thought you were promoting your “argument” that the evolution of the replication, transcription, translation system of DNA, RNA, protein was impossible due to the irreducible complexity of aaRSs.

And this is a rhetorical misfire based on a non sequitur and a (weird) strawman of your own making:

Perhaps the fact you are only intent on killing conversations explains why you haven’t published your website.

cheers

364. 364
Box says:

#322 phoenix:
Piotr and Zachriel are discussing the second law of thermodynamics. God knows (so to speak) what you, Box, et al are talking about.

Our understanding of materialism is crucial for the appreciation of the 2nd law argument against materialism as presented by Niwrad.

#320 fifthmonarchyman:

It should be obvious by now that when it comes to the second law the two sides are not even discussing the same things.

Exactly

#321 phoenix:
If it’s illegitimate for a materialist to speak of macroscopic things — a lake, for instance — then why doesn’t a dualist face the same problem? Does an immaterial “lake soul” unite the particles into a coherent “lake whole”?

Materialism does not offer an ontological differentiation between lakes, rocks and organisms – there is nothing over and above particles in motion. Neither rocks nor organisms have existence and causal powers in and of itself. To be clear, like materialists I hold that lakes, rocks and toilets are nothing but particles in motion, however I do have a serious problem with the materialistic conception of organisms and consciousness.

The materialistic concept that an organism is nothing but particles in motion – just like a lake or a rock – brings Stephen Talbott to the question:

(…) the question, rather, is why things don’t fall completely apart — as they do, in fact, at the moment of death. What power holds off that moment — precisely for a lifetime, and not a moment longer?

If an organism has no existence in and of itself – no causal powers in and of itself – why then don’t the particles, which constitute the organism, act in accordance to the 2nd law, as they do at the moment of death and thereafter? What force prevents the particles in motion from doing what comes natural?

Intelligent design has organized all organisms with countless advanced ultra-sophisticated homeostatic cybernetic systems to maintain constant functionalities despite of all internal and external injuries and to contrast the 2nd_law_SM trend. When this organization shuts down the 2nd_law_SM does its destructive job, amen.

#335 Upright Biped: Phoenix, the organization that Box and Fifth are trying to get Piotr and Zachriel to address (in earnest) only comes into being through the translation of an informational medium. Your counterexample, the formation of a lake, is irrelevant to the conversation.

We must invoke top-bottom (downward) causation in order to explain organization, while under materialism all causes flow from the bottom to the top.

365. 365
Alicia Renard says:

Having skipped through this thread, I’m wondering, are people here claiming that processes such as chemosynthesis, photosynthesis and respiration violate the second law of thermodynamics?

366. 366
bornagain77 says:

As Box pointed out, Talbott rightly asks:

“the question, rather, is why things don’t fall completely apart — as they do, in fact, at the moment of death. What power holds off that moment — precisely for a lifetime, and not a moment longer?”

This is not a minor question since the human body is composed of something like a trillion billion protein molecules functioning, miraculously, as a cohesive whole:

HOW BIOLOGISTS LOST SIGHT OF THE MEANING OF LIFE — AND ARE NOW STARING IT IN THE FACE – Stephen L. Talbott – May 2012
Excerpt: “If you think air traffic controllers have a tough job guiding planes into major airports or across a crowded continental airspace, consider the challenge facing a human cell trying to position its proteins”. A given cell, he notes, may make more than 10,000 different proteins, and typically contains more than a billion protein molecules at any one time. “Somehow a cell must get all its proteins to their correct destinations — and equally important, keep these molecules out of the wrong places”.,,,
The question is indeed, then, “How does the organism meaningfully dispose of all its molecules, getting them to the right places and into the right interactions?”
The same sort of question can be asked of cells, for example in the growing embryo, where literal streams of cells are flowing to their appointed places, differentiating themselves into different types as they go, and adjusting themselves to all sorts of unpredictable perturbations — even to the degree of responding appropriately when a lab technician excises a clump of them from one location in a young embryo and puts them in another, where they may proceed to adapt themselves in an entirely different and proper way to the new environment. It is hard to quibble with the immediate impression that form (which is more idea-like than thing-like) is primary, and the material particulars subsidiary.
Two systems biologists, one from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Germany and one from Harvard Medical School, frame one part of the problem this way:
“The human body is formed by trillions of individual cells. These cells work together with remarkable precision, first forming an adult organism out of a single fertilized egg, and then keeping the organism alive and functional for decades. To achieve this precision, one would assume that each individual cell reacts in a reliable, reproducible way to a given input, faithfully executing the required task. However, a growing number of studies investigating cellular processes on the level of single cells revealed large heterogeneity even among genetically identical cells of the same cell type. (Loewer and Lahav 2011)”,,,
And then we hear that all this meaningful activity is, somehow, meaningless or a product of meaninglessness. This, I believe, is the real issue troubling the majority of the American populace when they are asked about their belief in evolution. They see one thing and then are told, more or less directly, that they are really seeing its denial. Yet no one has ever explained to them how you get meaning from meaninglessness — a difficult enough task once you realize that we cannot articulate any knowledge of the world at all except in the language of meaning.,,,
http://www.netfuture.org/2012/May1012_184.html#2

Andy C. McIntosh, professor of thermodynamics and combustion theory at the University of Leeds, holds that non-material information is what is constraining the cell to be so far out of thermodynamic equilibrium. Moreover, Dr. McIntosh holds that regarding information as independent of energy and matter ‘resolves the thermodynamic issues and invokes the correct paradigm for understanding the vital area of thermodynamic/organisational interactions’.

Information and Thermodynamics in Living Systems – Andy C. McIntosh – 2013
Excerpt: ,,, information is in fact non-material and that the coded information systems (such as, but not restricted to the coding of DNA in all living systems) is not defined at all by the biochemistry or physics of the molecules used to store the data. Rather than matter and energy defining the information sitting on the polymers of life, this approach posits that the reverse is in fact the case. Information has its definition outside the matter and energy on which it sits, and furthermore constrains it to operate in a highly non-equilibrium thermodynamic environment. This proposal resolves the thermodynamic issues and invokes the correct paradigm for understanding the vital area of thermodynamic/organisational interactions, which despite the efforts from alternative paradigms has not given a satisfactory explanation of the way information in systems operates.,,,
http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0008

Here is a recent video by Dr. Giem, that gets the main points of Dr. McIntosh’s paper over very well for the lay person:

Biological Information – Information and Thermodynamics in Living Systems 11-22-2014 by Paul Giem (A. McIntosh) – video

Dr. McIntosh’s contention that ‘non-material information’ must be constraining life to be so far out of thermodynamic equilibrium is now backed up empirically. Classical Information in the cell has now been physically measured and is shown to correlate to the thermodynamics of the cell:

Maxwell’s demon demonstration (knowledge of a particle’s position) turns information into energy – November 2010
Excerpt: Scientists in Japan are the first to have succeeded in converting information into free energy in an experiment that verifies the “Maxwell demon” thought experiment devised in 1867.,,, In Maxwell’s thought experiment the demon creates a temperature difference simply from information about the gas molecule temperatures and without transferring any energy directly to them.,,, Until now, demonstrating the conversion of information to energy has been elusive, but University of Tokyo physicist Masaki Sano and colleagues have succeeded in demonstrating it in a nano-scale experiment. In a paper published in Nature Physics they describe how they coaxed a Brownian particle to travel upwards on a “spiral-staircase-like” potential energy created by an electric field solely on the basis of information on its location. As the particle traveled up the staircase it gained energy from moving to an area of higher potential, and the team was able to measure precisely how much energy had been converted from information.
http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....nergy.html

Demonic device converts information to energy – 2010
Excerpt: “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,” says Christopher Jarzynski, a statistical chemist at the University of Maryland in College Park. In 1997, Jarzynski formulated an equation to define the amount of energy that could theoretically be converted from a unit of information2; the work by Sano and his team has now confirmed this equation. “This tells us something new about how the laws of thermodynamics work on the microscopic scale,” says Jarzynski.
http://www.scientificamerican......rts-inform

As should be needless to say, the physical demonstration that ‘information has a thermodynamic content’ is extremely bad news for neo-Darwinism, (and naturalistic OOL scenarios for that matter), since Neo-Darwinism holds that information is not physically real but is merely ‘emergent’ from a material basis.

Of related interest to information being physically real, and not being merely ’emergent’ from a material basis as materialists hold, it is important to learn that ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, quantum entanglement (A. Aspect, A. Zeilinger, etc..) is its own physical resource that can be used as a ‘quantum information channel’,,,

Quantum Entanglement and Information
Quantum entanglement is a physical resource, like energy, associated with the peculiar nonclassical correlations that are possible between separated quantum systems. Entanglement can be measured, transformed, and purified. A pair of quantum systems in an entangled state can be used as a quantum information channel to perform computational and cryptographic tasks that are impossible for classical systems. The general study of the information-processing capabilities of quantum systems is the subject of quantum information theory.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-entangle/

Where this really starts to get interesting is that the ‘physically real’ resource of quanrum entanglement/information is now found in molecular biology on a massive scale,,, in every DNA and protein molecule:

Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA – short video
https://vimeo.com/92405752

Classical and Quantum Information Channels in Protein Chain – Dj. Koruga, A. Tomi?, Z. Ratkaj, L. Matija – 2006
Abstract: Investigation of the properties of peptide plane in protein chain from both classical and quantum approach is presented. We calculated interatomic force constants for peptide plane and hydrogen bonds between peptide planes in protein chain. On the basis of force constants, displacements of each atom in peptide plane, and time of action we found that the value of the peptide plane action is close to the Planck constant. This indicates that peptide plane from the energy viewpoint possesses synergetic classical/quantum properties. Consideration of peptide planes in protein chain from information viewpoint also shows that protein chain possesses classical and quantum properties. So, it appears that protein chain behaves as a triple dual system: (1) structural – amino acids and peptide planes, (2) energy – classical and quantum state, and (3) information – classical and quantum coding. Based on experimental facts of protein chain, we proposed from the structure-energy-information viewpoint its synergetic code system.
http://www.scientific.net/MSF.518.491

That ‘non-local’ quantum entanglement, which conclusively demonstrates that ‘information’ in its pure ‘quantum form’ is completely transcendent of any time and space constraints (Bell, Aspect, Leggett, Zeilinger, etc..), should be found in molecular biology on such a massive scale, in every DNA and protein molecule, is a direct empirical falsification of Darwinian claims, for how can the ‘non-local’ quantum entanglement ‘effect’ in biology possibly be explained by a material (matter/energy) cause when the quantum entanglement effect falsified material particles as its own causation in the first place? Appealing to the probability of various ‘random’ configurations of material particles, as Darwinism does, simply will not help since a timeless/spaceless cause must be supplied which is beyond the capacity of the material particles themselves to supply!

Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – 29 October 2012
Excerpt: “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”
http://www.quantumlah.org/high.....uences.php

In other words, 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 ‘special’ 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!

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bornagain77 says:

Besides providing direct empirical falsification of neo-Darwinian claims as to the generation of information, the implication of finding ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, and ‘conserved’ quantum information in molecular biology on a massive scale is fairly, and pleasantly, obvious:

Does Quantum Biology Support A Quantum Soul? – Stuart Hameroff – video (notes in description)
http://vimeo.com/29895068

Verse and Music:

John 1:1-4
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

Moriah Peters – You Carry Me – music

Of supplemental note:

Classical ‘digital’ information, such as what is found to be encoded on DNA, is found to be a subset of ‘non-local’ (i.e. beyond space and time) quantum entanglement/information, which is also encoded on DNA, by the following method:

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

Here are some related lectures on the subject:

Vlatko Vedral – Entanglement and its relationship to thermodynamics – QuICC Lecture 1
Vlatko Vedral – Entanglement and its relationship to thermodynamics – QuICC Lecture 2
Vlatko Vedral – Entanglement and its relationship to thermodynamics – QuICC Lecture 3

368. 368
kairosfocus says:

phoenix, 341: please, every comment I have ever made at UD links directly to an answer to your “cornering” attempt; just click on my handle. You carry out a turnabout fallacy also: in fact it is those who wish to argue that irrelevant energy and/or mass flows “compensate” adequately for the claimed blind needle in haystack search formation of the functionally specific complex organisation and associated information (FSCO/I) in original and onward life forms and their body plans, who need to show empirically and analytically that their arguments and claims are compatible with 2LOT and do not constitute an appeal to effectively something — FSCO/I — from nothing, molecular noise and linked phenomena. Failing such, the claims out there run perilously close to being a claim to a perpetuum mobile of the 2nd kind. KF

PS: For reference, Dr Selensky is a physicist.

369. 369
kairosfocus says:

AR, no. Photosynthesis etc couple energy, mass and information flows via direct or indirect and highly relevant energy converters and constructors. What is questionable — and has been explicit on record since at least Thaxton et al in TMLO — is the claimed ab initio spontaneous formation of such FSCO/I rich entities by way of blind needle in haystack search on lucky noise. The empirical and analytical grounding for such an astonishing claim, absent a priori imposition of evolutionary materialism that implies such “must” have happened, is grossly inadequate. And irrelevant energy flows not connected to empirically and analytically reasonable converters or constructors, cannot credibly “compensate.” Yes, 2LOT implies that such converters and constructors must export waste degraded energy, typically as heat etc, but that has nothing to do with why such relevant converters are effectively necessary on empirical and analytical grounds for origin of FSCO/I, and for closely linked Wicken wiring diagram constructive work. KF

370. 370
kairosfocus says:

Phoenix,

This is a summary “definition” of relevant evolutionary materialist scientism, by Lewontin:

the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations, and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth [[–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]. . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists, it is self-evident [[–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . ] that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality, and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [[–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [[–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [[–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [Billions and billions of demons, NYRB, Jan 1997. In case yu may have been led to imagine this is “quote-mined” and/or idiosyncratic; kindly look at the fuller annotated citation here on, and the following four other clips.]

And, recently, Rosenberg of Duke U, in the lead to ch 9 of his 2011 The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, inadvertently exposes the utter self-referential incoherence involved:

FOR SOLID EVOLUTIONARY REASONS, WE’VE BEEN tricked into looking at life from the inside. Without scientism, we look at life from the inside, from the first-person POV (OMG, you don’t know what a POV is?—a “point of view”). The first person is the subject, the audience, the viewer of subjective experience, the self in the mind.

Scientism shows that the first-person POV is an illusion. Even after scientism convinces us, we’ll continue to stick with the first person. But at least we’ll know that it’s another illusion of introspection and we’ll stop taking it seriously. We’ll give up all the answers to the persistent questions about free will, the self, the soul, and the meaning of life that the illusion generates.

The physical facts fix all the facts. The mind is the brain. It has to be physical and it can’t be anything else, since thinking, feeling, and perceiving are physical process—in particular, input/output processes—going on in the brain. We can be sure of a great deal about how the brain works because the physical facts fix all the facts about the brain. The fact that the mind is the brain guarantees that there is no free will. It rules out any purposes or designs organizing our actions or our lives. It excludes the very possibility of enduring persons, selves, or souls that exist after death or for that matter while we live. Not that there was ever much doubt about mortality anyway.

KF

371. 371
kairosfocus says:

F/N: Pardon a minor point. Last I checked, J/K is not physically dimensionless.

Work gives us J –> N.m or kg.m^2.s^-2, and K is a base SI unit, so J/K is kg.m^2.s^-2.K^-1. In stat thermo-d work, Boltzmann’s constant moves from non energy values to energy by effectively giving a yardstick for molecular lumps of energy connected to adding heat etc. Of course, to go back to mathematical operations etc we effectively use ratio tricks to take such out again, e.g. why tables or graph axes sometimes bear the tag: /s, for time units etc.

Where, k_b = R/N_A, i.e. 1.3806488(13)×10^ – 23 J/K. In the Boltzmann distribution or the like we often see A*X^-e/kT or the like [A a multiplier, X a base of exponentiation, often e], which ratio of micro-level energy in a relevant degree of freedom to kT will be dimensionless, as exponentiation requires.

Hey, something caught my eye, on looking for a good value for k_b.

Mebbe, this isn’t so minor after all.

The Wiki article on k_b remarks:

One could choose instead a rescaled dimensionless entropy in microscopic terms such that

S’ = ln W; Delta_S’ = [INTEGRAL] {dQ/ (k_b*T)}

This is a rather more natural form; and this rescaled entropy exactly corresponds to Shannon’s subsequent information entropy.

The characteristic energy k_B*T is thus the heat required to increase the rescaled entropy by one nat.

Food for thought, as the informational view continues to more and more break through. I give my 2011 clip on that view from Wiki — testifying against interest — in its informational entropy article:

At an everyday practical level the links between information entropy and thermodynamic entropy are not close. Physicists and chemists are apt to be more interested in changes in entropy as a system spontaneously evolves away from its initial conditions, in accordance with the second law of thermodynamics, rather than an unchanging probability distribution. And, as the numerical smallness of Boltzmann’s constant kB indicates, the changes in S / kB for even minute amounts of substances in chemical and physical processes represent amounts of entropy which are so large as to be right off the scale compared to anything seen in data compression or signal processing.

But, at a multidisciplinary level, connections can be made between thermodynamic and informational entropy, although it took many years in the development of the theories of statistical mechanics and information theory to make the relationship fully apparent. In fact, in the view of Jaynes (1957), thermodynamics should be seen as an application of Shannon’s information theory: the thermodynamic entropy is interpreted as being an estimate of the amount of further Shannon information needed to define the detailed microscopic state of the system, that remains uncommunicated by a description solely in terms of the macroscopic variables of classical thermodynamics. For example, adding heat to a system increases its thermodynamic entropy because it increases the number of possible microscopic states that it could be in, thus making any complete state description longer. (See article: maximum entropy thermodynamics.[Also,another article remarks: >>in the words of G. N. Lewis writing about chemical entropy in 1930, “Gain in entropy always means loss of information, and nothing more” . . . in the discrete case using base two logarithms, the reduced Gibbs entropy is equal to the minimum number of yes/no questions that need to be answered in order to fully specify the microstate, given that we know the macrostate.>>]) Maxwell’s demon can (hypothetically) reduce the thermodynamic entropy of a system by using information about the states of individual molecules; but, as Landauer (from 1961) and co-workers have shown, to function the demon himself must increase thermodynamic entropy in the process, by at least the amount of Shannon information he proposes to first acquire and store; and so the total entropy does not decrease (which resolves the paradox).

KF

372. 372
Zachriel says:

Upright BiPed: If the dynamic properties of matter do not explain the origin of representationalism, then what does?

The concept in materialism is that everything supervenes on the physical. For instance, emergentism suggests that physical reality is composed of layers of increasing complexity, and while everything supervenes on the physical, it doesn’t reduce to simple physical explanations. The conversation with Box concerned whether objects are coherent within materialism. They obviously are.

In any case, there’s no apparent barrier to prevent the origin of what you term representationalism (which seems a usage distinct from that in cognitivism). Complex associations can evolve from simpler associations, just like complex structures can evolve from simple structures.

Zachriel: Categorizations and functions are theories about the object, not properties [of the object].

Box: Exactly my simple point!

Those are relational considerations, not the primary properties of the object. The cite refuted your claim.

Box: Which is nothing over and above particles in motion.

Of course it is. A rock is a specific arrangement of particles.

Box: Why are materialists – like Piotr and Zachriel –

Not a materialist. We’ve cited two resources on philosophy, both of which indicate that materialism recognizes “things”.

Box: arguing that under materialism there is more than particles in motion, that “things” and “objects” exist on their own?

Because most materialists accept that things and objects exist as coherent entities. Indeed, it’s something they’re generally known for!

fifthmonarchyman: If you think that “whole” physical entities genuinely exist it is incumbent on you to explain how mere particles in motion can give rise to whole things given a materialistic framework.

Gravity, for one. The strong and electroweak forces for another.

CJYman: Zachriel, again referencing your snowstorm example, improbable things happen everyday but that is only because of relevant compensation.

That’s right. A decrease in entropy requires the export of entropy to the environment. Using fifthmonarchyman’s example, the ink crystallizes while the solvent evaporates.

CJYman: Probabilities require ‘givens’ to be calculated. Some things may appear to be very improbable, but given specific circumstances, they can become almost guaranteed within a certain timeframe.

Evolution is almost guaranteed, given the existence of life.

CJYman: Furthermore, this discussion is less about absolute entropy or probability measurement than a direction of entropy (multiplicity from low to high probability) and what it takes to locally reverse that direction.

Sure. Organisms import energy and export entropy.

CJYman: Oh, and your response to my question seems to indicate that you think snowstorms are formed at seeming insurmountable odds.

Snowstorms are improbable based on a chance arrangement of the multiplicity of thermodynamic microstates; consequently, it requires the expenditure work to make a snowstorm.

CJYman: P1. Configuration multiplicity provides the basis for statistical thermodynamics.

Multiplicity of thermodynamic microstates that is.

CJYman: P3. If configuration entropy is apparently violated, then statistical thermodynamics is apparently violated.

If configuration entropy of thermodynamic microstates is apparently violated, then statistical thermodynamics is apparently violated.

CJYman: C1. Therefore, a violation of configuration entropy would be a violation of the foundation of 2LOT. C2. If the ‘change in J/K’ measurements of 2LOT are to remain correct, a re-write of the connection between statistical thermodynamics and 2LOT would be required.

As no such violation of the configuration entropy of thermodynamic microstates has been observed, no rewrite is necessary.

fifthmonarchyman: assorted lord Kelvin quotes, “The assumption of atoms can explain no property of body which has not previously been attributed to the atoms themselves.”

Well, funny story. It turns out that Kelvin’s atoms are not indivisible.

Box: If an organism has no existence in and of itself – no causal powers in and of itself – why then don’t the particles, which constitute the organism, act in accordance to the 2nd law

They do, including humans no matter how ingenious their contraptions.

373. 373
Upright BiPed says:

Ah yes, thanks for reminding me, AS.

When you say things like this (above)…

So when you keep popping, apparently randomly into threads and posting a comment containing the word “semiosis”

… I need to remind you that only you and Phoenix used the word “semiosis” in a comment on this thread.

Anyway — this is just some advice to think over. If you choose to continue stumbling and fumbling around, I’ll keep on correcting you, or ignore you.

374. 374
Silver Asiatic says:

Box

Materialism does not offer an ontological differentiation between lakes, rocks and organisms – there is nothing over and above particles in motion. Neither rocks nor organisms have existence and causal powers in and of itself.

Very clear and key point. Under materialism, no lakes, trees, rocks, organisms or any ‘thing’ at all has any existence in themselves. These ‘things’ are categorizations or organizations of matter. But ontologically, under materialism, they’re illusions.

These illusions of ‘things’ as distinct entities, are generated by the physical brain – which is also not a distinct thing, but is merely particles. So, the physical brain, supposedly, generates illusions about ‘reality’ – organizing particles into things and beings which do not actually exist.

But illusions and understandings of reality are impossible under materialism since they require the existence of the immaterial.

Materialism can only generate what exists – there is only the physical, nothing else. With that, there can be no ‘reality’ since that term only makes sense in contrast to illusion.

Particles cannot generate illusions. Anything they generate must be real.

If the physical brain is making distinctions between physical reality and anything other than that – then even under materialism, an immaterial world (non-physical reality) must exist.

The categorization and organization of particles into objects or beings is the generation of things that have no existence. Thus, they are immaterial ideas.

375. 375
Joe says:

Arrangements of matter are perfectly compatible with materialism.

The sad part is materialism can’t even explain the existence of matter.

376. 376
Zachriel says:

Silver Asiatic: Under materialism, no lakes, trees, rocks, organisms or any ‘thing’ at all has any existence in themselves. These ‘things’ are categorizations or organizations of matter. But ontologically, under materialism, they’re illusions.

They are organizations of matter. That they can be categorized doesn’t mean they cease to be organizations of matter.

Silver Asiatic: But ontologically, under materialism, they’re illusions.

No. That’s solipsism, not materialism. Under most forms of materialism, objects exist, and are experienced through senses.

377. 377
Joe says:

They are organizations of matter. That they can be categorized doesn’t mean they cease to be organizations of matter.

And materialism cannot explain such organizations of matter.

378. 378
bornagain77 says:

I wonder, since materialists hold that life and evolution are not contrary to the second law, do materialists also think that it was not contrary to the second law for Jesus to rise from the dead?

“He Is Alive
Death is defeated
Sin has retreated
From the power of the Son”

“He Is Alive.” – Third Day
https://youtu.be/h4oqodNXzs0

Happy Easter, everyone!

379. 379
Joe says:

Evolution is almost guaranteed, given the existence of life.

No one is debating evolution. Perhaps you should grow up and get an education to learn what is being debated.

380. 380
Joe says:

Alicia Renard:

Having skipped through this thread, I’m wondering, are people here claiming that processes such as chemosynthesis, photosynthesis and respiration violate the second law of thermodynamics?

No, as they all exist in an intelligently designed universe.

381. 381
daveS says:

BA77,

I wonder, since materialists[*] hold that life and evolution are not contrary to the second law, do materialists also think that it was not contrary to the second law for Jesus to rise from the dead?

*as well as some ID proponents and even YECs, apparently.

The entropy of a living body (could be) greater than that of a dead body, so I don’t think resurrection would necessarily violate the 2nd law.

It appears that someone suggested adding such a statement to the Conservapaedia article on the 2nd law, but got shot down.

Happy Easter to you as well.

382. 382
kairosfocus says:

Folks, it looks like the key issue is complex, functionally specific, organised configuration and what best accounts for it. I/l/o the statistical underpinnings inextricably linked to thermodynamics since Gibbs and Boltzmann et al, 100+ years past, mass and energy and information flows, energy converters and constructors. Thus, the question of prescriptive, organising info and its origin arises . . . with the linked issue that per the statistical underpinnings of 2LOT etc, blind needle in haystack search is maximally implausible as the cause of FSCO/I in islands of function in ultra-astronomically large configuration spaces. KF

383. 383
bornagain77 says:

A few notes on Jesus rising from the dead and entropy:

Entropy is the primary reason our physical material bodies grow old and die:

Entropy Explains Aging, Genetic Determinism Explains Longevity, and Undefined Terminology Explains Misunderstanding Both – 2007
Excerpt: There is a huge body of knowledge supporting the belief that age changes are characterized by increasing entropy, which results in the random loss of molecular fidelity, and accumulates to slowly overwhelm maintenance systems [1–4].,,,
http://www.plosgenetics.org/ar.....en.0030220

This following video brings the point personally home to us about the effects of genetic entropy:

Aging Process – 85 years in 40 seconds – video

The greatest source of entropy in the universe is found to be the singularity of black holes:

Evolution is a Fact, Just Like Gravity is a Fact! UhOh! – January 2010
Excerpt: The results of this paper suggest gravity arises as an entropic force, once space and time themselves have emerged.
http://www.uncommondescent.com.....fact-uhoh/

Entropy of the Universe – Hugh Ross – May 2010
Excerpt: Egan and Lineweaver found that supermassive black holes are the largest contributor to the observable universe’s entropy. They showed that these supermassive black holes contribute about 30 times more entropy than what the previous research teams estimated.
http://www.reasons.org/entropy-universe

Whereas the greatest ‘violation’ of the second law is found to be the singularity of the creation of the universe:

The Physics of the Small and Large: What is the Bridge Between Them? Roger Penrose
Excerpt: “The time-asymmetry is fundamentally connected to with the Second Law of Thermodynamics: indeed, the extraordinarily special nature (to a greater precision than about 1 in 10^10^123, in terms of phase-space volume) can be identified as the “source” of the Second Law (Entropy).”

How special was the big bang? – Roger Penrose
Excerpt: This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123.
(from the Emperor’s New Mind, Penrose, pp 339-345 – 1989)

More specifically, Special Relativity and General Relativity reveal two very different ‘qualities of eternity’ (as predicted in Christian Theism). In particular, the Black Holes of General Relativity are found to be associated with timeless eternities of destruction and disorder. And Special Relativity is found to be associated with a timeless eternity of creation and order, (i.e. the extreme 1 in 10^10^123 order we see at the creation event of the Big Bang).

Special Relativity, General Relativity, Heaven and Hell

The destruction and disorder associated with Black Holes is particularly frightful and is captured in this following quote:

“Einstein’s equation predicts that, as the astronaut reaches the singularity (of the black-hole), the tidal forces grow infinitely strong, and their chaotic oscillations become infinitely rapid. The astronaut dies and the atoms which his body is made become infinitely and chaotically distorted and mixed-and then, at the moment when everything becomes infinite (the tidal strengths, the oscillation frequencies, the distortions, and the mixing), spacetime ceases to exist.”
Kip S. Thorne – “Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy” pg. 476

Needless to say, the implications of this ‘eternity of destruction’ should be fairly disturbing for those of us who are of the ‘spiritually minded’ persuasion!
In light of this dilemma that these two very different eternities present to us spiritually minded people, and the fact that Gravity is, in so far as we can tell, completely incompatible with Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity (i.e. Quantum Electro-Dynamics),,,

A Capella Science – Bohemian Gravity! (The failure of string theory and M-theory) – video

,,in light of this ‘spiritual’ dilemma, it is interesting to point out a subtle nuance on the Shroud of Turin. Namely that Gravity (i.e. General Relativity) was overcome in the resurrection event of Christ:

Particle Radiation from the Body – July 2012 – M. Antonacci, A. C. Lind
Excerpt: The Shroud’s frontal and dorsal body images are encoded with the same amount of intensity, independent of any pressure or weight from the body. The bottom part of the cloth (containing the dorsal image) would have born all the weight of the man’s supine body, yet the dorsal image is not encoded with a greater amount of intensity than the frontal image. Radiation coming from the body would not only explain this feature, but also the left/right and light/dark reversals found on the cloth’s frontal and dorsal body images.

A Quantum Hologram of Christ’s Resurrection? by Chuck Missler
Excerpt: “You can read the science of the Shroud, such as total lack of gravity, lack of entropy (without gravitational collapse), no time, no space—it conforms to no known law of physics.” The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically. Dame Piczek created a one-fourth size sculpture of the man in the Shroud. When viewed from the side, it appears as if the man is suspended in mid air (see graphic, below), indicating that the image defies previously accepted science. The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically.
http://www.khouse.org/articles/2008/847

Turin shroud – (Particle Physicist explains event horizon) – video

384. 384
bornagain77 says:

Moreover, as would be expected if General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics/Special Relativity (QED) were truly unified in the resurrection of Christ from death, the image on the shroud is found to be formed by a quantum process. The image was not formed by a ‘classical’ process:

Shroud Of Turin – Photographic Negative – 3D Quantum Hologram – The Lamb – video
https://vimeo.com/122495080

The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete values – Giovanni Fazio, Giuseppe Mandaglio – 2008
Excerpt: This result means that the optical density distribution,, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril.
http://cab.unime.it/journals/i.....802004/271

“It is not a continuum or spherical-front radiation that made the image, as visible or UV light. It is not the X-ray radiation that obeys the one over R squared law that we are so accustomed to in medicine. It is more unique. It is suggested that the image was formed when a high-energy particle struck the fiber and released radiation within the fiber at a speed greater that the local speed of light. Since the fiber acts as a light pipe, this energy moved out through the fiber until it encountered an optical discontinuity, then it slowed to the local speed of light and dispersed. The fact that the pixels don’t fluoresce suggests that the conversion to their now brittle dehydrated state occurred instantly and completely so no partial products remain to be activated by the ultraviolet light. This suggests a quantum event where a finite amount of energy transferred abruptly. The fact that there are images front and back suggests the radiating particles were released along the gravity vector. The radiation pressure may also help explain why the blood was “lifted cleanly” from the body as it transformed to a resurrected state.”
Kevin Moran – optical engineer

Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural – December 2011
Excerpt: After years of work trying to replicate the colouring on the shroud, a similar image has been created by the scientists.
However, they only managed the effect by scorching equivalent linen material with high-intensity ultra violet lasers, undermining the arguments of other research, they say, which claims the Turin Shroud is a medieval hoax.
Such technology, say researchers from the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Enea), was far beyond the capability of medieval forgers, whom most experts have credited with making the famous relic.
“The results show that a short and intense burst of UV directional radiation can colour a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin,” they said.
And in case there was any doubt about the preternatural degree of energy needed to make such distinct marks, the Enea report spells it out: “This degree of power cannot be reproduced by any normal UV source built to date.”
http://www.independent.co.uk/n.....79512.html

The Center Of The Universe Is Life (i.e. is Jesus Christ)! – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy and The Shroud Of Turin – video
http://vimeo.com/34084462

Personally, considering the extreme difficulty that many brilliant minds have had in trying to reconcile Quantum Mechanics/Special relativity(QED), with Gravity, as the ‘Bohemian Gravity’ video I cited illustrated, I consider the preceding ‘quantum’ nuance on the Shroud of Turin to be a subtle, but powerful, evidence substantiating Christ’s primary claim as to being our Savior from sin, death, and hell:

Verses and Music:

Colossians 1:15-20
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Acts 13:37
But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.

Natalie Grant: “Alive (MARY MAGDALENE)” – Official Lyric Video

Of supplemental note: The ‘agent causality’ of Christians is vastly superior in explanatory power to the ‘it just happens’ blind causality of atheists:

A Professor’s Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist – University of Wyoming – J. Budziszewski
Excerpt page12: “There were two great holes in the argument about the irrelevance of God. The first is that in order to attack free will, I supposed that I understood cause and effect; I supposed causation to be less mysterious than volition.
If anything, it is the other way around. I can perceive a logical connection between premises and valid conclusions. I can perceive at least a rational connection between my willing to do something and my doing it. But between the apple and the earth, I can perceive no connection at all. Why does the apple fall? We don’t know. “But there is gravity,” you say. No, “gravity” is merely the name of the phenomenon, not its explanation. “But there are laws of gravity,” you say. No, the “laws” are not its explanation either; they are merely a more precise description of the thing to be explained, which remains as mysterious as before. For just this reason, philosophers of science are shy of the term “laws”; they prefer “lawlike regularities.” To call the equations of gravity “laws” and speak of the apple as “obeying” them is to speak as though, like the traffic laws, the “laws” of gravity are addressed to rational agents capable of conforming their wills to the command. This is cheating, because it makes mechanical causality (the more opaque of the two phenomena) seem like volition (the less). In my own way of thinking the cheating was even graver, because I attacked the less opaque in the name of the more.
The other hole in my reasoning was cruder. If my imprisonment in a blind causality made my reasoning so unreliable that I couldn’t trust my beliefs, then by the same token I shouldn’t have trusted my beliefs about imprisonment in a blind causality. But in that case I had no business denying free will in the first place.”
http://www.undergroundthomist......theist.pdf

BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
Excerpt: ,,,The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reality that transcends space, time, matter and energy.
This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world,,,
Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.” Anything else invokes random miracles as an explanatory principle and spells the end of scientific rationality.,,,
Universes do not “spontaneously create” on the basis of abstract mathematical descriptions, nor does the fantasy of a limitless multiverse trump the explanatory power of transcendent intelligent design. What Mr. Hawking’s contrary assertions show is that mathematical savants can sometimes be metaphysical simpletons. Caveat emptor.
http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

Also of Note:

Higher Dimensional Special Relativity, Near Death Experiences, Biophotons, and the Quantum Soul

385. 385
fifthmonarchyman says:

Phoenix said,

But how would that be a problem for materialists and not for everyone else, anyway?

I say,

again Geez,

My conversation with you is proof that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Is it any wonder these conversations often don’t seem to go anywhere.

Why don’t you go back and look at my posts where I explain the difference between holding the “particle/field” to be the ultimate reality and my position which is that the one and the many are equally ultimate.

Then ask yourself how holding that whole things to be real and ultimate is different than holding that whole things are merely the sum of their constituent parts.

If that does not cause a light bulb to go off take some time and try thinking deeply about it and asking specific clarifying questions.

If you still don’t get it I don’t think I can help you.

peace

386. 386
phoenix says:

fifth,

A whole and its parts cannot both be ultimate.

Think about it. It’s not rocket science.

You obviously didn’t get my toilet example, so let me try again. When you separate the tank from the bowl, you no longer have a toilet. Toilets are not ultimate.

387. 387
fifthmonarchyman says:

Phoenix said,

A whole and its parts cannot both be ultimate.

I say,

I realize that given your worldview this is impossible. But for Trinitarian Christians it is our nonnegotiable core presupposition.

I would hope you could at least understand where the other side is coming from.

If a whole and it’s parts can not be equally ultimate the Trinity is impossible. For me to even entertain such a thought is unthinkable.

The Christian’s entire epistemological framework is based on the existence of the Triune God. A reality that you find to be incoherent.

It’s as if you demand I agree that God does not exist before we can even have a discussion.

Now perhaps you see why these discussions are so difficult.

We are simply talking past one another there is no shared point of reference.

peace

388. 388
fifthmonarchyman says:

phoenix says,

When you separate the tank from the bowl, you no longer have a toilet.

I say

geeze

check it out

http://home.howstuffworks.com/tankless-toilet.htm

peace

389. 389
phoenix says:

fifth:

I realize that given your worldview this is impossible. But for Trinitarian Christians it is our nonnegotiable core presupposition.

Yes, the Trinity is incoherent (in Christianese, it’s a “mystery”). But unlike you, your fellow Christians at least try to limit the incoherence to God.

They don’t go around insisting that toilets are “ultimate”, when a well-placed whack from a sledgehammer proves otherwise.

As you like to say:
Geeze.

390. 390
phoenix says:

OK, so where do things stand in this thread?

Niwrad is still struggling to understand that improbable things happen all the time. He may wish to consult those arch-Darwinists Ewert, Marks, and Dembski, who write:

Low probability events are often claimed to not happen. But this is fallacious because low probability events take place all of the time.

He also doubts the compensation argument. He may wish to consult kairosfocus, who now concedes its validity.

Last, niwrad seems to believe that the second law forbids the spontaneous production of “organization”, which if true would mean that the second law is violated every time a tree takes disorganized substances and forms them into a nice, organized tree branch.

Someone on the ID side may wish to take niwrad aside and explain that living organisms do not violate the second law.

391. 391
phoenix says:

kairosfocus, meanwhile, has dropped his ridiculous opposition to the compensation argument.

However, he is afraid to state his position regarding evolution, OOL and the second law.

phoenix:

KF,

Do you believe that evolution and/or OOL violate the second law?

KF:

Of course, clicking on KF’s “handle” does not lead directly to an answer.

KF may wish to consult his braver compatriots to learn how they mustered the courage to actually state their positions.

392. 392
phoenix says:

Box has backed off and admitted that materialists can coherently refer to macroscopic objects like organisms, lakes, rocks and toilets.

However — believe it or not — he’s now claiming that organisms have a special power that allows their particles to defy the second law:

If an organism has no existence in and of itself – no causal powers in and of itself – why then don’t the particles, which constitute the organism, act in accordance to the 2nd law, as they do at the moment of death and thereafter? What force prevents the particles in motion from doing what comes natural?

This is nonsense, of course. Organisms don’t violate the second law. Any local entropy decrease is compensated for by increases in the entropy of the surroundings, and this is just as true inside organisms as outside.

393. 393
kairosfocus says:

phoenix: I have actually laid out answers above (e.g. 16), which come from the linked. I have done so for years, which is not exactly an expression of fear . . . your projections bespeak a failure to deal with the merits. Again . . . and it seems to be over and over, I simply point out that 2LOT is rooted in a micro-picture and associated statistics, onward tied to information; which is decisive. The origin of FSCO/I rich systems requires a body of constructive work, requiring relevant mass, energy and information flows coupled to energy converters and constructors, in relevant ways. Irrelevant flows cannot credibly compensate, and to expect diffusion or similar forces to by happenstance carry out large bodies of constructive work is a non-starter. Where, the integrated von Neumann self replication facility involved in cell based life is a further case of FSCO/I. The intelligent origin of FSCO/I shows no signs of 2d law violations, but the attempt to get complex organisation out of lucky noise runs perilously close to suggesting a perpetuum mobile of the 2nd kind. And if you do not understand what such is, you have no business in this exchange. KF

394. 394
phoenix says:

Meanwhile, fifthmonarchyman is confusing Trinitarian theology with the ontology of toilets.

Upright Biped, as usual, is trying to change the subject to biosemiosis.

And Joe and Andre are hanging out on the periphery, hoping the big kids will notice them.

395. 395
phoenix says:

KF,

If you weren’t afraid, you would answer the question:

Do you believe that evolution and/or OOL violate the second law?

396. 396
397. 397
Box says:

Phoenix: Box has backed off and admitted that materialists can coherently refer to macroscopic objects like organisms, lakes, rocks and toilets.

No, he has not. Allow me to explain:

Letters derive their meaning from a word. Words derive their meaning from a sentence. A sentence derives its meaning from yet a larger context. Notice the top-down flow of meaning.

Things need context in order to have function and meaning. In isolation – without context – things have neither function nor meaning. There is no such thing as a “car key” in a universe where cars don’t exist. There is no such thing as an “organ” in a universe where organisms don’t exist.

Therefore, in a universe where, according to materialism, only particles in motion exist one cannot speak coherently of things of meaning and function.

Function and meaning are only *real* insofar as contexts are *real*. Under materialism an organism is not real. Like everything else under materialism an organism is nothing over and above particles in motion. An organism reduces to particles in motion. An organism has no existence in and of itself and has no causal powers. If an organism would have causal powers we would be speaking of top-down causal powers, however this is unacceptable under materialism where all causes flow from the bottom to the top.

IOW an organism is not real. What’s real – according to the materialist – is particles in motion and nothing else.
Therefore, an organism is no *real* context under materialism. It follows that speaking of function and meaning with regard to an “organism” has no basis in reality for a materialist and is INCOHERENT.

398. 398

phoenix

improbable things happen all the time

Provide an example with probability 10^-(1.8 x 10^22), as your evolution.

Last, niwrad seems to believe that the second law forbids the spontaneous production of “organization”, which if true would mean that the second law is violated every time a tree takes disorganized substances and forms them into a nice, organized tree branch.

Your “gem” of statement shows clearly that you understand nothing of the topic. Oh my and I complain about Zachriel…

“A tree takes disorganized substances and forms them into a nice, organized tree branch” only because an intelligence has carefully designed a seed that contains the entire potentiality to form a tree. There is exactly zero “production of organization” ex novo in a growing tree. Its development is perfectly frontloaded just from the beginning in the potentiality of the seed, as the behaviour of a computer program is just in potency in its source code.

He also doubts the compensation argument. He may wish to consult kairosfocus, who now concedes its validity.

You don’t understand kairosfocus (no surprise given what I said above).

Someone on the ID side may wish to take niwrad aside and explain that living organisms do not violate the second law.

Again a gem, please give me back Zachriel…

It has been said countless times by me and ALL other IDers that “living organisms do NOT violate the second law.” It is their alleged supposed spontaneous generation by natural forces that WOULD violate the 2nd_law_SM. Do you understand the difference between the arise of a living organism from molecules and a constructed finished organism that is alive and well? The former is “creation” of a system from matter, the latter is “operation” or “functioning” of the complete system already created.

399. 399
kairosfocus says:

phoenix,

First “evolutuion” is far too broad a term. For instance, minor variations of populations are observed, are not an issue for anyone and generally happen by loss of information/breaking of something. Where, macroevolution by design is possible and is a significant view.

Second, I have made it quite plain that — and, why — blind needle in haystack search process is not a credible mechanism for the origin of FSCO/I involved in body plan level origin, starting with OOL but involving the whole proposed branching tree of life. This is tied to the statistical underpinnings that are inextricably connected to 2LOT for 100+ years now. In particular, the constructive configurational work involved for FSCO/I beyond 500 – 1,000 bits description length would exhaust the blind watchmaker needle in haystack resources of the sol system at low end, observed cosmos at high end. Where, by virtue of Wicken wiring diagram required config of many parts to achieve specific function, FSCO/I comes in deeply isolated zones in config spaces that are literally at or beyond astronomical scale.

Under say evolution by design (cf Wallace in The World of Life — co-founder of Evolutionary Theory — and other more current sources) the energy, mass and information flows relevantly coupled to energy converters and constructors will have no problem with 2LOT. Similar, to Maxwell’s Demon.

But, in absence of such constructors, converters, prescriptive information and relevant information and mass flows, the hoped for blanket substitution of blind chance and blind mechanical necessity at molecular level skirts being a perpetuum mobile of the second kind. Which is precisely what — on good statistical mechanical grounds, 2LOT effectively rules out.

To insist on the efficacy of such in the teeth of that pattern of analysis, requires production of empirical examples.

1: Where is the observed case of blind watchmaker OOL or major components of such beyond the FSCO/I threshold in reasonable pre-life circumstances such as a Darwin pond, a deep undersea vent, comet core etc? ______________ ANS: NIL.

2: Where is the observed case of blind watchmaker origin of a major body plan or major components of such beyond the FSCO/I threshold? _________________ ANS: NIL

So, there is no basis for treating blind watchmaker OOL or origin of body plans as though it were a fact to be accounted for by pointing to irrelevant energy or mass flows as though they would “compensate.”

In short, there is no good empirical or analytical reason to think that just because the earth is an open system, etc., that the sort of irrelevant flows being appealed to have led to blind watchmaker OOL and/or equally blind origin of body plans. The evidence we do have in hand points instead to such skirting with being a hoped for perpetuum mobile of the 2nd kind.

Now, I don’t doubt that you will try further rhetorical demands and the like, while insistently ignoring the reasoning and actual empirical evidence on the table.

To save onlookers’ time and a silly set of circles of repetition, I simply say: until you oprovide clear evidence of blind watchmaker thesis origin of life and/or of blind watchmaker thesis origin of body plans, there is no case of empirical fact to be answered to.

When you can provide such actual observations that blind watchmaker processes are causally adequate to the claimed effect — vera causa — you are simply begging the question.

Produce the actually observed facts, then you have something to argue.

Meanwhile, every comment you make further illustrates how FSCO/I is routinely produced by intelligently directed, information-rich configuration.

All, consistent with 2LOT.

KF

400. 400
Piotr says:

KF:

…the attempt to get complex organisation out of lucky noise runs perilously close to suggesting a perpetuum mobile of the 2nd kind

A perpetuum mobile of the second kind (PP2) is by definition a system that spontaneously converts thermal energy into work without a compensatory export of entropy. That’s actually the hallmark of all PP2 proposals: they all violate the 2LoT, and I thought you had already conceded that life didn’t do that. Your verbal hedges (“runs close”, “suggesting”) show an unwillingness to face simple facts. As has been pointed out here many times, life produces a lot of entropy (heat, low-free-energy “molecular waste”). So no, evolution doesn’t come anywhere close to building PP2s.

401. 401
Joe says:

phoenix is clueless:

Last, niwrad seems to believe that the second law forbids the spontaneous production of “organization”, which if true would mean that the second law is violated every time a tree takes disorganized substances and forms them into a nice, organized tree branch.

That’s just stupid talk. This is an intelligently designed universe and trees are intelligently designed organisms. The 2LoT does not apply to intelligent design.

402. 402
kairosfocus says:

Piotr,

A perpetuum mobile of the second kind (PP2) is by definition a system that spontaneously converts thermal energy into work without a compensatory export of entropy. That’s actually the hallmark of all PP2 proposals: they all violate the 2LoT . . .

. . . prezactly.

Where is the relevant export process connected to an empirically credible energy converter and constructor, tied to mass, energy and info flows relevant to the FSCO/I to be instantiated?

I can see such in say existing photosynthesis or protein synthesis, but ab initio in Darwin’s pond or the like?

In short, life as we observe it does not violate 2LOT, but the proposed blind watchmaker accounts for OOL skirt precisely that perpetuum mobile, as no relevant energy converter and constructor are there coupling to the in flows and exhausting degraded energy and usually wastes.

Similarly, for OO novel body plans, say in the Cambrian, we have major molecular level innovations held to in effect synthesise massive FSCO/I of order 10 – 100+ mn bits just for genome innovations, on no credible process that bridges the config spaces to novel islands of function.

Appealing to incremental differential reproductive success cannot hack it when FSCO/I comes in islands of function. Again, no relevant mass, energy and esp info flows going to energy converters and constructors. Trying, again, to get info out of lucky noise, where without a viable coupling mechanism fed by the right info flows coming from an empirically credible source, exhausting of degraded energy and wastes is moot.

Appealing to the earth or to a pond in it or to organisms in an ecosystem etc. as being open systems does not answer to the relevance issue or the information/ organisation synthesis issue.

The only empirically warranted source of FSCO/I is intelligently designed configuration.

And of course, there is an unanswered show-me, vera causa adequate cause issue here also.

One last thing, I am by no means “conceding” — loaded word that hints of an attitude you need to change — that observed life comports with 2LOT. I am basing my analysis on its statistical underpinnings and the linked observed pattern of relevant couplings and energy-mass-info flows connected to construction and configurational work. With, say, protein synthesis as a capital case in point of real world molecular nanotech. Have you seen jumbo jets or even the D’Arsonval galvanometer based cockpit instruments assembled out of a tornado passing through a junkyard near the Boeing plant? Or, the like? Why not?

KF

PS: Joe, actually, so soon as a designer engages in constructive work in the physical world, 2LOT applies. But patently, such has credible mass, energy and info flows, plus an energy converter-constructor system, and exhaustion of relevant degraded energy and wastes are no problem. The analysis of the Maxwell Demon gives a case in point.

403. 403
kairosfocus says:

(A bit simplistic, but it helps. I cringed when he said some Molecules may have EK near absolute zero, but let’s cut him some slack.)

404. 404
Joe says:

kairosfocus:

PS: Joe, actually, so soon as a designer engages in constructive work in the physical world, 2LOT applies. But patently, such has credible mass, energy and info flows, plus an energy converter-constructor system, and exhaustion of relevant degraded energy and wastes are no problem. The analysis of the Maxwell Demon gives a case in point.

OK, true. My point is the 2LoT doesn’t apply to the design part- as in it does not prevent intelligent designers from designing nor would it prevent the design from working as designed..

405. 405
fifthmonarchyman says:

phoenix

Yes, the Trinity is incoherent (in Christianese, it’s a “mystery”).

I say,

Calling something a Mystery is not the same saying it’s incoherent. Just because we can’t understand how both a part and the whole can be ultimate does not mean such a thing is illogical. There is no logical contradiction in our understanding of the Trinity.

You say

But unlike you, your fellow Christians at least try to limit the incoherence to God.

I say,

I’m sorry but when Christians say that whole things actually exist and are not just “arrangements of matter” that we can “treat as whole entities” we are doing precisely that. We are simply declaring that the design is a reflection of the designer.

You say,

They don’t go around insisting that toilets are “ultimate”, when a well-placed whack from a sledgehammer proves otherwise.

I say,

A toilet is still a toilet even if it has been broken with a sledge hammer.

A car is still a car even if you remove the engine.

A person is still a person even if we remove his gallbladder.

A musical note written with ink is still a note even if a bit is absorbed into the paper

The United States is still the United States even when an individual person dies.

a coin sitting heads up is still a coin even if an atom of copper is lost to the environment.

This is simple basic stuff.

Come on man use your head. You will never understand the 2nd law argument until you understand that whole things (macrostates) actually exist in their own right and are not just useful fictions.

peace

406. 406
407. 407

You’d think keiths from TSZ (phoenix) would at least try to change the way he interacts if he’s going to go to all the trouble of creating aliases to participate here.

Nobody blatantly misrepresents in an attempt to agitate like keiths.

408. 408
Zachriel says:

Box: Letters derive their meaning from a word. Words derive their meaning from a sentence. A sentence derives its meaning from yet a larger context. Notice the top-down flow of meaning.

Yes. Materialists usually have brains with which they can form generalizations about the world. The existence of objects is rather unavoidable. Matter tends to clump you know.

Box: Therefore, in a universe where, according to materialism, only particles in motion exist one cannot speak coherently of things of meaning and function.

There’s also clumps of particles, which brains can recognize and label.

Box: Under materialism an organism is not real.

That’s simply not the case. A materialist recognizes organisms as real objects. What makes them a materialist is that they assert that the properties of organisms, including mind, are due to physical processes.

Box: What’s real – according to the materialist – is particles in motion and nothing else.

We’ve provided some neutral citations indicating that materialism is consistent with recognizing and designating objects.

niwrad: It is their alleged supposed spontaneous generation by natural forces that WOULD violate the 2nd_law_SM.

When humans build a machine, does it violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics? What if the humans built a self-replicating machine, would it then violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics?

409. 409
Joe says:

What makes them a materialist is that they assert that the properties of organisms, including mind, are due to physical processes.

That is also what makes them delusional.

410. 410

Zachriel

When humans build a machine, does it violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics? What if the humans built a self-replicating machine, would it then violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics?

Good questions. Per se 2nd_law_SM doesn’t prohibit injection of organization into an isolated system from an intelligent source. Simply 2nd_law_SM states what is the spontaneous trend of isolated systems when no organization is injected.

So, if with “to violate” we mean “to suspend”, or something like that, my answer is “no”, intelligent interventions don’t violate/suspend the laws operating on matter. I would suggest using the verbs “to by-pass” or “to overarch” or “to counter” to describe the situation. For me “to violate” or “to suspend” a law mean that a law is zeroed, nullified. While the verbs I suggest haven’t this strong meaning. Anyway I am of course open to corrections by you English language people.

The above answer applies also to eventual self-replicating machines. I see nothing fundamentally different.

411. 411
Zachriel says:

niwrad: Per se 2nd_law_SM doesn’t prohibit injection of organization into an isolated system from an intelligent source.

There’s no term in statistical thermodynamics for “intelligent source” or “organization”.

niwrad: So, if with “to violate” we mean “to suspend”, or something like that, my answer is “no”, intelligent interventions don’t violate/suspend the laws operating on matter.

So, no. Intelligent intervention doesn’t violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

412. 412

Why is it that so many materialists, like Zachriel and Keiths, cannot recognize it when a person – like Box – is making an argument about the logically necessary consequences of materialism as a worldview, and instead respond as if Box is making an argument about what people who call themselves materialists actually think and believe?

Box is making the case – and quite well – that under logically-consistent materialism, materialists must explain everything, and refer to everything, in terms of the bottom-up characteristics of the particles-in-motion, and have no license or right to refer to commodities which require or implicate a top-down “whole” commodity or characteristic.

Saying that materialists “do” think about brains and other macro-commodities and “do” employ macro-related terminologies as explanations is to miss the point altogether; yes, they do, but they shouldn’t, and have no grounds by which to employ such terms and commodities.

They are stealing non-applicable concepts and explanatory terms from non-materialists/non-reductionists.

413. 413

Zachriel

There’s no term in statistical thermodynamics for “intelligent source” or “organization”.

Ah no? And the famous Maxwell demon what is? 😉

414. 414
Zachriel says:

niwrad: I would suggest using the verbs “to by-pass” or “to overarch” or “to counter” to describe the situation.

A parallel example. A rocket doesn’t violate the *law* of gravity, it overcomes the *force* of gravity.

We might speak, loosely, of a *force* of entropy. The overall entropy will inevitably increase, but local regions may experience decreased entropy. These regions of decreased entropy are implausible based on a chance arrangement of microstates, so there has to be an irreversible loss of usable energy (work) for them to occur.

415. 415
Piotr says:

#404 KF,

One last thing, I am by no means “conceding” — loaded word that hints of an attitude you need to change — that observed life comports with 2LOT. I am basing my analysis on its statistical underpinnings and the linked observed pattern of relevant couplings and energy-mass-info flows connected to construction and configurational work. With, say, protein synthesis as a capital case in point of real world molecular nanotech.

So, in plain, unambiguous, no-beat-about-the-bush, non-sesquipedalian English, does life violate the 2LoT in any way? YES or NO?

Have you seen jumbo jets or even the D’Arsonval galvanometer based cockpit instruments assembled out of a tornado passing through a junkyard near the Boeing plant? Or, the like? Why not?

Because biological “nano-technology” is completely unlike human-made hardware? Because molecular “nanomachines” can self-assemble just by assuming a thermodynamically favoured configuration? Because lipids spontaneosly organise themselves into membranes, and proteins spontaneously form quarternary complexes, and they need no spanners, screwdrivers, welders, rivets or forklift trucks? And because the sources of energy used by biological systems are rather different from a tornado?

416. 416
Zachriel says:

William J Murray: Box – is making an argument about the logically necessary consequences of materialism as a worldview, and instead respond as if Box is making an argument about what people who call themselves materialists actually think and believe?

That’s easily resolved. Let’s agree that self-described materialists do recognize objects. Then the argument is that this recognition is inconsistent with materialism.

William J Murray: Box is making the case – and quite well – that under logically-consistent materialism, materialists must explain everything, and refer to everything, in terms of the bottom-up characteristics of the particles-in-motion

Two problems. One, while materialists agree that everything supervenes on the physical, not all materialists believe that everything can be explained by reference to particles. Two, even those that think everything can be explained in terms of particles can coherently point out that those particles clump.

niwrad: Ah no? And the famous Maxwell demon what is?

And humans build heat engines.

417. 417

William J Murray

Materialists are stealing concepts and explanatory terms from non-materialists/non-reductionists.

There is more. They use all the top-down vertical stack of non-materialist services, while denying it. Being, agency, causation, intellect, mind, consciousness, language… all used for free without a bit of gratitude and all powerfully applied to deny their Source.

418. 418
Joe says:

Piotr:

So, in plain, unambiguous, no-beat-about-the-bush, non-sesquipedalian English, does life violate the 2LoT in any way? YES or NO?

The violation comes from the claim that blind and undirected processes produced life.

419. 419
bornagain77 says:

“Per se 2nd_law_SM doesn’t prohibit injection of organization into an isolated system from an intelligent source.”

Although this may be controversial, I believe we now have evidence of ‘injection of organization into an isolated system from an intelligent source’ with protein folding.
To get this point across first it is important to learn what neo-Darwinism includes and what it excludes. Granville Sewell states:

What You Have to Believe to Not Believe in Intelligent Design – Granville Sewell – March 18, 2015
Excerpt: Peter Urone in his 2001 physics text College Physics writes, “One of the most remarkable simplifications in physics is that only four distinct forces account for all known phenomena.” The prevailing view in science today is that physics explains all of chemistry, chemistry explains all of biology, and biology completely explains the human mind; thus physics alone explains the human mind and all it does.
This is what you have to believe to not believe in intelligent design: that the origin and evolution of life, and the evolution of human consciousness and intelligence, are due entirely to a few unintelligent forces of physics. Thus you must believe that a few unintelligent forces of physics alone could have rearranged the fundamental particles of physics into computers and science texts and jet airplanes.
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....94501.html

The four distinct forces that account for all known phenomena in the materialistic worldview are:

The Fundamental Forces of Nature
Excerpt:
The strong interaction,,
The electromagnetic force ,,
The weak force,,
The gravitational force,,
http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/ast.....orces.html

It is also important to note that neo-Darwinism does not exclude ‘unguided’ randomness in its list of explanations for how everything came to be on the earth.
As well, it is also important to note that those four forces are said to all be mediated at the speed of light.

As well, it is important to note that another thing that is also excluded from the list is the physical resource of Quantum entanglement:

Quantum Entanglement and Information
Quantum entanglement is a physical resource, like energy, associated with the peculiar nonclassical correlations that are possible between separated quantum systems. Entanglement can be measured, transformed, and purified. A pair of quantum systems in an entangled state can be used as a quantum information channel to perform computational and cryptographic tasks that are impossible for classical systems. The general study of the information-processing capabilities of quantum systems is the subject of quantum information theory.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-entangle/

With all that in mind, now let’s look at protein folding.

It is now known that proteins do not find their final folded form by ‘random’ processes:

The Humpty-Dumpty Effect: A Revolutionary Paper with Far-Reaching Implications – Paul Nelson – October 23, 2012
Excerpt: Anyone who has studied the protein folding problem will have met the famous Levinthal paradox, formulated in 1969 by the molecular biologist Cyrus Levinthal. Put simply, the Levinthal paradox states that when one calculates the number of possible topological (rotational) configurations for the amino acids in even a small (say, 100 residue) unfolded protein, random search could never find the final folded conformation of that same protein during the lifetime of the physical universe. Therefore, concluded Levinthal, given that proteins obviously do fold, they are doing so, not by random search, but by following favored pathways. The challenge of the protein folding problem is to learn what those pathways are.
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65521.html

Confronting Science’s Logical Limits – John L. Casti – 1996
Excerpt: It has been estimated that a supercomputer applying plausible rules for protein folding would need 10^127 years to find the final folded form for even a very short sequence consisting of just 100 amino acids. (The universe is 13.7 x 10^9 years old). In fact, in 1993 Aviezri S. Fraenkel of the University of Pennsylvania showed that the mathematical formulation of the protein-folding problem is computationally “hard” in the same way that the traveling-salesman problem is hard.
http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~ro.....Limits.pdf

That no one really has a firm clue how proteins are finding their final folded form is made clear by the immense time (a few weeks) it takes for a few hundred thousand computers, which are linked together, to find the final folded form of a single protein:

A Few Hundred Thousand Computers vs. (The Folding Of) A Single Protein Molecule – video

The reason why finding the final form of a folded protein is so hard for supercomputers is that it is like the ‘traveling salesman’ puzzle, which are ‘Just about the meanest problems you can set a computer (on) ‘.

DNA computer helps traveling salesman – Philip Ball – 2000
Excerpt: Just about the meanest problems you can set a computer belong to the class called ‘NP-complete’. The number of possible answers to these conundrums, and so the time required to find the correct solution, increases exponentially as the problem is scaled up in size. A famous example is the ‘travelling salesman’ puzzle, which involves finding the shortest route connecting all of a certain number of cities.,,,
Solving the traveling-salesman problem is a little like finding the most stable folded shape of a protein’s chain-like molecular structure — in which the number of ‘cities’ can run to hundreds or even thousands.
http://www.nature.com/news/200.....13-10.html

Yet it is exactly this type of ‘traveling salesman problem’ that quantum computers excel at:

Speed Test of Quantum Versus Conventional Computing: Quantum Computer Wins – May 8, 2013
Excerpt: quantum computing is, “in some cases, really, really fast.”
McGeoch says the calculations the D-Wave excels at involve a specific combinatorial optimization problem, comparable in difficulty to the more famous “travelling salesperson” problem that’s been a foundation of theoretical computing for decades.,,,
“This type of computer is not intended for surfing the internet, but it does solve this narrow but important type of problem really, really fast,” McGeoch says. “There are degrees of what it can do. If you want it to solve the exact problem it’s built to solve, at the problem sizes I tested, it’s thousands of times faster than anything I’m aware of. If you want it to solve more general problems of that size, I would say it competes — it does as well as some of the best things I’ve looked at. At this point it’s merely above average but shows a promising scaling trajectory.”
http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....122828.htm

420. 420
bornagain77 says:

That proteins may be capable of quantum computation is briefly gone over here:

Quantum states in proteins and protein assemblies:
The essence of life? – STUART HAMEROFF, JACK TUSZYNSKI
Excerpt: It is, in fact, the hydrophobic effect and attractions among non-polar hydrophobic groups by van der Waals forces which drive protein folding. Although the confluence of hydrophobic side groups are small, roughly 1/30 to 1/250 of protein volumes, they exert enormous influence in the regulation of protein dynamics and function. Several hydrophobic pockets may work cooperatively in a single protein (Figure 2, Left). Hydrophobic pockets may be considered the “brain” or nervous system of each protein.,,, Proteins, lipids and nucleic acids are composed of constituent molecules which have both non-polar and polar regions on opposite ends. In an aqueous medium the non-polar regions of any of these components will join together to form hydrophobic regions where quantum forces reign.
http://www.tony5m17h.net/SHJTQprotein.pdf

And here is the paper that proved that protein folding belongs to the physics of the quantum world and that protein folding does not belong to the physics of the classical world:

Physicists Discover Quantum Law of Protein Folding – February 22, 2011
Quantum mechanics finally explains why protein folding depends on temperature in such a strange way.
Excerpt: Their astonishing result is that this quantum transition model fits the folding curves of 15 different proteins and even explains the difference in folding and unfolding rates of the same proteins.
That’s a significant breakthrough. Luo and Lo’s equations amount to the first universal laws of protein folding. That’s the equivalent in biology to something like the thermodynamic laws in physics.
http://www.technologyreview.co.....f-protein/

And here is another paper that empirically proved that quantum information is present in proteins:

Classical and Quantum Information Channels in Protein Chain – Dj. Koruga, A. Tomi?, Z. Ratkaj, L. Matija – 2006
Abstract: Investigation of the properties of peptide plane in protein chain from both classical and quantum approach is presented. We calculated interatomic force constants for peptide plane and hydrogen bonds between peptide planes in protein chain. On the basis of force constants, displacements of each atom in peptide plane, and time of action we found that the value of the peptide plane action is close to the Planck constant. This indicates that peptide plane from the energy viewpoint possesses synergetic classical/quantum properties. Consideration of peptide planes in protein chain from information viewpoint also shows that protein chain possesses classical and quantum properties. So, it appears that protein chain behaves as a triple dual system: (1) structural – amino acids and peptide planes, (2) energy – classical and quantum state, and (3) information – classical and quantum coding. Based on experimental facts of protein chain, we proposed from the structure-energy-information viewpoint its synergetic code system.
http://www.scientific.net/MSF.518.491

Thus niwrad, since the quantum entanglement/information of quantum computation in protein folding requires a non-local, beyond space and time, cause to explain its existence,,,,

Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – 29 October 2012
Excerpt: “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”
http://www.quantumlah.org/high.....uences.php

,,,,then we have very good evidence of “injection of organization into an isolated system’, from outside the four fundamental forces and ‘randomness’, (and even outside all of space-time itself), in regards to explain how protein folding is accomplished.

421. 421
Piotr says:

They are stealing non-applicable concepts and explanatory terms from non-materialists/non-reductionists.

They have practically stolen science from its rightful owners — is that what you mean? Hey, WJM, why not show us how science should be practised? How do complex structures originate according to non-materialist, non-reductionist science?

422. 422
kairosfocus says:

Joe (attn Piotr): The overturning of the statistical underpinnings of 2LOT would come from actually objectively, empirically demonstrating blind watchmaker processes producing the FSCO/I of life by blind chance and mechanical necessity. This would be further shown by similar empirical demonstration — not ideologically loaded inferences on the remote past — of the same blind needle in haystack class of processes, multiple times, creating complex novel body plan features. Of course, no such observations are in hand or in reasonable prospect. But if it were done, it would be effectively a perpetuum mobile of the 2nd kind. I am highly confident on the involved statistics, that such will not be done on the gamut of Sol system or observed cosmos resources. KF

PS, Piotr, kindly stop trying to force-fit me into a strawman caricature. The matter is deeply conceptual and analytical in the face of much blatant misconception. A simplistic Y/N answer that does not specify just what I agree/disagree with would be worse than useless. Why not, show us that you understand what I am saying, why. For instance, on a Maxwell Demon case as compared to say the assembly of a protein vs a fishing reel, why am I talking to relevant [as opposed to irrelevant or raw] information, energy and mass flows, why do I insist that such flows implicate coupling to energy converters and linked constructors in the context of creating FSCO/I rich entities, why do I point to exhaust of degenerated energy and likely waste mass?

423. 423
kairosfocus says:

Piotr: How complex, functionally specific organised entities arise, per common observation:

(and yes, it’s fishing reels time again.)

KF

424. 424
Piotr says:

#422 BA77,

OK, so the known fundamental interactions are not enough for you. That despite the fact that you tend to idolise quantum mechanics, and the interactions in questions are described by quantum field theories (well, that’s not true of gravity yet, but we’ve got those lads in the Physics Faculty working on it). You need the Fifth Fundamental Force (FFF), also known as Quantum Hoodoo Magic (QHM). Can you tell us how it works?

425. 425
Piotr says:

#424 KF,

So (just for the record) thy speech shall not be “Yes, yes; No, no”, but two paragraphs of evasive verbiage. OK, I suppose I will let my case rest.

426. 426
bornagain77 says:

Piotr, quantum entanglement, i.e. non-locality, is not reducible to any within space and time cause.

You know, that whole dust up with Einstein, Bell, Aspect, Leggett, Zeilinger?

Or did you miss that development?

Do you want me to give you a short history lesson on the subject?

427. 427
Piotr says:

#428 BA77,

Thank you for your concern, but I think I can do without your lesson. However, I fail to see why quantum entanglement or quantum indeterminacy should require Quantum Hoodoo Magic in addition to the four fundamental interactions known so far.

428. 428
bornagain77 says:

as to:

“I fail to see why quantum entanglement,, should require Quantum Hoodoo Magic,,”

perhaps you know something about ‘spooky action at a distance’ that Einstein didn’t that renders quantum non-locality less mysterious than he thought it was?

Quantum Entanglement – Bohr and Einstein – The Failure Of Local Realism – Materialism – Alain Aspect – video
https://vimeo.com/98206867

Quantum Entanglement & Spooky Action at a Distance – video

Einstein vs quantum mechanics, and why he’d be a convert today – June 13, 2014
Excerpt: In a nutshell, experimentalists John Clauser, Alain Aspect, Anton Zeilinger, Paul Kwiat and colleagues have performed the Bell proposal for a test of Einstein’s hidden variable theories. All results so far support quantum mechanics. It seems that when two particles undergo entanglement, whatever happens to one of the particles can instantly affect the other, even if the particles are separated!
http://phys.org/news/2014-06-e.....today.html

Moreover, the problem for materialists/atheists has only gotten worse. Far worse!

“hidden variables don’t exist. If you have proved them come back with PROOF and a Nobel Prize.
John Bell theorized that maybe the particles can signal faster than the speed of light. This is what he advocated in his interview in “The Ghost in the Atom.” But the violation of Leggett’s inequality in 2007 takes away that possibility and rules out all non-local hidden variables. Observation instantly defines what properties a particle has and if you assume they had properties before we measured them, then you need evidence, because right now there is none which is why realism is dead, and materialism dies with it.
How does the particle know what we are going to pick so it can conform to that?”
per Jimfit
http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-548632

Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
Excerpt: Many realizations of the thought experiment have indeed verified the violation of Bell’s inequality. These have ruled out all hidden-variables theories based on joint assumptions of realism, meaning that reality exists when we are not observing it; and locality, meaning that separated events cannot influence one another instantaneously. But a violation of Bell’s inequality does not tell specifically which assumption – realism, locality or both – is discordant with quantum mechanics.
Markus Aspelmeyer, Anton Zeilinger and colleagues from the University of Vienna, however, have now shown that realism is more of a problem than locality in the quantum world. They devised an experiment that violates a different inequality proposed by physicist Anthony Leggett in 2003 that relies only on realism, and relaxes the reliance on locality. To do this, rather than taking measurements along just one plane of polarization, the Austrian team took measurements in additional, perpendicular planes to check for elliptical polarization.
They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

etc.. etc…

a few more notes to ruffle your materialistic feathers P:

Contextuality is ‘magic ingredient’ for quantum computing – June 11, 2012
Excerpt: Contextuality was first recognized as a feature of quantum theory almost 50 years ago. The theory showed that it was impossible to explain measurements on quantum systems in the same way as classical systems.
In the classical world, measurements simply reveal properties that the system had, such as colour, prior to the measurement. In the quantum world, the property that you discover through measurement is not the property that the system actually had prior to the measurement process. What you observe necessarily depends on how you carried out the observation.
Imagine turning over a playing card. It will be either a red suit or a black suit – a two-outcome measurement. Now imagine nine playing cards laid out in a grid with three rows and three columns. Quantum mechanics predicts something that seems contradictory – there must be an even number of red cards in every row and an odd number of red cards in every column. Try to draw a grid that obeys these rules and you will find it impossible. It’s because quantum measurements cannot be interpreted as merely revealing a pre-existing property in the same way that flipping a card reveals a red or black suit.
Measurement outcomes depend on all the other measurements that are performed – the full context of the experiment.
Contextuality means that quantum measurements can not be thought of as simply revealing some pre-existing properties of the system under study. That’s part of the weirdness of quantum mechanics.
http://phys.org/news/2014-06-w.....antum.html

Quantum experiment verifies Einstein’s ‘spooky action at a distance’ – March 24, 2015
Excerpt: An experiment,, has for the first time demonstrated Albert Einstein’s original conception of “spooky action at a distance” using a single particle.
,,Professor Howard Wiseman and his experimental collaborators,, report their use of homodyne measurements to show what Einstein did not believe to be real, namely the non-local collapse of a (single) particle’s wave function.,,
According to quantum mechanics, a single particle can be described by a wave function that spreads over arbitrarily large distances,,,
,, by splitting a single photon between two laboratories, scientists have used homodyne detectors—which measure wave-like properties—to show the collapse of the wave function is a real effect,,
This phenomenon is explained in quantum theory,, the instantaneous non-local, (betond space and time), collapse of the wave function to wherever the particle is detected.,,,
“Einstein never accepted orthodox quantum mechanics and the original basis of his contention was this single-particle argument. This is why it is important to demonstrate non-local wave function collapse with a single particle,” says Professor Wiseman.
“Einstein’s view was that the detection of the particle only ever at one point could be much better explained by the hypothesis that the particle is only ever at one point, without invoking the instantaneous collapse of the wave function to nothing at all other points.
“However, rather than simply detecting the presence or absence of the particle, we used homodyne measurements enabling one party to make different measurements and the other, using quantum tomography, to test the effect of those choices.”
“Through these different measurements, you see the wave function collapse in different ways, thus proving its existence and showing that Einstein was wrong.”
http://phys.org/news/2015-03-q.....tance.html

429. 429
phoenix says:

kairosfocus,

The matter is deeply conceptual and analytical in the face of much blatant misconception. A simplistic Y/N answer that does not specify just what I agree/disagree with would be worse than useless.

A braver soul than you would answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and explain why.

430. 430
phoenix says:

Per se 2nd_law_SM doesn’t prohibit injection of organization into an isolated system from an intelligent source. Simply 2nd_law_SM states what is the spontaneous trend of isolated systems when no organization is injected.

No organization is being “injected” in my tree example:

Last, niwrad seems to believe that the second law forbids the spontaneous production of “organization”, which if true would mean that the second law is violated every time a tree takes disorganized substances and forms them into a nice, organized tree branch.

Since no organization is being “injected”, the second law is being violated (according to your bogus reasoning).

431. 431
kairosfocus says:

Piotr and phoenix, you have had reasonable and specific answers that focus the concern on the assumed spontaneous origin of cell based life nanotech and on the similar origin of body plans, without relevant mass, energy and info flows coupled to energy converters and constructors to create the requisite FSCO/I. Where, by contrast I have given instances such as presently operating protein synthesis, where no such concerns obtain; including, I add as an edit, the existence of pre-programmed von Neumann kinematic self replicators integrated with the cells — as opposed to the ultimate origin of such. I have pointed out that were spontaneous origin of requisite FSCO/I to be observed we would in effect have a refutation of 2LOT by perpetuum mobiles of the 2nd kind — there being no indication that such highly contingent, wiring diagram specific configurations are produced by blind mechanical necessity by contrast with say freezing of water to form crystals of ice. If your claims point that way, then you need to provide empirical observations, not ideologically loaded narratives on the deep, unexplained — oops, unobserved — past of origins. You patently cannot and have not. Instead of responding appropriately, you have resorted to dismissive rhetoric and in the case of phoenix, to personalities. That ill-bred resort speaks volumes; and it reveals that you have no answer on the merits, but ideology fuelled rage and contempt for those who differ aplenty. A warning-sign. KF

432. 432
phoenix says:

Box,

I am still waiting for a response to this:

However — believe it or not — he’s [Box is] now claiming that organisms have a special power that allows their particles to defy the second law:

If an organism has no existence in and of itself – no causal powers in and of itself – why then don’t the particles, which constitute the organism, act in accordance to the 2nd law, as they do at the moment of death and thereafter? What force prevents the particles in motion from doing what comes natural?

This is nonsense, of course. Organisms don’t violate the second law. Any local entropy decrease is compensated for by increases in the entropy of the surroundings, and this is just as true inside organisms as outside.

Box,

Do you understand that organisms do not violate the second law?

433. 433
phoenix says:

KF,

Piotr and phoenix, you have had reasonable and specific answers that focus the concern on the assumed spontaneous origin of cell based life nanotech [blah blah blah…]

We are looking for answers to our actual questions.

1. Does evolution violate the second law? Yes or no?
2. Does OOL violate the second law? Yes or no?
3. Does life violate the second law? Yes or no?

434. 434

phoenix

In a tree (as any organism) the organization is injected in the seed as a potentiality which will be developing and operating during all its living and growing. The system is frotloaded with all the germinal functionalities necessary to its future life.

IOW there is no need the designer… load software from a CD-ROM into the tree when it grows (to use the computer metaphor all understand). All the activities of the tree are scheduled in advance and a lot of recover processes are pre-programmed from the start and ready to run depending on the triggers of the environmental conditions.

435. 435
scordova says:

P1. Configuration multiplicity provides the basis for statistical thermodynamics.

P2. Statistical thermodynamics provides the rationale behind why 2LOT exists.

P3. If configuration entropy is apparently violated, then statistical thermodynamics is apparently violated.

P4. If statistical thermodynamics is apparently violated then the foundation of our understanding of why 2LOT is true is apparently violated.

Configuration of what?

The definition of configuration entropy may not be universally accepted. If by configuration one means “position and momentum” as used by the Lioville theorem and Gibb’s type formulation of statistical thermodynamics, then I should point out that is a more a classical mechanics formulation of statistical thermodynamics which is strictly then only an approximation. These microstates (position and momentum) change with temperature and pressure (if dealing with a gas).

If by configuration, one means something to include “heads/tails” configuration of coins, then this is clearly NOT covered by statistical thermodynamics. Example: changing temperature changes the number of thermodynamic microstates of 500 fair coins, however the number of heads/tails microstates does not change with temperature changes.

That’s the other thing, if we’re talking thermodynamics, a coherent definition of entropy ought to relate temperature to entropy. All the more reason to decouple design type microstates from thermodynamics.

Worse, even in ID literature the heads/tails configuration doesn’t change the entropy score! 500 fair coins heads has the same design space entropy as 500 fair coins with a random pattern. Until one defines configuration entropy in a more precise way and one that isn’t idiosyncratic, then the above quotation isn’t workable as a proposition.

436. 436
phoenix says:

OK, so now you’re saying that ‘organization’ doesn’t have to be injected after all. It can arise spontaneously in a system that has the necessary ‘potentiality’.

Could you revise and restate your proposed second law of organization?

437. 437

Piotr said:

They have practically stolen science from its rightful owners — is that what you mean?

Stolen and have turned into an ideological swamp of non-workable metaphysical expectations, yes.

Hey, WJM, why not show us how science should be practised?

http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ragmatism/

How do complex structures originate according to non-materialist, non-reductionist science?

I would suggest that an unlimited resource of functional information exists non-materially that is transferred into the physical world via an observing consciousness, automatically ordering (collapsing) quantum field substrates (potentials) in accordance with the information interacting with it. But that’s just a suggestion; I don’t know how one would go about scientifically testing such a theory. Perhaps BA77 has some research on the matter 🙂

438. 438
phoenix says:

WJM:

http://www.uncommondescent.com…..ragmatism/

Which was promptly dismantled at TSZ.

439. 439
Upright BiPed says:

Do you understand that organisms do not violate the second law?

Do you understand that you cannot organize an organism without a local independence from the second law?

Why?

Because add glycine next–add serine next–add aspartic acid next is not a temporal event that can be derived from matter. Hello? It must be brought into existence by a system, and that system (as a physical necessity) will have a natural discontinuity between its input and output.

Don’t believe me?

Then just try to duplicate the system without it.

Good luck

😐

440. 440

phoenix

OK, so now you’re saying that ‘organization’ doesn’t have to be injected after all.

No. Organization does have to be injected and does not spontaneously arise in a system lacking the necessary organizational potency.

Think of an egg, e.g. a crocodile egg. Why a crocodile egg outputs a crocodile, not a cat? Because the egg contains in potency a crocodile. In computer terms, the bio-software in the egg was programmed to develop a crocodile, not a cat. This is what I called “cybernetic organizational frontloading.”

The concepts of “program source code” and “program output” may help to understand what potentiality is. The source code has the potentiality to produce the output. When its binary code runs on computer, the output is generated and the potentiality becomes actuality. The crocodile is born.

441. 441
Axel says:

How long have I been telling them they’re parasites, WJM and Nirwad, particularly as regards QM, but really in terms of virtually the whole of science, pioneered as it has been, notably in the last century, entirely by believers in ID, ergo deists, at minimum.

And among such parasites, that surely includes even Feynman. It seems interesting that he nevertheless remarked that nobody understood QM, in that it was, potentially, a curious admission, even if he later contradicted it, that scientism is a busted flush, and likely to remain so in perpetuity.

He realised he didn’t need to know the metaphysics to tackle the nitty-gritty of the subject with distinction. But where Planck, Bohr and to a lesser extent, Einstein were fascinated by the metaphysics, he and the general run of physicists, materialists, driven by fear, had evidently very quickly erected a barrier to contemplating head on, its implications.

It is said that Einstein was wildly popular because he explained his extraordinary findings in simple terms, which journalists could retail to the public. And while that is no doubt partially true, I believe the public were particularly pleased that Einstein had shown up the ‘everything from nothing’, atheist monkeys for what they, indeed, are. Who could have guessed the materialists would cling so desperately to their scientism, as they have, right into the 21st century?

As a footnote, it is hilarious to compare Wiktionary’s relatively anodyne definition of ‘scientism’ with that of other ones, notably, the second definition in both Collins and Merriam Webster.

442. 442
kairosfocus says:

Phoenix:

>>1. Does evolution violate the second law? Yes or no?>>

a: “Evolution” is hopelessly ambiguous, as long since pointed out.

b: As already stated and willfully ignored in haste to erect loaded strawman caricatures, microevolution mostly by loss of information is trivial and within islands of function of existing organisms and body plans. Such changes are not an issue. As you know or should.

c: Macro level, body-plan origin by means of design would not be an issue, as stated.

d: Blind watchmaker origin of novel body plans has no observed adequate cause and would demand creation of information from noise.

e: The issue here is then not the Clausius statement ds>/= 0, but as has been explained but repeatedly willfully ignored, the statistical underpinnings that have been integral to the classical result for 100+ years.

f: To expect the constructive work to be carried out to generate required FSCO/I without a credible information source expects in effect molecular noise to synthesise complex, functionally specific organisation and information. For which there is no vera causa.

g: Even the ordering of the questions is loaded, by holding back the pivotal case, OOL.

>>2. Does OOL violate the second law? Yes or no?>>

h: Again willfully ambiguous so a direct Y/N cannot reasonably be expected — a typical dirty rhetorical trick. Origin of life by design would involve relevant energy, mass and information flows coupled to energy converters and constructors with appropriate prescriptive information. Such is no more a problem for classical and statistical thermodynamics than general technologies are.

i: The various ideologically loaded blind watchmaker thesis narratives first utterly lack adequate cause of the FSCO/I required, and should not even be considered as serious science until they pass the vera causa test.

j: Such narratives lack an account of relevant mass, energy and information flows coupled to energy converters and constructors with appropriate prescriptive information.

k: Lacking energy converters, there is a want of ability to credibly take in energy, create shaft work or relevant organised flows, and to exhaust degraded heat. Thus, there is skirting of the perpetuum mobile, 2nd kind.

l: So too, here we see starkly exposed the notion of using irrelevant energy flows in absence of coupling and prescriptive information, to try to suggest that blind watchmaker thesis OOL does not face serious problems with the underlying molecular statistics and factors to create molecular nanotech of life.

m: The only credible, empirically warranted source of such molecular scale FSCO/I, is intelligently directed configuration.

>>3. Does life violate the second law? Yes or no?>>

n: The very suggestion loaded into this question erects a strawman caricature in disregard to truth.

o: Has any serious person, anywhere, suggested that bio forms of life violate 2 LOT and/or implications of the underlying molecular statistics? Patently, not.

p: On the contrary, life forms exhibit the pattern I have pointed out dozens of times, of relevant mass, energy and information flows, coupled to energy converters and constructors, starting from in the living cell.

q: Repeatedly, I have highlighted protein synthesis as a capital case in point. It is only by willful ignoring of what has been put on the table that you have been able to continue with deliberately ambiguous and loaded questions.

r: Thus, revealing the underlying amoral agenda of might and manipulation making “right” occasioned by the fatal moral hazard in evolutionary materialism as an ideology and in all fellow traveller systems that seek to accommodate it. As, Plato warned against so long ago.

So, by insistently refusing to address what is on the table in terms of the merits, but instead insisting on loaded and deliberately ambiguous questions, there is a patent intent on your part to twist, caricature and attack the man rather than deal with the issue.

Let me therefore pause and cite Thaxton et al from TMLO, ch 7, 1984, to show that from the foundations of the modern design movement in science, there has been a due appreciation of the issue:

While the maintenance of living systems is easily rationalized in terms of thermodynamics, the origin of such living systems is quite another matter. Though the earth is open to energy flow from the sun, the means of converting this energy into the necessary work to build up living systems from simple precursors remains at present unspecified (see equation 7-17). The “evolution” from biomonomers of to fully functioning cells is the issue. Can one make the incredible jump in energy and organization from raw material and raw energy, apart from some means of directing the energy flow through the system? [–> Thus, coupling of relevant energy, mass and info flows to converters and constructors, with exhausting of degraded energy and waste matter as direct implications] In Chapters 8 and 9 we will consider this question, limiting our discussion to two small but crucial steps in the proposed evolutionary scheme namely, the formation of protein and DNA from their precursors.

It is widely agreed that both protein and DNA are essential for living systems and indispensable components of every living cell today.11 Yet they are only produced by living cells. Both types of molecules are much more energy and information rich than the biomonomers from which they form. Can one reasonably predict their occurrence given the necessary biomonomers and an energy source? Has this been verified experimentally? [–> without directing prescriptive information guiding a constructor subsystem driven by an energy conversion subsystem] These questions will be considered [–> and the answers were that the blind watchmaker thesis was not credible, on analysis, analysis that has been extended and developed, shifting focus to the directly linked information view, and the warranted answer remains the same] . . .

(And of course, onlookers, I have clipped my longstanding citation in my always linked note App I on thermodynamics, stat thermo-d and linked information issues.)

KF

443. 443
Zachriel says:

niwrad: Per se 2nd_law_SM doesn’t prohibit injection of organization into an isolated system from an intelligent source.

Any such injection requires the expenditure of energy available for work, of course.

niwrad: So, if with “to violate” we mean “to suspend”, or something like that, my answer is “no”, intelligent interventions don’t violate/suspend the laws operating on matter.

So, no. Intelligent intervention doesn’t violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

444. 444
Piotr says:

Per se 2nd_law_SM doesn’t prohibit injection of organization into an isolated system from an intelligent source. Simply 2nd_law_SM states what is the spontaneous trend of isolated systems when no organization is injected.

An isolated biological system (one that can’t exchange matter, work or heat with its surroundings) won’t maintain its non-equilibrium dynamics for long, no matter how much organisation you “inject” into it. The 2LoT will take care of that. If you continue “injecting organisation”, that presumably means a transfer of energy (and possibly of matter as well). Still, the entropy of the system must increase unless it can get rid of waste matter/heat. If you allow it to do so, you can no longer call it isolated.

445. 445

Zachriel

Any such injection requires the expenditure of energy available for work, of course.

Yes. Organization injection requires energy like:

in the cosmos essence cannot exist without substance
cosmological information requires a material carrier
computing has a cost
control on power needs power supply
Maxwell demon cannot be ideal (therefore it cannot violate 2nd law)
to assembly a system needs energy/work
“ordo” needed “chao” to create the world
Logos made flesh to be known by us

I leave you to find other examples in other fields.

446. 446
CJYman says:

I see you guys are just starting to get to the meat of the argument … the connection between 2LOT and intelligence. Simply, all organization requires the transfer of energy therefore there will be a connection between energy flow and organization.

447. 447
CJYman says:

Upright Biped, is there a good way that I could contact you. Just want to run something by you re: organization & protocols.

448. 448
Zachriel says:

niwrad: to assembly a system needs energy/work

That’s right.

niwrad: control on power needs power supply

Not sure what you mean, other than the obvious tautology.

CJYman: Simply, all organization requires the transfer of energy therefore there will be a connection between energy flow and organization.

Simply, all disorganization requires the transfer of energy therefore there will be a connection between energy flow and disorganization.

449. 449
CJYman says:

Phoenix:
“What does that mean? Entropy isn’t a law that can be violated.”

Pardon, I was going to fast. Thank you for holding me to the details. I have re-phrased my final syllogism for it to be more accurate in its wording. You can read it at TSZ.

450. 450
scordova says:

If configuration entropy is apparently violated, then statistical thermodynamics is apparently violated.

How can configuration entropy be violated? Entropy is a state function of a system. It’s almost like saying “temperature is violated?”.

So then if we found 500 fair coins 100% heads, would we say 2LOT has been violated? Absolutely not. Granted 100% heads is a low multiplicity configuration for heads/tails, but I doubt there is a physicist in the world who’d say, “that’s an example of 2LOT being violated” the only thing being violated would be the chance hypothesis since chance + LLN does not result in 100% heads.

I should point out now, unfortunately there seems to be at least two notions of entropy floating around for IDists.

1. Bill Dembski/Shannon simple count of microstates, high complexity designs have HIGH entropy (number of design space bits)

2. Sewell/CJYman low multiplicity is low entropy, high complexity designs have LOW entropy since they have low multiplicity.

This is NOT a good situation since the definitions of entropy are practically polar opposites in the ID community. So why go there? !!!!

Basic probability and Law of Large numbers is good enough, clear, and unassailable.

Look what happens when we steer clear of information theory, 2LOT and whatever else, and go back to basics:
http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ck-matzke/

and

http://www.uncommondescent.com.....air-coins/

and

http://www.uncommondescent.com.....er-errors/

and

http://www.uncommondescent.com.....z-critics/

451. 451
Upright BiPed says:

Hi CJYman.

A couple of months ago I let my gaurd down and allowed a back door open to get to my email on this site. The freindly people who come here managed to destroy the account within a few hours. Since then I have beefed up and hope to be able to handle the attacks.

You can contact the “contact” at complexitycafe. That’s a dot com.

I look forward to hearing from you.

452. 452
scordova says:

I see you guys are just starting to get to the meat of the argument … the connection between 2LOT and intelligence. Simply, all organization requires the transfer of energy therefore there will be a connection between energy flow and organization.

It is more subtle than that. 2LOT does not preclude design type organization, it will however even preclude intelligent beings (except God) from intervening and allow a cold reservoir to dump net positive amount of heat to a hot reservoir. See:

http://www.uncommondescent.com.....nt-beings/

453. 453
CJYman says:

scordova, I do really appreciate your constructive criticism. Unfortunately we have been talking past each other to a certain extent. I hope that my post #216 has cleared up some of the issues. Do you have any problems with that comment (other than the syllogism — I just re-phrased it and posted to TLZ)

454. 454
CJYman says:

Zachriel, I will be back (hopefully soon) to respond to your last few comments to me and to continue the development of the argument at hand.

I will be back to define organization and discuss the idea of “organizational tolerance” macrostates.

455. 455
CJYman says:

Where does everyone stand re: the compensation argument? Will merely opening up a system’s boundaries to heat flow cause all improbable things to become more probable?

456. 456
phoenix says:

CJYman:

Where does everyone stand re: the compensation argument?

It’s valid and inseparable from the 2LoT.

Will merely opening up a system’s boundaries to heat flow cause all improbable things to become more probable?

Of course not. Shining sunlight on a rock won’t make it burst into song.

457. 457
Piotr says:

#457 CJYman,

Probability is not an inherent property of “things”. It can be assigned to events that produce those things (and is the measure of the likeliness of their occurrence). It makes no sense to say that, say, the set of ten coins sitting heads up has the probability of 2^(-10). It does make sense to say that if the coins are fair, 2^(-10) is the probability of such a set being the outcome of a random toss (or a sequence of 10 independent tosses). If you toss coin 1 until you get heads, then do the same with coin 2 etc., the probability of ending up with HHHHHHHHHH is 1, not 2^(-10). If you don’t know how an ordered arrangement has been produced, it’s meaningless to talk about its probability.

Likewise in biology. There is no such thing as the “probability of a protein”, but it makes sense to speak about the probability of the protein being the outcome of a certain process. The same outcome may be produced in different ways, and its probability will vary accordingly.

458. 458
scordova says:

Where does everyone stand re: the compensation argument?

Anti-compensation is not a good defense for ID. LLN and its corollaries are a superior way to frame the probability arguments.

For biological complexity, at issue is whether something like a complex algorithmic metabolism (aka living organism) is the expected outcome on a pre-biotic Earth. Our knowledge of chemistry and physics and cybernetics says “no”. The expected outcome is non-life. I think that is a perfectly scientific claim.

Whatever the reason that biological organisms emerged outside of expectation may be open to debate, possibly outside of science, but the assertion that biological organisms are a phenomenon far outside of expectation should be scientifically defensible.

Systems with so many steps involved in functionality are clearly a low multiplicity configuration in design space, but I don’t think it is wise to conflate design space multiplicity and entropy and probability with traditional notions of thermodynamic multiplicity and entropy and probability.

There is a very strong connection of thermodynamic entropy with temperature, and by way of contrast I don’t see design space entropies connected to temperature, thus 2LOT seems the wrong tool to argue for improbability.

It should be instructive to again repeat the most widely accepted statement of the 2nd Law:

CLAUSIUS STATEMENT:

Heat can never pass from a colder to a warmer body without some other change, connected therewith, occurring at the same time

This seems to me too much a stretch to argue for the improbability of biological evolution from ordinary processes.

The right tool to argue for improbability is LLN, it has always been LLN, not 2LOT. I suppose one could create an anti-compensation argument using LLN. That would be more palatable.

Here is the LLN

sample average converges in probability towards the expected value

As far as biological evolution, one could apply LLN and say, “non-life ordinarily converges on the expected outcome of non-life”. The implication therefore is something far out of the ordinary created life.

Will merely opening up a system’s boundaries to heat flow cause all improbable things to become more probable?

No.

459. 459
CJYman says:

Crap, just had a loss of my last comment.

scordova, just to let you know I understand the nuances and consequences of this argument. I am a naturalist: no interventions for me, evolution all the way, some type of abiogenesis had to have occurred.

I disagree that there are fundamental differences between the ID measures of information. I’ll write up an explanation again (just lost the last one) with my next post.

I do agree that the LLN is a good place to start a design argument. It does a good job addressing chance and law (except for long ordered patterns such as crystals and pulsars if I am interpreting your application of LLN correctly) and helping to provide a probability or an information measure. But as far as connecting the design to intelligence, as in why should we invoke intelligence, we need to go further than merely inference (which again is good for a start) or the position that intelligence is all that is left from the available options (a horrible passive rather than active argument IMHO). We need to see the connection between intelligence and its design, and we may be able to do that through a discussion of energy flow, organized systems, and 2LOT.

460. 460
fifthmonarchyman says:

computing has a cost
—–
“ordo” needed “chao” to create the world
Logos made flesh to be known by us

I say

That is Deep stuff.

Incarnation is the central point of it all. The one fact on which the entire universe hangs.

Thank you

Peace

461. 461
phoenix says:

Upright #441,

Still trying to change the subject to semiosis, I see.

However, the rest of us are talking about the second law. How would you answer the question I posed to Box?

Do you understand that organisms do not violate the second law?

462. 462
phoenix says:

In a tree (as any organism) the organization is injected in the seed as a potentiality which will be developing and operating during all its living and growing.

phoenix:

OK, so now you’re saying that ‘organization’ doesn’t have to be injected after all. It can arise spontaneously in a system that has the necessary ‘potentiality’.

Could you revise and restate your proposed second law of organization?

No. Organization does have to be injected and does not spontaneously arise in a system lacking the necessary organizational potency.

Now you’re saying that ‘organizational potency’ is the same thing as ‘organization’. It clearly isn’t. For instance, it’s obvious that the tree does organize air, water, and mineral molecules into branches and leaves. Your second law of ‘organization’ therefore needs to be revised to account for ‘organizational potency’.

Good luck measuring either of those, by the way. If you can’t measure them, how do you propose to establish your law?

Think of an egg, e.g. a crocodile egg. Why a crocodile egg outputs a crocodile, not a cat?

Why is a Fly not a Horse? 🙂

463. 463
Upright BiPed says:

#463

I’d ask if you understood that you can’t organize an organism without a local independence from the second law?

Do you?

464. 464
phoenix says:

kairosfocus:

Phoenix:

Right. Just look at how ambiguous my questions are:

1. Does evolution violate the second law? Yes or no?
2. Does OOL violate the second law? Yes or no?
3. Does life violate the second law? Yes or no?

You crack me up, KF. I’ll bet the onlookers are laughing, too.

465. 465
phoenix says:

Upright,

Seriously? You’re going to chicken out, too?

Well, at least KF will have some company in the bunker.

466. 466
Upright BiPed says:

The distinction between us is that you are merely looking for a soundbite, while I’m trying to give you something to help you actually understand the issue. It’s hardly surprising that you ignore the opportunity.

No one can make you want to understand. You either do or you don’t.

cheers

467. 467
Upright BiPed says:

CJY, if you sent me something, I didn’t receive it.

468. 468
phoenix says:

No, Upright, the difference is that I am sticking to the topic of the thread, while you, to no one’s surprise, are trying to avoid it.

469. 469
Upright BiPed says:

It betrays a deep need on your part to conclude that the local independence from the second law required to organize a living organism is (somehow) unimportant in a conversation about the relationship of the second law to living organisms.

As I said, no one can make you actually want to understand. You are free to have it your way.

470. 470
phoenix says:

Upright,

Wake me up if you muster the courage to answer my question:

Do you understand that organisms do not violate the second law?

In the meantime, I’m happy to carry on the conversation with your braver comrades.

471. 471
Barry Arrington says:

phoenix, if all you can do is taunt other commenters, you will be shown the exit PDQ. Only warning.

472. 472
kairosfocus says:

Phoenix,

Pardon but your continued willful caricature — in the teeth of my specifically pointing out the problems with your loaded, stereotyping questions AND giving point by point answers at 444 above — shows bad faith on your part.

Not a great surprise at this point.

I repeat my answer at that time:

______________

>> Your deliberate ambiguity of questions lies exposed, which is sadly typical:

>>1. Does evolution violate the second law? Yes or no?>>

a: “Evolution” is hopelessly ambiguous, as long since pointed out.

b: As already stated and willfully ignored in haste to erect loaded strawman caricatures, microevolution mostly by loss of information is trivial and within islands of function of existing organisms and body plans. Such changes are not an issue. As you know or should.

c: Macro level, body-plan origin by means of design would not be an issue, as stated.

d: Blind watchmaker origin of novel body plans has no observed adequate cause and would demand creation of information from noise.

e: The issue here is then not the Clausius statement ds >/= 0, but as has been explained but repeatedly willfully ignored, the statistical underpinnings that have been integral to the classical result for 100+ years.

f: To expect the constructive work to be carried out to generate required FSCO/I without a credible information source expects in effect molecular noise to synthesise complex, functionally specific organisation and information. For which there is no vera causa.

g: Even the ordering of the questions is loaded, by holding back the pivotal case, OOL.

>>2. Does OOL violate the second law? Yes or no?>>

h: Again willfully ambiguous so a direct Y/N cannot reasonably be expected — a typical dirty rhetorical trick. Origin of life by design would involve relevant energy, mass and information flows coupled to energy converters and constructors with appropriate prescriptive information. Such is no more a problem for classical and statistical thermodynamics than general technologies are.

i: The various ideologically loaded blind watchmaker thesis narratives first utterly lack adequate cause of the FSCO/I required, and should not even be considered as serious science until they pass the vera causa test.

j: Such narratives lack an account of relevant mass, energy and information flows coupled to energy converters and constructors with appropriate prescriptive information.

k: Lacking energy converters, there is a want of ability to credibly take in energy, create shaft work or relevant organised flows, and to exhaust degraded heat. Thus, there is skirting of the perpetuum mobile, 2nd kind.

l: So too, here we see starkly exposed the notion of using irrelevant energy flows in absence of coupling and prescriptive information, to try to suggest that blind watchmaker thesis OOL does not face serious problems with the underlying molecular statistics and factors to create molecular nanotech of life.

m: The only credible, empirically warranted source of such molecular scale FSCO/I, is intelligently directed configuration.

>>3. Does life violate the second law? Yes or no?>>

n: The very suggestion loaded into this question erects a strawman caricature in disregard to truth.

o: Has any serious person, anywhere, suggested that bio forms of life violate 2 LOT and/or implications of the underlying molecular statistics? Patently, not.

p: On the contrary, life forms exhibit the pattern I have pointed out dozens of times, of relevant mass, energy and information flows, coupled to energy converters and constructors, starting from in the living cell.

q: Repeatedly, I have highlighted protein synthesis as a capital case in point. It is only by willful ignoring of what has been put on the table that you have been able to continue with deliberately ambiguous and loaded questions.

r: Thus, revealing the underlying amoral agenda of might and manipulation making “right” occasioned by the fatal moral hazard in evolutionary materialism as an ideology and in all fellow traveller systems that seek to accommodate it. As, Plato warned against so long ago.

So, by insistently refusing to address what is on the table in terms of the merits, but instead insisting on loaded and deliberately ambiguous questions, there is a patent intent on your part to twist, caricature and attack the man rather than deal with the issue.

Let me therefore pause and cite Thaxton et al from TMLO, ch 7, 1984, to show that from the foundations of the modern design movement in science, there has been a due appreciation of the issue:

While the maintenance of living systems is easily rationalized in terms of thermodynamics, the origin of such living systems is quite another matter. Though the earth is open to energy flow from the sun, the means of converting this energy into the necessary work to build up living systems from simple precursors remains at present unspecified (see equation 7-17). The “evolution” from biomonomers of to fully functioning cells is the issue. Can one make the incredible jump in energy and organization from raw material and raw energy, apart from some means of directing the energy flow through the system? [–> Thus, coupling of relevant energy, mass and info flows to converters and constructors, with exhausting of degraded energy and waste matter as direct implications] In Chapters 8 and 9 we will consider this question, limiting our discussion to two small but crucial steps in the proposed evolutionary scheme namely, the formation of protein and DNA from their precursors.

It is widely agreed that both protein and DNA are essential for living systems and indispensable components of every living cell today.11 Yet they are only produced by living cells. Both types of molecules are much more energy and information rich than the biomonomers from which they form. Can one reasonably predict their occurrence given the necessary biomonomers and an energy source? Has this been verified experimentally? [–> without directing prescriptive information guiding a constructor subsystem driven by an energy conversion subsystem] These questions will be considered [–> and the answers were that the blind watchmaker thesis was not credible, on analysis, analysis that has been extended and developed, shifting focus to the directly linked information view, and the warranted answer remains the same] . . .

(And of course, onlookers, I have clipped my longstanding citation in my always linked note App I on thermodynamics, stat thermo-d and linked information issues.) >>
________________

I am confident no fair person can deny that I have adequately answered to the merits; but you have continued with drumbeat repetition of an ad hominem loaded strawman caricature as that suits your attitude and rhetorical agenda.

It also reflects the underlying moral hazard of evolutionary materialism, which is amoral as it has no IS capable of bearing OUGHT, and by extension, of fellow-traveller ideologies that by accommodating it, fall into the same trap of opening the door to and/or enabling outright ruthless, cynically manipulative “might and manipulation make ‘right,’ truth,’ science, etc.” nihilism.

KF

PS: Plato’s warning from 2350 years ago, that still speaks so aptly in advising us regarding evolutionary materialist factionists and their enabling fellow travellers:

Ath. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . .

[Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.- [ –> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT.] These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might [ –> Evolutionary materialism — having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT — leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for “OUGHT” is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in “spin”)], and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ –> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ –> such amoral factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless abuse], and not in legal subjection to them.

We have been warned, 2350 years ago.

473. 473
Upright BiPed says:

#472

It neither takes courage nor displays courage to answer your entirely inept question about metabolism. The issue here is the origin of the organization and prescriptive control that is the bedrock of biology — and the only challenge to courage here is if you have enough to answer my question, since it is the only one between us that is germane to the topic at hand.

474. 474
kairosfocus says:

UB, I find the domain CC dot com is problematic just now. Could you PM me by email? KF

475. 475
phoenix says:

Testing…1..2..3

Barry,

phoenix, if all you can do is taunt other commenters, you will be shown the exit PDQ. Only warning.

Are you kidding? There’s a lot more than mere taunting going on here. Have you read the thread?

In response to criticisms, Niwrad is trying to come up with a workable statement of his “second law of organization”. I’ve pointed out that his latest version has two unmeasurables in it — ‘organization’ and ‘organizational potency’ — and that without the ability to measure those rigorously, he will be unable to establish his ‘law’ as a true law.

With Box, the conversation has progressed to the point where he is now on record saying that the particles within an organism do not obey the second law:

If an organism has no existence in and of itself – no causal powers in and of itself – why then don’t the particles, which constitute the organism, act in accordance to the 2nd law, as they do at the moment of death and thereafter? What force prevents the particles in motion from doing what comes natural?

Fifthmonarchyman is arguing that things and their parts are simultaneously “ultimate”. How he thinks this relates to the 2LoT is unclear; perhaps he will follow Box in claiming that the 2LoT is suspended inside organisms. In any case, I am pointing out that his position is incoherent.

And of course KF and UB are reluctant to state a position on the 2LoT question, lest they be required to defend it.

I suspect you hear a lot from a particular commenter who doesn’t like open dialogue, but don’t forget about the other commenters who actually want to engage with the critics and see if their ideas will survive critical scrutiny.

476. 476
kairosfocus says:

F/N, FTR: Phoenix continues to distort the truth, exposing attitude and agenda. I clip again [3rd time[, for reference to demonstrate that he has artfully demanded Y/N answers to deliberately ambiguous and loaded qs then has caricatured reasonable answers on the merits. Yes, much more than taunting is going on here, this is willful speaking in disregard to truth to poison the atmosphere . . . an all too common tactic used by too many objectors to design thought:

______________

>> Pardon but your continued willful caricature — in the teeth of my specifically pointing out the problems with your loaded, stereotyping questions AND giving point by point answers at 444 above — shows bad faith on your part.

Not a great surprise at this point.

I repeat my answer at that time:

______________

>> Your deliberate ambiguity of questions lies exposed, which is sadly typical:

>>1. Does evolution violate the second law? Yes or no?>>

a: “Evolution” is hopelessly ambiguous, as long since pointed out.

b: As already stated and willfully ignored in haste to erect loaded strawman caricatures, microevolution mostly by loss of information is trivial and within islands of function of existing organisms and body plans. Such changes are not an issue. As you know or should.

c: Macro level, body-plan origin by means of design would not be an issue, as stated.

d: Blind watchmaker origin of novel body plans has no observed adequate cause and would demand creation of information from noise.

e: The issue here is then not the Clausius statement ds >/= 0, but as has been explained but repeatedly willfully ignored, the statistical underpinnings that have been integral to the classical result for 100+ years.

f: To expect the constructive work to be carried out to generate required FSCO/I without a credible information source expects in effect molecular noise to synthesise complex, functionally specific organisation and information. For which there is no vera causa.

g: Even the ordering of the questions is loaded, by holding back the pivotal case, OOL.

>>2. Does OOL violate the second law? Yes or no?>>

h: Again willfully ambiguous so a direct Y/N cannot reasonably be expected — a typical dirty rhetorical trick. Origin of life by design would involve relevant energy, mass and information flows coupled to energy converters and constructors with appropriate prescriptive information. Such is no more a problem for classical and statistical thermodynamics than general technologies are.

i: The various ideologically loaded blind watchmaker thesis narratives first utterly lack adequate cause of the FSCO/I required, and should not even be considered as serious science until they pass the vera causa test.

j: Such narratives lack an account of relevant mass, energy and information flows coupled to energy converters and constructors with appropriate prescriptive information.

k: Lacking energy converters, there is a want of ability to credibly take in energy, create shaft work or relevant organised flows, and to exhaust degraded heat. Thus, there is skirting of the perpetuum mobile, 2nd kind.

l: So too, here we see starkly exposed the notion of using irrelevant energy flows in absence of coupling and prescriptive information, to try to suggest that blind watchmaker thesis OOL does not face serious problems with the underlying molecular statistics and factors to create molecular nanotech of life.

m: The only credible, empirically warranted source of such molecular scale FSCO/I, is intelligently directed configuration.

>>3. Does life violate the second law? Yes or no?>>

n: The very suggestion loaded into this question erects a strawman caricature in disregard to truth.

o: Has any serious person, anywhere, suggested that bio forms of life violate 2 LOT and/or implications of the underlying molecular statistics? Patently, not.

p: On the contrary, life forms exhibit the pattern I have pointed out dozens of times, of relevant mass, energy and information flows, coupled to energy converters and constructors, starting from in the living cell.

q: Repeatedly, I have highlighted protein synthesis as a capital case in point. It is only by willful ignoring of what has been put on the table that you have been able to continue with deliberately ambiguous and loaded questions.

r: Thus, revealing the underlying amoral agenda of might and manipulation making “right” occasioned by the fatal moral hazard in evolutionary materialism as an ideology and in all fellow traveller systems that seek to accommodate it. As, Plato warned against so long ago.

So, by insistently refusing to address what is on the table in terms of the merits, but instead insisting on loaded and deliberately ambiguous questions, there is a patent intent on your part to twist, caricature and attack the man rather than deal with the issue.

Let me therefore pause and cite Thaxton et al from TMLO, ch 7, 1984, to show that from the foundations of the modern design movement in science, there has been a due appreciation of the issue:

While the maintenance of living systems is easily rationalized in terms of thermodynamics, the origin of such living systems is quite another matter. Though the earth is open to energy flow from the sun, the means of converting this energy into the necessary work to build up living systems from simple precursors remains at present unspecified (see equation 7-17). The “evolution” from biomonomers of to fully functioning cells is the issue. Can one make the incredible jump in energy and organization from raw material and raw energy, apart from some means of directing the energy flow through the system? [–> Thus, coupling of relevant energy, mass and info flows to converters and constructors, with exhausting of degraded energy and waste matter as direct implications] In Chapters 8 and 9 we will consider this question, limiting our discussion to two small but crucial steps in the proposed evolutionary scheme namely, the formation of protein and DNA from their precursors.

It is widely agreed that both protein and DNA are essential for living systems and indispensable components of every living cell today.11 Yet they are only produced by living cells. Both types of molecules are much more energy and information rich than the biomonomers from which they form. Can one reasonably predict their occurrence given the necessary biomonomers and an energy source? Has this been verified experimentally? [–> without directing prescriptive information guiding a constructor subsystem driven by an energy conversion subsystem] These questions will be considered [–> and the answers were that the blind watchmaker thesis was not credible, on analysis, analysis that has been extended and developed, shifting focus to the directly linked information view, and the warranted answer remains the same] . . .

(And of course, onlookers, I have clipped my longstanding citation in my always linked note App I on thermodynamics, stat thermo-d and linked information issues.) >>
________________

I am confident no fair person can deny that I have adequately answered to the merits; but you have continued with drumbeat repetition of an ad hominem loaded strawman caricature as that suits your attitude and rhetorical agenda.

It also reflects the underlying moral hazard of evolutionary materialism, which is amoral as it has no IS capable of bearing OUGHT, and by extension, of fellow-traveller ideologies that by accommodating it, fall into the same trap of opening the door to and/or enabling outright ruthless, cynically manipulative “might and manipulation make ‘right,’ truth,’ science, etc.” nihilism.

KF

PS: Plato’s warning from 2350 years ago, that still speaks so aptly in advising us regarding evolutionary materialist factionists and their enabling fellow travellers:

Ath. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . .

[Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.- [ –> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT.] These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might [ –> Evolutionary materialism — having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT — leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for “OUGHT” is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in “spin”)], and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ –> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ –> such amoral factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless abuse], and not in legal subjection to them.

We have been warned, 2350 years ago. >>
______________

And of course such stunts distract attention from the substantial issues. Which must mean that the issue on the merits is not going where such want to. No credible a/c on how irrelevant energy flows “compensate” for origin of FSCO/I at OOL, no account of how such help create complex prescriptive info out of lucky noise and culling on reproductive success to build novel body plans. No observation of causal adequacy of irrelevant energy flows and want of adequate source of complex prescriptive info to create energy converters and constructors relevant to life out of lucky noise, or to find islands of function required for novel body plans.

Until vera causa is shown, we should not take irrelevant energy flow compensation arguments seriously.

KF

477. 477
Andre says:

Phoenix aka KeithS

I know you think you’re right and let us suppose for a minute you are, what does it mean in the greater scheme of things? If we have no souls and there is nothing worth saving what exactly is your efforts trying to achieve? Save us? and then I ask save us from what?

No there is something else going on here, and I’ll lay it out stop me when I’m wrong. You are here because you are lonely, the reason you’re lonely is because even though you’re in your own mind a really nice and good person, people just don’t seem to understand you.

But if your mind can not be trusted and if your view is actually true then maybe you’re not really a nice guy because they don’t really exist and maybe that’s why you have people in the real world avoid you too.

You find solace here because at least people talk to you, why else would you keep returning?

478. 478
Box says:

We must either assume the reality of an organism, which implies real top-down causal power – downward causation (DC), or plunge into absurdity, like materialists do; see #399. DC can either originate from the organism as a whole or from an intelligent source external to the organism.
The second law is about causes which flow from the bottom to the top – upward causation (UC).

Phoenix:
Does life violate the second law? Yes or no?

Allow me to rephrase the question: “does DC violate UC”?
Suppose that these words and sentences convey meaning that originates top-down from my intelligence. Here the presence of DC is obvious, however it’s equally obvious that the typing of these words and sentences involve physical interactions, therefore UC is involved as well.

Notice that the hierarchy between DC and UC is very clear. My intuition informs me that this hierarchal relationship is typical during life, perhaps with the exception of periods of sickness. What we typically see in life is DC able to steer UC at will within rather flexible boundaries – often seemingly ever receding, but at the end of our earthly existence impenetrable.

Does DC constitute a violation of UC – and by implication the 2nd law? You tell me. If a violation of the principle of causal closure implies a violation of the 2nd law, then yes, the 2nd law is being violated by DC. Remember though that, as has been pointed out, causal closure – all causes flow from the bottom to the top – plunges us into absurdity.

479. 479
Zachriel says:

Upright BiPed: I’d ask if you understood that you can’t organize an organism without a local independence from the second law?

Metabolism and growth are dependent on the 2nd law of thermodynamics, not independent of it.

Box: Does DC constitute a violation of UC

No.

480. 480
Upright BiPed says:

Upright BiPed: I’d ask if you understood that you can’t organize an organism without a local independence from the second law?

Zachriel: Metabolism and growth are dependent on the 2nd law of thermodynamics, not independent of it.

Which is why the question wasn’t relevant to the conversation, and not worth answering.

481. 481
fifthmonarchyman says:

Phoenix,

1) Does Maxwell’s demon violate the second law?

The answer of course is no

2)Assuming the demon is invisible to an outside observer does it appear that the second law has been violated?

the answer is of course yes

3)Therefore could an observer justifiably infer from the decrease in entropy in the box that an unseen intelligent agent (the demon) was some how at work?

I’ll let you answer that one.

482. 482
fifthmonarchyman says:

phoenix says,

Fifthmonarchyman is arguing that things and their parts are simultaneously “ultimate”. How he thinks this relates to the 2LoT is unclear;

I say,

Of course the motivation is to show that the second law applies to macrostates (things) in the same way it applies to microstates (their parts).

It’s the bottom up bias of materialism that causes this realization to be missed.

That is why we end up talking past each other.

Peace

483. 483
Zachriel says:

Upright BiPed: Which is why the question wasn’t relevant to the conversation, and not worth answering.

The thread is about the “compensation argument”, and the specific topic was organization due to organic growth, so of course it’s relevant. Furthermore, the question entailed a fallacious understanding. Metabolism, and therefore growth, are not independent of the flow of entropy, but depend upon it.

fifthmonarchyman: 2)Assuming the demon is invisible to an outside observer does it appear that the second law has been violated? the answer is of course yes

The answer is no. Any real demon must have a source of power.
http://www.nature.com/news/200.....29-10.html

fifthmonarchyman: 3)Could an observer justifiably infer from the decrease in entropy in the box that an unseen intelligent agent (the demon) was some how at work?

Leigh’s demon is a simple mechanism, not a sentient organism. It’s powered by light.

fifthmonarchyman: Of course the motivation is to show that the second law applies to macrostates (things) in the same way it applies to microstates (their parts).

Weather organizes regions of low entropy. Could an observer justifiably infer from the decrease in entropy that an unseen intelligent agent (Æolus) was somehow at work?

484. 484
Piotr says:

#483 fifth,

You ought to use the subjunctive mood when speaking of Maxwell’s demon, since MD is only a thought experiment, not an actual agent. But anyway:

(1) MD would not violate the 2LoT if it had a source of energy allowing it to do work (to segregate the molecules) and an entropy sink (in accordance with the 2LoT, doing work demands generating more entropy than you lower locally).

(2) If MD, even one not directly visible to an outside observer, consumed energy and produced entropy, this would be detectable in the total thermodynamic balance of the system, so it wouldn’t look like a violation of the 2LoT.

(3) The whole thing has nothing to do with intelligence, since an unintelligent process can do the same thing (divert part of a natural flow of energy to do work, reducing entropy locally but increasing it globally).

485. 485
fifthmonarchyman says:

Zac says,

Leigh’s demon is a simple mechanism, not a sentient organism. It’s powered by light.

I say,

The unseen intelligent agent in this case is of course Leigh.

That you didn’t immediately get that is very telling.

Zac says,

Weather organizes regions of low entropy.

I say,

Again with the storms. Have you learned nothing grasshopper? Please take a deep breath and review the lessons on specification. Come back when you are ready to be serious.

peace

486. 486
Box says:

Zach: Weather organizes regions of low entropy.

I know full well that materialists have insurmountable problems accommodating agency, but that doesn’t mean that therefor anything goes. “Weather organizes” doesn’t make sense in any world view.

487. 487
Zachriel says:

fifthmonarchyman: The unseen intelligent agent in this case is of course Leigh.

There are natural sorting mechanisms. In any case, the demon requires energy, so your #2 is wrong.

fifthmonarchyman: Again with the storms.

You’re the one who brought up sorting. Storms are the result of natural sorting. Could an observer justifiably infer from the decrease in thermodynamic entropy in a storm that an unseen intelligent agent (Æolus) was somehow at work?

fifthmonarchyman: Please take a deep breath and review the lessons on specification.

Maxwell’s demon sorts high and low energy particles.

488. 488
Zachriel says:

Box: “Weather organizes” doesn’t make sense in any world view.

Are you nitpicking about a figure of speech, or did you have a substantive point?

NASA: “A supercell is a long-lived and highly organized storm”

489. 489
Piotr says:

fifth:

The unseen intelligent agent in this case is of course Leigh.

Professor Leigh is fully visible. You can see him here:

http://www.catenane.net/pages/profbio.html

He doesn’t defy the 2LoT himself. He breathes, he drinks, he eats his lunch, he goes to the lavat’ry like the rest of us.

490. 490
fifthmonarchyman says:

Piotr says,

The whole thing has nothing to do with intelligence, since an unintelligent process can do the same thing (divert part of a natural flow of energy to do work, reducing entropy locally but increasing it globally).

I say.

The whole point of MD is that there is no natural flow of energy in the experiment to tap into . The box is at equilibrium/maximum entropy when the Demon gets to work.

peace

491. 491
fifthmonarchyman says:

Piotr says,

Professor Leigh is fully visible.

I say,

Is this really what you’ve been reduced to? My question stipulated that the Demon was invisible to the observer.

I would like to have a discussion is anyone on your side capable?

peace

492. 492
Zachriel says:

fifthmonarchyman: The box is at equilibrium/maximum entropy when the Demon gets to work.

The demon is a thought-experiment. The demon that requires no energy and doesn’t irreversibly destroy information doesn’t exist. Leigh’s experiment shows you how it might work in the real world. It’s powered by light. So is Æolus.

493. 493
Zachriel says:

Piotr: he goes to the lavat’ry like the rest of us.

Ahem. In polite company we say he is exporting entropy.

494. 494
Piotr says:

The whole point of MD is that there is no natural flow of energy in the experiment to tap into . The box is at equilibrium/maximum entropy when the Demon gets to work.

In that case the demon just won’t work. OK, he may have its own internal source of energy, but if so, the box is not at equilibrium: the demon sits inside the box and is part of the system! The more gas it has to segregate, the more energy it will need (and the more of it will be converted into heat). It won’t avoid detection by a careful observer.

495. 495
fifthmonarchyman says:

Zac says,

The demon that requires no energy and doesn’t irreversibly destroy information doesn’t exist.

I say,

Once again assuming Materialism from the get go. This is so sad. Your side is so shackled by presuppositions you can’t even engage in speculation about the existence of the non-materieal in a thought experiment.

peace

496. 496
Piotr says:

Is this really what you’ve been reduced to? My question stipulated that the Demon was invisible to the observer.

In that particular experiment, David Leigh was one of the observers. I’m not sure what you mean: that he’s got no mirror in his bathroom, or what? Anyway, the “molecular demon” (or “information ratchet”) was powered by light impulses, not telepathically by Professor Leigh’s mental processes. Leigh and the rest of his team might as well have left the room and let the experiment run without human agents as they finished their coffees and exported entropy (thanks, Zachriel). The ratchet would have kept doing its thing notwithstanding.

497. 497
EugeneS says:

Upright Biped,

I haven’t received an email from you. Unfortunately, I am no longer in academia. I work for a private company. If you mean the Glasgow computing science department group, I left in 2003. I left the Cork Constraints group in 2004.

The email redirect that was working on my Glasgow Uni account was set to an email address I have stopped using ages ago.

eugene dot s dot temp dot 2015 at gmail dot com

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks.

498. 498

phoenix

You accuse me that my arguments are not quantitative and measurable. This accusation applies to yours as well. Quantify/measure your arguments and I will do the same to mine.

499. 499
Upright BiPed says:

#485

Metabolism isn’t the source of organic organization, its the product of it. Asking if metabolism violates the 2LOT is a soundbite.

500. 500
Silver Asiatic says:

KF

Phoenix continues to distort the truth, exposing attitude and agenda.

You did a nice job exposing the rhetorical tricks and attempt to create traps through ambiguity. As you mentioned, it’s evidence of bad faith trolling.

>>1. Does evolution violate the second law? Yes or no?>>

a: “Evolution” is hopelessly ambiguous, as long since pointed out.

The term is basically meaningless, in the same way ‘common descent’ means ‘today’s organisms came from various, unknown ancestors’.

>>2. Does OOL violate the second law? Yes or no?>>

h: Again willfully ambiguous so a direct Y/N cannot reasonably be expected — a typical dirty rhetorical trick.

Well said – it’s a dirty trick. Nobody knows what the OOL is.

501. 501
kairosfocus says:

SA: Yes, unfortunately. But that’s what we are dealing with. KF

502. 502
Zachriel says:

fifthmonarchyman: Once again assuming Materialism from the get go.

The purpose of the thought-experiment is to determine the limits of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. If you allow for creation ex nihilo, then no physical law survives.

This was your claim: 2)Assuming the demon is invisible to an outside observer does it appear that the second law has been violated? the answer is of course yes.

Your answer was wrong. We provided an experimental version of Maxwell’s Demon as an example. You are more than welcome to provide the immaterial version that violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Upright BiPed: Metabolism isn’t the source of organic organization, its the product of it.

Here is your statement: I’d ask if you understood that you can’t organize an organism without a local independence from the second law?

The organization we call metabolism and growth depends on the flow of entropy. The creation of new cells depends on the flow of entropy.

503. 503
CJYman says:

There appears to still be confusion concerning how the ID proponents here are viewing the ‘compensation’ argument. First, of course 2LOT is intricately connected with ‘compensation.’ The ID argument re: 2LOT is both a pro- and anti-compensation argument in different senses. First, it is pro-compensation in the fact that compensation is required for dS less than 0. This is something that everyone here seems to agree with. And that is to be expected since it is at the foundation of 2LOT.

The ID argument is anti-compensation in the sense that it is against the idea that compensation by merely opening up a system to heat flow can change the direction of all probabilistic processes. And this is something that everyone appears to agree with as well.

So, unless someone speaks up and disagrees with the above two points, then everyone here appears to agree with Granville’s conclusions regardless of his method of arriving at those conclusions. Does this seem to be an apt description of where we are at in this discussion?

Piotr:
” Probability is not an inherent property of “things”. It can be assigned to events that produce those things (and is the measure of the likeliness of their occurrence).”

I understand fully that probability is a measurement based on context and I don’t think anyone here ever implied that probability is an inherent property so at best it appears that your comment is a distraction. You can still refer to the probability of a thing existing given ‘x.’ Either way, I’ve already discussed this in post #325. Also, that understanding is carried through my argument that I posted at TSZ. I’ll post it here, in my next comment.

Piotr:
“If you don’t know how an ordered arrangement has been produced, it’s meaningless to talk about its probability. ”

Serious?!?!? If we know how something is produced then why would we talk in terms of historical probabilities. Instead, we could refer to probability of something happening to it in the future, ie: probability of failure, etc? Probabilities refer precisely to our level of ignorance of an event or things history or future. But you are partially correct in the sense that we must refer to ‘givens’ and context, such as heat flow, open and closed systems, unguided processes, time available, 2LOT, etc when discussing these specific probabilities.

504. 504
CJYman says:

Here is my post at TSZ:

I stated:
“1. How can 2LOT not cover energy flow configurations that are not measured in J/K, that are highly constrained (low multiplicity) and required for building a 747 for example?”

Keiths:
“Does he think that the 2LoT is violated every time an airplane is built?”

I presume that you just haven’t been able to follow all of my comments. No fault of your own of course. There have been a few threads relevant to this ongoing discussion and I’ve tried to follow through with them and provide some comment but time is tight and my comments are scattered across a few threads. At least you are asking a question rather than engaging in outright uncharitable reading. That is much appreciated.

Anyway, I have explicitly stated elsewhere that nothing can ever violate 2LOT. Think about it. As I see it, if a person thought that 2LOT could be violated there would be no sense in an appeal to 2LOT as an arbiter of what can or cannot occur. Referring to an ‘apparent’ violation based on certain ‘givens’ … well that is another story altogether that I have already explained. It is the spontaneous & long term negative change in entropy without a discussion of the proper compensation that ID proponents are ‘on about.’ Without any details about appropriate compensation, a suggested process that requires a negative change in entropy within a closed or an open system is a process that violates 2LOT. I do not yet know of any ID proponent who holds the opinion that 2LOT can actually be violated. If we thought it could be violated, then we wouldn’t be holding unguided evolution to the standard of 2LOT. I really can’t believe I have to lay this simple concept out for you.

Also, I must admit that I am a bit confused as to how you can arrive at “does he think that the 2LOT is violated ……” from my comment. Could you please expound on your thought process for that one. Unless, of course you are merely trying to score rhetorical points with your buddies and get a chuckle or two.

Discussing Basketball world — I am already well aware of at least some of the assumptions required to discuss change in entropy and thus 2LOT. For one, an enabler, ‘motional energy,’ is required; for another ‘restraints’ must be taken into consideration to determine whether a higher level of entropy will indeed be actualized. Entropy always increases unless there exists what I and others have been calling ‘compensation.’ — the “change, connected therewith, occurring at the same time” according to Rudolf Clausius. ‘Basketball 2LOT,’ without an enabler, doesn’t work for the same general reason why we cannot apply 2LOT to just any configuration (or positional) macrostate such as a ‘static’ deck of cards.

As a side note, when do gases themselves tend to behave like ideal gases? Under all conditions? Does 2LOT only apply to elastic collisions? Can we just ignore 2LOT because we are dealing with a system of inelastic collisions, even if an enabler is present?

Similarly, what about the process of applied energy to a deck of cards or using a continuously shuffled deck of cards as an analogy for a lesson on 2LOT? Now you have a dynamic system of distinguishable microstates and potentially well defined macrostates that follow the same rules upon which statistical thermodynamics is built. The main difference of course is that you are measuring a macrostate not defined in terms of temperature. The energy transfer required to shuffle a deck of cards and position those cards in certain configurations definitely is a real world problem and I will be arguing at uncommondescent (I have just begun to do so) that there is a definite connection between energy macrostates and certain configuration macrostates such as seen in a deck of cards. This will bring us into the realm of 2LOT by dealing with energy flow dynamics and change in entropy, the dynamics of which will be able to be explained by the principles of statistical thermodynamics.

And finally, what I am ‘on about’ is providing conclusions from premises. I would have thought that was quite apparent. In the interest of being more detailed and providing a more proper argument, I have re-phrased my premises and conclusions. Do you have any problems with my new premises, or conclusions given those premises? Am I being clear enough when I lay out my Ps and Cs in a numbered stepwise fashion?

Here they are:

P1. Probabilities associated with change in configuration multiplicity provides the basis for statistical thermodynamics.

P2. Statistical thermodynamics provides the rationale behind why 2LOT exists. Ie: You can make entropy measurements and calculations all day and notice that dS > 0 unless appropriately compensated, but it is the statistics that show how it works. I hesitate to use the term ‘why,’ but statistical thermodynamics explains ‘why’ dS > 0.

P3 — extension of P1. If configuration entropy in a dynamic system can move spontaneously from high to low multiplicity without proper ‘compensation’ then the principles of statistical thermodynamics are incorrect.

P4 — extension of P2. If the principles of statistical thermodynamics are incorrect, then either the foundation of our understanding of why 2LOT is true is incorrect or 2LOT is itself incorrect.

C1 — from P3 & P4. Therefore, the idea of a spontaneous negative change of configuration entropy without proper ‘compensation’ would be a violation of the principles which govern how 2LOT works.

C2 — extension of C1. If the possible direction of ‘change in J/K’ measurements as stated in 2LOT are to remain correct as a law, a re-write of the connection between statistical thermodynamics and 2LOT would be required.

In the end, when someone says that ‘x’ violates 2LOT, that is a short-hand way of saying that the idea that ‘x’ could occur based on the ‘givens’ associated with ‘x,’ isn’t consistent with the principles which govern 2LOT. I understand the requirement for details and precision when a discussion is underway. What I don’t understand is simply being pedantic and mocking your ‘discussion partner’ instead of asking for clarification if something doesn’t make sense and attempting to understand what they are actually trying to say. You really should try to give the benefit of the doubt sometime. It takes more intelligence to give the benefit of the doubt and attempt to understand an opposing viewpoint than to scoff.

505. 505
CJYman says:

Upright Biped,

I actually haven’t had a chance to email you yet. I’ll try to do so today just to test and set up comms.

506. 506
phoenix says:

The exchange with CJYman begins here at TSZ.

I’ll cross-post the relevant comments for convenience.

507. 507
phoenix says:

CJYman #505:

There appears to still be confusion concerning how the ID proponents here are viewing the ‘compensation’ argument. First, of course 2LOT is intricately connected with ‘compensation.’ The ID argument re: 2LOT is both a pro- and anti-compensation argument in different senses. First, it is pro-compensation in the fact that compensation is required for dS less than 0. This is something that everyone here seems to agree with. And that is to be expected since it is at the foundation of 2LOT.

The ID argument is anti-compensation in the sense that it is against the idea that compensation by merely opening up a system to heat flow can change the direction of all probabilistic processes. And this is something that everyone appears to agree with as well.

So, unless someone speaks up and disagrees with the above two points, then everyone here appears to agree with Granville’s conclusions regardless of his method of arriving at those conclusions. Does this seem to be an apt description of where we are at in this discussion?

Here’s a more accurate description:

1. Granville launched a bizarre attack on a position that ID critics don’t hold.

2. He erroneously invoked the 2LoT as part of his attack.

3. He developed an absurd and incorrect argument based on “X-entropies”, each with an accompanying Second Law, to define what legitimate “compensation” looks like.

Yet by Granville’s logic, a freezer violates the Second Law.

Setting Granville’s nonsense aside, I think we can agree that shining sunlight on a rock won’t make it burst into song, and that ID critics have never claimed otherwise.

508. 508
phoenix says:

The exchange with CJYman begain with this comment:

keiths on April 3, 2015 at 12:27 am said:

I think CJYman is genuinely trying to understand this stuff, so let me answer his latest question in some detail.

Piotr or Sal, could you let CJYman know that I’ve responded and post a link to this comment at UD? Thanks.

Is there any reason, logical, mathematical, or otherwise other than personal preference why ‘S’ cannot in principle refer to multiplicity of energy flow macrostate (still thermodynamic entropy) as measured in non-J/K terms, presuming sufficiently rigorous definition and measurement of said macrostate?

If the answer is no, there is no good reason why that can’t be the case, then why would we not include that under 2LOT, presuming we are not making any changes to the definition of 2LOT as the direction of energy dissipation measured by change in thermodynamic entropy.

CJYman,

Let me give an example of a system in which the entropy isn’t expressed in J/K units but in which a version of the second law nevertheless holds true. Then I’ll explain why this isn’t possible in “real life”.

We’re all familiar with textbook illustrations of a gas enclosed in a rigid container. The molecules are zipping around at high speed, bouncing off each other and the walls of the container. The collisions are perfectly elastic.

In such a system, the temperature is defined in terms of the average kinetic energy of the molecules, and the pressure is the consequence of zillions of collisions between the gas molecules and the walls of the container. We can measure the macrostate, but we have no idea what each of the gas molecules is doing — in other words, the microstate is unknown. The entropy is defined in terms of the number of microstates that are compatible with what we know about the macrostate.

Now imagine that we create a similar system on a much larger scale. This time we use gazillions of basketballs instead of gas molecules. The basketballs are zipping around in an evacuated chamber at enormous speeds, bouncing off each other and the walls. The collisions are perfectly elastic. Let’s call this system “Basketball World”.

In the real world, the temperature T is defined as the average kinetic energy of the gas molecules. In Basketball World, we can define an an analogous T_bw as the average kinetic energy of the basketballs. We can do something similar for the other macrostate variables.

Now, note that Basketball World is part of the real world. That means that each basketball has its own internal temperature and pressure due to the gas molecules it contains, but these are not the same as the “temperature” and “pressure” of Basketball World. In other words, T is not equal to T_bw and can vary independently of it. Likewise for P and P_bw.

For example, if we have a bunch of really hot basketballs moving slowly in Basketball World, then each basketball’s T will be high while T_bw will be low. We can also have a bunch of ice cold basketballs moving at extreme speeds, in which case each basketball’s T will be low while T_bw will be high.

We can define macrostates and microstates for Basketball World, and so there can be a Basketball World entropy that is analogous to the real world entropy. Like T_bw and P_bw, this S_bw is separate from the real world entropy and can change independently.

Is there a second law for Basketball World entropy that corresponds to the 2LoT? You bet. Since Basketball World is an isolated system, and since it is exactly analogous to the “gas molecules in a container” model, we can say that S_bw will never spontaneously decrease.

In other words, we have a version of the second law that fits your criteria: it is about energy dispersal, but the units are not the real world J/K, but rather Basketball World units: J_bw/K_bw.

There is also a First Law of Basketball Dynamics that requires the conservation of basketball energy.

In my next comment, I’ll explain why Basketball World and the First and Second Law of Basketball World Dynamics are not possible in reality.

509. 509
phoenix says:

Followed by this comment:

keiths on April 3, 2015 at 12:59 am said:

So why isn’t Basketball World possible? For a simple reason: in real life, the collisions aren’t perfectly elastic. If you drop a basketball (even in a vacuum so that air resistance isn’t a factor) on a flat surface, it won’t bounce forever. The kinetic and potential energy of the basketball will get converted into heat. The basketball and the surface will warm up.

If we tried to create Basketball World in real life, it wouldn’t work, because the inelastic collisions would cause the basketballs to lose kinetic energy. T_bw would spontaneously decrease, and the basketballs would eventually stop moving. Basketball energy is not conserved.

In other words, the First Law of Basketball Dynamics doesn’t hold true, because basketballs don’t behave like gas molecules. The kinetic energy of basketballs can be converted to heat within the basketballs through inelastic collisions. This is not possible for gas molecules.

By similar reasoning, the Second Law of Basketball Dynamics also doesn’t hold true.

So when you try to apply the 2LoT to an arrangement of macroscopic objects like basketballs, using microstates that are defined in terms of the possible arrangements, you are misapplying the 2LoT.

510. 510
phoenix says:

Then came CJYman’s comment, which is reproduced in #506 above.

511. 511
phoenix says:

Followed by this:

keiths on April 7, 2015 at 2:11 am said:

CJYman,

God, Buddha, or a scientist outside of the boundaries of basketball world (the details are irrelevant), or an impersonal shaker for those with a natural aversion to all things ID, begins to shake Basketball world and while shaking (not stirring — pardon my attempt at injecting some lame humor), removes the divider.

By shaking Basketball World, you are imparting energy to it. It’s no longer an isolated system and no longer comparable to the container of gas.

If you don’t continue to shake Basketball World, then the balls will eventually come to rest. In other words, T_bw will approach “absolute zero” and S_bw will decrease. Basketball World does not obey the First and Second Laws of Basketball Dynamics.

Why the difference? In Basketball World, the kinetic energy of the basketballs is converted to heat within the basketballs due to inelastic collisions. T_bw decreases as the kinetic energy of the basketballs “drains” out.

In the container of gas, the kinetic energy of the molecules doesn’t decrease, because there’s no place for the energy to go. Unlike basketballs, molecules can’t heat up “inside”, and energy can’t leave the container due to its perfect insulation.

In short: Basketball World doesn’t obey the First and Second Laws. The container of gas does.

The moral of the story:
It’s possible to define entropies for all kinds of systems, but it’s a serious mistake to assume that the second law applies to all such entropies.

512. 512
CJYman says:

Thank you Phoenix. It is hard tracking and commenting on two threads at once, especially with limited time. On this thread alone every time I have time to glance through the comments another 50 have appeared.

513. 513
phoenix says:

And finally this:

keiths on April 7, 2015 at 2:40 am said:

CJYman,

Can we just ignore 2LOT because we are dealing with a system of inelastic collisions, even if an enabler is present?

We can’t ignore the Second Law of Thermodynamics, but we can certainly ignore the Second Law of Basketball Dynamics. The SLoBD is a fiction, only obtainable in a magic world where basketballs collide in a perfectly elastic way.

Similarly, we can’t ignore the First Law of Thermodynamics, but we can certainly ignore the First Law of Basketball Dynamics. The FLoBD, like the SLoBD, is a fiction.

Think about what happens in the real Basketball World (as opposed to the idealized, elastic-collision version): The kinetic energy of the basketballs is converted to heat as they slow down, so energy is conserved. The FLoT is honored. The thermodynamic entropy of the basketballs increases as they heat up, so the SLoT is also honored. The FLoBD and SLoBD are not honored.

As I said above, just because you can define an entropy doesn’t mean that the second law applies to it. The second law is a thermodynamic law, not a general law applying to all possible entropies.

514. 514
phoenix says:

You accuse me that my arguments are not quantitative and measurable. This accusation applies to yours as well. Quantify/measure your arguments and I will do the same to mine.

You’re the one proposing a law of nature, not me!

How is your ‘second law of organization’ useful if no one can tell whether it’s actually violated or not?

515. 515
Joe says:

keiths is desperate:

Yet by Granville’s logic, a freezer violates the Second Law.

Only an imbecile would say something like that. Enter keiths…

516. 516
phoenix says:

Joe,

Only an imbecile would say something like that.

You’re unwittingly insulting Granville, because his reasoning leads directly to that ridiculous conclusion, believe it or not.

517. 517
Joe says:

I read the comment keiths. You are either insane or desperate.

But then again you actually think that unguided evolution would produce a nested hierarchy…

518. 518
phoenix says:

Joe,

Then show us where it goes wrong.

Granville genuinely believes that the only way for “W-order” (LOL) to increase is for W-order — actual ordered water molecules — to be imported into the system:

Stated in terms of order, Eq. (5) says that the X-order in an open system cannot increase faster than it is imported through the boundary. According to (4), the X-order in a system can decrease in two different ways: it can be converted to disorder (first integral term) or it can be exported through the boundary (boundary integral term). It can increase in only one way: by importation through the boundary.

Needless to say, a freezer doesn’t require the importation of “W-order” (LOL). “E-order” (LOL) in the form of electricity is quite sufficient.

519. 519
CJYman says:

Phoenix:
“Granville launched a bizarre attack on a position that ID critics don’t hold.”

That’s great! Then ID critics agree with his conclusions, as I’ve restated according to my understanding of the main issue, regardless of how he arrived at that conclusion. It really is unfortunate that it took so long to get to this point. But, alas, here we are.

And in the interest of no more useless argumentation and allowing other ID critics to speak for themselves, I will repost my understanding of the compensation argument that has been under discussion for quite some time now that Phoenix appears to agree with:

“The ID argument re: 2LOT is both a pro- and anti-compensation argument in different senses. First, it is pro-compensation in the fact that compensation is required for dS less than 0. This is something that everyone here seems to agree with. And that is to be expected since it is at the foundation of 2LOT.

The ID argument is anti-compensation in the sense that it is against the idea that compensation by merely opening up a system to heat flow can change the direction of all probabilistic processes. And this is something that everyone appears to agree with as well.”

… now back to our regular program …

520. 520
CJYman says:

Re: the Sewell 2LOT freezer, all I have to say is there is an organization elephant in the kitchen that you are missing, Phoenix. I’ll get back to that later. I don’t want Keiths to feel left out for too long.

521. 521
Joe says:

keiths, It goes wrong with these words: “Granville genuinely believes…”

Only someone who is desperate would say something like that about someone else without direct evidence of that person actually saying it.

So perhaps you should take it up with Granville. Anything less shows you to be very desperate indeed.

522. 522
kairosfocus says:

phoenix/KS (it seems):

A refrigerator is a classic example of a system with energy, mass and info flows, plus shaft wok driving the refrig cycle.

Further to this, it is chock full of FSCO/I and is produced in a factory with energy, mass and info flows driving energy converters and constructors to create an FSCO/I rich entity.

These two tiers of process exhaust waste heat and mass, typically, thus having exactly the sort of relevant compensation that fits with 2LOT. In particular by manipulating phase changes and linked temperatures, it manages to pump heat out of a cold storage unit to a reservoir at a higher temperature, the ambient atmosphere.

Even if Sewell may have made a mistake somewhere, the effect would be minor, and the substantial point will stand.

Not, that I expect that to be recognised at this stage.

KF

523. 523
Upright BiPed says:

ES, you have mail.

CJY, I look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks to both.

524. 524
Mung says:

Entropy is a state function of a system.

DING! DING! DING!

Now watch as Sal walks this back or pretends like he didn’t really say it.

525. 525
Mung says:

Who has been the one misleading and polluting the minds of pro-ID chemistry, physics, and engineering students with “entropy is disorder”? Not me.

ORLY?

526. 526
Mung says:

scordova:

There is a very strong connection of thermodynamic entropy with temperature…

I wonder why that is.

scordova:

There is a very strong connection of thermodynamic entropy with temperature, and by way of contrast I don’t see design space entropies connected to temperature…

So. What.

scordova:

There is a very strong connection of thermodynamic entropy with temperature, and by way of contrast I don’t see design space entropies connected to temperature, thus 2LOT seems the wrong tool to argue for improbability.

It just doesn’t follow. In fact, you could not be more wrong.

2LOT is all about probability. So is statistical mechanics.

Statistical mechanics was the first foundational physical theory in which probabilistic concepts and probabilistic explanation played a fundamental role.

Time to grow up Sal.

527. 527
Mung says:

It should be instructive to again repeat the most widely accepted statement of the 2nd Law:

Why?

For instructive purposes, let’s quote Wikipedia:

The second law of thermodynamics states that in a natural thermodynamic process, there is an increase in the sum of the entropies of the participating systems.

Statistical thermodynamics, classical or quantum, explains the law.

The second law has been expressed in many ways.

The second law of thermodynamics may be expressed in many specific ways, the most prominent classical statements being the statement by Rudolf Clausius (1854), the statement by Lord Kelvin (1851), and the statement in axiomatic thermodynamics by Constantin Carathéodory (1909). These statements cast the law in general physical terms citing the impossibility of certain processes. The Clausius and the Kelvin statements have been shown to be equivalent.

It is impossible, by means of inanimate material agency, to derive mechanical effect from any portion of matter by cooling it below the temperature of the coldest of the surrounding objects.

528. 528

phoenix/keiths works so hard (even at two sites at the same time) because he understands that Sewell’s ID argument is lethal for evolution. scordova tries to convince him that there is no menace but evidently phoenix/keiths doesn’t trust him and remains worried.

There is a law (2nd_law_SM) establishing a bias of isolated systems toward probable states.

Also if systems are open the problem remains because energy flux cannot cause ultra-improbable states to happen. (Otherwise e.g. casinos should place roulettes and poker tables in thermostatized dark rooms.)

Bio-organization entails ultra-improbable states (evolutionist Styer calculates 10-^(1.8 x 10^22) the chance to evolve of a single Cambrian organism). Total unguided evolution would imply billion systems during billion years continually going countless times toward ultra-improbable states of the above sort. Practically a fully-reverted “SM_law_2nd” during all Earth’s age. Evolution would make physics a soft science, not an hard science.

It is obvious why evolutionist phoenix/keiths fears Sewell’s argument so much.

529. 529
Andre says:

because he understands that Sewell’s ID argument is lethal for evolution.

It is lethal for his version of unguided evolution that’s why he’s having a hissy fit.

530. 530
kairosfocus says:

Mung:

Entropy is indeed a state function, one that reflects the lack of information on particular ultramicroscopic state, given what one knows at lab level.

But when highly specific micro level configurations reflecting functional organisation then make themselves visible, that changes everything.

For, we now have a much tighter ultramicroscopic state constraint relative to what would otherwise obtain, were that functionality signal not accessible to us.

This then brings to bear a config space analysis — here momentum issues are of lesser concern — where we see

W_scattered >> W_clumped >>W_functionally configured

Apply S = k* ln W (or use more complex forms), and the shift in entropy on clumping and then configuring to functionally organised form, is readily evident.

Where, once such a form exists, flash, there is a new signal (especially, for cell based life).

State, has been very particularly defined, once such a green flash is visible.

Entropy, relevant to that configuration, has been restricted to a low value.

And, while we may discuss much larger variabilities associated with thermal agitation, once this green flash is there, we have a known case of deeply isolated islands of function in a very large config space.

And, thermal agitation and associated phenomena cannot credibly account for such via blind needle in haystack search given space scope to available search resources ratio. Sampling one straw to a cubical haystack comparable to the thickness of our galaxy, is not a practicable method to find deeply isolated islands of function.

Thus, we see why the underlying micro analysis inextricably connected to 2LOT, tells us a lot about why irrelevant mass or energy flows do not give rise to credible compensation of that local, green flash signal drop in S.

KF

PS: As a simple comparison, consider parts of a 6500 reel, that at first could be scattered at random all over the factory on the Morrum river, Sweden. Then, consider them clumped at random in a bag on a workbench and shaken up as long as you please, then, assembled per wiring diagram. Green flash: functional working reel.

531. 531
Zachriel says:

kairosfocus: These two tiers of process exhaust waste heat and mass, typically, thus having exactly the sort of relevant compensation that fits with 2LOT. In particular by manipulating phase changes and linked temperatures, it manages to pump heat out of a cold storage unit to a reservoir at a higher temperature, the ambient atmosphere.

Natural refrigerator:
http://www.ashevillenow.com/fi.....mmer67.jpg

niwrad: There is a law (2nd_law_SM) establishing a bias of isolated systems toward probable states.

Probable meaning the chance distribution of thermodynamic microstates.

niwrad: Also if systems are open the problem remains because energy flux cannot cause ultra-improbable states to happen.

Happens all the time.
http://www.ashevillenow.com/fi.....mmer67.jpg

Hail is ultra-improbable based on the chance arrangement of microstates. It takes work to make a hailstone. “In particular by manipulating phase changes and linked temperatures, it manages to pump heat out of a cold storage unit to a reservoir at a higher temperature, the ambient atmosphere.”

532. 532
Zachriel says:

CJYman: First, it is pro-compensation in the fact that compensation is required for dS less than 0. This is something that everyone here seems to agree with.

A region can exhibit reduced thermodynamic entropy as long as it exports thermodynamic entropy to the environment.

CJYman: The ID argument is anti-compensation in the sense that it is against the idea that compensation by merely opening up a system to heat flow can change the direction of all probabilistic processes.

No, not *all* probabilistic processes. Nevertheless, it can and does result in regional reductions in thermodynamic entropy.

533. 533
kairosfocus says:

Zachriel, hail formation or the like is not the spontaneous origin of a refrigerator as a heat pump with cold storage subsystem exhibiting abundant FSCO/I; cf here: http://www.central-air-conditi.....cycle.html . That you would try to make such a comparison shows deep misunderstandings. Please, think again. KF

534. 534
Zachriel says:

kairosfocus: hail formation or the like is not the spontaneous origin of a refrigerator as a heat pump with cold storage subsystem exhibiting abundant FSCO/I

There’s no unambiguous measure of FSCO/I, but hail is certainly formed through a process of refrigeration, i.e. a heat pump.

535. 535

Zachriel

You have abandobed snowflakes and cite hail, but the issue doesn’t change. Given some conditions, hail, as snowflakes, is not improbable, rather almost certain. In fact it happened countless times worldwide. What is really highly improbable is that hailstorm forms functioning mechanic watches entirely made of ice. (This is somewhat a winter version of Paley’s watch — patent pending 🙂 )

536. 536
kairosfocus says:

Zachriel, FSCO/I is readily observable per Wicken wiring diagram functional organisation; and is thus quantifiable on reasonable metrics keyed to observed function and length of a string of Y/N, structured Q’s per Kolmogorov complexity. That, was put on the table as far back as Orgel in 1973. More than good enough for govt work, as can be seen from say any number of CAD drawing files routinely used in engineering praxis. Once the set of possible configs exceeds 2^500 to 2^1,000 depending on scope of available atomic resources. [E.g., the 10^57 atom 10^17 s scope Sol sys is our effective cosmos for chem interactions unless we develop a viable inter-stellar navigation technology.] The attempted dismissive objection fails, and does so in a way that patently reflects steeping in deep misunderstandings, systematic distortion and deep hostility that ironically reflect the strength of FSCO/I as a strong sign of design. KF

537. 537
Zachriel says:

niwrad: Given some conditions, hail, as snowflakes, is not improbable, rather almost certain.

And given some conditions, an oak tree is not improbably, rather almost certain. However, as a chance arrangement of thermodynamic microstates, both are improbable. It takes work to create a hailstone or an oak tree.

538. 538

Zachriel

No. Hailstorm and oak tree are two NOT comparable things. Physics explains the conditions and the natural forces causing hailstorm. On the contrary, physics does NOT explain what causes the formation of an oak tree seed from random molecules. There is more, physics has a law stating general bias toward probability, while the spontaneous formation of the oak seed from sparse molecules is ultra-improbable. That is exactly the actual topic.

539. 539
Piotr says:

This is mostly for CJYman:

Phoenix/KeithS can no longer post here. Anyone who is interested in discussing this topic without censorship getting in the way, is welcome to visit TSZ:

http://theskepticalzone.com/wp.....ment-60355

540. 540
Piotr says:

the spontaneous formation of the oak seed from sparse molecules is ultra-improbable

Absolutely. Oaks have evolved from earlier life-forms over a few billion years. No oak seed has ever been formed out of sparse molecules in a magic puff of smoke (whatever some creationists might think).

541. 541
Andre says:

Piotr

Turtles all the way down hey….. somewhere in evolutionary fairytale stories you will have to answer the question how did nothing conspire molecules to make a seed….

What came first the oak or the seed? Put out how it’s done or be done with your just so stories.

542. 542
ENich says:

Piotr,

543. 543
Zachriel says:

niwrad: Hailstorm and oak tree are two NOT comparable things.

In thermodynamics, they can both be considered heat machines.

niwrad: Physics explains the conditions and the natural forces causing hailstorm.

Work leads to what would otherwise be improbable from a thermodynamic standpoint, whether hailstorm or oak tree.

niwrad: On the contrary, physics does NOT explain what causes the formation of an oak tree seed from random molecules.

The primary mechanism is photosynthesis.

niwrad: There is more, physics has a law stating general bias toward probability, while the spontaneous formation of the oak seed from sparse molecules is ultra-improbable.

It’s improbable as a chance arrangement of microstates, but it is not improbable given the appropriate conditions.

544. 544
REC says:

“phoenix/keiths works so hard (even at two sites at the same time) because he understands that Sewell’s ID argument is lethal for evolution”

I’m not sure Sewell’s argument an Niwrad’s are the same at this point. In fact, they seem mutually exclusive, except for a distaste of evolution.

545. 545

REC

Pathetic. If you think to play the divide-et-impera card about Sewell and me, I tell you just from the outset that it doesn’t work.

Granville is more elaborate and of course more autorative than me, and I use few simple words, anyway the substance of the ID argument based on 2nd_law_SM is the same.

Last but not least, Granville is one of the most intellectually honest and courageous person I know, and a dear friend.

546. 546
CJYman says:

Upright Biped,

547. 547
Joe says:

Piotr:

Oaks have evolved from earlier life-forms over a few billion years.

That’s the propaganda, anyway. Everyone is still waiting for evidence to support it.

548. 548
Upright BiPed says:

CJYman,

lol, my apologies.

contact (at) complexity cafe (dot) (com)

549. 549
Piotr says:

#543 Andre, #549 Joe,

Oaks are close relatives of stone oaks, chestnut-trees and chinkapins, and beeches (more or less in this order). Together with a few less-known genera they form the family Fagaceae. All those trees can be traced back to a common ancestor. The family has an excellent fossil record since the early Palaeogene. The farther back in time you go, the more similar all these trees become; the same is true of their flowers and fruit.

The common ancestor had nuts more similar to beechmast than to modern acorns or chestnuts, but essentially of the same type: a single large seed enclosed in a tough protective shell (“cupule”). The fruit was not an acorn, strictly speaking, but ancestral to acorns (while the cupule is the ancestor of the acorn cap), and the tree that bore it was not a true oak, but ancestral to oaks (and their kin). In the Late Cretaceous we have fossils of trees (Protofagacea, Antiquacupula) meeting that description (and also of their flowers, fruits, and cupules). They show a combinantion of features found today in Fagaceae and in related families such as Nothofagaceae (southern beeches).

A one-seeded fruit with a hard encasing is a common motif in the order Fagales which contains the families mentioned so far as well a number of other trees or shrubs (e.g. birches, hornbeams, hazels, alders, hickories, and sheoaks). It may have fancy variants: the seeds may be tiny and the encasing winged, so that it can be carried by the wind, or many seeds may be gathered into a cone-like “fruiting body”. These, however, are later developments. The known Cretaceous fruits are small, simple, unspecialised, and nut-like. So when you get back to the mid Cretaceous, when the order probably originated, you have trees and single-seeded fruits somewhat resembling their descendants 100 million years later, though you probably wouldn’t recognise them as proto-oaks and proto-acorns.

Can you follow the story so far?

550. 550
Joe says:

Yes, Piotr, it is a story.

What makes an oak an oak, Piotr?

551. 551
Andre says:

Piotr

Nice story! What came first the seed or the tree? Did it just emerge? Which one?

552. 552
Andre says:

Piotr

Also if the tree was first how did it know how to make a seed? If the seed was first how did it know how and where to store the information for it to become a tree? When it germenated did it follow these very specific instructions or did it randomly do its own thing? You know in some unguided way? Where did the input, encoder, medium and decoder emerge from? How? I have so many questions for this because I want to know things….. Imagine that! A blind purposeless cosmic accident wanting to know things, what a coincidence!

553. 553
Silver Asiatic says:

While other organisms were moving around to find nutrition and reproduction opportunities, evolution caused trees to stay in one spot so they supposedly could out-compete organisms that could move to get nutrition.

It’s a good story.

554. 554
Zachriel says:

Andre: What came first the seed or the tree?

Seeds evolved from spores. Runcaria exhibits intermediate features.

Silver Asiatic: While other organisms were moving around to find nutrition and reproduction opportunities, evolution caused trees to stay in one spot so they supposedly could out-compete organisms that could move to get nutrition.

Trees are plants. The food comes to them.

555. 555
Piotr says:

Joe: What makes an oak an oak, Piotr?

A name is just a label. There is a clade consisting of closely related tree species (about 600) which we label “oaks”. Any clade is defined by its common innovations. In the case of oaks the main morphological innovations (modifications of the ancestral state) are single pistillate flowers and “valveless” cupules (not splitting into sections, as in chestnuts or beeches), only partly encasing the fruit.

Andre: Nice story! What came first the seed or the tree? Did it just emerge? Which one?

Let’s phrase it differently: the seed or the plant? (not all flowering plants are trees, but they all produce seeds). Well, as you can easily guess, they developed together, since the life cycle involving mature plants, flowers, fruits and seeds is as old as flowering plants themselves. Its precursor was a less elaborate cycle, like that of the modern gymnosperms (for example conifers), in which seeds were also produced, so seeds are older than flowering plants (though not as old as plants in general). But I haven’t got that far yet, so let’s not digress.

556. 556
Zachriel says:

Oops. Forgot the citation.

Z: Seeds evolved from spores. Runcaria exhibits intermediate features.

Gerrienne et al., Runcaria, a middle devonian seed plant precursor, Science 2004.

557. 557
Joe says:

Piotr:

A name is just a label.

So you have no idea what makes an oak an oak. Got it.

There is a clade consisting of closely related tree species (about 600) which we label “oaks”. Any clade is defined by its common innovations. In the case of oaks the main morphological innovations (modifications of the ancestral state) are single pistillate flowers and “valveless” cupules (not splitting into sections, as in chestnuts or beeches), only partly encasing the fruit.

To ID a “clade” is a common design and all of its spinoffs.

558. 558
CJYman says:

Upright Biped,

Just have to ask .. any underscores or miscellaneous dots?

559. 559
Andre says:

Piotr

Where did seasonal plants that only live for about 1 season get the time to evolve this trait? I wonder by trial and error?

560. 560
Upright BiPed says:

CJY… Nope.

🙂

561. 561
Andre says:

Seeds evolved from spores how quaint and convenient for spores and plants!!!!

Have you ever considered that you have lost your mind?

I might ask you then where did spores come from? Did they just emerge?

562. 562
Silver Asiatic says:

Andre’

Where did seasonal plants that only live for about 1 season get the time to evolve this trait? I wonder by trial and error?

I guess it’s a lot easier to survive when you die after one year then if you live for many years like some plants do.

Species that live for a long time must have some kind of survival disadvantage because they live so long and are more robust.

Don’t worry, it all makes sense. Evolutionists said so.

563. 563
Andre says:

Piotr

As I can guess they developed together? I don’t want to guess anything I want you to show me how it happened… Whether it is a plant or a tree they all need seeds. So what came first? The plant or the seed? Stop fanning about and show how a tree or plant grew without a seed only then to develop seeds. How did trees emerge without seeds Piotr?

564. 564
Andre says:

Silver Asiatic

Ah so death increases fitness? Survival of the fittest is true whether you live or die. Evolution sure is smart even smarter than God!!!!

Amazing!!!

565. 565
Zachriel says:

Andre: Seeds evolved from spores how quaint and convenient for spores and plants!!!!

Seeds didn’t always exist, and there is evidence of how the transition occurred in incremental steps.

Andre: I might ask you then where did spores come from?

Sporopollenin-walled haploid spores evolved when plants moved onto land.

566. 566
Andre says:

How did they emerge before they moved onto land? Why did they move onto land selection pressures? I thought you said plants stayed in one place because food come to them? What is it going to be?

567. 567
Piotr says:

#559

So you have no idea what makes an oak an oak. Got it.

What makes an oak an oak, Joe?

568. 568
scordova says:

CJYman,

scordova, I do really appreciate your constructive criticism. Unfortunately we have been talking past each other to a certain extent. I hope that my post #216 has cleared up some of the issues. Do you have any problems with that comment (other than the syllogism — I just re-phrased it and posted to TLZ)

I appreciate the conversation as well.

The other part of the argument that I am discussing deals with the thermodynamic configuration and how it changes and can be directed

The problem is the definition of “thermodynamic configuration”. This is not exactly helped by the fact that material scientists and engineers and physicist have some differing views on what “configurational entropy” means!

The most common denominator of 2LOT entropy would be from Clausius, a concept which proceeds from his definition of 2LOT:

Heat can never pass from a colder to a warmer body without some other change, connected therewith, occurring at the same time

Note, 2LOT is expressed in terms of “heat” and “temperature”, exactly analogous to the units entropy is usually expressed in, namely, J/K — where J is heat into the system and K is temperature. It is no coincidence thermodynamic entoropy is expressed in J/K even though as I’ve shown J/K is dimensionless except to point out it is counting energy microstates.

Configurations began to be in play with thing like “mixing entropy” and then position and momentum began to be important. But even then J/K still is the measure of thermodynamic entropy and this sort of configuration isn’t the configuration of interest to ID proponents.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy_of_mixing

I disagree that there are fundamental differences between the ID measures of information. I’ll write up an explanation again (just lost the last one) with my next post.

I’ve argued against using information theory type arguments in defense of ID, it adds way too much confusion. Basic probability will do the job, and basic probability is clear and unassailable.

The mutliplicities of interest to ID proponents don’t vary with temperature, whereas the multiplicities from a thermodynamic perspective change with temperature. I find that very problematic for invoking 2LOT in defense of ID.

Algorithmically controlled metabolisms (such as realized in life) are low multiplicity constructs as a matter of principle. They are high in information content. But why add more jargon and terminology?

Most people understand “complex-computer-like machines such a living creatures are far from the expected outcome of random processes”. This is a subtle assertion of LLN. This is a different way of posing the Humpty Dumpty problem.

There are an infinite number of ways to make lock-and-key or login/password systems, but just because there are infinite number of ways to do this does not make them highly probable from random processes. In fact this is far from expectation. In like manner the many lock-and-key and login/password analogies in algorithmic metabolisms found in life are far from expectation even though hypothetically there might be an infinite number of ways to implement complex life. Life occupies a low multiplicity state far from expectation from a high entropy ensemble of configurations and evidences high information — but why use such fancy terms like “multiplicity” and “entropy” and “information”?

Why invoke 2LOT? Why invoke fancy terms that add confusion? One deliberately uses unclear arguments when one wishes to obfuscate, but why be unclear when evidence is on one’s side?

At issues, even more fundamental than ID vs. non-ID is whether life is far from the expected outcome of random chemical and physical processes.

Even supposing invoking 2LOT in favor of ID is correct (something I only grant for the sake of argument), why go there when LLN states the problem in much more clear and forceful terms?

LLN and variations of Jonathan Wells Humpty Dumpty argument I think have proven themselves in the arena of debate. Maybe even more tersely, extrapolating Pasteur, “life does not come from non-life.”

569. 569
Joe says:

Piotr:

What makes an oak an oak, Joe?

No one knows, Piotr. Thank you evolutionary biology for not even being able to answer the basic question of biology. And that is also why universal common descent isn’t science.

570. 570
Piotr says:

#565 Andre,

Whether it is a plant or a tree they all need seeds. So what came first? The plant or the seed?

You should be able to get the drift by now, Andre. Seed-producing plants evolved from spore-producing plants, as Zachriel explained above. “A plant” is not only the mature sporophyte, but the whole life-cycle, including the production of spores or seeds. It’s the cycle that has evolved, and not just “the tree”. There was a time when the reproductive cycle of very distant oak ancestors was like that of modern ferns.

We even have transitional fossils from the middle Devonian (Runcaria), 385 million years ago, with units of reproduction that were half-way between spores and true seeds. There was a megasporangium where pollination took place, producing an embryonic plant, just as in seed-plants, except that the “proto-seed” was without a solid protective coat, and the fertilisation mechanism was less sophisticated. So there’s a chain of pretty smooth transitions, from the earliest vascular plants producing spores to oak-trees bearing acorns.

571. 571
fifthmonarchyman says:

WOW.

Zac says the primary mechanism that turns a seed to into an oak is photosynthesis and Piotr attempts to give an evolutionary history of oaks as if that is relevant.

This is what happens when your worldview is locked into the bottom up and is unable to think in terms of top down causation.

It’s like we live in different universes.

Is it any wonder that we talk past each other?

peace

572. 572
fifthmonarchyman says:

What makes an oak an oak?

I say,

What makes a quark a quark?

Exactly the same thing that makes an oak an oak and it does it in exactly the same way

I’m sorry your worldview does not allow you to see that simple truth.

peace

573. 573
Piotr says:

fifth,

1. In a historical process, the history is the explanation. The question was not how a seed becomes a tree but “what was first, the oak or the acorn?” How else can I answer, if not moving back in evolutionary time? Now we are back to the time of the first land plants reproducing by means of spores. It’s late where I am, so I’ll continue tomorrow.

2. There is no magical “essence of being an oak”. A genus is not a fundamental category in any way. We attach generic names to units characterised by a certain, rather arbitrary, degree of relationship. It’s a “rank” defined by humans, not a natural one. As I have already said, there are at least 600 species of plants called “oak”. They share some common innovations (also mentioned above) due to their shared ancestry. That’s all. How do you decide that, for example, the English oak, the canyon live oak, the Japanese evergreen oak, and the bamboo-leaf oak from SE Asia belong to the same genus? They aren’t even particularly similar to one another, except for the fact that they all produce characteristic acorns.

574. 574
fifthmonarchyman says:

Piotr says,

The question was not how a seed becomes a tree but “what was first, the oak or the acorn?” How else can I answer, if not moving back in evolutionary time?

I say,

You could say that like the chicken and the egg the Oak and the acorn are equally ultimate.

But that answer never even occurred to you.

you say,

A genus is not a fundamental category in any way. We attach generic names to units characterised by a certain, rather arbitrary, degree of relationship. It’s a “rank” defined by humans, not a natural one.

I say,

Of course according to materialism the fundamental things are always “the many” particles in motion never “the one” thing that we observe.

Of course there is another way of looking at the world. It’s possible that the platonic Forms have real existence outside the cave and are discovered by humans instead of arbitrarily defined by us.

But you can’t even entertain that possibility. Your worldview won’t allow it

peace

575. 575
Zachriel says:

fifthmonarchyman: You could say that like the chicken and the egg the Oak and the acorn are equally ultimate.

That’s all very nice, but has no scientific validity.

fifthmonarchyman: Of course there is another way of looking at the world. It’s possible that the platonic Forms have real existence outside the cave and are discovered by humans instead of arbitrarily defined by us.

That might work for triangles, but not for most taxonomic ranks.

576. 576
Piotr says:

You could say that like the chicken and the egg the Oak and the acorn are equally ultimate.

Ultimate? What kind of explanation is that? The sort of thing you say to curious children to make them stop asking questions? In both cases the cycle has a long history and is traceable back to the beginnings of sexual reproduction in unicellular eukaryotes, when a gamete was not very different from a diploid individual except for the fact that it carried half the genetic information (one copy of each chromosome). But as I was saying, it’s past midnight here and I have to get up early, so good night and see you tomorrow.

577. 577
fifthmonarchyman says:

Piotr says,

How do you decide that, for example, the English oak, the canyon live oak, the Japanese evergreen oak, and the bamboo-leaf oak from SE Asia belong to the same genus?

I say,

I have no problem with labels based on perceived decent but in most cases Phenetics works better.

peace

578. 578
fifthmonarchyman says:

Zac says,

That’s all very nice, but has no scientific validity.

I say,

By scientific of course you mean agreeing with Zac’s idea of how the world works.

It’s easy to scientifically verify that Oaks and Acorns are equally ultimate just try to get one without the other.

😉

peace

579. 579
Zachriel says:

fifthmonarcyman: It’s easy to scientifically verify that Oaks and Acorns are equally ultimate just try to get one without the other.

Seed plants evolved from spore plants.

In any case, you might want to provide a scientific definition of “ultimate”.

580. 580
fifthmonarchyman says:

zac says,

you might want to provide a scientific definition of “ultimate”.

I say,

As usual I might have known your response to a simple observation would be to try and introduce ambiguity into common English words.

“it depends on what the definition of is is”

Not sure about the universe you inhabit but This definition works just fine in mine.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ultimate

581. 581
fifthmonarchyman says:

The exact same definition from a website with “biology” in the name.

http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Ultimate

Satisfied?

peace

582. 582
Mung says:

Zachriel:

Hail is ultra-improbable based on the chance arrangement of microstates. It takes work to make a hailstone.

So?

You are so clueless, I don’t know why I waste my time.

Your posts appear as just so much hail. I’m sure you worked hard to produce them, but so what?

583. 583
Mung says:

The problem is the definition of “thermodynamic configuration”. This is not exactly helped by the fact that material scientists and engineers and physicist have some differing views on what “configurational entropy” means!

Why do you think that “thermodynamic configuration” is the same as “configurational entropy”?

Define “thermodynamic configuration.”

Define “configurational entropy.”

584. 584
Mung says:

I’ve argued against using information theory type arguments in defense of ID, it adds way too much confusion. Basic probability will do the job, and basic probability is clear and unassailable.

You expressed this to Bill Dembski? What did he say?

This is hilarious, really. One of your best posts ever.

ID should avoid information theory and stick to probability.

585. 585
Mung says:

LLN and variations of Jonathan Wells Humpty Dumpty argument I think have proven themselves in the arena of debate. Maybe even more tersely, extrapolating Pasteur, “life does not come from non-life.”

Please express these “arguments” in basic probabilty terms.

Basic probability will do the job, and basic probability is clear and unassailable.

Do tell.

586. 586
Andre says:

Piotr

You should be able to get the drift by now, Andre. Seed-producing plants evolved from spore-producing plants, as Zachriel explained above. “A plant” is not only the mature sporophyte, but the whole life-cycle, including the production of spores or seeds. It’s the cycle that has evolved, and not just “the tree”. There was a time when the reproductive cycle of very distant oak ancestors was like that of modern ferns.

What came first the spore or the spore producing plant?

587. 587
Piotr says:

#588 Andre,

The spore is older. Plants developed from more primitive organisms which already produced spores.

We should keep it in mind that there is a difference between a spore ans a seed. A spore is haploid, like an unfertilised egg cell or a sperm. A seed is a diploid plant embryo, developing after fertilisation.

Plants producing spores disperse them and the spore may germinate and produce (asexually) a haploid gametophyte away from the parent plant. The gametophyte produces haploid gametes (still asexually), which eventually fuse with gametes of the opposite sex to form a diploid zygote (this is the sexual part of their reproduction).

In seed-plants the whole process happens internally in the parent organism. Flowers (or their parts) are the evolutionary descendants of gametophytes, and ovules and pollen grains contain the gametes. The seed corresponds to the zygote of spore-producing plants, not to the spore itself.

The mid-Devonian genus Runcaria (mentioned above) is the earliest known example of a plant which kept its “female” spores and allowed them to germinate, undergo fertilisation and produce a seed-like zygote internally, protected by the megasporangium structure of the parent plant.

588. 588
kairosfocus says:

Folks, notice how this and ever so many threads tend strongly to be pulled off topic? One of the concerns with that is a common — sometimes, habitual — trollish objector’s tactic of a red herring distractor led away to a convenient strawman caricature laced with ad hominems and set alight to clod, confuse, polarise and utterly poison the atmosphere. So, if the focal issue is important, we should be very wary of that trifecta fallacy tactic. KF

589. 589
Andre says:

Piotr?

So how did a spore become a spore? How did one section and another via undirected processes become the unfertilized and the fertilizer? How is this possible?

590. 590
kairosfocus says:

SalC & Mung:

Pardon, but I have a different take: on years of observing, any serious design argument will be twisted into pretzels, strawmannised, confused, clouded and generally distorted and dismissed by the sort of ruthlessly determined and too often amoral or outright nihilistic, truth and fairness disregarding objectors we frequently face.

This is because, too many such are “any means necessary”/”ends justify means” committed ideologues full of agit-prop talking points and agendas.

That’s exactly how the trained, indoctrinated Marxist agitators of my youth operated. Benumbed in conscience, insensitive to truth, fundamentally rage-blinded [even when charming], secure in their notion that they were the vanguard of the future/progress, and that they were championing pure victims of the oppressor classes who deserved anything they got.

(Just to illustrate the attitude, I remember one who accused me falsely of theft of an item of equipment kept in my lab. I promptly had it signed over to the Student Union once I understood the situation, then went to her office and confronted her with the sign off. How can you be so thin skinned was her only response; taking full advantage of the rule that men must restrain themselves in dealing with women, however outrageous the latter, and of course seeking to further wound. Ironically, this champion of the working classes was from a much higher class-origin than I was . . . actually, unsurprisingly. To see the parallels, notice how often not only objectors who come here but the major materialist agit-prop organisations — without good grounds — insinuate calculated dishonesty and utter incompetence to the point that we should not have been able to complete a degree, on our part.)

I suggest, first, that the pivot of design discussions on the world of life is functionally specific, complex interactive Wicken wiring diagram organisation of parts that achieve a whole performance based on particular arrangement and coupling, and associated information. Information that is sometimes explicit (R/DNA codes) or sometimes may be drawn out by using structured Y/N q’s that describe the wiring pattern to achieve function.

FSCO/I, for short.

This is not new, it goes back to Orgel 1973:

. . . In brief, living organisms [–> functional context] are distinguished by their specified complexity. Crystals are usually taken as the prototypes of simple well-specified structures, because they consist of a very large number of identical molecules packed together in a uniform way. Lumps of granite or random mixtures of polymers are examples of structures that are complex but not specified. The crystals fail to qualify as living because they lack complexity; the mixtures of polymers fail to qualify because they lack specificity . . . .

[HT, Mung, fr. p. 190 & 196:] These vague idea can be made more precise by introducing the idea of information. Roughly speaking, the information content of a structure is the minimum number of instructions needed to specify the structure. [–> this is of course equivalent to the string of yes/no questions required to specify the relevant “wiring diagram” for the set of functional states, T, in the much larger space of possible clumped or scattered configurations, W, as Dembski would go on to define in NFL in 2002 . . . ] One can see intuitively that many instructions are needed to specify a complex structure. [–> so if the q’s to be answered are Y/N, the chain length is an information measure that indicates complexity in bits . . . ] On the other hand a simple repeating structure can be specified in rather few instructions. [–> do once and repeat over and over in a loop . . . ] Complex but random structures, by definition, need hardly be specified at all . . . . Paley was right to emphasize the need for special explanations of the existence of objects with high information content, for they cannot be formed in nonevolutionary, inorganic processes. [The Origins of Life (John Wiley, 1973), p. 189, p. 190, p. 196.]

. . . as well as Wicken, 1979:

‘Organized’ systems are to be carefully distinguished from ‘ordered’ systems. Neither kind of system is ‘random,’ but whereas ordered systems are generated according to simple algorithms [[i.e. “simple” force laws acting on objects starting from arbitrary and common- place initial conditions] and therefore lack complexity, organized systems must be assembled element by element according to an [[originally . . . ]