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Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 8—Entropy, Evolution and Open Systems—Abstract


Biological Information

To facilitate discussion, we are publishing the abstracts and conclusions/summaries of the 24 papers from the Cornell Conference on the Origin of Biological Information here at Uncommon Descent, with cumulative links to previous papers at the bottom of each page.

Note: A blow-by-blow account of the difficulties that the authors experienced from Darwin lobby attempts to censor the book by denying it publication with Springer are detailed here. Fortunately, the uproar resulted in an opportunity for readers like yourself to read the book online. That said, the hard cover version is now shipping.

The Abstract for “Entropy, Evolution and Open Systems” by Granville Sewell:

It is commonly argued that the spectacular increase in order which has occurred on Earth is consistent with the second law of thermodynamics because the Earth is not an isolated system, and anything can happen in a non-isolated system as long as the entropy increases outside the system compensate the entropy decreases inside the system. However, if we define “X-entropy” to be the entropy associated with any diffusing component X (for example, X might be heat), and, since entropy measures disorder, “X-order” to be the negative of X-entropy, a closer look at the equations for entropy change shows that they not only say that the X-order cannot increase in an isolated system, but that they also say that in a non-isolated system the X-order cannot increase faster than it is imported through the boundary. Thus the equations for entropy change do not support the illogical “compensation” idea; instead, they illustrate the tautology that “if an increase in order is extremely improbable when a system is isolated, it is still extremely improbable when the system is open, unless something is entering (or leaving) which makes it not extremely improbable.” Thus unless we are willing to argue that the influx of solar energy into the Earth makes the appearance of spaceships, computers and the Internet not extremely improbable, we have to conclude that at least the basic principle behind the second law has in fact been violated here.

See also: Origin of Biological Information conference: Its goals

Open Mike: Origin of Biological Information conference: Origin of life studies flatlined

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference— Can you answer these conundrums about information?

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference—Is a new definition of information needed for biology? (Chapter 2)

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference—New definition of information proposed: Universal Information (Chapter 2)

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference—Chapter Three, Dembski, Ewert, and Marks on the true cost of a successful search

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference—Chapter Three on the true cost of a successful search—Conservation of information

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference—Chapter Four: Pragmatic Information

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference—Chapter Four, Pragmatic information: Conclusion

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter Five Abstract

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter Five – Basener on limits of chaos – Conclusion

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter Six – Ewert et all on the Tierra evolution program – Abstract

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter Six – Ewert et all on the Tierra evolution program – Conclusion

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 7—Probability of Beneficial Mutation— Abstract

Open Mike: Cornell OBI Conference Chapter 7—Probability of Beneficial Mutation— Conclusion

Dr. Sewell has had to endure double censorship for his work on entropy, for before the current censorship fiasco involving Springer over this book, 'Biological Information', in which some publishers of Springer caved to the threats of neo-Darwinists,,,
Censorship Loses: Never Forget the Story of Biological Information: New Perspectives - Casey Luskin August 20, 2013 Excerpt: This is a crucial point: How many times have we heard ID critics (like Matzke) say things like "ID shouldn't be taken seriously because it doesn't present research at scientific conferences, or publish scientific papers." But then what happens when ID proponents present research at a scientific conference and then seek to have it published by a major science publisher? ID-critics like Matzke work hard to prevent its publication. This is sheer hypocrisy. - per ENV
Dr. Sewell had experienced the almost exact same type of censorship after his paper had already been accepted for publication in a Mathematical journal,,
Journal Apologizes and Pays $10,000 After Censoring Article - Granville Sewell episode - June 2011 http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/06/journal_apologizes_and_pays_10047121.html
Although I'm certainly no expert on the second law, other than being well aware that everything around me inevitably tends toward death and decay, the controversy, as Dr. Sewell has made clear, involves something called compensation. As far as I'm able to make it out, the compensation argument, from Darwinists trying to circumvent the second law's relentless grip, boils down to something like, 'I know Bill Gates is filthy rich, therefore spending myself into bankruptcy does not really matter because Bill Gates is filthy rich.',, or perhaps their argument something like this,,
Whoever thinks macroevolution can be made by mutations that lose information is like the merchant who lost a little money on every sale but thought he could make it up on volume." Lee Spetner (Ph.D. Physics - MIT - Not By Chance)
and this,,
Darwinism Not Proved Impossible Therefore Its True - Plantinga - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/10285716/ How Darwinists react to probability arguments (Dumb and Dumber 'There's A Chance?')- video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX5jNnDMfxA
Whatever the Darwinists argument trying to circumvent the second law really is, (as specificity is not a darwinian strong suit) it does not really matter as far as science is concerned for the empirical evidence itself is dead set against them. Dr. Morowitz, working from the thermodynamic perspective, did a probability calculation with a already existing 'simple' cell and came up with this number:
DID LIFE START BY CHANCE? Excerpt: Molecular biophysicist, Horold Morowitz (Yale University), calculated the odds of life beginning under natural conditions (spontaneous generation). He calculated, if one were to take the simplest living cell and break every chemical bond within it, the odds that the cell would reassemble under ideal natural conditions (the best possible chemical environment) would be one chance in 10^100,000,000,000. You will have probably have trouble imagining a number so large, so Hugh Ross provides us with the following example. If all the matter in the Universe was converted into building blocks of life, and if assembly of these building blocks were attempted once a microsecond for the entire age of the universe. Then instead of the odds being 1 in 10^100,000,000,000, they would be 1 in 10^99,999,999,916 (also of note: 1 with 100 billion zeros following would fill approx. 20,000 encyclopedias) http://members.tripod.com/~Black_J/chance.html
Moreover, as Dr. Sewell has referenced in this following video,,
Are You Looking for the Simplest and Clearest Argument for Intelligent Design? - Granville Sewell (2nd Law) - video http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/02/looking_for_the056711.html
Dr. Behe has surveyed the last four decades of laboratory work and has found that,,,:
“The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain - Michael Behe - December 2010 Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain. http://behe.uncommondescent.com/2010/12/the-first-rule-of-adaptive-evolution/
Thus the Darwinist simply has no experimental work that he can point to support his claim that the second law does not hold for biology! also of note: the evidence for the detrimental nature of mutations in humans is overwhelming for scientists have already cited over 100,000 mutational disorders.
Inside the Human Genome: A Case for Non-Intelligent Design - Pg. 57 By John C. Avise Excerpt: "Another compilation of gene lesions responsible for inherited diseases is the web-based Human Gene Mutation Database (HGMD). Recent versions of HGMD describe more than 75,000 different disease causing mutations identified to date in Homo-sapiens." I went to the mutation database website cited by John Avise and found this comment: HGMD®: 'Now celebrating our 100,000 mutation milestone'!
I really question their use of the word 'celebrating'. (Of note, apparently someone with a sense of decency has now removed the word 'celebrating'). Dr. Sanford, who is definitely no slouch when it comes to genetics, has stated the obvious implications of all this here,,,
Dr. John Sanford "Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome" 1/2 - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJ-4umGkgos
This following video brings the point personally home to us about the effects of entropy on each and every one of us:
Ageing Process - 80 years in 40 seconds - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSdxYmGro_Y
Verse and music:
Hebrews 9:27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, Phillips, Craig & Dean - When The Stars Burn Down - Worship Video with lyrics http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPuxnQ_vZqY
August 20, 2013
04:33 PM
Someone needs to tell Amazon to hurry up and ship my copy =p. Maybe they are waiting on a second round of peer review: Nick Matzke slightly more evolved than scum. c.f. here and hereMung
August 20, 2013
03:39 PM

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