The 2nd Law of Thermodymamics and Abiogenesis.
I commented on William Crawley’s “Sunday Sequence” and its aftermath here.
William Crawley has put several posts up following this. “Finding
Clearly William Crawley has a more than passing interest in the brewing "Biological Origins War" in the
I was very interested in the exchange between Richard Dawkins (RD) and Andy MacIntosh (AM) and its aftermath. RD clearly thought that he was on to a big hitting winner with AM mentioning that the 2nd Law of thermodynamics rules out an unintelligent origin for biological information systems. RD seemed to be keen that Leed’s University should take action against one of its professors speaking in this way about a subject that is clearly within his own area of special competence- thermodynamics.
I got the impression RD really wanted AM to say something like “The 2nd law of Thermodynamics means that evolution is impossible.” RD could then show watertight evidence for micro-evolution and initiate a national
This is what he said:
Now that the 2nd law has had time to work on the Turkey this Christmas . . . maybe a few words are in order on thermodynamics and living machinery which I spoke about on the Sunday Sequence program on Dec 10th. I don't usually enter lots of blog discussions, but I see that you are having quite a debate here, so perhaps a word is in order from me. I do not on principle enter into any ad hominem attacks or respond to such against me. They do not add weight to any arguments and it is the science which is important.
The reason of course why this subject of origins will not go away is that there is a scientific case, whether Dawkins likes it or not, which is a challenge to the neo-Darwinian attempts to explain life in terms of common descent. It is a straightforward case of testable science versus the modern evolutionary ‘just-so’ story telling. Scientists like myself who believe in Creation have no problem with natural selection. It is simply the natural equivalent of artificial selection. But natural selection has no power to create new functional structures. It does not increase information and does not build machines which are not there already (either fully developed or in embryonic form).
The principles of thermodynamics even in open systems do not allow a new function using raised free energy levels to be achieved without new machinery. And new machines are not made by simply adding energy to existing machines. This was the point at issue in the programme of Dec 10th. Intelligence is needed.
And this thesis is falsifiable. If anyone was to take an existing chemical machine and produce a different chemical machine which was not there before (either as a sub part or latently coded for in the DNA template) then this argument would have been falsified. No one has ever achieved this.
I suggest that all the listeners read again if they have not done already, the excellent book by Wilder Smith called 'The natural sciences know nothing of evolution'. It is available on Amazon.
Clearly this kind of argument has been bubbling around for some time since Wilder Smith raised it. I do not think that when scientists of the standing of AM and Granville Sewel (
It is a also a subject which has also been raised by Walter Bradley (2004) "Information, Entropy, and the Origin of Life" pp 331-251 in Dembski and
I became interested in the concept of entropy in my A-level Chemistry classes but I really have only a very basic understanding of the concept. It seemed to me however that the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics ruled out the idea that matter is eternal.
Those who believe that life originates without intelligence argue that all that is needed to produce life is energy plus matter plus lots of time. They tend to argue that the demonstration that this is true is the fact that life is here on earth!
AM, Wilder Smith, Walter Bradley,Granville Sewell and others clearly have the conviction that this formula is flawed and something else is needed.
Energy + Matter + Time + ? = Life (with its computer like information system)
The needed ingredient they say is a plan, an idea…intelligent design.
Labels: 2nd Law