Thermodynamics

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===Second===
 
===Second===
 
There is no process that, operating in a cycle, produces no other effect than the subtraction of a positive amount of heat from a reservoir and the production of an equal amount of work.
 
There is no process that, operating in a cycle, produces no other effect than the subtraction of a positive amount of heat from a reservoir and the production of an equal amount of work.
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Alternatively:
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The entropy of an isolated macroscopic system not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium.
  
 
===Third===
 
===Third===
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#And you can't get out of the game.
 
#And you can't get out of the game.
  
==Apologetics==
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==Apologetics/Counter-apologetics==
[[Creationist]]s claim that evolution is impossible because the second law of thermodynamics does not allow an unguided increase in complexity.
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{{main article|Argument from the second law of thermodynamics}}
 
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==Counter-apologetics==
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The most common definition of the second law is: "''The entropy of an isolated system not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium.''"
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The second law of thermodynamics uses the word ''entropy'', which is what causes the confusion (Or allows the lies, depending on how you look at it.)
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The meaning of the word ''entropy'' that is used in the second law is: "''For a closed thermodynamic system, a quantitative measure of the amount of thermal energy not available to do work.''"
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Using that correct definition the second law of thermodynamics obviously has nothing whatsoever to do with evolution. It never did, it's just about thermal energy. (As should be evident by its very name.)
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But the definition that the apologists use is: "''A measure of the disorder or randomness in a closed system.''"
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And using that definition, the second law of thermodynamics would mean: ''The random disorderliness of an isolated system not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium.''
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However, this is not only an incorrect use of the second law. It is also untrue, some closed systems will tend to fall into disorder, while some will become more orderly.
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Examples: Disorderly dust clouds in space eventualy gravitate towards a central/denser point, forming a star.
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If we presume that humanity is orderly, and that the apologists definition of entropy is valid, we should observe the continuous destruction of humanity - human populations should dwindle, human technology should decline. That this is not occurring is not evidence that the definition is incorrect - it would mean that the Earth is not a closed system. Evolution is compatible even with the apologists definition - the earth itself is not a closed system. In a universe consisting solely of the earth and the sun, biological evolution is still possible - the total "randomness" will increase consistently as the sun releases energy, but on earth, that energy converts to temporary order.  
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Creationists sometimes claim that evolution contradicts the second law of thermodynamics. This is usually due to a misunderstanding of what the second law actually says, or else due to the false assumption that the Earth is an isolated (closed) system.
  
So in summary, the second law of thermodynamics has nothing to do with evolution, the beginnings of life, star formation, or anything at all other than the movement and/or effects of energy.
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There is also a rough thermodynamic argument against the existence of an orderly God that could create the universe.
  
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
 
* [http://www.secondlaw.com/ secondlaw.com] explains the second law of thermodynamics.
 
* [http://www.secondlaw.com/ secondlaw.com] explains the second law of thermodynamics.
 
* [http://www.2ndlaw.com/ 2ndlaw.com] fields questions generated by the previous site, including issues with evolution.
 
* [http://www.2ndlaw.com/ 2ndlaw.com] fields questions generated by the previous site, including issues with evolution.
* [http://members.aol.com/darrwin/thermo.htm Thermodynamics for Two, Please] by R. J. Riggins
 
  
  
 
[[Category:Science]]
 
[[Category:Science]]

Revision as of 18:56, 15 June 2010

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For more information, see the Wikipedia article:

Thermodynamics is the study of the transfer of heat energy. There are three main laws of thermodynamics, the second being frequently brought into arguments against evolution.

Contents

Laws

First

In any process, the total energy of the universe remains constant.

Second

There is no process that, operating in a cycle, produces no other effect than the subtraction of a positive amount of heat from a reservoir and the production of an equal amount of work.

Alternatively:

The entropy of an isolated macroscopic system not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium.

Third

As temperature approaches absolute zero, the entropy of a system approaches a constant.

Alternative descriptions

The laws of thermodynamics have also been described in a tongue-in-cheek way as:

  1. You can't win.
  2. You can't break even.
  3. And you can't get out of the game.

Apologetics/Counter-apologetics

Main Article: Argument from the second law of thermodynamics

Creationists sometimes claim that evolution contradicts the second law of thermodynamics. This is usually due to a misunderstanding of what the second law actually says, or else due to the false assumption that the Earth is an isolated (closed) system.

There is also a rough thermodynamic argument against the existence of an orderly God that could create the universe.

External links

  • secondlaw.com explains the second law of thermodynamics.
  • 2ndlaw.com fields questions generated by the previous site, including issues with evolution.
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