MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

CharlieC

Article views: 0

## Evolution and Thermodynamics

17 January 2013, 09:09

It has often been said that the Theory of Evolution violates the second Law of Thermodynamics. If this was true then there would be no Theory of Evolution. Yes it really is that simple. Now for the, hopefully not impossible, task of trying to get the evolution deniers to understand why this is so.

Basically the second law states that entropy increases over time. Personally I prefer the description that the amount of energy left over for work will decrease over time. Both of these descriptions are valid for the 2nd law.

It is from another description of the 2nd law that I think the problem lies. This description states that the amount of disorder in a system will increase over time. While this description is true I think it has been misunderstood by certain people to mean something totally different. The reason I say this is when pressed for an explanation on why evolution violates the 2nd law often the answer is that you can’t get complexity from disorder or order from chaos. I’m going to answer the chaos question and from my answer, and what follows, it should become self evident that complexity, as it is meant in this instance, has nothing to do with disorder.

I’d like you to imagine a closed thermodynamic system (closed as in there in no input of energy from outside the system). If we knew the conditions of the system at a particular point in time then we could work out the amount of order and disorder in the system at any other particular point in time with a high degree of accuracy. In other words how much energy is left for work (order) and how much has been lost to waste heat (disorder). Chaos, in physics, is not the same as disorder. Basically a chaotic system is highly sensitive to initial conditions (minute changes of the initial conditions can lead to widely different outcomes). A good example of a chaotic system would be the weather, think of butterfly wings causing hurricanes. For this reason you cannot make accurate long term predictions for chaotic systems. Please note that a system can be deterministic (not random) and still be chaotic.

Let’s now look at Earth. Earth is not a closed thermodynamic system; we receive a lot of energy from the sun. You can say that the solar system is a closed thermodynamic system. Thermodynamically the Earth has two main sources of energy, the Earth’s core and the sun. At first blush it might seem that entropy is decreasing on earth, due to life, but that matters not because the entropy of the system (remember you have to include the whole solar system) has increased over time.

Now I know that people today prefer to read short articles so I’ve made this one as short as possible at the expense of a fuller and deeper explanation but I think that I have shown that evolution and thermodynamics are compatible, if not let me know and I might write a piece from the evolution angle.

Get Published!
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story

Get Published!

# Read more from our Users

Submitted by
ohomen171
###### Kenya: Splitting hairs

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga deepened the country’s ongoing political crisis with the surprise announcement that he’s backing out of the nation’s do-over presidential elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Louis van Schalkwyk
###### Springboks' November tour: no eas...

Being a Springbok supporter is hard. The relationship ranges from the team being the distant cousin you don’t like to talk about to the shining beacon of light that drives our optimism. Read more...

Submitted by
Solomon Mathebula
###### Is government able to hold offici...

It is the right and responsibility of the public to ensure that those who have committed misconduct in the public offices are dealt with decisively so as to account for their duty deeds. Read more...

Submitted by
Vincent Matjila
###### They wanted to sacrifice me

That so-called bishop had hired people to monitor me and abuse me emotionally and verbally. Read more...

Submitted by
Justin van Noort
###### Baphi Abelungu? The DA is no long...

I've seen plenty of pictures from some of the recent marches and have been really heartened to see black, white, coloured, etc all participating. Read more...

Submitted by
Dan Sutherland
###### KPMG report to be used as basis f...

Tom Moyane still stands vehemently by the findings of the KPMG report, whilst Moyane's boss and brother in law, Zuma783, wants to use KPMG's withdrawal of the report as a basis for fresh representations to Shaun the Sheep. Read more...

Latest Multimedia by News24 users
Get Published!

### Jobs in Cape Town[change area]

#### Store Manager

Cape Flats
Placement Boys CC

#### Key Account Manager (Cape Town – Parow Industria)

Cape Town
MPC Recruitment Group (CPT)

#### Senior Java Developer

Cape Town
Tumaini Consulting
R600 000 - R750 000 Per Year

### Property[change area]

#### HOUSES FOR SALE IN Cape Town, Kenilworth Upper

Houses R 9 400 000

#### HOUSES FOR SALE IN Cape Town, Camps Bay

Houses R 25 000 000

#### HOUSES FOR SALE IN Cape Town, Constantia

Houses R 6 395 000

### services

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.

English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

# Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.