PLEASE NOTE:

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

 
CharlieC
 
Comments: 61
Article views: 703
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all CharlieC's badges.
 

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.        

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.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

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
61 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
SPONSORED CONTENT
5 crucial questions to ask before you take that job 2014-10-30 08:00

You choose your employer just as much as they choose you. Here are 5 of the most important things you should find out about a company before you sign up.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Joe Johnson789
Celebrity deaths bring violent cr...

The eyes of the world were on South Africa for about ten months the trial of Oscar Pistorius lasted. It was reported as one of the most watched media events in recent history. Read more...

7 comments 301 views
Submitted by
Manny Obi-Wan Meyer
The pleasure of finding things ou...

I have often wondered how the events of my past have structured my life in the present, my various skills and propensities, my way of reflecting upon the world at large. Read more...

3 comments 313 views
Submitted by
capetowndoll
God is tangible

I am writing this to let every atheist know what happened to me when I was deeply concerned about my mother. Read more...

179 comments 2128 views
Submitted by
Inspired Parenting
10 Tips for helping our matric st...

As more than half a million matrics in South Africa begin their exams, the hopes and dreams of our country rest on their shoulders. Read more...

8 comments 389 views
Submitted by
Percy_Makholwa
Mindless seriousness

The work place is at times defined by mindless seriousness, at least this is my experience in the South African workforce.  Read more...

6 comments 381 views
Submitted by
Enzo Ball
God ran out of time

We are constantly told that god is this that and the other, he is, he was and will be, plus other really amazing stuff.  Read more...

98 comments 922 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

TV Series – 2 for R299

Loads of hot titles to choose from. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

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.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.