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The Laws Of Thermodynamics


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#1 ManhattanProject

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 12:04 AM

Hey all!
Firstly, and foremostly, I wanna say thanks to admin3 and Fred Williams for all their hard work. (I'm probably gonna offend someone I didnt mention)

Spiffs! I get to make the first post :lol:

Moving on, I want to know what you guys think about whether the Laws Of Thermodynamics are true or not and explain why. I have talked to a lot of evolutionists that have think they are false and I wanna see what you guys have to say about it, because the answer to this question has a big impact on whether evolution is probable or not.

Linkety-Link for those who care to read it

#2 ManhattanProject

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 12:05 AM

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I just realized I stuck this in the wrong spot :lol:

#3 Wally

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 05:37 AM

Moving on, I want to know what you guys think about whether the Laws Of Thermodynamics are true or not and explain why. I have talked to a lot of evolutionists that have think they are false and I wanna see what you guys have to say about it, because the answer to this question has a big impact on whether evolution is probable or not.

Linkety-Link for those who care to read it

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First off, if anyone tells you the think the laws of thermodynamics don’t apply, they aren’t very informed. What is generally agreed upon is the basic misunderstanding creationist voice about this when they state evolution isn’t possible because of the laws of thermodynamics, Evidently the creationist who use the argument don’t understand the difference between a closed and an open system. The universe in general is a closed system because there is no other source of an input of energy. The earth on the other hand is an open system because there is a huge, continuous input of energy from the sun. The total entropy increases because the sun’s entropy increases much more than the Earth’s decreases.

#4 Guest_Yehren_*

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 06:09 AM

Now would be a good time for creationists to explain what process required by evolution, is prohibited by any law of thermodynamics.

#5 Guest_Paul C. Anagnostopoulos_*

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 06:18 AM

The problem is with the word entropy. People just don't understand it.

The 2LoT says that, in a closed system, available energy can never increase. So long as entropy is defined as unavailable energy, then clearly the entropy can never decrease.

The Earth is not a closed system. But even if it was, the 2LoT does not rule out the possibility of a local increase in available energy even within a closed system.

Now, don't confuse that definition of entropy with "logical entropy," which simply means the level of disorder in a closed system. Again, nothing says that local order can't appear at the expense of disorder somewhere else.

Imagine, incorrectly, that the 2LoT ruled out evolution. In that case, it would also rule out individual living organisms. However, it is easy to find counterexamples to the second statement.

~~ Paul

#6 Guest_Calipithecus_*

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 09:50 AM

The refutation of the common creationist objection that the second law of thermodynamics forbids evolution really comes in two parts. The first is the rather trivial observation that the earth is not a closed system. Because this part of the refutation is so simple and (one would think) obvious, the second part is often overlooked. This is a bit of a shame, because it's really more interesting.

The more literal-minded among us often have trouble grasping what the second law of thermodynamics says, because in its purest form it is a statement about probabilities. Whether it is seen as a statement about what is most likely to happen, or about what must happen depends on whether one is considering events occurring locally within a system or properties of that system as a whole.

Say you have a bunch of gas molecules zinging around inside some kind of vessel and banging into each other. When two molecules collide, there is a transfer of energy between them. The fact that the molecules travel at different speeds means that collisions in which a faster molecule runs into a slower one will be more common than those in which a slower one runs into a faster one -- so the transfer of energy will usually consist of a faster molecule giving up some of its energy to a slower one -- usually that is, but not always; just because collisions of the former type are more likely than those of the latter type, collisions of the latter type can still occur.

What this means is that even if earth were a closed system, local trends away from entropy would not violate the second law of thermodynamics -- as long as there was a general trend toward greater entropy within the entire system taken as a whole.

#7 Method

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 01:37 PM

The LoT (Laws of Thermodynamics) are observations of how energy is transfered within a system. The LoT are the map and reality is the territory. Nothing has been discovered in reality that runs counter to the LoT, therefore they are provisionaly true. I think it is important to remember that the LoT are human contrivances that are meant to model reality, they are not laws that reality must adhere to because humans say so. Also, the LoT are statistical laws that model how energy USUALLY behaves. Small violations of the LoT are allowed in some circumstances, especially with entropy.

#8 chance

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 02:02 PM

One of the misconceptions I have seen is how can order come about, if entropy is a general rule?
Life ‘fights’ entropy Locally , it achieves a stable an growing complexity by consuming large quantities of energy and hastening entropy generally. e.g. I consume X amount of food, this keeps me alive for X amount of time, but in doing so I have used up a finite source of energy at 10 times the normal rate if that energy was allowed to dissipate without life intervening. Life is a sort of ‘energy parasite’.

#9 ManhattanProject

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 02:27 PM

So basically, The laws of thermo dont apply because the universe is not a closed system, is this what you guys think?

#10 Method

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 02:40 PM

So basically, The laws of thermo dont apply because the universe is not a closed system, is this what you guys think?

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I think the laws of thermo do apply. The universe is a closed system, but the Earth is not. This solar system can be considered a closed system since so little energy enters our solar system from other energy sources.

#11 ManhattanProject

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 02:42 PM

I think the laws of thermo do apply.  The universe is a closed system, but the Earth is not.  This solar system can be considered a closed system since so little energy enters our solar system from other energy sources.

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Ok, the universe is a closed system. How is the earth an "open" system? Where does the energy come from?

#12 Method

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 02:55 PM

Ok, the universe is a closed system. How is the earth an "open" system? Where does the energy come from?

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The sun.

#13 ManhattanProject

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 02:56 PM

The sun.

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But isnt the sun gonna run out of energy?

#14 Method

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 03:01 PM

But isnt the sun gonna run out of energy?

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Yep. And the entropy increase in the sun far outweighs the decrease of entropy on earth, meaning that, overall, entropy is increasing within the closed system of our solar system.

IIRC, the expansion of the sun will cook everything on Earth in about 5 million years. The sun will kill us before it burns out, in other words.

#15 Wally

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 03:06 PM

Yep.  And the entropy increase in the sun far outweighs the decrease of entropy on earth, meaning that, overall, entropy is increasing within the closed system of our solar system. 

IIRC, the expansion of the sun will cook everything on Earth in about 5 million years.  The sun will kill us before it burns out, in other words.

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Make that 5 "billion" years.

#16 ManhattanProject

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 03:10 PM

Yep.  And the entropy increase in the sun far outweighs the decrease of entropy on earth, meaning that, overall, entropy is increasing within the closed system of our solar system. 

IIRC, the expansion of the sun will cook everything on Earth in about 5 million years.  The sun will kill us before it burns out, in other words.

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Ok, lemme lay this out.....

If our universe is ruled only by natural law, then many millions of years in the future, the sun will expand until the Earth is vaporized; and after more millions of years the sun will use up all its fuel and burn out, becoming a cold dark cinder; and then after many more billions of years the entire universe will die, either when all the stars are burned out or when the universe collapses, becoming a giant black hole. Then, when there are no more humans, and the universe itself is dead; all will be forgotten. That is what natural law says.

Ok, now the laws of thermo only apply to closed systems. If natural law is all there is, if there is nothing transcendent, then the universe is all there is. In that case the SLoT should apply to the whole universe, for in that case the universe is surely a closed system. So natural law says:

Now, to deal with the "heat death of the universe"

So the level of order in the universe will reach a minimum when the universe reaches a uniform temperature throughout. This is called the heat death of the universe. When the universe arrives at its heat death, then all the heat energy of the universe will be completely dissipated, it will be spread uniformly throughout the universe. Every celestial body in the entire universe then reaches the same temperature on its surface and throughout. Then heat energy will no longer go from hot places to cold places, for there will be no more hot places, and there will be no more cold places, everything will be at the same uniform temperature. Then the universe will no longer be losing order.

In a heat dead universe these principles also tell us that
there will be some remaining order. The remaining order will be:

1) In the arrangement-organization of matter, e.g. solids;
2) In the orbital and rotary motions of objects (which would continue moving because of inertia);
3) In the remaining microscopic thermal motions of atoms,
4) In the motions going on inside of atoms.

Natural law predicts that the order remaining in a heat dead universe will continue unchanged indefinitely. In a heat dead universe there will be no living things, for life needs food, a form of concentrated available energy and that will no longer be.

#17 The Debatinator

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 03:35 PM

So if it is an open system it does not worsen overtime? How so? Maybe I missed something...

#18 ManhattanProject

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 03:41 PM

So if it is an open system it does not worsen overtime?  How so?  Maybe I missed something...

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Hey Debatinator! Welcome once again.....

The evolutionary idea is that energy is somehow taken from outside of our universe....That would mean it is an "open" system and the LoT do not apply

#19 Method

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 03:42 PM

            In a heat dead universe these principles also tell us that
there will be some remaining order.  The remaining order will be:

            1) In the arrangement-organization of matter, e.g. solids;


And that arrangement will maximize entropy.

            2) In the orbital and rotary motions of objects (which would continue moving because of inertia);


Space is not a true vacuum, so these bodies will run into stellar debris. This will lead to decaying orbits. Also, inertia is potential energy so there will still be the possibility for additional heat to be created.

            3) In the remaining microscopic thermal motions of atoms,


Well, if there is no heat then the atoms will move extremely slowly. It is thought that "heat death" involves temperatures approaching 0 Kelvin. At 0 Kelvin particles cease to move.

            4) In the motions going on inside of atoms. 


Same as above.

        Natural law predicts that the order remaining in a heat dead universe will continue unchanged indefinitely.  In a heat dead universe there will be no living things, for life needs food, a form of concentrated available energy and that will no longer be.

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You are right, life needs an input in energy, a difference in temperature between two bodies. However, universal "heat death" is a very distant occurence, several trillions of years away. Not really something I am concerned with now.

#20 ManhattanProject

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 03:43 PM

You say 5 million years, then its 5 billion years, then its trillions of years. Which one is it?

Besides, you sidestepped half of the arguement......




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