Now, there is no heat gradient across the hole and …

Comment on Louie Bishop Testifies, Again, about His Experience at La Sierra University by Sean Pitman.

Now, there is no heat gradient across the hole and the only thing there is to drive molecules through the hole is a natural tendency to decreased order. That tendency is a manifestation of the 2LoT and in this case it has EVERYTHING to do with order.

Having all the molecules on one side of the box, which would give the system the thermodynamic potential to perform “useful work”, says absolutely nothing about the actual ability of anything within the system to take advantage of the thermodynamic potential and actually do “useful work”.

What you’re doing here is equating the thermodynamic potential to do something with the structural order of the system needed to actually do something. Potential isn’t the same thing as being able to take advantage of the potential. They just aren’t the same thing.

As an example, say you have a fan blade placed at the division in the middle of the box of gas molecules. As the molecules move from one side to the other, the fan blade can be set up to take advantage of this biased movement and spin, thereby giving rise to “useful work”. However, let’s say the fan blade is broken and cannot spin. Does this negate the fact that the system still has the same thermodynamic potential that it always had? Of course not.

So, when you argue that thermodynamics as all about going from a state of “order” to “disorder”, this is only in reference to the thermodynamic aspects of the system in particular (i.e., only the arrangement of the molecules themselves). The 2LoT does NOT reference the presence or lack of machines within the system that might be able to take advantage of the thermodynamic potential of the gas molecules.

As another example, the Sun’s energy might shine on a spot of moist earth for years without doing anything but make the place warm. The thermodynamic potential is there, but nothing special happens until someone puts a machine there that has the structural complexity needed to take advantage of the Sun’s energy – like a seed. Regardless of if the seed is able to grow or not, or evolve or not, the same thermodynamic potential is there. The machines within the system (functional or non-functional, evolving or not evolving, ordered or disordered) are irrelevant to the thermodynamics of the system.

On the topic of informational entropy, what I meant to say was that it is not defined well mathematically because we haven’t found a way to quantify it.

That’s also not true. Informational complexity can be and has been quantified in literature, mathematically, as the minimum size and specificity of characters needed to produce a certain type of function. So, informational entropy is a measure of declining informational complexity – toward a maximally non-functional state. Clearly, this is not the same thing as thermodynamic entropy. For example, people get old and die. However, the thermodynamic entropy or thermodynamic potential of an old person compared to a young person suggests nothing about their age differences or overall functional capacity. These are distinctly different concepts and it would be good for creationists to start understanding this. It’s just shooting yourself in the foot before you even get started to argue that the ToE violates the 2LoT. It doesn’t.

Sean Pitman Also Commented

Louie Bishop Testifies, Again, about His Experience at La Sierra University
George, please read what I said. Thermodynamic “order” isn’t the same thing as structural order of machines within the system. These are separate concepts. The 2LoT is only about the thermodynamic “order” or “disorder” of the system. In other words, it only asks the question of if there is thermodynamic potential within the system that is capable of doing “useful work”. That’s it. The 2LoT doesn’t care about if there are or are not systems within the thermodynamic system that are capable of actually doing “useful work” or how such systems were produced (i.e., if they evolved or didn’t evolve).

Again, you’re confusing two entirely separate concepts here. The theory of evolution does not violate the 2LoT because the 2LoT doesn’t say anything about the ability or inability of systems within a thermodynamic system to “evolve” or to gain “order”. The ToE simply isn’t address by the 2LoT – not at all. All the 2LoT deals with is if there is enough thermodynamic potential within the system to do “useful work” – that’s it.

I’m not sure how better to get this concept across to you? But please, do stop arguing that the ToE violates the 2LoT because it doesn’t. The ToE may violate concepts of informational complexity or informational entropy, but that isn’t the same thing as violating the 2LoT.

Sean Pitman

Louie Bishop Testifies, Again, about His Experience at La Sierra University
The properties in question here are not fictional and can be easily tested – directly in real life. You, and Asimov, are mistaken when it comes to the thermodynamics of a system. The thermodynamics of a closed system are completely unrelated to the functionality of structures within the system that may or may not be able to take advantage of the thermodynamic potential of the system.

You simply do not understand the 2LoT like you think you do…

In any case, further discussion of the 2LoT will be blocked from this forum. If you are actually interested in discussing it with me further, you can send your thoughts to me by E-mail.

Sean Pitman

Louie Bishop Testifies, Again, about His Experience at La Sierra University
It’s not a trick because a thermodynamic system is defined based on the origin of its thermodynamic potential. In the Earth-Sun system, the origin of the thermodynamic potential on our planet comes from the Sun. So no, the Earth is not a thermodynamically closed system, but includes the Sun. Therefore, there is plenty of thermodynamic potential to drive whatever kind of activity one wishes to imagine on this planet.

The problem with the ToE isn’t because of any kind of lack of thermodynamic potential or because it violates the 2LoT, but because of the statistical odds against finding novel beneficial sequences in sequence space at higher and higher levels of functional complexity. And that isn’t a thermodynamic problem for the ToE.

Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

Science and Methodological Naturalism
Very interesting passage. After all, if scientists are honest with themselves, scientific methodologies are well-able to detect the existence of intelligent design behind various artifacts found in nature. It’s just the personal philosophy of scientists that makes them put living things and the origin of the fine-tuned universe “out of bounds” when it comes to the detection of intelligent design. This conclusion simply isn’t dictated by science itself, but by a philosophical position, a type of religion actually, that strives to block the Divine Foot from getting into the door…

Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull

Why is it that creationists are afraid to acknowledge the validity of Darwinism in these settings? I don’t see that these threaten a belief in God in any way whatsoever.

The threat is when you see no limitations to natural mindless mechanisms – where you attribute everything to the creative power of nature instead of to the God of nature.

God has created natural laws that can do some pretty amazing things. However, these natural laws are not infinite in creative potential. Their abilities are finite while only God is truly infinite.

The detection of these limitations allows us to recognize the need for the input of higher-level intelligence and creative power that goes well beyond what nature alone can achieve. It is here that the Signature of God is detectable.

For those who only hold a naturalistic view of the universe, everything is attributed to the mindless laws of nature… so that the Signature of God is obscured. Nothing is left that tells them, “Only God or some God-like intelligent mind could have done this.”

That’s the problem when you do not recognize any specific limitations to the tools that God has created – when you do not recognize the limits of nature and what natural laws can achieve all by themselves.

Sean Pitman

Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull
@Bill Sorensen:

Since the fall of Adam, Sean, all babies are born in sin and they are sinners. God created them. Even if it was by way of cooperation of natural law as human beings also participated in the creation process.

God did not create the broken condition of any human baby – neither the physical or moral brokenness of any human being. God is responsible for every good thing, to include the spark or breath of life within each one of us. However, He did not and does not create those things within us that are broken or bad.

“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?'” Matthew 13:27-28

Of course, all humans are indeed born broken and are in a natural state of rebellion against God. However, God is not the one who created this condition nor is God responsible for any baby being born with any kind of defect in character, personality, moral tendency, or physical or genetic abnormality. God did not create anyone with such brokenness. Such were the natural result of rebellion against God and heading the temptations of the “enemy”… the natural result of a separation from God with the inevitable decay in physical, mental, and moral strength.

Of course, the ones who are born broken are not responsible for their broken condition either. However, all of us are morally responsible for choosing to reject the gift of Divine Grace once it is appreciated… and for choosing to go against what we all have been given to know, internally, of moral truth. In other words, we are responsible for rebelling against the Royal Law written on the hearts of all mankind.

This is because God has maintained in us the power to be truly free moral agents in that we maintain the Power to choose, as a gift of God (Genesis 3:15). We can choose to accept or reject the call of the Royal Law, as the Holy Spirit speaks to all of our hearts…

Remember the statement by Mrs. White that God is in no wise responsible for sin in anyone at any time. God is working to fix our broken condition. He did not and does not create our broken condition. Just as He does not cause Babies to be born with painful and lethal genetic defects, such as those that result in childhood leukemia, He does not cause Babies to be born with defects of moral character either. God is only directly responsible for the good, never the evil, of this life.

Sean Pitman

Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull

Again, your all-or-nothing approach to the claims of scientists isn’t very scientific. Even the best and most famous of scientists has had numerous hair-brained ideas that were completely off base. This fact does not undermine the good discoveries and inventions that were produced.

Scientific credibility isn’t based on the person making the argument, but upon the merits of the argument itself – the ability of the hypothesis to gain predictive value when tested. That’s it.

Sean Pitman

Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes
Don’t be so obtuse here. We’re not talking about publishing just anything in mainstream journals. I’ve published several articles myself. We’re talking about publishing the conclusion that intelligent design was clearly involved with the origin of various artifactual features of living things on this planet. Try getting a paper that mentions such a conclusion published…

Sean Pitman