Conservative/Religious PSA: Stupid Creationist Arguments
A while back Robert Prather posted on evolution and Intelligent Design (ID). What really tweaked Robert was the very real implication that by allowing ID into science curriculums it could weaken science education here in the U.S. which could have other consequences down the road such as health care, scientific research and even for our economy.
One of the trackbacks is to this post over at Conservative Culture which proves Robert’s point, in my opinion. In that post is this passage,
Not all Intelligent Designer’s are Christian. Intelligent design doesn’t designate a “god” but for the Christian it fits with their understanding of the Universe from the text. Interesting. Evolution precludes both a designer and design. There is no guiding force but perhaps mother nature. It seeks to create a scenerio of its own which it can’t prove and violates the basic laws of nature.
So naturally I asked which “law of nature” is violated by evolution and the response is a standard Creationist talking point that has been debunked for so long and so thoroughly that only the scientifically ignorant can still cling to it.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics states simply that an isolated system will become more disordered with time.
The problem with this response is that the Earth is not an isolated system. I know to some this might come as a shock, but the sun is not part of the Earth and that we get massive amounts of energy from the sun. There are numerous entries for this on the Creationist Claims Index. The first one handles the above objection to evolution using the Second Law of Thermodynamics,
- the earth is not a closed system; sunlight (with low entropy) shines on it and heat (with higher entropy) radiates off. This flow of energy, and the change in entropy that accompanies it, can and will power local decreases in entropy on earth.
- entropy is not the same as disorder. Sometimes the two correspond, but sometimes order increases as entropy increases. (Aranda-Espinoza et al. 1999; Kestenbaum 1998) Entropy can even be used to produce order, such as in the sorting of molecules by size (Han and Craighead 2000).
- even in a closed system, pockets of lower entropy can form if they are offset by increased entropy elsewhere in the system.
So, if you want to believe in Creationism, and think that evolution is nonsense fine, but please don’t put foward the above argument against evolutionary theory as you’ll end up looking like a complete dunderhead.