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Debunking Sky & Telescope Magazine's Attempt to Get Around Evolution's Thermodynamic Problem

In the article “The New Habitable Zones” in Sky & Telescope 118(4). Posted on October 2009, Chris Impey writes

Life exists because we live in a universe where energy flowing through a system tends to organize that system, into ever more complex and unpredictable forms. (The Second Law of Thermodynamics is not violated; organization happens at the expense of heat, or disorganized energy, leaving the system.) (p. 21)

If this were true, we should expect to see piles of rubble spontaneously turning into houses all over the place, and ashes spontaneously turning back into firewood. After all, the energy from the sun is constantly flowing to Earth. Instead of blowing a car to pieces, torching its gas tank should cause it to develop into a much more sophisticated car, perhaps like the Batmobile. After all, think of all the energy flowing through this system!

In reality, this is absolute nonsense. Energy flowing through a system does not “tend to organize that system”; it tends to do the exact opposite. That is why houses spontaneously turn into piles of bricks and rubble, whereas piles of bricks and rubble never spontaneously turn into houses.

In fact, as any engineer can tell you, the Second Law of Thermodynamics describes the reality that systems tend towards disorganization (increasing entropy), not towards organization. Inputting free energy into a system, as the sun does to the earth, makes the increase in entropy (disorder) faster; it does not reverse it. This is basic thermodynamics.

In fact, the only way energy can reverse entropy is by the use of a specific mechanism that can convert free energy to useful work (such as a chloroplast or an internal combustion engine), along with a blueprint to make that useful work do the specific task one wants.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics, then, stands as an insurmountable problem for the theory of chemical evolution. Complex, organized molecules cannot form spontaneously, according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The claim from evolutionists that the Second Law is not violated in their theories of chemical evolution because of heat leaving the system, then, is ridiculous. The sun inputs free energy into the earth, and, to repeat, this simply makes entropy increase more quickly, rather than reversing it.

This also puts paid to the evolutionists’ claim that the Second Law of Thermodynamics does not apply to the earth, because Earth is not a closed system. The fact that earth is an open system simply means that free energy is being inputted into it, and we have pointed out the effect of that.

It is passing strange, then, that evolutionists would continue to make the assertion that the theory of chemical evolution does not violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics, appealing to the effects of energy. Any engineer with even a second-year university-level education in Thermodynamics knows that this is rubbish. It raises the question as to why evolutionists continue to make an assertion that is rubbish.

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