# Entropy forbids Abiogenesis & Evolution

As discussed here extensively, nothing in “evolution” makes any sense: “natural selection, fitness, speciation, human evolution, gradualism, divergence of character, UCD, TOL, etc. etc.” Not one makes sense. Meanwhile, the “evolution” argument is just one big “affirms the consequent” logical fallacy, while Paley’s excellent argument has never been overturned, and an intuitive intelligent design detector can be used to easily disprove “evolution”. Is there a need for any more proofs? Not really. Are there any other proofs? You bet. Take entropy for instance…

Figure 1

Figure 2

1. Second Law of Thermodynamics shows that a spontaneous process cannot also revert spontaneously. This is because spontaneous processes always increase the system’s entropy. A uniform gas in a chamber will accumulate in a corner only with external intervention and spontaneous chemical reactions can only revert if external work energy is applied. Current models of entropy assume the gas particles in a chamber to be independent (sometimes represented as pebbles on a Go board) and explains their never observed convergence on one side of the chamber as only due to that particular microstate having a very low probability(*). However, gas particles always interact with each other (Brownian motion) while pebbles do not. Thus, a reliable way to know that entropy of a system increases is if work energy could be obtained when transitioning from the low to the high entropy state while energy is always required for the reverse process.
2. Total entropy of an isolated system can never decrease. Entropy is currently assumed just a statistical law. Thus, if N molecules are in an isolated system (box), the number of microstates associated with j of them being in one half while N-j being in the other half is Ω = N! / (j!*(N-j)!). If N is small, fluctuations seem possible, but before N increases to anything measurable, the probability of fluctuations rapidly decreases to nil. Furthermore, even these theoretical fluctuations, as improbable as they are, might be impossible since the statistical view does not account for molecular interaction observed as Brownian motion and as gas resistance to compression and expansion. Better fundamentals or statistics, either way entropy will never decrease spontaneously in an observable system (Fig 1.a).
3. Decreasing entropy is not the reverse process of entropy increasing. That is why a broken egg coming together is easily identified as unreal and a reversed movie of its real shattering. The known laws of physics are the same forward and backward (time-reversal invariance), therefore the reverse shattering process of an egg would not violate any law, but only because these laws are always idealized. Supposedly, if just the right forces are applied to the broken pieces, the egg will come together. In reality this is impossible, and not because the unbroken egg is a highly unlikely microstate, but because entropy increase is not directly reversible even in non-isolated systems. This irreversibility holds for all heterogeneous systems, including life which is perhaps the most heterogeneous system of all. Entropy increase is directly reversible only for homogeneous systems and only if in a defined space. For instance, an expanding gas in an ideal piston creates a force that, when reversed, compresses the gas back into its original state. However, a solid cube of ice can be easily melted by increasing the temperature, but the original ice cube will not reconstitute by lowering the temperature, hence this process too is irreversible despite the cube of ice being homogeneous (Fig 1.b). As far as heterogeneous systems, even separating two mixed gases is way different than the original mixing process, hence mixing is irreversible (Fig 1.c). Entropy decrease is not only different, but also much more complex than entropy increase which is usually spontaneous. Abiogenesis is the entropy-lowering reverse of the biologic decay process, and therefore – if at all feasible – much more complex than adding chemicals and energies.
4. Once in equilibrium, a “primordial soup” does not change spontaneously. Life is metastable – it requires certain forms of energy to sustain and spontaneously decays when it no longer receives that energy as well as after the end of the normal lifespan of the organism. It was hypothesized that random fluctuations can spontaneously create compounds and structures given enough time. Abiogenesis, as a reverse-decay process, cannot simply be an outcome of Brownian motion of the chemicals mix because a perpetual motion machine powered by decay and abiogenesis cycles would violate the ‘conservation of energy’ principle. Experimentally, one can confirm that chemical blends in static equilibrium never transition spontaneously into a different equilibrium state (this includes oscillating reactions after the settlement period).
5. A “primordial soup” cannot generate life even if energy is applied. It was hypothesized that abiogenesis can be a product of tidal pools, deep sea hydrothermal vents, and the undersurface of ice caps where persistent and abundant energy is available in the form of thermal and electrochemical gradients. Indeed, energy can throw systems off balance and create all kind of chemical compounds and physical structures. However, as the energy applied increases, a complexity limit and hence a dynamic equilibrium is reached where molecule destruction offsets their creation and, if even more energy is applied, molecule destruction dominates, eventually leaving the experimenter with gunk and none of the desired molecules. Miller–Urey and subsequent experiments were not ended because they reached their goal – life – nor because they ran out of energy and materials, but because they reached this dynamic equilibrium, and by adding more of anything would have left them with fewer of the targeted compounds. The amino acids obtained were not the end product but the intermediate between the original molecules and the useless gunk that was the product of the Maillard reaction caused by the energy applied to the system. More complex molecules (and maybe life itself one day) can be created by intelligent designers adding targeted compounds and energies. Then “why can’t natural processes somewhere somehow just mimic the intelligent designer in this vast and almost timeless universe?” The better question is: “why insist on natural processes when the model to be mimicked is that of the intelligent designer?”
6. If natural processes were capable of generating life, the environment would be full of intermediate bio-compounds. Life is so complex that laboratories have no hope of replicating it in the foreseeable future. However, if abiogenesis were an outcome of natural processes, the cell structure would be produced only from subsystems and complex biomolecules that in turn would depend on simpler molecules down to H-C-O-N, the atoms of life. A “primordial soup” capable of generating life, thus must contain all intermediate compounds from the atoms of life to the most complex biomolecules and subsystems in an ever-decreasing ratio as complexity increases. Not knowing anything about how this process would work (or even if possible), the most reasonable assumption is a normal distribution of outcomes with life being an n-sigma event (with n unknown) while the availability of the atoms of life being a 1-sigma event and anything else falling in between (Fig 2). Many x-sigma events would be required for each (x+1)-sigma event, with a good first approximation given by the normal density function. Thus, the 2-sigma event could be the basic molecules of life (water, methane, etc.), and we would expect only one of these events for every seven of the 1-sigma events. This approximation would further yield (in one scenario) 1/7 fewer molecules of life than atoms of life, 1/17 fewer simple lipids and carbohydrates molecules (3-sigma) than of molecules of life, 1/43 fewer complex lipids and carbohydrates (4-sigma) than 3-sigma events, 1/110 fewer amino acids (5-sigma) than 4-sigma, 1/291 fewer simple proteins (6-sigma) than 5-sigma, 1/771 fewer complex proteins (7-sigma) than 6-sigma and then – rule of thumb – 1/1600 (8-sigma), 1/3800 (9), 1/9100 (10), 1/22k (11), 1/52k (12), 1/126k (13), etc. fewer of each additional sigma event than previous event where 8+sigma being (this scenario) nucleic acids, short chains, long chains, organelle subsystems, organelles, other critical cell components and finally the fully functional biologic cell – the n-sigma event which is not quite life but good enough for this analysis. Then how can we test this?
7. Apart from life itself, the complex molecules of life are nowhere to be found in the universe. To test the ‘natural processes’ hypothesis of abiogenesis, one must observe the intermediate components of life in nature and in the ratios estimated above (or from another reasonable estimate). In addition, one must observe the spontaneous transitions (aided by energy) from simple to complex even if not all transitions are observed at once. Earth is “polluted” with life down to the deepest ocean trenches, therefore the first focus is the extraterrestrial space where, too bad, the largest confirmed interstellar molecules have a maximum of 13 atoms (apart from C60/C70 fullerene). Back on earth we see all intermediate components, but only within life itself. Outside of the cells, aside from the simplest biomolecules, we only see products of decomposition that are never in the ratios associated with abiogenesis, meaning we never see increasing molecule complexity in decreasing ratios resembling anything reasonably expected. Abiogenesis is not happening due to the irreversibility of the entropy increase and for the same reason egg breaking, butter melting, gas mixing, etc. are not reversible processes. Humans can only create a few of the complex molecules, although most always aided by life itself, and even then the power of synthetic biology is severely restricted. The more complex, the harder these molecules are to obtain and the faster they decay instead of spontaneously combining with one another to form even more complex compounds and ultimately life.
8. Miller–Urey style abiogenesis experiments are ill conceived, hence doomed from the beginning. To be more specific, they are only good for PR (public relations) given the irrelevant “organic compounds” created that raise the hopes of the believers. Trying to obtain an automobile from scratch by mixing chemicals and energy, qualifies the person attempting as delusional and the one selling such vision as charlatan. So why would those attempting the same with life – which is infinitely more complex than an automobile – not also be labeled charlatans and delusional? Abiogenesis experiments belong to the Reverse Engineering category of processes and, when done right, they are very different than Miller–Urey. Their starting point is never some “primordial soup”, but the most advanced compounds available, preferably already organized in working subsystems. Swapping organelles or parts within organelles, exposing organisms to various environments, attempting to revive dead organisms, substituting engineered subsystems and so on are part of the hard work with long tradition and already being done in medicine and many industries for other purposes than to prove abiogenesis. If and when someone will be able to reverse the decaying and dying processes, we will know that abiogenesis is possible as an act of Intelligent Design creation. To confirm abiogenesis as an “unguided process” we would have to observe reverse-decay and reverse-dying processes happening in nature, not in a lab. Yet 2nd law proves this impossible.
9. Is abiogenesis not feasible because it was a unique event? If true, abiogenesis would be a “materialistic miracle” and furthermore not just one, but a long series of “materialistic miracles” since a long series of – so far unknown – events are needed to get from atoms to the simplest organism. Yet one of the tenets of materialism is “no miracles” showing the inconsistency of the materialistic “unique event” assertion. And of course, physics and chemistry transformations are never unique. And even if entropy allowed for abiogenesis, the laws of life do not follow from any priors (physics, chemistry, mathematics). Life has a drive to survive and leave off-springs which entails harm avoidance, immune system, metabolism, food seeking, homeostasis, growth, reproduction, and body structure. Without these, any cell would start decaying the instant it was formed as in fact it does as soon as it no longer is alive. Despite having lasted almost since the formation of The Earth, life is metastable – one knock and it dies and then decays. This is unlike other negative entropy machines that can be restored (rebuilding proportional with the damage).
10. Other considerations.
1. “Dissipation-driven adaptation of matter” (J. England, MIT) claims that life is inevitable because life “absorbs and dissipates more energy from external sources” leading to faster entropy increase. However, there is no law that entropy has to increase faster. In addition, most of the entropy in the universe is captured by black holes with life having a nil contribution to that entropy.
2. Some claim they have obtained “protocells” that seem to mimic real cells at least in part. However, “protocells” are to biological cells as fool’s gold is to real gold.
3. “Kolmogorov complexity is lowest at low and high entropy and high in the middle hence life is supposedly inevitable (S. Carroll)”. However, life is not complexity. Life is much more than snowflakes, vortices and chemical reactions (candle burning). And most certainly, life is not the complex swirls of cream mixing into coffee on a journey from low entropy to high entropy (both having low complexity). In addition, unless very specific external action continues to be applied to maintain those patterns, they soon disappear like in sand dunes exposed to shifting winds. The patterns therefore do no “arise”, but are created by an external force.
4. “Gradients of energy in deep vents are responsible for abiogenesis”. But all organisms from these exotic places are very similar to any other ones found elsewhere, hence all likely have the same origin. In addition, no free floating organic compounds (aside from decay byproducts) have been found there to suggest ongoing abiogenesis. And, aside from the simplest molecules, no spontaneous transitions from x-sigma to (x+1)-sigma bio complexity has ever been observed around these deep vents either.
5. Of course life does not violate 2nd Organisms do conform to 2nd law when they decay as soon as they die. In addition, as observed by Erwin Schrödinger, “the increase in entropy from turning our low-entropy food into our high-entropy waste is greater than the local decrease in entropy from making the well-ordered structures within our bodies”. Nothing special so far – a refrigerator does the same: creates a zone of low-entropy while the entropy of the whole system increases and for as long as it’s fed energy.
6. Randomness can theoretically account for any bizarre occurrences including Paley’s watch and F. Hoyle’s 747 in baby steps if enough time is given. But no such event was ever observed. In addition, breaking down the unattainable complex system into a combination of simpler components, each with higher probability of occurrence makes it no easier as the probabilities of all subsystem have to be multiplied to get back to the complex final assembly.
7. Some claim that life itself prevents abiogenesis by ingesting all intermediate molecules spontaneously formed, but this can be easily prevented in sterile labs. In addition, all complex intermediate molecules observed outside of cells are due to decomposition, not abiogenesis.
11. “Evolution” corollary number 1. If abiogenesis is impossible as an undirected, natural process, then whoever is responsible for abiogenesis is also responsible for the biologic landscape past and present, therefore “evolution” is also impossible as an undirected, natural process.
12. “Evolution” corollary number 2. It is easy to verify that nothing ever “evolves” in the nonliving nature. Life is said to be “just chemistry”. These two combine to: nothing “evolves” in the living either. Solar systems, geographical features, fluid eddies, chemistry, snow flakes, etc. all go through their life cycles, and all are different from each other, but the life cycles of the newer entities are no more “evolved” than the life cycles of the ancient ones.
13. “Evolution” corollary number 3. Presumably, “evolution” has not ended. And if ongoing, then one must see the normal distribution of the different transitioning organisms (the intermediary), just as we would see if abiogenesis were true. If humans evolved from monkeys and “evolution” is ongoing, then humans must still be in transition especially since the human population is one of the largest of all mammals and, the more individuals, the more “evolving” opportunities. The older Darwinists replied with a hierarchy of races. But that reply is not only fashionably repugnant, but also false and, amazingly, contrary to [at least] the Abrahamic religions that have always known better.
14. In conclusion, abiogenesis is nothing more than the decay process running backwards, therefore easily visualized, yet impossible according to the second law of thermodynamics. In other words, “evolution” is nothing more than imagination run wild. Expecting abiogenesis to be within reach if only the proper forces and chemical compounds were added is as wrong as expecting the broken egg to come back together if only the proper sequence of forces were applied to the broken pieces.

Summary:

1. A spontaneous process cannot revert spontaneously.
2. Mixtures will never ever spontaneously separate per second law.
3. Decreasing entropy is not the reverse process of entropy increasing and also much more complex.
4. Once in equilibrium, a “primordial soup” does not change spontaneously.
5. A “primordial soup” cannot generate life even if energy is applied due to dynamic equilibrium.
6. If natural processes were capable of generating life, the environment would be full of intermediate bio-compounds.
7. Apart from life itself, the complex molecules of life are nowhere to be found in the universe.
8. Abiogenesis experiments belong to the Reverse Engineering category of processes.
9. Miller–Urey style abiogenesis experiments are ill conceived, hence doomed from the beginning.
10. Abiogenesis unique event conflicts with the “no miracles” clause of materialism.
11. Even if entropy allowed abiogenesis, the laws of life do not follow from any priors (physics, chemistry, mathematics).
12. “Evolution” corollary number 1 – no abiogenesis, no “evolution”.
13. “Evolution” corollary number 2 – no “evolution” in the inert and “life just chemistry”, then no “evolution” in the living.
14. “Evolution” corollary number 3 – no intermediate “evolving” entities, no “evolution”.
15. Being a decay process running backwards, abiogenesis is as impossible as a broken egg being reconstituted by the “proper sequence of forces”. “Evolution” is also nothing more than imagination run wild.

(*)R. Penrose “The Emperor’s new mind”; PBS SpaceTime “The Misunderstood Nature of Entropy”; Sean Carroll “From Eternity to Here”, etc.

Abiogenesis: The Faith and the Facts

James Tour: The Mystery of the Origin of Life

Chirality, Maillard – caramelization, characterize the structure at every step:

https://compassioninpolitics.wordpress.com/2017/01/06/10-critiques-of-miller-urey-experiments-and-abiogenesis/

https://creation.com/why-the-miller-urey-research-argues-against-abiogenesis

https://evolutionnews.org/2014/06/squeezing_the_l/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21422282

Entropy of a box of molecules

Black holes entropy

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2253472/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_distribution#Cumulative_distribution_function

https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2019/07/05/no-the-laws-of-physics-are-not-the-same-forwards-and-backwards-in-time/#7eacd84561ec

http://entropysite.oxy.edu/

http://physics.bu.edu/~redner/211-sp06/class-engines/class25_secondlaw.html

https://www.quora.com/How-quickly-is-the-entropy-of-the-sun-changing

https://www.thoughtco.com/how-many-atoms-in-human-cell-603882

https://www.amazon.com/Mysteries-Modern-Physics-Sean-Carroll/dp/1598038699

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Elements_abundance-bars.svg – abundance in the solar system

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller%E2%80%93Urey_experiment

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proteinogenic_amino_acid

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_gene_synthesis

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-new-physics-theory-of-life/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissipative_system

http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/uranium-resources/the-cosmic-origins-of-uranium.aspx

https://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/dynamic/exploring.html

http://www.pnas.org/content/102/7/2555

http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/bigpicture/

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## 486 thoughts on “Entropy forbids Abiogenesis & Evolution”

1. Wow. Quite an impressive display of nonsensical verbal diarrhea. 🙂

Hey nonlin, how do endothermic chemical reactions work?

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2. Browning your toast is impossible according to Nonlin’s understanding of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

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3. “An intuitive intelligent design detector”. Hahaha. Yeah, that ought to do it.

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4. Adapa: Hey nonlin, how do endothermic chemical reactions work?

That has what to do with this OP?

Rumraket: Browning your toast is impossible according to Nonlin’s understanding of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

How so?

Allan Miller: “An intuitive intelligent design detector”. Hahaha. Yeah, that ought to do it.

It was discussed here. You might disagree, but without valid counterarguments.

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5. Nonlin.org: It was discussed here. You might disagree, but without valid counterarguments.

Counterarguments? I really think the burden of proof is on someone proposing an ‘intuitive intelligent design detector’. It’s the ‘intuitive’ part that tickles me.

What does your machine say about the appendix, or superfluous DNA? Designed or no?

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6. In related news, the White House this morning listed among its accomplishments the elimination of the covid-19 pandemic. This cannot be doubted, because it is the official position of the US government.

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7. Nonlin.org: Adapa: Hey nonlin, how do endothermic chemical reactions work?

That has what to do with this OP?

OK, you don’t know how endothermic chemical reactions work. According to your OP they are impossible since they violate the laws of physics. Oops!

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8. Flint: In related news, the White House this morning listed among its accomplishments the elimination of the covid-19 pandemic. This cannot be doubted, because it is the official position of the US government.

I’ve seen a lot of really stupid things come from the gob of the Orange Idiot in Chief but that one literally made my jaw drop.

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9. Nonlin’s “answer” told us how much (s)he understands thermodynamics and the stature of his/her discourse.

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10. What I always find baffling is the sheer time and effort some people invest in convincing themselves of utter nonsense. I doubt there’s anything to be learned by trying to refute idiocy, but maybe something can be learned about what drives idiocy with such unrelenting and sharp spurs. I’m sure I believe some stuff that’s not true, but I can’t imagine dedicating such a wide slice of my life to supporting and defending it. I wonder what these people get out of it, but it’s clear they must get a great deal out of it, or else they wouldn’t put so much into it.

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11. 1. Second Law of Thermodynamics shows that a spontaneous process cannot also revert spontaneously. This is because spontaneous processes always increase the system’s entropy.

Nope. You’ve failed right out of the gate. Take freezing water as an example: water has higher entropy than ice, so if what you said is correct, ice would always melt spontaneously and water could never freeze spontaneously. But in reality, water freezes to ice – spontaneously – at temperatures below 32° F.

How is this possible? Hint: freezing is exothermic.

That’s a very basic misunderstanding, and you haven’t even gotten past equilibrium thermodynamics. Abiogenesis is necessarily a far-from-equilibrium process, and nonequilibrium thermo is much more complicated than the equilibrium flavor; there’s no chance at all you could grasp the relevant physics and chemistry.

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12. In kindergarten terms, the second law of thermodynamics says that all spontaneous change is in the direction of increasing disorder—that is, in a ‘downhill’ direction. There can be no spontaneous buildup of the complex from the simple, therefore, because that would be moving ‘uphill’.

Such an argument implies that this clearly visible fallacy is somehow invisible to scientists, who must therefore be flying in the face of the second law through sheer perversity. Scientists, however, do know about the second law and they are not blind. It’s just that an argument based on kindergarten terms is only suitable for kindergartens.”

– Isaac Asimov.

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13. Total entropy of an isolated system can never decrease

Life is not an isolated system.
Ups!

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14. Decreasing entropy is not the reverse process of entropy increasing

This is something of an idiotic and useless claim. Maybe Nonlin wanted a precise number of “points” and filled in stupidly, or, most likely, Nonlin went through this spontaneously and never cares to recheck her “masterpiece.”

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15. Once in equilibrium, a “primordial soup” does not change spontaneously

Good luck getting to equilibrium in a system that’s obviously open to all kinds of physical and chemical events.

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16. A “primordial soup” cannot generate life even if energy is applied

Here Nonlin imagines that scientists are so stupid that they think it’s a matter of applying more and more and more energy into the system until it burns. Nonlin forgets that we run on energy gradients ourselves, and we don’t burn because it’s not about enormous amounts of energy all at once, but on the gradients being enough for the tasks.

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17. If natural processes were capable of generating life, the environment would be full of intermediate bio-compounds

The environment generates lots of “intermediate biocompounds.” Most of them through the already formed life forms, a few by spontaneous chemical reactions. Meteorites, for example, often carry organic compounds.

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18. Apart from life itself, the complex molecules of life are nowhere to be found in the universe

How did Nonlin manage to examine the whole universe? This is actually astounding. Is Nonlin some hyper-advanced extraterrestrial form? A god? If so, how can Nonlin be so ignorant and illiterate?

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19. Miller–Urey style abiogenesis experiments are ill conceived, hence doomed from the beginning

Interestingly this and later experiments of the category have been very successful for what they were set up to do: show that more complex molecules can be generated by the application of energy bursts to simpler ones. It was back then quite a surprise that compounds deemed “organic” because it was thought they were formed only by life forms, could form without life forms doing the catalysis. Today there’s plenty of experimentation at other levels, and success is no longer a surprise.

What’s ill-conceived is that creationists think it was aiming at finding bugs running out of the system after the experiment’s conclusion.

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20. Conclusion: Nonlin has no idea about thermodynamics. Simply put: if abiogenesis was impossible for thermodynamic reasons, life itself would be impossible for the same thermodynamic reasons, since both rely on the very same foundations.

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21. Is abiogenesis not feasible because it was a unique event?

Nope. It’s perfectly feasible. After all, we’re alive and we’re talking about it.

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22. Being a decay process running backwards, abiogenesis is as impossible as a broken egg being reconstituted by the “proper sequence of forces”

This is a beautiful exemplar of Nonlin’s illiteracy and nonsense. How could abiogenesis be a decay process running backwards if there was no life-that-could-decay back then?

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23. Gordon Davisson: Take freezing water as an example: water has higher entropy than ice, so if what you said is correct, ice would always melt spontaneously and water could never freeze spontaneously. But in reality, water freezes to ice – spontaneously – at temperatures below 32° F.

That’s not what “spontaneous” means. Changing the ambient temperature is not spontaneous. Look up “spontaneous”.

Allan Miller: – Isaac Asimov.

I’d like to see his proof if any. You don’t happen to have a proof do you? Of course not.

Entropy: Simply put: if abiogenesis was impossible for thermodynamic reasons, life itself would be impossible for the same thermodynamic reasons, since both rely on the very same foundations.

Doesn’t follow. This comment is illogical.

The other comments to date are even more abysmal. Is anyone with a few more brain cells on TSZ?

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24. I’d like to see his proof if any.

Well, he was a professor of biochemistry, so is definitely better placed to understand entropy than a random punter such as … well, you. Of course you’ll dismiss it as ‘argument from authority’, a convenient means of dismissing everyone who knows more than you. Which is a lot of people. All textbooks are arguments from authority.

You yourself haven’t got off to a great start by wondering what thermodynamic concepts have to do with entropy.

You don’t happen to have a proof do you? Of course not.

Let’s see, you’re the chap who thinks the totality of something is not 100%, evolution has nothing to do with genetics, and endothermic reactions have nothing to do with entropy. And you’d like me to attempt to persuade you of something? 🤣🤣🤣

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25. Nonlin.org:
Doesn’t follow. This comment is illogical.

You cannot detect the nonsense in your own writing, you have no foundations to know. However, it does follow, only you’re not prepared to understand explanations. Neither in your foundational understanding of physics, chemistry, and biology, nor in your attitude towards things that contradict your imaginary “expertise.”

Your OP demonstrates that you’re unprepared for any discussion on entropy Nonlin. That you did not understand the connection between endothermic reactions and your diatribe further demonstrates that you have no idea.

I’d try and explain, but both you and me know that you’re not ready to listen. Maybe in twenty years, if things go well. These few years have done nothing to help your mental immaturity, so I’m not very hopeful.

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26. Nonlin.org: Is anyone with a few more brain cells on TSZ?

You’ve obviously outclassed everybody here.

Your next step is to find a quality journal and publish a paper there.

But, like all the others, you have plenty of excuses lined up as to why that’s not going to happen.

And that’s why your ‘ideas’ will never be listened to or make any progress. You don’t believe in them sufficiently strongly to actually put some actual work into them. I.E. publishing a formal version.

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27. Allan Miller: Well, he was a professor of biochemistry, so is definitely better placed to understand entropy than a random punter such as … well, you. Of course you’ll dismiss it as ‘argument from authority’, a convenient means of dismissing everyone who knows more than you.

Not even! I don’t see a Nobel price for Asimov, so the fact he’s questioning the 2nd law is plain stupid.

And of all things I write about, attacking the 2nd law itself – because that’s what you do – is the craziest thing you can do. Suit yourself.

Allan Miller: Let’s see, you’re the chap who thinks the totality of something is not 100%, evolution has nothing to do with genetics, and endothermic reactions have nothing to do with entropy.

False on first (not what we were discussing). Check on second. False on third (endothermic reactions have nothing to do with my essay, not 2nd law).

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28. Nonlin.org: Not even! I don’t see a Nobel price for Asimov, so the fact he’s questioning the 2nd law is plain stupid.

He’s not questioning the 2nd Law, he’s criticising ‘kindergarten’ interpretations of it, such as those used by Creationists to attack evolution and origins.

And of all things I write about, attacking the 2nd law itself is the craziest thing you can do. Suit yourself.

That you read this as an attack on the 2nd Law says nothing for your powers of comprehension.

False on first (not what we were discussing). Check on second. False on third (endothermic reactions have nothing to do with my essay, not 2nd law).

There you go, folks. This is the level of comprehension you’re dealing with.

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29. Entropy: Your OP demonstrates that you’re unprepared for any discussion on entropy Nonlin.

“Entropy” is more than a cargo cult practice such as naming yourself after what you don’t get.

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30. OMagain: And that’s why your ‘ideas’ will never be listened to or make any progress. You don’t believe in them sufficiently strongly to actually put some actual work into them. I.E. publishing a formal version.

Here comes the motivational speaker again! Holdoff on that. What if there will be an intelligent pushback on my writing? Eventually…? Anyone with a semi-functioning brain…? No one…?

Allan Miller: He’s not questioning the 2nd Law, he’s criticising ‘kindergarten’ interpretations of it, such as those used by Creationists to attack evolution and origins.

So he’s demolishing a straw man? Got it. And he’s most definitely not commenting on anything I write. Being long dead and all that…

Anyway, the guy is not relevant to this discussion. How about you think for yourself from now on? Promise?

Now, if you think I misinterpret the 2nd law, let’s discuss about that. That should be interesting! Are you up for the challenge? Without running to your long dead and never too bright buddies?

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31. Nonlin.org:
So he’s demolishing a straw man?

Yes, he’s demolishing a straw man – the strawman argument that the 2nd law forbids evolution and abiogenesis. Keep up.

Now, if you think I misinterpret the 2nd law, let’s discuss about that. That should be interesting! Are you up for the challenge? Without running to your long dead and never too bright buddies?

No, I’m not up to the challenge. The idiocy of insisting that locus allele frequencies do not add up to 100%, or that genetics has nothing to do with evolution, are enough to persuade me of the futility of discussion with you. I prefer to point and laugh.

This site is not worthy of your abilities. Indeed, the internet cannot contain you. Fly! Fly! Tell the world! There’s only a handful of us here, and we’re all thick!

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32. Nonlin.org: Here comes the motivational speaker again! Holdoff on that. What if there will be an intelligent pushback on my writing? Eventually…? Anyone with a semi-functioning brain…? No one…?

You seem to have decided that your audience here are idiots and when they tell you that you are in fact in error, that it is you that is the idiot, you reject this.

What I’m suggesting is that you find an audience who you don’t think are idiots. Then submit your ideas to them. And then we’ll see who the idiots are, won’t we? When an audience hand picked by you (i.e. by choosing a journal to submit to) gives you the same answer, what then?

That’s all. I do find it odd you keep coming back to have your ideas underappreciated time and time again. It’s almost as if there’s something more going on…..

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33. Nonlin.org:
“Entropy” is more than a cargo cult practice such as naming yourself after what you don’t get.

Says the person who demolished his/her own arguments time and again, and never noticed.

For example, you prefer not to talk about the fact that a “primordial soup” would not be a closed system. You rather pretend that it doesn’t matter, yet your “point” was completely demolished, and your ignoring it shows that it’s you who doesn’t understand entropy.

Then you reject changes in temperature because “they’re not spontaneous.” Then who cares about your claims? Life did not start in a homogeneous, closed system, that never changes temperatures. Our planet has lots of changes, constantly. There’s day and night, there’s seasons, there’s variable climate. Therefore your “points” involving anything “spontaneous.” are meaningless by your own admission.

Same for every one of the points I made and you ignored. You don’t get them, so you label them “nonsense” to keep yourself “safe” from further displaying your astounding ignorance.

So, keep talking about everybody else’s number of brain cells, it’s ironically amusing.

ETA: Ha! And you further show that you cannot read for comprehension when you imagined that Asimov was attacking the second law of thermodynamics! You couldn’t be more illiterate if you tried!

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34. You don’t understand. Nonlin is the very first person in the planet to notice that there’s a problem between entropy and the origin of life. The very first! He’s not just a mere follower of apologetics, which, as we all know, consists on perfectly scientifically-validated, evidences for a magical-being-in-the-sky, Jesus-and-no-other, and against all the demonic cargo cults like evolution and cosmology. Nonlin is The True-Born-Divinely-Inspired Truly-True Scientist. Very possibly Jesus reborn.

Scientists who have known about entropy for much longer and from a closer distance have failed to understand that it forbids, forbids I tell you! the origin of life. They have failed to understand that abiogenesis is decay running backwards! They have failed to understand that a “primordial soup” would be a closed system, at a constant temperature, subject to no external influences (clearly, being closed systems)! They are blind to these obvious facts! They’re too ignorant about thermodynamics! Why? Well, the second law of thermodynamics, in its true divinely-inspired form, was originally discovered and formulated by Nonlin. Obviously. So the word has been slow to spread. But soon the scientific community will know about it and be released from so much ignorance.

Several Nobel prizes, at a minimum, for Nonlin, no doubt.

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35. OMagain: You seem to have decided that your audience here are idiots and when they tell you that you are in fact in error, that it is you that is the idiot, you reject this.

What I’m suggesting is that you find an audience who you don’t think are idiots. Then submit your ideas to them. And then we’ll see who the idiots are, won’t we? When an audience hand picked by you (i.e. by choosing a journal to submit to) gives you the same answer, what then?

That’s all. I do find it odd you keep coming back to have your ideas underappreciated time and time again. It’s almost as if there’s something more going on…..

Once again, the real issue here is nonlin’s irrepressible determination to preach idiocy. Yes, he’s an output-only device and yes, his output is put to shame by the Eliza program (or the Perry program). But I can’t shake the feeling that we are dealing here with a bot from the 60s, because a more recent bot could do a better job of simulating a human being. This is more like a see-and-say, where you poke a button and get the same response every time, no variations.

That he gets so many attempts at explanation is what’s curious.

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36. Nonlin.org:
(endothermic reactions have nothing to do with my essay, not 2nd law).

Every process, every chemical reaction, involves energy. This should suffice to see the connection if you know what thermodynamics is about. But Nonlin doesn’t even understand what the word thermodynamics means, nor what the second law is about. Nonlin imagines it to be just a magical word that forbids, magically, abiogenesis. So Nonlin will never be able to see something as obvious as the connection between any chemical reaction and the second law.

I’m also convinced that Nonlin cannot read for comprehension. So I think that even if someone spelled it out in direct, unambiguous, terms, Nonlin would still manage to miss it:

When heat is absorbed from the surroundings by an endothermic chemical reaction, the entropy of the surroundings decreases. This means that Delta-S(surroundings) will be a negative number.

ETA: With that level of ignorance and illiteracy, we’re left with no option but to point to Nonlin’s nonsense and laugh, as Allan said.

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37. Oh-err, Entropy,
Whilst the paragraph that you quoted is fine, I am not a fan of these two paragraphs from the same page:

A system can increase order (decrease entropy) but it requires an input of energy from the surroundings, making the surrounding more disordered. For example, you as a living thing are constantly making highly ordered chemical structures within your body. To do this, you require a great deal of energy from your surroundings in the form of food. If you stop taking in this energy, you will ultimately reach a more disordered, decomposed state.

Temperature is proportional to the kinetic energy of molecules and atoms. Increasing temperature increases the overall kinetic energy, the random motion of molecules, and so increases entropy.

I can forgive this usage in an “intro to chemistry” class, but an expert such as nonlin should be able to critique this writing, don’t ya think? Would nonlin care to explain the over-simplification, and the flat-out error?

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38. I really dislike the ‘entropy=disorder’ formulation, particularly when applied to chemistry, and even more particularly when applied to the chemistry of living systems at constant temperature and pressure. It’s hard to convey the ‘disorder increase’ in protein folding, for example, where the result is distinctly more ‘ordered’, not just in the regular and consistent folds of the peptide itself but in the surrounding water molecules, pinned in place by the hydrophilic surface and shoved out from the core. Of course there’s also the dispersed energy to consider; adding this in gives the necessary increase in microstates, but it seems clunky. You’ve got an initial peptide/water system, in which ‘the energy’ is internal, and not really represented by any ‘thing’. Then, spontaneous folding results in loss of energy, presumably as photons of heat which can go anywhere in the universe. Let’s count those microstates!

Frank Lambert’s ‘energy dispersal’ seems preferable. The potential energy of folding has been dispersed, into a wider volume, and is thus unavailable for work at its prior origin.

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39. psst nonlin. the above is what a real conversation looks like. Even when people seem to disagree they are able to delimit the area of disagreement and try to understand each others point of view and make mutual progress.

Nonlin.org: Doesn’t follow. This comment is illogical.

The other comments to date are even more abysmal. Is anyone with a few more brain cells on TSZ?

Whereas you are a 3 year old who refuses to go to bed. No! NO!

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40. Creationist misuse of entropy relates directly to the ‘order’ viewpoint, IMO. They envision, say, an ideal gas, as illustrated in the OP. In such a system, both the energy and the particulate components are colocalised – a molecule whizzing about is both a particle and a carrier of energy. We can construct ‘phase space’ models and hypothetically count the numbers of different combinations of positional and energetic parameters that would give an observed macrostate.

In a typical chemical system, it’s not so simple. Chemistry is largely a tussle over electrons (despite the trichotomous division into ionic, covalent and van der Waals interactions, there is a fair bit of overlap). Interacting chemical species will spontaneously adopt the ‘lowest-energy’ configuration, if the activation barrier is overcome. Due to conservation of energy (1st Law), that move to a lower-energy state necessarily requires that the energy ‘goes someplace else’. If it hits another atom or molecule, it increases its kinetic energy, ideal-gas style. But if it doesn’t, it radiates out indefinitely. While one may think of particulate photons, and could treat them as if they were points in 3D and phase space, ‘carriers’ of energy in the same way as an excited atom, that’s not really how things are.

But more problematically for teaching, thinking in terms of disorder leads to thinking only of those things that can be sensibly ‘disordered’ – points in space – and thereby risking forgetting about the energetic component entirely, especially when that energy is disassociated from particle motion. This is also why people often conflate Shannon and thermodynamic entropy. They share a mathematical relation because they share the quality of ‘permutation countability’, but there is no equivalent of energy in Shannon; it’s all ‘matter’.

Chemical interaction is not simply about relatively ‘ordered’ locations in permutation space. The key is the change in Gibbs free energy, a term that combines entropy and enthalpy (heat). If this is negative, the reaction will proceed, if there is a path that permits traversal between states. If an unfavoured reaction is coupled with another, and the overall net change of the coupled system is negative, again the reaction will proceed. It doesn’t have a great deal to do with conventional notions of ‘order’ and decay.

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41. For me, it’s ALL combinatorics: how many different ways are there of distributing the energy. The {how many ways of distributing the atoms} aspect is merely part of this calculation.
Unlike most here, I will happily go along with IDists who want to convert between ‘information’ (distributing bits…) and thermodynamic entropy; the conversion factor (from Landauer) will make them weep.
In Gibbs, the enthalpy term (ΔH/T) stands for the change in entropy for the rest of the universe. With this in mind, I cannot agree with the first sentence I quoted from the uiuc.edu page. When they wrote “energy”, they may have meant “useful work”, but that’s a really squishy concept…
I was hoping that nonlin would be able to describe the problem. It’s a hobby.

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42. For me, it’s ALL combinatorics: how many different ways are there of distributing the energy. The {how many ways of distributing the atoms} aspect is merely part of this calculation.

I guess, but where are the photons? They’re buggering off at the speed of light; makes it very hard to keep tabs on ’em! I think it creates a conceptual problem – even though you may be comfortable with the ‘whole universe’ idea, I find Lambert’s idea of dispersal much easier to grapple with. Where’s the energy gone when a protein folds? Don’t care! It’s not ‘here’! I tend to think in mechanistic terms. The ’cause’ of a reaction or interaction is not the number of places the energy could be. Even though combinatorics may give the answer, what’s ‘really happened’ in any given situation is that the energy has taken itself off ‘somewhere else’ – not as a computational possibility, but as an actuality.

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43. Energy dispersal helps me understand better than the old “entropy is disorder” meme. A fridge can maintain an energy gradient between outside and inside until the power cuts and the compressor can no longer pump heat out of the fridge. If the power doesn’t come back on, even the most efficiently insulated fridge will gradually end up in equilibrium with it’s immediate environment. But otherwise, for a little energy expended, the fridge interior can be maintained out of equilibrium until the compressor wears out. No problem with the second law. What is the difference with living systems? Nonlin?

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44. DNA_Jock: Whilst the paragraph that you quoted is fine, I am not a fan of these two paragraphs from the same page:

Me neither, but Nonlin is a kindergartener. If she complains it will be something like “it’s a cargo cult web site” or something to that effect. That was her “answer” when I showed her that there was such thing as testing an assumption in physics (because she didn’t like that there was testing of assumptions in biology). She said that one of the main journals in physics was a cargo cult place.

But I doubt it will go any further than “all comments are nonsense, anybody with brain cells?” without addressing anything.

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45. Allan Miller: No, I’m not up to the challenge.

Nuff said. I respect your candor.

OMagain: I do find it odd you keep coming back to have your ideas underappreciated time and time again.

Entropy: For example, you prefer not to talk about the fact that a “primordial soup” would not be a closed system.

Of course it’s not a closed system. Then you agree with paragraph 4. Peachy!

Entropy: Then you reject changes in temperature because “they’re not spontaneous.”

False. I’m OK with changes in temperature in general. Today is warmer which is nice. Are you trying to say something else?

Entropy: Same for every one of the points I made and you ignored.

Just because they were abysmal. Try again but this time take your time to formulate something logical. And be respectful.

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46. Entropy: They have failed to understand that abiogenesis is decay running backwards!

Indeed, they did!

Entropy: So Nonlin will never be able to see something as obvious as the connection between any chemical reaction and the second law.

I said “endothermic reactions have nothing to do with my essay”. I did NOT say “endothermic reactions have nothing to do with the 2nd law”.

DNA_Jock: Whilst the paragraph that you quoted is fine, I am not a fan of these two paragraphs from the same page:

DNA_Jock: Would nonlin care to explain the over-simplification, and the flat-out error?

You’re so very mysterious. What exactly are you asking me to do? Are you telling the cargo cultist he’s wrong or merely stating your fandom status? Be more specific!

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47. Nonlin.org: What exactly are you asking me to do?

I am asking you to demonstrate that you have at least a minimal understanding of entropy by pointing out the errors in those two paragraphs.
[Tip: this discussion has nothing to do with natural selection, fitness, speciation, human evolution, gradualism, divergence of character, UCD, TOL, etc. ]
It appears to me, and anyone here who got past High School physics, that you have no clue whatsoever about entropy. Prove us wrong!

What, precisely, is wrong with the following:

A system can increase order (decrease entropy) but it requires an input of energy from the surroundings, making the surrounding more disordered. For example, you as a living thing are constantly making highly ordered chemical structures within your body. To do this, you require a great deal of energy from your surroundings in the form of food. If you stop taking in this energy, you will ultimately reach a more disordered, decomposed state.

Temperature is proportional to the kinetic energy of molecules and atoms. Increasing temperature increases the overall kinetic energy, the random motion of molecules, and so increases entropy.

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