More 2LoT inanity at Uncommon Descent

Springtime is approaching. The 2LoT truthers are flocking at Uncommon Descent, hoping to find mates so that they can pass their second law inanity on to the next generation. Until yesterday, I was observing their bizarre mating rituals up close. Now I have been banned (again) from the nesting site, for pointing out a particularly ugly and infertile egg laid by kairosfocus.

Many others have been banned from the site as well, but we can still observe the spectacle through our high-powered binoculars. At this distance, our laughter will not disturb the awkward courtship rituals, as the participants preen and flaunt their ignorance in front of potential mates.

Hence this thread. Feel free to post your observations regarding the current 2LoT goings-on at UD and the perennial misuse of the 2LoT by IDers in general.

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231 thoughts on “More 2LoT inanity at Uncommon Descent

  1. CJYman,

    God, Buddha, or a scientist outside of the boundaries of basketball world (the details are irrelevant), or an impersonal shaker for those with a natural aversion to all things ID, begins to shake Basketball world and while shaking (not stirring — pardon my attempt at injecting some lame humor), removes the divider.

    By shaking Basketball World, you are imparting energy to it. It’s no longer an isolated system and no longer comparable to the container of gas.

    If you don’t continue to shake Basketball World, then the balls will eventually come to rest. In other words, T_bw will approach “absolute zero” and S_bw will decrease. Basketball World does not obey the First and Second Laws of Basketball Dynamics.

    Why the difference? In Basketball World, the kinetic energy of the basketballs is converted to heat within the basketballs due to inelastic collisions. T_bw decreases as the kinetic energy of the basketballs “drains” out.

    In the container of gas, the kinetic energy of the molecules doesn’t decrease, because there’s no place for the energy to go. Unlike basketballs, molecules can’t heat up “inside”, and energy can’t leave the container due to its perfect insulation.

    In short: Basketball World doesn’t obey the First and Second Laws. The container of gas does.

    The moral of the story:
    It’s possible to define entropies for all kinds of systems, but it’s a serious mistake to assume that the second law applies to all such entropies.

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  2. CJYman,

    Can we just ignore 2LOT because we are dealing with a system of inelastic collisions, even if an enabler is present?

    We can’t ignore the Second Law of Thermodynamics, but we can certainly ignore the Second Law of Basketball Dynamics. The SLoBD is a fiction, only obtainable in a magic world where basketballs collide in a perfectly elastic way.

    Similarly, we can’t ignore the First Law of Thermodynamics, but we can certainly ignore the First Law of Basketball Dynamics. The FLoBD, like the SLoBD, is a fiction.

    Think about what happens in the real Basketball World (as opposed to the idealized, elastic-collision version): The kinetic energy of the basketballs is converted to heat as they slow down, so energy is conserved. The FLoT is honored. The thermodynamic entropy of the basketballs increases as they heat up, so the SLoT is also honored. The FLoBD and SLoBD are not honored.

    As I said above, just because you can define an entropy doesn’t mean that the second law applies to it. The second law is a thermodynamic law, not a general law applying to all possible entropies.

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  3. Well, ‘phoenix’ has been banned at UD.

    Piotr, could you let CJYman know that if he wants to continue his discussion with me, it will need to be here at TSZ where censorship is absent and open discussion is encouraged?

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  4. I was enjoying Pheonix. I thought it was you – sadly so did Banny Arrington.

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  5. Yeah, besides re-registering under different usernames, I make no effort to disguise myself or change my writing style.

    Even Barry Banny is bright enough to figure out that it’s me.

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  6. Thanks, Piotr.

    Meanwhile, niwrad has me all figured out:

    phoenix/keiths works so hard (even at two sites at the same time) because he understands that Sewell’s ID argument is lethal for evolution. scordova tries to convince him that there is no menace but evidently phoenix/keiths doesn’t trust him and remains worried.

    Any bets on how long it will take for niwrad to recognize that his own argument contradicts Sewell’s?

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  7. CJYman:

    That’s great! Then ID critics agree with his [Sewell’s] conclusions, as I’ve restated according to my understanding of the main issue, regardless of how he arrived at that conclusion. It really is unfortunate that it took so long to get to this point. But, alas, here we are.

    No, we don’t agree with Sewell’s conclusions, as I keep explaining to you. It isn’t that Sewell got the right answers through bad reasoning. Both his reasoning and his conclusions are incorrect.

    Granville concludes:

    1. That the compensation argument is invalid.
    2. That the 2LoT forbids OOL and evolution.
    3. That the 2LoT has been violated on earth.
    4. That there are zillions of “X-entropies” (LOL), each with its own Second Law, and that the only way to decrease the “X-entropy” (LOL) of a system is to import “X-order” (LOL).

    Those conclusions are all wrong, and obviously so. If you disagree, let’s resolve this first. The discussion isn’t going to get very far while Granville’s nonsense is still on the table.

    The ID argument re: 2LOT is both a pro- and anti-compensation argument in different senses. First, it is pro-compensation in the fact that compensation is required for dS less than 0. This is something that everyone here seems to agree with. And that is to be expected since it is at the foundation of 2LOT.

    Our agreement on that point is only superficial, I’m afraid. The ID critics recognize that S is thermodynamic entropy, and that ‘compensation’ involves an increase of thermodynamic entropy in the surroundings.

    IDers are attempting to apply the second law to other forms of S and other forms of compensation. As I said earlier:

    The moral of the story:
    It’s possible to define entropies for all kinds of systems, but it’s a serious mistake to assume that the second law applies to all such entropies.

    CJYman:

    The ID argument is anti-compensation in the sense that it is against the idea that compensation by merely opening up a system to heat flow can change the direction of all probabilistic processes.

    Since none of the ID critics ever claimed that it could, this is a complete irrelevance. It isn’t “anti-compensation” — it’s “anti-strawman”.

    The actual question is simple: Can the 2LoT be interpreted or extended in a way that prohibits naturalistic OOL and/or evolution?

    Basketball World shows why the second law can’t be applied willy-nilly to everything that can be defined as an entropy. Do you have a candidate entropy that avoids those pitfalls?

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  8. Silver Asiatic:

    While other organisms were moving around to find nutrition and reproduction opportunities, evolution caused trees to stay in one spot so they supposedly could out-compete organisms that could move to get nutrition.

    It’s a good story.

    As opposed to “God created trees to stay in one spot, and they really should go extinct because of that, but God prevents that from happening”?

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  9. Piotr:

    More effing fishing reels…

    But it’s not the Abu 6500 C3 this time!

    This is an exciting development. Apparently Kairosfocus Labs has detected FSCO/I in other fishing reels as well.

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  10. KF and Granville are hopeless, but where’s CJYman? He at least seemed willing to grapple with the issues.

    Perhaps he’ll re-engage after he succeeds in sending an email to Upright Biped.

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  11. Piotr Gasiorowski,

    Wow, that’s a toxic tard spill of gargantuan proportions.

    What really cracked me up in one of gordo’s comments is this:

    “I think it is time to stand; but then, that is literally written into my name and blood, backed by 1,000 years of history. Tends to give a nose for kairos.”

    That’s hilarious coming from a lying, falsely accusatory, sniveling, cowardly blowhard who censors and bans people just for not kissing his pompous ass.

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  12. keiths:
    Piotr:

    But it’s not the Abu 6500 C3 this time!

    This is an exciting development. Apparently Kairosfocus Labs has detected FSCO/I in other fishing reels as well.

    But it’s still the Fishing Reel Argument @ Uncommon Descent (FRAUD).

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  13. Thanks everyone for the kind welcome. I do hope to cross post between UD and TSZ as time permits. Unfortunately, at the moment time is not so forgiving.

    Keiths, it appears that I am not being clear enough. I hope this comment puts us back on the right track. I apologize in advance if any of my comment appears a little feisty. Miscommunication can be frustrating, but I’m sure well be seeing eye to eye soon.

    Keiths:
    “By shaking Basketball World, you are imparting energy to it. It’s no longer an isolated system and no longer comparable to the container of gas.”

    First, your criticism would only apply if I was measuring temperature as a macrostate. I fully understand that you cannot base a ‘temperature macrostate,’ or a change in such, on change in basketball configuration entropy. It’s like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. I thought that was blatantly obvious. That understanding has been implicit in my whole argument when I referred to not measuring a temperature based macrostate. I thought that was clearly shown in my comment, and in fact is one of the the motivating factors behind my final syllogism. You are the one trying to squeeze my argument into a discussion about a ‘temperature macrostate.’

    Second, what does an isolated system have to do with my argument? I really don’t think you are making the argument that statistical mechanics as it applies to change in entropy only deals with hypothetical ideal gases in sealed ‘closed system’ containers, are you?!?!?!?

    You will notice that there is really only one difference between configuration entropy of any macrostate (including basketball world) and thermodynamic entropy. That difference is indeed the macrostate you are choosing to measure. The probability that determines direction of change in entropy is exactly the same in an analysis of any config macrostate — always low to high multiplicity. If there wasn’t a general statistical rule governing the direction of change for all possible ‘config entropies,’ there would be no connection between statistical mechanics and 2LOT, since change in ‘config entropies’ only deal in terms of probability and is dimensionless until conversion. The conversion to J/K, assuming one is referencing the appropriate microstates (system of molecules as opposed to B-balls), is done after the ‘counting.’ Basically, statistical thermodynamics, as a field, would not exist if statistical mechanics did not apply to macrostates in general. Just be careful not to fall into the trap of counting the wrong microstates (B-ball configurations) when attempting to calculate for a specific macrostate (Temperature-dependent).

    Keiths:
    “If you don’t continue to shake Basketball World, then the balls will eventually come to rest. In other words, T_bw will approach “absolute zero” and S_bw will decrease. Basketball World does not obey the First and Second Laws of Basketball Dynamics.”

    You are correct that the B-balls will lose kinetic energy and they will come to a rest if no energy is applied. This fact is contained within my previous discussion of the requirements of an enabler. You seem to think that the loss of kinetic energy breaks my argument down somewhere. Please point out which part of my comment is incorrect because of that fact and which part of my syllogism this impacts.

    You are incorrect that Basketball world does not follow the second law of basketball dynamics, if by ‘basketball dynamics’ you are referring, as I am, to the probability principles guiding change in configuration macrostates that govern statistical mechanics. What ‘Basketball world’ will follow are the principles that govern statistical thermodynamics minus the final conversion to temperature. Of course this does not come as a surprise because we are looking at a macrostate other than temperature.

    And yes, in order to discuss change in entropy there must be kinetic energy and it is the amount of this kinetic energy that determines the speed at which the entropy will change. No more kinetic energy = no more change in entropy. I agree.

    Keiths:
    “The moral of the story:
    It’s possible to define entropies for all kinds of systems, but it’s a serious mistake to assume that the second law applies to all such entropies.”
    The real moral of the story:

    The 2LOT only applies to all such entropies in the manner that I have laid out in my final syllogism. That is all I have been arguing here.

    I’ll try my best to really break it down. My argument up to this point has nothing to do with the ‘thermo’ in 2LOT except for the relation explained in my final syllogism, and it has everything to do with the statistical principles by which 2LOT is governed. It’s all right there in my syllogism.

    It is the change in configuration multiplicity analyzed statistically that provides a bridge from statistical mechanics to 2LOT, through statistical thermodynamics which basically adds a conversion factor to the entropy value calculated by counting appropriate microstates.

    All matter/energy follows the statistical principles by which 2LOT is governed so long as there is kinetic energy available for entropy change. Actually, that can be re-stated in a better form: all matter/energy follows the statistical principles by which 2LOT is governed, and it is the available kinetic energy which will determine the time scale at which change in entropy will occur. Again, notice the reference to the statistical principles rather than a measure of a ‘thermo’ macrostate.

    Here are two good references on the connection between configuration entropy and 2LOT, showing how the connection is applicable and where that connection breaks down:

    http://entropysite.oxy.edu/ConFigEntPublicat.pdf

    http://entropysite.oxy.edu/JCE2009p1063.pdf

    Of note, from ‘Configurational Entropy Revisited,’ accessed from
    http://entropysite.oxy.edu/ConFigEntPublicat.pdf

    “However, positional entropy as presented in several widely used and influential general chemistry texts has two serious conceptual flaws in introducing beginners to entropy change.
    1
    When positional entropy is emphasized, it strongly implies that matter can spread out without any involvement of the energy associated with its mobile molecules. Equally misleading, the undue focus on the difference between “energy-unrelated” positional entropy change and thermal entropy change discounts the shared aspects of their fundamental relationship. One text
    states (and several others agree substantially), “[there are] two basic types of spontaneous physical process: 1. Matter tends to become dispersed. 2. Energy tends to become dispersed.”
    1
    With “1” as positional entropy and “2” as thermal entropy, there are a number of questions for students both within the thermodynamics chapters and at the chapter ends. Unfortunately, this reinforces the idea of discriminating between “types of entropy” rather than focusing on the common foundation
    CJYman,

    of entropy increase, energy spreading out.”
    CJYman,

    If we have arrived at a common understanding up to this point, then I will continue on with the next step of my argument.

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  14. CJYman,

    I think you’re missing the entire point of Basketball World, which is to answer your question:

    1. How can 2LOT not cover energy flow configurations that are not measured in J/K, that are highly constrained (low multiplicity) and required for building a 747 for example?”

    We can determine macrostates and microstates for Basketball World, and we can define a Basketball World entropy, and all of this involves “energy flow configurations”, yet the Second Law of Basketball Dynamics does not hold, as I explained earlier, and neither does the First.

    You can’t apply the Second Law willy-nilly to every “entropy” you define that happens to involve energy flow. The 2LoT is much more specific than that.

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  15. CJYman:

    You will notice that there is really only one difference between configuration entropy of any macrostate (including basketball world) and thermodynamic entropy. That difference is indeed the macrostate you are choosing to measure. The probability that determines direction of change in entropy is exactly the same in an analysis of any config macrostate — always low to high multiplicity.

    That’s obviously not true. In Basketball World, the opposite happens. We go from high multiplicity to low as the kinetic energy of the basketballs gets converted to internal heat.

    The SLoBD does not apply.

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  16. So premise P3 of your argument is incorrect:

    P3 — extension of P1. If configuration entropy in a dynamic system can move spontaneously from high to low multiplicity without proper ‘compensation’ then the principles of statistical thermodynamics are incorrect.

    In Basketball World, the ‘configuration entropy’ does move spontaneously from high to low multiplicity without any compensation.

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  17. As I understand it, CJYman is presenting their 2LoT argument in service of the proposition that evolution has nontrivial limits, and that there’s at least one species on Earth which has at least one feature that’s beyond the 2LoT-derived limits of evolution.

    Fine.

    Let’s say, arguendo, that CJYman’s 2LoT argument is, in fact, 100% correct. If so, what limits does said argument put on evolution?

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  18. cubist,

    Let’s say, arguendo, that CJYman’s 2LoT argument is, in fact, 100% correct. If so, what limits does said argument put on evolution?

    He appears to be arguing, a là Granville, that the proper forms of compensation are unavailable to evolution:

    Simply put: a compensation factor is required for certain configurational macrostates (Tornado vs. city block or sun vs. doghouse examples) to be reversible and anyone who states otherwise is promoting an apparent violation of the very foundations of the operation of 2LOT. When we finally have that understanding settled, we can carry on with a discussion of what is the required compensation — mere heat flow in an open system or a prior thermodynamic system of lower configuration entropy or something else?

    Basketball World is a good counterexample, because it shows that ‘configuration entropy’ of the kind CJYman is referring to can spontaneously decrease without any compensation whatsoever.

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  19. He does appear to be conceding a couple of things.

    He seems to acknowledge that the 2LoT may not apply to his “X-entropy” concept:

    Whether the second law still applies to carbon entropy, for example, where the equations are exactly the same, is not clear.

    And he seems to be admitting that his favorite examples may not be violations of the 2LoT:

    But there is obviously SOME law of Nature that prevents tornados from turning rubble into houses and cars, and the same law prevents computers from arising on barren planets through unintelligent causes alone. And if it is not a generalization of the second law of thermodynamics, it is a law of Nature very closely related to the second law!

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  20. keiths:
    He does appear to be conceding a couple of things.

    He seems to acknowledge that the 2LoT may not apply to his “X-entropy” concept:

    Whether the second law still applies to carbon entropy, for example, where the equations are exactly the same, is not clear.

    And he seems to be admitting that his favorite examples may not be violations of the 2LoT:

    But there is obviously SOME law of Nature that prevents tornados from turning rubble into houses and cars, and the same law prevents computers from arising on barren planets through unintelligent causes alone. And if it is not a generalization of the second law of thermodynamics, it is a law of Nature very closely related to the second law!

    I’m not going to give UD traffic but I’m curious to know if Sewell finally admits that simple dimensional analysis shows his x-entropy concept to be nonsense? I believe it was Mike Elzinga who pointed this out shortly after Sewell came up with it.

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  21. On a quick read, I’m not sure if GS is admitting that he got something wrong. Perhaps he is saying that people changed (narrowed) the meaning of “entropy” so as to exclude his own ideas.

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  22. That’s it. Evilutionists changed the goalposts.

    Retroactively, using a time machine.

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  23. Patrick,

    I’m not going to give UD traffic but I’m curious to know if Sewell finally admits that simple dimensional analysis shows his x-entropy concept to be nonsense? I believe it was Mike Elzinga who pointed this out shortly after Sewell came up with it.

    No, he hasn’t mentioned the dimensional analysis.

    He also hasn’t confronted the fact X-entropy, even if it were an actual entropy, can spontaneously decrease in isolated systems.

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  24. Neil,

    On a quick read, I’m not sure if GS is admitting that he got something wrong.

    There is some ambiguity, which is why I wrote “seems to acknowledge” and “seems to be admitting”.

    Perhaps he is saying that people changed (narrowed) the meaning of “entropy” so as to exclude his own ideas.

    Here’s Granville:

    I’m sure that physics texts are still being written which apply the second law to tornados and explosions and fires, and still say evolution does not violate these more general statements of the second law because they only apply to isolated systems. But I have found that after reading my writings on the second law (for example, my withdrawn-at-the-last-minute Applied Mathematics Letters article) or my videos (see below) no one wants to talk about isolated and open systems, they ALL now say, the second law of thermodynamics should only be applied to thermodynamics, it is only about heat. “Entropy” never meant anything other than thermal entropy, and even when physics textbooks apply the second law to more general situations, they are really only talking about thermal entropy. [Emphasis added]

    So yes, he seems to be saying that the definition was narrowed in response to his arguments, and that now “no one wants to talk about isolated and open systems”, which is complete bollocks.

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  25. Is this sincere, or is Granville being trolled? Either way, I say YES to the comedic potential of “Sewell’s Law”.

    Commenter ‘harry’ at UD:

    Hello, Granville,

    I have been a fan of yours for a long time.

    You remarked

    But there is obviously SOME law of Nature that prevents tornados from turning rubble into houses and cars, and the same law prevents computers from arising on barren planets through unintelligent causes alone. And if it is not a generalization of the second law of thermodynamics, it is a law of Nature very closely related to the second law!

    I seems to me, and has for a long time, that there exists a more general, fundamental law of which the 2nd law is merely an illustration of how that more fundamental law applies to thermodynamics.

    Why don’t you use your expertise to precisely define that more general and fundamental law? “Sewell’s Law” has a nice ring to it!

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