The well-known second law of thermodynamics has long been cited by creationists as one of their “scientific” arguments against evolution. The Discoveroids, being closet creationists, have done the same thing — see Discovery Institute Gives Us Their Best Argument.
We wrote that last year about a Discoveroid blog post by Granville Sewell. He’s not a Discoveroid “fellow,” but they publish him, and Wikipedia informs us that Sewell is signatory to the Discovery Institute’s “A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism” petition. In the Discoveroid article we wrote about, he presented what he claimed was “the Simplest and Clearest Argument for Intelligent Design,” and that argument was the second law. He mentioned the scientific objection to the creationists’ argument — that the Earth isn’t a closed system because receives energy from the Sun. Sewell somewhat exaggerated — cough, cough — that objection by saying:
This always seems to be the end of the argument: order can increase (entropy can decrease) in an open system, therefore, ANYTHING can happen in an open system, even the rearrangement of atoms into computers, without violating the second law.
It seems that Sewell has been publishing more of the same, including one paper in the Discoveroids’ vanity journal, BIO-Complexity. To celebrate his accomplishments, Casey Luskin — our favorite creationist — has a new article at the Discoveroids’ blog: In BIO-Complexity and Biological Information: New Perspectives, Granville Sewell Defends his Arguments on the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Casey says, with bold font added by us:
… Sewell argues not that the second law of thermodynamics necessarily poses a barrier to Darwinian evolution, but rather that it could pose a problem, provided that the issue is framed properly. As I’ve explained before, this is very different from old, unsophisticated and flawed arguments you may have heard about the second law and evolution.
Ah, Casey assures us that Sewell’s second law argument isn’t the usual raw, primitive creationism that you can read on other creationist websites. It’s much more sophisticated. You see, Sewell is no fool. He knows that the Earth isn’t a closed system. He’s aware that we get energy from the Sun. Okay, let’s read on to see how Sewell “properly” frames the issue:
Sewell’s recent articles address the rejoinder from Darwin-defenders and reframe the issue to show that the second law could potentially be a problem for Darwinian evolution. In his BINP paper, he observes that we have no experience with sunlight producing the kind of order and complexity needed for life:
[Casey quotes Sewell's brilliant argument:] Thus unless we are willing to argue that the influx of solar energy into the Earth makes the appearance of spaceships, computers and the Internet not extremely improbable, we have to conclude that at least the basic principle behind the second law has in fact been violated here.
Hey — Sewell is right! Admit it, dear reader — have you ever seen sunlight create a spaceship? Well, did ya? No, of course not! Then Casey gives another great example from Sewell:
According to this [Darwinist] reasoning, the second law does not prevent scrap metal from reorganizing itself into a computer in one room, as long as two computers in the next room are rusting into scrap metal — and the door is open.
Good stuff, huh? Casey continues with even more wisdom from Sewell:
Sewell shows that all of the arguments commonly employed to claim that evolution did not violate at least the underlying principle behind the second law, could equally well be applied to claim that tornados turning rubble into houses and cars would not violate it either. This is, of course, absurd.
Did he just invoke the tornado in a junkyard? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! But Casey tells us that Sewell’s argument is very sophisticated, and Casey knows what he’s talking about. Doesn’t he?
Sewell has decisively demolished several bizarre arguments that no one ever made. It’s quite an intellectual accomplishment. Does the term straw man fallacy apply here? We’ll let you decide. Anyway, if you want more of the same, click over to the Discoveroids’ blog and study it carefully. If we’ve misunderstood anything, please let us know.
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