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Feedback from July 1999
© 2005-2007 T. Wallace. All Rights Reserved.


From: Carold Adkins

Over the past couple of years I have taken an extreme interest in the whole evolution vs. creation debate, and I would like to congratulate you on the wealth of information you have collected in putting this site together... Also, I would just like to point out that some who choose to ignore a creationist point of view ignore one simple fact. It takes a human sperm, and a human egg to produce a human life... I haven’t seen any monkeys making people yet. Have you ??? What’s more, is that every time I plant a cherry seed, I always get a cherry tree—no matter how hard I might want the cherry to evolve—its DNA just won’t allow it to do so.

...GOD HAS MADE HIMSELF KNOWN THROUGH THE THINGS HE HAS CREATED...
         —Agnostic turned theist


Response from Timothy Wallace:trueorigin.org

That brings to mind the following Scripture:

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”    —Romans 1:20 (NASB)

TW
 

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From: Tyler Tucker

Nice site!
I love the way you copied talk origins site.
Too bad the content on your site is all wrong.
Do you feel bad about tricking all the dummies who buy into the creation science stuff?

Thanks,
Tyler


Response from Timothy Wallace:trueorigin.org

>> Nice site ! <<

Thanks!

>> I love the way you copied talk origins site. <<

Me too—and so do a lot of folks who have a sense of humor. Unfortunately some of the TalkOrigins folks apparently don’t.

>> Too bad the content on your site is all wrong. <<

Hmmm. You’ll have to get a lot more specific than that if you think you have a point to make.

>> Do you feel bad about tricking all the dummies who buy into the creation science stuff? <<

I don’t call being honest about what constitutes real science “tricking” anyone. (Do you feel bad about calling other people “tricked dummies” when you might not actually know what you’re talking about?)

>> Thanks, <<

You’re welcome!

Kind Regards,
TW
 

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Readers interested in every character transmitted during this exchange — message headers and all — may see the meticulously maintained and annotated archive located at Mr. Schneider’s government-funded website (your U.S. tax dollars at work!).
A detailed response to Schneider’s “summary” may be found here.


From Tom Schneider:trueorigin.org

Dear Dr. Wallace:

I find it amazing that you could write so much about the second law at http://www.trueorigin.org/steiger.asp and still not understand that the entropy of an unisolated system can decrease, at the expense of the rest of the universe, of course. dS >= dq/T can just as easily be written -dS  <= -dq/T.

Are you intentionally ignoring this?

[NOTE that this is the first of no fewer than three times Mr. Schneider falsely accuses me of not understanding that the entropy in unisolated systems can and does decrease in nature, at the expense of its surrounding environment—a simple and common thermodynamic phenomenon. —TW ]

Dr. Thomas D. Schneider
National Cancer Institute
Laboratory of Experimental and Computational Biology
Frederick, Maryland 21702-1201
toms@ncifcrf.gov
permanent email: toms@alum.mit.edu
http://www.lecb.ncifcrf.gov/~toms/


Response from Timothy Wallace:trueorigin.org

>> Dear Dr. Wallace... <<

Thanks, but I have not earned the title “Dr”.

>> I find it amazing that you could write so much about the second law ... and still not understand that the entropy of an unisolated system can decrease, at the expense of the rest of the universe, of course...

...Are you intentionally ignoring this? <<

It isn’t clear to me what has given you the impression that I do not understand that the entropy of an unisolated system can decrease, at the expense of its surroundings, or that I am ignoring the fact.

If you would care to site the specific passage(s) from my text in which it seems evident that I do not understand the above, I will be glad to address the matter with you, and (if necessary) adjust the text to eliminate any ambiguity concerning this issue.

Thank you in advance...

Kind Regards,
TW
 


Response from Tom Schneider:trueorigin.org

>> It isn’t clear to me what has given you the impression that I do not understand that the entropy of an unisolated system can decrease, at the expense of its surroundings, or that I am ignoring the fact.

If you would care to site the specific passage(s) from my text in which it seems evident that I do not understand the above, I will be glad to address the matter with you, and (if necessary) adjust the text to eliminate any ambiguity concerning this issue. <<

The equations...are critical, of course. dS > = dq/T is a form of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

S is the entropy. q is the heat put into the system (apparently the direction harks back to the days when they were thinking about fires under steam engine boilers) and T is the absolute temperature. Multiplying both sides of the equation flips the signs and changes the direction of the inequality. So -q is heat going out of a system, and it allows for the decrease of the entropy of the system.

Also, the equation applies to non-equilibrium conditions.

So now we have the tools to look at some of the things that you wrote:

“Evolutionist theory faces a problem in the second law, since the law is plainly understood to indicate (as does empirical observation) that things tend towards disorder, simplicity, randomness, and disorganization, while the theory insists that precisely the opposite has been taking place since the universe began (assuming it had a beginning).”

The Second Law does indeed indicate that things tend towards disorder. That is the *total* entropy increases. Evolutionary theory does not say the opposite. As you sit reading this message, you are burning food, and your body is radiating heat, that is, -dS  <= -dq/T. This heat is spreading out. Indeed, it is the very act of it spreading out that allows you to live at all, or for car engines to run. The heat eventually escapes to space. Of course, fortunately, the sun provides a counterbalance.

There are plenty of other places from that point on in your text that express the same misunderstanding, but I won’t list them unless necessary. You can clear them up yourself, and I can check your statements if you would like.

Regards,
Tom


Response from Timothy Wallace:trueorigin.org

>> The Second Law does indeed indicate that things tend towards disorder. That is the *total* entropy increases. Evolutionary theory does not say the opposite. As you sit reading this message, you are burning food, and your body is radiating heat, that is, -dS  <= -dq/T. This heat is spreading out. Indeed, it is the very act of it spreading out that allows you to live at all, or for car engines to run. The heat eventually escapes to space. Of course, fortunately, the sun provides a counterbalance. <<

Your original issue had to do with your perception that I did not understand that the entropy of an unisolated system can decrease, at the expense of its surroundings. I don’t believe the passage quoted above denies this, nor does the balance of the essay, to my knowledge.

I suppose it would be possible to interpret my paragraph (above), isolated as it is, as implying a misunderstanding that an unisolated system’s entropy cannot decrease. But taken in the context of the balance of the essay, I believe my understanding is adequately clarified, and I do not (to my knowledge) deny the thermodynamic possibility of the entropy decrease you describe.

Elsewhere, of course, I believe I do indeed make a distinction between the thermodynamic possibility of such an entropy decrease, and the assumption of a spontaneous, sustained decrease as a necessary (but unobserved) corollary to evolutionary theory. (This, in connection with the Second Generalized Law.) I have no reason to believe that the former serves to substantiate (or render probable) the latter, except by defining it as thermodynamically “possible”.

>> There are plenty of other places from that point on in your text that express the same misunderstanding, but I won’t list them unless necessary. You can clear them up yourself, and I can check your statements if you would like. <<

Please allow me to suggest that we continue focusing on the first paragraph you have cited before moving on. It is not my aim to be facetious or disrespectful, but I still do not see where the “misunderstanding” you describe is manifest in the cited paragraph.

Again, I do not mean to be difficult, but it is not wholly clear to me how the essay in general, or the above-cited paragraph in particular, indicates a failure on my part to understand that the entropy of an unisolated system can decrease at the expense of its surroundings.

I appreciate your patience in addressing this issue with me.

Kind Regards,
TW
 


Response from Tom Schneider:trueorigin.org

>>  Your original issue had to do with your perception that I did not understand that the entropy of an unisolated system can decrease, at the expense of its surroundings. I don’t believe the passage quoted above denies this, nor does the balance of the essay, to my knowledge.

I suppose it would be possible to interpret my paragraph, isolated as it is, as implying a misunderstanding that an unisolated system’s entropy cannot decrease. But taken in the context of the balance of the essay, I believe my understanding is adequately clarified, and I do not (to my knowledge) deny the thermodynamic possibility of the entropy decrease you describe. <<

So you say that is a “possibility”. The [emphasis] suggest[s] to me that you think it is a low probability, but you are being vague here.

Do you mean:

1. Such decreases might happen once in a billion years (anywhere in the universe).

2. Such decreases occur once per year on earth.

3. Such decreases occur millions of times per second inside every one of our cells.

>> Elsewhere, of course, I believe I do indeed make a distinction between the thermodynamic possibility of such an entropy decrease, and the assumption of a spontaneous, sustained decrease as a necessary (but... <<

“Sustained” is perhaps misleading, as it is probably increases and decreases, as we can discuss more later.

>> ...unobserved) corollary to evolutionary theory. (This, in connection... <<

Unobserved? By whom?

>> ...with the Second Generalized Law.) I have no reason to believe that the former serves to substantiate (or render probable) the latter, except by defining it as thermodynamically “possible”. <<

Again, this is too vague to mean anything.

>>  >> There are plenty of other places from that point on in your text that express the same misunderstanding, but I won’t list them unless necessary. You can clear them up yourself, and I can check your statements if you would like. <<  <<

>> Please allow me to suggest that we continue focusing on the first paragraph you have cited before moving on. It is not my aim to be facetious or disrespectful, but I still do not see where the “misunderstanding” you describe is manifest in the cited paragraph. <<

As a focal point, I suppose we can do that. I’m however more concerned with your general conceptions or mis-conceptions than with particular phrasings.

>> Again, I do not mean to be difficult, but it is not wholly clear to me how the essay in general, or the above-cited paragraph in particular, indicates a failure on my part to understand that the entropy of an unisolated system can decrease at the expense of its surroundings.

I appreciate your patience in addressing this issue with me. <<

Ok, here we go:

**************************************************
“Evolutionist theory faces a problem in the second law...”

No biologist, biochemist, physicist or thermodynamicist that I know (and I’ve met hundreds) would agree with this statement. Nor do I. It is not a conspiracy, it is based on our observations. I should add that if a scientist could demonstrate clearly and conclusively that there was a problem, they would do so very quickly and very publicly because they would be on the fast track to a Nobel prize. So there is plenty of impetus to knock the theory. (Besides, if there were a consipracy, you’d have to have it cover millions of people around the planet, and leaks would be impossible to stop.)

I should also add that just because a lot of people think one thing does not make them right. Notice that this cuts both ways for scientists and creationists.

“...since the law is plainly understood to indicate (as does empirical observation) that things tend towards disorder...”

This is incorrect.

Not everything tends to disorder. Crystal growth is a clear example of order formation. So this is an incomplete statement of the Second Law. IN PARTICULAR the form dS >= dq/T does not in itself say that the entropy of a system (dS) cannot decrease. Straightening that double negative sentence out (by multiplying by -1 on both sides!) we have -dS  <= -dq/T, meaning that if heat goes out of a system, its entropy can go down...

“...simplicity, randomness, and disorganization, while the theory insists that precisely the opposite has been taking place since the universe began (assuming it had a beginning).”

The evolutionary theory does not go against the Second Law if the general form of the Second Law is used and not a specific derivation. We will come back to this later. However I think it would be more enlightening to concentrate for a while on a specific experiment that everybody can do.

Have you ever made rock candy? Boil some water and when it is boiling, add sugar and stir it in. Add so much sugar that you can’t get more in. Then let it settle and pour off the top part into a jar (you could also filter it if you want). Suspend a string in the middle of the jar (not touching the sides), and (perhaps) seal the top. Then put the jar in a calm place to cool for a long time. (I’m not sure, but it may take weeks.)

a. What happens to the heat that was in the jar?
b. What happens inside the jar?
c. What happens if you boil the jar and its contents later on?
d. What are the heat flows in each of these steps?
e. How do the heat flows and effects inside the jar relate to the equation dS >= dq/T?

Just to head you off at the pass, you need not object that “sugar” (ha!) is not alive. We’ll deal with that vitalistic viewpoint later (though you might note that vitalism died about a century ago when urea was synthesized.)

If you haven’t made rock candy, now is the time to do it! It’s fun and rather tasty ...

Tom


Response from Timothy Wallace:trueorigin.org

>>  >> I suppose it would be possible to interpret my paragraph, isolated as it is, as implying a misunderstanding that an unisolated system’s entropy cannot decrease. But taken in the context of the balance of the essay, I believe my understanding is adequately clarified, and I do not (to my knowledge) deny the thermodynamic possibility of the entropy decrease you describe. <<  <<

>> So you say that is a “possibility”. The [emphasis] suggest[s] to me that you think it is a low probability, but you are being vague here. <<

Sorry, I don’t mean to be vague: I mean to emphasize that by being a “possibility” it is not also ipso facto an “inevitability,” or “spontaneous,” or a likely “causeless event.” There is a significant difference between the two, and there is no basis for taking for granted that something that is thermodynamically possible is ipso facto highly probable, inevitable, or spontaneous in nature.

>> Do you mean:

1. Such decreases might happen once in a billion years (anywhere in the universe).

2. Such decreases occur once per year on earth.

3. Such decreases occur millions of times per second inside every one of our cells. <<

On what basis do you submit only these three possibilities? What cause do you have for attempting to limit my meaning in such a way?

You are perhaps missing the point: It is not an issue of guessing some random frequency of occurrence over time, as you seem to have intimated with the above arbitrary choices. That the entropy of an unisolated system can decrease (at the expense of its surroundings), is no basis for assuming that it therefore must do so (without cause), nor for assuming that it therefore commonly and/or spontaneously does do so (without cause), or for compelling anyone (me, for example!) to accept or define a specific rate of frequency.

>>  >> Elsewhere, of course, I believe I do indeed make a distinction between the thermodynamic possibility of such an entropy decrease, and the assumption of a spontaneous, sustained decrease as a necessary (but unobserved) corollary to evolutionary theory. <<  <<

>> Unobserved? By whom? <<

Rather than ask me who did not observe such specific spontaneous decreases in entropy as would serve as a necessity—and unequivocal evidence—for the commencement and perpetuation of darwinian evolution as theorized today, it should be easier for you to rebut my position (if that is your intention) by citing exactly who did observe such decreases, and how these observations specifically and unequivocally substantiate the modern darwinian hypothesis. So, rather than answer your question(s) [“Unobserved? By whom?”], I invite you to answer mine:

Observed? By whom?

>>  >> ...with the Second Generalized Law.) I have no reason to believe that the former serves to substantiate (or render probable) the latter, except by defining it as thermodynamically “possible”. <<  <<

>> Again, this is too vague to mean anything. <<

Then perhaps an illustration will help eliminate a measure of the “vagueness” for you. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that you and I lived a few centuries ago, in a world where there were no known motorization mechanisms (i.e., no propulsion machines, internal combustion engines, etc.), and human mobility were no faster than the speed a man could acheive on foot or with the aid of an animal.

Now, in this older world of ours, we might well come to understand the principles of physics well enough to conceptualize high-speed movement, and the airfoil, and declare it “possible” to “defy” the law of gravity and lift massive payloads into the air, transporting them across great distances.

Our calculations might be absolutely flawless (even by modern standards), but lacking the mechanism(s) for achieving the necessary motive velocity, our “possibility” remains merely exactly that—something which “can” happen (in theory), but which does not happen without appropriate motive power.

In the same way, while one may easily calculate the hypothetical entropy changes associated with the changes hypothesized in evolutionary theory, such calculations by themselves do not serve to substantiate evolutionary theory, since the hypothesized entropy changes are not directly affiliated with known, observable, mechanisms or processes which can be said to be unequivocal, compelling evidence for the initiation and perpetuation of the evolution process, whether with regard to heat entropy or informational entropy.

So, to use the terminology of the illustration, the theory of flight is there on paper (looking very “possible”), but no one has thus far produced a likely engine to make it all work (leaving it, for the time being, quite “improbable”).

This is what I meant when I wrote: “I have no reason to believe that the former [i.e., the calculations on paper] serves to substantiate (or render probable) the latter [i.e., the assumption that what has been calculated has actually taken place or does take place], except by defining it as thermodynamically ‘possible’.”

>>  >> Evolutionist theory faces a problem in the second law, <<  <<

>> No biologist, biochemist, physicist or thermodynamicist that I know (and I’ve met hundreds) would agree with this statement... <<

Do you know Dr. Lee Spetner? To my knowledge, he is not a creationist, yet his book Not By Chance! [The Judaica Press, 1996, ISBN 1-880582-24-4] seems to indicate that he would agree with the statement. He is a physicist.

Did you know the late Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith? His books Man’s Origin, Man’s Destiny [Bethany House, 1975, ISBN 0-87123-356-8] and The Natural Sciences Know Nothing of Evolution seem to indicate that he did indeed agree with the statement. He was a biochemist.

Do you know Dr. Royal Truman? His article “The Problem of Information” seems to indicate that he does indeed agree with the statement. He is a biochemist.

(In addition, I am associated with scientists who would agree [and have agreed] with this statement. But I don’t think the issue is how many colleagues either of us can number, and those who would agree with the statement would almost certainly be in the minority.)

Also, I am hard-pressed to believe that the average biologist, biochemist, physicist or thermodynamicist has expended much energy or intellect examining the dynamics of thermodynamics vis-a-vis evolutionary theory in general and the associated implications of information theory in particular.

>> I should also add that just because a lot of people think one thing does not make them right. <<

In this I can agree with you without reservation.

>> Notice that this cuts both ways for scientists and creationists. <<

Whether you wish to accept the fact or not, there are scientists who subscribe to the evolutionary paradigm, and there are scientists who subscribe to the creationary paradigm (I just cited two examples of the latter above, and there are thousands of others). Your description of “scientists” as opposed to “creationists” reveals an apparent tendancy on your part away from objectivity (at best) or towards intellectual bigotry (at worst). If you truly wish to continue this dialogue, I invite you to choose your words more carefully and refrain from such unreasonable and inflammatory swipes.

>>  >> since the law is plainly understood to indicate (as does empirical observation) that things tend towards disorder, <<  <<

>> This is incorrect. Not everything tends to disorder. Crystal growth... <<

I have already answered many citations of “crystal growth” as apparent “explanations” for the alleged thermodyanmic feasibility of evolution. Rather than repeat myself again, please allow me to refer you to:

http://www.trueorigin.org/steiger.asp
http://www.trueorigin.org/isakrbtl.asp
http://www.trueorigin.org/9708.asp
http://www.trueorigin.org/9801.asp

Some content may be repeated among these four documents, but using the “find” function of your browser and reading (or re-reading) the passages in which the word “crystal” is located, I think you will find that the difference between crystal formation and the creation of genetic information is not so easily blurred with an experiment in which rock candy crystals are made.

Kind Regards,
TW
 


Response from Tom Schneider:trueorigin.org

I am now archiving this series...

>> Sorry, I don’t mean to be vague: I mean to emphasize that by being a “possibility” it is not also ipso facto an “inevitability,” or “spontaneous,” or a likely “causeless event.” There is a significant difference between the two, and there is no basis for taking for granted that something that is thermodynamically possible is ipso facto highly probable, inevitable, or spontaneous in nature. <<

I’m interpreting your statements to mean that you think that entropy decreases don’t occur often. (We’ll deal with relevancy later.)

[NOTE that this is the second of no fewer than three times Mr. Schneider falsely accuses me of not understanding that the entropy in unisolated systems can and does decrease in nature, at the expense of its surrounding environment—a simple and common thermodynamic phenomenon. —TW ]

>>  >> Do you mean:

1. Such decreases might happen once in a billion years (anywhere in the universe).

2. Such decreases occur once per year on earth.

3. Such decreases occur millions of times per second inside every one of our cells. <<  <<

>> On what basis do you submit only these three possibilities? What cause do you have for attempting to limit my meaning in such a way? <<

There are plenty of other possibilities of course. I chose a huge range of cases for you to chose from. You may fill in as many intermediates as you chose, but probably 3 is enough for this discussion. By making concrete examples, we won’t get stuck on vague terminiolgy. In particular I’m interested if you think that case 3 is true or false.

>> You are perhaps missing the point: It is not an issue of guessing some random frequency of occurrence over time, as you seem to have intimated with the above arbitrary choices. That the entropy of an unisolated system can decrease (at the expense of its surroundings), is no basis for assuming that it therefore must do so (without cause), nor for assuming that it therefore commonly and/or spontaneously does do so (without cause), or for compelling anyone (me, for example!) to accept or define a specific rate of frequency. <<

I get the feeling that you are thinking about the case where, for example, there is a small probability that all the air in a room will go into one corner, or that after a bottle of perfume has been opened that the odor will go back into the bottle. The probability of such events is very small. But it can occur and will occur if one waited long enough. But long is case 1 above, billions of years.

[NOTE that no scientific or statistical support has been advanced for the above claim made by Mr. Schneider—like much of the evolutionary dogma Mr. Schneider espouses in this exchange, it is merely hopeful conjecture. —TW ]

That’s not what I was thinking about. I’m asking whether you think that there are or are not regular occurances of entropy decrease. The scale I made up makes “regular” something precise that we can agree, test and think about.

>>  >> Unobserved? By whom? <<  <<

>> Rather than ask me who did not observe such specific spontaneous decreases in entropy as would serve as a necessity—and unequivocal evidence—for the commencement and perpetuation of darwinian evolution as theorized today, it should be easier for you to rebut my position (if that is your intention) by citing exactly who did observe such decreases, and how these observations specifically and unequivocally substantiate the modern darwinian hypothesis. So, rather than answer your question(s) [“Unobserved? By whom?”], I invite you to answer mine:

Observed? By whom? <<

Well it was a silly way to ask the question, but my point is that you were implying that nobody has ever observed entropy decreases. The answer is that everybody has observed it, as will be clear as we proceed with the question of crystals. (Again, we will deal with relevancy later.)

>> In the same way, while one may easily calculate the hypothetical entropy changes associated with the changes hypothesized in evolutionary theory, such calculations by themselves do not serve to substantiate evolutionary theory, since the hypothesized entropy changes are not directly affiliated with known, observable, mechanisms or processes which can be said to be unequivocal, compelling evidence for the initiation and perpetuation of the evolution process, whether with regard to heat entropy or informational entropy. <<

So does this mean that one should not rely on calculations of the orbit of a satellite? Or whether a building will stand or an airplane will fly? Such predictive calculations are used successfully all the time. We only hear about the rare cases where someone goofed.

Also, the changes required for evolution to occur are associated with known observable mechanisms, in particular base substitutions, effects of radiation, transposons, illegitimate recombination and so on. The study of mechanisms for generating sequence variation is a huge field.

Finally, selective events occur all the time. (I’m thinking about the finches on Galapagos that had beak size changes, but there are lots of cases in molecular biology.)

So variation and selection are well known, and practiced in the lab all the time. (I’ve selected mutants that could not make thymine, for example. The fact that I did it does not mean it didn’t happen or that the same mechanism doesn’t work in nature, we’ve seen that too.)

>> So, to use the terminology of the illustration, the theory of flight is there on paper (looking very “possible”), but no one has thus far produced a likely engine to make it all work (leaving it, for the time being, quite “improbable”). <<

Have you heard of in vitro selections such as SELEX? Have you heard of genetic algorithms? They work very nicely even from completely scrambled starting points!

>> This is what I meant when I wrote: “I have no reason to believe that the former [i.e., the calculations on paper] serves to substantiate (or render probable) the latter [i.e., the assumption that what has been calculated has actually taken place or does take place], except by defining it as thermodynamically ‘possible’.” <<

How much math do you know? Do you know any calculus?

>> Do you know [Dr. Lee Spetner?... Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith?]... <<

I’ve heard of these people.

>> Do you know Dr. Royal Truman? His article “The Problem of Information” seems to indicate that he does indeed agree with the statement. He is a biochemist. <<

Yes, I’m familiar with “The Problem of Information” It has lots of flaws, but you might like to know that he is basically right, his question has not been properly answered.

>>  >> Notice that this cuts both ways for scientists and creationists. <<  <<

>> Whether you wish to accept the fact or not, there are scientists who subscribe to the evolutionary paradigm, and there are scientists who subscribe to the creationary paradigm (I just cited two examples of the latter above, and there are thousands of others). Your description of “scientists” as opposed to “creationists” reveals an apparent tendancy on your part away from objectivity (at best) or towards intellectual bigotry (at worst). If you truly wish to continue this dialogue, I invite you to choose your words more carefully and refrain from such unreasonable and inflammatory swipes. <<

I see. I suppose that I don’t consider people who subscribe to creationism to be doing what I call science. When arguing for creationism, they are not scientists, though they may call themselves that. This is not an attack.

In particular, I have yet to learn a single new fact about the world from a creationist’s experiments. In contrast, I learn new facts about the world from papers by scientists all the time. When I’ve had a chance, I have verified them from myself. (An example from a while ago: I measured the size of E. coli bacteria, and it came out as people had said, about 1 um by 1 um by 2 um.) (I can, of course, learn facts that I didn’t know before that a creationist relays to me from a regular scientist.)

I’m a scientist. What are you?

>>  >> Not everything tends to disorder. Crystal growth... <<  <<

>> I have already answered many citations of “crystal growth” as apparent “explanations” for the alleged thermodyanmic feasibility of evolution. Rather than repeat myself again, please allow me to refer you to:

http://www.trueorigin.org/steiger.asp
http://www.trueorigin.org/isakrbtl.asp
http://www.trueorigin.org/9708.asp
http://www.trueorigin.org/9801.asp <<

I thought we were going to stay focused on your paragraph. I’ve looked at those pages and they do not answer my questions. (They are full of errors we could get caught up unearthing, so let’s stick to your paragraph.)

>> Some content may be repeated among these four documents, but using the “find” function of your browser and reading (or re-reading) the passages in which the word “crystal” is located, I think you will find that the difference between crystal formation and the creation of genetic information is not so easily blurred with an experiment in which rock candy crystals are made. <<

One step at a time, can we agree on that?

The first question is

a. What happens to the heat that was in the jar?

Tom


Response from Timothy Wallace:trueorigin.org

>> I am now archiving this series... <<

Good. I trust that this post will be included, for I regret that I have neither the time, nor the interest, for rabbit trails and red herring. Let’s cut to the chase...

You began by assuming that I did “not understand that the entropy of an unisolated system can decrease, at the expense of the rest of the universe,” and asked whether I was “intentionally ignoring” the fact.

I asked you to cite the specific passage(s) from my text which seemed to indicate your assumption to be true. Notwithstanding your failure to cite such a passage in which such a lack of understanding were unambiguously evident, I have explicitly indicated to you, in any case, that I do indeed understand that the entropy of an unisolated system can decrease, at the expense of the rest of the universe.

In short, your question has been answered.

Since, in spite of this, you seem bent on attempting to leverage that principle into substantiation for evolution (and your message length is now exhibiting a pattern of increasing by roughly 50% per post), let’s just distill this down to a couple of questions:

1) Evolution calls for the development of life itself and subsequent life forms from a purely natural process. Life does not function without the strictly controlled conversion of raw solar energy into useable energy. What are the specific, empirically evident original mechanism/process and pathway of specific, empirically evident mechanisms/processes that led from zero such conversion capability in raw matter to the multiple and varied mechanisms and processes that are inherent in every living organism as we know them?

[I have yet to receive an answer to this question that wasn’t either pure conjecture and/or a denial that something more than raw solar energy was needed for life to spontaneously emerge from non-life. (2LOT certainly “allows” for the needed entropy changes, but those specific, empirically evident mechanisms/processes don’t just “happen” by themselves, and without them, there’s no entropy change for 2LOT to “allow”.)]

2) Evolution calls for the development of ever more volume and ever greater variety and complexity of data in the genetic code of living organisms as they allegedly first emerged, then progressed from, simplest forms to the present broad spectrum of variety. What specific, empirically evident original mechanism/process and pathway of specific, empirically evident mechanisms/processes have led from zero genetic data in raw matter to the vast array of voluminous genetic data inherent in living organisms as we know them?

[I have yet to receive an answer to this question that—again—wasn’t either pure conjecture and/or an attempt to confuse the difference between heat entropy (as indicated in 2LOT) and general or informational entropy (as indicated in G2L). (Again, G2L certainly “allows” for the needed entropy changes, but those specific, empirically evident mechanisms/processes don’t just “happen” by themselves, and without them, there’s no entropy change for G2L to “allow”.)]

If definitive, compelling answers cannot be provided to these two questions—and to my knowledge they have not—then 2LOT (one of the most solid scientific principles known to man) is no friend to evolutionary theory, for although it may be (mis)used as “evidence” that the above hypothesized entropy changes are “possible,” the math by itself is useless without unambiguous corroborating observations.

Repeated with great frequency are the standard oversimplifications about solar energy being adequate by itself and the alleged statistical “inevitability” of the statistically impossible (given “enough time”), but only a few of science’s more objective leading figures even come close to honestly acknowledging the problem. (And that it isn’t largely acknowledged is by no means ipso facto evidence that the problem doesn’t exist.)

Kind Regards,
TW
 


Response from Tom Schneider:trueorigin.org

While I agree about getting to the point, you have ignored all of my questions in [my previous] post. I would still like to know your answers to them.

If you sincerely would like a precise and complete answers to your questions, then please bear with me and step through the ideas with me. This is subtle stuff.

>> You began by assuming that I did “not understand that the entropy of an unisolated system can decrease, at the expense of the rest of the universe,” and asked whether I was “intentionally ignoring” the fact.

I asked you to cite the specific passage(s) from my text which seemed to indicate your assumption to be true. Notwithstanding your failure to cite such a passage in which such a lack of understanding were unambiguously evident, I have explicitly indicated to you, in any case, that I do indeed understand that the entropy of an unisolated system can decrease, at the expense of the rest of the universe.

In short, your question has been answered. <<

Here is the passage from http://www.trueorigin.org/steiger.asp:

“Evolutionist theory faces a problem in the second law, since the law is plainly understood to indicate (as does empirical observation) that things tend towards disorder, simplicity, randomness, and disorganization, while the theory insists that precisely the opposite has been taking place since the universe began (assuming it had a beginning).”

If you now agree that the Second Law of Thermodynamics allows for (local) decreases in entropy, then it poses no problem for evolutionary theory. In that case, this statement is not valid and can be removed from your web page (or better, kept there but retracted by inserting a statement that you have changed your mind). On the other hand maybe you mean some other problem, in which case please explain yourself.

To keep everybody honest, may I have permission to place a copy of the current version http://www.trueorigin.org/steiger.asp on my web site (with perhaps minor modification to remove or correct broken links) without change to the text? I will indicate date and source (URL) at the top.

Please give me a reference in the scientific literature to the “generalized second law”. On the web it seems to appear only in creationist literature, and it is not well defined.

I can precisely answer your second question about origin of information from raw random sequence, and will do so after my paper on the topic has been accepted in a scientific journal. So we may have to wait a while on this, but I am not evading you on the question. (In the meantime the answer is, of course, gene duplication, divergence and selection, all of which are “empirically evident mechanisms/processes”. Check out the fantastic genomic comparisons done by tigr!)

So you want to know precise empirically verified molecular mechanisms? To make sure that we understand each other precisely, let’s get some simple, experimentally verifiable cases of entropy decrease out of the way and then proceed to some more difficult but still verifable molecular cases. (I can even tell you where to order the stuff to do the experiments if you want! I think you might find it fun.)

Boil some water, and add a lot of sugar to it, until the sugar won’t disolve any more. Pour it into a jar. Set the jar aside. What happens to the heat in the jar?

Tom

 


Response from Timothy Wallace:trueorigin.org

>> To keep everybody honest, may I have permission to place a copy of the current version http://www.trueorigin.org/steiger.asp on my web site (with perhaps minor modification to remove or correct broken links) without change to the text?... <<

Notwithstanding your noble ambition to “keep everybody honest”, I do not give permission to re-publish any material from the TrueOrigin site. My own essays have been subject to revision (as openly indicated in the feedback section) since the beginning, and have been revised multiple times (including the 2LOT portions), thanks to readers’ corrections and suggestions. This has consistently had far less to do with any question of “keeping honest” than with an aim to communicate with the greatest possible accuracy and clarity.

>> Please give me a reference in the scientific literature to the “generalized second law”. On the web it seems to appear only in creationist literature, and it is not well defined. <<

I am not in a position to provide you with references to the generalized second law in the scientific literature. In contrast to your “only creationist literature” search results, however, an AltaVista search for “generalized second law” yielded 16 out of 22 URLs (over 70%) that were not creation-related, while an identical InfoSeek search yielded 12 out of 13 URLs (over 90%) that were not creation-related.

>> I can precisely answer your second question about origin of information from raw random sequence, and will do so after my paper on the topic has been accepted in a scientific journal. So we may have to wait a while... <<

Seeing your paper will obviously have to wait, though it sounds interesting. In the meantime, while there is no question that gene duplication, divergence, and selection are all empirically evident mechanisms/processes, this does absolutely nothing to answer the second question, which requires mechanisms/processes from zero genetic data in raw matter to the present vast array of genetic data. (Starting with “gene duplication” begs the question by assuming that genes already exist.)

And now, to repeat [the unanswered, but critical elements of] my last post:

You began by assuming that I did “not understand that the entropy of an unisolated system can decrease, at the expense of the rest of the universe,” and asked whether I was “intentionally ignoring” the fact.

I asked you to cite the specific passage(s) from my text which seemed to indicate your assumption to be true. Notwithstanding your failure to cite such a passage in which such a lack of understanding were unambiguously evident, I have explicitly indicated to you, in any case, that I do indeed understand that the entropy of an unisolated system can decrease, at the expense of the rest of the universe.

In short, your question has been answered.

Since, in spite of this, you seem bent on attempting to leverage that principle into substantiation for evolution (and your message length is now exhibiting a pattern of increasing by roughly 50% per post), let’s just distill this down to a couple of questions:

1) Evolution calls for the development of life itself and subsequent life forms from a purely natural process. Life does not function without the strictly controlled conversion of raw solar energy into useable energy. What are the specific, empirically evident original mechanism/process and pathway of specific, empirically evident mechanisms/processes that led from zero such conversion capability in raw matter to the multiple and varied mechanisms and processes that are inherent in every living organism as we know them?

[I have yet to receive an answer to this question that wasn’t either pure conjecture and/or a denial that something more than raw solar energy was needed for life to spontaneously emerge from non-life. (2LOT certainly “allows” for the needed entropy changes, but those specific, empirically evident mechanisms/processes don’t just “happen” by themselves, and without them, there’s no entropy change for 2LOT to “allow”.)]

2) Evolution calls for the development of ever more volume and ever greater variety and complexity of data in the genetic code of living organisms as they allegedly first emerged, then progressed from, simplest forms to the present broad spectrum of variety. What specific, empirically evident original mechanism/process and pathway of specific, empirically evident mechanisms/processes have led from zero genetic data in raw matter to the vast array of voluminous genetic data inherent in living organisms as we know them?

[I have yet to receive an answer to this question that—again—wasn’t either pure conjecture and/or an attempt to confuse the difference between heat entropy (as indicated in 2LOT) and general or informational entropy (as indicated in G2L). (Again, G2L certainly “allows” for the needed entropy changes, but those specific, empirically evident mechanisms/processes don’t just “happen” by themselves, and without them, there’s no entropy change for G2L to “allow”.)]

If definitive, compelling answers cannot be provided to these two questions—and to my knowledge they have not—then 2LOT (one of the most solid scientific principles known to man) is no friend to evolutionary theory, for although it may be (mis)used as “evidence” that the above hypothesized entropy changes are “possible,” the math by itself is useless without unambiguous corroborating observations.

Repeated with great frequency are the standard oversimplifications about solar energy being adequate by itself and the alleged statistical “inevitability” of the statistically impossible (given “enough time”), but only a few of science’s more objective leading figures even come close to honestly acknowledging the problem. (And that it isn’t largely acknowledged is by no means ipso facto evidence that the problem doesn’t exist.)

Kind Regards, TW
 


Response from Tom Schneider:trueorigin.org

>> I am not in a position to provide you with references to the generalized second law in the scientific literature. <<

Thanks for the pointer though. I found the 16 you mention are at altivista (“generalized second law”) and see that the physicists are apparently talking about a generalized second law for the physics of black holes:

MINNOWBROOK SYMPOSIUM ON THE STRUCTURE OF SPACE-TIME MAY 28 - 31, 1999
http://www.phy.syr.edu/research/he_theory/minnowbrook/index.html
http://www.phy.syr.edu/research/he_theory/minnowbrook/wald.html
Bekenstein, J.D. (1974) ‘Generalized Second Law of Thermodynamics in Black-Hole Physics’, Physical Review D9(12): 3292-3300.

It related to the entropy of a black hole being one quarter of its surface. This condition is extreme compared to conditions for living organisms and so does not appear to be relevant to discussions of evolution without a strong, cogent supporting argument.

>> ... while there is no question that gene duplication, divergence, and selection are all empirically evident mechanisms/processes, this does absolutely nothing to answer the second question, which requires mechanisms/processes from zero genetic data in raw matter to the present vast array of genetic data. (Starting with “gene duplication” begs the question by assuming that genes already exist.)  <<

Right. The question of the origin of life is separate from the question of increase of information once there were genes. But this is off topic.

I’m puzzled by what you mean in the passage from http://www.trueorigin.org/steiger.asp:

“Evolutionist theory faces a problem in the second law, since the law is plainly understood to indicate (as does empirical observation) that things tend towards disorder, simplicity, randomness, and disorganization, while the theory insists that precisely the opposite has been taking place since the universe began (assuming it had a beginning).”

Given that we are not talking about the origin of life (where natural selection and evolution might not apply) and that you agree there can be a decrease of an unisolated system (though you have yet to put the sentence together I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt for the moment), what is the problem mentioned in this paragraph?

Tom


Response from Timothy Wallace:trueorigin.org

>> Thanks for the pointer though. I found the 16 you mention are at altivista (“generalized second law”) and see that the physicists are apparently talking about a generalized second law for the physics of black holes... ...and so does not appear to be relevant to discussions of evolution without a strong, cogent supporting argument. <<

I am perplexed at how difficult it sometimes seems for intelligent, educated men—scientists, no less—to research a matter with which they, by the very nature of their training and field of expertise, might reasonably be expected to have at least some familiarity. Your comments imply that you are willing to recognize only that the generalized second law applies to black hole physics, and nothing else, since this as all you’ve seen with your own eyes (having ostensibly never heard of the generalized second law before[?])...

At:
http://www.geocities.com/~combusem/CHEHIST.HTM
and
http://www.weburbia.com/pg/hist2.htm
Rudolf Clausius is credited with formalizing(?) the generalised second law of thermodynamics (1850). Unless black holes were being studied or postulated at that time, there would seem to be a hint from this date that the generalised second law would likely be applicable to more than just the physics of black holes.

At:
http://cc.uab.es/~iftg1/paper/90.htm
The following is cited:
The generalised second law and extended thermodynamics D. Pavˇn, Class. Quantum Grav., 7 (1990) 487-491
(I do not know whether, or to what extent, this paper discusses black holes.)

At:
http://rainbow.uchicago.edu/physics/t_rel.html
The following is cited:
Acceleration Radiation and the Generalized Second Law of Thermodynamics. R. M. Wald and W.G. Unruh. Phys. Rev. D 25, 942, 1982.
(I do not know whether, or to what extent, this paper discusses black holes.)

At:
http://ecen.com/eee9/ecoterme.htm
The following statement is found:
“All real energetic processes generate entropy. If this thermodynamic concept is applied by analogy to economic processes, an analog of entropy is generated. Let us remember that even social phenomena have associated physical fluxes. In all biological and social processes some organization is lost, and that is equivalent to generation of entropy, according to a Generalized Second Law of Thermodynamics. It is an extrapolation, of course, but it seems to work: all evidence is in favor of its existence, and there are no contradictions so far, even if it was necessary to invent a negative entropy for living beings (Schr÷dinger, Brillouin).”
(The article does not mention black holes.)

See also:
http://www.math.toronto.edu/~pivato/latex/dis/dis.html
(Section 3.2.3 “A Generalised Second Law of Thermodynamics” [and following] does not seem to address black holes.)

The above citations, at the very least might help make it plain that the generalized second law relates to more than black holes, and that it relates the second law’s principle of entropy to a wide variety of applications (besides just heat entropy, as commonly associated with the second law in its classic form).

>> ...The question of the origin of life is separate from the question of increase of information once there were genes... <<

So some say. Nevertheless, empirically sound, scientifically plausible answers to both questions (i.e., from the perspective of naturalistic philosophy) remain elusive, notwithstanding the often repeated, but unsubstantiated, claims that natural processes alone can and/or do provide such answers.

>> I’m puzzled by what you mean in the passage from http://www.trueorigin.org/steiger.asp:

“Evolutionist theory faces a problem in the second law, since the law is plainly understood to indicate (as does empirical observation) that things tend towards disorder, simplicity, randomness, and disorganization, while the theory insists that precisely the opposite has been taking place since the universe began (assuming it had a beginning).”

Given that ... you agree there can be a decrease of an unisolated system (though you have yet to put the sentence together I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt for the moment), what is the problem mentioned in this paragraph? <<

The problem is that (speaking strictly from a biological standpoint), although evolution is claimed to be the explanation for such a decrease (both with respect to reduced heat entropy and information entropy), there exists no empirically supported evidence to substantiate such a claim:

1) The fact that living organisms are able to convert and store energy and put it to work in specific, orderly ways is not ipso facto evidence for evolution: it is merely proof that living organisms are able to convert and store energy and put it to work in specific, orderly ways. Evolution deserves no credit for this in the absence of unambiguous compelling evidence that (and how) these processes got the way they are through purely natural means.

2) The fact that living organisms grow and function in specific, orderly ways, in accordance with highly complex and voluminous instructions inherent in their genetic information is not ipso facto evidence for evolution: it is merely proof that living organisms grow and function in specific, orderly ways, in accordance with highly complex and voluminous instructions inherent in their genetic information. Evolution deserves no credit for this in the absence of unambiguous compelling evidence that (and how) this information became so highly complex and voluminous through purely natural means.

Kind Regards, TW
 


Response from Tom Schneider:trueorigin.org

>> I am perplexed at how difficult it sometimes seems for intelligent, educated men—scientists, no less—to research a matter with which they, by the very nature of their training and field of expertise, might reasonably be expected to have at least some familiarity. <<

Hm. I’m getting the impression that this is your policy:

when in doubt
insult the lout

>> Your comments imply that you are willing to recognize only that the generalized second law applies to black hole physics, and nothing else, since this as all you’ve seen with your own eyes (having ostensibly never heard of the generalized second law before[?])... <<

I work in a huge variety of fields and so am always learning. I am not so rigid as you imply. Until I see a reliable source for something you state I will have doubts about it. This is because so many things on your web site are clearly made up or incorrect. So you are starting from a bad position for me and have to prove yourself to be a careful researcher. So far the business about the correcting the word does not indicate care, but people can and do make mistakes. The question is whether they will correct the mistake and go on with their lives or whether they keep sticking in the mistake.

>> At:
http://www.geocities.com/~combusem/CHEHIST.HTM
and
http://www.weburbia.com/pg/hist2.htm
Rudolf Clausius is credited with formalizing(?) the generalised second law of thermodynamics (1850). Unless black holes were being studied or postulated at that time, there would seem to be a hint from this date that the generalised second law would likely be applicable to more than just the physics of black holes. <<

The relevant entire content of these sites on this issue is:
“1850: Rudolf Clausius generalised second law of thermodynamics.”

The Clausius form is dS>= dq/T, which you object to when written as -ds  <= -dq/T!...

[NOTE that this is the third of no fewer than three times Mr. Schneider falsely accuses me of not understanding that the entropy in unisolated systems can and does decrease in nature, at the expense of its surrounding environment—a simple and common thermodynamic phenomenon. —TW ]

...Most people today realize that there are many forms of the Second Law... So it is usually just called the Second Law. The phrase above probably means that Clausius generalized the law on that date. Now-a-days we don’t think of it as any different than the law itself (it just sounds fancier and more obscure).

The physics pointers are to quantum gravity. I doubt that these are directly relevant to living things. The economics pointer is also probably not directly relevant.

>> See also:
http://www.math.toronto.edu/~pivato/latex/dis/dis.html
(Section 3.2.3 “A Generalised Second Law of Thermodynamics” [and following] does not seem to address black holes.) <<

This is one person’s generalization, though I’m not sure it is necessary.

>> The above citations, at the very least might help make it plain that the generalized second law relates to more than black holes, and that it relates the second law’s principle of entropy to a wide variety of applications (besides just heat entropy, as commonly associated with the second law in its classic form). <<

The citations make it clear that there are probably several different definitions, most of which are not relevant.

>> The problem is that (speaking strictly from a biological standpoint), although evolution is claimed to be the explanation for such a decrease (both with respect to reduced heat entropy and information entropy), there exists no empirically supported evidence to substantiate such a claim:

1) The fact that living organisms are able to convert and store energy and put it to work in specific, orderly ways is not ipso facto evidence for evolution: it is merely proof that living organisms are able to convert and store energy and put it to work in specific, orderly ways. Evolution deserves no credit for this in the absence of unambiguous compelling evidence that (and how) these processes got the way they are through purely natural means.

2) The fact that living organisms grow and function in specific, orderly ways, in accordance with highly complex and voluminous instructions inherent in their genetic information is not ipso facto evidence for evolution: it is merely proof that living organisms grow and function in specific, orderly ways, in accordance with highly complex and voluminous instructions inherent in their genetic information. Evolution deserves no credit for this in the absence of unambiguous compelling evidence that (and how) this information became so highly complex and voluminous through purely natural means. <<

Evolution is the result of replication, genetic variation and selection in a population of organisms. So evolution (as the end product) is not the explanation of the decrease you are worried about. However, selection does the trick. There are plenty of examples of this, including breeding of animals and plants and selections in the lab of biological systems. Read Origin of Species to see the huge amount of evidence even 1.5 centuries ago. We’ve come quite a way since then.

So “evolution” does not have a problem with the Second Law. You apparently have a problem seeing how the Second Law fits quite nicely with evolutionary processes.

Tom


Response from Timothy Wallace:trueorigin.org

>>  >> I am perplexed at how difficult it sometimes seems for intelligent, educated men—scientists, no less—to research a matter with which they, by the very nature of their training and field of expertise, might reasonably be expected to have at least some familiarity. <<  <<

>> Hm. I’m getting the impression that this is your policy:

when in doubt
insult the lout <<

Likewise, yours seems to be:

criticism?
cry, ‘ad hominem!’

My observation of your apparent ‘ignorance’ concerning the scope of applicability associated with the Second Law was not meant as an insult. I actually still find it hard to believe that such an ‘ignorance’ on your part really exists, and wonder whether it is not feigned, for purposes thus far unknown to me. In any case, though no insult was intended, if any be taken, I offer my apologies.

>> I work in a huge variety of fields and so am always learning. I am not so rigid as you imply... <<

It is your own treatment of the generalized second law (heretofore implicitly limiting its application to ‘black hole’ physics) that has implied such rigidity on your part; my role has simply been to observe the phenomenon.

>> The relevant entire content of these sites on this issue is: “1850: Rudolf Clausius generalised second law of thermodynamics.”> The Clausius form is dS>= dq/T, which you object to when written as -ds  <= -dq/T! <<

On exactly what specific basis do you claim that I “object” to the form written above?

>> The physics pointers are to quantum gravity. I doubt that these are directly relevant to living things. The economics pointer is also probably not directly relevant. <<

They were cited to demonstrate that G2L was apparently applicable to more than just ‘black hole’ physics (contrary to what was implied in your comments).

>> This is one person’s generalization, though I’m not sure it is necessary. <<

It was cited to demonstrate that G2L was apparently applicable to more than just ‘black hole’ physics (contrary to what was implied in your comments).

>> The citations make it clear that there are probably several different definitions, most of which are not relevant. <<

They were cited to demonstrate that G2L was apparently applicable to more than just ‘black hole’ physics (contrary to what was implied in your comments).

>> Evolution is the result of replication, genetic variation and selection in a population of organisms... <<

You’ve just described ‘MICRO-evolution’, which is essentially the same thing as genetic variation itself. In effect you’ve presented a tautology by saying genetic variation is the result of genetic variation (or [micro-]evolution is the result of [micro-]evolution). Talking in circles like this does nothing to explain the alleged ‘evolution’ of NEW genetic data, specifying NEW physiological traits or organs, or the emergence of NEW and varied biological energy conversion, transport, and storage mechanisms. A passing reference to ‘(micro-)evolution’ simply does not explain these things.

>> ...So evolution (as the end product) is not the explanation of the decrease you are worried about... <<

Exactly (but I’m not particularly worried, thank you :-).

>> However, selection does the trick... <<

No, it does not. Selection is only able to select from what is already present in the genetic potential of the subject population. Selection has not been shown empirically to generate unequivocally new or more complex genetic information or unequivocally new physiological traits or organs. It merely selects from the genetic potential for variation already inherent in the population’s combined genetic potential (the ‘gene pool’).

It is a logical fallacy (i.e., begging the question) to assume that the ‘gene pool’ already contains unequivocally new or more complex genetic information or unequivocally new physiological traits or organs, when the genetic potential can more easily be (and has been empirically shown to be) comprised of a combination of already existing traits (some dominant, some recessive) in the subject population’s ‘gene pool’—traits which are subsequently manifested in succeeding generations (sometimes dominant, sometimes recessive) according to the indications of the genetic code as the population reproduces.

>> There are plenty of examples of this, including breeding of animals and plants and selections in the lab of biological systems. <<

These, again, are examples of genetic variation (animal and plant breeding is selection for specific, already existing traits or combinations of already existing traits, and laboratory selection of biological systems likewise selects that which already exists). They must not be confused with the allegation made by evolution proponents that natural processes can account for new and more complex genetic data, new and more complex organs and traits, and new and more complex energy conversion, transport, and storage mechanisms. Genetic variation (or [micro-]evolution) has not been shown empirically to be capable of generating these things.

>> Read Origin of Species to see the huge amount of evidence even 1.5 centuries ago. We’ve come quite a way since then. <<

While I agree that the text contains numerous examples of natural selection (in combination with genetic variation), which well prior to 1859 had been observed and documented by others, I invite you to cite a single example from Origin of Species that serves as unequivocal, compelling evidence that known natural processes can account for the generation of new and more complex genetic data, new and more complex organs and traits, and new and more complex energy conversion, transport, and storage mechanisms.

>> So “evolution” does not have a problem with the Second Law. <<

It has not been empirically and unequivocally demonstrated that known natural processes can account for the generation of new and more complex genetic data, new and more complex organs and traits, and new and more complex energy conversion, transport, and storage mechanisms. Specific natural processes to which can be attributed the entropy decreases necessarily associated with the generation of these things have similarly not been empirically and unequivocally demonstrated.

This being the case, yes, evolution does have a problem with the Second Law—not in the popularly misunderstood sense that entropy decreases are impossible, or even less than commonplace, but in the sense that a technical possibility is not ipso facto proof (or even evidence) that the specific alleged entropy decreases cited above, and their associated alleged natural mechanisms and processes, are therefore given as scientifically probable or even possible.

>> You apparently have a problem seeing how the Second Law fits quite nicely with evolutionary processes. <<

Yes, I do(!). You, on the other hand, seem to have a problem differentiating between (micro-)evolution (i.e., natural selection in combination with genetic variation—an empirically observed and understood phenomenon) and (macro)evolution (i.e., an empirically unsubstantiated extrapolation of (micro-)evolution). You also seem to have a problem differentiating between a general, calculable change in entropy and a real-world, empirical demonstration of a specific process and its inherent mechanism(s) for effecting such a change in entropy—that specific process being (in this case) the generation of new and more complex genetic data, new and more complex organs and traits, and new and more complex energy conversion, transport, and storage mechanisms.

Kind Regards,
TW
 


Response from Tom Schneider:trueorigin.org

>>  >> The Clausius form is dS>= dq/T, which you object to when written as -ds  <=-dq/T! <<  <<

>> On exactly what specific basis do you claim that I “object” to the form written above? <<

It was the paragraph correction. Besides, you have been remarkably careful to ask questions rather than make solid statements.

Ok, we’ve beaten “G2L” into the ground. Looks to me like it’s just another form or various specializations of the Second Law. Renaming it is not going to change it.

>>  >> Evolution is the result of replication, genetic variation and selection in a population of organisms... <<  <<

>> You’ve just described ‘MICRO-evolution’, which is essentially the same thing as genetic variation itself. <<

Well, lots of people say that molecular clocks are “evolution” but I just think of that as drift. Sometimes it might get somewhere interesting, but most of the time it probably doesn’t. That is, all of the cytochrome C’s are doing the same thing and the variations don’t have much effect.

Further, there is no precise distinction between micro and macro evolution. But I think that there is a big difference between variation (which includes dead variants or ones that don’t reproduce) and small steps of evolution (micro).

What prevents micro evolution from being macro evolution over the course of 3 million years?

>> In effect you’ve presented a tautology by saying genetic variation is the result of genetic variation (or [micro-]evolution is the result of [micro-]evolution). Talking in circles like this does nothing to explain the alleged ‘evolution’ of NEW genetic data, specifying NEW physiological traits or organs, or the emergence of NEW and varied biological energy conversion, transport, and storage mechanisms. A passing reference to ‘(micro-)evolution’ simply does not explain these things. <<

Sure, by your definition of micro-evolution. But when does when does micro end and macro start?

>>  >> However, selection does the trick... <<  <<

>> No, it does not. Selection is only able to select from what is already present in the genetic potential of the subject population. Selection has not been shown empirically to generate unequivocally new or more complex genetic information or unequivocally new physiological traits or organs. It merely selects from the genetic potential for variation already inherent in the population’s combined genetic potential (the ‘gene pool’). <<

No, selection also plays on the mutations, which keep increasing the variation.

There is no such thing as “genetic potential”, just as there is no limit to the number of sentences.

It is also wrong to think that selection can’t produce unequivocally new functions, as that has been demonstrated many times by things like SELELX.

>> It is a logical fallacy (i.e., begging the question) to assume that the ‘gene pool’ already contains unequivocally new or more complex genetic information or unequivocally new physiological traits or organs, when the genetic potential can more easily be (and has been empirically shown to be) comprised of a combination of already existing traits (some dominant, some recessive) in the subject population’s ‘gene pool’—traits which are subsequently manifested in succeeding generations (sometimes dominant, sometimes recessive) according to the indications of the genetic code as the population reproduces. <<

The pool doesn’t contain the new or “more complex” information at first. It appears in variants. The DNA polymerase makes mistakes when it copies and there are lots of rearrangements by transposons. Mendel isn’t everything.

>>  >> There are plenty of examples of this, including breeding of animals and plants and selections in the lab of biological systems. <<  <<

>> These, again, are examples of genetic variation (animal and plant breeding is selection for specific, already existing traits or combinations of already existing traits, and laboratory selection of biological systems likewise selects that which already exists). <<

No, when people do chemostat experiments on bacteria (to pick an example) the first thing that one should do is streak out the bacteria twice to get a pure genetic strain. Then this is frozen down as a record of the start point. All further variation comes from that one strain. So in any decent experiment (ie, publishable) there is NO variation initially.

>> They must not be confused with the allegation made by evolution proponents... <<

People who look at the data recognize that it is the simplest explanation available for a vast amount of data.

>> ...that natural processes can account for new and more complex genetic data, new and more complex organs and traits, and new and more complex energy conversion, transport, and storage mechanisms. Genetic variation (or [micro-]evolution) has not been shown empirically to be capable of generating these things. <<

See above about SELEX.

>>  >> So “evolution” does not have a problem with the Second Law. <<  <<

>> It has not been empirically and unequivocally demonstrated that known natural processes can account for the generation of new and more complex genetic data, new and more complex organs and traits, and new and more complex energy conversion, transport, and storage mechanisms. Specific natural processes to which can be attributed the entropy decreases necessarily associated with the generation of these things have similarly not been empirically and unequivocally demonstrated. <<

That’s very different from having a problem with the Second Law!!

>> This being the case, yes, evolution DOES have a problem with the Second Law—not in the popularly misunderstood sense that entropy decreases are impossible, or even commonplace, but in the sense that a technical possibility is not ipso facto proof (or even evidence) that the specific alleged entropy decreases cited above, and their associated alleged natural mechanisms and processes, are therefore given as scientifically probable or even possible. <<

You vaguely imply that SELEX doesn’t work!

>>  >> You apparently have a problem seeing how the Second Law fits quite nicely with evolutionary processes. <<  <<

>> Yes, I do(!). You, on the other hand, seem to have a problem differentiating between (micro-)evolution (i.e., natural selection in combination with genetic variation—an empirically observed and understood phenomenon) and (macro)evolution (i.e., an empirically unsubstantiated extrapolation of (micro-)evolution). <<

Yes, it is not at all clear to me where one ends and the other begins. Many tiny changes over millions of years could mold the organism enormously. This is often, granted, an extrapolation. In some cases (horses) it is a ‘connect the dots’. There isn’t a better explanation around.

>> You also seem to have a problem differentiating between a general, calculable change in entropy and a real-world, empirical demonstration of a specific process and its inherent mechanism(s) for effecting such a change in entropy—that specific process being (in this case) the generation of new and more complex genetic data, new and more complex organs and traits, and new and more complex energy conversion, transport, and storage mechanisms.B> <<

I see what you are asking for. The question is: what kind of data would satisfy you, besides time travel?

If I measure the two short legs of a right triangle, can I figure out the length of the long side without measuring it?

Tom


Response from Timothy Wallace:trueorigin.org

>>  >>  >> The Clausius form is dS>= dq/T, which you object to when written as -ds  <=-dq/T! <<  <<  <<

>>  >> On exactly what specific basis do you claim that I “object” to the form written above? <<  <<

>> It was the paragraph correction. <<

So then do you retract your assertion that I “object” to dS>= dq/T when written as -ds  <=-dq/T? Do you now retract your assertion (repeated multiple times) that I do not understand that the entropy of an unisolated system can decrease, at the expense of its surroundings? Or are you blithely skipping along to other topics, as if bearing false witness is a perfectly acceptable practice, requiring no retractions or apologies on the part of the perpetrator?

>> Besides, you have been remarkably careful to ask questions rather than make solid statements. <<

I have no choice but to ask questions if I want you to substantiate your statements. I suppose I could respond in the form of an accusation, but I suspect that would be counterproductive.

>> Ok, we’ve beaten “G2L” into the ground. Looks to me like it’s just another form or various specializations of the Second Law. <<

Thank you for finally acknowledging the simple fact.

>> ...there is no precise distinction between micro and macro evolution. <<

That’s not true. There is a very significant distinction. “Micro-evolution”, by definition, is the same thing as genetic variation (the shuffling of existing genetic information). It is both observable and observed, measurable and measured, repeatable and repeated—in short, it has been scientifically verified as a natural phenomenon. However, in every single case, the organism that has undergone the variation is the same kind of organism.

“Macro-evolution”, on the other hand has not been verified as a natural phenomenon. It has not been observed, measured, or repeated. No natural mechanism has successfully been put forth as the means by which new and more complex genetic information is generated so as to result in unequivocally new traits, organs, and organisms. “Macro-evolution” is an entirely contrived notion, extrapolated, with no empirical basis, from “micro-evolution".

The distinction is both precise and significant. To blur the distinction is to show contempt for empirical science and mix fact with fancy.

>> What prevents micro evolution from being macro evolution over the course of 3 million years? <<

A better question is: What ALLOWS micro-evolution to become macro-evolution over the course of 3 million years? The answer is: Nothing. “Micro-evolution” starts and ends with the same organism, no unequivocally new traits or organs—just the manifestation or suppression of an inherent genetic trait. There’s no scientific basis for extrapolating “macro-evolution” from that. And as I said, no natural mechanism has successfully been put forth as the means by which new and more complex genetic information is generated so as to result in unequivocally new traits, organs, and organisms, and that’s what “macro-evolution” happens to require.

So again: What is there about empirical science that allows micro evolution to become macro evolution over the course of 3 million years? Absolutely nothing.

>>  >>  >> However, selection does the trick... <<  <<  <<

>>  >> No, it does not. Selection is only able to select from what is already present in the genetic potential of the subject population. Selection has not been shown empirically to generate unequivocally new or more comple genetic information or unequivocally new physiologica traits or organs. It merely selects from the genetic potential for variation already inherent in the population’s combined genetic potential (the ‘gene pool’). <<  <<

>> No, selection also plays on the mutations, which keep increasing the variation. <<

Frankly, you are engaging in semantic subterfuge. The only “playing" selection does is selecting. And it only selects from what is there. Selection, by definition, does not create anything—it is merely a natural process by which existing information is selected, not created.

Mutation has not been shown to be a satisfactory “mechanism” for generating new and more complex genetic information, so as to result in unequivocally new traits, organs, and organisms...

“In the meantime, the educated public continues to believe that Darwin has provided all the relevant answers by the magic formula of random mutation plus natural selection—quite unaware of the fact that random mutations turned out to be irrelevant and natural selection a tautology.”
[Koestler, Arthur, Janus: A Summing Up (New York: Vintage Books, 1978) p. 185]
“It has been estimated that those chance errors occur at a rate of about one per several hundred million cells in each generation. This frequency does not seem to be sufficient to explain the evolution of the great diversity of life forms, given the well-known fact that most mutations are harmful and only very few result in useful variations.”
[Capra, Fritjof, The Web of Life (New York: Anchor Books, 1996) p. 228]
“It should be clear that the claim for an inherent evolutionary increase in entropy and organization is based on an arbitrary model which shows signs of having been constructed simply to yield the desired result. There is nothing in evolutionary or developmental biology that justifies their assumptions that a successful mutation (which seems merely to mean a selectively neutral one in their model) is always associated with an increase in some global measure of phenotype. Nor is there anything to support the assumption that new species arise as the result of single gene mutations and are initially genetically uniform. If these assumptions are removed, the whole edifice collapses.”
[Charlesworth, Brian, “Entropy: The Great Illusion,” review of Evolution as Entropy by Daniel R. Brooks and E. O. Wiley (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986, 335 pp.), Evolution, vol. 40, no. 4 (1986) p. 880]
“The fruit fly has long been the favorite object of mutation experiments because of its fast gestation period (twelve days). X rays have been used to increase the mutation rate in the fruit fly by 15,000 percent. All in all, scientists have been able to ‘catalyze the fruit fly evolutionary process such that what has been seen to occur in (fruit fly) is the equivalent of many millions of years of normal mutations and evolution.’ Even with this tremendous speedup of mutations, scientists have never been able to come up with anything other than another fruit fly.”
[Rifkin, Jeremy, Algeny (New York: Viking Press, 1983) p. 134]
“The proof of the occurrence of mutations is by no means a proof of a current evolution. The most important the inescapable question, is whether the mutations are fully vital, so that they are able to survive in natural stands. A review of known facts about their ability to survive has led to no other conclusion than that they are always constitutionally weaker than their parent form or species, and in a population with free competition they are eliminated.”
[Nillson, Heribert, (Lund, Sweden: Verlag CWK Gleerup, 1953), (English summary) p. 1186]

>> There is no such thing as “genetic potential”, just as there is no limit to the number of sentences. <<

Indeed just as there are distinct limits to what constitutes a meaningful sentence, there are also distinct limits to viable genetic arrangements. Meaningful sentences aren’t random mixtures of words, letters, and spaces, and nor has genetic code ever been shown to be a random mixture of unordered genetic material. Genetic variation is not a mix-n-match free-for-all.

By “genetic potential” I simply mean the range of genetic variations inherent in the subject population. The population’s gene pool contains a finite set of genetically determined features. The “genetic potential” of that population (while surely unknown, due largely to limits in the scope of man’s knowledge) consists of the entire set. That limited set does indeed exist, just as the number of potential sentences also has a limit, since the number of words, meanings, and combinations, while so vast as to be unknown (if not incomprehensible) to man, is nevertheless finite.

>> It is also wrong to think that selection can’t produce unequivocally new functions, as that has been demonstrated many times by things like SELELX. <<

It isn’t clear what you mean by introducing the term “functions”, but I invite you to cite a basis for thinking that selection, in and of itself, can yield an increase in quantity and quality of genetic information and—therefore—any unequivocally new genetic traits.

I also invite you to cite a basis for believing that SELEX produces an increase in quantity and quality of genetic information and—therefore—unequivocally new genetic traits.

>> The pool doesn’t contain the new or “more complex” information at first. It appears in variants. <<

This seems like more semantic subterfuge. Let’s keep our terminology clear: Variation is limited to the manifestation of variables inherent in the genetic code. Mutation is limited to (degenerative) changes to the genetic information itself. While it is a popular practice to treat these two as synonymous, they are not: one is an empirically established natural phenomenon in healthy populations, the other is an empirically established source of disease and defect, the effects of which are largely weeded out by selection (a process for which we should be thankful!).

>> The DNA polymerase makes mistakes when it copies and there are lots of rearrangements by transposons... <<

This has a corruptive, degenerative effect on the genetic code. Errors do not create new information; they damage existing information. There is no empirical basis for postulating new or more complex information from a process that degenerates existing information.

>>  >> These, again, are examples of genetic variation (animal and plant breeding is selection for specific, already existing traits or combinations of already existing traits, and laboratory selection of biological systems likewise selects that which already exists). <<  <<

>> No, when people do chemostat experiments on bacteria (to pick an example) the first thing that one should do is streak out the bacteria twice to get a pure genetic strain. Then this is frozen down as a record of the start point. All further variation comes from that one strain. So in any decent experiment (ie, publishable) there is NO variation initially. <<

Any subsequent changes in such a strain of bacteria will still result only from either inherent genetic variables or mutations. If a specific trait has been effectively bred out of the strain by artificial selection, it will not re-appear unless re-introduced through exogenic contamination of the strain or through mutation. In either case, no increase in the quantity or quality of available genetic information has been effected.

>>  >> >> So “evolution” does not have a problem with the Second Law.  << << <<

>>  >>  It has not been empirically and unequivocally demonstrated that known natural processes can account for the generation of new and more complex genetic data, new and more complex organs and traits, and new and more complex energy conversion, transport, and storage mechanisms. Specific natural processes to which can be attributed the entropy decreases necessarily associated with the generation of these things similarly have not been empirically and unequivocally demonstrated. <<  <<

>> That’s very different from having a problem with the Second Law!! <<

On the contrary, that is the problem evolution has with the Second Law...

“One problem biologists have faced is the apparent contradiction by evolution of the second law of thermodynamics. Systems should decay through time, giving less, not more, order.”
[Lewin, Roger, “A Downward Slope to Greater Diversity,” Science, vol. 217 (September 24, 1982) p. 1239]
“The greatest puzzle is where all the order in the universe came from originally. How did the cosmos get wound up, if the second law of thermodynamics predicts asymmetric unwinding towards disorder?"
[Davies, Paul C., “Universe in Reverse: Can Time Run Backwards?” Second Look (London: King’s College, September 1979) p. 27]
“We are faced with the idea that genesis was a statistically unlikely event. We are also faced with the certainty that it occurred. Was there a temporary repeal of the second law that permitted a ‘fortuitous concourse of atoms’? If so, study of the Repealer and genesis is a subject properly left to theologians. Or we may hold with the more traditional scientific attitude that the origin of life is beclouded merely because we don’t know enough about the composition of the atmosphere and other conditions on the earth many eons ago.”
[Angrist, Stanley W., and Loren G. Hepler, Order and Chaos (New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1967) p. 205]

>> You vaguely imply that SELEX doesn’t work! <<

You vaguely imply that SELEX generates previously non-existent genetic information.

>>  >> You...seem to have a problem differentiating between (micro-)evolution (i.e., natural selection in combination with genetic variation—an empirically observed and understood phenomenon) and (macro)evolution (i.e., an empirically unsubstantiated extrapolation of (micro-)evolution). <<  <<

>> Yes, it is not at all clear to me where one ends and the other begins. <<

I believe I have explained this above.

>> Many tiny changes over millions of years could mold the organism enormously. This is often, granted, an extrapolation. <<

“Could”? On what empirical basis? It is only an extrapolation, and it has NO empirical support.

>> ...There isn’t a better explanation around. <<

That’s strictly a matter of opinion. And even in the absence of a “better explanation”, a scientifically unsubstantiated explanation should be neither touted as fact, nor assumed to be true.

>> I see what you are asking for. The question is: what kind of data would satisfy you, besides time travel? <<

The same kind of data that should be required by any self-respecting scientist: nothing less than that which would satisfy the requirements of empirical science. That is, data that demonstrate unequivocally that natural processes alone can increase the quantity and quality of available genetic information.

>> If I measure the two short legs of a right triangle, can I figure out the length of the long side without measuring it? <<

Yes. Why? Not because of mere extrapolation, but because you know the unchanging laws of mathematics (not unlike the laws of thermodynamics) yield consistent results. The unknown data is calculated from the known data and is determined precisely and absolutely through a precise and absolute process. This is a far cry from assuming the existence of an unknown natural process for which there is no empirical evidence—based solely on an empirically known natural process, the similarity of which begins and ends with the fact that their names share the same root word!

Kind Regards,
TW
 


Response from Tom Schneider:trueorigin.org

>> So then do you retract your assertion that I “object” to dS>= dq/T when written as -ds  <=-dq/T? Do you now retract your assertion (repeated multiple times) that I do not understand that the entropy of an unisolated system can decrease, at the expense of its surroundings? Or are you blithely skipping along to other topics, as if bearing false witness is a perfectly acceptable practice, requiring no retractions or apologies on the part of the perpetrator? <<

Please be polite.

No need to get all upset. Just make clear statements of what you are thinking and we can discuss them. If you want to do verbal attacks (which the above feels like to me) then we can just terminate this discussion. Otherwise we may both have somethings to learn from each other.

This was one of the clearer, although still indirect, statements that you have made. Previous statements were not made when you said you would, then you made the wrong statement. It has been like extracting teeth to get a clear statement from you. If you insist on making indirect statements, then you will inevitably be misunderstood.

Though you now indirectly imply that you agree that -ds  <=-dq/T is valid, my understanding is that you think it rarely happens. You have avoided answering my previous questions along those lines. In particular, you have not answered my question about a simple jar of water.

Are you willing to make a clear positive statement about the Second Law?

>> I have no choice but to ask questions if I want you to substantiate your statements. I suppose I could respond in the form of an accusation, but I suspect that would be counterproductive. <<

The above was rather full of accusations. “blithely skipping along”, “bearing false witness”, “the perpetrator”. I surmise that either this is an intentional tactic to throw me off, which you have used with other people, or you are very scared and angry. If so, what are you scared of? What would happen if you were wrong?

Your nasty words seem inconsistent to me since I thought you were coming from a philosophy that teaches that god is love, and that one should love ones fellows. Was I wrong?...

Tom


Response from Timothy Wallace:trueorigin.org trueorigin.org

Mr. Schneider,

I am not a scientist, but I have better things to do with my limited time than major on minor issues and entertain your stream of false accusations (repeated ad nauseam and without substantiation), false claims (also repeated without substantiation from empirical science), and evasion of personal responsibility.

It so happens that I am indeed being “polite”, and that I am not “all upset” (your suggestions to the contrary notwithstanding). If you consider yourself to have suffered a “verbal attack” for having been asked to take responsibility for your own words, then you have a personal problem with honesty and fairness, and we certainly do indeed have nothing more to discuss.

You began this dialogue accusing me of not understanding that the entropy of an unisolated system can decrease, at the expense of it surroundings. I have since clearly indicated that I do indeed understand this, yet you have persisted in inferring [no less than three times] that I do not. When asked to substantiate (i.e., document) your claim, you have consistently evaded responsibility for your accusation, attempting instead to lead our dialogue wherever you fancy to go with it.

Your pretense to “understand” that I “think it rarely happens” is based on the same brand of assumption (i.e., false, arbitrary, and unsubstantiated) as your initial erroneous claim. My refusal to cooperate with your manipulative attempt at “teacher-student” role playing shouldn't be interpreted as indicative of my understanding.

As long as you refuse to withdraw your original accusation, acknowledging it as erroneous, you are in no position to frame further questions, require additional answers, or pile on more pretentious claims or accusations.

>> Are you willing to make a clear positive statement about the Second Law? <<

I have already stated unequivocally that my understanding is that the entropy of an unisolated system can decrease, at the expense of it surroundings. That this phenomenon routinely takes place as an integral part of observable biological processes is also quite apparent. (What I have resisted from the beginning has been playing into your pretense that this fact somehow supports your belief in evolution.)

If you don’t think you have been “blithely skipping along” without taking responsibility for your words (which I asked you to do several times), then what exactly do you think you have been doing?

If you don’t think falsely and deliberately inferring that I believe something amounts to “bearing false witness”, then what exactly do you think it is?

If you don’t think the person who engages in these actions may be accurately described as a “perpetrator”, then how exactly do you think he should more accurately be described?

You only make matters worse by piling on further arbitrary accusations (“all upset”, “scared and angry”, “nasty words”). My reaction to your behavior may not seem exceptionally friendly, but I assure you that it is not a reflection of my being “all upset, scared or angry”.

>> Your nasty words seem inconsistent to me since I thought you were coming from a philosophy that teaches that god is love, and that one should love ones fellows. Was I wrong?... <<

Neither Jesus Himself, nor the apostles who documented His teaching, shrank back from identifying men’s sins—and right to their faces, at that. Loving you has nothing to do with downplaying or ignoring your personal failure to live up to God’s standards. Whether you like it or not, when you unblushingly and repeatedly violate these standards in the context of our correspondence, it is my duty to bring this to your attention.

This brings our correspondence to an end for the time being.

Kind Regards,
TW

[NOTE that (1) Schneider never retracted his false claim (made three times) that I did not understand that the entropy in unisolated systems can and does decrease in nature, at the expense of its surrounding environment; (2) Schneider never offered solid, legitimate answers, supported by empirical science, to the two questions I posed concerning origins and entropy; (3) Schneider instead persisted in making claims about science and evolution, via additional and lengthy messages, for which—though asked repeatedly—he offered no empirical support, preferring to largely ignore any questions but his own, in effect delivering a monologue rather than participating in a dialogue; (4) Schneider hastened to take offense at having his immoral and evasive conduct pointed out, though my charges are well-documented in the record.

Whatever his qualifications may be, what Mr. Schneider has practiced in this exchange does not qualify as “science”.

Mr. Schneider sought to further prolong the above exchange, but as long as he was unwilling to take responsibility for his conduct thus far, I refused to go any further. He has since posted the entire exchange (and then some) at his government-funded website, where he also presents a “summary” of the exchange, to which I supply a response here. —TW ]
 


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