APOLOGETICS AND HONESTY

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Charles Meadows, Jan 13, 2005.

  1. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
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    I have ended up arguing the "liberal" side of many debates - not necessarily my choice!

    But I am disturbed by what I see as a tendency (by many YECers) to cite arguments, no matter the academic validity, as long as they support the young earth view.

    The classic example is the the second law of thermodynamics. For one to cite this as a proof against evolution refelcts either a lack of understanding of the subject, or (worse) deliberate intellectual dishonesty.

    While I am OEC in viewpoint I am, at heart, sympathetic to the YEC stance. What troubles me is that it seems we are allowing the end to justify the means here.
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Don't people with accredited PhDs in the field say you are wrong about the second law of thermodynamics? Wouldn't honesty require you to say that?
     
  3. HankD

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    You have publicly accused certain individuals (YEC) of a "lack of understanding" and/or "deliberate intellectual dishonesty" concerning the Second Law of Thermodynamics and its relationship to evolution.

    Please cite an illustration of one of these "classical" examples, then define the Second Law of Thermodynamics pointing out at least the "lack of understanding" of your brethren concerning the connection.

    I believe you owe them/us/me at least that seeing you have made this public accusation.

    Thank you in advance.

    HankD
     
  4. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
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    Larry,

    I doubt any accredited PhD would say such a thing. If they have I am not aware of it.

    And regarding honesty - I think you knwo very well what I'm saying.

    I started off YEC but simply could not digest so many of the arguments that were plainly false.

    Now I'm not saying that ALL YEC argument is without merit - far from it.

    Rather I deplore the reintroduction and rehashing and republishing of arguments, which although sound great to those without scientific training, are patently false.

    One can disagree with scientific conclusions, there's plenty of room for that. But we shouldn't misrepresent science (intentionally or otherwise) in the process!
     
  5. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
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    Hank,

    Sorry if that offended you!

    Here's how Britannica defines 2LOT:

    "The second law states that, in a closed system, the entropy of the system does not decrease."

    Here's what another poster said in another thread:

    4. Thermodynamics. You should have never mentioned it. You know very well that thermodynamics and consequently the science of physics has much bearing on evolution. It is the second law of thermodynamics that shoots down the theory of evolution. Summed up in a simple way: Everthing tends to a state of decay or degeneration. Or there is an increasing amount of entropy in the universe.

    In truth 2LOT has no relation at all to the debate. The earth is not a closed system because of the sun. And this law properly describes the behavior of atoms and molecules, which may bond upon spontaneously upon collision.

    So which is it?

    I'm not accusing anyone per se - but I'm tired of this kind of crap being linked with "Christian scholarship"!!
     
  6. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Henry Morris (Ph.D. Hydraulic Engineering, University of Minnesota), Duane Gish (Ph.D. in Biochemistry from University of California at Berkeley), Emmitt Williams (Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering from Clemson University), Arthur Wilder Smith (Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry at University of Reading, England). In fact, probably everybody on this page (http://www.icr.org/creationscientists/physicalscientists.html#hmorris) could be listed here, as well as others. I can't imagine you have a firm position on this subject and are yet unaware of the arguments that opponents make. That seems strange to me.

    You might say these guys are wrong. But you cannot say that they are not PhDs, and you cannot say that they haven't said the 2nd law doesn't work with evolution.
     
  7. Paul of Eugene

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    The point is, Pastor Larry, the argument against evolution from thermodynamics is patent nonsense, whoever uses it and whatever their credentials.

    The whole strength of the arguement depends on mere wording; how can a world in which things run down ever see complexity build up?

    But Jesus Himself pointed out the LIFE is not an escape from corruption, it can be the very INSTRUMENT of corruption! Recall His words, "Lay not up for yourself treasures on earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt".

    The increase in corruption, then, is perfectly consistent with the growth of life! (Moths, in this case).

    Hence, to argue that the presence of decay and corruption in this world prevents life from developing is even contrary to scripture!
     
  8. kennethc

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    Entropy is a measure of randomness. You are looking at one partial definition. Yes, in a closed system, by definition, nothing escapes. The theory, however, says that with time, energies 'leak' so to speak, to lower places. This is in reference to a non-closed system like you are speaking of.

    This is originally in reference to fluid dynamics, and heat transfer equations. Entropy is a measure of randomness of the molecules. Over time, it was expanded to include the VERY observable tendency of ALL systems to move from order to disorder over time (like a car rusting, a tire goes flat - neither of which would occur if the car was in a 'closed system' sealed from air and moisture, or the tire sealed). Einstien called this the most observable and obvious of all natural laws, even moreso than gravity. That is where it has been used as an argument against evolution.

    Currently, however, they are now looking at the fact that since 'order' can be a possible 'path' of energy release, that if it is the most effecient path, it IS POSSIBLE for a higher order system to occur over time IF the path ("Order") was the means of fastest (most efficient) energy transference. This new aspect to the theory is used to explain how evolution COULD occur. However, I have yet to see anyone apply it to anything other than life. They are literally saying that evolution proves the theory and the theory proves evolution as near as I have seen.

    It is still an interesting theory though.
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    Not at all.

    What???? This passage has nothing to do with the topic at hand, except as it disproves your whole point. Christ is pointing out that earthly thing corrupt over time (2nd law). So we should not be pursuing things of this world.

    No, not at all.

    You should know by now that that is not the argument. The argument of evolution is that things get more complex by natural means over time (i.e., adding genetic information through random mutation). The 2nd law argues that things get less complex over time, that you never end up with more than you started with.
     
  10. UTEOTW

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    My thermodynamics textbook states the second law in the following terms.

    "No apparatus can operate in such a way that its only effect is to convert heat absorbed by a system completely into work."

    "No process is possible which consists solely in the transfer of heat from one temperature level to a higher one."

    "It is impossible by a cyclic process to convert the heat absorbed by a system completely into work."

    Introduction to Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics Smith and Van Ness 4th Edition 1987

    Now tell me how these statements, straight from a textbook on thermodynamics, fits the way that YECers typically spin the meaning.

    This is not how they ususally act. They use the logical fallacy of equivocation to say that the statistical, molecular "disorder" that is entropy is somehow related to the macro world, layman's definition of disorder.
     
  11. KeithS

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    First, I am not a Physics major nor did I take Chemistry in college. A lot of what you guys get into is beyond my experience and nothing I have pursued educationally. However, I find it interesting reading.

    I am not so sure that YECer's take the 2nd law entirely out of context. I found an interesting site that seems to be written by a qualified inidividual that places the second law into real world situations - www.secondlaw.com. I found this statement most interesting: "Blockage of the second law is absolutely necessary for us to be alive and happy. Not one of the complex chemical substances in our body and few in the things we enjoy would exist for a microsecond if the second law wasn't obstructed. Its tendency is never eliminated but, fortunately for us, there are a huge number of compounds in which it is blocked for our lifetimes and even far longer."

    Although this statement would not necessarily refute OEC, it seems on the surface to refute evolution as a viable alternative. In other words, this statement requires an outside agent to "block" the second laws apparent consequences - entropy. The author's position is that certain chemical bonds provide this "block" although he does not explain how these chemicals came about to provide this very necessary function nor does he provide an explanation as to how the organized system originated that these chemical bonds would prevent from approaching entropy. Of course, that is not the focus of his information. But I would think that the conclusions can be legitimately carried over to this venue.
     
  12. Scott J

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    It doesn't. We do not see real world examples of organisms increasing their genetic complexity and becoming a different species.

    Things are running down.

    Yes. Things are moving from order to disorder in the realm of nature.

    But not with the ascendency of species from simple one-celled organisms to human beings. Persistent corruption is a proof for the notion that the clock is unwinding and running down.

    Life can occur with decay and corruption but it would prevent new life or new complexity from spontaneously developing in the manner needed by the theory of evolution.
     
  13. Charles Meadows

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    This is a nice statement from a site called "2ndlaw.com"

    web page


    Energetically, the second law of thermodynamics favors the formation of the majority of all known complex and ordered chemical compounds directly from their simpler elements. Thus, contrary to popular opinion, the second law does not dictate the decrease of ordered structure in its predictions, it only demands a "spreading out" of energy in all processes.

    The second law describes behavior of atoms and molecules. In a system with no added energy, processes which require added energy do not occur. With the fusion meg-reactor called the SUN we are not in a closed system. If we were no one would ever get a tan!

    To argue that the second law prevents evolution is to completely misapply it. It neither favors nor disproves evolution.
     
  14. Scott J

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    BTW, a court today ruled that a sticker acknowledging that evolution is a theory cannot be placed in a science text book. One more evidence that evolution is a philosophical dogma and not an honest scientific endeavor.
     
  15. Charles Meadows

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    Scott,

    I definitely agree with you there. There is severe bias.

    But to get back to the point of the thread.

    I do not impugn any YEC proponents! Let me reiterate that.

    But I am tired of some of the arguements put forth. Larry sited several PhDs who have evidently endorsed the fact that the second law prevents evolution. Those men should be ashamed because they (assuming they have real PhDs from accredited schools) KNOW what the second law says. Either they are trying to sell books or they are trying to bolster the faith of the public using half-truths - a noble aim using ignoble means!

    I'd like to see YEC proponents argue using scripture! If science says otherwise then so what? Who says we have to believe the theories of men? But please don't twist what science has said to try to make a point. That's bad witness and students with any background in science will see through it.
     
  16. DHK

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    Should they be ashamed. If you truly think so they please refute the definitions and arguments given on this page:

    http://www.trueorigin.org/steiger.asp

    edited for wrong URL

    [ January 13, 2005, 06:00 PM: Message edited by: DHK ]
     
  17. Pastor Larry

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    Or maybe the other side isn't beind honest about the second law. You see, there are two sides here.

    There certainly is a debate about the ramifications and implications of the 2nd law.

    This is exactly the position they take, so far as I know. They use Scripture; science is merely additional support for what Scripture plainly declares.
     
  18. HankD

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    I took Modern Physics at Syracuse U over 40 years ago, (so I guess it's not so modern).

    One thing I do know and remember, though atheistic secular humanists are reluctant to use the word "creation" (although they do) in reference to origins of life and the universe they did and still appear to maintain that the creation of matter is on-going and is included in new theories (as in String Theory) which come forth every human generation to update their ignorance of the past (admitted by the honest men among them) that matter/energy can neither be created nor destroyed with resulting debates, equivocations and more theories (IMO - inventions) such as "invisible matter" (later changed to "dark matter") to compensate for seeming violations of the First Law.

    Many of the scientific community admitting that the Laws of Thermodynamics are a flawed or archaic perception of the universe.

    So my point is - it seems OK for you that the scientific community, with their "theories" to equivocate the "Laws" of Thermodynamics unchallenged but when Christians allegedly do it, it's "crap"?

    I know this doesn't answer your question but your anger seems to be directed at the wrong side, why not ask the scientific community to explain the endless debates and equivocations on their side?

    How can on-going creation and entropy be simultaneous events?

    Particularly Christians who are scientists (or educated in the sciences) when the Scripture indicates that God ceased His creation of the material universe on the First Sabbath (though his "new creation/new birth is ongoing)?

    HankD
     
  19. KeithS

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    Charles,

    Thanks for the link. I obviously should have pursued Chemistry a bit more diligently in high school and college. Never too late to learn more though. Of course, as Pastor Larry says, there are usually at least two sides to the debate.
     
  20. Scott J

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    The truth is not dependent on whether it offends someone who has been indoctrinated one way or another. Evolution is taught as the only alternative in most science depts just as Islam is in most Iranian classrooms.

    There is no justification for compromising biblical truth to accommodate a strongly held but false opinion.

    As I said to UT in the other thread, everything we see in operation today could be exactly as he sees it... and the earth still be less than 10K years old if we assume that God could have supernaturally created it. There is not a single proof used by evolution that disproves YEC.

    I am not real sure what you mean by arguing with scripture. As we go through these threads, the only people I see referencing scripture as direct proof of what they believe is YEC's. Others generally reference scripture to pronounce that it doesn't mean what it actually says.
     

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