Open and Closed Systems?
Evolutionists battle with Entropy
Isaac Asimov said;
“The universe is constantly getting more disorderly. Viewed that way we can see the second law all around us. We have to work hard to straighten a room, but left to itself, it becomes a mess again very quickly and very easily. Even if we never enter it, it becomes dusty and musty…In fact all we have to do is nothing and everything deteriorates, collapses, breaks down, wears out all by itself- and that is what the second law is all about.”(Smithsonian Institute Journal, June, 1970)
However when confronting challenges to the evolutionary theory by the law of entropy, he said this;
“…the second law of thermodynamics applies to a closed system, that is, a system that does not gain energy from without, or lose energy to the outside…Evolution can proceed and build up the complex from the simple, thus move uphill, without violating the second law…as long as the sun, which delivers energy to the system, moves downhill at a much faster rate than evolution moves uphill.”
Evolution as a whole is not moving uphill; though for life to form spontaneously it certainly would have had to have in the past. We have never observed life form from dead matter nor have we observed an uphill process in living organisms, but we will discuss that later. Here is another evolutionary apologist, Futuyma;
“But order from disorder rises all around us. A human body rises from the relative formlessness of a fertilized egg; disordered water molecules form ordered ice crystals in our refrigerators.” Futuyma, Science on Trial, 1983, p.183
These are common arguments, and the law of entropy is complex and does allow for small localized reversals; but nothing like the formation of life. Nor do biological creatures escape the effects of the law; all biological genomes, human included are going downhill, in what is known as the process of genetic entropy.
What about Asimov’s argument? Can an open system, such as one that has energy flowing from the sun into it, escape the law of entropy? Not really. Raw energy destroys. Put a spark to a gallon of gasoline and you get an explosion. However a spark in a machine designed to process gasoline, like a truck engine, can safely transfer that energy to some purpose. Apply sunlight to organic matter and it withers it, dries it and hastens its decay. A common way of killing bacteria or viruses is to expose them to ultra-violet light. The energy from the sun can be used by plants but only because of an incredibly complex biological machine known as photosynthesis. And these systems had to be in the plants and fully operable, along with the complex information and copying ability that allows for reproduction of the living system first, in order to escape destruction and harness the energy. As we have pointed out- this just doesn’t happen under natural conditions.
Futuymas’s argument about the fertilized egg becoming a mature human cannot be taken as a serious argument for life forming in the face of entropy. Everything the egg needs is there, in its DNA, and in its mothers system to support it. How did all that information get there in a universe going from order to disorder? He is definitely begging the question, Nor does the formation of ice cubes equate in any way with the formation of life. As evolutionist Peter Mora states;
“Of course certain local areas where entropy is decreasing are common, as in crystallization…Crystallization occurs because it leads to the lowest energy state and to the most stable arrangements of atoms or molecules under given conditions…These systems do not function and are not designed to function.” Mora, Nature, 199:216, 1963
An adequate supply of energy to an open system is not sufficient to cause the formation of living biological machines capable of reproduction. There must be a system that can process the uncontrolled energy and use it in a constructive purposeful manner. As evolutionist Jeffrey Wicken wrote;
“Organized systems are to be carefully distinguished from ordered systems…whereas ordered systems are generated according to simple algorithms and therefore lack complexity; organized systems must be assembled element by element according to an external wiring diagram with high information content.” Journal of Theoretical Biology, 77:249, 1979
Ilya Prigogine, who received the Nobel prize for his work with thermodynamics recognized the problem and the difference;
“…in an isolated system there exist the possibility for formations of ordered, low entropy structures…Unfortunately this principle cannot explain the formation of biological structures.” He said that the chance of highly ordered structures with the coordinated functions that exist in living organisms is “vanishingly small.” Physics Today, 25(11):23, ‘79
Again, as many have noted, for the information structures we call life to exist, matter would have to be able to extract energy from the environment and then process and direct it towards many different functions, to copy information and reproduce and form special chemicals and molecular machines, etc. etc. And if life began only in its simplest form, it had to continually self-create new information into its programs. Indeed, the whole universe which is said to have started in chaos had to go from disorder to order continually, as was believed by the ancient Greeks and all of the early Darwinists.
And yet every biological organism weakens, wears out and eventually perishes, if not taken out early by an inherited disorder or diseases, which are often caused by mutations. More importantly, the entire human genome, the accumulated information stored in our entire DNA, is becoming increasingly garbled at a very fast rate. Each new human reproduced receives at least 60 new mutations. These are added to the mutational load already present from previous generations, along with the attendant disease and disorders and loss of adaptability. Some of these mutations can be removed by natural selection, but not as fast as they accumulate. And the majority of mutations are small, and only slightly garble the information content; but these accumulate rapidly and their overall effect in time can be measured, and is devastating.
These mutations and their build up have been the subject of recent studies of DNA transfer and coping errors.
“In what is by far the most extensive of these kinds of reports, geneticists tallied each new mutation in 219 people, including 78 parent-offspring trios of Icelandic families. They found an average of 63.2 new mutations per trio, meaning that about 60 new mutations are added to each new generation”. Kong, A. et al. 2012. Rate of de novo mutations and the importance of father’s age to disease risk. Nature, 488 (7412): 471-475
John Sanford, who authored the book, Genetic Entropy, said “All these studies just look at genic regions. The most mutable parts of the genome are the tandem repeats and satellite DNA. If these parts of the genome were included, I am confident it would at least double the total mutation rate.” So ultimately we could be looking at 120 mutations, typos in the DNA, in a twenty year generation.
Kondrashov, a mutational expert noted;
“Because deleterious mutations are much more common than beneficial ones, evolution under this relaxed selection will inevitably lead to a decline in the mean fitness of the population.”
Kondrashov, A. 2012, The rate of human mutation, Nature, 488 (7412): 467-468
The life span of the human race can be indirectly measured by the growing mutational load, only so much disorder can enter into the genome before the whole machine goes kaput, goes extinct. This hardly sounds like a continual progression of evolution upwards from disorder to order brought about by mutations. Mutations are the tool that entropy is using to pull the human genome (and all other genomes) back into the dust. Using the open/closed system argument here is just a canard to obscure the obvious.
“In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth; and the heavens are the works of your hands. They will perish but you will remain, they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be changed; but you remain the same and your years will never end.” Psalm 102; 25, 26