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10956Re: More "thermodynamics" pseudoscience from Don DeLong - by Don

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  • w_w_c_l
    Jul 2, 2007
      --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
      "Todd S. Greene" <greeneto@...> wrote (in part):
      > I have no idea why I'm getting this ONLY by
      > personal email...
      > ...can't take the time to address Don's comments
      > right now, so I'll get to it later. Of course,
      > anyone else can respond to him as well.
      > - Todd


      --- Don DeLong wrote (July 2, 2007):
      > Todd,
      > If I had not seen evidence upon evidence, I would think
      > it impossible for a person to so blind themself to reality.
      > I know that I have made a lot of tongue-in-cheek statements
      > to you numb-skulls in the past, but seriously, open your
      > eyes. Just for a moment, look, don't try to read anything
      > into the facts. Just look at the facts.
      > Why do I say that you are blind? Because you have on many
      > occasions (such as your last e-mail) claimed that something
      > was answered just because either you or one of your
      > side-kicks responded. A response does not a refutation make.
      > Most of posts that you linked were from when Rick originally
      > brought up the subject of Thermodynamics on the Christian
      > Evidences list, and responses to that post and subsequent
      > responses that included the original post material.
      > Finally we get to
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/10671
      > the supposed refutation. But is it? Your rose colored
      > glasses would have you to believe that it in fact is. Again,
      > remember that a response does not a refutation make. So, let's
      > see what Rick had to say germane to the 1st and 2nd Laws of
      > Thermodynamics.

      And let's see what DeLong has to say that is germane to
      anything I said.

      I (Rick) wrote:

      >> 3) 1st Law of Thermodynamics -- "argument from
      >> ignorance", better known as "god-of-the-gaps"; i.e., if
      >> we don't have a scientific explanation for it, God musta
      >> did it!
      >> DeLong also continues on with his fallacy of equivocation
      >> -- biological evolution and biogenesis are two different
      >> things. Regardless of how or when Life began, you can
      >> observe the processes of biological evolution taking
      >> place in existing populations of organisms *right now*.

      DeLong replies:

      > Don here - I will not call for Rick's and your (because
      > you have included such in an e-mail you sent thereby
      > placing your stamp of approval on such) retraction of the
      > "fallacy of equivocation" statement because I know that
      > it will not come.

      I think DeLong has his own "fallacy of equivocation" charge
      to be retracting! Something having to do with Robert's
      "Goliath of GRAS", was it not? Yes! It was!

      And unlike DeLong, I am prepared to back up my charge,
      just below.

      > Yes, biological evolution and biogenesis ARE two
      > [totally] different things. BUT, neither could take
      > place given evolution, that is my point exactly.

      Huh??? Given "evolution", evolution can not take place?
      That doesn't even make any sense. First, DeLong is
      misusing the Law of Biogenesis -- biological life only
      comes from biological life (insofar as we have ever
      observed) -- to say that God must have created life.
      But God is not a biological organism. So even with
      God creating biological Life, that is just as much a
      contradiction of the Law of Biogenesis as biological
      life spontaneously arising from non-living matter
      (which is "abiogenesis"). So the beginning of biological
      life from either paradigm is the same -- and hence one
      "fallacy of equivocation": the "life" meant by the Law
      of Biogenesis does not apply to the "Life" which is God.

      And here is another of DeLong's "equivocation fallacies":
      he's obviously calling something "evolution" that is not
      biological evolution. He is stuck in his *false dichotomy*
      of "Creation" (which he deems to be the God of the Bible)
      versus "Evolution" (which he deems to be atheism), which
      allows him to equate anything having to do with biological
      evolution with atheism, which is not only an equivocation
      of terms but is logically false anyway.

      In other words, all of science that tells us the Earth is
      more than a few thousand years old is considered to be
      "evolutionism", and evolutionism is considered to be
      "atheism". So when it gets right down to it, DeLong is
      guilty of *several* equivocation fallacies here, e.g.,
      "geology" = "evolutionism" = "atheism"; "astronomy" =
      "atheism", etc.

      > Rick has not "answered", "refuted" or any such like
      > thing, the 1st Law of Thermodynamics. He responded,
      > nothing more, nothing else, just responded.

      And "apparently" DeLong doesn't know enough about
      thermodynamics to even understand the response.

      I wasn't trying to refute the 1st Law, I was pointing
      out that, as far as science is concerned, the 1st Law
      does not "prove" the existence of God, or even of a
      "Primal Cause". The 1st Law is applicable only to "closed"
      "Systems". We don't know that the Universe is a "closed"
      System. And even if the Universe *is* a closed system,
      we don't have a finite volume for it, nor do we yet have
      an equation that quantifies the "Energy" for it. All we
      can do is draw imaginary boundaries around parts of it
      and quantify the Energy exchanges within those boundaries,
      and in so doing we have found that as the "volume" of the
      Universe is increasing (expansion), we need something
      called "dark energy" to make the equations balance out.

      > Todd, where did it (matter) come from? The 1st Law
      > says that it did not/could not come from naturalistic
      > means, so, where did it come from? Did matter come from
      > nothing? The 1st Law says NO! In fact it could not.

      Let's look at a simple definition of the 1st Law, from

      "The change in the internal energy of a closed thermodynamic
      system is equal to the sum of the amount of heat energy
      supplied to the system and the work done on the system."

      See that constraint -- a "closed system"? So just like
      your fallacy above with the Law of Biogenesis, you are
      positing "God" as the "Source" -- the "input" into a
      closed system.

      Matter is "frozen" Energy. Your question is more properly,
      "Where did the Energy come from?" And that is what science
      does not know. But science is not going to just say, "God
      did it," and let it go at that. Science is going to "look
      into the matter" (pun!) and see if they can't figure it out.

      And if science *does* figure it out, *poof* -- there goes
      your "god-of-the-gaps". Which is why the "god-of-the-gaps"
      is frowned upon by non-believers and believers alike; not
      only is it a fallacious argument but it confines the acts
      of God to areas where we so far lack scientific knowledge.

      > Yes, I know that this is a slight changing of the
      > subject, but since you guys have not answered the fact
      > that something can not come from nothing.

      Personally, I have no intention of trying to prove that
      "something" can come from "nothing". The question is,
      though, what is the nature of that "Something" from
      which "Everything" came? My own answer is that it
      comes from God, of course, for two reasons (1) I already
      know that God exists, and (2) the "God" answer allows
      me to bail out without "infinite regress", which is where
      the question leads, by simply endlessly asking, "But where
      did *that* come from?"..."But then, where did *that* come
      from?" etc.

      But for DeLong to get back to the point of infinite regress,
      he is first going to have to get back to the beginning of
      the Universe, which is about *two and half million times*
      farther back in Time than DeLong thinks it is.

      > By the way, I LOVE how you attempt to side-step that
      > issue by using, yes using, one of your cohorts to imply
      > that it came from God (non-natural means), yet you do not
      > believe in God. Interesting. Where did it come from?

      It could have come from another Universe; it could have
      come from an oscillation of this Universe; we just don't
      empirically *know*. (But I'll leave this part for Todd to
      deal with from his own perspective.)

      I had written:

      >> 4) 2nd Law of Thermodynamics -- argument from DeLong's
      >> OWN ignorance; the 2nd Law DOES NOT preclude biological
      >> evolution. Life on Earth is not a "closed" system, it is
      >> constantly gaining energy from the Sun and converting
      >> that energy, through photosynthesis, into a form usable
      >> by Life. A very simple example is an oak tree: from a
      >> single acorn, with the addition of sunlight, comes a
      >> large, complex structure that produces many more acorns,
      >> which become separate, sunlight-converting, complex
      >> structures on their own, which become a forest...

      DeLong replies:

      > Don here - Oh, I must be mistaken. I did not know
      > that the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics had been disproved.

      It hasn't.

      > What do you mean that it hasn't? Didn't you just read
      > Rick's "oak tree" example? It must have been disproved.

      The "oak tree example" is an illustration of Energy (in
      the form of sunlight) entering a System (the oak tree).
      The 2nd Law applies to "closed" Systems. "Closed" (or
      "isolated") means that Energy is not entering the System
      from an outside source. The oak tree is not a closed
      system, just as life on Earth is not a closed system.

      It's a very simple illustration.

      > The 2nd Law still says that matter can not/will not
      > evolve it can only devolve. That is our point exactly.

      Let's look at a simple definition of the 2nd Law, again
      from Wikipedia:

      "The total entropy of any isolated thermodynamic system
      tends to increase over time, approaching a maximum value."

      See that word "isolated"? That means the 2nd Law applies
      to "closed" Systems. Life on Earth is not a "closed"
      System. The "Life on Earth System" is constantly receiving
      Energy from an outside source -- the Sun. If you do not
      add energy in the form of sunlight to the acorn, the energy
      in the acorn degrades, rather than "evolving" into the
      vastly more organized "matter" of a mature oak tree.

      > By the way, you might want to tell Rick that he should
      > not write any more posts/e-mails because he puts his
      > foot in his mouth and does your cause harm every time
      > that he tries. Though, I do give him an A for effort.

      Ha ha ha.

      Another of your "tongue-in-cheek" remarks, DeLong?

      > The fact that the "oak tree" drops its acorn and it
      > does not sprout a watermelon is exactly what we are
      > talking about.

      That doesn't have anything whatsoever to do with what
      you are claiming about thermodynamics. The way
      thermodynamics applies to this is that the Sunlight
      Energy is converted from a (simple) acorn to a (complex)
      oak tree, which makes thousands and thousands of more
      (simple) acorns which grow into (complex) oak trees
      which, growing together into a forest, further increases
      complexity. All from a single acorn with the energy
      input of Sunlight, which ultimately leads to the capture
      of more and more sunlight energy into an increasingly
      complex system.

      Which proves your objection to biological evolution on
      the grounds of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is completely
      unsupportable, and comes from a profound misunderstanding
      of both thermodynamics and the basic mechanisms of Life
      itself -- ALL (virtually) Life on Earth derives its
      energy from the Sun. (And it is estimated that only
      about 5% of the available energy from the Sun striking
      the Earth is photosynthesized and enters the food chain,
      so there is PLENTY of potential energy available to the
      Earth's "Life System".)

      > Of course an acorn is going to produce an oak tree.

      Not without massive inputs of Energy into the "Oak Tree
      System" it's not! The Energy in the acorn is sufficient
      to sprout the acorn and let it produce a few leaves.
      From then on, all additional Energy has to come *into*
      the "Oak Tree System" from an outside source, the
      Sun, through the process of photosynthesis. That's what
      photosynthesis does -- it captures Sunlight Energy and
      converts it into Oak Tree Food, so that the oak tree can

      > Just open your eyes. That is all that I am asking.

      OK, let's open our eyes and look at things realistically
      just for a moment: Don DeLong has made an appeal to the
      Laws of Thermodynamics.

      Yet it is those very Laws of Thermodynamics that tell us,
      without a doubt, that the Universe did not, *and could not
      have*, suddenly come into existence some 6,000 years ago.
      (Or, if it did, then we are in the midst of a "fake
      Universe". Does DeLong think he is ready to defend the
      "apparent age" concept, where God created fake stars and
      fake fossils that never really existed?)

      What it all boils down to, Don DeLong, is that if you
      are going to going to use the laws of physics in this
      Universe as evidence for God, then you are going to have
      to use the laws of physics, *in this Universe, as they
      are and as it is*, otherwise your "proofs" will not
      hold up mathematically. There is no other way around it.

      And the laws of physics in this Universe tell us that
      the Universe has been here for around 15 billion years
      and the Earth is 4.5 billion years old. If the laws of
      physics were anything different than just what they are,
      our existence would not be possible -- so then you can
      argue from there into the "anthropic principle". But you
      can not use the anthropic principle if you are going to
      say the Universe is only a few thousand years old.

      > I really wish that you could read into my e-mails
      > (at least some of them) the pleading that I am doing
      > with you guys. I truly want you to see the truth. You
      > guys have been seriously deceived and will not be
      > open minded enough to see that there is evidence that
      > you have not even begun to consider.
      > Pleading,
      > Don DeLong

      Such as?

      Rick Hartzog
      Worldwide Church of Latitudinarianism


      Wikipedia's overview of thermodynamics (pay special
      attention to the section about "Systems"):

      Dark Energy:

      Anthropic Principle:

      Law of Biogenesis:

      I'm also reincluding a few of the links Todd provided
      in his post #10950 -- apparently you (DeLong) didn't
      bother to read any of these either:

      An Introduction to Entropy and Evolution: The Second Law of
      Thermodynamics in Science and in Young-Earth Creationism
      by Craig Rusbult

      The Second Law of Thermodynamics in the Context
      of the Christian Faith
      by Allan H. Harvey

      Entropy, God and Evolution
      by Doug Craigen

      The second law of thermodynamics and evolution
      by Frank L. Lambert
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