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Author Topic:   Evolution or Devolution?
Donald Thomas
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 80 (188144)
02-24-2005 1:19 PM


Though thermodynamics has been discussed here very recently, please approach this topic with care and patience or don't approach it at all. --Admin

The origin of species debate has fascinated me for many years. I have read widely on the subject and until last month each book I read left me with more questions than answers. However after reading a recently reprinted book by author Nigel Kerner called “The Song of the Greys” the answers finally outweighed the questions.

Kerner breathes a breath of fresh air into the stagnancy of the evolution/creationism debate. He offers a third alternative namely – DEVOLUTION.

It is his contention that within a universe subject to the second law of thermodynamics (which states that all atomic states become more and more chaotic with time, through a process known as the ‘entropic drift’) the concept that the underbase of living systems is one of evolution to states of betterment is nonsensical:

“It is complete lunacy to have an entropic force that is busy dismantling atoms, from prior ordered states into greater and greater states of randomness and chaos with time (the Second Law Of Thermodynamics) and at the same time claim that all things are going from good to better, through a series of fortuitous accidents. It is our vanity that does not allow us to see the TRUTH and that is IT IS ALL ONE WAY -DOWN. Everything rots. We rot the moment we are conceived. It is a cast iron standard bearer basic law of biology, in the Universe of Parts. Our Universe”.

The book cites as contradictions to evolutionary theory the facts that approximately 95% of the human genome is redundant, and that roughly the same percentage of the human brain is also dormant. If evolutionary theory were correct and development were based on adaptations to the present environment why would we have developed such a huge brain for potential use in the future! Could it perhaps be the case that the large brain and the large genome are leftovers from the past, from superior states of humanity that once existed and used the full scope of brain and DNA?

Nigel Kerner has some common ground with the creationists and the evolutionists but he also has many disagreements with both. He accepts that evolutionary processes do take place but only within the context of the overall drift of devolution, “evolution within devolution”. Like the creationists he contends that the only logical origin for the coherence and order of living systems in an environment subject to entropic dismemberment is a source outside of that environment, a source that is not subject to entropy and therefore by definition – not of the physical universe. However, unlike the creationists he does not see that source as a ‘creator God’ who chose to place us in the physical universe. Rather he sees creation as an implicit result of the fact that the infinite potential of the ‘universe of the whole’ to know all options had to also include the only potential that could not be achieved within its whole, altogether state. Namely : The potential to know separation from the state of separation . That potential can only be fulfilled in the context of a physical universe.

Kerner discusses inadequacy of evolutionary theory with reference to the following research that he quotes from the New Scientist:

“Charles Bieberich and his team at the Holland Laboratory in Rockville Maryland have reported that by manipulating genes that control the body plans of embryos they have created mutant mice with backbones that are 200-300 million years out of date….These scientists seem to believe that a genetic memory is stored, for example in a mouse’s genes, from the days when mammals and reptiles last shared an ancestor. That memory can thus be unlocked, at least in the case of ear structure. If genetic information that is up to 350 to 400 million years old can be retained within a genome then does this not lend the lie to Darwin’s theory of evolution via the process of ‘natural selection’?

The article says that they are “Making Evolution Run Backwards” I propose that they are “Making Devolution Run Forwards”! They are using that original blueprint for potential devolution and making it actual. What then does that say about human babies who have been naturally born with tails, out of a naturally occurring atavism? There is only one implication and that is that we are indeed apes in the making, if we follow the naturally devolving course that our species prescribes for us.

Those scientists studying these mutational phenomena have discovered that there is in fact such a blueprint, “an ancestral body plan” on which development from one species form to another is formed. This plan is embodied in what are known of as Hox genes. “Instead of inventing a new set of body plan genes for each new type of animal, it seems that natural selection has simply tinkered with an old one, a set known as Hox genes.” The telling question that must be asked here is: If all organisms that now exist had from their very inception into the evolutionary process a blueprint of how they should evolve, then where did that blueprint come from in the first place? How did the first multi-cellular animals evolving some 700 million years ago contain the basic template of information that only needed to be shuffled around in order to form a human being?"

Central to Kerner’s thesis in “The Song of the Greys” is the influence of grey aliens and their tinkering with the human genome as a primary factor in the development of our human species. Again he presents a very convincing case for this albeit too involved to quote at length here. I strongly suggest to anyone with a serious interest in the origins of life to get hold of this book. I have read it and re-read it and cannot fault its logic.

Released from Proposed New Topics by Admin.


Replies to this message:
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Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 80 (188153)
02-24-2005 1:43 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Donald Thomas
02-24-2005 1:19 PM


From Kramer:

“It is complete lunacy to have an entropic force that is busy dismantling atoms, from prior ordered states into greater and greater states of randomness and chaos with time (the Second Law Of Thermodynamics) and at the same time claim that all things are going from good to better, through a series of fortuitous accidents. It is our vanity that does not allow us to see the TRUTH and that is IT IS ALL ONE WAY -DOWN. Everything rots. We rot the moment we are conceived. It is a cast iron standard bearer basic law of biology, in the Universe of Parts. Our Universe”.

The problem is that this downward spiral can be thwarted by the input of energy. The second law says that WITHOUT THE INPUT OF ENERGY, things will become the same temperature, on average. Even without the input of energy entropy can still decrease within the system, or rather temperature differences can sporadically increase in one area even if the whole system is moving towards entropic "death".

The fact remains that the earth recieves large amounts of energy from the sun. This energy allows life to create complex biomolecules that carry energy, fully allowed since the increase in entropy of the sun far outweighs the decrease of entropy on earth. This is the fact that Kramer either misses or ignores, that entropy can decrease if energy is inputted into a system. Devolution is not required by the second law of thermodynamics. If our sun stops putting out energy then evolution will cease, as will life for that matter.


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CK
Member (Idle past 2356 days)
Posts: 3221
Joined: 07-04-2004


Message 3 of 80 (188159)
02-24-2005 1:57 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Donald Thomas
02-24-2005 1:19 PM


Hi - very quick question:

quote:
The book cites as contradictions to evolutionary theory the facts that approximately 95% of the human genome is redundant, and that roughly the same percentage of the human brain is also dormant.

And on what evidence is this assumption based?


This message is a reply to:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15323
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 4 of 80 (188163)
02-24-2005 2:28 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Donald Thomas
02-24-2005 1:19 PM


As has been pointed out Kerner fails to take into account the fact that local decreases in entropy are not disallowed by thermodynamics. Moreover he fails to take into account that it is reproduction rather than evolution as such which deals with the actual entropy decreases.

The existence of "junk DNA" is a small puzzle in evolutionary terms but it is certainly not a contradiction. The idea that 95% of the human brain is dormant is not even true.

Moreover he fails to understand that evolution is not "progressive" - that is why some lineages will show what we think of as "progress" others will not - and even show what he would call "devolution" - although it is still evolution.

His idea that ALL evolution is what he calls "devolution" is clearly contradicted by the fossil record. For instance maller-brained species in the genus Homo precede modern humans and more ape-like species precede them.

As to Bieberich's work, from my own reading it seems likely that it refers to developmental changes and as such the only information "lost" would be that that was "restored" by the mutations created by Bieberich. Without more details it is impossible to tell whether Kerner's interpretation is correct - but I strongly suspect that it is not. Certainly Bieberich has used mice to investigate the effects of Hox genes (e.g http://www.pubmedcentral.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=54547 )


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 80 (188186)
02-24-2005 3:52 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Donald Thomas
02-24-2005 1:19 PM


It is his contention that within a universe subject to the second law of thermodynamics (which states that all atomic states become more and more chaotic with time, through a process known as the ‘entropic drift’) the concept that the underbase of living systems is one of evolution to states of betterment is nonsensical:

I don't think it's clear in the least what ordered atomic states have to do with the descent of organisms with modification. Certainly evolutionary change is a "change to states of betterment" only in the loosest possible sense, and certainly not in any sense relevant to atomic states.

I'm sorry but I simply don't see the relevance of the second law to the discussion. Evolution does not proceed by ordering atomic states, but by natural selection and random mutation.

The book cites as contradictions to evolutionary theory the facts that approximately 95% of the human genome is redundant

It's not redundant, it's simply not expressed as proteins. Its presence is not contradictory to evolution; in fact, it's quite consistent with expectations.

and that roughly the same percentage of the human brain is also dormant.

This has never been shown to be true, except when literally true in the case of persons with near-total brain injury.

He accepts that evolutionary processes do take place but only within the context of the overall drift of devolution, “evolution within devolution”.

This is not consistent with the fossil record, which is a record of the expanding diversity of living things in both directions of complexity over time. Up and down.

Central to Kerner’s thesis in “The Song of the Greys” is the influence of grey aliens and their tinkering with the human genome as a primary factor in the development of our human species.

How does he know that they're grey? It seems like he's conflating evolutionry misunderstandings with alien abduction claims, none of which have ever been substantiated, and most of which are mutually contradicting.

I have read it and re-read it and cannot fault its logic.

How hard did you try? It seriously took me only like 2 minutes.


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Percy
Member
Posts: 18801
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 6 of 80 (188193)
02-24-2005 4:15 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Donald Thomas
02-24-2005 1:19 PM


Hi Donald,

I just want to briefly emphasize what I think are the important points from those who have replied so far.

  1. Kerner is using an incorrect definition of the 2nd law of thermodynamics (henceforth 2LOT).

  2. Kerner appears to understand that 2LOT applies at the atomic and molecular level, but then improperly attempts to apply the law at the much higher level of evolution and of complete organisms.

  3. At least in what you've provided in your post, Kerner offers no evidence of his positions, only speculations. For example, aliens.

You say you have read widely on the subject of the "origin of species debate", and that "each book I read left me with more questions that answers." Which books did you read?

--Percy


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Replies to this message:
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nator
Member (Idle past 398 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 7 of 80 (188198)
02-24-2005 4:25 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Donald Thomas
02-24-2005 1:19 PM


quote:
The book cites as contradictions to evolutionary theory the facts that approximately 95% of the human genome is redundant, and that roughly the same percentage of the human brain is also dormant. If evolutionary theory were correct and development were based on adaptations to the present environment why would we have developed such a huge brain for potential use in the future!

It is a myth that humans do not use 95% of their brains, although it used to be "humans only use 10% of our brains" when I used to see it repeated.

Humans use 100% of our brains, just not all at once.

Also, a great deal of the actual mass of the brain is mylein, the fatty sheath that allows nerve synapses to travel faster.

Set yourself straight here:

http://www.csicop.org/si/9903/ten-percent-myth.html

An excerpt:

Brain imaging research techniques such as PET scans (positron emission tomography) and fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) clearly show that the vast majority of the brain does not lie fallow. Indeed, although certain minor functions may use only a small part of the brain at one time, any sufficiently complex set of activities or thought patterns will indeed use many parts of the brain. Just as people don't use all of their muscle groups at one time, they also don't use all of their brain at once. For any given activity, such as eating, watching television, making love, or reading Skeptical Inquirer, you may use a few specific parts of your brain. Over the course of a whole day, however, just about all of the brain is used at one time or another.

The myth presupposes an extreme localization of functions in the brain. If the "used" or "necessary" parts of the brain were scattered all around the organ, that would imply that much of the brain is in fact necessary. But the myth implies that the "used" part of the brain is a discrete area, and the "unused" part is like an appendix or tonsil, taking up space but essentially unnecessary. But if all those parts of the brain are unused, removal or damage to the "unused" part of the brain should be minor or unnoticed. Yet people who have suffered head trauma, a stroke, or other brain injury are frequently severely impaired. Have you ever heard a doctor say, ". . . But luckily when that bullet entered his skull, it only damaged the 90 percent of his brain he didn't use"? Of course not.


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Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 925 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 8 of 80 (188203)
02-24-2005 4:52 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Donald Thomas
02-24-2005 1:19 PM


Cliff is back!
Well, it seems Cliff Clavin makes a reappearance on this board:

quote:
(from "Cheers")
Cliff: Interesting little article here. It says that, uh... the average human being only uses seventeen percent of his brain. Boy, you realize what that means? We don't use a full, uh... sixty-four percent.
Norm: Some don't use even more.

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Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 80 (188207)
02-24-2005 5:10 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by PaulK
02-24-2005 2:28 PM


quote:
Moreover he fails to take into account that it is reproduction rather than evolution as such which deals with the actual entropy decreases.

I think that hits the nail on the head. More specifically, the growth of a multicellular organism from a single celled zygote "violates" the 2LoT as well. So I guess we should be losing cells generation after generation?;)

Evolution, as compared to cellular replication, occurs through changes in DNA sequences. The entropy of any 100 base sequence of DNA is equal. The entropy of any stretch of equidistant DNA is equal. Therefore, changes in that DNA molecule does not infringe upon decreases or increases in entropy. This is the way I always look at it.

This message has been edited by Loudmouth, 02-24-2005 17:11 AM


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pink sasquatch
Member (Idle past 4251 days)
Posts: 1567
Joined: 06-10-2004


Message 10 of 80 (188240)
02-24-2005 6:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Donald Thomas
02-24-2005 1:19 PM


ancient green skin
by manipulating genes that control the body plans of embryos they have created mutant mice with backbones that are 200-300 million years out of date…. If genetic information that is up to 350 to 400 million years old can be retained within a genome then does this not lend the lie to Darwin’s theory of evolution via the process of ‘natural selection’?

No, not at all - the theory of evolution predicts that genes maintaining aspects essential to the fitness of an organism will be maintained. The basic body plan is quite essential to a vertebrate species, so it is not surprising that it has been maintained.

Kerner seems to be implying that there are two complete sets of body plans - an 'ancient' one, and a 'modern' one (that is the only way I could see his argument being anti-evolution.) However, this is not the case.

Structures/pathways can evolve via changes and additions of modifier genes that do not alter the underlying 'ancient' or 'basic' plan.

A hypothetical example, (though based on real biology):

Gene A makes a pigment molecule that appears green and results in green skin.

A new gene, Gene B, arises that modifies the pigment molecule made by Gene A, so that it now appears blue. This occurs at the protein level with no change whatsoever to Gene A.

Organisms with blue skin are more fit, and so selection maintains Gene B. Selection also maintains Gene A, which is also required for blue skin.

If a scientist mutates Gene B, green-skinned organisms are produced, revealing the 'ancient' or 'basic' phenotype from a few hundred million years ago.

The fact that Gene A is still around is no surprise, since it has been essential to the fitness of the species for all of that time.

Similiarly, it is no surprise that the genes for producing an ancient/basic backbone are still found in mice, since the backbone evolved by modification, not deletion, of the original backbone plan. (Just as the theory of evolution would predict...)

The telling question that must be asked here is: If all organisms that now exist had from their very inception into the evolutionary process a blueprint of how they should evolve, then where did that blueprint come from in the first place?

No organism carries a blueprint of "how they should evolve".

All organisms have heritable genetic information that is passed on imperfectly, resulting in random mutations upon which selection may act. This is NOT a blueprint, but rather a simple fact of imperfect replication.

This plan is embodied in what are known of as Hox genes... How did the first multi-cellular animals evolving some 700 million years ago contain the basic template of information that only needed to be shuffled around in order to form a human being?"

Kerner seems to be basing his argument upon Hox genes. The appearance of the first Hox gene millions of years ago is by no means equatable to the appearance of all of the basic information required to make a human being. Again, Kerner seems to be implying that all multicellular organisms have the same set of Hox genes, just "shuffled". This is far from the truth.

I have read it and re-read it and cannot fault its logic.

Then you should look into the evidence that his logic is based upon, since he seems to be misrepresenting or misinterpreting it.

To close: Kerner seems to accept that evolution could take an ancient Hox gene, duplicate it dozens of times, shuffle it around and mutate the resulting Hox genes, helping to produce the myriad of species body plans we see today.

He accepts evolution driving the above, but does not seem to accept that the original Hox gene could have formed without the help of aliens.

Bizarre...


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Dr. Silverman
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 80 (188677)
02-26-2005 9:03 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Percy
02-24-2005 4:15 PM


Entropy at the atomic and maroscopic levels
Hi Percy,
I was wondering if you would clarify how Kerner is using an incorrect deifintion of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
You refer to an implied distinction between the operation of the second law at the atomic and macroscopic levels as if to suggest that the effects of the law are more apparent at the microscopic level and perhaps are not applicable on the larger scale.
If I have understood you correctly then your own definition of the second law would seem to be very different from that generally accepted among physicists.
As Boltzmann himself pointed out in the 1870s many processes at the microscopic level, such as collisions of individual gas molecules in thermodynamic processes, are indeed reversible and are therefore of themselves in isolation not associated with an increase in entropy. However when the behaviour of a gas is observed macroscopically, for example if a jar of coloured gas is opened into a room such that the contents of the jar are seen to spread out and fill the available space then the second law can be more clearly seen at work.
One of the great scientists of the 20th century Professor Sir Hermann Bondi (who in his time was often said to be the only man apart from Einstein who fully understood relativity!) was interested in how a combination of myriad reversible processes combine to form irreversible processes without necessarily contradicting the quantum principle of CPT symmetry (charge,parity,time).
Bondi showed that the entropic process must be understood in the sense that in the universe as a whole one definite time direction in singled out and that is the one in which the universe expands. According to his postulation it would seem that the thermodynamic distinction of a positive (or 'forward') direction of time with increasing entropy on the macroscopic thermodynamic level arising out of 'entropy neutral' events at the microscopic and quantum level, results from the expansion of the universe and indeed this Hubble expansion of the universe displays effects right down to the level of everyday physics. Specifically, when two bodies at different temperatures are brought into thermal contact, the temperature equalisation that results is an irreversible process corresponding to an asymmetry of the positive and negative directions in time that depends on the expansion of the universe.
I would like to thank you for your contribution to this fascinating debate and await your reply with much interest.
Kind regards,
Andrew
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Replies to this message:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 18801
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 12 of 80 (188682)
02-26-2005 10:46 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Dr. Silverman
02-26-2005 9:03 AM


Re: Entropy at the atomic and maroscopic levels
Dr. Silverman writes:

I was wondering if you would clarify how Kerner is using an incorrect deifintion of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

While there are many correct ways to state 2LOT, Kerner is not using one of them. The simplest statement of 2LOT: The entropy of a closed system cannot decrease. Another concise way of stating it: Heat can only flow from hot to cold unless work is done.

Here's the Kerner paragraph on 2LOT quoted by Donald Thomas:

“It is complete lunacy to have an entropic force that is busy dismantling atoms, from prior ordered states into greater and greater states of randomness and chaos with time (the Second Law Of Thermodynamics) and at the same time claim that all things are going from good to better, through a series of fortuitous accidents. It is our vanity that does not allow us to see the TRUTH and that is IT IS ALL ONE WAY -DOWN. Everything rots. We rot the moment we are conceived. It is a cast iron standard bearer basic law of biology, in the Universe of Parts. Our Universe”.

A correct statement of 2LOT does not appear in that paragraph.

Kerner also misunderstands evolution as claiming that "all things are going from good to better." Evolution makes no such claim.

Kerner also apparently believes that "going from good to better" contradicts 2LOT, but good and bad are subjective human terms and entropy is not measured on a good/bad scale. One way to think about entropy is as a measure of the energy available in a system to do work - the less the available energy the higher the entropy. Kerner's equating of evolution to improvement and then to decreasing entropy is wrong.

The effects of 2LOT are clearly visible on a macro scale. If this were not true then the thermodynamic laws would not have been worked out so long ago. But Kerner is equating entropy, often defined as a measure of disorder within a system, with human measures of disorder on a macro scale. His arguments against evolution assume that the first life had more entropy than later multicellular life, and that apes have more entropy than humans. But there is nothing in the process of life or of evolution that violates 2LOT, and living organisms are far too complex for thermodynamic comparisons, which wouldn't be meaningful anyway.

--Percy


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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 3261 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 13 of 80 (188683)
02-26-2005 10:55 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Dr. Silverman
02-26-2005 9:03 AM


Re: Entropy at the atomic and maroscopic levels
www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=13&t=62&m=190#190 -->www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=13&t=62&m=190#190">http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=13&t=62&m=190#190
quote:
as to the VIRTUAL GIBBS ASSEMBLY under any thermal physics exploration and comes to a crucial cognition that Gibbs, so he thought, was correct to diss duplications in gas sums of a certain entropy INCREASE as being of NO REAL EVENT. If the reason that Fisher/Wright TENSION has not materialized into newer evolutionary theory theoretically (respite Gould's conceputual stepping)is that any math analytics of Fisher is COMPREHENDED QUANTUM MECHANICALLY in Schrodingers bifurcated grammetology then it seemed to me the equivalent theory biologically (with or without attitudes as to the INNERSIGHT(GERMAN WORD) of no-such-event are cellular physiologies (no matter the origin) with the same CODES (and small statistical variations mutationally possible). Thus variation in the criteria to generate these codes IS experimentally into entropy defs but Schrodinger dissing classical thinking worked on the propositional function vs object without the necessity of experimental philosophy of ACUTAL EXPERIMENTALLY DETERMINED EQUILIBRIA.

Any such case where

quote:
NINETEENTH-CENTURY POPULARIZATIONS OF THERMODYNAMICS AND THE RHETORIC OF SOCIAL PROPHECY

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THERMODYANMICS IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY, introducing the concepts of energy and entropy, was part of a revolution in nineteenth-century physics contemporary with the revolution brought about in biology by the concept of evolution by natural selection^1. Like Darwinism, thermodyanmics has been intertwined with social thought, influenced by it and influencing it sicne the earliest formulations."


(in Energy & Entropy edited by Brantlinger p307 by Greg Myers) applies would seem to need some actual experimentally determined equilibira in order to discusss the context as well as the content and molecular information seems to prima facie NECESSARILY contain this lest it is just ontological confidence.

See evcwise etc
http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=12&t=183&m=1
www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=11&t=103&m=20#20 -->www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=11&t=103&m=20#20">http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=11&t=103&m=20#20
etc

Thus it seems to me Silverman’s { in entropy. However} might have already been addressed. I at least had suggested that a coding of biological information is in no necessary tension with reversible molecular motions. That does not say a lot unless the full quantum implications were drawn out but I don’t have that expertise to compare the maths of physics and biology as of yet, yet if one took “Bondi’s universe” to be that wherein organisms grow and possibly change the rates of development I cant see any difficulty with the *thought* that the expansion in life is equal to whatever the mathematical relation is but I am still at a loss how this is to be expressed in terms of everyday physics if it is through the biology of such that we first understood this and not by any alien information etc. It may be due to biological informations that have no equivalent in physics and exist DUE to the reversibilities and the event existing where Shrodinger could then be said to have wrongly physicalized it.

It is a nice change to get to use the phrase “thermal contact” again. Thanks. Exactly what is being SEEN from the molecular to the organismal is suspicious to say the least. On my own I have visualized a possible nexus of contact no matter how not biologized as

but as to this being more than "like Darwinism" I can not say but by ex cathedral exclaimations about what I dont know in physics and that would not be fair to the physicists. So how one is supposed to interpret the lack of a differential in a spatial sense when it seems to have been the temporal biological sense seems to remain as much a mystery as Einstein's entire project to "unify" the forces. I can give an opinion but it is just that. The polity must decide. I repudiate claims about these martians until I see that the problem is simply not the academic one I encountered on attempting to discuss snakes and frogs at Cornell rather than birds and elephants.

I would have found thermal contact to be between the two DIFFERENT interpenetrating ellipses on my diagram but the distance between them might be taxa specific. Generally I have considered the macro level to possible study this

but that is more than speculation and I would have not posted it but since you asked how could the macro and micro be related. TTTTTTTTThat's how I think it. I can't see how any philosophy of little/green/men or even the more realistic "brain\in\a\vat" applies. That seems to be a choice just like a religous one can be submitted to weekly.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Dr. Silverman, posted 02-26-2005 9:03 AM Dr. Silverman has not yet responded

  
Dr. Silverman
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 80 (188717)
02-26-2005 1:23 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Percy
02-26-2005 10:46 AM


Defintions
I am unfortunately still at a loss to understand why you think Kerner is using an incorrect definition of the second law of thermodynamics. You seem to imply that because he doesn't use either of what you consider to be the two simplest deifintions then his definition must be wrong.
Perhaps I can use an analogy to express my concerns about your argument:
One could say that the simplest way of explaining why an apple falls from a tree is because there is an attractive force between any two massive bodies that is proportional to their masses although another concise way of describing this is to say that (gravitational) potential energy possessed by the apple due to its height can be released through the apple falling (as it acquires kinetic energy). Having thus made two correct statements about gravity (just as you made two correct statements about the second law) it would seem to me to be rather specious to assume that this renders a third definition (perhaps in this case Einstein's assertion that the apple falls because it follows the curvature of space-time) automatically wrong just because it differs from one's own favourite explanations. Kerner has defined the second law of thermodynamics as the tendency for ordered states to give rise to progressively more disordered states with time. This is in full agreement with Boltzmann's description and indeed the simplest definition of entropy i have seen is expressed mathematically as S=-k.lnW where S is entropy, k is Boltzmann's constant and lnW is the natural logarithm of W, where W is a measure of the number of microstates available to a system and therefore a measure of disorder. You, yourself correctly state in your message that entropy is commonly defined as a measure of disorder within a system so it seems that you are accepting Kerner's definition while at the same time pronouncing it wrong.
You say that Kerner "misunderstands evolution as claiming that 'all things are going from good to better'" and you then proceed to state quite correctly that "evolution makes no such claim".
Of course evolution makes no such claim and if you look again at the passage you quoted from Kerner I'm sure you will agree that he does not say that evolution makes this or any other claim. How could it? How can a process make a claim? It is people who make claims. When the first settlers (many centuries before Columbus) discovered the Americas and realised that the Earth must be round they didn't say that geometry had until then claimed that the world was flat. It wasn't geometry that claimed that the world was flat. It was people who had claimed that it was flat perhaps because of their limited experience and understanding and not because of any flaw in Euclid's theorems for example.
Of the fact that natural selection of heritable characteristics exists it would seem that there is no doubt and having read Kerner's book it doesn't seem to me that he is questioning this. Indeed natural selection may well be one of the strongest driving forces of devolution. Insects and bacteria are in many situations better adapted to survival than humans. Cockroaches for example can survive levels of radiation that would be fatal to humans following man-made nuclear explosions.
- Andrew
This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Percy, posted 02-26-2005 10:46 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8858
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 15 of 80 (188720)
02-26-2005 2:01 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Dr. Silverman
02-26-2005 1:23 PM


Why the 2LOT doesn't apply
There is some hint in kerner that he thinks the 2nd law applies everywhere. My house gets messy and that is taken as an example of the 2nd law.

I disagree, that is not an example.

The house will only get messy with input of energy. It will not spontaneously get messy.

What you have to do is show that Kerner's definition is equivalent to the standard defintion of the the 2nd law. I'm not sure that you have since he is applying it to macroscopic objects like living things. He is also ignoring the input of energy to living things.

Of course evolution makes no such claim and if you look again at the passage you quoted from Kerner I'm sure you will agree that he does not say that evolution makes this or any other claim. How could it? How can a process make a claim? It is people who make claims. W

You aren't being serious here are you? Do you think that anyone here thinks that a process talks? The discussion will not proceed if you act like a 6 year old and play the game of taking everything literally.

The mechanisms behind evolution are capable of producing change that can go in various "directions". If you define "better" we can discuss what actually stops those processes from moving in the direction of your "better". It certainly isn't the 2LOT.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Dr. Silverman, posted 02-26-2005 1:23 PM Dr. Silverman has responded

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