UDreamOfJanie

Dream a Little Dream of Me.

It’s A Big Deal in Kansas

No matter what side of the fence you stand on, Kansas will probably be in your digital crosshairs at some point today.


Yesterday was election day there, and the people have spoken in the primaries on the School Board’s decision to allow for the teaching of Intelligent Design.

Thoughts From Kansas has the election results HERE.

CNN’s current story is here. It’s just the background stuff. Most of our readers are probably already well-versed in its content.

The long and the short of it is that the right to run for five seats on the State School Board were up for grabs yesterday. Four of them are currently being warmed by Republican ID supporters, one by a Democratic evolution supporter.

Red State Rabble is usually a good place to keep up with Kansas ID/Evo news, but no thoughts on the results posted yet.

Got You is an enlightening story over there, though.

This just in:

The Panda’s Thumb has also posted an analysis of the results.
Dr. Tara has posted her thoughts as well.

(We’re going to attempt a Trackback with our handy dandy new Greasemonkey Trackback Script. Update: No love from the Trackback script. We’ll try it one more time. If it still doesn’t work, I guess we won’t be able to do Trackbacks.)(Second Update: Even went to Haloscan and did it manually. I give up.)

From the CNN story, one minor bit of interest stuck in the middle of the story:

“Also Tuesday, Kansas Republicans chose a nominee from among seven candidates to challenge Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.”

Filed under: Biology, Corporal Kate, Fundies, Politics, Religion, Science, Science Links

55 Responses

  1. I’m in favor of what my high school bio teacher did when I was in his class. He taught evolution, because that is what the state standards said and because it was a science class, but he also took a class period to go over the ideas and theories behind creationism (this was before ID became a big thing, so that was never really mentioned). He gave a little disclaimer before he began, saying that while he was making no judgment on the validity of creationism or making any comments on the C vs. E debate (nor did he want to class period to turn into a debate, he felt that was for philosophy or religious studies class), he did feel that it was important for kids to have at least some exposure to both sides so that they could make up their own minds. So the time he spent on evolution, was spent on only evolution and, equally, the time he spent on creationism was spent on only creationism. And to give him some real credit, he was willing to point out both the strengths and the weaknesses of both sides.

    It seems to me that this is a reasonable approach. Since it is a science class, spend more time on evolution, but give creationism and ID some time as well. If students want to study creationism or ID in more detail, they then can do so either in religious studies classes, their church, on their own, whatever. It just seems ill-advised to me to limit a student’s education because of politics or to say that a thing is the Truth simply because someone says so. Give kids some credit – by high school most can make up their own minds if they’re given the chance. And don’t give any of this crap about needing to “protect” the children from the other side’s “extremist” ideas – and I mean this to be directed at all sides here, not just one! In today’s world, kids are perfectly capable of going out and finding out things for themselves, so regardless of what you try to “protect” them from, if they are interested, they are going to learn about anyway. And if they’re not interested, they’re probably not going to listen to what you’re trying to tell them anyway!

  2. Biogeer says:

    Presenting both options as equally reasonable to school kids, who are rather unqualified to judge these topics on their merits, is not reasonable.

    In science class, you present the scientific consensus. They can get religious material from church or from their parents.

  3. I guess would have to say that, in my opinion, giving evolution a full week and creationism one class period can hardly be considered “presenting both options as equally reasonable.” And as far as the teacher I had, his approach was to present the ideas and theories of the people behind each. For example, he never once mentioned what the Bible says. He would simply say “Creationist theory would argue . . .” He was not asking the students to make any sort of judgement call. I should also clarify one thing – the material he presented on creationism was NOT on any test or quiz. What we were responsible for as far as the class was concerned was just the evolution.

    Maybe it’s that I work in the humanities and I’m not a natural scientist, but isn’t part of being a good scientist being able to counter the arguments of other theories in support of your own? And doesn’t that mean you should have at least some basic, and I do emphasize “basic”, idea of other positions?

  4. Anonymous says:


    And doesn’t that mean you should have at least some basic, and I do emphasize “basic”, idea of other positions?

    In general, no. Unless these other positions have some scientific merit. I wouldnt expect a modern working scientist to know much about Phlogiston, the four humours or Lamarckism.

    Now, I note that you say:

    And as far as the teacher I had, his approach was to present the ideas and theories of the people behind each.

    Which isnt exactly the point about science- ultimately it is about things beyond ideas and theories of particular groups. For example, it is noticeable in the eovlution/ creationism struggle that religious believers of all religions have no problems with evolution. See the thread about what is science for details.
    guthrie

  5. DaveScot says:

    RogueHistorian

    You don’t understand. If there is ANY criticism of the Darwinian Dogma allowed in public schools then the jig is up. The cover is blown. Everyone will figure out the Emporer Has No Clothes. So they can’t allow even a sticker that says evolution is a theory, not a fact, be seen. That’s all it takes to blow the whole friggin’ Church of Darwin open at the seams.

    Amazing, isn’t it?

  6. DaveScot says:

    guthrie says he wouldn’t expect modern scientists to know much about Lamarckism. Guthrie needs to get out more often. I’m not a biologist but even I knew that Lamarckism was buried prematurely. Perhaps if guthrie’s science teacher had been more up to date guthrie would have known better than to stick his foot in his mouth on this.

    For those who wish to see the specific example of how science can be wrong when everyone was so sure it was right in the case of Lamarckian inheritance start here and here.

  7. DaveScot says:

    I dont’t expect guthrie to know much about Lamarckism but I certainly expect modern working life science PhDs to know exactly what it is and the manner in which it has been vindicated through epigenetic inheritance. I also expect such an important theory in the history of biology to be mentioned by name in any introductory survey of biology. When the mistakes of history are ignored they tend to be repeated. In this case, ignorance of Lamarckism in modern biology because guthrie was somewhere taught it was mistake and should therefore be forgotten (probably on talk.origins where the young, poorly educated members of the Church of Darwin go for all their knowledge) caused him to reveal his lack of depth in the subject. Poor Guthrie. Another casualty on the science front of the culture wars.

  8. Anonymous says:

    OK Dave, point me in the direction of the research showing how Lamarck has been properly vindicated. I dont recall that Lamarck predicted epigenetic effects.

    Lets take Wikipedia for example. The first few sentences on Lamarck say:

    The inheritance of acquired characters (or characteristics) is the hereditary mechanism by which changes in physiology acquired over the life of an organism (such as muscle enlarged through use) are transmitted to offspring.

    So, how exactly is this the same as epigenetics?
    The wikipedia entry on epigenetics is here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetics

    I suggest that Janie reads it and compares the entry on Lamark, and then she could try and find out how knowledge of Lamarcks (And others ) ideas that characteristics were inheritable influenced epigenetics.
    Needless to say, I dont expect Scott to know much science either. My question about biology still stands- What laws of physics are being broken in evolution, dave?

    guthrie

  9. DaveScot says:

    biogeer

    Your turn, buddy. You didn’t expect to escape did you?

    You said:

    In science class, you present the scientific consensus.

    From here:

    “Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus….There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.” – Michael Crichton.

    Physics Nobel Laureate Professor Josephson wrote: “if scientists as a whole denounce an idea this should not necessarily be taken as proof that the said idea is absurd: rather, one should examine carefully the alleged grounds for such opinions and judge how well these stand up to detailed scrutiny.”

    So much for consensus science. However, you do have a partial point in that the consensus should be taught. Where you go wrong is in implying it should be taught in a vacuum that excludes everything that is not the majority opinion. Minority positions deserve mention in proportionately smaller measure than current consensus.

  10. Sorry, guys.

    Janie ain’t doing much of anything today. She’s still sick as a dog.

    I’m even taking the laptop away from her until she’s better. She needs to rest.

    However, I do need to point Dave to our latest post at UDOJ.

    We both hope you’ll like it, Dave.

    Kisses,
    Kate and Barfmeister

  11. DaveScot says:

    guthrie

    point me in the direction of the research showing how Lamarck has been properly vindicated.

    In the future I expect you to do you own homework. Here’s a small start.

    http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2006/05/vive-lamarck.php
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/288/5463/38
    http://www.nimr.mrc.ac.uk/millhillessays/2004/heredity/

  12. Biogeer says:

    Way to dodge right past the point, there, Skippy, although I do like the Davison-like argument by quotation. We are talking about what is taught to children or teens, not whether something that is not in the consensus is a legitimate topic for debate or research.

    Schoolkids are not qualified to judge what is or isn’t legitimate science. They should certainly be grounded in scientific method and the proper relationships and definitions of observation and theory – and there is no reason why what is which in evolutionary theory cannot be taught.

    However, teaching them discredited pseudosciences like ID (even in small proportions) alongside real biology serves no purpose but to confuse. Even Republicans are figuring this out.

  13. DaveScot says:

    guthrie

    No laws of physics are being broken by evolution that I know of. The mythical Darwinian mechanism of chance and necessity appears to break the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics as it applies to information theory. I’m not a mathematician but Granville Sewell is a math PhD (Purdue) and a full professor at UT so I’ll let him speak for me.

    Evolution’s Thermodynamic Failure
    By Granville Sewell
    Published 12/28/2005 12:05:33 AM

    More of Sewell’s writing on the matter can be found here:

    A Mathematician’s View of Evolution

  14. Biogeer says:

    That we would let anyone who so profoundly misunderstands the second law teach physics, chemistry or biology to anyone is scary indeed (how’s that defense of yor thermodynamics at Alan Fox’s blog going, BTW?).

  15. Anonymous says:

    Thats cute Dave- I note that the old canard about thermodynamics making it all wrong is total bunk, as can be found here:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/thermo.html

    I’m sure Janie might have some questions. Thermodynamics is hard and complicated.

    Oh look here:


    “While statistical information theory has a quantity called “entropy”, it does not have anything equivalent to the second law of thermodynamics. In a general information processing/transmitting system, entropy can freely decrease or increase.

    There are some classes of information systems in which information can only decrease, for example a deterministic, causally isolated system with discrete states. However (at least in this case) the information loss corresponds to a decrease in entropy.

    Information theory does sort of have a principle of degradation, but it is only applicable in certain situations (which evolution isn’t one of). It implies, essentially, that information change is irreversible: information gets more and more different from how it started out, and the more it gets changed, the harder it is to tell how it started out. In a communication or information storage system, where the goal is to transmit or replay the original message intact, change is necessarily bad, so this corresponds to degradation. In evolution, change is not necessarily bad, so this is not a principle of degradation.”

    From:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CF/CF005.html

  16. DaveScot says:

    HAHAHAHAHA!

    I knew you would be forced to refer to talk.origins. It’s the only source the ignorati pretending to knowledge at ATBC have.

    Tell me, guthrie old chap, who wrote the article on talk.origins and how do his qualifications to discuss 2LOT in information theory stack up against a Purdue PhD in math who’s a full professor at UT and how does talk.origins stack up against The Mathematical Intelligencer as a respected source of mathematical disserations?

  17. DaveScot says:

    Hey guthrie,

    On the off chance that you actually referred to something that disputed Sewell I looked at your talk.origins link. Nothing there critiques Sewell’s article.

    So I went a step further to see if Sewell was mentioned ANYWHERE on talkorigins.org

    Zip. Zilch. Nada.

    Curt Sewell yes, Granville, no.

    Let me know when you find a critique of Sewell by someone qualified to make it. Thanks in advance for not posting more specious crap that doesn’t mention Sewell.

  18. DaveScot says:

    biogeer

    how’s that defense of yor thermodynamics at Alan Fox’s blog going, BTW

    I won it hands down with the greatest of ease. Thanks for asking.

  19. Biogeer says:

    won it hands down with the greatest of ease.

    Well, sure, if you redefine “winning” as “getting whipped, whining and then running”.

    For interested observers:

    http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=23603046&postID=115098036727872778

  20. Biogeer says:

    Tell me, guthrie old chap, who wrote the article on talk.origins and how do his qualifications to discuss 2LOT in information theory stack up against a Purdue PhD in math who’s a full professor at UT and how does talk.origins stack up against The Mathematical Intelligencer as a respected source of mathematical disserations?

    I suggest you look up “argument from authority” and think a bit about why it’s a fallacy.

    In any case, although there is not a direct response as such, Sewell presents no argument that is not covered by the articles on thermodynamics on talk.origins. Sewell’s drivel is just the same, tired old argument from incredulity.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Right. And the gravity thing, too? Won that hands down? Who were the arbitors?

    About that Granville paper. Uh, where’s the math? He’s a maths guy, right? Seems he just regurgitates Behe and many old SLoT arguments. Okay, not many; the paper’s only about 7 paragraphs long.

    So, I’m not sure if you need to be a mathematician to critique it. In fact, nobody needs to critique it specifically–it’s all been said and critiqued before by innumerable people.

  22. Biogeer says:

    For that matter, when looking for an authority on thermodynamics, the math department is hardly where I’d start.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I’d start in the Law Dept., move leterally through the speech and communications dept., then walk across campus to find the theology dept., break for lunch, drop in on the civil engineering dept., and finish by taking in a lecture of the performing arts conservatory.

    I certainly hope I didn’t miss any relevant schools; I’d hate for my education to prematurely stunted by not looking for the finest info available.

  24. Please sign your comments with something other than “anonymous”. We don’t care what, just so we know whether anonymous #1 and anonymous #2 are the same commenter.

    Thanks,
    Kate

  25. Biogeer says:

    Actually, you might not fare so poorly in the civil engineering department. Engineers, unlike mathematicians, are generally required to take courses on thermodynamics.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Yes. I suppose I need to apologize to engineers in general. I do believe they are generally well educated. I was trying to get in a dig at Disco’s engineer-heavy list of dissenters.

    signed,

    #6

    Don’t you wish you were THIS #6? We sure do. — ck

  27. JanieBelle says:

    Alright. Everybody. I’m sick and I don’t really feel like dealing with a bunch of crap.

    The conversation is still within the bounds of arguing the points, but just barely.

    Take a deep breath, cool off.

    “Collar the jubjub”, as blipey once said.

    Thanks,
    JanieBelle

  28. Anonymous says:

    Dave, my good fellow, I am greatly pleased that you followed up the links and read the articles. Unfortunately, they did not directly address your friend Prof Sewell, because as my esteemed aqaintance Biogeer has noted, Sewell did not make any mathematical arguments; instead he orated at length on the second law of thermodynamics, without actually demonstrating how The modern Synthesis breaks said laws.

    Next, epigenetics. Your first link, to the gene expression pages, says this:

    Of course, I’m getting way ahead of myself– no one knows how widespread the transmission of epigenetic variation will be. But this is fascinating stuff, and well worth keeping in mind…

    Now, Lamarckism is generally thought of as transmission of aquired characteristics. Can you explain to me how methylation of DNA is the same as the aquired characteristics, like what is expaliend in the Wikipedia article?
    For example, the NIMR essay says taht there is no change in the genes. Or in other words, long term evolution of the animmal is not necessarily possible, since methylation is reversible.

    And finally, can you explain how this means that an intelligent designer made us? I am afraid that I cannot see a connection.

    guthrie

  29. DaveScot says:

    Incredible.

    I start out by telling you people this is not thermodynamics of heat but of information and it goes right over your heads. Information theory is mathematics, not physics. Duh. The critique of Sewell I expected one of you to be competent enough to find (my biggest mistake is always overestimating my detractors) was Mark Perakh on Panda’s Thumb at which point I was prepared to point out Mark is a physicist, not a mathemetician. I was also prepared to point out that an article published on Panda’s Thumb by a physicist critiqueing a mathematician on information theory is a long shot from rising to the level of getting the rebuttal published in The Mathematical Intelligencer.

    Thanks for playing. There’s a consolation prize waiting as you exit stage left. It’s a solar powered calculator to help you on your way to understanding how numbers work.

  30. DaveScot says:

    guthrie

    Methylation is just one way of passing on acquired traits.

    Here is some more reading for you. I can spoonfeed this stuff to you but if you keep making faces and spitting it out I’ll eventually give up on you.

  31. Biogeer says:

    I start out by telling you people this is not thermodynamics of heat but of information and it goes right over your heads.

    Gee, in that case, perhaps the “duh” moment is in misapplying the second law of thermodynamics, which concerns the flow of heat. You’ve made it clear that you are a 1st-class dilettante when it comes to thermodynamics, but let’s see how your champion, Sewell, fares:

    This 12-page demolition of Sewell’s nonsense by J. Rosenhouse (a professor of mathematics at James Madison) was subsequently published in the Intelligencer:

    http://www.math.jmu.edu/~rosenhjd/sewell.pdf

    Rosenhouse tears him another new one here:

    http://evolutionblog.blogspot.com/2005/05/sewell-part-i.html

    Perakh (a CSU professor emeritus of physics with hundreds of publications on topics quite relevant to thermodynamics) eviscerates more of Sewell’s shoddy arguments here:

    http://www.talkreason.org/articles/Sewell.cfm

    Ouch.

  32. Anonymous says:

    No Dave, Methylation is a way of switching genes on and off in response to environmental changes, and it also occurs throughout the life of cells, not just in response to environmental stuff. Your challenge is to explain how this in any way invalidates evolution through natural selection. That is is another method of adaptation to improve survivability of the organism is not exactly in doubt; however, that it means that mutation and selection is a dead duck, is just stupid. Go on, make a positive argument for how this destroys the modern synthesis.
    guthrie

  33. Zachriel says:

    DaveScot: “I’m not a mathematician but Granville Sewell is a math PhD (Purdue) and a full professor at UT so I’ll let him speak for me.

    The article you cite is not published in a peer journal for mathematics or physics. Apparently, Sewell has not been able to persuade his peers that his views have any validity.

    There is no exception in the laws of thermodynamics for intelligence. In fact, the laws of thermodynamics were developed in response to design problems when it was determined there was a limit to the efficiency of energy conversion in heat engines — regardless of how smart the inventor or how sophisticated the mechanism.

    He is also incorrect on fact. Matter often organizes itself as energy flows through a system.

    biogeer: “I suggest you look up ‘argument from authority” and think a bit about why it’s a fallacy.“‘

    Of course, not all cites to authority are fallacious. This particular appeal is certainly faulty as Sewell is arguing against the general agreement among his peers on the subject in question. So, the appeal to authority fails. A valid appeal to authority would actually be an argument against Sewell’s position.

    The proper response to a valid appeal to authority is to the evidence, something that eludes Sewell.

    Argumentum Ad Verecundiam

  34. Anonymous says:

    I like this bit of Rosenhouse’s piece:

    So you see the problem. In responding to Sewell’s essay we are confronted with the fact that every sentence, and virtually every clause within every sentence, is total nonsense.

    Sewell definitely had a JAD moment and became a crank. His articles about evolution don’t make any sense. He acts like he’s about to make a mathematical argument about SLoT, but then he just doesn’t and starts babbling about how unlikely he feels evolution to be. If you say something violates SLoT, you better be able to calculate S, beeotch.

    -Jiang

  35. Anonymous says:

    By the way, the second law of thermodynamics does not exist in Information Theory. That might help you understand why no recognized IT researcher has announced problems with evolution. Entropy is used in IT, but it is not the kind of entropy the SLoT applies to.

    -jiang

  36. Hello Jiang,

    Sorry we can’t give you a proper welcome. I’m little busy with a sick lover.

    Welcome,

    Kate

  37. Anonymous says:

    Oh and one last thing–claiming an Information Theory version of the SLoT and misapplying it to evolution is not something invented by mathematicians or IT researchers. It was invented over 30 years ago by ‘scientific creationists’.

    -jiang

  38. DaveScot says:

    Zach

    Laws of nature aren’t developed. They’re discovered. You are still droning on about entropy in physical systems. Information isn’t physical. And of course 2LOT is applied in information theory. See here for starters.

    biogeer

    The first article you reference by Rosenhouse devotes one short paragraph to Sewell and uses the trite “the earth isn’t a closed system” rejoinder like no more needs to be said. LOL

    The second article you reference, which actually does concentrate on Sewell, doesn’t offer anything in the way of refutation more substantial than calling what Sewell said “nonsense”. I’m surprised Rosenhouse didn’t finish it off by saying “neener, neener, neener”. What grade did you say Rosenhouse was in?

    But let’s say Rosenhouse wasn’t resorting to name calling to distract from how lame the rebuttal was. At best we still have two well credentialed math experts in disagreement so it’s a stalemate.

    guthrie

    No, my challenge isn’t to show how methylation debunks evolution. That’s another straw man. Is that only kind of man you can engage? My challenge was to show that DNA methylation is Lamarckism and I did that so well you now claim I was supposed to be debunking evolution with it instead of just making you look like an ass for saying that you wouldn’t expect modern scientists to know much about Lamarckism. LOL

  39. DaveScot says:

    2nd Law of Thermodynamics

    Anyone arguing with Sewell is basically saying that the sun heating up a blank hard disk can cause a new version of Linux to appear on the disk.

    Uh huh. Right. Heat energy causes complex specified information like Linux to magically organize itself from nowhere.

    ROFLMAO!

    What a bunch of morons.

  40. DaveScot says:

    Hey, I just got a great idea!

    Janie and Kate don’t need to go to the bookstore. All they have to do is set stack of blank copy paper out in the sun and the heat will cause words arranged in meaningful ways to appear on them.

    Yeah, that’s the ticket. Straight from Jason Rosenhouse. Come to think of it, I bet that’s where Jason gets most of his information – baking his sodding balk head in the noonday sun. Someone needs to tell him to drink more fluids when he does that.

    HAHAHAHAAHA!!!!!!!!! I kill me.

  41. JanieBelle says:

    Easy Dave. I give my best and most prolific commenters, you among them, a considerable amount of latitude here, but you’re stretching your limits a bit.

    Thanks, and sterilized-for-your-protection kisses,
    JanieBelle

  42. Zachriel says:

    DaveScot (snip): “complex specified information

    Please provide a precise definition and metric for each of those terms. Start with information.

    Thanks!

  43. Zachriel says:

    DaveScot: “Information isn’t physical.

    And for evidence you link to a website that states, “Information is Physical”.

    DaveScot: “And of course 2LOT is applied in information theory.

    Thermodynamic laws are unified with mechanical theory through an *application of information theory*.

  44. Zachriel says:

    DaveScot: “See here for starters.

    Reading a bit further in your cited article,

    “Furthermore, the thermodynamic entropy S is dominated by the different arrangements of the system, and in particular its energy, that are possible on a molecular scale. In comparison, the information entropy of any macroscopic events is so small as to be completely irrelevant.”

    In other words, the arrangement of ink on a piece of paper are irrelevant to the thermodynamic properties of the paper. When burned, the ink-stained page powers the same amount of work whether the ink spots are gibberish or the Queen’s English.

  45. Biogeer says:

    At best we still have two well credentialed math experts in disagreement so it’s a stalemate.

    No, we have one credentialed math professor exposing Sewell’s stupid, fallacious argument from incredulity in detail, and a credentialed physicist (and a much more credible expert on thermodynamics) doing likewise. Perakh and Rosenhouse destroyed Sewell’s amateur-hour thermo errors on the merits of the argument, which invalidates even a valid appeal to authority. Frankly, a moderately clever first-year engineering or science student would have little problem dissecting his defective reasoning. Moreover, the majority of physicists, chemists, mathematicians and biologists do not support the long-discredited creationist 2LOT canard.

    What I find especially hilarious is, that as a supposed expert on thermodynamics from the math angle, Sewell doesn’t formalize even one of his assertions in equation form. Creationists very deliberately and consistently avoid providing any numbers on these supposed violations of the second law.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Zachriel beat me to it as I had to go play some softball and missed the fun. Still, I’d like to point out the paragraph before the one he references in the wiki article:

    Despite all that, there is an important difference between the two quantities. The information entropy H can be calculated for any probability distribution (if the “message” is taken to be that the event i which had probability pi occurred, out of the space of the events possible). But the thermodynamic entropy S refers to specifically thermodynamic probabilities pi.

    Hmmm. Looks like S is a more specific calculation with stiffer parameters than H. So a law that would apply to H would apply to S, but not necessarily vice versa.

    All cognac is brandy but not all brandy is cognac….

    signed,

    #6

  47. DaveScot says:

    Alrighty then. I find myself arguing with folks who believe heat creates complex specified information such that by putting a blank notebook out in the sun could cause a Shakespearian play to appear within.

    A Shakespearian play, by the way, is complex specified information. If you don’t understand please state which term a)complex b)specified or c)information is eluding your conceptual grasp.

    Thanks in advance for helping me to help you. I can spoonfeed this stuff to you if you stop making faces and spitting it out.

  48. DaveScot says:

    By the way…

    The representation of information is physical. Information itself has no mass/energy.

    A sheet of paper with letters on it will mass the same whether the letters are arranged randomly or they are arranged into a message.

    Or try this thought experiment:

    Regardless of whether or not intelligent agency exists on the planet earth, the planet’s mass remains the same and the energy it receives from the sun remains the same.

    What then is responsible for the information contained in the Library of Congress? Intelligent agency of course. That’s the only difference between a planet earth with and without a Library of Congress.

    Furthermore, take away intelligent agency and what happens to the information in the Library of Congress – will it continue to increase in organized structure or will its organized structure decrease? Why, it obeys the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics of course and the information will become increasingly disorganized. Intelligent agency defeats (at least temporarily) the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics as it applies to information.

  49. Zachriel says:

    DaveScot: “If you don’t understand please state which term a)complex b)specified or c)information is eluding your conceptual grasp.

    I asked for *metrics* for each, starting with information. Perhaps you missed my query.

    You might try to apply your *metrics* to these examples, and do please show your math:

    * snowflake
    * algae
    * amino acids
    * thunderstorm

  50. Zachriel says:

    This post has been removed by the author.

  51. Biogeer says:

    I find myself arguing with folks who believe heat creates complex specified information such that by putting a blank notebook out in the sun could cause a Shakespearian play to appear within.

    Attack strawmen much?

    What then is responsible for the information contained in the Library of Congress?

    The conversion of chemical and other potential energy into heat, with a concomitant increase in entropy.

    Intelligent agency defeats (at least temporarily) the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics as it applies to information.

    Absolute nonsense. First, the second law does not apply to information, as you have been instructed several times now.

    Second, humans (or unintelligent life, like ants or coral-builders) can direct energy in such a way that they build ordered structures or artifacts. Publishing a book requires energy: someone has to write it (and maintain their life functions over that time), paper has to be processed from pulp (and/or a computer has to be produced from very many raw materials) and the book has to be printed and bound. Every step of the way, entropy is increasing as various forms of energy (mostly chemical) are converted into heat. Net entropy increases, which is exactly what the second law dictates.

    By your brain-damaged logic, an air conditioner breaks the second law, becuase it causes heat to flow from a cooler body to a hotter body, thus decreasing net entropy. Of course, this is only the case if one dishonestly or ignorantly does not account for the rather large amount of electrical energy being converted into heat in order to keep the device operating.

    I strongly suggest you try learning thermodynamics from a textbook or a university course, not from creationist websites.

  52. JanieBelle says:

    “…By your brain-damaged logic…”

    Easy, bucko.

    You can make your point without starting another flame war.

    I’m trying to get that sort of thing under control, if you don’t mind.

  53. Biogeer says:

    I just find the sort of cynical dishonesty inherent in peddling refuted arguments over and over to be highly offensive. It gets me a bit hot under the collar.

  54. JanieBelle says:

    Yes, there are quite a few collars that get hot around here, I’m just trying to keep them a little cooler.

    Thanks.

  55. Zachriel says:

    DaveScot: “Intelligent agency defeats (at least temporarily) the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics as it applies to information.

    As I already mentioned, there is no exception in the Laws of Thermodynamics for intelligence.

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