Saturday, 6 January 2007

Thermodynamics and Evolution

The ID in the United Kingdom blog has an interesting post that includes Andy Macintosh's comments about the laws of thermodynamics and their relevance to the creation/evolution debate. Some argue that the second law of thermodynamics is irrelevant to the creation/evolution debate because the earth is not a closed system; energy is being continually pumped into it by the sun. However, as Andy points out, energy alone is not sufficient to produce new information. Here's an extract from the quote:

The reason of course why this subject of origins will not go away is that there is a scientific case, whether Dawkins likes it or not, which is a challenge to the neo-Darwinian attempts to explain life in terms of common descent. It is a straightforward case of testable science versus the modern evolutionary ‘just-so’ story telling. Scientists like myself who believe in Creation have no problem with natural selection. It is simply the natural equivalent of artificial selection. But natural selection has no power to create new functional structures. It does not increase information and does not build machines which are not there already (either fully developed or in embryonic form).

The principles of thermodynamics even in open systems do not allow a new function using raised free energy levels to be achieved without new machinery. And new machines are not made by simply adding energy to existing machines. This was the point at issue in the programme of Dec 10th. Intelligence is needed.

And this thesis is falsifiable. If anyone was to take an existing chemical machine and produce a different chemical machine which was not there before (either as a sub part or latently coded for in the DNA template) then this argument would have been falsified. No one has ever achieved this.