Ever been in one of those arguments where a creationist argues “evolution is against the law of entropy”, to which an evolutionist often replies “in an open system, entropy can increase – we have such a system, where the sun is the input”?  As a creationist, I often roll my eyes at this, but hey, I should put up or shut up, right?

Finally, someone w/ the intellectual chops to analyze this has done so.  Granville Sewell, a mathetmatics prof at Texas A&M has written Evolution’s Thermodynamic Failure at The American Spectator.

THE EVOLUTIONIST, therefore, cannot avoid the question of probability by saying that anything can happen in an open system, he is finally forced to argue that it only seems extremely improbable, but really isn’t, that atoms would rearrange themselves into spaceships and computers and TV sets.

In Appendix D of my new book, The Numerical Solution of Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations, second edition, (John Wiley & Sons, 2005) I take a closer look at the equation for entropy change, which applies not only to thermal entropy but also to the entropy associated with anything else that diffuses, and show that it does not simply say that order cannot increase in a closed system.

One would think that at least this would be considered an open question, and those who argue that it really is extremely improbable, and thus contrary to the basic principle underlying the second law, would be given a measure of respect, and taken seriously by their colleagues, but we aren’t.

His article is a good one, although many of the arguments are common ones that Darwinists will roll their eyes at, calling them “recycled creationist babble.”   The Discovery Institute also has a comment on it.