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As far as I recall, there was only one question you asked that I didn't get around to answer. On 17 Sept 98 you remarked that "all observed processes go down hill." The next day I reminded you of "negative entropy, of which there are examples too numerous to mention here." Later that day you asked me "to review those 'too numerous to mention' evidences of uphill processes that prove" my point. At the time I was addressing other issues that seemed more important, but I made a mental note to return to your question.

The following classes of negative entropy come to mind; there may be others.
In each class, of course, there are innumerable examples:
* The net increase of energy the Earth receives daily from the Sun.
* The increase in the mass of the Earth from bombardment of meteorites, some bearing complex carbon molecules.
* The formation of the six-sided crystalline symmetry of a snowflake from randomly moving molecules of water vapor.
* The formation of salts with precise planes of crystalline symmetry when water evaporates from a solution.
* The growth of a seed into a flowering plant.
* The growth of an egg into an adult animal.

Regardless of whether you think any or all of these are the result of supernatural intelligent design, you did say that "ALL observed processes go downhill," and the examples above are "observed processes" that do NOT "go downhill."


As to your examples of "negative entropy," I wonder when you will turn your skeptical eye on the pronouncements of mainstream science. Just because you can make up a name for something does not mean it is real. (Like the group of lawyers from New York who got their psychiatrists to certify that they had pathological aversion to filling out tax forms.)

The examples you give are all faulty. The increase of heat of the earth (as the sun uses up its energy) is trivial. There is no increase in complexity or information. In fact, raw energy breaks down structures that exist.

The increase in mass by meteorite bombardment is no great accomplishment and the "complex" compounds are nothing like what is needed for life. If you are not convinced of that you may mistake a brick for the Taj Mahal. In time, anyway, they deteriorate if they are not part of a complete living system that can protect them. A dead fish in the sun does not turn into something better.

Crystals are innate in the structure of the molecule. By their shape, they will tend to hook up into shapes that are predictable and stable. It is unlike the structures needed for life. Alphabet soup does not naturally organize itself into the Encyclopedia Brittanica.

Seeds and zygotes (you made a mistake -- you wrote "egg" instead of zygote -- does this mean that I may now disregard anything you say?) develop into the corresponding plant or animal because they contain the information for that specific task. They are complex beyond our comprehension in their level of organization. Just because they are common does not mean they are simple. A grain of sand, shaped to look like a seed, will not turn into a grass, nor will a piece of gelatin grow into a frog.

Just because these examples are accepted by PhDs does not mean they are correct.

Some of the most messed up people I know are PhDs.

But if you persist in believing these myths, I have little hope that you can evaluate any other evidence impartially.


Back to negative entropy:

ROSS: "The increase of heat of the earth (as the sun uses up its energy) is trivial."

ME: What I actually said was, "net increase of energy," not just heat. In any case, the abundant energy the Sun showers on Earth is hardly trivial. Without it this planet would be a cold barren hunk of rock. The fact that the Sun is losing energy does not invalidate my claims for the existence of negative entropy on Earth. Part of the Sun's energy is light, without which there would be no photosynthesis, a highly complex process (negative entropy again) that began between 3.5 to 2.8 billion years ago in blue-green algae. These algae released oxygen molecules into the atmosphere and steadily worked to strengthen the ozone layer and change the Earth's chemically reducing atmosphere into a chemically oxidizing one--and where would we be without oxygen and the ozone layer?

ROSS: "Just because you can make up a name for something does not mean it is real."

ME: Creationists use "entropy" and "negative entropy" regularly. I assume these words mean something to them, as I know they do to scientists. It is perplexing, however, that young-Earth creationists go to such lengths to find scientific evidence for intelligent design, especially when they only use such evidence when it supports Genesis and reject it when it does not. Why isn't it sufficient for them simply to accept that the design of living things is "supernatural" and let it go at that? As Walt Brown said, "Fish were created swimming and birds were created flying," making it clear that the creation process was a sudden one. Presumably God just said "Let there be fish" or "Let there be birds" and they simply swooshed into existence. From the creationist's point of view, what need is there for elaborate scientific theories for creation?

ROSS: "The examples you give are all faulty."

ME: Originally you stated that "all observed processes go down hill [move toward greater entropy]." Therefore, all I did was give examples of processes that DO move in the other direction (negative entropy), regardless of whether or not they indicate evolution or intelligent design.

ROSS: "... you made a mistake-you wrote 'egg' instead of zygote- does this mean that I may now disregard anything you say? ..."

ME: In lay articles on science, I've seen "egg" used in the sense I did. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate dictionary gives one meaning as "an animal reproductive body consisting of an ovum together with its nutritive and protective envelopes and having the capacity to develop into a new individual capable of independent existence." May you now disregard anything I say? Haven't you typically done so?


I will not get dragged into a land war in Asia when there is first class foolishness right out in the open here at home. So, rather than letting you think that nobody takes you on because you are unanswerable, let me repeat the fallacies of your arguments.

You surely know that when I say that "increase in the heat of the earth from the sun is trivial" I am not saying that the sun is not important. If you really don't understand, then we get back to the "are you a nit-picker" question. What I obviously meant is that your point is trivial to the real question of how to produce ever-increasing order to produce and perfect life. I said it in my letter. You ignored it and built a straw man to tear down -- that I think the sun is unimportant. Equivocation is a real problem for evolutionists, such as point to changes in the colors of moths, calling it evolution, and then saying, "see, molecules to man DOES occur!"

Photosynthesis is the result of raw energy being transformed by a very elaborate, highly designed, irreducibly complex mechanism in the chloroplast. It does not help your case. You need to get raw energy to build the factory, not just run it. But raw energy breaks down dead leaves after they have lost the protective power of the intact organism.

Your second point is gobbledegoop, about creationists not needing scientific theories. I as a creationist am very interested in how God's creation works and in evidences that bear on how and when it was created. There are such evidences and they provide fascinating study. You are obligated to reject a priori any that point to the supernatural or to recent creation because of your presuppositions. A creationist can look at evidence of natural or supernatural causes of any event as well as old or young age of the universe. I have looked at both and have concluded that young is best supported by the evidence. You could NEVER conclude that because your evolution needs long ages if it is ever going to work -- and even then it needs a prayer and you will never give it that.

You do not respond to my refutation of zygote to animal or seed to plant transformation as examples that help your cause. Perhaps this is because you have seen the light on those arguments. I only wish Stephen Jay Gould did. Again, the problem for evolution is that the design is already there in micro-minature form in the DNA and that it is expressed in a very tightly choreographed manner organized not only in space but over time to produce the physical expression of the stored information. What happens to that information over many generation, even though it is well protected and regularly corrected by the built in mechanism, is that it does deteriorate slowly, loses or garbles information and produces mutants that are not better but less adapted.


Now about entropy. You tell me that you won't consider other matters, such as my Biblical questions, until we have settled the argument about entropy (by the way, we have discussed only 2 or 3 of these questions, and then only briefly; moreover, your answers came up short as I shall point out when we get to them again). Now, what is it exactly that you want me to say about entropy (I thought the matter was already settled). What you really want to discuss, it appears, is not entropy, but whether life was designed by a supreme intelligence, and you know that this is what we have been arguing about all along for the past few years, so you can't now expect an immediate resolution of our differences.

Nevertheless, back to entropy for the moment. You know, I assume, that the second law of thermodynamics says, "No process is possible in which the sole result is the transfer of energy from a cooler to a hotter body." An equivalent phrasing of the law is, "The entropy of a closed system cannot decrease." As for the universe, I don't think astrophysicists have decided whether it is open or closed. It seems to me they are still trying to determine that fact by hunting for more dark matter, and such. Are you agreeable to limiting our discussion of intelligent design to life here on Earth? Earth definitely is an open system; it receives energy from outside, chiefly the Sun. Therefore, one cannot say that entropy here on Earth can NOT decrease. The Sun provides more than enough energy to drive living things, weather, etc. Examples of progression decreasing entropy (negative entropy) are (in addition to the already mentioned formation of snowflakes, salt formation, and the growth of living things) sand dunes, tornadoes, stalactites, graded river beds, and lightening--all temporary "pockets," one might say, of decreasing entropy. The small changes that occur in living things between generations do not violate any physical laws--certainly not the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Now, whether or not they were designed by an intelligent being--that is quite another question.

You have tried to explain away the negative entropy of crystal formation by saying that it is "innate in the structure of the molecule." On the other hand, you say that in the seed or zygote the "design is already there in micro-miniature form in the DNA." Well, then why can't I claim that the design of the crystal is already there in micro-miniature form in the molecule? What is the difference? Because the seed or zygote are" irreducibly complex?" This could be simply a matter of degree. About my claim that creationists don't need scientific theories: When you tell me that you are very interested in HOW God's creation WORKS and in evidences that bear on HOW and WHEN it was created, you are no longer talking about the SUPERNATURAL. HOW, WHEN, and WORKS are in the NATURAL world. To know the natural causes that produced a supernatural phenomenon is a redundancy. When you know all the natural causes of a particular phenomenon, you have excluded the need for the supernatural. Can it be that you want to know all the natural workings of each phenomenon EXCEPT some smidgen of the supernatural--just enough of the supernatural to let God feel useful? Explain. Creationists ignore 100,000 facts to support an old Earth in order to claim that 10 facts support a young Earth.


I am done replying. I will only make occasional comments.

You have not dealt with entropy but only defined it so narrowly as to be meaningless for your needs. Increasing heat on earth does not help the cause of evolution and all the talk of open systems is just a parroting of what the big boys of evolution glibly talk about without the skepticism you would show if a creationist said it. Actually the earth -- indeed the whole universe -- is an open system. It is open to God.

Send comments to me at ross{at}

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