December 30, 2005 | David F. Coppedge

Thermodynamics Defeats Evolution “in a Most Spectacular Way”

The second law of thermodynamics (2TD), what Sir Arthur Eddington called the supreme law of nature, does not permit evolution, argued Granville Sewall in The American Spectator; in fact, evolution violates it “in a most spectacular way.”  A mathematics professor at Texas A&M University, Sewall explained that 2TD applies to much more than heat flow; it applies to every real system.  He defended the second law against the “standard reply,” the “open system” argument.  Not “anything” can happen in an open system, he explained, not even with a Darwinian mechanism; otherwise, we would expect computers, spaceships, television sets and DNA to appear just with the energy of the sun.
    Sewall’s lay-level article was prompted by the wars over intelligent design.  He adapted it from the appendix of a book he co-authored on The Numerical Solution of Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations (see end of article for reference and link).  The appendix, “A second look at the second law,” asked, “Can ANYTHING happen in an open system?” and is available online at

The venue may have been a conservative rag, but the author knows what he is talking about.  Dr. Sewall is a mathematician and author with expertise in probability and the second law of thermodynamics.  He is right; tell a Darwinist about 2TD, and you will get little more than an “open system” brush-off.  This article pulls that rug out.  No more simplistic open-system answers, Darwin Party: fess up, you cannot get brains from matter in motion, open system or not.  Do the math.  Face the real world.  Just-so storytelling cannot help in the world of hard physical science.  It’s the ultimate Reality Check.  No federal judge can help you now.  What would you have him do: declare the second law of thermodynamics unconstitutional?  Rule it inadmissable because of separation of church and state?  Go ahead and try.  Your opponents will just appeal it to the court of last resort: the real world.

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Categories: Physical Science, Physics

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