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Of Thermodynamics and Evolution


Registered Member
Here's the scoop- The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that entropy (a measurement of how long an isolated system has gotten to reaching a state of equilibrium) will always increase.

And once one isolated system has gotten to a certain point, it will merge with other systems and become one, therefore continuing their increase in entropy until they can merge with other sytems and entropy will continue to grow. Eventually, the universe will become pure hydrogen and a relatively uniform temperture/density all because of this simple law that pulls any order apart.

But evolution tells a different story. Apparently, we first had hydrogen, and slowly but surely, all sorts of other vital elements came about over time, which is decreasing entropy. this would mean that we are continually enetering into more complex and livable states quite "naturally", because we are evolving.

Evolution is The Law of Decreasing Entropy, unlike the 2nd thermodynamic law which is The Law of Increasing Entropy. Only one can be true, so which are you going to trust? Rock to man, or man to rock?

I've heard dismissals of this argument that state "when energy is applied, we find an increase in information and a decrease in entropy", but that's not correct. Try randomly "applying energy" to a glob of clay and see what happens. It cannot be random. There must be very particular angles, freqencies, durations and magnitudes of energy application to make the glob of clay resemble (ex.) a monkey.

Evolutionists often try to step around this and say, "Well, given a sufficient amount of time, such and such can occur purely by chance, and Natural Selection can take care of the rest". Well actually the amount of time they "need" a) doesn't exist, and b) wouldn't help anyways since the 2nd law would take apart anything it put together quite rapidly.

So here it is- the 2nd law shows that the universe used to be in a higher state of order, and now has descended to become more chaotic. This means that it had to have originally been designed: Good morning God.

Evolution doesn't occur anywhere since it contradicts the 2nd law, and decreasing entropy can only occur by chance or if it was pre-determined to do so. We would never see anything like planet earth as a result of purely natural laws.

What do people think?


Strange Visitor

This argument derives from a misunderstanding of the Second Law. If it were valid, mineral crystals and snowflakes would also be impossible, because they, too, are complex structures that form spontaneously from disordered parts.

The Second Law actually states that the total entropy of a closed system (one that no energy or matter leaves or enters) cannot decrease. Entropy is a physical concept often casually described as disorder, but it differs significantly from the conversational use of the word.

More important, however, the Second Law permits parts of a system to decrease in entropy as long as other parts experience an offsetting increase. Thus, our planet as a whole can grow more complex because the sun pours heat and light onto it, and the greater entropy associated with the sun's nuclear fusion more than rebalances the scales. Simple organisms can fuel their rise toward complexity by consuming other forms of life and nonliving materials.

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Registered Member
correcting a correction

Allow me to revise my position.

I did have a misunderstanding of thermodynamics. Yes, when energy is applied, we find an increase in complexity. That is very true. But...

Complexity does not mean design. Sometimes, it means just the opposite. Just like when my PS2 controller cords get tangled up. It turns into a huge knot that does NO good. It's hard to untangle since I don't know exactly how it's tied. I have to look at it and constantly pull on it to untangle it.

It was not designed but was rather a product of accidents and mindlessness. Therefore it does NO good. Unintelligent applications of energy produce harmful complexities (just look at healthcare/jk).

On the other hand, when you tie your shoe, it is a product of design and thoughtfulness. Therefore, it does good since it has symmetry (it looks good), and you know exactly how you tied it in the first place, so it's easier to untie.

The pattern is continuous and straightforward: When energy is applied correctly, a beneficial complexity arises. When energy is applied incorrectly, a harmful complexity arises.

A decrease in entropy means a rise in complexity, and an increase in entropy means a drop in complexity. But if energy is not intelligently applied, then the problem only becomes worse.

What is Chaos? Yes, it is wrong to say that Chaos is exactly the same as disorder. Chaos is a complex situation that does no good. Sometimes (in this case), a rise in entropy can also mean a rise in order. Chaos is a type of disorder, nothing more.

Disorder can mean a basic hydrogen universe, or a universe where there are a thousand elements constantly exploding, contracting, and colliding. Disorder does not mean a rise or drop in entropy, that is correct. And I apologize for any misunderstandings.

Order is either when a harmfully complex situation is "untangled", or a harmfully simple situation is carefully "tied". Order recquires the correct application of energy. And as we see order in the heavens, we should assume that energy was consistently and correctly applied. This (statistically) recquires a mind behind the cosmos.

If you look at life on earth, you find complexity. But this complexity is not chaotic (as it would be if Solar energy was applied for 4.5 billion years). Instead, we find a moon, water, carbon-dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen, correct AU, complex life abounding everywhere, and most of all, human beings. These things are specific complexities that achieve symbiotic relationships of which could have only come about at the same time. It reflects a mind behind nature, not an unintelligent application of energy.

So does Evolution still contradict the Second Law Thermodynamics? Not neccesarily, but pure logic does. Good things do not naturally or normally come by a random application of energy.

And to say that the universe "evolved" is illogical. First of all, where did this energy come from? Rarely do you hear them say God. And even if it wasn't God, how was it so intelligent? Applying energy to a building can either produce a good complexity, or a harmful complexity. Look at what Bin laden did. You think that heap of twisted metal was any simpler than the building? No, it was probably more complex. Was it more helpful? Not according to Bin. It may have sparked patriotism for two more years. But look at us now. Democrats and Republicans are more polarized than ever. We don't get anything done.

Now I guess there's not really a metric for complexity. If there is, that'd be nice to know. But I think it's safe to say that a clump of dirt is simpler than my big toe. And my big toe cannot merely be the product of mindless applications energy. Not that it is too complex (which can be a misleading argument), but that it serves a clear and distinguished purpose which would obviously never come about unintelligently.


Strange Visitor
Re: correcting a correction

Complexity does not mean design.
Nobody said that it did.

As for the rest of your post, unfortunately, you are assigning a moral value to chaos and disorder. That's fine for a philosophical or religious argument. But, it has no place in a scientific discussion.

This "argument from design" is the backbone of most recent attacks on evolution, but it is also one of the oldest. In 1802 theologian William Paley wrote that if one finds a pocket watch in a field, the most reasonable conclusion is that someone dropped it, not that natural forces created it there. By analogy, Paley argued, the complex structures of living things must be the handiwork of direct, divine invention. Darwin wrote On the Origin of Species as an answer to Paley: he explained how natural forces of selection, acting on inherited features, could gradually shape the evolution of ornate organic structures.

Generations of creationists have tried to counter Darwin by citing the example of the eye as a structure that could not have evolved. The eye's ability to provide vision depends on the perfect arrangement of its parts, these critics say. Natural selection could thus never favor the transitional forms needed during the eye's evolution--what good is half an eye? Anticipating this criticism, Darwin suggested that even "incomplete" eyes might confer benefits (such as helping creatures orient toward light) and thereby survive for further evolutionary refinement. Biology has vindicated Darwin: researchers have identified primitive eyes and light-sensing organs throughout the animal kingdom and have even tracked the evolutionary history of eyes through comparative genetics. (It now appears that in various families of organisms, eyes have evolved independently.)

Today's intelligent-design advocates are more sophisticated than their predecessors, but their arguments and goals are not fundamentally different. They criticize evolution by trying to demonstrate that it could not account for life as we know it and then insist that the only tenable alternative is that life was designed by an unidentified intelligence.