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Op-Ed special
Entropy: Enemy of Evolution?
Special Contribution
By Babu G. Ranganathan
An artist conception of Entropy

Very few scientists have considered or pondered the implications of the law of entropy upon the theory of evolution.

The theory of evolution teaches that matter tends to evolve towards greater and greater complexity and order. We are so accustomed to seeing evolution of technology all about us (new cars, boats, ships, inventions, etc.) that we assume that nature must work the same way also. Of course, we forget that all those new gadgets and technology had a human designer behind them. Nature, however, doesn't work the same way.

The simple fact is that the law of entropy precludes macro-evolution from ever occurring. Entropy is the measure of increasing disorder in a system. The natural (or spontaneous) tendency of matter and of all of energy is toward greater disorder - not toward greater order or complexity as evolution would teach. This tendency towards disorder that exists in all matter can only be temporarily overcome if there exists an energy converting and directing mechanism to develop and maintain order.

Even the scientific followers of Prigogine, the father of Chaos theory, have acknowledged that only a very minimal level of order will ever be possible as a result of spontaneous or chance processes.

It doesn't matter whether a system is open (unlimited energy) or closed (with limited energy) entropy occurs in both systems. In fact, scientists discovered entropy here on our very earth which is an open system in relation to the sun. It is not enough just to have sufficient energy (an open system) for greater order to develop. There also has to be an energy converting and directing mechanism.

When a seed becomes a tree, for example, it does not violate entropy because there is already a pre-existing biological energy converting mechanism and code in the seed which directs the order, growth and development of the tree. In other words, the development of greater order from seed to tree is not chemically a spontaneous event. It is not something that is happening by chance. The question is how did biological order develop in the first place when there was no existing energy-converting and directing mechanism.

An artist conception of Evolution

Yes, a few amino acids have been produced spontaneously but there is already a natural tendency for molecules to form into amino acids if given the right conditions. There is, however, no natural tendency for amino acids to come together spontaneously into a sequence to form proteins. They have to be directed to do so by the genetic code in the cells of our bodies. Even the simplest cell is made up of billions of protein molecules. An average protein molecule may comprise of several hundred sequentially arranged amino acids. Many are comprised of thousands of sequential units. If they are not in the precise sequence the protein will not function!

The great British scientist Sir Frederick Hoyle has said that the mathematical probability of the sequence of molecules in the simplest cell occurring by chance is 10 to the 40,000th power or roughly equivalent to a tornado going through a junk yard and assembling a 747 Jumbo Jet. It is not rational to put faith in such odds for the origin of life.

Ultimately, however, scientists concede that the law of entropy will conquer the entire universe and the universe, if left to itself, will end in what scientists predict will be a heat death because all of the energy in the universe will reach a uniform temperature from being evenly distributed and no more work of any sort can be accomplished. This proves that the universe could not be eternal or otherwise it would have reached this point of heat death long ago.

All of this simply supports the belief that an intelligent power outside of nature and the universe was responsible for the origin of the universe and its initial order. The law of entropy teaches that the net direction of the universe is always downward towards greater disorder and chaos - not greater order or complexity.

Science cannot prove that we came about by creation or by chance processes (evolution), but educators and students should be free to investigate and make up their own minds as to which position the scientific evidence best supports.

Belief in neither evolution or creation is necessary to the actual study of science itself. One can understand the human body and become a first class surgeon regardless of whether he or she believes the human body is the result of the chance forces of nature or of a Supreme Designer.

The above opinion piece is written by Mr. Babu G. Ranganathan (Email: bgrnathan@msn.com), religion and science writer who was recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis Who's Who in The East. He holds a B.A. in theology and biology. His articles can be reached at www.religionscience.com



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The above opinion piece is written by Mr. Babu G. Ranganathan (Email: bgrnathan@yahoo.com), religion and science writer who was recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis Who's Who in The East. He holds a B.A. with concentrations in theology and biology. His articles can be reached at www.religionscience.com

 

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