From +quot;Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution+quot; by Douglas J. Futuyma, 1983 The
From "Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution" by Douglas J.
The first law of thermodynamics holds that the sum total of energy
in the universe is constant and neither increases nor decreases; the
second-law of thermodynamics holds that in a closed system, energy
tends to go from organized states to disorganization in the form of heat.
Creationists take these laws of physics to mean that organized living
systems could not have evolved from less organized matter, and that
complex organisms could not evolve from simpler ones: "For the evolu-
tion of a more advanced organism, however, energy must somehow be
gained, order must be increased, and information added. The Second
Law says this will not happen in any natural process unless external
factors enter to make it happen."
But order arises from disorder all around us. A human body arises
from the relative formlessness of a fertilized egg; disordered water mole-
cules form ordered ice crystals in our refrigerators. The reason, of
course, is that neither an organism nor anything else except the universe
as a whole is a closed system: the earth and its organisms are open
systems that acquire energy from the sun to build complexity from
simple precursors. As Isaac Asimov has said, the creationist argument
from the second law is "an argument based on kindergarten terms [that]
is suitable only for kindergartens."
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