Author Topic: Questions about Humanism  (Read 3200 times)


  • Formerly known as Gloucester
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Re: Questions about Humanism
« Reply #120 on: June 21, 2018, 04:33:04 PM »
My apologies for taking so long to reply, Dave! It's been a busy few days. And I did want to think about your post before I responded.

The difference being that superglue didn't just appear one day as random molecules stacked up over millenia in the shape of a nice, airtight, drip proof bottle of the stuff. It had a maker.

Just because superglue had an inventor  or developer ("makers" are those that manufacture the stuff to sell) it does not mean that the very efficient instant adhesive on spider silk also had a "maker" in your terms. I am quite happy to believe (yes that word) that the first proto spiders possibly had no sticky silk, maybe no silk at all. Many spiders evolved as hunters and either use silk only as a lifeline or nest material, its stickiness is a sort of "by-product". Existence does not imply a maker in any rational logic - unless, of course, you simply cannot accept that things "just are" and need an emotional defence against that indifferent universe. Then you really do have to accept that your god, in allowing/causing millions of unnecessary deaths each year, really does not give much of a damn either (except in your imagination.)

The second law of thermodynamics (the law of increase of entropy) is sometimes used as an argument against evolution. Evolution, the argument goes, is a decrease of entropy, because it involves things getting more organized over time, while the second law says that things get more disordered over time. So evolution violates the second law.There are many things wrong with this argument, and it has been discussed ad infinitum.

Dfr wrote:
This is less an argument of rebuttal and more just stating I'm wrong, with no actual points being made.
I admit to doing a very quick skim of a few of the many articles that explain why so-called "Creation science" bends the physical laws to its own ends, pretzelising them sometimes.

Did you read the whole article?

The second law of thermodynamics is sometimes (too succinctly) stated as “disorder increases over time”.  That statement seems to hold true, what with mountains wearing down, machines breaking, and the inevitable, crushing march of time.  But living things seem to be an exception.  Plants can turn dirt (disordered) into more plants (order), and on a larger scale life has evolved from individual cells (fairly ordered) to big complicated critters (very ordered).

Dfr wrote:
This is a re-statement of the issue.

I know, just making the point that many real scientists and mathemeticians have, over many decades, come to the same conclusion, not just by copying what some other scientist said, just because they liked what they heard or just because it resonated with something supernatural thry believe in.

However, there are a couple things missing from the statement “disorder increases over time”, such as a solid definition of “disorder” (it’s entropy) and the often-dropped stipulation that the second law of thermodynamics only applies to closed systems.

Dfr wrote:
Which is what science says earth is:

There is only one true closed system in nature and that is the earth as a whole, or Gaia.

In Greek mythology, Gaia (/ˈɡeɪ.ə/ or /ˈɡaɪ.ə/; from Ancient Greek Γαῖα, a poetical form of Γῆ Gē, "land" or "earth"), also spelled Gaea (/ˈdʒiːə/), is the personification of the Earth.

Ok, we are back in the supernatural again. Earth is not a closed system, it receives radiation and solid matter of many kinds all the time. It gains about 40 000tonnes of solid matter yet loses 50 000tonnes more than that every year - the later mainly in terms of hydrogen and helium.

[Appologies here for accidently deleting much of the rest of your response.]

To reiterate, the Earth is not a closed system, as required by the second law, it has inputs and outputs, so long as it has an energy input reactions can take place. Given the number of natural elements number of possible reactions and combinations is, probably, as close to infinite as makes little difference to us.  Given about 14 billion years and probably a huge number of "independant natural labs" cooking stuff up - from baked plains through warmish pools to the environnent around blistering hot "black smokers" on the sea floor . . . Billions of billions of "experinents"? Millions upon millions of stable compounds, some with an affinity for each other to make even more complex ones. . . (Read up on molecular biology.)

There is enough solid scientific evidence to support the theory regarding all but the earliest stages of evolution, and enough to make "the origin of life by means of random chemistry" a lot surer than there is that, "God did it". The latter relying on a book written in the Bronze Age that plagiarised stuff from earler legends. Oh, Bronze Age people were just as intelligent as us, they just knew a whole lot less about the physical world, other than pragmatic stuff like protecting goats from lions and how to keep cool/warm and dry etc.

OK, Dfr, you have proved youself as intrasigent in your beliefs as I am in my understandings, this discussion will go round in circles if continued, so go in peace.


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Passed Monday 10th Dec 2018 age 74


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Re: Questions about Humanism
« Reply #121 on: June 21, 2018, 05:06:12 PM »
As you like. I wish you well, Dave. If we could not agree, I am glad we can disagree politely, which sadly is more than these types of discussions often manage.

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