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# Should evolution be taught in high school?

There are 180279 comments on the www.scientificblogging.com story from Feb 24, 2008, titled Should evolution be taught in high school?. In it, www.scientificblogging.com reports that:

Microbiologist Carl Woese is well known as an iconoclast. At 79 years of age, Woese is still shaking things up. Most recently, he stated in an interview with Wired that...

"My feeling is that evolution shouldn't be taught at the lower grades. You don't teach quantum mechanics in the grade schools. One has to be quite educated to work with these concepts; what they pass on as evolution in high schools is nothing but repetitious tripe that teachers don't understand."

Join the discussion below, or Read more at www.scientificblogging.com.

Level 1

Since: Jun 13

Location hidden

#153884 Sep 20, 2013
Dogen wrote:
<quoted text>More than the age of the universe?

No?

Oh well.

You want my prediction as to how this will be resolved?

Spurious data vs. a large base of established data.
"More than the age of the universe?"

Yes it is donut.

Level 5

Since: Mar 13

He Is A Sock Know It All

#153885 Sep 20, 2013
Subduction Zone wrote:
<quoted text>
You got asked grade school questions, and got them wrong, because you showed that you could not do them with your moronic questions about counting down BC on a calender.
At least my questions were on the middle school level, your failure was on the elementary school level in regards to the calender.
PS, I did not run away, I was very busy yesterday. Some of us work sometime.

lets see 87 meters in 11 seconds=
95 yards/1760 yd/mi / 11 sec/3600 sec/hour=
.054/.0031= 17.42 mph

and by rounding up .05397 and rounding up .00305 is were I got the .054 and the .0031 which = 17.419 so I rounded up to 17.42. Now if you do it on a calculator(the only way you can do them) and don't round up those numbers you get 17.69xxx and yes then you can round that up 17.7 and then to the next whole number of 18. Being I did it on paper while bottle feeding my grandson I got close enough.

You don't have the knowledge to do any of it. You knit pick answers that would be acceptable to anyone. You ever watch a car race? They don't take their time and round them up or down when clocking their speeds. They have them such as 125.76mph.

But you just keeping running away when confronted with questions from anyone. So I will start hitting you with equations from mathematics etc to see if you know much of anything.
Level 6

Since: Aug 07

#153886 Sep 20, 2013
I wish we (Chimney, Poly, HTS, etc.) would carefully follow me through step by step from both a math/physics perspective and a real-world example perspective with this issue that the SLoT violates the TOE. There have been some fits and starts and much showboating but it is very clear to me that it does. I have presented equations and presented examples but we need to calmly and carefully walk step by step through the process. We need to avoid distractions about religion, etc., and focus on this!

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#153887 Sep 20, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
I think we need to pause and make sure we agree on the definition of order. I agree that a symmetrical stack of bricks is more ordered than a random pile. Why? Not because it looks better, but because it has predictability.
You have defined "order" in terms of how much information would be required to describe it microscopically. I find that to be a totally inadequate definition.
OK, so you are not interested in the SLoT. That is how it is defined in the context of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics.
According to that definition, 1,000 pages of quantum physics would be less ordered than 1,000 blank pages of "0's".
Yes, it is.
It seems that every time I bring up "order", you want to instead use the word "entropy". I know that entropy can be ultimately described in terms of "order."
OK.
I have blown a massive hole in the idea that order is a simple function of temperature.
I didn't claim it is a *simple* function of temperature. If no other reaction happens, no state transition, etc, then the entropy will decrease with decreasing temperature. If there *are* chemical reactions going on, or other physical processes, then entropy can increase even with decreasing temperature. The thermo definition of entropy is dS=dQ/T. It relates the reversible amount of energy change of the system (dQ) and the temperature (T) to the amount of entropy change. This is *equivalent* to the definition as Boltzmann's constant times the ln of the number of available microstates (for something in equilibrium) or as a certain sum of probabilities (if not in equilibrium). I use the particular version that is easiest to use for a given problem.
If a person dies of hypothermia after being submerged in, for example, 50 degre water, every cell in his body IMMEDIATELY begins to autolyze at the moment of death. Potassium leaks out of cells, enzymes denature proteins, the brain begins to turn to mush... YOu can't tell me that your simplistic model of lower temperature decreasing entropy applies.
There is an increase of entropy from those processes and a decrease in entropy from cooling. In general, heat being released is a good sign of decreasing entropy.
I see alot of speacial pleading in your logic. You contend that the denatured protein of a boiled egg, which has solidified with heat, has greater entropy, but cannot justify that assertion with your definition of entropy in terms of numbers of microsctates.
The question is one of which of two considerations wins. The solidity lessens the number of available states of motion (translational states), but the denaturing increases the number of cross-linked states and potentially the number of pieces of protein, which increases the total number of available states. My intuition is that the second process wins, but I will admit I am not completely sure of that. Since the process of denaturation is so complex, a simple calculation will probably not work (we simply don't know the exact reactions occurring in the egg), so I would guess an experimental process would be required to get accurate answers.
Here's another example...a dormant seed sits in the ground all winter. When it receives heat from the sun, it developes into a plant. Is the plant less ordered than the seed? If it is, evolutionists are contradicting themselves, because that argument is commonloy used as evidence that the sun's energy can create order.
You have to consider *everything* going into this reaction. In particular the seed alone (even with light) will not develop into a plant. It requires water, it requires carbon dioxide, it requires other nutrients, etc. Now, gases especially are very high entropy states. The *total* reaction, including all the materials used (not just the seed) does decrease entropy in the plant itself (although it does increases it more in the environment).

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#153888 Sep 20, 2013
HTS wrote:
I think you should give a definition of "order". You and Chimney have stated that ice is more ordered than DNA. That defies common sense, and you need to reference your definition.
No, it defies *your* sense. I have given definitions of entropy, and you have agreed that disorder and entropy are linked concepts. In fact, my definition of disorder is simply a re-writing of the statistical mechanics definition of entropy. Since entropy has the more precise definition, I use entropy to compare the ice and the DNA. The ice has much less entropy. So, by those definitions, it has more order.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#153889 Sep 20, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
I think we need to pause and make sure we agree on the definition of order. I agree that a symmetrical stack of bricks is more ordered than a random pile. Why? Not because it looks better, but because it has predictability.
Well, what we should agree is that there are definitions of ENTROPY and that its these definitions that matter when you are asking whether life or evolution violates the SLoT. Your problem is that you have all kinds of ideas about "order" that are not part of the definition of entropy as used in thermodynamics.

Definitions of order that do NOT match entropy may be useful in other discussions but NOT in asking whether ToE violates SLoT.

Simple as that.

Here's another example...a dormant seed sits in the ground all winter. When it receives heat from the sun, it developes into a plant. Is the plant less ordered than the seed?
No, its more ordered. But how much free energy was absorbed and then emitted as lower order energy in the process of turning a seed into a tree? A huge amount. That is the whole point - in an energy flux, localised order can be increased but at the expense of increasing entropy as a WHOLE.

Its very similar to the example of the construction crew building a house. They create a huge amount of waste heat in the process. On balance they have created more DISORDER than ORDER, but luckily for us, the order has been concentrated into a useful end product. The disorder has been - for us - the benign result of heating up the air around us, heat that will eventually be radiated into outer space.
If it is, evolutionists are contradicting themselves, because that argument is commonloy used as evidence that the sun's energy can create order.
I think you should give a definition of "order". You and Chimney have stated that ice is more ordered than DNA. That defies common sense, and you need to reference your definition.
Th sun's energy, and any energy flux, can allow the creation of localised order, but the total disorder is always increasing.

And I think you are mixing up something else as well, because you are conflating complexity with order with entropy.

Dynamic complexity as we see in life does not thrive on the lowest or highest entropy states, but an intermediate one. Very low entropy states are too rigid for complex chemistry to thrive, and too high entropy states are too random. Complex chemistry lives in the happy medium. COMPLEX does not mean the same thing as MOST ORDERED though.

Level 5

Since: Mar 13

He Is A Sock Know It All

#153890 Sep 20, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
No, it defies *your* sense. I have given definitions of entropy, and you have agreed that disorder and entropy are linked concepts. In fact, my definition of disorder is simply a re-writing of the statistical mechanics definition of entropy. Since entropy has the more precise definition, I use entropy to compare the ice and the DNA. The ice has much less entropy. So, by those definitions, it has more order.
Ok Poly a question. Ice has less entropy due to the fact it is frozen/contained/dense/tightly packed/the molecules are less random so it is more ordered, whereas DNA is less ordered because it is always building proteins, amino acids etc always doing an action so to put it? I get the ice being more ordered but not sure on the DNA being less ordered.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#153891 Sep 20, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
I wish we (Chimney, Poly, HTS, etc.) would carefully follow me through step by step from both a math/physics perspective and a real-world example perspective with this issue that the SLoT violates the TOE. There have been some fits and starts and much showboating but it is very clear to me that it does. I have presented equations and presented examples but we need to calmly and carefully walk step by step through the process. We need to avoid distractions about religion, etc., and focus on this!
I am all for that - its what I have been trying to do all along.

Firstly we need to define and distinguish what, entropy as used by thermodynamics, means.

And what order means in a thermodynamic sense. Not anything else - because non-thermodynamic notions of what order is cannot be used in thermodynamics arguments.

And we need to separate yet another concept that keeps getting confused with entropy, complexity. And the fact that order and complexity are not synonymous.
HTS
#153892 Sep 20, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Perhaps another example would be helpful. Think of a collection of refrigerator magnets in a box. Some are stuck together. Others are at different angles, etc. Is that collection more or less ordered than a similar box where all the magnets are aligned and stuck together by the magnetic force?
You see? Polarity has nothing to do with whether the collection is ordered or not.
That is not an accurate example. Magnets in a box don't demand that all magnets arrange themselves in a symmetrical manner. The polarity of water demands that all of the molecules line up, but into thing determines which molecules will end up where.
Level 6

Since: Aug 07

#153894 Sep 20, 2013
The Dude wrote:
What's your definition of "common sense"?
"Common sense is a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge things which is shared by ("common to") nearly all people, and can be reasonably expected of nearly all people without any need for debate."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_sense
Level 6

Since: Aug 07

#153895 Sep 20, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
I am all for that - its what I have been trying to do all along.
Firstly we need to define and distinguish what, entropy as used by thermodynamics, means.
And what order means in a thermodynamic sense. Not anything else - because non-thermodynamic notions of what order is cannot be used in thermodynamics arguments.
And we need to separate yet another concept that keeps getting confused with entropy, complexity. And the fact that order and complexity are not synonymous.
But order and complexity is what entropy explains. So if you are at odds with the basic definitions from the start we will not get anywhere. We need to focus on the standard definitions of entropy with respect to what we are talking about; namely, complex systems. The subject we are talking about is obviously the one I proposed we use, the Wiki on Entropy (statistical thermodynamics) and this:

"We are now ready to provide a definition of entropy. The entropy

S is defined as

S = k*ln*M

where

k is Boltzmann's constant and M is the number of microstates consistent with the given macrostate.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#153896 Sep 20, 2013
replaytime wrote:
<quoted text>
Ok Poly a question. Ice has less entropy due to the fact it is frozen/contained/dense/tightly packed/the molecules are less random so it is more ordered, whereas DNA is less ordered because it is always building proteins, amino acids etc always doing an action so to put it? I get the ice being more ordered but not sure on the DNA being less ordered.
Building proteins, etc is NOT order in the thermodynamic definition.

You can compare the order/entropy before the protein is made (DNA+ amino acids+nucleotides+tRNA+rRNA+AT P+etc) and the order after making the protein (DNA+protein+tRNA+rRNA+ADP+hea t+etc). You will find that the total entropy has increased even though the entropy specifically of the amino acids->protein has decreased. The entropy of the DNA did not change (it was the same before and after).

Since the entropy of the DNA has not changed, so isn't a factor in SLoT for this reaction. The SLoT is concerned with *changes* in total entropy. So the entropy change can be found found from the reaction amino acids+ATP->protein+ADP+wate r+heat. And guess what? That total entropy has increased (mostly because the entropy of ATP->ADP increased more than the entropy change of amino acids->protein, although the water and heat do have an effect also).

I know you want to claim that the DNA has some structure that is relevant and needs to be explained. I would even agree with that assessment. But there is no problem in regards to SLoT in these matters. The total entropy (system+environment) is increasing in all of these cases. And yes, it increases when organisms evolve into different species also. The reason is that a tremendous amount of entropy increase is seen in the heat and waste products of the species as it changes. This vastly overwhelms the small decreases of entropy (when they happen, which is not the case for all species changes) which is overwhelmed by the entropy changes in any given generation.

Level 5

Since: Mar 13

He Is A Sock Know It All

#153897 Sep 20, 2013
This is off the subject but it is pretty cool the way a raven takes a straight piece of wire, bends a hook at one end then uses it to hook food at the bottom of a tube and pull it up and out to eat it.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/36846407 @N02/3394656254/

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#153898 Sep 20, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
"Common sense is a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge things which is shared by ("common to") nearly all people, and can be reasonably expected of nearly all people without any need for debate."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_sense
So common sense is often wrong, especially when discussing scientific concepts. Most people get basic science wrong.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#153900 Sep 20, 2013
HTS wrote:
<quoted text>
That is not an accurate example. Magnets in a box don't demand that all magnets arrange themselves in a symmetrical manner. The polarity of water demands that all of the molecules line up, but into thing determines which molecules will end up where.
I am comparing the degree of order when the magnets are not arranged and when they are arranged. The first is similar to liquid water, where there are some polar alignments and ice, where there are many more. it is a perfectly accurate analogy.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#153902 Sep 20, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
I wish we (Chimney, Poly, HTS, etc.) would carefully follow me through step by step from both a math/physics perspective and a real-world example perspective with this issue that the SLoT violates the TOE. There have been some fits and starts and much showboating but it is very clear to me that it does. I have presented equations and presented examples but we need to calmly and carefully walk step by step through the process. We need to avoid distractions about religion, etc., and focus on this!
Sure, no problem. Let's start by defining our concepts (entropy, micro-state, order, complexity, SLoT, etc) and work through some examples.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#153904 Sep 20, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
I wish we (Chimney, Poly, HTS, etc.) would carefully follow me through step by step from both a math/physics perspective and a real-world example perspective with this issue that the SLoT violates the TOE. There have been some fits and starts and much showboating but it is very clear to me that it does. I have presented equations and presented examples but we need to calmly and carefully walk step by step through the process. We need to avoid distractions about religion, etc., and focus on this!
Should we start with the various definitions of entropy and exactly what they mean?

1) dS=dQ/T. This is the thermodynamic definition of entropy.

In this, the change of entropy in a reaction (dS) is the reversible change in heat of the system (dQ) divided by the temperature (T). This is for an infinitesimal change, so the result needs to be integrated if, for example dQ is a function of T.

One stumbling block in this definition is that many reactions are not reversible, so the actual change in heat and the reversible change in heat may not be the same. This is typically overcome by using the fact that entropy is a state variable, which means it only depends on the state at the time, not on how that state came into being.

2) S=k*sum p ln p. The statistical mechanics definition of entropy.

Here the summation is over all quantum states of the system. Specificially, we sum over the energy eigenstates. The probability p is the probability of a particular energy eigenstate and depends on the temperature as well as the nature of the material. Also, k is Boltzmann's constant.

3) S=k*ln (N) Equilibrium statistical mechanics definition.

In this equation, N is the total number of quantum states for the system. But, and this is important, this equation only applies to an equilibrium situation. In particular, the connection to the proceeding equation uses p=1/N for *all* quantum states. If a state is NOT in equilibrium, this formula will overestimate the entropy since the equilibrium is the state of maximum entropy.

OK, are we good so far? Do you need clarification of any of the ideas here?
forreal
#153905 Sep 20, 2013
A mayfly cant evolve in one day but they must produce in one day otherwise they will vanish from the planet earth.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#153906 Sep 20, 2013
one way or another wrote:
<quoted text>
You two morons can cry on each others shoulders all you want, but there is no such thing as a closed system.
Haha
Which is why we use Gibb's free energy, which can be used in open systems. There are, by the way, systems that are very close to being closed so we can even test that situation.
forreal
#153907 Sep 20, 2013
The Mayfly is not in the evolution cycle it doesn't have time to evolve.

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