Should evolution be taught in high sc...

Should evolution be taught in high school?

There are 180369 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.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

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#155909 Oct 3, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
Consider tossing a coin with known, not necessarily fair, probabilities of coming up heads or tails; this is known as the Bernoulli process.
The entropy of the unknown result of the next toss of the coin is maximized if the coin is fair (that is, if heads and tails both have equal probability 1/2). This is the situation of maximum uncertainty as it is most difficult to predict the outcome of the next toss; the result of each toss of the coin delivers one full bit of information.
However, if we know the coin is not fair, but comes up heads or tails with probabilities p and q, where p &#8800; q, then there is less uncertainty. Every time it is tossed, one side is more likely to come up than the other. The reduced uncertainty is quantified in a lower entropy: on average each toss of the coin delivers less than one full bit of information.
The extreme case is that of a double-headed coin that never comes up tails, or a double-tailed coin that never results in a head. Then there is no uncertainty. The entropy is zero: each toss of the coin delivers no new information as the outcome of each coin toss is always certain. In this respect, entropy can be normalized by dividing it by information length. The measure is called metric entropy and allows to measure the randomness of the information.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy_ (information_theory)
Once again, this is true, but it if you want to apply SLoT, you need the *thermodynamic* entropy.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#155910 Oct 3, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
Baloney. He is using statistical mechanics form of entropy to measure the changes in entropy of a system. He is not using the thermodynamics form of entropy change, dS = Q/T. He is not using that.
But it is *equivalent*. The Boltzmann version of entropy gives the same results as dS=dQ/T. You consistently miss this basic fact, which is demonstrated even by a video *you* posted.
He is comparing order and disorder of systems. This is path independent and there is no calculation of temperature!
The entropy in statistical mechanics depends on total energy, the volume, and the number of particles. The temperature is the reciprocal of the rate of change of entropy with respect to energy. In other words, dS=dQ/T.
Even though the principles are the same and even the equations can be shown to be equivalent as the Kahn Academy video showed. But they are two completely different applications of the principle! You don't get answers involving Q/T from probabilities.
Yes, actually you do. At least, you do if you do it correctly. the two methods will give the same answers if used correctly.
You're not going to get Q's or T's if you don't have one or the other units in the equation. k is just a constant for sizing purposes in the statistical mechanics equation presented by Creager. Also, note that Q/T is the change in S. IT's dS = Q/T. In the S = k*log*W, this is not the change; it is the state at that microsecond. Huge difference.
Slight change: dS=dQ/T, the change in entropy as a function of energy is the change in energy divided by the temperature.

And yes, if you use S=k*ln(W) and let the energy of the system change (the number of micro-states available depends on the total energy), then you can derive the temperature.
I gave you a reference that stated unequivocally that k is not even needed and is assumed to be unity. That is because in information theory the sizes are vastly different.
And if you want to use the Second Law of Thermodynamics, then you need to use the Boltzmann constant k because that is what connected the entropy to thermodynamics.
And when Sal was giving the room tidy example, he was clearly discussing thermodynamics. He made this very, very clear. I agree with that in terms of simple change in temperature. But that is the thermodynamic application of the principle, not the statistical application.
But it *is* the statistical *mechanics* application, which is equivalent to the thermodynamics dS=dQ/T version.
Now if you really want to criticize Creager you have to show where in his formula or analysis he is wrong and you have not been able to do that.
1) No computation of the number of micro-states
2) No computation of the micro-states of the environment.
3) Assumption that 'entropy of energy' will equalize with that of particles
4) Using information theory and then wanting to apply SLoT.

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#155911 Oct 3, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
Baloney. He is using statistical mechanics form of entropy to measure the changes in entropy of a system. He is notg the thermodynamics form of entropy change, dS = is not using that. He is comparing order and disorder of systems. This is path independent and there is no calculation of temperature! Even though the principles are the same and even the equations can be shown to be equivalent as the Kahn Academy video showed. But they are two completely different applications of the principle! You don't get answers involving Q/T from probabilities. You're not going to get Q's or T's if you don't have one or the other units in the equation. k is just a constant for sizing purposes in the statistical mechanics equation presented by Creager. Also, note that Q/T is the change in S. IT's dS = Q/T. In the S = k*log*W, this is not the change; it is the state at that microsecond. Huge difference.
I gave you a reference that stated unequivocally that k is not even needed and is assumed to be unity. That is because in information theory the sizes are vastly different.
And when Sal was giving the room tidy example, he was clearly discussing thermodynamics. He made this very, very clear. I agree with that in terms of simple change in temperature. But that is the thermodynamic application of the principle, not the statistical application.
Now if you really want to criticize Creager you have to show where in his formula or analysis he is wrong and you have not been able to do that.
You are confusing the statistical mechanics VERSION of thermodynamics *boltzmann", with entropy as it relates to information theory. You seem to think that there is "clausius" on one side and boltzmann + information theory on the other, and that Creagers use of boltzmann can apply in the information sense of entropy so we can ignore these pesky units.

Nope. The units stay in boltzmann and statistical mechanics does not ignore Q/T, it explains it. Entropy in boltzmann is still J/K. Even if the temperature is held constant when you change the state in some other way. Boltzmann is thermodynamics, not information theory.

Information theory is the subject on the other side of this divide, and information entropy is analogous to but not the same thing as the thermodynamic entropy that both clausius and boltzmann are dealing with.

Since Creager is using boltzmann, he simply cannot ignore the unit of thermodynamic entropy J/K. You then have the absurdity of trying to translate the "information content" of the incident energy into thermodynamic terms in the process. Perhaps he really is trying to mesh these two things but its not working.

Since: Aug 07

Arlington, VA

#155912 Oct 3, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
No, it is not irrelevant. It is, in fact, crucial if you want to apply SLoT.
<quoted text>
And the point is that the *total* number of micro-states includes those of the environment. You have neglected the changes in the number of micro-states of the environment.
What "environment"? Where is this indicated in the formula? Give a reference for what you claim. Give an example. You are just making stuff up.

Since: Aug 07

Arlington, VA

#155913 Oct 3, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
You are confusing the statistical mechanics VERSION of thermodynamics *boltzmann", with entropy as it relates to information theory. You seem to think that there is "clausius" on one side and boltzmann + information theory on the other, and that Creagers use of boltzmann can apply in the information sense of entropy so we can ignore these pesky units.
Nope. The units stay in boltzmann and statistical mechanics does not ignore Q/T, it explains it. Entropy in boltzmann is still J/K. Even if the temperature is held constant when you change the state in some other way. Boltzmann is thermodynamics, not information theory.
Information theory is the subject on the other side of this divide, and information entropy is analogous to but not the same thing as the thermodynamic entropy that both clausius and boltzmann are dealing with.
Since Creager is using boltzmann, he simply cannot ignore the unit of thermodynamic entropy J/K. You then have the absurdity of trying to translate the "information content" of the incident energy into thermodynamic terms in the process. Perhaps he really is trying to mesh these two things but its not working.
He isn't meshing anything. It's straight forward. You are just trying to confuse things. Show where the math is wrong and give an example. Reference your claim. You are just making stuff up to make it sound wrong.

Since: Aug 07

Arlington, VA

#155914 Oct 3, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
1) No computation of the number of micro-states
2) No computation of the micro-states of the environment.
3) Assumption that 'entropy of energy' will equalize with that of particles
4) Using information theory and then wanting to apply SLoT.
1) That would be almost impossible. No discussion of microstates actually calculates a real number of microstates. It is necessarily conceptual. This is clear.
2) What environment? Where did you get that idea? You can't support it and you can't give an example or the math.
3) There is no assumption of that. Totally wrong. That was just an illustration of the simplest case. Way off base here.
4)Wrong again. Just illustrating that k is not even used in that case.

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#155915 Oct 3, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
What "environment"? Where is this indicated in the formula? Give a reference for what you claim. Give an example. You are just making stuff up.
The "environment" has to include the destination of the energy that needed to pass out of the system, the heat sink. You are still ignoring the fundamental that if you add energy in an inperfect transformation, some of it ends up as heat and that if you do not remove that heat temperature and entropy within the system must rise. Since you assume the house is lower entropy than the pile and the temperature is unchanged, then the heat had to go somewhere and that is part of the picture. He is not making stuff up. He is discussing the second law which shows that when any process occurs, total entropy rises. The heat sink explains why it rises even if you can reduce entropy locally.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#155916 Oct 3, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
What "environment"? Where is this indicated in the formula? Give a reference for what you claim. Give an example. You are just making stuff up.
The environment where the construction workers get the fuel, where the exhaust heat gets dispersed, where friction heats things up, etc. That environment.

It appears in your formula when you want to talk about the *total* number of micro-states. This will include not just the micro-states of the house (or pile of bricks), but also the micro-states of the air and the rest of the surrounding environment.

I have pointed this out multiple times already.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#155917 Oct 3, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
1) That would be almost impossible. No discussion of microstates actually calculates a real number of microstates. It is necessarily conceptual. This is clear.
Wrong. In fact, this is done in most statistical mechanics books for simple systems (like an ideal gas). That is *why* we can get the link between the statistics and macroscopic properties like pressure and temperature.
2) What environment? Where did you get that idea? You can't support it and you can't give an example or the math.
Again, look in any standard statistical mechanics book. Here's the one used in my graduate class:

http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Statistica...
3) There is no assumption of that. Totally wrong. That was just an illustration of the simplest case. Way off base here.
And even in that simplest case, it was wrong. Not even close.
4)Wrong again. Just illustrating that k is not even used in that case.
And it should be if you want to apply the SLoT.

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#155918 Oct 3, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
He isn't meshing anything. It's straight forward. You are just trying to confuse things. Show where the math is wrong and give an example. Reference your claim. You are just making stuff up to make it sound wrong.
No, you are confused and we are just trying to straighten out your confusion. I have shown you where the math is wrong. You cannot talk of the entropy of energy because energy does not have entropy. Therefore the equation Creager writes Ss= Se is simply nonsense.

Does 40 miles equal 40 miles per hour? That is precisely how silly Creager's equation is. Right from the start of the analysis section.

You can lurch over to information theory all you like and try to introduce a dimensionless k but Creager makes it quite clear that he is talking about thermodynamic entropy and SLoT.

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#155919 Oct 3, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
1) That would be almost impossible. No discussion of microstates actually calculates a real number of microstates. It is necessarily conceptual. This is clear.
2) What environment? Where did you get that idea? You can't support it and you can't give an example or the math.
3) There is no assumption of that. Totally wrong. That was just an illustration of the simplest case. Way off base here.
4)Wrong again. Just illustrating that k is not even used in that case.
2. I gave you an easy example days ago. A crane poured 600, 000 joules of waste heat into the air while adding a mere 20, 000 joules of non entropic gravitational potential energy to a wall by raising it to vertical. Now unless you have a way of removing the waste heat, soon the whole house system will fry. Where the energy goes matters.

Contrast that 20, 000 joules with the 450, 000 joules in energy change just by heating or cooling the wall by one degree (iron wall, 1 tonne).

You cannot pretend that the environment does not exist nor that applying energy can ever make entropy fall. Only removing energy can do that and only locally. I keep repeating these basics because no matter how complicated you try to make this, you keep tripping up on the fundamentals.

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#155920 Oct 3, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
1) That would be almost impossible. No discussion of microstates actually calculates a real number of microstates. It is necessarily conceptual. This is clear.
2) What environment? Where did you get that idea? You can't support it and you can't give an example or the math.
3) There is no assumption of that. Totally wrong. That was just an illustration of the simplest case. Way off base here.
4)Wrong again. Just illustrating that k is not even used in that case.
Look Urb we get what Creager is trying to say. He is saying that unless weare careful about how we apply energy, we wont get a house, we will get a pile of rubble. However, its his treatment or one should say mistreatment of thermodynamics to try and generalise this observation into a Law that fails completely. He cannot even get the basics right. You are just back to your old incredulity in another form....if a house cannot build itself how can a cell?
In reality that is a different argument. The fact remains that whatever you think of evolution, it does not violate SLoT. Thermodynically it does not matter one whit whether the energy is applied deliberately or not. And some systems are far less sensitive to the manner of application than a house is.
Merely by superheating a pile of junk and letting it cool, we can see all kinds of complex and interesting chemical formations arise spontaneously.

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#155921 Oct 3, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
1) That would be almost impossible. No discussion of microstates actually calculates a real number of microstates. It is necessarily conceptual. This is clear.
2) What environment? Where did you get that idea? You can't support it and you can't give an example or the math.
3) There is no assumption of that. Totally wrong. That was just an illustration of the simplest case. Way off base here.
4)Wrong again. Just illustrating that k is not even used in that case.
Creager precisely, and wrongly DOES claim the entropy of energy will equalise with the entropy of the particles! Ss = Se remember? And even if that is the simplest case and even though the units on each side of the equation cannot match and even though entropy is meaningless in terms of a single particle.....well he still uses that as the basis of his claim that the entropy of a more complex case will move "toward" the entropy of the applied energy with presumably an ideal case of Ss = Se.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#155922 Oct 3, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
Now if you really want to criticize Creager you have to show where in his formula or analysis he is wrong and you have not been able to do that.
Quote simple.

When he writes that
dS_max=k*ln(We/Ws)
he makes some basic mistakes.

First, we have to go from an initial system containing the system before the application of the energy and the energy to a final system consisting of just the system after the application of the energy.

Now, in this formula, We represents the number of micro-states of the incoming energy (I will assume that means the number of micro-states of the particles carrying that energy) and Ws represents the number of micro-states of the system before the application of the energy. Let's add one more important quantity: Wf is the number of micro-states in the system *after* the application of the energy.

Now, the initial entropy of the system is Ss=k*ln(Ws) and the final entropy of the system is $Sf=k*ln(Wf), so the change in entropy in the system is given by
Sf-Ss=k*ln(Wf/Ws).

So the question is what relation does this have to the entropy of the energy We?

Well, the *total* number of micro-states of the initial system and the energy will be We*Ws, so the initial total entropy will be
k*ln(We*Ws)=k*ln(We)+k*ln(Ws)= Se+Ss.

Now, from the SLot, we have that Sf>=Se+Ss (in other words, the total entropy increased).

This means that the *change* of entropy in the system satisfies
Sf-Ss>=Se=k*ln(We).
In other words, the change in the entropy of the system is *at least*
k*ln(We).

The equation given by Creager is that this change is *at most*
k*ln(We/Ws).

But, Ws is at least 1 (and is usually much more), so We/Ws<=We,
So Creager's proposed maximum change is actually smaller (and likely much smaller) than the minimum change allowed by SLoT.

Since: Aug 07

Arlington, VA

#155923 Oct 3, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
The environment where the construction workers get the fuel, where the exhaust heat gets dispersed, where friction heats things up, etc. That environment.
It appears in your formula when you want to talk about the *total* number of micro-states. This will include not just the micro-states of the house (or pile of bricks), but also the micro-states of the air and the rest of the surrounding environment.
I have pointed this out multiple times already.
Compared to a bomb blowing everything up? What's the point? This is example is so extreme that we shouldn't worry about minutia. This is just a smoke screen.

Since: Aug 07

Arlington, VA

#155924 Oct 3, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
Look Urb we get what Creager is trying to say. He is saying that unless weare careful about how we apply energy, we wont get a house, we will get a pile of rubble.
No. Now here you go again exaggerating like crazy. He is comparing a construction crew to a BOMB. A bomb is quite a bit different than just not being careful!

“See how you are?”

Since: Jul 12

Earth

#155925 Oct 3, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
No. Now here you go again exaggerating like crazy. He is comparing a construction crew to a BOMB. A bomb is quite a bit different than just not being careful!
Sheesh, the guy is a grad from Bob Jones U. Is there anything >aside< from his "Creation Science" advocacy that leads you to defend either his assertions or his math as correct? Anything? In a word, No.

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#155926 Oct 3, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
Compared to a bomb blowing everything up? What's the point? This is example is so extreme that we shouldn't worry about minutia. This is just a smoke screen.
Its irrelevant whether heating up a lot of air is just minutiae to us and our requirements. In thermodynamic terms, its a huge energy flow compared even to the energy of a stick of dynamite. That is the whole point - thermodynamically. And you are talking about the second law of - what???? that evolution supposedly violates.

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#155927 Oct 3, 2013
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
No. Now here you go again exaggerating like crazy. He is comparing a construction crew to a BOMB. A bomb is quite a bit different than just not being careful!
Your emotional reaction to two different processes here is irrelevant.

Since: Aug 07

Arlington, VA

#155928 Oct 3, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
No, you are confused and we are just trying to straighten out your confusion. I have shown you where the math is wrong. You cannot talk of the entropy of energy because energy does not have entropy. Therefore the equation Creager writes Ss= Se is simply nonsense.
Does 40 miles equal 40 miles per hour? That is precisely how silly Creager's equation is. Right from the start of the analysis section.
You can lurch over to information theory all you like and try to introduce a dimensionless k but Creager makes it quite clear that he is talking about thermodynamic entropy and SLoT.
No, he makes it quite clear that he is NOT using thermodynamics and instead is using the statistical entropy. I am through playing these games.

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