Re: design: purposeful or random?

Stephen Jones (
Mon, 10 Mar 97 05:16:05 +0800


On Tue, 04 Mar 1997 09:39:20 -0500, Brian D Harper wrote:

>GG>I heard Dr. Gish speak at UNC several years ago...I remember him
>saying...that the second law of thermodynamics prohibits evolution.
>I remember being rather dismayed at the time, because I thought he
>was doing rather well until then.

>SJ>Thanks to Gene, but this adds nothing new - see above. 1. Ratzsch
>points out that when YECs say that "thermodynamics prohibits
>evolution" they mean "evolution" is the broadest sense:
>"First, when claiming that the Second Law flatly precludes
>evolution, major creationists almost invariably have in mind
>evolution in the overall cosmic, "evolution model" sense." (Ratzsch
>D.L., "The Battle of Beginnings', 1996, p91)

BH>I haven't had a chance to read Del's book yet but it's definitely
>on my list of books I want to read. Anyway, Chapter 6 of
><Creation Scientists Answer Their Critics> opens as follows:
>=====begin quote of Gish==================================
>The science of thermodynamics is critical to the question
>of origins and has thus been one of the main battlegrounds
>where the the intellectual war between creation scientists
>and evolutionists has been waged. Creation scientists
>maintain that the science of thermodynamics, more
>particularly, the Second Law of Thermodynamics (henceforth
>referred to as the Second Law) is the Achilles heel of
>all naturalistic, mechanistic evolutionary theories on
>origins. Although there are no absolute proofs in science,
>the proper understanding of the science of thermodynamics
>and the theory of evolution from the origin of the universe
>through the origin of life to the origin of man comes as
>close as is possible to providing proof that the theory of
>evolution is scientifically untenable. ...
>============end quote===================================

BH>While it is certainly true that Gish is talking about evolution
>in a broad sense it is also clear that he is talking about
>specific theories of evolution including biological evolution
>since he says "...all naturalistic, mechanistic evolutionary
>theories on origins".

No. He is talking about "the theory of evolution from the origin of
the universe through the origin of life to the origin of man". Brian
really should read Del's book before debating this any further.

>SJ>2. Gish in his writings does not actually say that "thermodynamics
>prohibits evolution";

BH>I also have not seen where he says "thermodynamics prohibits
>evolution", but I've just skimmed the chapter so far. He does say
>"...comes as close as is possible to providing proof that the theory
>of evolution is scientifically untenable", which is pretty close.

See above. I don't want to be cast in the role of defending Gish. But
OTOH I think many things that TEs say about him are unfair. It is to
Del Ratzsch's credit that he has taken the time and trouble to
find out what Gish and Morris are really saying in their second law

>SJ>and 3. It is difficult to assess what someone
>says in a radio interview as opposed to their actual writings.
>I am not really interested in wasting time defending Gish since I am
>not a YEC. I suggest that Gene read Chapter 7 of Ratzsch's book:
>"Creationist Theory: Popular Evolutionist Misunderstandings"

>On Mon, 24 Feb 1997 21:18:24 -0600, Glenn Morton wrote:


>GM>...Gish clearly states that evolution is a violation of the
>second law. He writes: ...~Duane Gish, "Creation Scientists Answer
>Their Critics," (El Cajon: ICR, 1993)p. 161

>SJ>Thanks to Glenn for actually finding where Gish actually says the
>"violation of the Second Law", that I was not aware of, even though I
>did have Gish's book. Unfortunately Glenn has chopped of the start
>of Gish's sentence where Gish make it clear he is talking about what
>Ratzsch calls "evolution in the overall cosmic, `evolution model'...
>on a cosmic scale", and not specifically biological evolution. Here
>is what Gish actually wrote in full:

SJ>"Contrary to the Second Law, evolutionists believe that the
>universe began with the chaos of the big bang, soon generating a
>homogeneous mixture of hydrogen and helium gases, and this system
>then transformed itself from the simplicity of hydrogen and helium
>gases into the incredibly complex universe we have today, including
>the human brain with its 120 trillion connections, the most complex
>arrangement of matter in the universe. This is a clear violation of
>the Second Law." (Gish D.T., "Creation Scientists Answer Their
>Critics", 1993, p161)

Brian deleted my full quoted and kept Glenn's chopped one. I have
reinstated mine and deleted Glenn's.

BH>Taken in context with the opening paragraph, Glenn's quote of
>Gish seals the case as far as I'm concerned. For example, in
>the introductory paragraph Gish has the cosmic evolution type
>statement "...theory of evolution from the origin of the universe
>through the origin of life to the origin of man", and immediately
>preceding this he writes "...all naturalistic, mechanistic
>evolutionary theories on origins." And so it's pretty clear that
>in the quote Glenn provided that Gish is talking specifically
>about biological evolution.

No. The start of the sentence "Contrary to the Second Law,
evolutionists believe that the universe began with the chaos of the
big bang..." is a clear signal that the cosmic evolution model is
being discussed, of which "biological evolution" is a subset. Brian
really should read Ratzsch's book before commenting any further.

God bless.


| Stephen E (Steve) Jones ,--_|\ |
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