Re:design, purposeful or random (thermodynamics)

Pim van Meurs (
Tue, 18 Mar 1997 22:24:47 -0400

---------------------- Forwarded by Pim van Meurs on 03-18-97 10:24 PM
Oops, forwarded it to the person and not to the list, sorry....

Pim van Meurs:
>Evolution is defined quite well, extrapolating it to evolution of the
>universe, origin of life, origin of the universe is inappropiate and
>confusing. First of all the discussion was about the 2nd law of
>thermodynamics being violated by evolution. Not the origin of life.

Pim, you seem to go out of your way to distinguish between the process
of evolution and the origin of life (chemical evolution) as they are
affected by thermodynamics. Ok. But then you include in your
discussion the origin of life.


Paul: Then there are a whole host of statements (that I won't bother to
repeat at this stage) where it is unclear whether you are speaking of
the process of evolution, or the origin of life, or both. If you

The point I think is that the second law of thermodynamics is not violated
by evolution and also not by abiogenesis. Both involve chemical reactions
for instance.

wouldn't mind, help me figure this out (if and when you get the time -
no hurry). Are you saying that thermodynamics (e.g. entropy,
energy) is no problem for the process of evolution once life is
started, but conceding that it is a problem in the origin of life?

No. I do not see any reason why it would be a problem one way or another ?

Paul: Are you trying to make a distinction between how the origin of life
might be influenced by chemical thermodynamics in a different manner
than the process of evolution? If so, how so, and if not, why go to
the trouble to make the distinction?

The distinction is to separate evolution from a process irrelevant for it.

Evolution does not care how life came about it only addresses the
evolution of this life <g>. But neither abiogenesis nor evolution violates
any laws of thermodynamics.