Re: where's the evolution?

Kevin O'Brien (
Sun, 21 Mar 1999 19:52:33 -0700

>Let's review: I challenged evolutionists for any empirical example of an
>increase in complexity in a closed system. You told me that I was ignorant
>because Evolution doesn't happen in a closed system.

I only said that it was clear that you did not understand thermodynamics,
not that you were ignorant. In any event, because evolution does not occur
within closed systems, your demand for any evidence of evolution within a
closed system is a false challenge, which is why no one (accept me) gives it
any serious attention.

>We both are well aware that a system
>can be called "closed" yet still receive external energy.

Well, Duh! It is the definition of a closed system that it exchanges only
energy with its surroundings; hence all closed systems still receive energy.
You seem to be suggesting that most closed systems do not receive energy,
but those are isolated systems, not closed systems. You obviously are
thinking of isolated systems, then giving some of them a quality they do not

>So, again, what besides
>energy is entering the Earth system that contributes to Evolution?

Obviously, since the biosphere is a closed system, the answer to your
question is that NOTHING besides energy is entering that would contribute to
evolution. What part of this basic understanding do you not understand?

>Do you believe in aliens or God?

Another non sequitur; what does this have to do with evolution and
thermodynamic systems?

>Whatever the case, I have no interest in your artificial faith.

Then why even bother to ask the question? Besides, as I've already
explained, faith has nothing to do with any of this, but if it makes it
easier for you to reject everything I say (without having to consider the
possibility that I might be right) by labelling the scientific facts I am
describing as faith, knock yourself out. You are simply shouting your
ignorance from the roof tops. At least you are not saying that I have lost
touch with reality, like a few on this list have informed me.

>> You mean the biosphere, and yes, the biosphere is a closed
>> system. But the
>> biosphere doesn't evolve; only its living components evolve, and they are
>> open systems.
>Someplace in your pre-school education didn't someone explain the
>between an object and the container the object is in?

Ah, yes, when pseudoscientific argument does not work, try ad hominems;
pretty amateurish though.

Yes, they did explain the difference; that's why I know that it is the
living organisms within the biosphere, not the biosphere as a whole, that is
evolving. You are in fact committing a logical fallacy known as
composition. This is when one argues that what is true of the parts of the
whole is therefore also true of the whole itself. Your demand for evidence
of evolution within a closed system is based on the assumption that because
the individual open systems that make up a closed system are said to evolve,
the closed system as a whole must be evolving. This is not true, so your
challenge is not only false, it is also fallacious.

>My challenge didn't concern the system
>itself, just the complexity in the system -- such as life in a biosphere.

Now who is trying to confuse container with the contained, hum? You define
evolution as an "indefinite increase in complexity in a closed system"; you
do not define it as an "indefinite increase in complexity in [some aspect or
part of] a closed system". Therefore if a closed system were ever to
experience an "indefinite increase in complexity" then by your definition it
would have to be said to have evolved. In other words, your own definition
concerns the whole system itself, not just some part of it. You are
demanding evidence that a closed system can evolve; the fact that your
definition concentrates on complexity does not alter this fact, no matter
how much you may try to argue otherwise.

>End of debate, you lose.

Another amateurish attempt at an ad hominem attack (poor grammer too), but
let's think about that for a moment. I challenge you to provide empirical
evidence for your position and you refuse. I ask you to define complexity
and you refuse. I point out your misunderstanding of thermodynamics and you
try to change the subject by asking whether I believe in aliens or God. I
point out how your challenge is false, dead wrong, contradicts reality and
is fallacious and you try to sidestep the issue by redefining your
challenge. I offer to discuss any specific issue with you in which I would
provide empirical evidence to support my claim and you refuse. I therefore
find it a little hard to believe that I have lost a debate you have been
avoiding all along.

Like I said before though, you'll fit in with this listserv quite well.

Kevin L. O'Brien