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moderate approach to the creationist/evolution debate

laska

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Why not science classes concentrate on those principles that have been tested using the scientific method and have passed all the tests and seem to be true. The areas that try and predict the past and future in both the creationist and atheist models that either cannot be tested or fail tests, should not be studied in a science class but there should be seperate philosophy/theology classes where they are taught the theories from each of these models. It seems to me both sides need to understand the other's concerns. If a principle undermines one's paradigm so be it, but what parent who passionately believes in either a form of Creationism or that religion is just an opiate of the masses will want their kids taught unproven principles that undermine these paradigms. Obviously no one on the atheist side and even many on the creationist side wants their kids to be taught the earth is six thousand years old just because a segment of the religious community interprets the Biblical text this way when science shows strong evidence to the contrary. Below, I pasted part of an article by a Creationist scientist that illustrates how an unproven principle taught as fact can undermine the Creationist belief.
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Consider the teachings of modern astronomy about just what stars are, where they came from and where they are going. That was the focus of my Ph.D. dissertation, so I'm more qualified to write on that subject than most others. Much of current belief about what stars are is well-founded on the scientific method. One can measure brightnesses, colors, and even the masses of stars and discover some important relationships between them. For example, the majority of stars follow the rule that if one arranges the stars in order of increasing mass, then the sequence (called the "Main Sequence") also increases in surface temperature and the color gradually shifts from red to blue and then ultra-violet. This is one of the most important "facts" (that is, "observations") of modern astronomy. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
[/FONT]​
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The temperature, brightness and blueness of most stars increase as the mass increases.[/FONT]​
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The problems begin to arise when scientists attempt to explain exactly how these stars got placed in this sequence, and exactly how things might change in the future. The problem is not that scientists try to explain the past and the future. After all, the objective of the scientific method is to be able to predict the outcome of future experiments. The problem occurs when a) science cannot perform the experiment to predict the future and b) it then declares with absolute certainty just what the past and future are, even those it has no solid basis of experiments to do so.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]In this example from astronomy, we are told that stars formed themselves from gaseous clouds in the plane of the galaxy. We are told that the massive, hot bright blue beacons in the sky such as many of the stars in the constellation Orion, are the very youngest stars, and that they are rapidly burning themselves out, being some of the least permanent members of the galaxy. As for the future, we are told that the sun and most stars will someday exhaust their fuel and become cold, dark burned-out dwarf stars.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]While this is the mainstream theory, taught as nearly absolute truth in beginning astronomy classes, there are other explanations of the same observed facts. One is that most stars are still gravitationally accumulating more and more matter from those gas and dust clouds in which they are now seen, and they are increasing in mass and getting hotter and bluer as they do so. If so, then the big, hot blue stars are some of the oldest patriarchs of the galaxy, rather than being "flash in-the-pan" youth.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]What difference does it make? Hopefully we have all seen a night sky filled with thousands of awe-inspiring stars. It can truly be a dazzling spectacle that can fill one with reverence for a great Creator. To me, the brightest stars are the bright, old governing stars of our galaxy that have accumulated greatness through the ages. When I look at the dazzling constellation of Orion, I see some great stars for which I feel awe and even reverence. Someday they may "die" in a great supernova explosion, and as one star passes away, so shall another accumulate its recycled remnants. Thus, there is no end to the works of God, neither to his words.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
[/FONT]​
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The brightest stars of the Pleiades are all large and hot.[/FONT]​
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]To me, the more popular explanation is not inspiring at all, but rather depressing. The big bright stars are supposed to explode quickly before they have any lasting importance, and the rest of the whole universe just cools down to be a meaningless graveyard of burned-out star corpses. Without God, the universe would be a meaningless stage on which we act out meaningless lives, which ultimately end in futility.-(article by John Pratt.)[/FONT]
 

Engimo

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laska said:
Why not science classes concentrate on those principles that have been tested using the scientific method and have passed all the tests and seem to be true. The areas that try and predict the past and future in both the creationist and atheist models that either cannot be tested or fail tests, should not be studied in a science class but there should be seperate philosophy/theology classes where they are taught the theories from each of these models. It seems to me both sides need to understand the other's concerns. If a principle undermines one's paradigm so be it, but what parent who passionately believes in either a form of Creationism or that religion is just an opiate of the masses will want their kids taught unproven principles that undermine these paradigms. Obviously no one on the atheist side and even many on the creationist side wants their kids to be taught the earth is six thousand years old just because a segment of the religious community interprets the Biblical text this way when science shows strong evidence to the contrary. Below, I pasted part of an article by a Creationist scientist that illustrates how an unproven principle taught as fact can undermine the Creationist belief.
Bullshit. There is no moderate approach to this issue - one side is wrong. It's not a matter of two equal sides that cannot come to a compromise, it's a matter of one side that is entirely illegitimate attacking established, rational science.

Consider the teachings of modern astronomy about just what stars are, where they came from and where they are going. That was the focus of my Ph.D. dissertation, so I'm more qualified to write on that subject than most others. Much of current belief about what stars are is well-founded on the scientific method. One can measure brightnesses, colors, and even the masses of stars and discover some important relationships between them. For example, the majority of stars follow the rule that if one arranges the stars in order of increasing mass, then the sequence (called the "Main Sequence") also increases in surface temperature and the color gradually shifts from red to blue and then ultra-violet. This is one of the most important "facts" (that is, "observations") of modern astronomy. [/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The temperature, brightness and blueness of most stars increase as the mass increases.[/FONT]​
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The problems begin to arise when scientists attempt to explain exactly how these stars got placed in this sequence, and exactly how things might change in the future. The problem is not that scientists try to explain the past and the future. After all, the objective of the scientific method is to be able to predict the outcome of future experiments. The problem occurs when a) science cannot perform the experiment to predict the future and b) it then declares with absolute certainty just what the past and future are, even those it has no solid basis of experiments to do so.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]In this example from astronomy, we are told that stars formed themselves from gaseous clouds in the plane of the galaxy. We are told that the massive, hot bright blue beacons in the sky such as many of the stars in the constellation Orion, are the very youngest stars, and that they are rapidly burning themselves out, being some of the least permanent members of the galaxy. As for the future, we are told that the sun and most stars will someday exhaust their fuel and become cold, dark burned-out dwarf stars.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]While this is the mainstream theory, taught as nearly absolute truth in beginning astronomy classes, there are other explanations of the same observed facts. One is that most stars are still gravitationally accumulating more and more matter from those gas and dust clouds in which they are now seen, and they are increasing in mass and getting hotter and bluer as they do so. If so, then the big, hot blue stars are some of the oldest patriarchs of the galaxy, rather than being "flash in-the-pan" youth.[/FONT]
We have pictures of stars being formed, detailing every step of their formation. This entire thing is nonsense.

To me, the more popular explanation is not inspiring at all, but rather depressing. The big bright stars are supposed to explode quickly before they have any lasting importance, and the rest of the whole universe just cools down to be a meaningless graveyard of burned-out star corpses. Without God, the universe would be a meaningless stage on which we act out meaningless lives, which ultimately end in futility.-(article by John Pratt.)
Appeal to the Consequences of a Belief fallacy. The fact that a materialistic universe is more "depressing" is irrelevant, it doesn't change the validity of the statement. I don't like the idea that people get killed, but does that mean that I should not believe that it happens because it is depressing?
 

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One of my favorite religious teachings was in 600 B.C. a wise man shows me how we all are interlinked as one universe, never seperate.

Science today shows us that our beings, our physical bodies are indeed made of the very same elements of the stars. Thanks for the reminder. ;)

Based on the idea that everything in the universe is causally linked. All things are composite things, that is, they are composed of several elements. Because all things are composite, they are all transitory, for the elements come together and then fall apart. It is this transience that causes human beings to sorrow and to suffer. We live in a body, which is a composite thing, but that body decays, sickens, and eventually dies, though we wish it to do otherwise. Since everything is transient, that means that there can be no eternal soul either in the self or in the universe. This, then, is the eternal truth of the world: everything is transitory, sorrowful, and soulless–the three-fold character of the world.

And in this belief, there is no ever after, no eternal reward, only the end.

KMS
 

steen

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laska said:
Why not science classes concentrate on those principles that have been tested using the scientific method and have passed all the tests and seem to be true.
That would leave all Evolutionary Science and dump the creationism and ID completely. Well, that is how it is right now, so it is not clear what you are arguing.
The areas that try and predict the past and future in both the creationist and atheist models that either cannot be tested or fail tests, should not be studied in a science class
Well, nothing in the creationists models have held up to the Scientific Method at all. Now, I don't know of any "atheist model" so that part of the argument doesn't make sense. But certainly, the Science that makes it into a Scientific theory, by virtue of this being the END PRODUCT of the Scientific Method, certainly meets your requirement. So right now, what is being taught in Science class is indeed just what you are talking about SHOULD be taught there. That makes your post kind of pointless.
but there should be seperate philosophy/theology classes where they are taught the theories from each of these models.
What do you mean with "the theories"? You DO know what the Scientific Method IS, don't you? You DO know what a Scientific THEORY is, I hope, since you are using these terms!
It seems to me both sides need to understand the other's concerns.
We already understand the creationists' concern, namely that a literal retelling of the Bible is not yet in science class. And our concern regarding creationists is that what they spew is one big lie. So what is left to be understood?
If a principle undermines one's paradigm so be it, but what parent who passionately believes in either a form of Creationism or that religion is just an opiate of the masses will want their kids taught unproven principles that undermine these paradigms.
Irrelevant to science class, where only the data and the Scientific-Method-tested evidence matters (Just like you advocated).
Obviously no one on the atheist side and even many on the creationist side wants their kids to be taught the earth is six thousand years old just because a segment of the religious community interprets the Biblical text this way when science shows strong evidence to the contrary.
Again, what is this "atheist side" you are talking about? What does any of this have to do with the Scientific Method and the evidence for the Scientific Theories?
Below, I pasted part of an article by a Creationist scientist that illustrates how an unproven principle taught as fact can undermine the Creationist belief.


[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Consider the teachings of modern astronomy about just what stars are, where they came from and where they are going. That was the focus of my Ph.D. dissertation, so I'm more qualified to write on that subject than most others. Much of current belief about what stars are is well-founded on the scientific method. One can measure brightnesses, colors, and even the masses of stars and discover some important relationships between them. For example, the majority of stars follow the rule that if one arranges the stars in order of increasing mass, then the sequence (called the "Main Sequence") also increases in surface temperature and the color gradually shifts from red to blue and then ultra-violet. This is one of the most important "facts" (that is, "observations") of modern astronomy. [/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]http://www.meridianmagazine.com/sci_rel/images/051116/image003.jpg [/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The temperature, brightness and blueness of most stars increase as the mass increases.[/FONT]



[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The problems begin to arise when scientists attempt to explain exactly how these stars got placed in this sequence, and exactly how things might change in the future. The problem is not that scientists try to explain the past and the future. After all, the objective of the scientific method is to be able to predict the outcome of future experiments. The problem occurs when a) science cannot perform the experiment to predict the future and b) it then declares with absolute certainty just what the past and future are, even those it has no solid basis of experiments to do so.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]What the heck kind of crap deception is this? This guy is posting utter nonsense. His claim is false.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]In this example from astronomy, we are told that stars formed themselves from gaseous clouds in the plane of the galaxy. We are told that the massive, hot bright blue beacons in the sky such as many of the stars in the constellation Orion, are the very youngest stars, and that they are rapidly burning themselves out, being some of the least permanent members of the galaxy. As for the future, we are told that the sun and most stars will someday exhaust their fuel and become cold, dark burned-out dwarf stars.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]While this is the mainstream theory, taught as nearly absolute truth in beginning astronomy classes, there are other explanations of the same observed facts.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"explanations"? None that have any facts or evidence behind them. Once again, wishful thinking and "just because I say so" postulations are not part of the Scientific Method.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
One is that most stars are still gravitationally accumulating more and more matter from those gas and dust clouds in which they are now seen, and they are increasing in mass and getting hotter and bluer as they do so.
There is no evidence at all for this. This is not evidence of anything, this is a crackpot with a weird, unsubstantiated idea. If this was Ph.D. dissertation, is most certainly was NOT in astronomy, and likely not in science either.
[/FONT]

Now, you say this guy is a "creation scientists." You did NOT provide the source, which likely is a copyright violation, and also does not give us any ability to double-check this guy or his background for making these claims.
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] If so, then the big, hot blue stars are some of the oldest patriarchs of the galaxy, rather than being "flash in-the-pan" youth.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]What difference does it make? Hopefully we have all seen a night sky filled with thousands of awe-inspiring stars. It can truly be a dazzling spectacle that can fill one with reverence for a great Creator.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]There is no scientific evidence for this. At this point, he is NOT writing as a scientist, and as such for you to claim scientific relevance is VERY DISHONEST.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]And I detest dishonesty. Please clarify immediately that you didn't just lie to us all.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]To me, the brightest stars are the bright, old governing stars of our galaxy that have accumulated greatness through the ages. When I look at the dazzling constellation of Orion, I see some great stars for which I feel awe and even reverence. Someday they may "die" in a great supernova explosion, and as one star passes away, so shall another accumulate its recycled remnants. Thus, there is no end to the works of God, neither to his words.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]So this guy deliberately sought an "alternative" explanation for astronomy, not because of the evidence pointing him to this, but rather because he wanted to have his conclusion validated and thus invented an alternative idea that would confirm his already-made up conclusion. That is not in any way science whatsoever.[/FONT]

As such, you calling him a creation scientist is an outright lie.

Please cease your lying and deception. Please cease bearing false witness.
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]To me, the more popular explanation is not inspiring at all, but rather depressing. The big bright stars are supposed to explode quickly before they have any lasting importance, and the rest of the whole universe just cools down to be a meaningless graveyard of burned-out star corpses. Without God, the universe would be a meaningless stage on which we act out meaningless lives, which ultimately end in futility.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Anthropomorphizing, non-scientific claptrap emotional appeal.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
(article by John Pratt.)
[/FONT]Who? What source??

Presumably this guy: http://www.johnpratt.com/gen/2.jp_pratt.html
I didn't see any scientifically valid publications in his list of writings, and as such to claim himself an astronomer, claiming a researcher, that would be a lie.
 

steen

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CaliNORML said:
It is this transience that causes human beings to sorrow and to suffer.
Nonsense. :roll:
 

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John Pratt was named the outstanding student of physics at the University of Utah. He recieved his phd in astronomy at the University of Arizona. He worked several years ago at Hill Air Force Base for the Minuteman Missile program. He has had some papers published on ancient calendars and chronology. He teaches astronomy at a state college in Utah.

The area where you state it is dishonest, you have missed the whole context. He is not stating science has proven this. He sees it as just as plausible as the other scenario which is taught as near fact in first year astronomy classes although it cannot be tested. I also do understand what a theory is in science and it was a poor use of the term on my part. In no way do I try and be dishonest and if something is untrue that I write it wil be an honest mistake. I do not want to pretend to have a great knowledge of science, I definately do not. I do not try and argue about evolution or this scientific principle or that because I have no clue here. I do have a solid grasp of the scientific method and have posted many earlier posts that if read in full will show this I think.
 
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The only false witness is when you deny what is before your eyes, you witnessed it, and still swear the event did not or is not happening.

To think about how events may have happened and provide a logical guess is called hypothesis, sort of like interpretation. The search for what things may possibly mean, not what exactly they are. We arrive at that by means of theory, experimentation, and physical observation.

Death is certain, yours and your loved ones, this brings you no sorrow? Pain in an aging body, causes no suffering? The greatest acts of cruelty and war have stemmed from this wish to transcend beyond, to Heaven, or Hell if you like the heat. Trying to "save" our own non transcendable souls and those of others not yet "saved" in order to acheive the one thing that can never be permanancy. The only constant is change; and trying to "save" others, is killing us.

The belief I refered to teaches that humans do good acts, beacuse our physical bodies require us to do so, not because of a "God." So in practicing kindness, empathy, compassion, and equality there is no giant cosmic scoreboard keeping track like Santa Clause of the clouds. Only the need to do it because of how we are evolving physicaly actually demands we do so.

KMS
 
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Axismaster

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Whenever this debate comes up, I like to say, why does it matter? We are here as it is. I don't see why science classes or anyone else for that matter would waste time on a question that in no way affects the future.
 

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Axismaster said:
Whenever this debate comes up, I like to say, why does it matter? We are here as it is. I don't see why science classes or anyone else for that matter would waste time on a question that in no way affects the future.
But it does affect the future. Evolutionary Biology is the basis for pretty much all of our medical understanding.
 

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"Whenever this debate comes up, I like to say, why does it matter? We
are here as it is. I don't see why science classes or anyone else for
that matter would waste time on a question that in no way affects the
future."

It does more than you realize, just ask 166 American families who have a child diagnosed Autistic daily. This area of my childs brain is larger than his peers and malfunctioning. More and more of our children are effected by disorder in this area of the brain.

Reading and language, social disorder, unemapthatic children unable to physicaly access this area of the physical beings are dominating our public schools. The medication to treat frontal brain disorders is in the trillions. Treated with Medicare/Medicaid funds, your tax dollars.

Disabilities like Autism are defined in the Social Security Administration as benificiaries for funds. Disorders in this area of the brain and are costing our public and social services billions more and more every year.

Are kids meaner? Yes, this is non violence in the frontal brain. Less imaginative? Yes also there. Less artistic? There too. Less able to grasp and understand metaphorical and abstract knowledge? Yup, ask any teacher. Less able to understand and use language? Sadly true.

PANDAS was discovered in the last 10 years, a new disorder of the frontal brain. Tourette's syndrome, Dyslexia, Asperberg's, and an entire spectrum of P.D.D. and learning disabilities is plaguing our nation.

This affects me daily, as I watch my 16 year old Autistic son self abuse because of this area of his brain. It does affect thousands of American families, like mine, and if we do not look deeper at this evolution. It will soon effect us all.

Remember 166 today, tommorow, the next, the next. Autism alone.

KMS
 

shuamort

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laska said:
Without God, the universe would be a meaningless stage on which we act out meaningless lives, which ultimately end in futility.
This is a "scientific" claim? Go ahead, show with scientific method that this is true. Here's a very simplified and quick overview of that method to get you started:

1. Observe some aspect of the universe.
2. Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis, that is consistent with what you have observed.
3. Use the hypothesis to make predictions.
4. Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between theory and experiment and/or observation.

To prove your claim, you'll also have to prove unequivocably that a "God" exists AND be able to define its properties as well. Then, all of these hypotheses will have to be peer reviewed.

Good luck! We'll be waiting for this.
 

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He never claims he derived this from the scientific method. You guys are not understanding the context of my post.
 

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laska said:
He never claims he derived this from the scientific method. You guys are not understanding the context of my post.
But you made the very point that this guy was a scientist.
 

laska

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Scientists can have personal ideas of how things are in the universe that are outside of the ability of science to test for. He is not trying to set up these ideas as scientifc theories or principles.
 

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laska said:
Scientists can have personal ideas of how things are in the universe that are outside of the ability of science to test for. He is not trying to set up these ideas as scientifc theories or principles.
And so they are irrelevant and useless when discussing science or public policy regarding science education.
 

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That is the whole point I am trying to make. Those ideas that cannot be tested should be taught in a philosophy/theology class. Pratt gives an example where this is not being done.
 

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laska said:
That is the whole point I am trying to make. Those ideas that cannot be tested should be taught in a philosophy/theology class. Pratt gives an example where this is not being done.
No, he's challenging what is being taught in Astronomy classes as the currently accepted method for solar formation. The accepted method has scientific evidence and therefore there is merit to teaching it in the classroom. This has nothing to do with creationism.
 

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I do not have the knowledge to know if Pratt is correct on that point or not. It would be interesting to hear someone also with an advanced degree in this to comment.
 
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laska

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I have been meaning to define the way I used "creationism" in my original post as I now understand that there is a general definition that means something other that the one I intended. I meant scientists who defend that evolution (or change) exists in nature but have ideas on the CAUSES of the change that may include 1/a God that has written the laws of nature 2/life has the agency on whether to follow these laws or not 3/possibly parts of the universe where there are no laws given. It seems to me a Creationist in this sense may see the order and beauty in nature and see these as fingerprints of God, and also see the the lack of these characteristics in nature and see 2 and 3 as the causes of this.
 
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laska said:
I do not have the knowledge to know if Pratt is correct on that point or not. It would be interesting to hear someone also with an advanced degree in this to comment.
It doesn't take an advanced degree to read and understand the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Here:

Hyperphysics said:
The concept of entropy and the second law of thermodynamics suggests that systems naturally progress from order to disorder. If so, how do biological systems develop and maintain such a high degree of order? Is this a violation of the second law of thermodynamics?

Order can be produced with an expenditure of energy, and the order associated with life on the earth is produced with the aid of energy from the sun.

For example, plants use energy from the sun in tiny energy factories called chloroplasts. Using chlorophyll in the process called photosynthesis, they convert the sun's energy into storable form in ordered sugar molecules. In this way, carbon and water in a more disordered state are combined to form the more ordered sugar molecules.

In animal systems there are also small structures within the cells called mitochondria which use the energy stored in sugar molecules from food to form more highly ordered structures.
 

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The text below was originally posted to another forum, where actually it was rather off-topic. Here, it should be on-topic. There is some dispute that Evolution cannot have yielded the enormous complexity represented by Life. The text contains assumptions regarding that claim, and calculations based on those assumptions. When I first wrote it down, I made the assumptions blindly, not knowing in the least what the result would be. I simply tried to make reasonable assumptions. At the end of the text is an invitation for others to refine the assumptions and calculations as may be appropriate.

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Here I'd like to try something I've not heard about before. Let's pretend we have a group of simple molecules. Let's now make two assumptions, that after Energy and Time have affected those molecules, one tenth of them will have combined to make molecules that are twice as complex. {We do have experimental verification that Energy and Time can indeed provide opportunities for simple molecules to combine into more complex molecules. I'm simply going to extrapolate.} After more time, one-tenth of those more-complex molecules combine to create more new molecules, again twice as complex. Suppose we extrapolated this until complexity-of-Life resulted; how many original simple molecules are we talking about? Well, first let's pick something as an example of life's complexity. I'll select mitochondria, which are bacteria-like things that exist inside most eukarote cells. They can reproduce and by themselves meet a number of characteristics of living organisms, but they are also somewhat stripped-down, being symbiotic with the cells that they inhabit. They do not need much in the way of defenses against other organisms; the host cells do that for them. SO: a mitochondria has roughly 16,500 bases with 13 recognized genes, ~1 micrometer in diameter and ~1-10 micrometers in length. I'll use 5 micrometers of length. Next, how many atoms can fit inside a cylinder of that size? Well, an atom is measured in Angstrom Units, a ten-billionth of a meter (1 micrometer is 10,000 Angstroms), and most atoms range in diameter from 1 to 5 Angstroms. http://mimp.mems.cmu.edu/~ordofmag/atomsize.htm. Since the molecules associated with Life are overwhelmingly more often small than large, I'll select 2 as the average. The occasional big cesium atom that some life-form might require is more-than-balanced by many many tiny carbon atoms. Now to compute: The formula for a cylinder is (height)*(pi)*(radius-squared). If we convert the chosen mitochondria cylinder to Anstroms we get: (50,000)*(3.14)*(500-squared), or 39.25 billion cubic Angstroms. The formula for a sphere is (4/3)*(pi)*(radius-cubed), so using that on our chosen average atom-size we get (4/3)*(3.14)*(1-cubed), or 4.187 cubic Angstoms. Dividing that into the other number tells us how many atoms fit into the mitochondria cylinder: 9,375,000,000 (9.375 billion). If we assume a simple molecule has four atoms (water has three, ammonia has four, methane has five), then we divide again to see how many simple molecules could have been combined, in multitudinous ways, to make up the complex parts of a living mitochondria cell: 2.344 billion. Let us now pretend that this is equivalent to one huge complex molecule, and go back to the very first assumptions of this exercise: One tenth of a group of simple molecules combine to make other molecules that are twice as complex. If the end-result is a complex of 2.344 billion simple molecules, how many molecules did we start with? This is pretty easy to figure, by first finding out how many doublings occurred, to yield that complex of 2.34 billion molecules: 31-and-a-fraction; I'll call it 32. Now we multiply 2.344 billion by ten, 32 times: 2.344 x 10-to-the-41st-power. That's a lot, but we need a better mental picture of it. There is a unit in Chemistry called "the mole", which is 6.02 x 10-to-the-23rd; it is a factor that lets Atomic Weight be converted into grams (a mole of hydrogen atoms weighs about 1 gram; a mole of oxygen atoms weighs about 16 grams, and so on). I need a reasonable weight for my average 4-atom molecule, and I will choose 26, the weight of 4-atom acetylene. I'm hoping this number is more than what a more-rigorous version of this computation would use, so that it could not be said that I was too lenient in my assumptions. Okay, we now compute: divide 2.344x10E41 by 6.02x10E23 to see how many moles of simple molecules we have been playing with: 3.89x10E17. Multiply that by 26 to find out how many grams that is: just over 10-to-the-19th power. Divide that by one million to convert grams to metric tons: 10-to-the-13th power, ten trillion metric tons of simple molecules. How does this compare to all the organic matter (made from simple molecules!) at the Earth's surface regions? One estimate is 10-to-the-16th tons, or one thousand times the amount needed by the above calculations. http://www.manicore.com/anglais/documentation_a/oil_formation.html Therefore it seems mathematically reasonable that upon the Earth enough simple molecules existed (by a factor of a thousand!), that under the influence of Time and Energy, could have combined to form more complex molecules, at a rate of one-tenth-per-doubling, until complexities equivalent to that needed by Life was achieved. Yes, that is not the same thing as Life itself forming, but at least we know that the background requirement, many complex molecules needed for Life, appears not to be prohibited! And, of course, the Earth is not considered to be the only place in the universe where simple organic molecules have had opportunities to combine into more complex ones. The Panspermia hypthesis increases the chance that Life came about, during interactions between complex molecules, by multiplying the preceding result by however-many planets were brewing complex molecules over billions of years. Could be millions or billions, in this Galaxy alone.

{The preceding text is freely offered to anyone who would like to post it elsewhere, for anyone who might like to apply more rigor to the ideas/assumptions therein.}
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In response to someone who asked for a more condensed description of the above text, I answered:
The result is that the early Earth had a thousand times as many interacting organic molecules as needed to explain the complexity of Life, and that result thereby supports the assumption that life could have originated on Earth as a result of natural events, no Creation of Life needed.
 
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