One of the more scientific-sounding anti-evolution arguments is that evolution violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics. (This tends to be reinforced by the false idea that a scientific “law” automatically ‘outranks’ a “theory”.) To understand this argument, the first thing we have to ask is, what is the Second Law?
I don’t normally make a post because I added something to my blogroll, but the Bronze Blog was one of my favorites back when it still updated so I thought I’d explain why. I think it was the second blog I started reading regularly, and was probably a bigger influence on my blogging than any other. (Excluding my fiction writing, anyway.) It was also the first WordPress site I ever visited (it moved without transferring all the content, so I’m linking to both), and for that alone I have to give the Bronze Dog a plug even if he doesn’t update anymore, because WordPress is the greatest.
The idea of a world with life as we know it that doesn’t evolve is not plausible. The fact that all life on Earth appears to be descended from a common ancestor is a fact that we know about how life evolved, not a part of the definition of the process itself. Even if some god created a world full of already-complex life, it would still then, given that mutations exist, take a specific effort on the creator’s part to prevent evolution by natural selection from occurring after that.
I have long been annoyed when people try to dismiss an issue by saying what basically amounts to “it doesn’t matter as long as there are worse problems”.
I started thinking about it today when I read Julia Burke’s post on the subject.
It only gets worse when you realize that no one is actually consistent about that. In fact, truly trivial things don’t get the “not as important as starving children” response very much (and if they do is usually even more inconsistent, like people criticizing geeky hobbies but having a blind spot for their own obsession with popular sports). Mostly it seems to be focused on attempts to address what might be called medium-sized injustices.