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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2006
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Claim CF001.1:

Systems or processes left to themselves invariably tend to move from order to disorder.


Wallace, Timothy, 2002. Five major evolutionist misconceptions about evolution.


  1. This is an attempt to claim that the second law of thermodynamics implies an inevitable increase in entropy even in open systems by quibbling with the verbiage "left to themselves." The simple fact is that, unless "left to themselves" means "not acted upon by any outside influence," disorder of systems can decrease. And since outside influence is more often the rule in biological systems, order can and does increase in them.

  2. That the claim is false is not theory. Exceptions happens all the time. For example, plants around my house are left to themselves every spring, and every spring they produce order locally by turning carbon from the air into plant tissue. Drying mud, left to itself, produces orderly cracks. Ice crystals, left to themselves, produce arrangements far more orderly than they would if I interfered. Freeze-thaw cycles naturally sort stones into regular patterns (Kessler and Werner 2003). How can a trend to disorder be invariable when exceptions are ubiquitous? And why do creationists argue at such length for claims that they themselves can plainly see are false?

  3. Disorder and entropy are not the same. The second law of thermodynamics deals with entropy, not disorder (although disorder defined to apply to microscopic states can be relevant to thermodynamics). There are no laws about disorder as people normally use the word. (Styer 2000)


  1. Kessler, M. A. and B. T. Werner, 2003. Self-organization of sorted patterned ground. Science 299: 380-383. See also: Mann, D., 2003. On patterend ground. Science 299: 354-355.
  2. Styer, Daniel F. 2000. Insight into entropy. American Journal of Physics 68(12): 1090-1096.

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created 2000-11-4, modified 2006-1-13