Questions and Views 
  Age of the Universe
  Methods of Creation  
  Two Books of God
  Design of the Universe  
  Age of the Universe
  Evaluation of Evolutions  
  Design in Science
  Public School Education  
  Christian Education (in  
  church, school, home)
  Informal Education  

Four Evolutions

( Astronomical, Geological, Chemical, Biological )

Evolution and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

An overview for Evaluations of Evolutions is in the homepage for Origins Evidence.

Sections in this page are:
Entropy versus Evolution? 
Astronomical Evolution 
Geological Evolution 
Chemical Evolution 

Biological Evolution 

    This page will focus on
    • scientific questions about natural evolutions:  astronomical, geological, chemical, and biological.

    Other aspects of evaluations are in other pages:
    • theological questions, about reasons to think that God did or did not design the universe to be naturally self-assembling, are in METHODS OF CREATION
    • philosophical questions about a big tent, methodological naturalism, scientific methods (in what situations can design be detected?) and more, are in INTELLIGENT DESIGN IN SCIENCE.

    Usually, however, there will be mutually interactive influences between science, theology, and philosophy, even when the focus is on one of these.

This page describes educational web-resources with a variety of views, to stimulate your thinking and help you explore a wide range of ideas.   {information & disclaimer}

Evolution and The Second Law of Thermodynamics

Some prominent young-earth creationists claim that — according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics — all evolution (astronomical, chemical, and biological) is impossible because evolution requires an increase of complexity, but this would violate an "entropy principle" (based on the Second Law) that requires a decrease of complexity.  In thermodynamics, is entropy related to complexity, and does it make evolution impossible?

• Henry Morris declares (in 1973) that because "evolution and entropy are opposing and mutually exclusive concepts,... evolution must be impossible" and (in 1976) that "the most devastating and conclusive argument against evolution [of any type, whether astronomical, chemical, or biological] is the entropy principle,... also known as the Second Law of Thermodynamics,... which describes a situation of universally deteriorating order."  Henry makes similar claims in 1985 and his son (John Morris, 1992) carries on the legacy: "the universal Second Law of Thermodynamics shows that things become more disordered through time, not more complex, as evolution insists."
• Christian Answers Network has a new repetition of the same old argument, using everyday analogies (faded clothing, aging bodies,...) even though the Second Law is about the probabilities of energy distribution — it is not about what we psychologically perceive as "disorder" — so these oversimplistic analogies are not scientifically relevant.
• Jonathan Sarfati makes claims that are more scientifically credible, in answers to three questions — 1 & 2 are mainly about an origin of life by chemical evolution (not a further development of life during biological evolution), and in 3 he (along with Answers in Genesis) rejects a claim, made by Henry Morris, that The Second Law of Thermodynamics began with The Fall.

An Introduction to Entropy and Evolution explains "why things happen" in two evolutions — astronomical (due to the simple operation of attractive forces) and biological (by mutation and natural selection, plus crossovers and drift,...) — and why these evolutions do not violate thermodynamics because each step is allowed by the Second Law.   by Craig Rusbult (31 k + 7k)
The Second Law of Thermodynamics in the Context of the Christian Faith is a good overview, combining sound theology with solid science information (non-technical and technical) about what entropy is and isn't, and how thermo is and isn't relevant for evolution.   by Allan Harvey (26 k)

I.O.U. — There will be more web-resource links about "thermo and evolution" soon, probably before mid-October 2010.

Appeals to entropy (by young-earth creationists) and information (as in some arguments for intelligent design) differ in important ways, and information analysis is generally more scientifically credible when we're thinking about origins.  Claims that in some situations "information indicates design" are worthy of scientific attention, so the arguments for and against these claims will be examined below in the Chemical Evolution and Biological Evolution.

Astronomical Evolution

The links-page for ASTRONOMICAL EVOLUTION looks at two questions:
Design of the Universe — Was nature designed to allow evolution?
Age of the Universe — What does astronomy tell us about age?

Geological Evolution


Chemical Evolution


Biological Evolution

We'll help you explore the principles of (and questions about) NEO-DARWINIAN BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION.

INFORMATION for readers is in a brief page about our Goal (a quick education for you), Quality (because we've made choices) and Variety (you'll see multiple positions, hence the disclaimer below), Exploring with Freedom (you can use sections and page-links in any order), Size (what does "20 k + 5k" mean?), and Links (that open in a new window)

In this page you'll find links to resource-pages expressing a wide range of views, which don't necessarily represent the views of the American Scientific Affiliation.  Therefore, linking to a page does not imply an endorsement by the ASA.  We encourage you to use your own critical thinking to evaluate everything you read.

 This website for Whole-Person Education has TWO KINDS OF LINKS:
an ITALICIZED LINK keeps you inside a page, moving you to another part of it, and
 a NON-ITALICIZED LINK opens another page.  Both keep everything inside this window, 
so your browser's BACK-button will always take you back to where you were.

This page, written by Craig Rusbult (editor of ASA Science Ed Website),
and was revised August 16, 2010.

all links were checked-and-fixed on July 3, 2006

other links-pages about Origins Questions are at the top of this page,
or you can Search the Website