In6Days
Principle #3: The Complexity of Life

The disorder in the universe always increases.
2nd Law of Thermodynamics op. cit.

As previously discussed, the 2nd Law has a profound effect on the Universe and biology is no exception. Life is carefully crafted by its DNA and grows to fulfill a designated adult form. Regardless of the complexity, organisms cannot escape the descent toward chaos and death. Therefore, if the entire material world is in a state of increasing entropy (decay), it is reasonable to assume that they originally existed in a higher state of order. The laws and principles of chemistry and biology clearly define the observed complexities of life but have no scientifically acceptable answers regarding its origin and order.

Comment: The ascent of life according to evolutionary theory requires a series of mutations that will add complexity to the genome (DNA). Mutations are generally caused by DNA copying errors (mistakes) that supposedly combine over long periods of time to form newer and more complex species. Without the guidance that only intelligence can provide, however, accumulated errors will not contribute to the creation of new life forms.
Brian Thomas of ICR made a profound statement in the Acts & Facts monthly magazine, stating, "...natural processes do not anticipate future needs or desires."
Acts & Facts, Nov. 2017, Why Don't Poison Dart Frogs Poison Themselves?, Brian Thomas, M.S.

The thought of a machine usually brings to mind a type of mechanical device or functional tool that assists in accomplishing work or achieving a predetermined purpose. Spacecraft, cell phones, automobiles, bicycles, etc. are all created with a predetermined design and purpose. When even a single-celled organism is thought of as a machine, with a magnitude of complexity greater than anything designed by man, it becomes difficult to believe that life was left to chance.

Definition of a MACHINE:
.. An assemblage of parts that transmit forces, motion, and energy one to another in a predetermined manner.
.. a living organism or one of its functional systems
Merriam-Webster

Open and Closed Systems: Grasping at straws to "prove" biological evolution.

(Somewhat) simply stated, the 2nd Law confirms what is observed: everything goes from order to disorder. The quotations cited in the paragraphs below from BioLogos and Quora.com, both writing in support of evolutionary theory, suggest that an increase in disorder applies only to a "closed" system and not to those classified as "open." Although opinions vary in the discussion of what is "open" or "closed", it is generally agreed that the one ("open") has the ability to receive energy from an outside source (primarily the Sun), while the "closed" system suffers the full impact of increasing disorder and decay. Many evolutionists claim that the Earth is an "open" system while others categorize the entire Universe as being "closed."

Regardless of how the Earth is viewed as a system, objective science does not suggest that the Sun's undirected energy somehow becomes infused with the direction (or instructions) required to increase complexity. Unguided energy cannot cause a continuous and directed increase in complexity (order) as devised to accomodate an evolutionary process. The idea that naturalism alone can harness raw energy without a "machine" type receptor (e.g. DNA) to cause the observed complexities of life is a misguided application of basic scientific principles.

When the human body (or any life form) is thought of as a complex "biological machine", we can better understand why all organisms have been pre-planned with instructions (DNA) that clearly define the processes of growth, nourishment, metabolism, and function. The "machine" also clearly understands how external energy from the Sun will be processed

An excerpt from the BioLogos website on the subject illustrates an (un)scientific application of the 2nd Law.

Does thermodynamics disprove evolution?
A living organism is not so much a unified whole as it is a collection of subsystems. In the development of life, for example, a major leap occurred when cells mutated in such a way that they clumped together so that multicellular life was possible. A simple mutation allowing one cell to stick to other cells enabled a larger and more complex life form. However, such a transformation does not violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics any more than superglue violates the law when it sticks your fingers to the kitchen counter.
Does thermodynamics disprove evolution, BioLogos.org, 2015

Comment: The above quote from BioLogos suggests that a step-by-step collection of mutations (errors produced during cell reproduction) will, with enough time and chance, create new and more complex species as described in Darwin's Theory. Although not specifically mentioned in the BioLogos article, a cumulative type process described as the Watchmaker Problem is cited below in an excerpt from an article by Clara Moskowitz quoting Drs. Robert Root-Bernstein and Herbert Simon. The "watchmaker" imagines a pattern for the origin of life, a step obviously needed before the complexity of life can even be considered.

We might suggest that the idea of molecular clumping and the small stable modules of a watchmaker are imaginative attempts to create evolutionary proof for the origin and complexity of life when no evidence is available.

There's a famous parable called the watchmaker problem, first described by Nobel Prize-winning economist Herbert Simon.

'Imagine two watchmakers trying to assemble a watch of 1,000 pieces. The first watchmaker assembles his watch one piece at a time - he must assemble it in one sitting or it falls apart and he has to start over. The second watchmaker builds hers by first putting together small stable modules of a few pieces, and then building these up into ever-larger subconfigurations until she has a whole watch. If she is interrupted, the smaller modules don't break down and she can resume from roughly where she started.
The second is a much more efficient way of putting together a watch, because it offers protection against having to start over from the beginning if the process is interrupted.'

Building up the first organism on earth may have worked the same way, Root-Bernstein said.

'If you have to evolve a receptor composed of a precise ordering of 400 amino acids, it wouldn't be possible to do it all at once," he said. You have to use stable molecules.'

How Life's Primordial Soup Came to Life, Clara Moskowitz, Senior Writer, LiveScience, Feb 21,2012,
referencing "The Watchmaker Problem"

Comment: With all due respect to Drs. Root-Bernstein and Simon, if the evolution of life to higher forms occurred by natural causes, it must be just that: natural. Their example requires intelligence (the watchmaker) and planning, with both being necessary to build the small stable modules step-by-step. When time, chance, and raw materials are the only ingredients permitted by evolution, the hypothesis cannot invoke intelligence and a planned assembly of the component parts. The use of a parable rather than verifiable science to explain the creation of life might indicate that the foundational evidence for the Theory of Evolution is still missing.

The quotation below by Quora.com states that the answer to increasing complexity is straightforward.

Why is evolution the only thing that moves from chaos to order instead of order to chaos?

Answer:
This is actually straightforward to explain.

Yes, a system does tend toward disorder, which is its lowest "energy state," so how could evolution go in the other direction?

The reason is simple: it's because the Sun is always injecting new energy into the system, and it does it in a way that is harnessed by the biochemistry and ecosystem of life. The Earth is an open system, not a closed one.

New energy in the form of sunlight is the first step of an energy gradient that flows through the ecosystem of life at various levels. This energy gradient drives the biochemistry of evolution in the same way that water flowing downhill drives a waterwheel, or burning coal heats water to drive a steam engine.

What-do-you-tell-someone-who-thinks-evolution-violates-the-Second-Law-of- Thermodynamics, Quora.com, Updated Apr.4, 2017

Comment: The suggested straightforward answer to the above question is an example of silliness presented as science and lacks any factual element. The referenced biochemistry and ecosystems of life are complex systems that consist of machinery and mechanisms inherent in the DNA and specifically designed to receive and process energy from the Sun. The author's analogy of a water wheel or coal furnace omits the fact that these "energy converting machines" were not built by an "evolutionary and natural process", but were designed by someone with engineering skills and purpose in mind. Photosynthesis in the plant world and our metabolism are both examples of machinery that understand how to process external energy. Once the plant or the body dies, the processing capability of the organism dies along with it and decay begins. Without the ingredients of design and direction, life or an ascension to greater complexity cannot occur, no matter the amount of energy applied. The completely natural attributes of evolution may not, by definition, reference intelligence when referring to the creation of any type of machine.

Photosynthesis furthers the example of how a machine in nature enhances the argument against an evolutionary process. Generally, the leaves of a plant serve as solar collectors, receiving the Sun's energy which is then processed in the complex system of photosynthesis. The process does not passively receive energy from the Sun, but rather directs the energy to function according to a pre-engineered plan and purpose (DNA). The concept is more succinctly stated in the web article referenced below:

The conversion of unusable sunlight energy into usable chemical energy, is associated with the actions of the green pigment chlorophyll.
Estrella Mountain Community College, Photosynthesis

It is clear that no matter the quantities of energy delivered to Earth by the Sun's light, the energy received cannot increase complexity unless directed by the DNA of the organism. The concept of design by an intelligent force is required for all life forms, just as Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II fighter jet adheres to an engineering objective and ultimate purpose.

click to enlarge

The obvious point is that intelligence is required to design even the most simple machine; either the intelligence of man or of God. The evolutionary conundrum is that any direct application of energy does not depend upon whether a system is open or closed, but on a biological machine specifically designed for the process. DNA, water wheels, windmills, photosynthesis, etc. all qualify as "machinery."

?The Evolutionary Transition of Birds from Dinosaurs?

Archaeopteryx


Archaeopteryx fossil and artist's rendering

Archaeopteryx has consistently served as an icon of evolutionary proof for the dinosaur to bird transition. Unfortunately for the proposed transition, Storrs Olson, Senior Scientist and Curator of Birds (Ret., 2008) at the Smithsonian Institute, penned an open letter to the National Geographic Society regarding an article in the Nov. 1999 issue Feathers for T. rex.

The idea of feathered dinosaurs and the theropod origin of birds is being actively promulgated by a cadre of zealous scientists acting in concert with certain editors at Nature and National Geographic who themselves have become outspoken and highly biased proselytizers of the faith. Truth and careful scientific weighing of evidence have been among the first casualties in their program, which is now becoming one of the grander scientific hoaxes of our age --- the paleontological equivalent of cold fusion.
Dr. Storrs Olson, an open letter to the National Geographic Society, Nov. 1, 1999

7 But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; 8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. 9 Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? 10 In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:7-10 NIV

Micro-Evolution

Micro and Macro evolution play an important role in the Creation/Evolution debate. Micro changes occur within a species, as is readily seen in the variation within dogs or in Darwin's finches (discussed below). Macro changes, according to evolutionary teaching, are those that add to or reconfigure information within the genome to form a new species. Mutations are generally considered to be DNA copying errors.

Micro-evolution produced the variation of the finches that Darwin observed on the Galapagos Islands. The finches showed variation in beak and wing size, coloration, and other traits that might benefit survival. As the finches are studied, however, it becomes obvious that they are still finches. There is no apparent sign of birds changing into another species, or another species that may be changing to a bird. The differentiation within the finches demonstrates micro-evolution, which is completely compatible with the Creation belief that each species was formed "after its kind".

Darwin's Finches on the Galapagos (click image to enlarge)

The principles of micro-evolution also guide the differentiation among large and small dogs, dogs with long and short hair, and many other examples that are apparent through observation. No matter the species, micro-evolution produces offspring that are only after their kind.


Return to: Creation, Evolution, and the Principles of Science: Home Page for CONCLUSION and access to the In6Days.org Main Index

Please send comments or questions to: comments@In6Days.org