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Evolution/Evolution vs 2nd Law of Thermodynamics


When I attempt to defend evolution with my creationist friends I end up losing to this argument because I simply do not know how to answer it. How does evolution happen if the 2nd law of thermodynamics exists?

Dear Jeremiah,

If your friends don't believe in the Second Law of Thermodynamics, then I'm not sure what to tell them.  Anyone can make up a story to fit the facts, and if they will tell you that a god person can routinely break the laws of physics to suit its needs, then there's no arguing with them.  All of life appears to contradict the second law, doesn't it?  

In reality, the second law of thermodynamics isn't being broken by life.  Part of evolution is random (mutations; genetic drift/neutral evolution), but when a system develops that is adaptive (i.e., promotes survival and reproduction), it can proliferate without breaking that law.  After all, organisms need to constantly expend energy to stay in one piece, or they, too, would become disordered.  

For a truly excellent and simple overview of why the Second Law "paradox" posed by creationists just doesn't hold up, please visit this site:

Clear, concise, and a good explanation about why people who claim this as refutation of evolution simply do not understand thermodynamics.  Evolution does not violate this law.

I hope this helps!



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Dana Krempels


I can answer questions about evolutionary mechanisms and theory, including genetic drift, mutation, natural selection, etc. I also can clear up misconceptions about evolution as it's sometimes talked about by those not well-versed in the subject (e.g., some politicians and many religious fundamentalists).


I have a Ph.D. in Biology, and presently teach Evolution and Biodiversity, Genetics, Botany, and Zoology at the University of Miami.

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B.S. in Biology B.A. in English Ph.D. in Biology

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