Laws of Science

Author: Various


"LAWS" OF NATURE , JAMES H. SHEA, Editor, Journal of Geological Education, "The most serious problem with this concept grows out of the fact that it uses a metaphor, the Laws that govern or control nature.... We seem to believe that there literally are such laws. The concept is anachronistic in that it originated at a time when the Almighty was thought to have established the laws of nature and to have decreed that nature must obey them.... It is a great pity for the Philosophy of Science that the word 'law' was ever introduced.",< Geology>, v. 10 p. 458

1st Law of Thermodynamics

ALBERT EINSTEIN ,< Science>, Vol. 157, p. 509, "Classical thermodynamics...only physical theory of universal content concerning which I am convinced that within the framework of applicability of its b4sk concepts, it will never be overthrown."

ISAAC ASIMOV , "This law is considered the most powerful and most fundamental generalization about the universe that scientists have ever been able to make. No one knows why energy is conserved... All that anyone can say is that in over a century and a quarter of careful measurement scientists have never been able to point to a definite violation of energy conservation, either in the familiar everyday surroundings about us, or in the heavens above or in the atoms within.", , 1970, p.6

ORIGIN OF MATTER , ISAAC ASIMOV, "Perhaps in an infinite sea of nothingness, globs of positive and negative energy in equal - sized pairs are constantly forming, and after passing through evolutionary changes, combining once more and vanishing. We are in one of these blobs in the period of time between nothing about it.", , Vol.69, p.69

2nd Law of Thermodynamics

FAMILIAR TO EVERYONE , ISAAC ASIMOV, "Another way of stating the second law then is 'The universe is constantly getting more disorderly!' Viewed that way we can see the second Law all about us. We have to work hard to straighten a room, but left to itself it becomes a mess again very quickly and very easily. Even if we never enter it, it becomes dusty and musty. How difficult to maintain houses, and machinery, and our own bodies in perfect working order: how easy to let them deteriorate. In fact, all we have to do is nothing, and everything deteriorates, collapses, breaks down, wears out, all by itself and that is what the second law is all about.", , June, 1970, p. 6

HOPELESS , SIR ARTHUR EDDINGTON, "...if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics, I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.", p.74

JUST STATISTICAL? A.B. PIPPARD, Cambridge Univ., "There is thus no justification for the view, often glibly repeated, that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is only statistically true, in the sense that microscopic violations repeatedly occur, but never violations of any serious magnitude. On the contrary, no evidence has ever been presented that the Second Law breaks down under any circumstances.", , p.99-100

NO WAY AROUND , FRANK A. GRECO, Harvard Medical School, "Being a generalization of experience, the second law could only be invalidated by an actual engine. In other words, the question, 'Can the second law of thermodynamics be circumvented?' is not well worded but could be answered only if the model incorporated every feature of the real world. But an answer can readily be given to the question, 'Has the second law of thermodynamics been circumvented Not yet." , 10/82, p.88.

COMPREHENSIVE APPLICATION , RICHARD MORRIS, "The second law of thermodynamics has a chameleon like character. It can be expressed in more different ways than any of the other laws of physics. The reason that it takes so many different forms is that it is the most general of all the laws that scientists have discovered. It applies to practically everything." , 1984, p.113

ENTROPY OF INFORMATION , TOM SIEGFRIED, "Is there a real connection between entropy in physics and the entropy of information? ....The equations of information theory and the second law are the same, suggesting that the idea of entropy is something fundamental..." [Quotes Robert W. Lucky Ex. Director of Research, AT&T, Bell Laboratories & John A. Wheeler, of Princeton & Univ. of TX, Austin]

EVOLUTIONARY "FAITH" , V. F. VEISSKOFF, Head Dept. Physics, M.I.T., "The evolutionary history of the world from the 'big bang' to the present universe is a series of gradual steps from the simple to the complicated, from the unordered to the organized, from the formless gas of elementary particles to the morphic atoms and molecules and further to the still more structured liquids and solids, and finally to the sophisticated living organisms. There is an obvious tendency of nature from disorder to order and organization, , Vol.65, July/Aug, 1977, p.409

Applies To Open System

WORKS GREAT , JOHN ROSS, Harvard University, , p.40 July 7, 1980, "Ordinarily .the second law is stated for isolated systems, but the second law applies equally well to open systems."

IMMATERIAL , ARNOLD SOMMERFEL,, "...the quantity of entropy generated locally cannot be negative irrespective of whether the system is isolated or not." , p.155

USEFUL ABSTRACTION , RICHARD MORRIS, "An isolated system is one that does not interact with its surroundings. Naturally there are no completely isolated system in nature. Everything interacts with its environment to some extent. Nevertheless, the concept, like many other abstractions that are used in physics, is extremely useful. If we are able to understand the behavior in ideal cases, we can gain a great deal of understanding about processes that take place in the real world. In fact treating a real system as an isolated one is often an excellent approximation.", , p.113

UNSATISFACTORY "EXPLANATION " Charles J. Smith, "biological systems are open and exchange both energy and matter. This explanation, however, is not completely satisfying, because it still leaves open the problem of how or why the ordering process has arisen (an apparent lowering of the entropy), and a number of scientists have wrestled with this issue. Bertalanffy (1968) called the relation between irreversible thermodynamics and information theory one of the most fundamental unsolved problems in biology." , Vol.1, p259.

SURPLUS ENERGY: INSUFFICIENT! GEORGE GAYLORD SIMPSON & W.S. BECK, "But the simple expenditure of energy is not sufficient to develop and maintain order. A bull in a china shop performs work, but he neither creates nor maintains organization. The work needed is particular work; it must follow specifications; it requires information on how to proceed.", , p. 466

INFORMATION REQUIRED , EIGEN (Nobel Laureate) "Here at the molecular level are the roots of the old puzzle about the chicken or the egg. Which came first, function or information? As we shall show, neither one could proceed the other; they had to evolve together" , p.13, NOV.10, 1982.


Increasing Energy & Information Requires "Open System" (Outside Source

1. Outside Source For Energy is the Sun.

2. Outside Source For Information is ????

MOST PROBABLE , PETER T. MORA, National Institute of Health, "Crystallization occurs because it leads to the lowest energy state, and to the most stable arrangement of atoms or molecules under the given conditions. Crystallization leads to simple, very uniform repeating structures, which are inert. These structures do not function, ;and are not designed by function." , Vol. 199, 1%3, p 216.

STRUCTURE CONFUSED WITH ORDER , RICHARD MORRIS, "For example, when a crystal grows in a liquid, structure appears that was not present before the process of crystallization began. As the crystal becomes larger, the entropy of the system does increase…The appearance of structure does not always imply an increase in order, even though "structure and "order" are equated in our everyday speech." , p.119.

Applies To Life

LIFE PROCESSES , Harold Blum, Princeton Univ., "No matter how carefully we examine the energetics of living systems we find no evidence of defeat of thermodynamic principles, but we do encounter a degree of complexity not witnessed in the non - living world." p.14

LIFE WON'T FORM , ILYA PRIGOGIN (Nobel Laureate) "Unfortunately this principle cannot explain the formation of biological structures. The probability that at ordinary temperatures a macroscopic number of molecules is assembled to give rise to the highly ordered structures and to the coordinated functions characterizing living organisms is vanishingly small. The idea of spontaneous genesis of life in its present form is therefore highly improbable, even on the scale of billions of years during which prebiotic evolution occurred." , Vol.25 p.28.

Observed In Life Of The Past

UNEQUALED BEGINNING DEGENERATED , STEPHEN J. GOULD, Harvard, "I'll say it once more, maximal diversity of structural design right al the beginning with the history of life being the story of reduction of the initial maximal diversity by the extinction and loss of most of the lineage's and the failure of any of the survivors...ever again to generate fundamental new design", S.M.U. Speech, Oct.2, 1990

MUTATIONS DEFINED , THEODOSIUS DOBZHANSKY, " can say that mutations are owing to incorrect copying, to occasional mistakes in the generally so remarkably accurate process of replication.... You may, if you wish, compare mutations to accidental misspellings or misprints which even the most experienced copyist may from time to time....harmfulness of most mutants is just what could be reasonably expected. accident, a random change, in any delicate mechanism can hardly be expected to improve it. Poking a stick into the machinery of one's watch or into one's radio set can hardly be expected to make it work better.", , p.126

JEAN ROSTAND, "No, decidedly, I cannot make myself think that these 'slips' of heredity have been able, even with the cooperation of natural selection, even with the advantage of the immense periods of time in which evolution works on life, to build the entire world, with its structural prodigality and refinements, its astounding 'adaptations,...I cannot persuade myself to think that the eye, the ear, the human brain have been formed in this way; " , p. 17

MUTATIONS ARE NON-PRODUCTIVE , STEPHEN J. GOULD, Harvard, "A mutation doesn't produce major new raw material. You don't make a new species by mutating the species,. That's a common idea people have, that evolution is due to random mutations. A mutation is the cause of evolutionary change.", Lecture, Hobart & William Smith College, 14/2/1980

BIGGER AND MORE DIVERSE , VON ENGELN & CASTER, "Also that mammalian life was richer in kinds, of larger sizes, and had a more abundant expression in Pliocene than in later times.", , p.19

GIANTS OF THE PAST , "Leakey...had been scouring the globe since 1931. Over the years he has unearthed the bones of an ancient pig as big as a rhino, a six foot tall sheep a twelve foot tall bird and the flat - topped skull of the erect 'Nutcracker man'."; , March 10, 1961

BIGGER BUGS , CLIFFORD SIMAK, , p.158 . "In general all the Pennsylvanian insects were larger than the ones we know today.",

Observed throughout Universe

DEGENERATING UNIVERSE , LINCOLN BARNETT, , "The sun is slowly but surely burning out, the stars are dying embers and everywhere in the cosmos heat is turning into cold, matter is dissolving into radiation, and energy is being dissipated into empty space. The universe is thus progressing to an ultimate 'heat death'. . . And there is no way of avoiding this destiny. For the fateful principle known as the second law of thermodynamics, which stands today as the principal pillar of classical physics left intact by the march of science, proclaims that the fundamental processes of nature are irreversible. Nature just moves one way.", p.102

OBSERVED DETERIORATION , FRED L. WHIPPLE, Dir., Smithsonian Astro. Obs., "Comets tend to split in pieces, particularly when they are near the Sun or Jupiter, but also when they are quite undisturbed in space. Some comets seem to tire out and die.", , 1985, p.93

STARS THEORETICALLY IMPOSSIBLE , J. C. BRANDT, "Contemporary opinion on star formation holds that the objects called protostars reformed as condensations from interstellar gas. This condensation process is very difficult theoretically and no essential theoretical understanding can be claimed; in fact, some theoretical evidence argues strongly against the possibility of star formation. However, we know that the stars exist, and we must do our best to account for them.", , p. 111

STARS UNEXPECTED , GEOFFREY BURBIDGE, Director, Kitt Peak National Observatory, "If stars did not exist, it would be easy to prove that this is what we expect.", , p.577

GALAXIES UNEXPECTED , MARTIN REES, Astrophysicist, "The most basic questions about galaxies are still not understood. If galaxies didn't exist, we would have no problem explaining that fact.", , Aug.15, 1988

GALAXIES "THEORETICALLY" IMPOSSIBLE , JAMES TREFIL, Prof. Physics, George Mason U., "It seems that the more we learn about the basic laws of nature, the more those laws seem to tell us that the visible matter - the stuff we can see - shouldn't be arranged the way it is. There shouldn't be galaxies out there at all, and even if there are galaxies, they shouldn't be grouped together the way they are.... The problem of explaining the existence of galaxies has proved to be one of the thorniest in cosmology. By all rights, they just shouldn't be there, yet there they sit. It's hard to convey the frustration that this simple fact induces among scientist. Despite what you may read in the press, we still have no answer to the question of why the sky is full of galaxies, although we've succeeded in eliminating more wrong answers. , 1988, pp.2, 55

"THE FACE OF GOD, TAKE 2" "Last year when it was announced that such variations had been detected for the first time by the Cosmic Background Explorer satellite, there was tremendous excitement among cosmologist, and even some lose talk of having seen the face of God...The variations the satellite observed occurred over areas of the sky the width of 14 full moons - areas much too large to have been the actual seeds of clusters of galaxies." , 12/93, p.34.

ORIGIN OF SOLAR SYSTEM , SIR H. JEFFRIES, Cambridge, "I think all suggested accounts of the origin of the Solar System are subject to serious objections. The conclusion in the present state of the subject would be that the system cannot exist.", THE EARTH, 1970, p.359. FRED WHIPPLE, Harvard "All of the hypotheses so far presented have failed, or remain unproved, when physical theory is properly applied." ORBITING THE SUN, 1981, p.284. NAFI TOKSOZ, M.I.T., "It's far easier to explain why the moon shouldn't be there than to explain its existence.", , 3/81, p.120.

ORIGIN OF ORDER? , PAUL C.W. DAVIES, Kings College, London, "The greatest puzzle is where all the order in the universe carne from originally. How did the cosmos get wound up, if the Second Law of Thermodynamics predicts asymmetric unwinding toward disorder?" Universe In Reverse," , 1, 1979, p.27

Demands Beginning, A Creator

DEMANDS BEGINNING , ISAAC ASIMOV, "As far as we know, all changes are in the direction of increasing entropy, of increasing disorder, of increasing randomness, of running down. Yet the universe was once in a position from which it could run down for trillions of years. How did it get into that position?" , May 1973, pp.76-77

ONE ADEQUATE CAUSE , H.J. LIPSON, Physics, U. of Manchester, "I think however that we should go further than this and admit that the only accepted explanation is creation. I know that is anathema to physicists, as it is to me, but we must not reject a theory that we do not like if the experimental evidence supports it.", ,Vol.31, 1980, p.138

POINTS TO CREATOR , G.J. VAN WYLEN, RICHARD SONNTAG, "...we see the second law of thermodynamics as a description of the prior and continuing work of a creator, who also holds the answer to our future destiny and that of the universe."< FUNDAMENTALS OF CLASSICAL, THERMODYNAMICS>, 1985, p.232.