This is typical of long-time Randroid Belt members: even in attempting to reply to a fellow Randroid Belt member, they pass the buck and seem to be unaware that they haven't answered a thing.
The reason this occurs is that, around the Randroid Belt, it isn't really ever necessary to refute, rebut, or substantively reply to an opposing argument (that would be difficult since all Randroids are notoriously ill-informed about most things, and most Randroids are notoriously ill-informed about all things); the main thing is to strut about in such a way so as to convince other members of the Randroid Belt how sincere one is in one's extreme disagreement with the opposition, and how shocked and disgusted one is that anyone could even hold such an opposing view.
Just spend a little time on any typical site floating aimlessly around the Randroid Belt — Sense of Life Objectivists, Objectivist Living, Diana Hsieh's Noodle Food, etc. — and you'll quickly find this to be the case.
There are a number of psychological reasons for this, but one of the most obvious is that Randroid Belters mentally operate most often on the level of "buzz" words — shibboleths. Instead of pheromones, for example, Randroid Belters recognize one another by way of certain words spoken in a certain way, or written with a certain emphasis: words like: "integrate" or "differentiate" or "context" (often preceded by the qualifier "full"). These are the equivalent of pass-words (or, alternatively, closely guarded Masonic handshakes) that members of a secret society, for example, might have to say to an armed security guard at the front door in order to let him know that you are "One of Them" and allowed onto the club premises.
Today we have the pleasure of witnessing Ellen Stutter attempt to answer Xray's query:
"What is it that Darren does not understand about the Seconcd Law of Thermodynamics?"
Instead of answering it in a straightforward way, such as "Darren asserts X about the 2nd Law, when the latest edition of Halliday & Resnick assures physics students that the truth of the matter is Y", Ellen Stutter passes the buck by essentially saying:
READ BRIG KLYCE'S ARTICLE AT HIS BLOG, "PANSPERMIA"; THAT SHOULD HELP YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM UNABLE TO EXPLAIN.
This buck-passing is then followed by the required Yentavist Randroid disclaimer: BUT PLEASE DON'T THINK THAT I ACTUALLY AGREE WITH ANYTHING ELSE ON THE PANSPERMIA SITE! I ONLY AGREE WITH THE ARTICLE ON ENTROPY THAT I HAVEN'T FULLY READ AND DON'T COMPLETELY GRASP, BUT WHICH MENTIONS SOME SORT OF DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TWO KINDS ENTROPIES THAT DARREN APPEARS TO CONFLATE. SINCE THE ARTICLE APPEARS, ON THE SURFACE, TO TAKE ISSUE WITH SOMETHING OR OTHER THAT DARREN HAS BEEN WRITING ABOUT, I AGREE WITH THE ARTICLE AND CAN RECOMMEND IT TO YOU.
To answer in advance any silly responses to Stutter's Stumble, I'll post this brief excerpt from "Ayn Rand and the Myth of Chemical Evolution" [linked]. But first, take note:
I was careful to point out in that post that there are different ways of looking at entropy, depending on whether we are looking at the energy in a system, or whether we are looking at its arrangement of particles. The former has PHYSICAL UNITS (such as "joules per degree-kelvin"); the latter is simply a PURE NUMBER; but aside from that, the mathematical relations are IDENTICAL. The former way of looking at things is part of classical thermodynamics; the latter is part of statistical mechanics. They are simply two ways of looking at the same thing. Additionally, as I also point out, they are linked: as an array of particles becomes more randomly dispersed, energy becomes LESS AVAILABLE for use (entropy — irrespective of how it is measured, thermally or configurationally — increases); as an array of particles becomes less randomly dispersed, energy becomes more available for use (entropy, whether thermal or configurational, decreases).
"There are different ways of thinking about entropy, but they all involve the idea of "states of disorderliness" of a system. Disorderliness, not orderliness. As a system becomes more disorderly, its entropy is said to increase; conversely, as a system becomes more orderly, its entropy is said to decrease. If the metric one uses to measure disorderliness is a macroscopic one like "energy," then entropy can be thought of as the amount of energy in a system that is unavailable to perform work; if the metric one uses is a microscopic one like "the configuration or arrangement of particles comprising the system," then entropy can be thought of as the inevitable tendency for the particles comprising a system to move from some initial arrangement that is improbable toward an arrangement that is more probable. The microscopic and the macroscopic are related, of course, for as a configuration of particles moves from one of low probability to one of high probability, less energy is available in the system to perform work. The arrangement of particles that corresponds to the maximum amount of unavailable energy is one that has the least order, i.e., that arrangement which is the most random and the most probable. Thus, the Second Law of Thermodynamics dictates that Time's Arrow move any system of particles from states of orderliness to states of increasing randomness. In other words, the inevitable result of time on any system is to cause it to have more disorder and more random configurations amongst its constituent elements."
Just for fun, let's don our funny caps with the Randroid Belt Listening Devices and tune into what the great Yentavist is webcasting:
"I got around to reading the rest of the thread where thermodynamics became the main topic.
I found a number of Darren's posts enjoyable to read, especially those in which he was calmly explanatory when answering you, and tangentially he triggered some thoughts along lines relevant to my thinking about volition. However, he made the mistake over and over of substituting "entropy" in what he calls in his blogspot post the "logical" meaning for "entropy" in the thermodynamic meaning and, by equivocating between the two, arguing invalidly from the one to the other. Hence I concluded that he doesn't understand the physics meaning."
Already answered. See above. Yes, "logical entropy" is not the same thing as "thermal entropy" but only in the sense that the heads-side of a coin is not the same thing as the tails-side. They are different, but nevertheless, different sides of the same coin. The configurations within an array of particles — water molecules, say — will not achieve a lowered state of logical entropy by increasing the thermal entropy; as the latter increases, so does the former.
I'm not sure if Peter quite caught the equivocating, though he hints at it, but his language does some conflating also. Marcus caught it in posing the bomb example.
Peter Putz and Mucus-Brain Marcus are two of my favorite Randroid Belt know-nothings; highly amusing chaps, both of them. Peter Putz claimed that photons from sunlight are ultimately responsible for the housekeeper's directed energy toward organizing books alphabetically (in which case, of course, the housekeeper is merely a kind of passive conduit); this would mean that photons from sunlight were also ultimately responsible for the directed energy expended by Alisa Rosenbaum over a 10-year period when she sequenced lots of alphabetic characters into a meaningful chain that she titled "Atlas Shrugged." Obviously, the logic Peter Putz applies to the lowly housekeeper he should apply to the mighty Alisa Rosenbaum. That is . . . if he were consistent.
And that great, literate, insightful, innovative talent, Mucus-Brain Marcus, claimed that by setting off a source of random energy in the apartment — a bomb, say — the resultant damage and chaos would represent an INCREASE in the "energy" of the apartment, because (if I understand his ramblings correctly) the various apartment furnishings, such as the tenant's aquarium, were now "at a higher level" than previously — in other words, the fish were now splattered on the ceiling along with shards of glass. Mucus-brain is probably mistakenly thinking of some abstraction of "potential energy": the higher an object is, the greater its potential energy. The point is to take into account AVAILABLE energy; energy that is available for use in the system. For example, are the bed-springs stuck into the ceiling and walls in a random manner useful in any way? No. To make them useful, the housekeeper (or someone) would first have to expend directed energy in setting up a ladder, climbing it, pulling out one spring after another, and then expending yet more directed energy in re-assembling the bed-springs into a configuration that could be used for sleeping on (assuming this could be done at all).
The entropy in the apartment has increased tremendously by setting off a bomb; and this is so whether we think of the entropy in terms of heat distribution (classical thermodynamics) or in terms of the organization of the array of elements such as bed, books, furniture, suits and ties hanging in the closet, etc. (statistical mechanics). Thermal entropy and configurational entropy have both increased . . . because (once again) they are simply two slightly different ways of looking at the same thing.
Anyway, so much for Ellen Stuttle's stutter & stumble.