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December 2011

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Subject:
From:
Chandler Davis <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Fri, 9 Dec 2011 11:43:05 -0500
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Thanks for sending us this agonizing report.  If Steven Jay Gould were
alive he would be happy to pop over to University College London and
give a talk to Steve Jones's students and others.
 	Though the resistance to evolution is essentially faith-based,
I note in his report that it is rationalized by the Intelligent Design
argument, and in particular the argument that increases in complexity
violate the Second Law of thermodynamics.  This is promulgated by a
mathematician, Granville Sewell, who published an early version in The
Mathematical Intelligencer, which I edit.  Lewontin was impatient with
me for giving Sewell space, I remember.
 	A British emeritus prof of chemistry, Bob Lloyd, haS an
extended rebuttal forthcoming in The Intelligencer.  He was perhaps
motivated to write it up partly by experiences like those Jones
describes.  The short form of Lloyd's argument is this: If increases
in complexity always constituted violations of the Second Law of
thermodynamics, then we would have to abandon not evolution but
thermodynamics!  Because some increases in complexity are observed in
less-than-geological time scale.
 	I should send Steve Jones a copy of Lloyd's article.  What
address shall I use?
 			Chandler

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