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[edited a bit, but not changing anything significantly]
The following is about restricting the second law of
thermodynamics to the macro world of ambient heat and
perhaps up to 200(forgot, what's the ascii for deg)C and
propose, according to statistics, some other behavior
at higher temperatures.
Statistically "complete disorder" is only one part in the
pool of possibilities, and is actually an order in itself.
Close to complete disorder is actually SOME sort of
And this order, if it is sustainable through time, is a
small but non negligible part of the pool of possibilities.
So, rather than understanding that we should always
expect greater entropy - meaning that we should always
expect the current order to dissipate into disorder (in
thermodynamics this is interpreted as heat) according to
the Co-Entropy Hop theory, we should always expect a
change in order.
If we now have kinetic energy, some will changed to
heat. If we have only heat, some will be changed to
Since the world order as it is now is high in order - (even
the order of heat is high - because heat is currently
concentrated and not dissipated equally throughout the
world), it is true that some disorder is expected, but
once reaching the high disorder area, the rising entropy
would stop and alternate between the other sets of
order, some of which have a bit higher probability of
existence and/or stability, some with a lower
probability of those.
At certain levels there may be a good chance for hopping
back to high levels of order, as seen in the natural world
in physics and perhaps even biology.
Stability of different structures through time, may be an
important factor in the understanding of their probability
of existing over time, whereas appearance alone is
insufficient to determine the importance of such a
structure. (As an example see the study of stable or
"leaky" DNA mutations).
||Could you be more specific about what you mean by order and chaos, [pashute]?
||For example, someone once told me about a mathematical paper written in response to theorising about "ley lines", which showed a surprisingly high probability of the emergence of apparent order in random collections of dots (i.e., a probability that some of the dots would form lines or regular polygons, not perfectly, but to within some small tolerance).
||Would this kind of emergent apparent order count as order for the purposes of your idea, or are your standards higher than that?
||I see what you mean about lower "stepped" levels of disorder on the downhill road to heat death but fear that the laws of probability make it a one-way trip as the numbers are against you.
||Localized reversal of entropy is perfectly within the laws of nature - the same as it is perfectly within the laws of nature for all air molecules in a box to randomly be in one side but not the other. It is just very, very unlikely. The bigger the box, in this example "the world", the less likely it is occur.
||(Isn't the second law of thermodynamics the same as the first law of thermodynamics? ie "Never talk about thermodynamics.")
||I'm with [AusCan] - i.e. entropy is a statistical
process, and there is always a finite but small
probability of finding the system "ordered".
||I think also that entropy is not so much to do with
order/disorder as it is to do with the stability of
the state. To take ice/water as an example - at
low temperatures, the water molecules are in a
particular arrangement (ice), in a predictable and
stable way. When the ice melts, the water
molecules will (at any instant) be in a particular
arrangement, but that arrangement is neither
stable nor predictable.
||As for biology "hopping back" to high levels of
order - no. High levels of order are paid for by the
input of energy which, ultimately, allows
molecules to be put into particular arrangements.
This energy input, in turn, leads to more entropy
somewhere else (for instance, the nicely arranged
atoms of the steak I eat turn into less nicely
arranged molecules of CO2). Biology is just a way
of pumping entropy to create a local reduction,
just as a heat-pump pumps heat.
||Where did my long annotation with answer to
[pertinax] go? I'll have to write a new one. The old
one was clearer, shorter, sharper and more exact
and therefore correct. Sorry - its gone.
||...Emergence: basically the answer is: Yes. That is
what I meant,
but also with an emphasis on thermodynamics and
energy, so, at certain, non ambient conditions, I
would expect to find a "hop" from one type of
energy to another rather than to heat, and even
spontaneous gathering of some sort of energy
instead of heat, as happens in the vortex tube,
and in standing waves (granted, not a frequently
natural occurring phenomena), where in one area
their is total freezing while energy levels rise on
both sides, so that the harmonious high energy
movement brings with it also total "silence".
||[AusCan] When you talk about air in a shoe box
you bring up an image to your liking. Lets talk
about air in a region. No better yet, lets talk about
air in shoebox in outer space, with say an
Avogadro-constant number of molecules. If we
could model each one of them once they reached
the random state of total tranquility and lowest
equilibrium temperature - what are the statistics
for emerging states of typhoon like vortex "storms"
which have a structure explained in various forms
(especially in Chaos theory) to appear within a
certain period of time (say 3 months). I claim that
you would be surprised to see how much
"spontanic order" emerges from the total chaos.
You would be even more surprised to do the math
and find that it is more than expected, and at
quite a high level of appearance within a short
||[Chanan] "to high levels of order - no... paid for by
the input of energy..." Not true. How do you
count "more". by mass? By space that the
biological system takes up? By quantity of energy?
Counting the mass of the sun that turns to energy
aimed at earth as a finite system together with
planet earth (and forgetting about the other
planets) are we actually gaining entropy? Can that
be proven? I suspect in can only be intuitively
shown, and the same could be done to the
opposite without ruining the law, if we realize it
is restricted in scope.
||I suspect that the universe, the guide and
everything is not on a one way march into
oblivion, or on a one way voyage into thin dust of
totally non ordered random movement at some low
but stable temperature gazillions of years from
now. I have the feeling, and I can show
scientifically and mathematically where this feeling
comes from, and then perhaps others could even
prove it correct, that order itself has its own level
of statistics and probability.
||If proven to be correct, the significance would be
one of stable order within some borders of
probability and statistics, meaning to say that
today we sometimes have a feeling that nothing
"can fight the statistics" and that "actions don't
matter" or even that existence itself is in
||My answer is that people questioning the
existence of reality are playing too much on the
Halfbakery or if there exist other sites, then
playing on those or watching too much TV (I used
to have one as a kid so I know what the concept is
||A sound and well defined new part of science may
be the background to help put things back into
||Statistically speaking [pashute], you are quite correct that the likelihood of uniform and absolute tranquility for all particles occuring at the same time and for all time is vanishingly small. Your image of a shoebox of air in space is as valid as any other. More valid still is your assertion that small outbreaks of "spontanic order" are likely to occur. Indeed, I would argue along with you that they MUST occur - again statistically speaking.
||But I would also argue that these spontaneous outbreaks of order will be like small sparks winking in and out of existence in the night. No major conflagration will occur because each upward level of increase of 'order' sought would be logarithmically less likely to occur. To mix metaphors, the gravity well of entropy is just too steep and too high.
||This is no way means that I am one of those who question the 'existence of reality' because of this, or think that my actions don't matter and that we are all just dust in the wind. Indeed in University I once took a test examining my 'internal v. external locus of control' and my personality was found to be diametrically (disturbingly so?) opposite to that worldview. I am quite content to live my life with joy and meaning and purpose while simultaneously accepting the fact that someday I too shall slide down into the well of entropy. That is just reality. (But I'm not losing any sleep over it).
||This is a call for research.
||It is a fact there are certain patterns that ARE
continuous - See the DNA and "selfish genes" -
(not in the sense of Mary Midgley's interpretation
of that idiom). I'm saying this after reading a
textbook about genes - that randomly ended up in
my hands, and turned out quite interesting
reading material after 20 years out of biology
classes at Hebrew U.
||There is an interesting program at the Tel Aviv
based Open University for MA in biology and
multidisciplinary sciences, dealing with these
topics. I'm sure it is a trend in the academic world
(they are usually very conservative about
developing new programs).