Member # 191
posted 30. March 2002 07:09
Many Kinds of Entropy
Thanks for your post. I was aware of the informational and the “experimental” (thermodynamic) entropy. Jaynes says there are many thermodynamic entropies, but he fails to clearly state what is useful entropy. Entropy that does not include the relevant macrovariables is useless. He seems to be saying that all definitions of thermodynamic entropy are useful, which is not true. This was my confusion.
The Mind Projection Fallacy:
Jaynes also talks about how probability calculations are a measure of our knowledge about the world and not necessarily describing the real world. He says:
quote:We can always validate our probability construct with experiment to ensure its accuracy. I have been accused of this “mind projection fallacy” when I have used probability theory with evolution. I say they are making an “Ignorance Projection Fallacy”. Many Naturalists make this mistake. They assume there are some hidden parameters that they are failing to include in their probability analysis. This is an artful way to dodge questions related to Intelligent Design. They assume their ignorance of some physicochemical process or phenomena justifies not asking the difficult questions, such as, “Is our scientific theory valid?” These diversion tactics are not scientific. In essence, they are saying that they have FAITH that naturalistic explanations will resolve the problems with the probability. This faith statement (whether acknowledged or not) is outside the realm of science. The irony is that they reject ID arguments because we honestly acknowledge our postulation of an intelligent designer/designers. At the same time, they fail to acknowledge their own faith statements! Hypocrisy!
It is very difficult to get this point across to those who think that in doing probability calculations their equations are describing the real world. But that is claiming something that one could never know to be true; we call it the Mind Projection Fallacy.
You asked me what I think of Jaynes’ suggestion that the fundamental keyword characterizing the second law is not “disorder” but “reproducibility”? I think the term “reproducibility” creates a lot of confusion and doesn’t promote understanding. It seems to be an attempt to coin a new word for thermodynamics (like irreversibility). I think entropy is more related to the “dispersion” of energy and matter, but it does relate to disorder. Energy does have a spatial characteristic, as evidenced by the Schrodinger equation. Also, Einstein showed that matter is energy, E=mc^2. So, if I had to pick between the two words, I would choose “disorder”.
[ 01 April 2002, 02:55: Message edited by: kyle7 ]