Cowboy DO

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I believe it states that every isolated system becomes disordered over time. I don?t understand how medicine violates this. If someone receives any kind of medical treatment they are no longer an isolated system.
 
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Gleevec

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Originally posted by doctorcynical
Doesn't medicine go against the second law of thermodynamics?

The human body isnt an isolated system.
 

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Originally posted by doctorcynical
Wow I'm surprised an DOer knew what it was.

ouch........welcome back dr. cynical, you have been missed :rolleyes:
 

doctorcynical

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Originally posted by Gleevec
The human body isnt an isolated system.

The universe is an isolated system. Aren't we contributing to the universe. Doesn't the promotion of life contribute to the universe? Life sort of disobeys the overall picture. I might be wrong here Gleevac. Enlighten me.
 

NE_Cornhusker1

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the human body [as a system] continually has energy [food/calories] pumped into the system. when the system doesn't get energy pumped into [that is that you're dead] it begins to break down. good luck on stanford ;)
 

Gleevec

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Originally posted by doctorcynical
The universe is an isolated system. Aren't we contributing to the universe. Doesn't the promotion of life contribute to the universe? Life sort of disobeys the overall picture. I might be wrong here Gleevac. Enlighten me.

Depends on what kind of entropy you're talking about, you sound like you're talking about logical or philosophical entropy (which has no laws based in physics), as opposed to thermodynamic entropy.

The 2nd law only applies to thermodynamic entropy.

And while indeed human bodies contribute to the universe, the human body itself is not a closed system at all, it has all sorts of inputs and outputs (in the form of matter and energy) that make it an open system, and thus even if we wanted to try to apply the laws of thermodynamic entropy to logical/philosophical entropy we couldnt because the body is an open system relative to the environment.

Closed/open/isolated is all relative anyway, depending on your frame or reference.
 

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Originally posted by Gleevec
Depends on what kind of entropy you're talking about, you sound like you're talking about logical or philosophical entropy (which has no laws based in physics), as opposed to thermodynamic entropy.

The 2nd law only applies to thermodynamic entropy.

And while indeed human bodies contribute to the universe, the human body itself is not a closed system at all, it has all sorts of inputs and outputs (in the form of matter and energy) that make it an open system, and thus even if we wanted to try to apply the laws of thermodynamic entropy to logical/philosophical entropy we couldnt because the body is an open system relative to the environment.

Closed/open/isolated is all relative anyway, depending on your frame or reference.

Baylor???? What the hell happened to Duke. I was banking on being anatomy partners with you.
 

CalBeE

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Originally posted by doctorcynical
Wow I'm surprised an DOer knew what it was.

Wow, I'm surprised that someone who couldn't get into Stanford within one week of interview can ask a philosophical question :rolleyes:
 

Gleevec

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Originally posted by doctorcynical
Baylor???? What the hell happened to Duke. I was banking on being anatomy partners with you.

Projected tuition costs out of my pocket:
Baylor = $6,200 for four years
Duke = $135,000 for four years
 
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Cowboy DO

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Complex organisms contribute more to the overall disorder than simple organisms, thus they are selected for because they are actually deceasing the amount of time it will take for the universe to reach disorder. It is argued that natural selection is actually selecting for organisms that use the most energy.

Oh and ill pretend you didnt just make that DO comment.
 

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Originally posted by Cowboy DO
Complex organisms contribute more to the overall disorder than simple organisms, thus they are selected for because they are actually deceasing the amount of time it will take for the universe to reach disorder. It is argued that natural selection is actually selecting for organisms that use the most energy.

Oh and ill pretend you didnt just make that DO comment.

That is pretty impressive stuff. Did you come up with this?
 

Gleevec

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Originally posted by Cowboy DO
Complex organisms contribute more to the overall disorder than simple organisms, thus they are selected for because they are actually deceasing the amount of time it will take for the universe to reach disorder. It is argued that natural selection is actually selecting for organisms that use the most energy.

Oh and ill pretend you didnt just make that DO comment.

Hmm that's interesting. So the universe actually WANTS to die (at least energetically) it seems, based on thermodynamics.
 

Gleevec

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Originally posted by doctorcynical
I suppose you are right. Besides there is not much in Durham, NC.

Nah, I love Duke, but I dont love it $130,000 more than Baylor (and that's just tuition).
 

Cowboy DO

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I read something about it when I took my physical chemistry class in college. Fascinating stuff.
 

Gleevec

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Originally posted by doctorcynical
Do complex organisms that use more energy not use this energy to create order?

Yes, but they use up "ordered energy" and give off heat, or "disordered energy." I think in current physics, heat is considered the most useless (in terms of doing work) form of energy because it is so disordered.

For example, a car uses more energy than a bike (petroleum, highly ordered when combusted), and produces more useless heat than a bike, thus increasing the overall entropy.

Same with organisms. It takes a lot of energy to remain ordered, and thus a lot of the thermodynamic output is disorganized energy in the form of heat.
 

Cowboy DO

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Do complex organisms that use more energy not use this energy to create order?

Anytime you do work energy is lost in the form of heat and contributes to disorder. Even if we create something that is seemingly ordered, for example a house, how much fuel and labor when into the building of that house? A house that will eventually be pulled down to the ground by gravity anyway. I don?t know exactly how you would quantify order but some would argue that the order created is < the amount of disorder created.
 

Cowboy DO

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I think in current physics, heat is considered the most useless (in terms of doing work) form of energy because it is so disordered.

Yep. The 2nd law of TD also states that one cannot convert heat completely into useful work.
 

doctorcynical

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Originally posted by Cowboy DO
Anytime you do work energy is lost in the form of heat and contributes to disorder. Even if we create something that is seemingly ordered, for example a house, how much fuel and labor when into the building of that house? A house that will eventually be pulled down to the ground by gravity anyway. I don?t know exactly how you would quantify order but some would argue that the order created is < the amount of disorder created.

My question is then. Why are humans fascinated with creating order. e.g. building homes or preserving life. It seems like this is the purpose of life. To defy the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Mathematically it seems we are suppose to lose. And that is when faith comes in....
 

Cowboy DO

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Originally posted by doctorcynical
My question is then. Why are humans fascinated with creating order. e.g. building homes or preserving life. It seems like this is the purpose of life. To defy the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Mathematically it seems we are suppose to lose. And that is when faith comes in....


In essence life in general is like a catalyst in a chemical reaction. We dont change the outcome but we make the transition easier/quicker. We make ordered things because we need them to survive, and in trying to survive we hasten our eventual doom. Kinda bleak huh? Remember this is just a theory.
 

Gleevec

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Originally posted by Cowboy DO
In essence life in general is like a catalyst in a chemical reaction. We dont change the outcome but we make the transition easier/quicker. We make ordered things because we need them to survive, and in trying to survive we hasten our eventual doom. Kinda bleak huh? Remember this is just a theory.

So it seems as if life is nothing more than a struggle against the thermodynamic quicksand we find ourselves trapped in.

Pretty bleak huh? Though there is a good chance some future branch of quantum physics (or whatever else is around in billions of years) will handle that problem when we get to it.
 

Cowboy DO

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Yeah I have faith that human ingenuity will allow us to handle whatever obstacles come our way. Also this is only slightly related but there is a NOVA special called the elegant universe and its outstanding. In one part they talk about the possiblity of us outliving or universe by hopping over to another one.

Heres the link if you want to watch it. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/program.html
 

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THE ELEGANT UNIVERSE by Brian Greene is amazing. If you guys get the chance read the book. I have also seen the NOVA special and he does an excellent job of dumbing down string theory. I was at my med school interview at UMich and I brought that book to read. My interviewer made a sarcastic crack on the book and I quickly responded with "there is no way in hell I am going to school here." I walked out of my interview and haven't looked back. Although I wish I could get my plane ticket reimbursed.
 

Gleevec

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Originally posted by doctorcynical
THE ELEGANT UNIVERSE by Brian Greene is amazing. If you guys get the chance read the book. I have also seen the NOVA special and he does an excellent job of dumbing down string theory. I was at my med school interview at UMich and I brought that book to read. My interviewer made a sarcastic crack on the book and I quickly responded with "there is no way in hell I am going to school here." I walked out of my interview and haven't looked back. Although I wish I could get my plane ticket reimbursed.

He came to speak at my ugrad, he's awesome.
 
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