This feedback features a skeptic who can’t seem to get basic definitions in Thermodynamics right, and yet accuses us of failing to study the topics we write about. Ph.D. physical chemist and CMI scientist Dr Jonathan Sarfati sets the record straight.

Garth V. from the United States writes:

I just read your article titled ‘The Second Law of Thermodynamics’ in so far as evolution goes. Of course I wasn’t surprised that your ‘scientist’ got the different thermodynamic systems wrong. He claimed that an isolated thermo system allows for the exchange of energy and matter-wrong. An isolated Thermodynamic system allows for the exchange of energy but not matter. The real show stopper was that the author of the article claimed that a closed thermodynamic system allows for the exchange of energy and matter—wrong again. A closed Thermo system can neither exchange energy nor matter with its surroundings.

Seriously, do you guys actually bother to study the topics you discuss, or do you just make it up as you go along?

Mr V.

Which article are you talking about?

My article The Second Law of Thermodynamics: Answers to Critics defined systems correctly, and not like what you have said:

Wikipedia: Mintz l

  • An isolated system exchanges neither matter nor energy with its surroundings.
  • A closed system exchanges energy but not matter with its surroundings.
  • An open system exchanges both matter and energy with its surroundings.

Your own definitions are wrong—you have mixed up closed and isolated systems….

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