How useful is the Second Law of Thermodynamics as an argument against evolution?

In this week’s exchange, Dr Jonathan Sarfati discusses how useful the the Second Law of Thermodynamics is as an argument against evolution. David H. from the United States writes:

I heard an example used by an atheist to show proof self-organizing systems or increased complexity by way of a naturalistic manner. This is done to support molecules-to-man evolution. The example is: As two hydrogen molecules come together with an oxygen to form water they say it is proof that the complex can come from the simple without help from God in some kind of autopoietic(?) fashion perhaps. Of course, the first question of where the two elements came from in the first place is another discussion for another time. I want to submit an article to you on this particular idea but I need to bounce it off you guys first and make sure I am heading in the correct direction before I do too much work on it.

My first reaction when I heard this was to bring up the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Indeed, complexity seems to increase but at the expense of heat loss as an exothermic reaction where some (or most? don’t remember right now) of the heat is never to be recovered again. This shows entropy of the system/universe as a whole, an enemy of their attempt to see this as an autopoietic system. Added energy later could be introduced to ‘de-organize’ the molecule, perhaps through photodissociation or whatever adds enough but I don’t know that this needs to be part of the discussion. Would the entropy of the heat/work available in the system support a refutation on the biblical creationist’s part regarding the impossibility of any system to ‘self-organize’ due to the Second Law. Am I leaping too far at this point?

I may be heading in two directions at once on this since a discussion of Thermodynamics may be all that’s needed without dragging in a secondary one regarding Information Theory or something. Although I’m not sure how to apply Information Theory to the water molecule formation yet, I would like to if it fits somehow or helps the creationist refutation….

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