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Earth, The Scofflaw Planet (Posted on 2018-07-09) Difficulty: 2 of 5
The second Law of Thermodynamics is pretty clear about it: The entropy of a system not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time. (Entropy may be thought of as disorder or randomness). But, consider the history of Earth: It is a system that started out as a semi-molten mess. Later, it cooled and developed life, and it made those pesky structured organisms that went on to populate the seas and produce our jungles and forests. Then came those advanced animals that fashioned everything, even cities. Cities are much more ordered than jungles and so their entropy is lower.
Entropy(cities) < Entropy(jungles) < Entropy(molten mess). So, what's going on? How did we manage to violate the law? Are we somehow miraculously, divinely above the rules?

See The Solution Submitted by Steven Lord    
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re: and one thing further | Comment 8 of 9 |
(In reply to and one thing further by Steven Lord)

While this may be a good point, and also valid, I stand by both my original and Charlie's explanation.  The earth itself is not a "closed" thermodynamic system so long is as the sun exists.  Therefore you cannot apply the second law as is done in the problem statement.  This is a classic textbook discussion that takes place in Thermodynamics 101 classes, even "wayback" when I took them.
  Posted by Kenny M on 2018-07-10 08:00:48

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