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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(2): and one thing further Comment 9 of 9 |
(In reply to re: and one thing further by Kenny M)

Hi -  As I said in the posted solution (in the thorough answer) that yes, you guys each realized that Earth is not a closed system, right, but that is only the start of the solution. Both you and Charlie focused on matters within the solar system. But that, in fact, is not where the solution lies. It lies outside the Earth within the 4.6 billion light year radius light sphere: that is where the added entropy lies. I think you each had the solar system implicitly isolated in your answers. I think you each missed both what the added entropy is (new infrared photons - and not heat, which is the motion of particles) and where it is found (in very deep space) and that is what I felt made the answers incorrect or at least very incomplete. 


I think now we agree on the answer and maybe you got it and I simply did not understand that you got it. If so, I apologize. In any case, thanks for the discussion! Cheers - SL  

Edited on July 11, 2018, 3:08 am
  Posted by Steven Lord on 2018-07-10 16:18:46

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