I interpret No. 3 to mean that the author is undecided about the theory of intelligent design (ID). Evolution is a theory that explains the existence of fossils and other geological data. The theory is that mammals evolved from bacteria over a period of 3.5 billion years. Many people who call evolution a "fact" think it is a fact that free will is an illusion. In any case, it is important to distinguish between observations and theories.
The fact or theory of evolution gives rise to the question of what caused it. The only theories that explain evolution are ID and creationism. There is more evidence for creationism than for ID because there are quotes from the Bible. However, there is very little evidence for these theories. There is a lot of evidence for natural selection acting upon innovations, but natural selection only explains how giraffes have long necks, not how giraffes evolved from bacteria in only 3.5 billion years. Biologists always speak of adaptive evolution.
The advocates of ID and creationism like to compare ID with natural selection to make ID look better. Atheists go along with this scam because they don't want to admit that ID is a better theory than natural selection in some sense.
In my Open Forum topic titled the American Journal of Physics there is a discussion about the absurdity of the attached article titled "Entropy and evolution." Some people think evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics (entropy) and others think it does not. The truth is that the second law does not apply to evolution, just like it does not apply to the evolution of stars. I'v reduced my explanation of why the AJP article should be retracted to eight easy to understand steps:
- Natural selection explains why giraffes have long necks, but now how bacteria evolved into giraffes in only 3.5 billion years. Evolutionary biologists always speak of adaptive evolution. The old model for evolution was a tornado hitting a junkyard and producing a Boeing 747 in flight. The new model is a computer generating a Shakespearean sonnet by the random selection of letters.
- Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics are connected branches of physics. The key variable in thermodynamics is temperature, which is the sensation of hot and cold. It is measured with a thermometer in units called degrees. The second law of thermodynamics states that a gas will fill up the entire container it is in. The second law does not apply to the evolution of stars or biological evolution.
- Statistical mechanics is related to thermodynamics. For example, the average kinetic energy of a gas molecule is directly proportional to the temperature of the gas. The constant of proportionality is the Boltzmann constant and is a decimal with 23 zeros.
- There is a very loose connection between evolutionary biology and statistical mechanics. In statistical mechanics, physicists calculate the number of ways of arranging N objects: N X (N-1) X (N-2)…. Biologists calculate the number of proteins that can be formed with N amino acids: 20 to the Nth power.
- Because of #4, some non-physicists mistakenly say that evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics.
- Many scholarly works erroneously try to refute # 5 by giving an expanded explanation of the second law. They incorrectly describe the second law as stating that nature goes from order to disorder, thus supporting the idea the evolution violates the second law. But they point out that this principle only applies to closed systems. Since the biosphere was bathed in sunlight, the biosphere is not a closed system.
- The idea that evolution does not violate the second law because of the sun is absurd because the photons from the sun tend to cause disorder not order.
- The AJP article is even more absurd than this. It is based a fake equation connecting the statistical concept of the "thermodynamic probability” of the biosphere with the thermodynamic concept of entropy using the Boltzmann constant. It thus produces an equation showing that evolution does not violate the second law of thermodynamics.