Dear David:

Thank you for sending me the link to your webpage. I found it interesting reading, so much so that I took the time to obtain a copy of the article “Entropy and evolution” by Daniel Styer and have read it thoroughly. Let me offer a few observations:

1. You are most certainly correct. The article is complete nonsense. The author clearly does not understand that entropy and information are two different things and are not inter-convertible.
2. Your efforts (as recorded on your website) have been singularly unsuccessful in getting the article retracted.

Given that the retraction of articles in the scientific literature are extremely rare and require extraordinary circumstances, and given that the scientific literature is replete with articles just as bad as Daniel Styer’s (if not worse) for which there are no retractions, may I suggest a different tactic: namely, instead of trying to get the article retracted on philosophical grounds (it is absurd nonsense), that you try pointing out that the article is replete with mathematical errors? In my brief reading of the paper, I found several:

1. Table 1, line 5, the “Sun’s entropy decrease each second” is given as 20.9×1012 J/K. This is over ten orders of magnitude too small!
2. Table 1, line 6, the “Cosmic microwave background’s entropy increase each second” is given as 44,400×1012 J/K. This is over 13 orders of magnitude too small IF we are just considering the entropy contribution from solar radiation. When one considers that there are over 100 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy AND that there are estimates of over a billion galaxies in the universe, one might want to revise even this estimate upwards another 20 orders of magnitude. Or re-label that line of the table.
3. In equation 4c, Styer has calculated the entropy change for an organism over the course of 100 years as −9.53×10−23 J/K. In the next two sentences he converts this to an average entropy change per second of −3.02×10−30 J/K. This is 100 times too large. Styer divided the result in equation 4c by the number of seconds in a year but forgot to divide by 100 years.
4. Likewise, equation 5 is 100 times too large.
5. The number is equation 6 is in direct conflict with a statement made earlier in his paper. According to the last sentence in the half paragraph following equation 1 which states “Meanwhile, the Earth is nearly constant in entropy.” For that amount of entropy to be available for evolution, it would have to stay with the earth. But as we all know, the energy absorbed on the sunny side of the earth is re-radiated into space each night. If this were not so, then the earth would be warming at a rate many orders of magnitude greater than the barely perceptible rate we are experiencing. Integrating over 4 billion years of evolutionary history, the earth would have had to absorb a tremendous amount of heat. We would have been burnt to a crisp a long time ago. I would argue that there is substantial evidence to the contrary.

If you can get an article published in the Am. J. Physics detailing these errors, you will have effectively “retracted” his paper. Once his math is shown to be in error, his argument will collapse in upon itself just as a building falls down once the foundation is destroyed.

I wish you well and much success in your quest.