American Association for the Advancement of Science

Email from Science Magazine on May 23, 2012

Thank you for your note. As you might imagine, we do not get involved in these kinds of activities of other publishers.
Alan Leshner
Executive Publisher, Science

Letter faxed to director of the AAAS on January 18, 2013

Dr. William H. Press
University of Texas at Austin
Department of Computer Science

Dear Dr. Press,
As a director of the AAAS you should be committed to its second mission (“Promote and defend the integrity of science and its use”), and should want the American Journal of Physics (AJP) to retract an absurd article titled, “Entropy and evolution” (Am. J. Phys., Vol. 76, No. 11, November 2008). The article repeats the creationist error that evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics, and the even more nonsensical idea that evolution does not because of the sun. Unfortunately, the article goes so far as to write down an incorrect equation in thermodynamics to prove this quantitatively in units of entropy.

The AJP, the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), and the American Institute of Physics (AIP) are resorting to trickery to avoid publishing a retraction. The following article explains why the AJP article is absurd:

Because of her leadership position in the AAPT, Jill Marshall ( is supporting the AJP’s refusal to stop spreading misinformation about evolution. There is a considerable amount of correspondence between me and the AJP/AAPT about this matter. I have given this information to Science, by email ( and fax (202-289-7562).

Very truly yours, David Roemer

Open letter to Allen Goldman (American Association for the Advancement of Science, Physics Section) and Howard Wactlar (National Science Foundation, Division of Information and Intelligent Systems):

The American Journal of Physics published an article (“Entropy and evolution,” Am. J. Phys., Vol. 76, No. 11, November 2008) that begins with the statement: “The creationist argument is that advanced organisms are more orderly than primitive organisms, and hence as evolution proceeds living things become more ordered, that is less disordered, that is less entropic. Because the second law of thermodynamics prohibits a decrease in entropy, it therefore prohibits biological evolution.”

The author says, “Two anonymous referees made valuable suggestions that improved this article significantly.” This raises the possibility that the peer-reviewers were more interested in anti-creationist propaganda than in making sure the article is a contribution to scientific knowledge.

The article says evolution decreased the entropy of the biosphere and estimates the decrease in joule/degrees. The article’s statements about evolution and entropy are unintelligible.

I pointed out the errors and misinformation in the article to American Journal of Physics, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and the American Institute of Physics in a number of communications. The AJP, the AAPT, and the AIP are refusing to retract the article, which I think is the only remedy for its nonsense. I refer you to the following sources of information about evolution and thermodynamics:

  1. McIntosh, A.C., “Information and entropy – top -down or bottom-up development in living systems?”, Int. J. of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics. Vol. 4, No. 4 (2009), pp. 351 to 385.
  2. Fourth paragraph of Ilya Prigogine, Gregoire Nicolis, and Agnes Babloyantz, “Thermodynamics of evolution”, Physics Today 25(11) (1972), pp. 23 to 28. View online:
  4. My article in

Very truly yours, David Roemer

5 Comments on “American Association for the Advancement of Science”

  1. ggladyshev says:

    Origin of life and its evolution are the result of action of laws of hierarchical thermodynamics.

    Criterion of evolution
    The approval about the reduction of the entropy of living systems as a result of biological evolution is incorrect. The criterion of evolution of living system is the change (during evolution) of the specific free energy (Gibbs function, G) of this living system. The evolution of living system takes place against the background of flows of energy (e.g., light, energy of physical fields) from the environment. It increases its specific free energy. At the same time, the specific free energy of this living system is decreased as a result of spontaneous processes in this system.
    Thus, the total change in the specific free energy of a living system is composed of two parts: 1. The change of free energy due to the inflow of external energy (G1> 0) and 2. The change of free energy due to spontaneous transformations in the system (G2 < 0) . The evolving system constantly adapts to a changing environment. The principle of substance stability contributes to this adaptation.
    Thermodynamics of evolution obeys the generalized equation of Gibbs (that is the generalized equation of the first and second laws of thermodynamics)*. Biological evolution and the processes of origin of life are well described by the hierarchical thermodynamics, established on the firm foundation of theory of JW Gibbs. Our theory created without the notion on dissipative structures of I. Prigogine and negentropy of L. Boltzmann and E. Schrodinger.
    “Thermodynamics serves as a basis for optimal solutions of the tasks of physiology, which are solved by organisms in the characteristic process of life: evolution, development, homeostasis, and adaptation. It is stated that the quasi-equilibrium thermodynamics of quasi-closed complex systems serves as an impetus of evolution, functions, and activities of all levels of biological systems’ organization. This fact predetermines the use of Gibbs’ methods and leads to a hierarchical thermodynamics in all spheres of physiology. The interaction of structurally related levels and sub-levels of biological systems is determined by the thermodynamic principle of substance stability. Thus, life is accompanied by a thermodynamic optimization of physiological functions of biological systems. Living matter, while functioning and evolving, seeks the minimum of specific Gibbs free energy of structure formation at all levels. The spontaneous search of this minimum takes place with participation of not only spontaneous, but also non-spontaneous processes, initiated by the surrounding environment.”
    Works of the author:

    Georgi Gladyshev
    Professor of Physical Chemistry

    *) The generalized equation of Gibbs (See: )

    P.S. Lastly, it is important to take into account, from the viewpoint of hierarchical thermodynamics, that anti-aging diets and many drugs can be used for the prophylaxis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and for numerous other illnesses.

    • David Roemer says:

      There are three branches of physics: nuclear physics, thermodynamics, and dynamics. Nuclear physics is the study of the evolution of stars and the generation of the periodic table. Thermodynamics is the study of liquids, solids, and gases. Dynamics is the study of forces and motion. I don’t understand the idea of “hierarchical thermodynamics.” Is a pendulum a thermodynamic thermodynamic system made up of a bob and a string? Is the Gibbs function for the pendulum: Gibbs(pendulum) = Gibbs(bob) + Gibbs(string)? Why not say T(pendulum) = T(bob) + T(string)?

      • ggladyshev says:

        Thermodynamics investigates any allocated systems which can be characterized by functions of state. Separation of biological systems at the individual (individual) hierarchies allows us to study them independently of the processes that take place in other hierarchies.

      • David Roemer says:

        I don’t understand why you are condescending to explain your work to me. I am trying to get the American Journal of Physics to retract an article because it states that evolution does not violate the second law of thermodynamics. If you want to help, contact your congressman and ask about Yvette Clarke’s ( NY-D, district 9) investigation of my allegations against the AJP, AAPT, AIP, AAAS, and NSF. If I hear that her staff member has been giving me the runaround, I will file an ethics complaint against her. If you think I am crazy, I’ll be happy to see any psychiatrist you recommend and will pay for the visit myself.

      • ggladyshev says:

        Dear David,
        I sent my note for information only.

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