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Thread: God, Theology, Dogma....

  1. #351
    Pro Bowler eniparadoxgma's Avatar
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    Re: God, Theology, Dogma....

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn


    I don't think it's a weird question. I do think it's a variant of the atheist argument that we invented God out of need. And the Christian argument that God placed that need in us for relationship. There is no way to answer that question effectively. You either believe or you don't. While there is alot of information out there on both sides I have tried to dissect the information objectively. I know that it's impossible just like it's impossible to for eni or ricard to dissect the information objectively. A deep part of me needs God...and a deep part of them wants to believe there isn't a God. It's through these filters we evaluate information. No one judges objectively even if they believe they do.
    No offense, but I think you're assuming too much here.

    Just because I don't believe in a monotheistic creator type of God doesn't mean that a deep part of me wants to believe that it doesn't exist. I think you guys are taking your metanarrative/nothing can be viewed objectively/etc stance too far.

    You tell me: Why would I not want there to be a kickass creator God that made me in his image and is going to reward my faithfulness for all eternity with supreme awesomeness? (for example) If things were as I wanted them to be, it would be very different from both monotheism and how I currently see things, although I'm pretty cool with how I currently see things.

    I'd prefer there to be 3 moons of varying colors, but there are not. "How I want things to be" doesn't equate to "How I see things".
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  2. #352
    Pro Bowler eniparadoxgma's Avatar
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    Re: God, Theology, Dogma....

    Quote Originally Posted by flippy
    Quote Originally Posted by eniparadoxgma
    Quote Originally Posted by flippy
    It's the metanarrative, silly....

    God wouldn't go for solipsism because it contradicts the concept of the trinity of the father, son, and holy spirit being one, yet each being unique. Additionally God knows each of us. Definitely no solipsism from his point of view.
    Yeah, I'm not sure what to do with that lol. Again, either there is such a thing as reality outside of your own mind/body/soul thingimajig, or you're left with solipsism. Do you agree that I'm not a figment of your imagination? Do you believe that you don't control the weather?
    What if you consider that as a man, you are a son, a father, and a brother. And in each role or perspective you think differently in ways that contradict one another. Can you even be sure your mind is real if it opposes itself.

    I believe there is the possibility of complete uncertainty in both self and others.
    Can I start calling you Montaigne?
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  3. #353
    Pro Bowler eniparadoxgma's Avatar
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    Re: God, Theology, Dogma....

    Quote Originally Posted by Preacher
    Consistent? Not a problem. The texts are integrated, working off each other- there is a continuity/discontinuity tension that happens within them, which caps off in the New Testament. That class of work is called Biblical Theology. Of course, that name has been used for about three distinct branches-but the way I mean it, is the new, current methodology- interestingly, it parallels the French historical school of Longue Duree. No, I have no problem with a consistent narrative within that context.

    Humanist? never. The bible is not a humanist document. It's center is not humanity, but God. It is not the center of what man thinks is right, but God. So why would it be a humanist document? All I am arguing previously however, is that the assertions that were made... were wrong. I can easily give you a list of things that would sink the cookies of the modern liberal (not political, but the modern version of the classic philosophical liberalism of the enlightenment).
    I'm not sure what your point is here. Okay, the Bible is not humanist... I just figured that you would somehow interpret it that way. My apologies.

    What are you referring to that will sink the cookies of the modern liberal? I'm not sure where you're going with this. My intention wasn't to "sink the cookies" of the modern Christian with just a couple of off-handed remarks. What I'm finding is that the interpretation of the Bible that has remained fairly consistent throughout my lifetime has just about nothing to do with your interpretation. It is my opinion that you are able to twist just about anything in the Bible (and other sacred texts) to mean whatever it is you (not you specifically, mind you) would like it to.

    I'm no biblical scholar and the fact that I don't accept Christianity as anything more "divine" than "Faust" for example means that I really don't have much interest in Bible debates. If there is anything good in the Bible it can be said and known in ways that don't require the Bible.

    I have no problem with that discussion. I DO have a problem with twisting and exegeting scripture out of its context by a person who confesses not to care about scripture nor believe in it. If we are going to discuss it, we need to be intellectually honest about it.
    It wasn't my intention to "twist" scripture. I just happen to believe that a lot of what it says on the surface is actually what it says. Regardless, I have no interest in discussing any more Bible verses.

    That means we don't read into it, but allow it to say what it actually says out of its culture, language, and context. Now, if you want to have THAT discussion, and what things are bothersome. I'd love to.
    As a non-Christian, I have no particular interest in Christianity. I take issue with a large amount if it. I also take issue with Judaism and Islam for numerous reasons. I take issue with Hinduism and most forms of Buddhism. Satanism is an interesting joke, depending on the flavor. I prefer Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu. I prefer the Zen Buddhists. Confucius was just a wise politician. I blame Zoroaster for a lot of things. Spinoza would kick St. Aquinas' ass.

    Etc etc.

    I wouldn't mind discussing Christianity I guess. However, I guess we're going to have to figure out what type of Christianity we're discussing. I'm familiar with the Southern Baptist variation. I forget what denomination you are and what you consider yourself. Point being, apparently everything I was ever taught in 15 years as a Southern Baptist is not actually Christianity according to your interpretation. Interesting.
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  4. #354

    Re: God, Theology, Dogma....

    Quote Originally Posted by eniparadoxgma
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn
    Quote Originally Posted by ricardisimo
    I'm just going to pick out the last few lines:
    No system is better than the other from the human perspective. That is why we make a choice as to which one we will hold to, and then hold to that one by faith.
    ... and I'm going to tell you that you are in danger of sounding positively G.E. Moore-ish in your assessments, which is not a good thing, given the vocation and devotion you have chosen. Have you read any Alasdair MacIntyre, by any chance?

    I'll also say that I disagree here. In terms of not only determining the existence of objective reality, but also perceiving and analyzing its characteristics, the scientific method is "better" than other systems. That's not a radical statement on my part.

    Now, you are free to ask "better in what sense?" For satisfying emotional needs, the scientific method probably leaves much to be desired. Likewise for comedic or entertainment purposes. Is this the path down which your thought is taking you?
    I think the key word from Preacher's standpoint is human...from the human perspective.

    And while I do like scientific study, theory and method I believe it to have it's limitations. Because, it can only study what it can measure and observe. To think we can study and observe all the happenings in the universe isn't honest. It's how evolutionists get past the 2nd law of thermodynamics...given enough time...in an open earth system...yada yada. These are based on nonobservable scenerios they speculate about. Then based on this faith in a theory they validate the rest of their arguments or ignore the problems with their theories. Those theories are not based on observable phenomenon it's mere speculation based on principles never seen or measured. Hence the reason the 2nd law of thermodynamics is a LAW.

    So while you think your metanarrative to be superior I would disagree when it comes to measuring and observing that which can not be measure or observed. This is where theology takes up the slack. It's why I'm a strong believer in both.
    Evolution is most definitely not "mere speculation", and scientific "theories" are more alike "laws" than different. Also, science has nothing to say about the unobservable. If it cannot be perceived than it has nothing to do with science.
    I have given you and Richard a chance to rebuff some of my initial arguments about negative/positive mutations and the math issues. I haven't gotten into the 2nd law of thermodynamics or the lack of fossil record support. I did that with quotes from your own evolutionists. Have you read anything about the 2nd law problems with evolution? Have you read evolutionists explanation around a LAW of science? Honestly, they are laughable. They have zero support to get around the math or 2nd law issues. They merely say given enough time anything can happen. I have shown you mathematically it can't. Observable science says it can't. They basically have no way around it but cling to evolution due to forces unseen...things we can't measure...given enough time...maybe in an open earth system etc. Sounds more like religion than science to me.

    "It is our contention that if ‘random’ is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws."—*Murray Eden, "Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as Scientific Theory," in Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Theory of Evolution (1967), p. 109.

    Evolutionary biologists basically say we know evolution is true, even though we don’t know how it works and have never seen it happen. We have to break known laws, ignore the math issues to make it work. Sorry guys, but that's not how science works. You don't look for evidence to validate your claim. You look for evidence that would disprove your claim. That's how science works. There are too many false positives in the science world to use it for method. That's why when a study is set up...it's set up to disprove a hypothesis. Evolution is clung to for dear life for many reasons but the main reason? They don't want to admit that they just don't know...and leave the door wide open for us "religious nuts" to "speculate".

  5. #355
    Pro Bowler eniparadoxgma's Avatar
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    Re: God, Theology, Dogma....

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn
    Eni stated...Where, exactly, does "faith" come into play with the scientific paradigm? Why does it take faith to think that something that works and progresses in a pragmatic way is a good thing to adhere to

    It shouldn't but it does. To speculate on events that break the second law of thermodynamics without one shred of evidence takes a great deal of faith.
    No offense, but is the theory of evolution the only thing you can say that about? For some reason you believe yourself the majority of the world's scientific/biological minds' superior... You'll have to excuse me if I take issue with that. I'm not trying to be an ass, but really? The scientific community is "out to get" everyone about the origins of human life? For what reason?
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  6. #356
    Pro Bowler eniparadoxgma's Avatar
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    Re: God, Theology, Dogma....

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn
    I have given you and Richard a chance to rebuff some of my initial arguments about negative/positive mutations and the math issues. I haven't gotten into the 2nd law of thermodynamics or the lack of fossil record support. I did that with quotes from your own evolutionists. Have you read anything about the 2nd law problems with evolution? Have you read evolutionists explanation around a LAW of science? Honestly, they are laughable. They have zero support to get around the math or 2nd law issues. They merely say given enough time anything can happen. I have shown you mathematically it can't. Observable science says it can't. They basically have no way around it but cling to evolution due to forces unseen...things we can't measure...given enough time...maybe in an open earth system etc. Sounds more like religion than science to me.

    "It is our contention that if ‘random’ is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws."—*Murray Eden, "Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as Scientific Theory," in Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Theory of Evolution (1967), p. 109.

    Evolutionary biologists basically say we know evolution is true, even though we don’t know how it works and have never seen it happen. We have to break known laws, ignore the math issues to make it work. Sorry guys, but that's not how science works. You don't look for evidence to validate your claim. You look for evidence that would disprove your claim. That's how science works. There are too many false positives in the science world to use it for method. That's why when a study is set up...it's set up to disprove a hypothesis. Evolution is clung to for dear life for many reasons but the main reason? They don't want to admit that they just don't know...and leave the door wide open for us "religious nuts" to "speculate".
    I'll let Dawkins talk about it. I typically defer to those with more knowledge about certain things. If I want to know about the history of the Bible, I'll ask Preacher. If I want to know about evolution, I'll see what Richard Dawkins has to say about it.

    http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/ ... 079838.ece

    Science feeds on mystery. As my colleague Matt Ridley has put it: “Most scientists are bored by what they have already discovered. It is ignorance that drives them on.” Science mines ignorance. Mystery — that which we don’t yet know; that which we don’t yet understand — is the mother lode that scientists seek out. Mystics exult in mystery and want it to stay mysterious. Scientists exult in mystery for a very different reason: it gives them something to do.

    Admissions of ignorance and mystification are vital to good science. It is therefore galling, to say the least, when enemies of science turn those constructive admissions around and abuse them for political advantage. Worse, it threatens the enterprise of science itself. This is exactly the effect that creationism or “intelligent design theory” (ID) is having, especially because its propagandists are slick, superficially plausible and, above all, well financed. ID, by the way, is not a new form of creationism. It simply is creationism disguised, for political reasons, under a new name.

    It isn’t even safe for a scientist to express temporary doubt as a rhetorical device before going on to dispel it.

    “To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.” You will find this sentence of Charles Darwin quoted again and again by creationists. They never quote what follows. Darwin immediately went on to confound his initial incredulity. Others have built on his foundation, and the eye is today a showpiece of the gradual, cumulative evolution of an almost perfect illusion of design. The relevant chapter of my Climbing Mount Improbable is called “The fortyfold Path to Enlightenment” in honour of the fact that, far from being difficult to evolve, the eye has evolved at least 40 times independently around the animal kingdom.

    The distinguished Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin is widely quoted as saying that organisms “appear to have been carefully and artfully designed”. Again, this was a rhetorical preliminary to explaining how the powerful illusion of design actually comes about by natural selection. The isolated quotation strips out the implied emphasis on “appear to”, leaving exactly what a simple-mindedly pious audience — in Kansas, for instance — wants to hear.

    The deceitful misquoting of scientists to suit an anti-scientific agenda ranks among the many unchristian habits of fundamentalist authors. But such Telling Lies for God (the book title of the splendidly pugnacious Australian geologist Ian Plimer) is not the most serious problem. There is a more important point to be made, and it goes right to the philosophical heart of creationism.

    The standard methodology of creationists is to find some phenomenon in nature which Darwinism cannot readily explain. Darwin said: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Creationists mine ignorance and uncertainty in order to abuse his challenge. “Bet you can’t tell me how the elbow joint of the lesser spotted weasel frog evolved by slow gradual degrees?” If the scientist fails to give an immediate and comprehensive answer, a default conclusion is drawn: “Right, then, the alternative theory; ‘intelligent design’ wins by default.”

    Notice the biased logic: if theory A fails in some particular, theory B must be right! Notice, too, how the creationist ploy undermines the scientist’s rejoicing in uncertainty. Today’s scientist in America dare not say: “Hm, interesting point. I wonder how the weasel frog’s ancestors did evolve their elbow joint. I’ll have to go to the university library and take a look.” No, the moment a scientist said something like that the default conclusion would become a headline in a creationist pamphlet: “Weasel frog could only have been designed by God.”

    I once introduced a chapter on the so-called Cambrian Explosion with the words: “It is as though the fossils were planted there without any evolutionary history.” Again, this was a rhetorical overture, intended to whet the reader’s appetite for the explanation. Inevitably, my remark was gleefully quoted out of context. Creationists adore “gaps” in the fossil record.

    Many evolutionary transitions are elegantly documented by more or less continuous series of changing intermediate fossils. Some are not, and these are the famous “gaps”. Michael Shermer has wittily pointed out that if a new fossil discovery neatly bisects a “gap”, the creationist will declare that there are now two gaps! Note yet again the use of a default. If there are no fossils to document a postulated evolutionary transition, the assumption is that there was no evolutionary transition: God must have intervened.

    The creationists’ fondness for “gaps” in the fossil record is a metaphor for their love of gaps in knowledge generally. Gaps, by default, are filled by God. You don’t know how the nerve impulse works? Good! You don’t understand how memories are laid down in the brain? Excellent! Is photosynthesis a bafflingly complex process? Wonderful! Please don’t go to work on the problem, just give up, and appeal to God. Dear scientist, don’t work on your mysteries. Bring us your mysteries for we can use them. Don’t squander precious ignorance by researching it away. Ignorance is God’s gift to Kansas.
    I realize I'm being lazy here. However, if you really want me to get into this stuff for real I guess I can.
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  7. #357
    Pro Bowler eniparadoxgma's Avatar
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    Re: God, Theology, Dogma....

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn

    Evolutionary biologists basically say we know evolution is true, even though we don’t know how it works and have never seen it happen. We have to break known laws, ignore the math issues to make it work. Sorry guys, but that's not how science works. You don't look for evidence to validate your claim. You look for evidence that would disprove your claim. That's how science works. There are too many false positives in the science world to use it for method. That's why when a study is set up...it's set up to disprove a hypothesis. Evolution is clung to for dear life for many reasons but the main reason? They don't want to admit that they just don't know...and leave the door wide open for us "religious nuts" to "speculate".
    Speculate all you want. Get back to me when you have more evidence for any other explanation than evolution. I don't understand your point. Who is clinging to evolution in the face of evidence to the contrary? Oh yeah, there is no evidence to the contrary.

    Bah. I'll let the Dawkins quote say it.
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  8. #358
    Pro Bowler eniparadoxgma's Avatar
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    Re: God, Theology, Dogma....

    Fossil record = God of the Gaps argument. Check.

    2nd law of thermodynamics argument =

    http://2ndlaw.oxy.edu/evolution.html

    There are millions of compounds that have less energy in them than the elements of which they are composed. That sentence is a quiet bombshell. It means that the second law energetically FAVORS — yes, predicts firmly — the spontaneous formation of complex, geometrically ordered molecules from utterly simple atoms of elements. Popular statements such as "the second law says that all systems fundamentally tend toward disorder and randomness" are wrong when they refer to chemistry, and chemistry precisely deals with the structure and behavior of all types of matter.

    To summarize this important conclusion that is known by very few who are not chemists: Energetically, the second law of thermodynamics favors the formation of the majority of all known complex and ordered chemical compounds directly from their simpler elements. Thus, contrary to popular opinion, the second law does not dictate the decrease of ordered structure by its predictions. It only demands a "spreading out" of energy when such ordered compounds are formed spontaneously.

    Also, to repeat a caution: The foregoing only describes energetic relationships involving the second law. It does not mean that most complex substances can be readily synthesized just by mixing elements and treating them in some way. The second law has nothing to do with pathways or procedures of synthesis.

    Most complex molecules may require the expertise of one or of many chemists to put them together in a laboratory. However, so far as the second law of thermodynamics is concerned, not only water but cholesterol, DNA, the anti-depressant in St. John’s Wort and millions of other complex substances contain less energy than their constituent elements. Therefore, thermodynamically, their formation from those elements would be a spontaneous process, energetically favored by the second law.
    Check.
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  9. #359
    Pro Bowler eniparadoxgma's Avatar
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    Re: God, Theology, Dogma....

    Some more on the 2nd law:

    A favorite argument of creationists is that the probability of evolution occurring is about the same as the probability that a tornado blowing through a junkyard could form an airplane. They base this argument on their belief that changes in living things have a very low probability and could not occur without "intelligent design" which overcomes the laws of thermodynamics. This represents a fundamental contradiction in which (they say) evolution is inconsistent with thermodynamics because thermodynamics doesn't permit order to spontaneously arise from disorder, but creationism (in the guise of intelligent design) doesn't have to be consistent with the laws of thermodynamics.

    A simpler analogy to the airplane/junkyard scenario would be the stacking of three blocks neatly on top of each other. To do this, intelligent design is required, but stacking does not violate the laws of thermodynamics. The same relations hold for this activity as for any other activity involving thermodynamical energy changes. It is true that the blocks will not stack themselves, but as far as thermodynamics is concerned, all that is required is the energy to pick them up and place them one on top of the other. Thermodynamics merely correlates the energy relationships in going from state A to state B. If the energy relationships permit, the change may occur. If they don't permit it, the change can not occur. A ball will not spontaneously leap up from the floor, but if it is dropped, it will spontaneously bounce up from the floor. Whether the ball is lifted by intelligent design or just happens to fall makes no difference.

    On the other hand, thermodynamics does not rule out the possibility of intelligent design; it is just simply not a factor with respect to the calculation of thermodynamic probability.

    Considering the earth as a system, any change that is accompanied by an entropy decrease (and hence going back from higher probability to lower probability) is possible as long as sufficient energy is available. The ultimate source of most of that energy, is of course, the sun.

    The numerical calculation of entropy changes accompanying physical and chemical changes are very well understood and are the basis of the mathematical determination of free energy, emf characteristics of voltaic cells, equilibrium constants, refrigeration cycles, steam turbine operating parameters, and a host of other parameters. The creationist position would necessarily discard the entire mathematical framework of thermodynamics and would provide no basis for the engineering design of turbines, refrigeration units, industrial pumps, etc. It would do away with the well-developed mathematical relationships of physical chemistry, including the effect of temperature and pressure on equilibrium constants and phase changes.
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/thermo/probability.html
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  10. #360
    Pro Bowler eniparadoxgma's Avatar
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    Re: God, Theology, Dogma....

    Hell, this is from wikipedia:

    The second law of thermodynamics has been proven mathematically for thermodynamic systems, where entropy is defined in terms of heat divided by the absolute temperature. The second law is often applied to other situations, such as black hole thermodynamics, and the complexity of life, or orderliness. [18] However it is incorrect to apply the closed-system expression of the second law of thermodynamics to any one sub-system connected by mass-energy flows to another ("open system"). In sciences such as biology and biochemistry the application of thermodynamics is well-established, e.g. biological thermodynamics. The general viewpoint on this subject is summarized well by biological thermodynamicist Donald Haynie; as he states: "Any theory claiming to describe how organisms originate and continue to exist by natural causes must be compatible with the first and second laws of thermodynamics."[19]

    This is very different, however, from the claim made by many creationists that evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics. Evidence indicates that biological systems and evolution of those systems conform to the second law, since although biological systems may become more ordered, the net change in entropy for the entire universe is still positive as a result of evolution.[20] Additionally, the process of natural selection responsible for such local increase in order may be mathematically derived from the expression of the second law equation for non-equilibrium connected open systems,[21] arguably making the Theory of Evolution itself an expression of the Second Law.

    Furthermore, the second law is only true of closed systems. It is easy to decrease entropy, with an energy source (such as the sun). For example, a refrigerator separates warm and cold air, but only when it is plugged in. Since all biology requires an external energy source, there's nothing unusual (thermodynamically) with it growing more complex with time.
    [edit] Complex systems in Creationist Arguments

    It is occasionally claimed that the second law is incompatible with autonomous self-organisation, or even the coming into existence of complex systems. This is a common creationist argument against evolution.[22] The entry self-organisation explains how this claim is a misconception. In fact, as hot systems cool down in accordance with the second law, it is not unusual for them to undergo spontaneous symmetry breaking, i.e. for structure to spontaneously appear as the temperature drops below a critical threshold. Complex structures, such as Bénard cells, also spontaneously appear where there is a steady flow of energy from a high temperature input source to a low temperature external sink.

    Furthermore, a system that energy flows into and out of may decrease its local entropy provided the increase of the entropy to its surrounding that this process causes is greater than or equal to the local decrease in entropy. A good example of this is crystallization. As a liquid cools, crystals begin to form inside it. While these crystals are more ordered than the liquid they originated from, in order for them to form they must release a great deal of heat, known as the latent heat of fusion. This heat flows out of the system and increases the entropy of its surroundings to a greater extent than the decrease of energy that the liquid undergoes in the formation of crystals.

    An interesting situation to consider is that of a supercooled liquid perfectly isolated thermodynamically, into which a grain of dust is dropped. Here even though the system cannot export energy to its surroundings, it will still crystallize. Now however the release of latent heat will contribute to raising its own temperature. If this release of heat causes the temperature to reach the melting point before it has fully crystallized, then it shall remain a mixture of liquid and solid; if not, then it will be a solid at a significantly higher temperature than it previously was as a liquid. In both cases entropy from its disordered structure is converted into entropy of disordered motion
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