There is a non-trivial element of faith the the Second Law of Thermodynamics, one we dance around when we toss the idea of the Big Bang around in science class. Every time there's an energy exchange in a closed system there's less useful energy available to do work--and that's the natural world in a nutshell.
Everything eventually falls apart, drifts to a state of uselessness.
|From The Onion,|
If students spent any time delving into the implications of that, they'd go from the nutshell to the nuthouse. Instead we toss serious equations at them, with serious sounding names for all the serious parts, and we got them playing in abstract la-la land, which is a fine place to be in you've studied physics for years, but a psyche-killer for the neophytes.
How did the energy get packed into a point billions of years ago? We have a don't ask, don't tell policy. That kids blithely except the concept of the universe contracted to a point just assures me no one's really paying attention.
My goal this year? Get them paying attention.
So here's my question for the more experienced out there. Would it be crazy to design the biology course around the Second Law of Thermodynamics, starting out each class every day with a brief discussion of how energy transformations guide everything in biology?
Evolution is the Big Daddy of Biology--should I spend as much time on Grandpa Entropy?
I'm not going to lie to you--first time I saw this photo I thought it was a real protest. Things have gotten that crazy.
Photo lifted from The Onion--where else?