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Evolution has never been observed

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Biological systems require an information blueprint to replicate and to manage and control cell processes. The information is necessary.

You were talking about entropy. Was my answer incorrect with respect to entropy?

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Biological systems require an information blueprint to replicate and to manage and control cell processes. The information is necessary.

 

Isn't the sun the source for both lowering thermodynamic entropy and lowering information entropy? After all, the sun's hydrogen atoms are combining in such a way as to make an informationally more complex system (contains stuff other then pure low information entropy hydrogen), the information entropy of life can decrease (eg we make ordered arrangements of molecules), at the expense of increasing the information entropy of the sun (it continuously gains has more possible states).

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Did Cypress ignore my post again?angry.gif

Evolution does have entropy...but info' entropy isn't it as PHYSICAL THINGS THAT ACTUALLY EXIST DON'T HAVE ANY REAL INFORMATION IN THEM AS INFORMATION IS AN INVENTION OF THE MIND!

 

Evolution has entropy in the form of genetic entropy. The genetic entropy effects evolution but allows it to happen.

 

http://blindinglight...enetic-entropy/

 

Are you happy now? No one was saying entropy did not apply to evolution...just that info' entropy did not apply to evolution.

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We have done and continue to do several experiments to confirm that the theory of gravity explains observed trajectories, and every time the experiment is done properly, the theory is confirmed. Near my home is a Gravitational Wave Observatory. It has existed for about 20 years now. The purpose is to confirm the presence of gravitational waves as predicted by the modern theory of general relativity as applied to gravity. Thus far they have not succeeded. The theory of gravity does make grand claims and but it's grandest claims are confirmed while some of the implications are still yet to be understood.

 

Evolution, the idea that idea that all biological diversity is explained by evolutionary theory, its fundamental premise, the basic idea, has yet to be demonstrated, and this is very different than the case of gravitational theory who's basic idea is confirmed, and is in fact confirmed daily by students across the world.

 

The idea that all biological diversity is explained by evolutionary theory is a conclusion, not the fundamental premise, which is simply that species are not fixed — they evolve. When we can investigate biological diversity, it is consistent with evolution, just when we investigate trajectories, it confirms gravity.

 

 

You are changing my argument and committing a logical fallacy, which is unusual for you. I am not saying that because evolution has not been confirmed therefore there is a creator who made life and caused all diversity. Is there something wrong with admitting where we are at with a theory,and on that basis, suggest that other avenues be explored?

 

 

I didn't claim you were positing a creator.

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You were talking about entropy. Was my answer incorrect with respect to entropy?

 

Your answer addressed thermal entropy only. You did not demonstrate that the net increase in thermal entropy offsets net decreases in molecular and information entropy, so you answer is either incomplete or incorrect. Can you validate a irreversible thermal cycle (one with a net increase in thermal entropy) drives/results in an net increase in molecular and information order?

 

The idea that all biological diversity is explained by evolutionary theory is a conclusion, not the fundamental premise, which is simply that species are not fixed — they evolve. When we can investigate biological diversity, it is consistent with evolution, just when we investigate trajectories, it confirms gravity.

 

The claim that evolution accounts for some of the observable adaptations amongst the population within a species is accepted but it is not the topic. How is the posit that evolutionary processes account for observed diversity substantially different by describing it as if it were a conclusion? If it is a conclusion, should we then call it speculation or presupposition since it is not verified?

 

With gravity the observed trajectories confirm the claim, or conclusion, if you prefer that word, that an attractive force draws all mass together. With evolutionary theory there are no observations that confirm known processes generate all biological diversity.

 

This tread addresses the absence of evidence for all biological diversity by known evolutionary processes.

 

I didn't claim you were positing a creator.

 

That is the common meaning when one accuses another of making a "God of the Gaps" argument.

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...lets see...shall I use my powers of invisibility for good or evil? ...Cypress, acknowledged my post. I've given ye what ye want now stop being off-topic. This topic was made for you to post proof of macro-evolution taking place. Not to argue against evolution. If you want to argue against evolution please make a new topic.

 

Your wanted to say that evolution doesn't happen because there is no entropy, yes?

I advise you read these webpages:

 

http://blindinglight.wordpress.com/2007/05/15/genetic-entropy/

You will probably be interested.

 

http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/thermo.htm

This web-page explains why evolution does not violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics but also discusses evolution and entropy. I strongly advise you read this entire web-page.

 

http://www.fisica.net/epistemologia/STYER_Entropy_and_Evolution.pdf

I advise you read this too.

 

I know that you aren't talking about thermodynamics but I still advise you to read them [in their entirety.]

 

...One more thing:

 

INFORMATION ENTROPY DOES NOT APPLY TO EVOLUTION! [Caps makes it so...]

Information is NOT a real thing. It is an invention of the mind. Info' Entropy applies to info' and info' alone.

http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_entropy

I absolutely insist you read this!

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The claim that evolution accounts for some of the observable adaptations amongst the population within a species is accepted but it is not the topic. How is the posit that evolutionary processes account for observed diversity substantially different by describing it as if it were a conclusion? If it is a conclusion, should we then call it speculation or presupposition since it is not verified?

 

The topic is a debate about whether or not evolution has been verified through observation. Assuming it has not been verified when the scientific consensus is that it has; that is a fallacy.

 

Cypress, will you address the articles the articles I cited above? They are all examples of new structural information arising spontaneously with simple inputs under simple and natural conditions. I realize the conversation has strayed toward an argument over "informational entropy" however I believe my examples are relevant.

Edited by mississippichem

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That is the common meaning when one accuses another of making a "God of the Gaps" argument.

 

Let's see what I said.

 

Your attack on evolution is reminiscent of the "god of the gaps" argument.

(emphasis added)

 

Reminiscent: tending to remind one of something

 

Does that help?

 

The reason for that is because your argument seems to be that evolution explains some diversity; instances where we have lots of data. But where data is lacking, one cannot build a strong case. By focusing on gaps in evidence, you claim that evolution does not explain all diversity. Just like in the god of the gaps argument, which is why I was reminded of it.

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Don't write[or speak or think] nonsense.

Like every other request made of cypress, cypress will almost certainly dodge this particular request.

 

 

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The topic is a debate about whether or not evolution has been verified through observation. Assuming it has not been verified when the scientific consensus is that it has; that is a fallacy

 

There does seem to be a modest consensus opinion among those trained in science that they believe diversity occurred by evolutionary processes but I am not sure there is a consensus that the processes are scientifically validated to produce all observed biological diversity. Most scientists when questioned, admit that the known processes are not. You are trained in chemistry, what are you willing to admit?

 

In the 1920's -1930's eugenics was the scientific consensus. That concept went horribly wrong in the late 30's and 40's. I don't think it is wise to judge correctness of reasoning by consensus, do you?

 

Cypress, will you address the articles the articles I cited above? They are all examples of new structural information arising spontaneously with simple inputs under simple and natural conditions. I realize the conversation has strayed toward an argument over "informational entropy" however I believe my examples are relevant.

 

Yes I will. I believe your post is thoughtful and the references are worth comment. I will return to them when I have a chance to review them carefully. I appreciate any time you might allow.

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In the 1920's -1930's eugenics was the scientific consensus. That concept went horribly wrong in the late 30's and 40's. I don't think it is wise to judge correctness of reasoning by consensus, do you?

 

It wasn't a scientific consensus. It was, at best a social consensus, so how the hell is this relevant?

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There does seem to be a modest consensus opinion among those trained in science that they believe diversity occurred by evolutionary processes but I am not sure there is a consensus that the processes are scientifically validated to produce all observed biological diversity. Most scientists when questioned, admit that the known processes are not. You are trained in chemistry, what are you willing to admit?

 

I would hardly call it a modest consensus but that's a whole different argument. What am I willing to admit? I'll admit that not every mechanism has been observed that would be required for the start of life from prebiotic chemistry. However, I'll add that the reason I'm not bothered by this is that as more and more possible scenarios are discovered that can yield biomolecules or proto-biomolecules under conditions that would've likely been prevalent at the time in question; It becomes increasingly obvious how probabilistically unremarkable it is that life would arise out of such conditions.

 

Yes I will. I believe your post is thoughtful and the references are worth comment. I will return to them when I have a chance to review them carefully. I appreciate any time you might allow.

 

Sorry, didn't mean to get over zealous. Take your time.

Edited by mississippichem

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Spectacularly wrong. Evolutionary theory posits a set of processes that supposedly operate in accordance with Methodological Naturalism. Methodological Naturalism only considers processes that conform with known and understood physical laws. Thus evolutionary processes are subject to laws of physics including probability and entropy.

 

Entropy is a measure of overall order. It applies to any kind of order. In thermodynamics it applies to the order found in discrete sets of energy microstates. In molecular systems it applies to the order found in molecular positioning and in information it is the order represented by the discrete syntactical representation of the information.

 

Can anyone offer an actualized example of order in this universe under influence of random processes that is not subject to the laws of probability and entropy?

I have given many such examples. The fact that you ignore them does not mean they are wrong.

 

But, let me reiterate and explain it better:

 

If entropy is increaseing in the universe, this means that the universe must has started (or at least existed) in a low entropy state. Thus natural processes that can be observed to increase entropy. For example. A Star is a low entropy object and it can be seen to radiate energy into space (as photons of light and heat) in a high entropy manner. But, there is still more entropy that can be created even from this high entropy energy radiated out.

 

Any object that can use the energy in the radiated light to perform some function must do so in a way that increases the total entropy of the universe. This will be in the form of unuseable energy. However, in doing so, the process can decrease the local entropy of the process.

 

It doesn't matter what this process is, it must cause a net increase in entropy of the universe, even if the local entropy decreases.

 

If information is stored, as part of this process, then this information must also contribute to the total increase in entropy of the universe. The low entropy that allows this is in the form of energy that is driving the process.

 

There doesn't need to be a source of information, if the information is the result of the process as the process is therefore the source of the information and the low entropy energy is the source of low entropy.

 

So, as I described long ago in a post far far away:

 

The Sun is a source of low entropy. This causes light and heat to hit the Earth and any systems on it. This slightly higher entropy heat and light is used by living systems (in a process) to create a low entropy environment and to replicate (grow). When they do this, they turn the lower entropy heat and light a higher entropy form of energy (ie they excrete).

 

Now, I am, at this point, not even talking about evolution. I am jsut talking about growth. I will assume that you will agree that plants use light to photosynthasize and this does not violate any physical laws. When a plant does this it must replicate its DNA molecules and make other components of it cells. I think you will aggree that this occurs, and does not violate any physical laws or entropy.

 

When an organism (eg: plant) grows like this and replicates it's cells, there can be occasional errors in the replication, and this causes slight changes in the DNA of the plant's cells. Sometimes this is bad, and the plant ends up with a desease (which the plant can usually destroy before they become too damaging), sometimes this is good and these cells are healthier than others, but mostly, the changes are neutral and don't cause any problem.

 

This too I think you can accept as not violating any physical laws or entropy.

 

When a plant makes seeds, these too are just cells of the plant and are subject to these same processes. Sometime the errors are bad (in which case the seeds won't germinate), some times they are good (which means this plant is healthier than its parent), but most of the time they are neutral.

 

However, as the seeds come from a sinlge cell, then this means that every cell in the new plant now has these change DNA (rather than just a few from the first example).

 

It also means that the seeds that this plant produces have that same "mutation" and they will inheret this change too. Also, if one of these "grandchildren" trees have another mutation in their seeds that is good, then the tree produced from that will also have that good mutation and all other trees from that tree will also have that mutation.

 

Now, if a tree is more healthy than other trees, then it will grow faster and produce more seeds (or be able to produce them for longer). As this will prevent other trees that are less healthy from establishing themselves, these healther trees will come to dominate the environment (remember exponential population growth).

 

Now, this uses nothing more than what goes on as normal growth of a plant (replication of cells by using photosynthisis). If you can accept that plants grow by celular division, and that this does not violate any physical laws or entropy, then you have to accept that evolution occurs because it is exactly the same process.

 

Evolution is no different to the normal growth of an oganism, wether it is plant, animal, fungus, etc.

 

If you can accept that an organism uses energy from its environment to replicate its cells to grow, then there is no difference in accepting that an organism can use energy from its environment to grow a single cell into another copy of the organism.

 

If you can also accept that during replication, a cell's DNA can be changed, then you also have to accept that the single cell grown into a replica of the parent can also be changed.

 

If you can accept that, within a single organism, bad changes will cause the organism to be less healthy (for example cancer), neutral changes won't change the health of the organism (if you have ever seen a person with eyes of two different colours, this is one example) and that sometimes the change can be good (if you accept that your immune system works then you have to accept this as your immune system uses this for antibody production). Then you will also have to accept that if this change occurs in the cell that gives rise to an offspring, that the offspring will have this change in every cell (including the ones that end up being turned into the next generation of offspring).

 

If you can accept all that, then you have to accept evolution, because that is exactly what you have accepted, by accepting the above.

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Cypress...I thought I told you to acknowledge my post...Yes I did...Why didn't you do that?...I was sure you would have something to say after reading those 3 web-pages completely.

 

You must acknowledge everything before posting. If you do not have time now, wait until you do have time then post otherwise people will get angry and shout at you for ignoring their posts. Your will also end up being bombarded with repeated information and and comments asking if you actually understand what you are talking about.

...lets see...shall I use my powers of invisibility for good or evil? ...Cypress, acknowledged my post. I've given ye what ye want now stop being off-topic. This topic was made for you to post proof of macro-evolution taking place. Not to argue against evolution. If you want to argue against evolution please make a new topic.

 

Your wanted to say that evolution doesn't happen because there is no entropy, yes?

I advise you read these webpages:

 

http://blindinglight...enetic-entropy/

You will probably be interested.

 

http://www.asa3.org/...gins/thermo.htm

This web-page explains why evolution does not violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics but also discusses evolution and entropy. I strongly advise you read this entire web-page.

 

http://www.fisica.ne...d_Evolution.pdf

I advise you read this too.

 

I know that you aren't talking about thermodynamics but I still advise you to read them [in their entirety.]

 

...One more thing:

 

INFORMATION ENTROPY DOES NOT APPLY TO EVOLUTION! [Caps makes it so...]

Information is NOT a real thing. It is an invention of the mind. Info' Entropy applies to info' and info' alone.

http://simple.wikipe...rmation_entropy

I absolutely insist you read this!

Edited by ProcuratorIncendia

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Your answer addressed thermal entropy only. You did not demonstrate that the net increase in thermal entropy offsets net decreases in molecular and information entropy, so you answer is either incomplete or incorrect. Can you validate a irreversible thermal cycle (one with a net increase in thermal entropy) drives/results in an net increase in molecular and information order?

Is your formula for information entropy the same as the one given for information earlier, or is information entropy measured differently? It's important that I understand what you refer to before I answer.

 

Also, what is the distinction between molecular entropy and thermal entropy? I was not aware of such a distinction, and I'll need your definitions to answer your question.

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Evolution has never been observed. Saying species evolved over millions of years is a faith statement and is not the scientific method. Science is knowledge from observation.

 

If you believe you have empirical evidence that evolution has been observed. Please put it up. I am not talking about words i am talking about video footage or a photo.

 

I am willing to pay £10 to anyone that has a photo or video evidence of macroevolution taking place.

 

It's not faith so much as it is inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning isn't logic in that it can't actually prove something, only come infinitely close to proving something, but the process is itself logical, and things and evolutionary things inferred are based on things observed and recorded and then strongly supported by genetics.

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Cypress...I thought I told you to acknowledge my post...Yes I did...Why didn't you do that?...I was sure you would have something to say after reading those 3 web-pages completely.

 

You must acknowledge everything before posting. If you do not have time now, wait until you do have time then post otherwise people will get angry and shout at you for ignoring their posts. Your will also end up being bombarded with repeated information and and comments asking if you actually understand what you are talking about.

 

I'm sorry ProcuratorIncendia, The links are interesting, but I don't see anything relevant in your post requiring a response. If you were to address the issues I raised directly with an explanation and use the links for support, it would be more helpful.

 

Carbonyl Sulphide mediated prebiotic peptide formation

 

The above link is to a paper concerning spontaneous synthesis of peptides in aqueous solution via en vitro non-enzymatic catalysis. If you're not a member of the magazine, the abstract should be enough. It shows that spontaneous, natural polymerization of amino acids is not outside the realm of possibility. Carbonyl sulphide is abundant in waters surrounding volcanic thermal vents.

 

Having now had a chance to review this article I am not sure if there is any significance to the fact that di and tri-peptides can be formed in oxygen free water in the presence of Carbonyl Sulphide and other specific additives. I don't see how this addresses any of the issues I raised here. Could you explain your line of thinking on this issue more clearly?

 

In your summary you described these di and tri peptides as "complex" but surely they are not on the same level as the biologically active polymers including proteins, RNA and DNA of which I referred. How do we justify the extension of tri-peptides to several thousand and in some cases hundreds of thousands of units long?

 

I'll address the other two articles later.

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Having now had a chance to review this article I am not sure if there is any significance to the fact that di and tri-peptides can be formed in oxygen free water in the presence of Carbonyl Sulphide and other specific additives. I don't see how this addresses any of the issues I raised here. Could you explain your line of thinking on this issue more clearly?

Here is the entire issue in a nutshell. The specific routes to spontaneously generated complex molecules in a pre-biotic world have not been established. Those arguing against you see zero problem with this: the unknown and its elucidation are what make science exciting. What we see, as in this example, is one portion of a multi-step process. Spontaneous generation of simple peptides was at one time unknown to science. There is no reason (i.e. no scientific principles prohibiting) other steps building upon these simple peptides. Your argument, at the end of the day, is merely a God of the Gaps approach. Not convincing in the slightest.

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Having now had a chance to review this article I am not sure if there is any significance to the fact that di and tri-peptides can be formed in oxygen free water in the presence of Carbonyl Sulphide and other specific additives. I don't see how this addresses any of the issues I raised here. Could you explain your line of thinking on this issue more clearly?

 

In your summary you described these di and tri peptides as "complex" but surely they are not on the same level as the biologically active polymers including proteins, RNA and DNA of which I referred. How do we justify the extension of tri-peptides to several thousand and in some cases hundreds of thousands of units long?

 

I'll address the other two articles later.

 

No, the abstract talks about failures to synthesize anything longer than a two or three amino acid oligopeptide. The abstract also uses the word peptide after having referred to oligomeric products. We can argue over the arbitrary line of oligomer, but I think peptide would imply a longer chain. Some people define insulin as a peptide (and not a protein) because it's so short, but I think we can agree it is a functional biomolecule.

 

Also take notice though that the reactions were carried out at room temperature. I'm not sure what pressure, I imagine 1 atm since it wasn't specified. The reaction gave up to 80% yield under those conditions, is it not reasonable that the molecular weight of the poylmer would increase if the reaction was a under a much higher pressure? I'm speculating a bit here but those high pressure conditions and oxygen poor do exist at the bottoms of some of our oceans.

 

There are thermophilic bacteria or archaea that live under these conditions currently. They're protein macro-structures are stabilized by relatively high numbers of cysteine residues and the conformationally stabilizing disulfide bonds that come with that. Which by the way is another way in which new [functional] information is created by natural selection. Evidently, only the peptides that formed with a lot of disulfide bonds [cysteine residues] were able to survive in those extreme conditions. So an ordinarily insignificant cysteine residue has become a functional bit of genetic information that could later become associated with a certain mRNA codon and favored for by natural selection because it contributes to the chemical stability of the proteomic information itself.

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cypress, the other moderators have been viewing your posts carefully over the past couple of weeks. You are shifting goalposts very heavily and not responding to valid points (as well as throwing out some rather large curveballs like the eugenics reference above). Please keep your discussions on-topic and relevant, otherwise your access to the speculations forum will be reviewed.

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Here is the entire issue in a nutshell. The specific routes to spontaneously generated complex molecules in a pre-biotic world have not been established. Those arguing against you see zero problem with this: the unknown and its elucidation are what make science exciting. What we see, as in this example, is one portion of a multi-step process. Spontaneous generation of simple peptides was at one time unknown to science. There is no reason (i.e. no scientific principles prohibiting) other steps building upon these simple peptides. Your argument, at the end of the day, is merely a God of the Gaps approach. Not convincing in the slightest.

 

There is a difference though between something that is unknown by a particular set of postulated processes and not possible by citation to a particular set of postulated processes. When someone suggests that it may yet be possible to extract warm water from the ocean, extract heat energy from it and deposit the colder water back into the ocean and use that heat as the sole source of power, most scientifically trained persons would respond that thermal entropy laws prevent what you describe from occurring. Should this person accuse us of taking a God of the Gaps approach?

 

My argument is that entropy laws apply to order of all kinds, when acted on by random and deterministic processes alone. Biopolymers are very long irregular sequences that are independent of the chemic properties. Though they are irregular, they are also very specific sequences in that they fit in a rare set of sequences that form biologically active tertiary structures amongst a huge number of permutations and thus represent very low relative molecular and information entropy and cannot be formed by random and deterministic processes except by importing pre-existing order. My argument is the same argument used against the heat engine above.

 

Several have pointed out that biological systems increase thermal entropy continuously and this is the source of molecular and information order. I may be wrong, but thus far it has not been demonstrated that thermal order substitutes for molecular and information order. Perhaps our friend with the heat engine above will argue that information order can substitute for the thermal order his machine lacks.

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There is a difference though between something that is unknown by a particular set of postulated processes and not possible by citation to a particular set of postulated processes. When someone suggests that it may yet be possible to extract warm water from the ocean, extract heat energy from it and deposit the colder water back into the ocean and use that heat as the sole source of power, most scientifically trained persons would respond that thermal entropy laws prevent what you describe from occurring. Should this person accuse us of taking a God of the Gaps approach?

Actually, such a machine is not imposible. As the movemnt of energy from hot water to cold water actually increases entropy, then it would be posible to construct a machine that uses the energy in the transfer as a source of power.

 

As an off the top of my head design:

 

You could use the thermoelectric effect by placing a device between a mass of warm water and cold water to extract energy from it (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_effect ).

 

So your example here is a real bad one as it is most certainly possible to extract energy from warm water.

 

Remember what I said about entropy, you either need a source of low entropy, or a way to increase entropy to do useful work. So, even if there is no "source" of low entropy, if there is room to increase entropy, then you can still use it to do something useful. I have tried to tell you this many times, but you don't seem to have got the concept (as demonstrated by your example).

 

My argument is that entropy laws apply to order of all kinds, when acted on by random and deterministic processes alone. Biopolymers are very long irregular sequences that are independent of the chemic properties. Though they are irregular, they are also very specific sequences in that they fit in a rare set of sequences that form biologically active tertiary structures amongst a huge number of permutations and thus represent very low relative molecular and information entropy and cannot be formed by random and deterministic processes except by importing pre-existing order. My argument is the same argument used against the heat engine above.

Yes, and as I ahve stated, the Sun is a source of low entropy energy, and this can drive the processes that cause these biopolymers to form, so too can thermal vents (black smokers that can be found on the ocean floor around volcanically active areas). I have even provided a process that can cause this (again, you seem to have not read my posts).

 

Several have pointed out that biological systems increase thermal entropy continuously and this is the source of molecular and information order. I may be wrong, but thus far it has not been demonstrated that thermal order substitutes for molecular and information order. Perhaps our friend with the heat engine above will argue that information order can substitute for the thermal order his machine lacks.

As I ahve already stated, if you store information in a physical substrate (eg: the sequences of atoms, or the direction of magnetic particles), then this can give an equivelence. I have even provided the theory on which this is based (that it is not the creation of information that increases entropy, but its destruction - as stated by Shannon complexity - hey, you even linked to that evidence, so are you now going to say that your own evidence is wrong?).

 

In physical systems, even if the "information" is just random and contains no (in your words) "functional" infomation, there is still information there. So if you change that information, you have to destroy the information that is already there, thus increasing entropy.

 

Viewed in this way, thermal entropy is equivelent to information entropy because any physical process (ie: one that uses energy to change physical matter) destroys the information contained in the system to start with (even if it is non "functional" information it is still information).

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There is a difference though between something that is unknown by a particular set of postulated processes and not possible by citation to a particular set of postulated processes. When someone suggests that it may yet be possible to extract warm water from the ocean, extract heat energy from it and deposit the colder water back into the ocean and use that heat as the sole source of power, most scientifically trained persons would respond that thermal entropy laws prevent what you describe from occurring. Should this person accuse us of taking a God of the Gaps approach?

Isn't this essentially geothermal energy, but using deep hot water instead of deep hot Earth?

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People, it's pretty clear he means getting the hot molecules out of room temperature sea water and using them for energy, or rather that that can't be done.

 

Perhaps our friend with the heat engine above will argue that information order can substitute for the thermal order his machine lacks.

 

Yeah, and then maybe he could write a Nature article about it:

Last week, a paper published in Nature Physics, Experimental demonstration of information-to-energy conversion and validation of the generalized Jarzynski equality, described an experiment where information was converted into energy by exploiting Brownian motion. It involved using the vibrations of an atom and observations of its changing position to let it naturally work its way up a sine wave, increasing its potential energy, which could, theoretically, be used to perform work when it vibrates back down the wave. It was a real-world demonstration of another thought experiment that challenged the Second Law. In 1867 Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell crafted a scenario whereby Brownian motion could be exploited to sort atoms according to their energy states, which later became known as Maxwell’s Demon1, an apparent violation of the second law:

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