Kerry K. Kuehn

August 2017

Mind, biology, and the second law of thermodynamics

The second law of thermodynamics was derived not by doing measurements on the entire universe (the only truly closed, isolated system). Rather, it was derived by Rudolph Clausius after considering a large number of common everyday systems. In other words, it was a universal law generalized from everyday observations of nature. Even today, physics professors do not typically use the example of the entire universe to illustrate the second law. Rather, they use everyday examples such as breaking eggs, mixing cream into coffee, or heat flowing from hot to cold bodies despite the fact that none of them are isolated systems. Yet all of these examples convey the essential feature of the second law: that order tends to decrease in natural processes. Read More…

Liberal Arts Reading Group--Sept. 1

according to the modern conception, a man can adopt any profession, and even change it to suit his whim, as if the profession were something wholly outside himself, having no real connection with what he really is, that by virtue of which he is himself and not anyone else. According to the traditional conception, on the other hand, each person must normally fulfill the function for which he is destined by his own nature, using the particular aptitudes essentially implicit in that nature as such; he cannot fulfill a different function except at the cost of a serious disorder, which will have its repercussions on the whole social organization of which he is a part Read More…

Total Solar Eclipse

Below are some photos of the Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017, which were taken at Magnolia Hollow Conservation Area, 10 miles north of Ste. Genevieve along the Mississippi River (GPS coordinates N38deg02.4sec, W90deg08.7sec). The weather was partly cloudy leading up to totality, but the weather cleared during totality and remained excellent until the end of the eclipse. Totality was amazing, and it lasted about 2 minutes and 39 seconds.
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