Friday, May 13, 2011

Implications of the Two Laws of Thermodynamics

Author Henry M. Morris

Book: The Biblical Basis for Modern Science.  Pages 43-44.

Governing All Natural Processes
The first law of thermodynamics states (in accordance with Genesis 2:1-3) that none of the tremendous energy (or "power") of the universe is now being created, so that the universe could not have created itself. The second law (in accordance with Romans 8:20-22, as well as Genesis 3:17-19) states that the available energy of the universe is decreasing, indication that sometime in the past all the energy (including matter) was available and perfectly organized, like a clock that had just been wound up. This shows that the universe must have been created, even though it could not create itself. The two laws thus point inexorably back to Genesis 1:1.

His Eternal Power
The reservoirs of power in the created universe are so vast as to be completely incomprehensible in their fullness. The earth's energy, for all its physical and biological processes, comes from the sun. But only an infinitesimal fraction of the sun's power is thus utilized by the earth. And there are uncountable billions of suns scattered throughout the universe. The more intensively and thoroughly man probes the universe - whether the submicroscopic universe of the atomic nucleus or the tremendous metagalactic universe of astronomy - the more amazingly intricate and grand are God's reservoirs of power revealed to be.

In these chapters we will frequently refer to the two great principles of thermodynamics, which describe the basic ways physical power in the universe, is manifested. These two all-embracing laws of science affirm that none of this power is now coming into existence, even though its form is continually changing and is, in fact, continually being degraded into less useful and available forms. These principles of conservation and decay are common to everyday experience and are likewise substantiated by the most precise scientific measurements.

The continual degradation of power (or, better, energy) in the universe is inseparably associated with the progress of time. That is, as time goes on, the energy of the universe becomes progressively less available for maintenance of its processes. The universe is gradually becoming more and more disordered as its entropy inexorably increases. So inextricably is time now associated with the law of entropy, that Sir Arthur Eddington many years ago gave the second law of thermodynamics the graphic name of "time's arrow." The universe is decaying toward an eventual "heat death." However, since it is far from "dead," it must have had a beginning! Thus, by the second law, the universe must have been created somehow at some finite time in the past, since otherwise it would have died long ago.

The processes of the universe, insofar as science is able to measure and understand them, are inextricably intertwined with time. And since the available power for continuance of these processes, as tremendously great as it is, is now running down, it is obvious that the source, the beginning, of this power is outside of time - that is, it is associated not with time, but with eternity. Its beginning was outside of time, and its possible renewal must likewise be outside of time. It cannot be "temporal" power. It is therefore eternal power. And all these "things that are made" continually give witness to God's "eternal power," exactly as the Scripture says. Every process the scientist studies and every system designed by the technologist continually bear witness that the ultimate power source driving the process or the system must ultimately be the Creator of power, the Omnipotent One.