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Evolution and Thermodynamics

By Editorial Staff
Published December 22, 2007

One of the most personally significant questions one can ask is, “How did the universe, the world, and life begin?” Many scientists are hesitant to even ask questions concerning origins. They know that such questions generally become bound up with religious beliefs and Biblical “myths” which, in their view, only “confuse” the real issue (2 Peter 3:39).

Within the last century there has emerged what many believe is science’s “salvation” for dealing with the subject of origins. It is a self-consistent philosophy commonly known as the “theory of evolution.”

According to Sir Julian Huxley, one of the world’s foremost evolutionists, “Evolution can be defined as a directional, essentially irreversible process, occurring in time, which in its course gives rise to an increase of variety and an increasingly high level of organization in its products. Our present knowledge forces us to the view that the whole of reality is evolution – one single process of self-transition.”

It is most important to recognize in this definition that one who accepts it is accepting not just a biological theory but a worldview. Something so far-reaching in its scope and so comprehensive in its implication for us demands serious scrutiny. Such and examination can only be done in and abbreviated way in one article, but it is the intention of the author to stimulate the thinking of our readers. We must be ready to make a defense to everyone who asks us to give and account for the hope that is within us (1 Peter 3:15).

A most important aspect of Huxley’s definition is the directionality of the change that he says occurs in evolution. Note also that this directional change is not brought about by an external agency, such as a God, but rather by self-transformation. In this, basic properties of matter and energy are capable of accomplishing this age-long process of increasing order and organization.

As far as Huxley was concerned, evolution had removed from the sphere of rational discussion the very idea of God as the Creator of organisms. Nature, energy and matter were capable of initiating and accomplishing the whole process. The behavior of nature becomes of critical interest to us, and it is the fundamental character of this behavior on which we shall now focus our attention.

When such patterns of behavior are recognized by scientists, and no exceptions to the patterns are ever seen, the scientist formulates a statement of the behavior.

This is descriptive, not prescriptive. The scientists are only describing the observed behavior of natural events, descriptions, which in themselves dictate and predict nothing.

Isn’t the result the same? Absolutely not! The man-formulated statement may give and accurate account of the natural phenomenon, but the statement itself has no power to cause it to occur.

It is profoundly significant that the two most basic laws of science are associated with energy and order. These are the famous First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics.

The First Law, also called the Law of Energy Conservation, states that in any closed system no energy is either created or destroyed, though it can be changed from one form to another. This expressed by von Helmholtz in 1847, but it appeared in the Book of Ecclesiastes about 980 B. C. (Ecc.1:9).

The Second Law states that all spontaneous processes go in a direction of increasing disorder, or randomness. The available energy for maintaining the physical processes of the universe is seen to be decreasing; everything spontaneously tends toward disorder and wearing out. This second principle was described by Rudolf Clausius in 1850; however, Isaiah, David, and Paul wrote of it in Isaiah 51:6; Psalm 102:25-27; and Romans 8:20-21.

Evolution is the converse of the Two Laws. Logically Evolution and the Two Laws cannot both be true.

But the First and Second Laws are the two most proven generalizations of science. They pertain to all naturally-occurring events. According to these laws, natural processes are basically processes of conservation and disintegration.

For Evolution and the Laws of Thermodynamics to be compatible, evolution must incorporate mechanisms which can direct a process to a state of higher complexity and also provide for an energy conversion process. Evolutionists say this directionality and energy conversion are supplied by mutations and natural selection, yet both phenomena fail to operate in accordance with the evolutionary requirements previously stated.

The only reasonable conclusion from observable scientific laws is that the universe, with all its processes and with all its components, was brought into existence (Rom.4:17; I Cor. 15:36-41; John 1:1-3) by means of creative and ordering processes (Gen. 1:3-2:3) which no longer operate and are no longer available for direct scientific study.

It is the Christian’s belief that the First Cause of creation was an intelligence-a great personality- the God of the Scriptures.

Could not this God be the coder and provide the mechanism for the evolution the evolutionary process? He could, but it is most unlikely. A tremendous intelligence is required to program the process and to devise a mechanism to do it. It seems that such a being would be too intelligent to do it by evolution.

If we are to be rightly related to this universe, we have to know God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They made it and placed within us a moral consciousness which, by its presence, implies a moral responsibility to the Giver (Romans 1:18-22).

Seeking to know and fulfill this responsibility can result in the realization of the divine provision which God has offered to those who know Him as the Lord of their lives (Isaiah 40:26-31; Rev. 21:4-5).


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Your comments are welcome!

Your article displays a breath-taking lack of understanding of the second law. The increase in complexity in any system (including an evolving one) is more than matched by a loss of complexity (or increased randomness) that necessarily accompanies the energy required to “build” a more complex system. This is something that would be understood after a basic high school physics or chemistry class.

Posted by James Martenson on 01/07/2009 01:04 PM #

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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

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All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

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