TW Viewpoint | Entropy and CreationMarch 27, 2019 | Stuart Wachowicz
According to some of the world's leading mathematicians and scientists, the development of life could not have been a "chance" event, but required an intelligent instigation. Much of the debate surrounding the issue hinges on the question of whether or not entropy applies to the earth as a closed system. Does the law of Entropy support Creation?
One of our early Viewpoints entitled, "The Probability of Life" presented significant evidence to support the existence of a Creator. Much of the evidence presented is reliant on whether the Second Thermodynamic Law (Entropy) applies on earth. Critics of the first video base themselves on their belief that it does not. Are they correct?
The Laws of Thermodynamics, of which there are four, define temperature and energy flow in a system.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics (Entropy), the one in question, can be stated in a number of ways, including as "the degree of disorder of a system". Basically it states that in a closed system disorder increases with time, unless acted upon by an organizing force.
This law presents an insurmountable obstacle to the concept that life on earth was somehow generated from non-life, as living tissue requires matter to organize to a very high degree of order. The response to the problem of entropy on the part of evolutionary biologists and their supporters has been either to ignore the challenge it presents, or to attempt to invent possible exceptions, through such notions as Chaos Theory. The problem however remains that Entropy is a known and operable law, to which no exceptions have even been shown to exist in the world of physics.
The one challenge that is sometimes made, as has been the case in the response to the "Probability of Life" Viewpoint, is that the earth is not a closed system, and thus the law of entropy would not apply. Is this the case?
In thermodynamics there are three conditions or systems that can exist:
- Open Systems: In open systems free exchange of both matter and energy can occur. They are in intimate contact with other or larger systems. The human body is an example of an open system, with substantial exchange of energy and matter occurring regularly.
- Closed Systems: Closed systems can exchange energy but not matter. Closed systems are normally interacting with larger systems, but not in intimate contact. Both astrophysics and physics considers the earth to be a closed system. It readily exchanges energy from the sun and stars, but the exchange of matter is negligible, almost nil in terms of relative mass.
- Isolated Systems: Isolated systems cannot exchange energy or matter with an outside system. There is no interaction with another system. As far as we can understand the universe is an isolated system.
Given that by formal definition entropy is in force in both closed and isolated systems, then all matter in those systems will tend to reach an equilibrium of maximum disorder, or maximum randomness, unless acted upon by an organizing force.
Dr. Stephen Hawking explains this in his book "A Brief History of Time". Here he describes a closed system represented by a box, in which a jigsaw puzzle forms a complete picture. If the box is shaken, then the pieces of the puzzle become less organized. The more it is shaken the greater the degree of disorganization. The shaking never moves the pieces into a more orderly arrangement. This describes entropy in a closed or isolated system. The only way order can be established in such a system is for a forceful intervention on the part of an organizing force, or organizing intelligence - someone who will intervene to put the pieces back together.
The conclusion is inescapable, that organized matter, especially living matter, is only possible if an intelligent and deliberate force organizes and sustains it. This is not a religious conclusion, but one predicated on mathematics and physics. Perhaps this is why organic tissue is only found on earth.
Dr. Stephen Hawking may have put it best when he stated, in "A Brief History of Time": "It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us." (p. 127)