If you have studied the arguments of the creationists and the evolutionists, then you have heard the word, entropy. I claim that many scientists like to redefine entropy. They discount its importance in the argument of evolution because they don’t like what “this science” does to their other scientific beliefs. While it is possible to see new definitions arise from new discovery, I say one should not spin arguments and create justifications just to make you look good. You should also not ignore truths that just so happen to not support your current position. Where is the honesty in that? Two Merriam-Webster definitions for entropy go like this, tell me which one you prefer, the broad definition or the detailed one:
“the degree of disorder or uncertainty in a system” [a broad definition] and “a measure of the unavailable energy in a closed thermodynamic system that is also usually considered to be a measure of the system’s disorder, that is a property of the system’s state, and that varies directly with any reversible change in heat in the system and inversely with the temperature of the system” [a detailed definition]
In recent years, many Christians have started jumping on the “entropy bandwagon” in their drive to argue against evolution. This creates a large target and a need for the opponents in the argument to fight back. They now claim that entropy has noting to do with systems simply moving toward disorder. Rather they “muddy the water” by branching off into discussions on macro verses micro; or “closed” systems (ones that don’t interact with anything external to it, no heat flow in or out of it) verses “open” systems (all living organisms) verses “isolated” systems (no loss or gain of heat). Their argument branches off to how the levels of sunlight striking the earth make the whole Christian argument false. To make matters worse, the various science disciplines involved in thermodynamics, namely biology, physics, and the physical sciences, often fight among themselves accepting and rejecting definitions that suit their sectional arguments. Frankly, definitions are what is believed or known at the time. In the arguments I have studied involving “closed” verses “open” systems, and “reversible” verses “irreversible”, it is said that the earth is not a closed system because solar heat comes into it and some re-radiates out; but the universe is a closed system. I never see any discussion involving “scale”. At what scale is a system closed or open? Looking at entropy as a measure of disorder, we can view “macroscopic” (an environmental level) or “microscopic” (a system level). Doesn’t the scale, the extent of the boundary of the open system qualify it to be a closed system after all?
So why is entropy so important? I hope, I haven’t lost you yet. Hang in there with me and you’ll see my Christian brothers and sisters. Soon you’ll realize the importance of entropy to your theology. I’m afraid some of you will not wish to follow these scientific discussions, so I must repeat myself and tell you: This will help you and your theology if you’ll grasp this short little science lesson. This is good stuff; I’ll try to keep it light enough to be interesting, yet not heavy enough that you’ll feel ready to duke-it-out with an astrophysicists.
The 1917 Moscow born Dr. Ilya Prigogine won the Noble Prize in Chemistry for his work in irreversible thermodynamics. He was the first to apply thermodynamics to the study of irreversible processes. Dr. Prigogine, who died in 2003, said that physical systems tend to slide spontaneously and irreversibly toward a state of disorder, an increase in entropy. The Second Law of Thermodynamics tells us that with real irreversible processes, entropy is always greater; and an example of real irreversible processes would be plants, animals, humans, in fact, all living things.
The Third Law of Thermodynamics tells us that entropy, as a measure of disorder, increases with increasing temperature. In 1878, Marcellin Berthelot, a French Thermodynamicist, and Julius Thomsen, a Danish Thermodynamicist, stated that every chemical change proceeds in a direction that will produce the most heat. Therefore, entropy or disorder increases as chemical change and heat increase. These thermodynamic “laws” are not just some opinion from a scientist, but are “rules of the universe” that have stood the test of time over many decades of scientific scrutiny and by which the whole universe obeys.
So…there you have it! Science tells us that all living things are systems of real irreversible processes, involving chemical changes and heat increase, that move along toward disorder over time. Please, read that last bold sentence again… This is exactly the opposite of what the evolutionists preach. The theory of evolution would have us believe that the world has been evolving for millions or billions of years. Moving from a beginning state of disorder and chaos (with a great deal of chemical process and solar heat I might add) and move toward a state of order, the perfect design of a human being. There is no way the marvelous machine we call the human body, this marvelous machine has evolved over millions of years from some simple one-celled organism.
Why do I care? Why push my belief the theory of evolution is false? Why not just sit back and believe what I want to, and let others believe what they want to? Simple, God’s creation is most beautiful and perfect; it is mankind that messes it up. Maybe if more people saw the love God has for each of us, and that we are wonderfully and marvelously created to be in relationship with our Creator; then maybe, just maybe we wouldn’t work so hard to destroy one another.
[For more discussion on the Universe, please refer to the book, “I Am, the Great Creator God” by Haven D. Mankin. Information about the book and how to obtain a copy is available at: http://www.MuskratBooks.com]