Creation, Evolution, and Thermodynamics

Centuries ago, I was new to discussing origins and showing problems with particles-to-pilot evolution. When I said in a discussion that evolution defies the second law of thermodynamics, the other guy wondered why I was making a reference to energy and engines.

The second law of thermodynamics was developed and used to discuss heat and engines, but the bigger picture is that everything tends to go from order to disorder (entropy). Both creationists and evolutionists use — and misuse — thermodynamics.

Rusty car in field, Pixabay / Siggy Nowak
People get sidetracked and bogged down on whether or not entropy applies because of whether or not an open or closed system is involved. Some of Darwin's disciples on the internet try to use open or closed systems as a defense against entropy, but many have no idea what they are talking about and contradict each other. If energy is coming in, entropy is negated. Sure, that's why we drop off wrecked cars in the field and expect the energy from the sun to make them shiny and new again, right?

Biblical creationists have been known to argue about when the second law of thermodynamics took effect, before or after the sin of Adam. I am convinced it was in effect from the beginning. There are several people who are important in biblical creation science who have made their post-Fall views made very public.

Although the subject is tricky, there are some things that materialists cannot avoid. One of these is that the laws of thermodynamics preclude the universe from coming into existence in the first place. That requires the Creator, who is outside the limits of space and time. Also, entropy does affect biological organisms, but some creationists feel that this should not be a primary argument.

For a long time, creationists have used the second law of thermodynamics to criticize the naturalistic origin and development of life on earth. Unfortunately, creationists have not always properly treated the subject, so a new effort is warranted. I begin with a brief history of thermodynamics, followed by a description of macroscopic gas laws. I then derive corresponding microscopic descriptions of gases, something sorely lacking the creationary literature. I introduce the most used macroscopic statement of the second law of thermodynamics, as well as a microscopic description. I apply the microscopic description to a few examples, including some found in living things, to demonstrate that the second law of thermodynamics effectively rules out the possibility of the naturalistic origin and evolution of life. I also briefly apply the first two laws of thermodynamics to the universe in the past to provide a possible indication of the necessity of creation. Before my conclusion, I survey previous discussions of entropy in creationary literature.

To read the rest of this somewhat technical article (you can still get something out of it, I did) by clicking on "Thermodynamics and its Relation to Creation/Evolution: An Introduction." Also of interest are "Thermodynamics and evolution" and "The Second Law of Thermodynamics."