The Laws of Theodynamics

In this blog I want to relate the laws of thermodynamics to that of the theological world, but it’s probably a good idea that I review the laws of thermodynamics first and then discuss their application and parallels to that of theological principles of a Biblical world view.

1st Law mandates the conservation of energy, and states in particular that the flow of heat is a form of energy transfer thus energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred to a different form of energy being either usable or unusable.

2nd Law states that the entropy of an isolated macroscopic system never decreases, it only increases.

3rd Law concerns a perfect crystal and draws the connection between temperature and amount of entropy. As it approached absolute zero all processes cease and the entropy of the system approaches a minimum value.

Further Explanation of Laws:

The first law is basically states that the amount of energy in the entire universe may never increased or decrease. Energy as a whole has only transferred from one kind of energy to another. For example when lightning strikes, the electrical energy in the air molecules is changed in to thermal energy (heat) as well as light energy. therefore the energy has been converted to different forms of energy itself. When you physically move an object from one place to another the electrical signal from your brain causes your muscles to flex via a chemical reaction and that energy is then changes in to kinetic energy as you lift the object and carry it.

The conservation of energy can be thought of by the two words “Quantity” and “Quality”, the quantity of energy never changes, however the quality of energy always changes after each conversion.

This is where the second law kicks in, it concerns entropy, if a system is unaffected by other systems the entropy will only increase. Entropy can be thought of as “randomness” amongst atoms and molecules.

As unusable energy increases so does entropy. Out of the three forms of water steam has the highest entropy, water is below it, and ice has the least entropy. If the ice is isolated or not effected by an outside system of heat or cool air it will melt (entropy increasing), and eventually evaporate (entropy increasing). Some use the term “chaos naturally increases in the universe”.

The third law only applies to a perfect crystal structure for the scenario to work right. It says that the material may never reach absolute zero Kelvin because the moment that it becomes cooler than it’s neighbor system(s) the neighboring system would then transfer heat (energy) in to the first structure thus not allowing it to reach absolute zero. This is due to the first law, as it approaches zero in attempt to achieve equilibrium of energy, thus the proposed crystal will never reach absolute zero.

The Parallel of Principles

The parallel is between the work and activity of energy in our universe and our own fallen state. Our fallen state comes from sin which is merely the use of our God given free will for the purpose of rebellion or choosing contrary to God’s will. God made man kind in His own image which means His being was a kind of blueprint for Adam.

One of the many characteristics we have that originated from God is a distinct will and ability to make decisions. If we did not have our own will we would either be “vegetables” or we would consistently act out God’s perfect will. The problem in this reasoning is that we sin and we know God can never sin for He is perfect (James 1:17, Deuteronomy 32:4, Psalm 18:32). Again if we did not have our own will there would therefore be no punishment for sinning because God would then be held responsible for our sinning and not our selves . This however is simply not true, each individual has their individual will that can choose God or not choose God, we are also responsible for our own sinning (Jam 1:13-15, Rom 3:23, 6:23). This system of free will was lovingly established by God so that to love Him we would have to truly love Him; you cannot fool God.

The reader should also make the connection between the terms “original sin”, “sin”, “fallen nature”, and “rebellion”.

The parallel presented here is not just between energy and free will, but between energy and the destructive use of free will which has existed in angels and mankind a like. Here are the laws of Thermodynamics and Theodynamics compared.

Law 1

New energy cannot be created, nor can existing energy be destroyed but only transferred to a different type of energy.

New fallen nature cannot be created (because it already exists), nor can existing fallen nature be destroyed but only transferred, or manifested in different forms of rebellion.

Law 2

In an isolated system entropy will only increase, not decrease.

Without outward interference one’s fallen nature will only increase, not decrease on it’s own.

Law 3

A perfect crystal (the ideal form of solid matter) will reach a minimum value of entropy when it achieves absolute 0 degrees Kelvin.

A perfect person can only achieve absolute freedom from sin when they cease all activity and existence.

Unlike the science of Thermodynamics the laws of Theodynamics includes an element that is missing from science – God. Because of the necessary inclusion of God there is a redemptive aspect that must be taken in to consideration. This redemptive aspect is included as a 4th law.

Law 4

God came as a man and took mankind’s consequence of rebellion (death) on Himself thus delivering us from our unavoidable destination and state of fallen living.

The 4th Law Concerning the Other Laws.

Concerning the 1st law – Jesus did not have a sinful human nature as all descendants of Adam have inherited from Adam and Eve. This is because Jesus was not technically a son of Adam, He was the Son of God (Mat 1:32, 1Cor 15:47-48, Jhn 13:3, 1Jhn 4:9). He came on to the scene from outside of the reach of Sin (from God) thus Law 4 does not contradict Law 1 (Heb 9:13-14, Col 2:9, ). He also did not do away with all of man kinds Sinful state at the moment of His death or resurrection. If He did, we would no longer sin or have sinful tendencies. When He did do was make available the complete forgiveness and peace with God that was humanly unattainable in our fallen state. He bought what we could not afford. This forgiveness is required to know and meet with God thus not contradicting Law 1 by completely destroying all sin nature simultaneously.

Concerning the 2nd law – assuming that nothing from the “outside” interrupts the natural flow of things (towards disorder and lawlessness) nothing out of the ordinary will happen. However, God did interrupt the scene personally and made available to us a new spiritual identity that we can live in if we so choose. This new identity has the ability to progressively free itself from the chains of sin and the effects of the Fall in a way that is unattainable without Jesus Christ. This life of freedom was exemplified by Jesus and so is part of God Himself, it is the very life of God – perfection. Since God came down from outside of the 3 Laws He gives Himself to us and in a sense supersedes the first 3 Laws by including the 4th Law.

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “The Laws of Theodynamics

  1. Although I completely disagree with the theology part of the discussion, I must admit that you deserve some credit for being the most informed Christian I have ever met on the subject of thermodynamics.
    Those “second law disproves evolution” Christians continue to boggle the mind.
    Props to you Daniel, you have my respect.

  2. P.S.- Not a big fan of moderated comment sections, what harm could an opinion cause? I prefer to redact, delete, or ask for re-submittal those comments that do not suit the spirit of positive communication. Sometimes I even prefer to let the comment stand on its own as a testament to the logic of it’s author.

    On my blog, at least, you don’t earn the right to free expression, but I reserve the right to limit it when you abuse that right.

    Just a thought…..
    Cheers!

    • Thanks for the compliments, happy to hear I have your respect. Also glad to hear I got them right there seems to be a few different interpretations of those laws floating around. And about the moderated comments – it’s just the way wordpress is setup, it’s a good thing because it blocks a lot of stupid spam comments that somehow find their way to my blog.
      Even if someone said something disagreeable or even rude, I believe I would approve it. Unless it crosses obvious boundaries.
      I think the Christians you were referring to have the law of energy entropy thermodynamics mixed up with information entropy. I believe the argument is that DNA can never gain usable information, it can only loose it or gain unuseful information. Not very sure about this though I haven’t studied it yet. is there such thing as information entropy in an isolated system?

  3. Daniel,
    It remains my understanding that most creationists do not understand the difference between a closed system and an open system.
    This has been the primary argument I have encountered regarding thermodynamics.
    I am impressed by the fact that you seem to have an interest in science and appreciate that you wish to use analogies that help clarify both theological and scientific concepts.
    I have to admit that I find apologetics and theology interesting but seem to tune it out quite quickly when it seems to chase its tail or descend into psycho-babble and special pleading.
    I find this particular post somewhat refreshing, it holds my interest by using an interesting analogy.
    I’m sure you will have much success in the future by following this more thought provoking formula.
    Just as when I talk to someone about science, my hope is to make them find the conclusion themselves before I state it, so too theology is likely more memorable and powerful if it is internalized and not memorized.

    Here’s to a gentleman’s handshake before we go back to the argument over at Tim’s!
    Cheers!

    • Thanks again, I have loved science since I was a kid, I think in 5th or 6th grade I found some science dictionary for teens and I soaked it all up, especially atoms and the periodic table. It’s all so cool and mysterious to me. How is there such great space with the atom? What could be found on the other side of our own galaxy, or in others? Needless to say I am a hugeh science fiction fan.
      When I see these wonders of science it makes me revel in the power and mind of God, I believe He designed it all especially for us, not to be Earth-centric because there could be others. If God did invent what we see as anc call science then science should reveal something about Him. Well I believe it does just that. The thing that taught me that I can use science to teach about God is actually from scripture:
      Rom 1:20 – For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

      Romans 1 is an enlightening chapter, I encourage you to read it slowly.

  4. Done and done. Reads slightly differently in the KJV but the spirit remains the same.
    Yours is the NKJV, so I reread the chapter to read it as you do.
    I have some thoughts on the chapter. Firstly, let me choose a favorite passage, one that I felt rang true with me.
    Rom 1:14- I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.
    What a lovely concept!
    I was already quite aware of Romans 1:19-20 as I wrote a youth sermon on it once as a basis for a scriptural rebuke of sola scriptura back in my religious days. I always liked those verses, they seem to ring true even now.
    But sadly, only outside of their context. I was strongly questioned by my pastor as to why I refused to include the rest of the chapter, and I am sure you see why.

    The context of the rest of the chapter warns of the wages of interpreting those attributes outside the prism of scripture. I am well aware that some parts of this chapter, namely 1:21-32 has been interpreted as a prophesy about evolution and modern civilization.
    The context for these passages is, as we well know, a commentary on Egyptian and other pagan religions. Yet read in the context of contemporary christian thought about modern western civilization, it shoehorns nicely into an unintended meaning.

    I hold to my original interpretation, that the concepts of 1:19-20 are a commentary that God does not want man to exist within the bubble of scripture, that the true nature of His creation can be best understood and investigated by the very language He has used to describe it:scientific discovery.
    Why I left the church is a long and cumbersome story, but a lack of scripture was certainly not part of that narrative.
    I will happily discuss scripture with you, I just need you to understand that I will continue to view it as brief utterances of truth, pearls of wisdom in a sea of foolishness.
    I know exactly what you see in scripture, I saw it once too.

    • So you used a scripture to refute sola scripura? That’s kind of ironic isn’t it? Not saying it can’t work.
      I’m not seeing anything in Romans 1 about warnings on interpretation issues, only warnings to those who once knew God and exchanged the truth for a lie and those who suppress the truth.
      I have never heard it said that Romans was a commentary on Egyption or Pagan religion, what is your proof of this?
      Oh also concerning sola scriptura Peter quotes some unbelieving poets in Acts 17:28 to explain a truth of the Gospel. I’m sure you knew of it just thought of mentioning it.

  5. I don’t find it ironic to use scripture to refute sola scriptura unless perhaps I am using the same scriptural passage that others use to prove it. I was not advocating scripture is false, but more like “Scripture is truth, but not all truth is in scripture”
    During my religious days as well as now, I believe that the Bible has some very important messages and insights. Then, as now, I do not believe that the Bible is either the only source for that insight or the prism through which all insight must be filtered.
    To my mind, that is what sola scriptura means.
    The degree to which I think the Bible is important has changed in the years since I left the church, but I will not deny its benefit as an important piece of work that has had a monumental effect on the history of civilization.

    The commentary I am familiar with from Romans 1 is that the passage Rom 1:22-23 refers to the idols of Egyptian, Hindu and other Pagan mythologies. That to idolize and sanctify animals is a perversion of theology.

    I have also had that passage read to me as a prophesy regarding the “sanctity” and “idolatry” of evolution.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s