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Ground Rules for Earth & Life Origins
The First Law of Thermodynamics
“In any process, energy can be changed from one form to another (including heat and work), but it is never created or destroyed.”
The Second Law of Thermodynamics
In a spontaneous irreversible process, the total entropy of the system and its surroundings always increases. For any process, the total entropy of a system and its surroundings never decreases.
Source: The Grolier Encyclopedia, ©1998 Grolier Interactive Inc.
Dr. Wayne Frair offers this original commentary…
The First Law of Thermodynamics is very basic in science. It virtually compels belief in a Creator God.
Here’s how our scientific understanding works. Science believes in effects and causes (causality).
The First Law of Thermodynamics says that matter can be converted into energy and energy can be converted into matter. But neither matter nor energy can be created or destroyed – only transformed. So what was the cause of matter and energy?
Remember that science deals with the natural. Nature consists of matter and energy. We term this the finite – that is, something having a beginning and limits. So matter and energy are finite and natural. But what was their cause?
If we have only energy and some form of matter, to determine the cause we must step beyond the natural to the supernatural. Meet our infinite God, who has no cause because He is infinite.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics refers to conditions in which there is an increase in disorder. The disorder is termed entropy.
Picture a refrigerator packed with food. Electrical energy is coming into the refrigerator and keeps it cool so that the food will not spoil. If we disconnect the electricity then no more energy is flowing into the refrigerator which we call a system. So with no usable energy coming into this system the food will spoil and ultimately break down. There is an increase in entropy. Eventually there will be only mush and dust.
It is important to remember that the energy must be usable. If the motor in the refrigerator breaks, conditions will be the same as when disconnecting the energy source. Entropy will increase and again, in time, there will be just the dust.
This Second Law is important when we are considering the origin of life. Most scientists believe that the forces in nature alone caused life to form.
They think that simple chemical elements like carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen just came together. The system could have been something like the refrigerator.
Maybe lightening was the source of energy. There would be a decrease in entropy and highly complex DNA, RNA, and proteins would form.
One main reason this will not work is that there was no machinery like the motor in the refrigerator to process the energy. Even if lightening or sunlight helped put some simple components of DNA or proteins together they would fall apart 100,000 to 1,000,000 times faster than they formed. This is an increase in entropy, like the Second Law says.
A supernatural power was necessary. The Bible tells us that God created life. This belief is supported by the two Laws of Thermodynamics.
Wayne Frair, Ph.D., is the author of more than 50 research papers, co-author of A Case for Creation, and co-contributor to Science & Christianity: Four Views, ©2000 InterVarsity Press. He has been an AIIA Resource Associate since 2000.
“The Second Law of Thermodynamics is absolutely contradictory to cosmic evolution.”
Source: Gary E. Parker, Ed.D.
The First Law of Thermodynamics states that the total quantity of matter and energy in the universe is constant.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that matter and energy always tend to change from complex and ordered states to disordered states.
Therefore the universe could not have created itself, [and] could not have existed forever, or it would have run down long ago.
Thus the universe, including matter and energy…must have been created.
Source: Impact, No. 95-96, 5-6/1981, published by Institute for Creation Research