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Monday, April 21, 2008

The religious implications of the second law of thermodynamics

I have updated my web page on "the implications of the second law of thermodynamics."

The implications have to do with the resurrection, with human diet, and with a great deal more.

The second law of thermodynamics is one of the most important scientific laws, perhaps the most important one.

I have attempted to write the page indicated in such a way that a reasonably intelligent non-scientist can read it, and understand it. I have also attempted to include views that do not agree with my own.

Thanks for reading this.


elbogz said...

Having being forced to take classical thermodynamics in college, I exert my right to rant on the subject of the second law of thermodynamics. The second law of thermodynamics simply states that the cup of coffee on your desk will go from being hot to being cold. It will never go from being cold to being hot, unless you add energy from an outside source. The second law is very good at determining how steam can be used to run equipment, and how much work and energy we can be expected from a process.

As with any engineering process, one must be able to define the system that the equations are to apply to and one must define each variable and each known and unknown quantity or constants. With you coffee cup, a definable task. With a car engine, a definable, but more difficult task. With the earth? Indefinable. With the universe? Indefinable

You are not able to take an equation of science and use it on such a grand scale if you fail to define all that is known, and all that is unknown and all variables and constants within the equation. We simply do not know if the universe is an open or closed system. We do know that the earth is not a closed system, the human body is not a closed system, the cell, is not a closed system, or most of what we look at in nature. So, if you wish to apply the second law to these, you must then define each variable that acts upon the body first. Then you may apply the second law.

On a minor rant on the first law of thermodynamics. Did God violate the first law of thermodynamics to create the heavens and the earth?

Martin LaBar said...

Thank you for your rants, elbogz.

I wouldn't say that God "violated" any laws, ever. He has occasionally superseded His own laws, for good reason.

If my wife is bleeding to death, and I am speeding on the way to the hospital, I expect and hope that any police I encountered on the way would turn on their sirens, and lead me to the hospital, superseding the speed laws as they went, and allowing me to do so, too. I wouldn't call that a violation of the speed laws, but a case where the speed laws are less important than other considerations.

elbogz said...

Perhaps Jesus answered the question when he talked about maintaining the Sabbath. He seemed to rise above the “law” for a more important cause. But more of what I was thinking earlier, when you apply the laws of science to the spiritual world I can’t see how you can maintain mathematical honesty.

Is the holy Spirit an endothermic or exothermic reaction? Do prayers add energy or do work? Does God’s presence make 2+2=5? The spiritual world is indefinable and invisible. That is why creation science, and intelligent design and the search for God though science is not valid. There are more unknowns than equations.

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, elbogz.

Right you are. Some things aren't comprehensible through science.