The History Channel has been running a series called Life After People It depicts what would happen to our cities and landmarks if all humans suddenly disappeared. As you might imagine, things tend to fall apart pretty quickly. What the series depicts rather graphically is the Second Law of Thermodynamics which is:
What? You might say! Well, consider a cup of hot coffee that is placed on the counter. Over time the coffee will lose its heat (this is entropy) until it returns to room temperature (equilibrium). It is not in the nature of a cup of coffee to keep its heat or to get even warmer unless acted upon but some outside factor such as man or strong sunlight etc. This is the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the cup of coffee must follow it. Stated in a broader way, the Second Law of Thermodynamics and in particular entropy means that complex things tend to fall apart and go back to their basic elements without something outside them to maintain them. Lets illustrate this using an example you might see on the series “Life After People.”
We’re at the Sears tower in Chicago, one of the tallest buildings in the world. The massive building is like a small city with lots of complex systems that maintain it. It is January 1, 2010 and suddenly all humans disappear from the planet. In the first moments there is little difference to the building except an eerie quiet. Music still plays in the elevators and the escalators in the lobby move along. At 2:30 pm a small alarm goes off in the basement indicating to the boiler mechanic that the boiler needs a minor adjustment. But the boiler mechanic is not there. Heat slowly builds in the boilers and other alarms go off. But no one is there to hear or respond. The heat reaches a critical point by 3:30 pm and two major pipes burst spewing steam and boiling water. By 4:30 pm the boiler room has flooded to the point that several electrical panels short out causing a major portion of the building to lose power. In the building above the temperature begins dropping. Outside it is a frigid January day. As the sun sets mid afternoon, the once well lit and warm building descends into darkness and increasing chill. By 5:00pm the next day portions of the building near the external walls have begun to drop below freezing. Outside the temperature is hovering in the lower teens. Overnight the water in some of the pipes near the external walls begins to freeze. By noon the next day there is some thawing and then refreezing as the night temperatures drop. After several days of this pattern, several large pipes begin to break and water begins to flow freely in the upper floors and starts to leak out some of the window casements. The freezing and thawing begins to loosen some of the windows and, several months after man the glass starts falling to the streets far below. The building is now increasingly open to the weather and more and more the building suffers deterioration.
Well you get the point: Entropy is at work. This are falling apart and returning to their basic elements. In the months and years ahead rust and other corrosion will take a toll and the building will deteriorate to the point that it will begin to collapse. Finally, in the decades ahead complete collapse will have occurred and steel and rubble will be strewn all over State Street. In the centuries to come even the steel and rubble will return to dust and be overgrown by trees and forest. Without an indwelling intelligence and energy to maintain equilibrium, the Sears tower cannot stand. It looses its complexity and returns to the dust from which it came. This is the Second Law of Thermodynamics and particularly the principle of entropy illustrated.
But don’t you see, as the Sears Tower in Chicago needs Man, so the created universe needs God. Without God’s indwelling intelligence and maintenance, entropy would cause all kinds of disorder in the universe and ultimately failure. The complex systems of this world would fail and return to their basic elements without some outside force acting upon them. Even the atheists who so love to talk about evolution have to see that evolution, in a way, is the opposite, of entropy. The evolution of simple things into complex things cannot take place without an outside energy (and intelligence) causing it. Otherwise the Second Law of Thermodynamics is violated. A cup of coffee does not heat up on its own. The Sears Tower would not suddenly or even gradually appear out the earth as a fully functioning little city without a lot of outside energy and intelligence. It does not pertain to sand and rocks to evolve into steel and then take shape as a fully functioning building with plumbing, electricity and computers. For this to evolve takes energy and intelligence, some force from the outside to act upon it. The Sears Tower or a hot cup of coffee cannot explain themselves. Something outside of them must explain them. The atheists want you to think that all this order came it to existence by itself and organizes itself. Well if you can tell me how the Sears Tower could suddenly or even gradually come into existence all by itself as a fully functional building, I might start to believe the atheist and secularists arguments. But as it is I think it takes a lot more “faith” to believe the atheist arguments than simply to admit the obvious, that this world has order that resists entropy because it is designed and indwelt by God who sustains it. A cup of hot cannot explain itself or maintain itself something or someone from the outside does this. Our bodies are far more complex that even the Sears Tower. What caused entropy to reverse and for the complexity to evolve? It had to be something outside of and this world bound by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Maybe it’s God!
So here is my Argument for the Existence of God Based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics:
- The entropy of an isolated system not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time until it returns to equilibrium. (i.e. things tend to fall apart and return to their basic elements without someone or something to cause their evolution into more complex things or to halt their tendency to entropy)
- But this world does manifest substantial complexity that manifests an evolution from the simple to the complex, a kind of reverse entropy.
- Therefore this world must be acted upon by someone or something outside itself that orders it and pushes back entropy.
- This someone or something we call God.