Creation, Evolution And The Second Law of Thermodynamics

Someone referenced the Second Law of Thermodynamics and itʼs application to creationism. I understand that heat may dissipate or be “lost” but the actual amount of energy hasnʼt changed. The energy from heat is only transferred.
—Sheila W.

Heat energy is indeed the result of one form of energy being transferred into another, and it is also true that it dissipates like all energy does, heat, light, which spread out in all directions in an expanding sphere of dissipation. But keep in mind that energy and matter are just flip sides of one another, E=Mc2, so each atom is merely an alternative form of enormous energy, an atomʼs mass, times the speed of light squared, is the energy of just one atom. Fusion reactions occur when two atoms come together like in our sun, and you can see the energy that such a fusing reaction releases. Fusion reactions also mean that most stars can continue to burn for billions of years (unless they become unstable and explode). So, atoms are getting turned into energy in our cosmos all the time, and that energy continues to dissipate outward. Some physicists predict that the cosmos will die a “heat death” once the energy of the last born stars has finally dissipated equally throughout the universe, but others are not so sure, and predict other possible futures.

Concerning the relation of evolution to thermodynamics, there is no problem. In fact without the 2nd law of thermo-d chemical reactions would not travel in a forward direction, but would slip back and forth equally, and get nowhere. And without chemical reactions, no chance of evolution at all, no chance of abiogenesis, no chance of even digesting the food in your stomach. Without the 2nd law there wouldnʼt even be any friction—that bit of heat that is released when atoms come into contact with one another or when your heels rub against the pavement as you walk.

Also, here is something I wrote on the subject of thermo-d and creationism:

According to the Bible, God made the stars on the fourth day of creation. Even more remarkable is the fact that He is creating them still, though the latter miracle is considered not worth mentioning by any of the Bibleʼs authors.
(I wonder why? The creation of new stars is being chronicled continually in magazines and journals like Astronomy, Sky and Telescope and The Astrophysical Journal, as well as the discovery of “baby” galaxies still forming.)

And God is still creating new planets (that continue to form out of rings of matter circling stars—see the above mentioned magazines).

And God is still fusing simple hydrogen atoms together inside stars to create other elements with greater proton and electron numbers (the heaviest known elements are created during super nova explosions of stars).

And God is still creating large multi-cellular organisms out of a single cell that keeps dividing over and over by a process called embryogenesis.

And God is still transforming inorganic matter into organic life forms, because there are tiny microorganisms that live by taking in nothing but water and inorganic molecules and turning them into more members of their own species. I am speaking of certain bacteria that live directly on minerals, and also the simplest forms of plant life. Thatʼs where the “chain of life” begins, with the inorganic world and the life that lives on it, and next comes all the forms of life that live on those simple forms and so on and so forth. In fact, if you keep in mind the entire chain of life, then God is still creating human beings out of inorganic matter (and turning inorganic oxygen molecules into “the breath of life,” every time we inhale).

Still, creationists argue that
aside from the creation of new stars;
aside from the creation of new planets;
aside from all the elements in the periodic table being created out of the simplest and lightest element of them all, hydrogen;
aside from complex multi-cellular organisms being created from a single cell via embryogenesis;
aside from inorganic matter lying at the base of the chain of life even today;
aside from the fact that organisms have the ability to increase in number as well as branch off into new species (as even creationists admit); aside from all of that; creationists continue to claim that evolution is “prohibited by the second law of thermodynamics!”

Iʼd say that creationists are missing the forest for the trees, which by the way, continue to grow from tiny seeds; trees that become forests that continue to reach out and envelop as much of the earth as they can, and whose members continue to branch off (forgive the pun) into new species as they do so.

Creationists Admit Difficulties With Their Hypothesis

Stellar Evolution

“…the theory of stellar structure appears to be founded on a good physical basis and…stellar evolution is intimately related to stellar structure…
“If creationists wish to scrap stellar evolution completely, then it is incumbent on us to rework stellar structure and/or physics in a convincing fashion…
“The standard observational tool used in studying stellar structure and evolution is the Hertzsprung-Russell (H-R) diagram… It consists of a plot of stellar luminosity increasing upward and temperature increasing to the left…Most stars are found on a roughly diagonal band called the main sequence (MS)…
“This agreement is quite impressive and the physical assumptions that go into it are so well founded it is doubtful that many creationists would have much to argue with in main sequence (MS) stellar structure. However, what is generally called post MS evolution is not far removed from the brief outline of stellar structure given above.
“The most massive stars may pass through successive steps of fusing helium nuclei with increasingly more massive nuclei up to iron…Note that these transitions have not actually been observed. However, they are based on physics principles and will naturally occur…
“The upshot is that the most massive stars have MS lifetimes of only a few hundred thousand years (of course, still much longer than young-age creationists would allow), while the lowest mass stars have MS lifetimes approaching 100 billion years…
“And evolutionary assumption concludes that the stars in a star cluster should form from a single cloud so that the members represent…a homogenous group. Different clusters should have different ages, and though they technically have different compositions, even large differences in composition do not seriously affect the overall appearance of an H-R diagram…
“The agreement of the theory [of stellar evolution] is quite impressive…
“[The expected evolutionary] trend between globular and open clusters is observed…
“Evidence [exists] that the formation of planetary nebulae and the evolution of white dwarfs are related…These two ages have a very good correlation…
“A similar relationship holds for neutron stars and supernova remnants. As with planetary nebulae, the expansion velocity and observed size of the remnant can be used to estimate the time since the explosion…Where a pulsar can be identified in a supernova remnant, the ages of the remnant and the pulsar are well correlated.
“Very brief discussions of stellar structure and evolution have been presented. Though it would seem that creationists would not have much with which to quarrel in the former, most would largely dismiss the latter. However, the two are intimately related, and one cannot be rejected without seriously calling into question the other. We are appealing to readers to give much attention to the study of stellar evolution…”
DANNY R. FAULKNER and DON B. DE YOUNG [young-universe creationists], “Toward a Creationist Astronomy,” Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 28, Dec. 1991, pp. 87-91

“Perhaps the most important remaining question [in astronomy] for [young-universe] creationists is the origin of the turnoff points in the H-R diagrams of different clusters. The stars are real physical objects and presumably follow physical laws; we would rather not take the easy way out by saying simply that ‘God made them that way.’ But if creationists take the position of rejecting stellar evolution, they should provide a feasible alternative.”
PAUL STEIDL [young-universe creationist], The Earth, the Stars, and the Bible (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979), p. 153 — as quoted by Howard J. Van Till in The Fourth Day: What the Bible and the Heavens Are Telling Us about the Creation (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986), p. 239

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