Genesis and Two Great Laws

Genesis and Two Great Laws

Key Concept:
The great Laws of Thermodynamics originated in the Genesis Account.

The first two laws of thermodynamics are foundational to science because they deal with the basic stuff of the material universe – matter and energy. They apply to every living and nonliving system. The conservation of energy and matter and the fact that a system’s energy and matter are naturally running down have great implications.

We know from the first law that matter and energy are predicable and constant. The energy input will always equal the energy output. On the other hand, the second law of disorder requires work to keep a system going. This can be disconcerting. Machines tend to run down, living systems eventually decay and die, including humans. Even the heavenly bodies are wearing away. When one steps back to evaluate these laws and their impact on the universe, the question naturally arises as to how they came to be. Just as all laws suggest a lawgiver, so the preeminent laws of thermodynamics most assuredly had to come from the hand of God. It is irrational to believe that these universal laws are the consequence of random chance. There is only one intelligent alternative: God.

Genesis tells us that God completed the work of creation in six days: “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished” (Genesis 2:1). All matter and energy, the earth and stars, all living forms, including humans, were created and complete. The complete and finished work of creation indicates that all the components were in place. Nothing remained to be added or eliminated. The creation could change form, but never be destroyed, as observed in the law of conservation. Whatever God created in the first week is all we have now and all we are ever going to have.

God’s curse after the fall rested not just on man for his sin but impacted man’s dominion over the earth. God told Adam that “Cursed is the ground for your sake” (Genesis 3:17). This is echoed by Paul in the New Testament when he states that “the creation was subjected to futility,” and that “the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption” (Romans 8: 20–21).

I believe that the second law was put into effect by God at the moment of the creation of matter and energy because it provides avenues for energy and matter to be transferred. Water evaporation, for example, follows the second law because water molecules tend to become more disordered as evaporation occurs. As you can imagine this is important in many ways. How would you wash and dry your soiled clothes if evaporation did not occur? Heat is defined in terms of the second law as the transfer of energy from a hot, high energy environment to a cold, low energy environment. Life and almost all nonliving systems need heat transfer or energy movement for their existence. The simple act of walking depends on friction, which is an application of the second law.

But when God cursed the creation, including man, I believe that the second law was altered and made more intense. The curse on the world and the universe has produced dramatic and catastrophic changes. Henry Morris suggests that the curse on creation had a threefold impact:

“When man sinned, not only did God pronounce a curse on man himself but also on man’s whole dominion (Genesis 3:17) – the physical universe, the biological and social universe.” (Henry Morris, Defending the Faith (Master Books, Green Forest, Arkansas, 1999. p.131)