Thermodynamics vs. Evolution

The basic concept of the second law of thermodynamics is that things tend towards disorder. The laws of thermodynamics deal specifically with the movement of heat/energy, and the second law makes it clear that usable energy is transforming to unusable energy in a process that is described as entropy. Entropy is a universal process, and the grand theory of evolution claims to run in exactly the opposite direction…from simple order to more complex order.

The standard response from evolutionists for saying that evolution does not violate the second law of thermodynamics goes something like this:

Considering the earth as a system, any change that is accompanied by an entropy decrease (and hence going back from higher probability to lower probability) is possible as long as sufficient energy is available. The ultimate source of most of that energy, is of course, the sun.

In other words, they will say that the earth is not a closed system, so the energy from the sun is sufficient to overcome entropy in the sub-system that is earth. The problem with this explanation is that the energy from the sun is destructive not constructive.

Energy from the sun tends to be destructive

Energy from the sun tends to be destructive

Simply adding energy to something does not reverse entropy, nor does it increase its complexity. All of the following scenarios add energy to something, but it is not constructive or a reversal of entropy:

Adding energy…not constructive

Adding energy to this tank did not reverse entropy


… there are no known violations of the second law of thermodynamics. Ordinarily the second law is stated for isolated systems, but the second law applies equally well to open systems. …  There is somehow associated with the field of far-from-equilibrium thermodynamics the notion that the second law of thermodynamics fails for such systems. It is important to make sure that this error does not perpetuate itself. – Dr. John Ross

But adding energy can be constructive or reverse entropy if there is a mechanism for converting the energy. For converting the energy from the sun into something useful, there is only one known mechanism that can do this without itself being destroyed: Chlorophyll. Chlorophyll (and carbon dioxide) allows plants to convert sunlight into energy for the plant.

The energy released in an internal combustion engine is not usable until you add the transmission, axle, and wheels to the car.

Scientists have even shown that entropy can be reversed as noted in this link. Evolutionists are burning the midnight oil to find ways to overcome the second law of thermodynamics.

Scientists from Berkley were able to reverse the process of entropy,

By introducing a feedback mechanism, they were able to break the natural symmetry of building blocks in solution, and build their “desired structure,” colloidal gold nanorods. The method involved a laser

So, to overcome entropy, you need a laser?

It’s not difficult to lower entropy — not difficult, that is, for an intelligent agent. An intelligent cause can direct its energy to push a ball uphill, when its natural thermodynamic tendency would be to roll downhill. None of this is a violation of thermodynamics; it’s just “outsmarting” it through purposive action. Even though the team spoke of evolution, they recognize that design was the key to getting “the desired” result.

Of course naturalistic means are unable to overcome entropy. It requires an intelligent agent. Thanks God!


UPDATE: This article from the scientists at further explains the problems (for evolutionists) with claiming that the sun overcomes the second law of thermodynamics with relation to the earth’s ability to produce and evolve life.

It’s like trying to run a car by pouring petrol on it and setting it alight. No, a car will run only if the energy in petrol is harnessed via the pistons, crankshaft, etc. A bull in a china shop is also raw energy. But if the bull were harnessed to a generator, and the electricity directed a pottery-producing machine, then its energy could be used to make things.

To make proteins, a cell uses the information coded in the DNA and a very complex decoding machine. In the lab, chemists must use sophisticated machinery to make the building blocks combine in the right way. Raw energy would result in wrong combinations and even destruction of the building blocks.

I suggest that thermodynamic arguments are excellent when done properly, and the ‘open systems’ canard is anticipated. Otherwise I suggest concentrating on information content. The information in even the simplest organism would take about a thousand pages to write out. Human beings have 500 times as much information as this. It is a flight of fantasy to think that undirected processes could generate this huge amount of information, just as it would be to think that a cat walking on a keyboard could write a book.


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Quotes About Evolution

  • “Why do we even squabble over creation vs. evolution? Does it really matter what we believe about where we came from? Absolutely. Our views on morality, justice, purpose, self-worth, humanity, obligation, and destination are all closely tied to our views on human origins.”
  • “More cases of loss of religious faith are to be traced to the theory of evolution. . .than to anything else.” –Martin Lings
  • “Belief in modern evolution makes atheists of people. One can have a religious view that is compatible with evolution only if the religious view is indistinguishable from atheism.” – William Provine
  • “Although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” – Richard Dawkins


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Evolutionary Mechanisms

In the late 1800s and early 1900s with the advent of better microscopes and trait inheritance experimentation, the science of genetics was born. While some see the monumental amount of information within the DNA code as magnificently programmed, there have been some who claim that copying mistakes in DNA allow evolution. Genetics are said to provide the raw material (through random mutations or copying mistakes in the genetic code) for the additional information required to transform bacteria into biologists over billions of years. With the addition of random mutations to natural selection and deep time, evolution now had a naturalistic alternative to the creation story of the Bible.



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Did Darwin Embrace Christianity?

The enlightenment time for evolution, though existing beforehand, was manifest into the biological literature in 1859 with the release of Charles Darwin’s book, “The Origin of Species by Natural Selection or The Preservation of the Favoured Races in the Struggle For Survival.” Darwin had many influences in his life that factored into his writing of The Origin of Species. Charles Lyell’s book, which described the millions of years of geology set a framework for his biological processes to “do their magic.” Darwin’s grandfather, who was a humanist and was very influential to young Charles, had worked diligently to write works that espoused evolution without a proper mechanism. Darwin also observed the suffering and death that was prevalent throughout his studies, and he had trouble attributing this to a “good” God. Sadly, this tragedy struck home when Darwin’s daughter died of a stomach ailment, and he could not cope with the problem of evil and a good God. With all of these influences, he voraciously strove to publish a scientific replacement for God.  Darwin lamented, “I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my father, brother and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.” Despite the strong influence of Christian thought in his culture, Darwin wrote, “I am sorry to have to inform you that I do not believe in the Bible as a divine revelation, & therefore not in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.”

Fully understanding the moral implications of his theory of evolution, on page 94 of his autobiography, Charles Darwin wrote: “A man who has no assured and ever present belief of a personal God or of a future existence with retribution and reward, can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones.” Darwin understood that without having the God of the Bible, that there is no objective foundation for morality. Moral relativism is inevitable with evolution.

Lynn Margulis writes, “Darwin was brilliant to make natural selection a sort of godlike term, an expression that could replace God, who did it-created forms of life.” Darwin’s published works, which describe in detail the process of evolution, have led Martin Lings to write “More cases of loss of religious faith are to be traced to the theory of evolution…than to anything else.” So Darwin had what he thought was his mechanism to replace God as creator: natural selection.



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Invented Time

Scottish geologist, James Hutton, who worked hard to unhinge scientific thought from biblical thinking, proposed the idea of the earth forming over millions of years. Hutton has been called the father of modern geology, and his ideas have been cultivated in the writings of Charles Lyell and Thomas Huxley. On page 4 of Hutton’s biography, The Man Who Found Time, Jack Repcheck says, “The age of the earth is the wedge that ‘shattered the biblically rooted picture of Earth and separated science from theology.’” Without deep time, Hutton’s proposal to ignore the Bible in favor of uniformitarianism would have been worthless.


Charles Lyell, whose principle publication was Principles of Geology and augmented Hutton’s introduction of millions of years, shared with a friend that his works would “free the science from Moses.” Quite obviously these geologists of the 1800s worked hard to bury the Bible so their science of geology could blossom without its influence. They very much desired not to be bound by the authority of scripture, and their proposals were intended to elevate uniformitarian theory above the teachings of scripture. As Hutton and Lyell’s ideas of deep time became more prominent, the less veracity the Bible seemed to contain. It was the writings of Charles Lyell that had a profound impact on one Charles Darwin.

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What is Evolution?

We need to define some terms before we get going too far into the discussion. In this and future posts on this topic, I would like to define my use of the term evolution to refer to the grand theory of evolution, which states that a simple, single-celled, original and common ancestor (and all subsequent descendants) experienced random genetic mutations, and thus, through the process of natural selection, changed into all living creatures, including mankind. This process is said to have taken almost four billion years (referred to as “deep time” hereafter.) Today, this story is taught as the Neo-Darwinian synthesis. Atheists tell us today that this process (mutation, selection, and deep time) requires no intervention from a supernatural entity. If we go back to our original question, “could God have used evolution as his creative mechanism?” we must now ask “Why should Christians explain creation with both the evolutionary mechanism and deep time, which requires no God, to explain something that God did?” Where did the ideas of billions of years and naturalistic evolution come from? In other words, do the original ideas of deep time and Neo-Darwinian mechanisms come from committed disciples of Christ or someone else?

The grand theory of evolution is central to the atheist origins story since it is said to be a completely natural process requiring no intervention from an intelligent designer. In the words of Richard Dawkins, “Although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” Evolution is the primary pillar of the atheist’s origin story as it is an attempt at explaining living organisms without the Creator. Why should Christians attempt to bring harmony between the primary pillar of atheism and the narrative that carries throughout scripture? It is not only unnecessary (scientifically), it is untenable according to the whole of scripture.


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Bad Information Leads to Bad Conclusions

Wrong information can lead to terrible consequences. In 1941, incorrect information from military intelligence doomed thousands of American sailors to death when experts believed that Japan was unable to mount a significant attack on Pearl Harbor. In 2001, bad/false information led to the loss of billions of dollars when the DotCom bubble collapsed. In the early 1st century, many Jews were doomed to face eternal punishment because of believing false information. John 7:40-53 shares the story of some Jews who mistakenly thought Jesus was born in Galilee, and since they knew from Old Testament scripture that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, the wrong belief that he was born in Galilee (presumably) cost them their salvation. Bad information led to bad results in all of these situations. As I write this manifesto, I do not want the evolutionary origins story to lead people to miss out on the overall truth of the Bible because they have categorically dismissed it.

On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.” Others said, “He is the Christ.” Still others asked, “How can the Christ come from Galilee? Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?” – John 7:40-42


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