A Conversation Starter

By: Jim Virkler; ©2007

Are you looking for a good conversation starter? Try leading off with a discussion of the “second law of thermodynamics! ” The “second law” is a fundamental characteristic of our created universe. It has been operating from the beginning, and still operates. Steven Hawking called it a manifestation of the “Arrow of Time,” a way of telling the past from the future.

So what is this second law? It states that from the moment of the initial creation event (The Big Bang) the universe has been “running down” like a hand-wound grandfather clock. Some manifestations are the cooling off and the expansion of the universe from an initial condition of near infinite heat and density. Example: If we open an oven door the heat dissipates and becomes less useful as it spreads into the room. On a more practical level, over the passing of time the general condition of physical objects, such as our shiny new car, a cabin in the woods, or even living creatures, tends toward disorder and decay.

This sounds like a scenario which works to our ultimate disadvantage. On the contrary, it may be considered part of the exquisite fine-tuning of the cosmos by the Creator. For instance, the light and heavy elements comprising all living matter could not have formed unless the universe had cooled. The abundant early microbial life which suddenly appeared billions of years ago under harsh early earth conditions only to die massively in uncounted trillions, later formed the many mineral resources currently available. Modern man is the beficiary of this plentiful mineral wealth.

God set natural laws in place at the beginning. All conceivable processes and events operate according to these changeless, ordered natural laws. But God, who established the laws, is free to intervene at any point in the timeline of history. Belivers in naturalism (the idea that “nature is all there is”) do not perceive the hand of a creator in any of these events — not in the Big Bang, not in the fine tuning needed to form our cosmos as it now exists, not in the abrupt initial appearance of life from non-life, and not in the sudden, recent appearance of modern man with his advanced cognitive ability, imagination, craftsmanship, musical and artistic ability, and spiritual qualities. Who but an infinitely powerful Creator could enable these events in a second law of thermodynamics cosmos?


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