Second Law of Thermodynamics Makes Evolution Impossible


Article #303

by Bill Nugent


In the early years of the industrial revolution, in the late 1700s and early 1800s, there were many attempts to build perpetual motion machines. Perpetual motion machines would operate in such a way that they would consume less energy than they produce. Perpetual motion machines would have freed industry from reliance on water wheels for power.


In their failure to build perpetual motion machines, the inventors stumbled upon the laws of thermodynamics. The physicist and inventor, William Thomson, First Baron Kelvin (Lord Kelvin) (1824-1907) articulated these laws succinctly. The laws of thermodynamics are well established in science as acknowledged by Einstein and all physicists. They govern physics, chemistry, microbiology and all science. They are laws, not hypotheses or theories.


The first law of thermodynamics is the law of conservation of energy.


1) In any isolated system, energy is neither created or destroyed but is merely transformed from one energy state to another.


The second law is the law of entropy (entropy is a measure of the unavailability of heat in a system to be converted into mechanical work).


2) In any isolated system entropy steadily increases until energy is evenly spread out in the system and no energy is available for work.


The third law is an explanation of heat death.


3) In any isolated system, entropy approaches its extreme value as temperature approaches but does not reach absolute zero.


The second law of thermodynamics, in particular, is devastating to Darwinian evolution. Let me explain. Darwinism was launched in 1859 with the publication of Darwin’s famous book,  “On the Origin of Species.” After some initial wide acceptance, Darwinism was criticized and fell into disfavor by people who saw no mechanism for uphill evolutionary change in organisms. By 1900 Darwinism was losing influence.


Around 1900, studies in heredity by the monk, Gregor Mendel were discovered and published. Additionally, there was the discovery and study of mutants or freaks of nature that came about by genetic mutations. Darwinists then made the bold claim that evolution had a mechanism, consisting of genetic mutations, sorted out by natural selection that could supposedly build higher forms of life out of lower forms of life. This blend of genetics with Darwinism is called neo-Darwinism.


The discovery of DNA in the early 1950s by Crick and Watson and the mapping of the human genome (DNA) in the early 21st century showed the mind boggling complexity of DNA. Scientists who adhere to Intelligent Design criticized Darwinism by pointing out that mutations are destructive errors that do not add new information to the DNA that would cause uphill evolutionary change.


One avenue of criticism of Darwinism involves the second law of thermodynamics. Darwinism requires the building up of the DNA molecule of every species over vast stretches of time. Critics rightly point out that this build up of DNA is contrary to entropy. Entropy, in the second law, involves the reduction of energy available for work. As a consequence of entropy, complex molecules which require energy to be built and sustained, breakdown from complex to simple over time.


Some creationists make the common mistake of asserting that the second law causes things to move from “order to disorder” or from “symmetry to chaos” over time. If you describe entropy using these terms when speaking to scientists you’ll get nothing more than some patronizing chuckles. Thermodynamics has to do with the distribution of energy in isolated systems not the destruction of what humans would subjectively describe as “order.”


For example, let’s say we were to build and isolate a house. No energy or matter could enter or leave our system which would consist of a house in a glass bubble. Over a vast stretch of time, the house would eventually decay and crumble to dust. The dust pile is not “chaos” or “disorder.” In fact it could be argued that the dust pile, in its simplicity and symmetry is more orderly than the original structure of the house. It takes energy to do the work to sustain a house in its original condition. The decreasing availability of energy to do work causes the house to eventually decay and crumble.


As entropy ensues, the energy is not lost but transformed from one form to another until it arrives at a state in which energy is evenly distributed, unavailable to do work and approaching absolute zero in temperature. Our house and all isolated systems, including the solar system are constantly experiencing entropy. In other words, the universe and all isolated subsystems within the universe are running downhill. Energy within all of those systems is approaching unavailability for work.


The second law of thermodynamics essentially means all structures are crumbling into neat piles of dust over the ages. The Bible refers to this in Hebrews 2:10-12, “Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” The universe is subject to entropy or thermal breakdown but God remains perfect.


Now let’s apply entropy to neo-Darwinism. The DNA molecule is an immensely complex molecule. A “simple” bacteria typically has a DNA molecule in its nucleus consisting of over 1 million nucleotide base pairs all arranged in precise sequence. The DNA molecule is huge by molecular standards and very fragile. It takes energy to build and maintain such an immense information containing system as a DNA molecule.


In any isolated system the second law (law of entropy) dictates that energy dissipates from one form to another over time. Energy could go from kinetic energy to heat or from heat to the chemical bonds between atoms or vice versa. Energy flows along a path of least resistance as it is transformed. Energy performs chemical reactions requiring the least energy and with the highest probability of occurring. That last statement is important: Energy performs chemical reactions requiring the least energy and with the highest probability of occurring. Simple molecules with simple structure will be formed. DNA, which is large and complex, has an extremely low probability of just happening by random collisions of atoms.


Biologist Dean Kenyon, an evolutionist, tried to explain uphill development of proteins in the primordial ooze by formulating his chemical affinity theory. Affinity theory was the claim that amino acids have an attraction to each other and would just fall together like a jigsaw puzzle with pieces shaped to attach to each other. Professor Walter Bradley of Texas A & M analyzed the structures of hundreds of proteins finding the nucleotide sequences had nothing to do with chemical preferences or affinity. Kenyon himself was so convinced, he went so far as to publicly refute affinity theory by writing a forward to Bradley’s book! (See: The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel pp. 129-130, 142-143.)


We can safely conclude that random collisions of atoms in primordial ooze or prebiotic earth would form simple molecules and any complex fragile, molecules as are found in living things would quickly disintegrate. The second law of thermodynamics (the law of entropy) means that complex orderly structures deteriorate into simple orderly structures over time. It’s not “order to disorder” but “complex to simple.”


Darwinian evolutionists have countered that there are systems in which entropy can be reversed if outside energy is introduced into the system. The prebiotic earth had sunlight constantly furnishing new heat energy. This objection is easily refuted when you consider that adding heat energy would be like adding a crane with a wrecking ball into our “house in a glass ball” mentioned above. The house would crumble faster. Remember our statement above: Energy performs chemical reactions requiring the least energy and with the highest probability of occurring.


This new energy comes to earth in the form of heat and radiation. As heat is transformed into other forms of energy (remember, no energy is lost) it does destructive work on complex structures. Heat and radiation are very destructive forms of energy as regards complex molecules. If some other form of energy rather than heat entered the system, the results might be different. The addition of heat energy speeds up chemical reactions and speeds up hydrolysis and breakdown of fragile, complex biochemicals such as DNA and proteins.


Imagine if you put a pot of soup on a stove and left it there at low heat for a year. At the end of that year would you see more or less chemical complexity from a biological standpoint? There would be less complexity. Starches, proteins, DNA and other biochemicals would be oxidized and broken down.


Only an intelligent designer entering into a system can actively, temporarily reverse entropy and build complex structures in that system. An intelligent designer, such as a human being, could enter the house, in the illustration above, and efficiently and intelligently use energy to repair and sustain the house. Entropy would appear to be reversed. Likewise, the intricacy, interdependence and irreducible complexity of living organisms compels us to believe God is the intelligent designer and creator of life. God has built the complex biochemicals and assembled them into living organisms.


It has been said that the universe was created by God to be a tool to expose and destroy evil. God has created human beings for a purpose and that purpose is to turn away from evil and turn to God. God has provided for forgiveness of sins by sending Jesus of Nazareth, the promised Messiah of Israel. Jesus came in fulfillment of over 300 prophecies written in the Old Testament hundreds of years before His birth. The prophets foretold that Christ would suffer and die, taking the penalty of our sins upon Himself. They foretold that Christ would rise from the dead to offer forgiveness of sins to all who repent and call upon Him. Turn to Christ today to receive forgiveness of sins!

Steps to salvation:

Jesus said “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).

  • 1) Believe that God created you and loves you and sent the Messiah (Messiah is Hebrew for Christ) to redeem you.
  • 2) Believe that Jesus Christ came in fulfillment of over 300 Bible prophecies to die for you, to take upon Himself the penalty of your sins (Isaiah 53:5-6, John 6:29, Romans 4:5, First Peter 3:18).
  • 3) Turn from sin and call on the name of Jesus to receive forgiveness of sins (Romans 10:13).
  • 4) Receive Jesus as Savior and experience the new birth (John 1:12, Acts 2:38).
  • 5) Follow Jesus Christ as Lord (John 14:21).

Prayer to receive salvation:

“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

To receive the salvation that Jesus purchased for us at the terrible cost of His suffering and death on our behalf I invite you to pray this simple prayer:

“Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for sending Jesus, the promised Messiah, to die for my sins. I admit that I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and I ask for your forgiveness on the basis of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I ask you to fill me with your Holy Spirit to empower me to serve you under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

If you prayed this prayer in the humble sincerity of your heart then you have received everlasting life, which includes power to live right in this life and entrance into heaven in the afterlife!

(C) 2016 William P. Nugent, permission granted to email or republish for Christian outreach.

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