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on the Second Law of Thermodynamics as Applied to Organic
This challenge was to the following effect: Some Nobel Prize winner had noted on p.1 of his efforts, the materials he would attack. Dr (Duane) Gish, it was indicated, had read this page, not realised that it was something about to be be negated in the following pages by the author, and (mis)quoting it, had begun the movement he allegedly had spawned, concerning the Second Law of Thermodynamics applied to organic evolution.
Orally, in reply to this adventurous assertion, the points
were made: DID Dr Gish in fact cite the Nobel scientist ?
Answer: It was PRESUMABLY the case that he had misread and misapplied page 1, since where else could he get his position on this topic!
As a school-boy howler this is eminent. On this basis, Dr Gish is PRESUMABLY imagined to have misread and misquoted something which he did not mention, or for which no mention was known! This is surely an extraordinary misquotation, which does not quote! It is a strange misunderstanding which has no referent!
However, this point has value. It shows the amazing depths of negativity from which rote propaganda may perhaps be drawn. Firstly, of course, the Second Law of Thermodynamics was not made a specialty of Dr Gish, as a twentieth century maestro, applying it to organic evolution. This very just and due application was made a long time before his era. As noted to the challenger (who since appears to have vanished from the disputative scene), on my knee at the time of the challenge, I had a copy of an edited book including an essay by Professor Tom Barnes (Physics, El Paso University) dealing very well with the precise application of this second law (and some other laws) to the field of organic evolution (Scientific Studies in Special Creation, Ed. Walter E. Lammerts). Since this was about 1970, well before Dr Gish's famed and eminently successful creationist debating career on University campuses, it was doubly clear it was not he who is to be imagined to have got the idea through ... misreading somebody's book.
It had long been current, clear and distributed, before that.
Again, the concept of MISREADING what there is no evidence that he even cited, is a testimony to desire; for who could assume someone misread, without knowing he in fact ever read the material in question, far less that he quoted it. It is this animus which is outstanding in so much in this field. Reason is denied a landing, in many of its aerodromes. The affair is one of the most obvious, so perhaps the winds needed to blow rather hard in this case. How much of the evolutionary propaganda is blow-hard boisterousness, storming instead of reason.
Thirdly, another expert of outstanding academic fame, Dr A.E. Wilder Smith, in a book of 1966 (Man's Origin, Man's Destiny), dealt with this subject, showing the outlandish errors of organic evolution in just such terms of the second law of thermodynamics (inter alia). His book was very popular, the matter being taken at considerable length; it received wide reading, and was followed by quite a number of other such works from his hand, which did not change their terms or orientation. As to prizes and praises, though the topic is only border line in point, since it has been mentioned: Dr Wilder Smith is equipped with the D.Sc. Ph.D., Dr.es.Sc. and F.R.I.C. credentials, has been professor, and visiting professor on numbers of occasions, including Professor of Pharmacology at the Medical Center, University of Illinois, and has been given many awards for teaching.
No, Dr Gish did not start this thing, he was no Huxley to it, and although he has indeed done most outstanding work, so that this misattribution to him speaks in itself of his notoriety and fame, it began long before him. He indeed is primarily a biologist, and it is there that is credentials lie, not a physicist: though expertise can spread.
However it was Lord Kelvin, the man with more letters after
his name than anyone in the Commonwealth, it was said, boy prodigy and the
professor of physics at a prominent British University for well over
50 years, famed for his extraordinary inventions and conceptual contribution
to Physics, adjudged in one learned book on the topic, one of the 5 outstanding
physicists in Britain in the 19th century, whose name is seen in the
degrees Kelvin notation in science, and who is credited likewise with giving
to physics one of the great conceptual advances to unity of concept in the
physical realm, in various disciplines: it was HE WHO DID IT!
We may go significantly further. As noted to the challenger orally, this second law of thermodynamics is in fact but a specialised application of the broader law of sufficient causation. Not only has that NEVER been shown to be broken, but it simply is based on this: that for what you get, you need enough to do it. If you do not have what it takes, the thing does not transpire; and if it has transpired, and the necessary maintenance lacking, it will deteriorate in a world where impacts on designs are not specifically contrived to prevent all attrition.
What then is the nature, relevant to our interest at this point, of the physical domain, the visible universe ?
What is required is precisely, on the contrary, what it takes; and if this creative sufficiency is absent, then the direction is down, not up. That is what we find. We never find otherwise. When we use intelligence, then it is otherwise because of it, through it; and this is so, in proportion to its powers to penetrate with imagination and to match this with planned and purposeful performance, backed by adequate power.
The planned does not plan, the contrived does not contrive, and the conceptualised does not conceive: except where it has ALSO this specific facility of matched intelligence and power apt to it, donated, provided.
If it does, then this a work of will and imagination; and if it does not, it does not go anywhere but down. That is the nature of the natural system, to which physical laws relate (cf. A Spiritual Potpourri 1-9, esp. 1-3). WHEN, however, mind and will IS in fact there, as in man when he is made, then what this CAN create is not itself, but what its gifts and talents are enabled to create. There is, even indeed here, a limit, a procedure, a propriety, an enabling: you have to have what it takes in DEGREE as well as in kind.
As to procreation, this is merely one of the creative facilities provided to man. This enables him, in concert with the planned procedure, to have more of his kind.
As to universes, these are created by what is universally
adequate for a universe. They do not barter themselves into existence from
nothing, being absent: a delicious intellectual folie (cf. That
Magnificent Rock Ch.7,
Balms, Arrows and Balms 29)
; or into successive systems with what they do not have, contriving
without relevant and verified creativity or capacity. (Cf. Repent or
Perish 7, Extensions
1, 2, 3 .)
Man is created by what is in potency fit for his linked and mutually disposed triad of mind, matter and spirit (cf. SMR Ch.1). As to thoughts, these are created by people or spirits which have been given minds (cf. SMR pp. 316Dff., 422E.), construer, creator, course and source for the same. Thoughts without minds are like atoms without molecules, quarks without universes, flowers without stems or roots, being conceptions minus causal basis.
Everything is in its place, with due causal fashioning and foundation; and as to mis-worshipped gods, products of spiritual pollution, these do not 'arise' any more than money on trees, or inventions by default settings. These are formulated by deluded men in terms of imaginative prowess, misused. They do not accomplish creation. Apart from these mini-misfits, there is the necessary Creator (who moreover is free, cf. A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 6, and Ch.7 pp. 156ff.). He, increate, necessary and without constraint, does whatever seems good to Him. What seemed good to Him, with His adequate power, was to make what displayed it, man and the universe over which his thought has facility to rove (cf. Repent or Perish Ch.7, Excursion 1, esp. part 2). One should have thought that easy enough (cf. SMR Chs.1, 3, 10).
It is hard in one sense: no presents from 'nature' (cf. A Spiritual Potpourri 1-3). This is disappointing to a nature-worshipper, but required by logic. It is not 'Nature', but what with sufficient causation gave it the various natures which comprise its components, which is there to be worshipped. (As to that, see Questions and Answers 1, Barbs, Arrows and Balms 14).
It is easy enough in another sense: what did you expect ? What is always before your eyes!
If however you ignore the law of causality, the necessity of a sufficient cause, you evacuate meaning from grammar, which has the concepts of causality and characterisability inherent in it; and then with this gone, you cannot communicate. The challenge then could not even be put.
Logic, however, is not dead for those who can say it, who can speak, verbalise and propositionalise (including the proposition that it is dead, which incorporates the necessary and normal features of communication as well as anything else in the field)!
And when it lives ? This is what it exacts.
It is merely of interest here that the LAW OF INFORMATION CONSERVATION is - if one might so phrase it - that information naturally tends to decrease in this world. It does of itself not increase, find itself supplemented, grow like a garden. That is not what we find. That is another application of the law of sufficient causation. Work at a given level of expertise is not done without that expertise, and symbolic conceptualisation is one such field. It underlies all biology in the DNA, and is quintessential in all studies of life, therefore (cf. SMR pp. 251ff., 315Aff., Repent or Perish Ch.7, Extensions 1, 2, 3).
On the other side, the LAW OF CONSERVATION OF MASS AND
ENERGY makes it clear that you do not get matter as some sort of eccentric
side-show (cf. That Magnificent Rock Chs.1,8). It does not COME. What is, is.
What is not, is not. What has come, has come. How it came is not how it goes.
Process is not creation. Nature does not invent itself any more than anything
else (cf. Joyful Jottings
3, 1). It does not speak in DNA more than anything else evokes conceptualised code without conceptualising code ability. You just have to watch it! It does not do it. It has no laws for it, no equipment for it, no disposition for it, no dynamic declaring itself doing it, no principles concerning it. Negation and nullity are its contribution in this area. Its visible equipment, its functional performance and its logical requirements in this area, arena, they all agree in this: they are all missing.
The laws of science, however, these are quite present, and quite plentiful; and in particular, the two we have noted.
These LAWS of science then, are the result of watching what the creation does. Call it what you will, it still does what it does... As such, they give sanction to all theorising, or against any which contravenes what the laws enunciate. When, as here, the laws are themselves embedded in the nature of logic, then this merely makes their transgression a folly against logic as well as science: such an approach uses what it abuses, being doubly irrational, as if validity could depart and the results could remain in its absence. That is irrationality at its zenith!
Lord Kelvin was thus absolutely right and warranted in his statement: "with regard to the origin of life, science positively affirms creative power."
It is not maintenance power. Maintenance goes one way, creation goes another. We create and do it one way; we maintain and do it another. The activities of creation and of maintenance are not one. These are species of events, of activities, of power-performance with their own criteria. If you want the universe to start creating itself, you will need what the LAWS indicate does not happen, and what as shown in SMR and Repent or Perish 6-7, noted above, logic excludes with the same rigour.
As to that, moreover, matter is a recipient of multiple and amazing laws. It has not discernible function, equipment, law, procedure or paraphernalia with which to create law (cf. also SMR pp. 159, 315Aff., 251ff., Scoop of the Universe57). This is its characterisable condition.
What has such powers, is not matter therefore. We normally call this spiritual. As shown in Ch.1 of The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, when traced, this is properly called God; and it is personal. Indeed, although there is no gender in the non-material, since this is an intra-material performance criterion, God is called 'He'. We may go even further. Thus, since as we show in SMR, the Bible is the exclusive, authoritative, and in fact only definitive written declaration of what God Himself has said to man, to man this is what GOD CALLS HIMSELF. We all tend to call ourselves something. It aids identification. God has many names "I am what I am" for example (John 8:58, Exodus 3:14); but in the pronominal form, this is what He says.
Such a name, or pronoun in this case, has no overtones of devaluation for any. It does however signify something, which it is well while we are on the topic of what the Bible declares in this area, to note. Actually the human race fell into sin (you may even have noticed that it is there!), and lost its beautiful location, both geographically and spiritually, with God. It was not He who made it a mess; it messed itself. In so doing, it had a fall list (cf. A Spiritual Potpourri 9, Biblical Blessings Ch.7 and Benevolent Brightness or Brothy Bane ? 87 with SMR pp. 482ff., 179ff.). Eve was the initiator or primary responder to the blandishments of the adversary, and although Adam fully deserves all he got (as historically declared in the situation of Romans 5), since he acquiesced with her when she fell, yet Eve is stated by Paul in I Timothy 2, to have had a specific disqualification as a result of her enterprise here.
She is not to use authority over man in the church. She is no slave, no 'thing', or devaluee; but in the supervisory capacity over man, in the spiritual domain of the church of Jesus Christ, she does not fit. Counsel to consider, service in multi-faceted ways, in prayer, in sharing of understanding yes, in the specialised fields of children, of course, with youth, no exclusion: but over man she does not have authority in the church. (Cf. A Spiritual Potpourri Chs.10-11.)
Hence when the term 'God' is used, and since His is authority to the uttermost, the term 'He' alone is appropriate. It does NOT state that He PREFERS man (consider His denunciations in appropriate circumstances! - and they relate to the race most frequently: Genesis 6, Hosea 7:2-6, Malachi 2:14, Isaiah 41:14, Psalm 17:4ff., 14). He disposes duties according to His plan, and graciously indicates certain criteria, and in this case, a consideration relevant to the decision.
Again, this is no removal of woman from anything essential, since she can counsel and vote, discourse, reason and apply the Bible like anyone else, and follow conscience as all must in matters not laid down concretely in the word of God; it is merely one feature, bearing authority in the church, over man, that she is forbidden. She cannot bear such authority; man cannot bear children. Each has its place. Each element has its joys; and potential sorrows!
Actually, woman with her wit and frequently found linguistic facility, has had enormous influence on man, especially when he loves her; and on the children over whom she does indeed have authority.
With some, the currently sometimes blustering endeavours to outwit the situation as it is, is quite as foolish as is man's frequently found fondness to take over from God, whether in ignoring his own creation, or imagining he can manage himself, being created, without his divine engendeerer, in a strident assertion of what he does not possess; though he cannot manage even his own death, or remove the soaring international dearth!
Things are apportioned for a purpose. The emancipation of woman has owed vastly to Christianity, which insists that the man should be willing to sacrifice himself for her and love her as himself (see Ephesians 5, which puts the TWO SIDES of the matter, as is now so seldom done) . There is nothing from this source, of the undoubted abuse of woman, which frequently has occurred. People may invent religions and call them what they will, including plagiarising of the name 'Christian'; but this does not alter the Book. What it says on this topic is straightforward, clear and incisive. You do not abuse what you sacrifice YOUR SELF for! There is differentiation not dismissal. Like pepper and salt, function is diversified, status as condiment is not. BOTH these divine determinations are equally clearly stated, the specialisation and the sacrifice. To take each alone is to violate the plan. To talk of one in obsessive isolation, is to violate the truth. Like man and woman themselves, they are BOTH there, together.
All this! It is just a brief internal exposition of the Biblical declaration on "He" concerning God, to prevent confusion. Yet it has been illustrative of trend and orientative as illustration. It is not genderist, but expressive of His authority and place. (See in detail if it interests you specifically, A Spiritual Potpourri, Chs. 10-11). God rules. Woman could (act as if to) get rid of His rule and advance nowhere; and the same is true of man: it is God who rules all. Even creation.
Let us then revert to our central theme for this occasion.
For detailed expositions on these topics of CREATION and the SECOND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS and the LAW OF SUFFICIENT CAUSATION and the place of SCIENCE, see for example, first of all:
TMR 1, pp. 8ff., 17ff.;
TMR 8, pp. 200ff., 210ff., 224ff., 226ff., BEN 82 cf. SMR 329ff.
- with 2 other major scientific laws, distinctly verificatory of creation, in terms of scientific method
- as illustrative of the logical principle of sufficient
causation (q.v.), implicitly or explicitly
TMR 1, pp. 8ff., 17ff.;
TMR 8, pp. 200ff., 210ff., 224ff., 226ff., BEN 82 cf. SMR 329ff.
and in view of this, reports on
experiments, notional, noetic, practical; of practical performances; consideration
of experiments never performed ; and assessment of architectural assemblage:
attesting persistently and consistently where power lies, and in what order
it now proceeds
ASP 7 , ASP 9, esp. End-note 2
(famous experiment), ROP 7,
pp. 159ff. (experiment), pp. 162ff.
( noetic experiment),
pp. 141ff. (architectural enterprise- data depiction), SMR 145-159.
(BEN refers to Benevolent Brightness
or Brothy Bane; SMR to The Shadow of a Mighty Rock; ASP to
A Spiritual Potpourri, TMR to That Magnificent Rock. TMR 1 deals specifically with our current topic, repeatedly and in depth, and SMR 329ff. is also a prime reference. All these works may also be found in Library.)
A CHALLENGE OF GREATER DEPTH THAN THIS
Now a challenge for the reader. STEP OUT FOR CHRIST. It is useless to remain in those 'churches' which have left the faith - see The Kingdom of Heaven Ch.7 on Separation. It is also unscriptural, as there shown. You have to be where the word of God is honoured not in the breach, but in the observance, or else become an accessory to spiritual crime, a "partaker of her sins" as is stated in the case of Babylon and again in general terms (Rev. 18:4, I Timothy 5:22, Titus 3:10, I Cor. 10). Avoidance involves absence in the critical case of sustained rebellion.
Obedience also involves DECLARING the truth, and releasing, relinquishing the contrary: for even in the Great Commission of Jesus Christ for our Age, till He come back (Matthew 28:19-20), not merely are we to prach the gospel, but TEACH "ALL THINGS WHATEVER I HAVE COMMANDED YOU." The one is as clear as, and parallel to the other. It is cool and contemporary to IGNORE this fact. It is however really a heated abscess of desire to destroy and separate what CHRIST has put together; and to do this IN HIS NAME, is we must painfully acknowledge, to add pertinacity to audacity!
Whether, then, in small things or great, in personal things or intellectual, in spiritual things or in devotion to Christ, in dedication to His service or consecration to your task, STEP OUT FOR CHRIST. Remember the "ALL THINGS WHATEVER". Do you yourself like careless dentist who by and large, do the right thing ? Does not each spot on the sore tooth demand action ? Does a heart operation need laxity or precision ? And if the physical pump be demanding, what of the requirements of PURITY of heart, in the spiritual domain!
Do not, therefore, linger Lot-like in some hole of mind or organisation or body or spirit, or thought. There has been folly enough in human history. Step out of it. You have only one life. Make of it a testimony to truth, to peaceableness of spirit, yet with boldness of heart, courage of character and love of the Lord. He is very precious to those who know Him, far transcending the beauty of any friendship, and as to Him, His humility as shown in the life of Jesus, the Christ, it is as startling as it is refreshing; and as to His patience, it is amazing and most educational, that ANYONE COULD be so patient as He! (Cf. II Peter 3:9.)
Without that, where would any of us be!
SEE ALSO: Chapter 3 of Stepping Out for Christ; together with Chs. 8, 9, 10 of the same volume; with Wake Up World! Your Creator is Coming... Chs. 2, 4, 5, 6 , 7 and Epilogue; Ch. 2 with Ch. 6 of Spiritual Refreshings for the Digital Millenium