Archive for November, 2020

Does the Bible Violate the 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics?

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020

Does the Bible violate the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics? Does the sudden creation of the stars; plants; animals; and, man from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7, Ecclesiastes 12:7), and the woman from the rib of him (Genesis 2:21) violate the 1st and 2nd law of thermodynamics? 

I don’t think that we can answer your question with certainty; i.e., whether or not the biblical account of creation violates the first and second laws of thermodynamics. In simplistic terms, these laws of thermodynamics state that the total amount of energy and matter in the universe is constant, so matter cannot be created or destroyed, which would seemingly conflict with the biblical account of creation (the creation of matter). However, I can offer some suggestions that might reconcile this aspect of biblical truth with science.

– It could be that the current laws of the universe were not always in effect. Before creation, perhaps other laws were in effect. Then the universe was created, along with a constant amount of energy and matter, as well as even the laws of thermodynamics. In this respect, yes, creation would have indeed violated the laws of thermodynamics, but these laws did not exist at the time.

– It could be that the (man-made) laws of thermodynamics are simply incorrect. In this respect, yes, creation would have indeed violated the laws of thermodynamics because these laws are invalid.

– The second law of thermodynamics implies that both energy and matter in the universe are becoming less useful as time goes on, and that perfect order in the universe occurred the instant after the big bang when energy and matter and all of the forces of the Universe were unified. Perhaps God used the big bang in His creation, and (in agreement with the biblical account) the world was in a perfect state when Adam and Eve were created in the Garden of Eden. Furthermore, it was sin that put in place the degradation that we now see. In this respect, creation does not violate the laws of thermodynamics. Does 1 Kings 7:23 make an error in the calculation of Pi? 1 Kings 7:23 says, “He made the sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it.”

The key to finding the answer to this question is the phrase, “and five cubits high.” The object being described is a cylinder–not a circle. Think of it as a three-dimensional object, like a drinking glass–not just a two-dimensional object like a circle drawn on a piece of paper. The diameter of the mouth of this “drinking glass” is ten cubits, but the drinking glass is five cubits tall. So, to measure around the outside of it, we would add ten (across the top), five cubits (down one side), ten cubits (across the bottom), and five cubits (up the other side), for a total of thirty cubits.