The physical laws of thermodynamics preclude any notion of this universe existing if materialism is correct.
- Once energy and matter exist, they will disorganize into a “heat death” in a finite amount of time, hence this universe is not eternal.(2nd Law)
- Since the universe is not eternal it must have had a beginning.
- However, energy cannot come into existence from nothing.(1st Law)
To get around this problem requires an exception to the currently operating laws of nature, in other words, a miracle. All thinking materialists actually have a faith based belief in miracles. Furthermore, their belief system has no cause for the miracle.
All Bible believing Christians also have a faith based belief in miracles. However, their belief system does have a sufficient cause for the miracle. Thus Christianity is more rational than materialism.
Now for the details
The second law of thermodynamics is an immutable law of physics never violated by observation or experiment. It is the physical law that will lead to the eventual heat-death of the universe if nothing happens to prevent it. Just to emphasize how solid this law appears to be I want to share with you a couple of quotes from knowledgeable scientists.
Sir Arthur Eddington was a superb English astrophysicist and contemporary of Einstein. In 1929 he wrote:
The law that entropy always increases—the second law of thermodynamics—holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations—then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation, well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.
More recently, Professor Thomas Banks of the Department of Physics, UC Santa Cruz, has stated,
“The Second Law of Thermodynamics is one of the most robust and profound physical principles … Ever since the discovery of the Second Law, physicists have been faced with the question of why the universe began in a low entropy state”.
So, as you can see, there is no way to get around it.
Isaac Asimov wrote a wonderful short story called The Last Question about this…
Asimov’s story is very interesting and thought provoking. The non-material computer/human consciousness blend, “AC”, figures out how to reverse entropy and says “Let there be light..” an obvious reference to the beginning of Genesis in the Bible. This is not an accident, Asimov was an atheist and familiar enough with the Bible to denigrate it in “Asimov’s Guide to the Bible”.
However, there is an important inconsistency or incompleteness to it. To identify AC with the Creator of Genesis is to ignore one incredibly important point. AC is itself a created being, having been made by man originally. AC was created within time and has not always existed. The physical universe existed before AC. So this entertaining tale has no possible bearing on actual origins.
Materialism fails. If materialism were correct, absolutely nothing would exist and we wouldn’t be discussing this, would we.
The Biblical worldview has the necessary eternally existing cause for the existence of the universe and mankind.
Jesus is identified as the Creator in John 1:1-3, referring to Jesus reads:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
and Heb 13:8 says
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
So Jesus meets the necessary requirements to be the Creator of the physical universe.
Interestingly, God has also revealed to us that Asimov’s “Last Question” will be answered “yes” and this will be demonstrated just as it was done in his story. To understand what I mean first know that the world we live in now is under God’s curse due to man’s sin.
“Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you.
All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.
It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains.
By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made.
For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.” (Gen 3:17-19 NLT)
This resulted in our current situation:
Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. (Rom 8:20-21 NLT)
However, God has long promised to restore things to the pre-curse state.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” (Rev 21:1-5a)
No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever. (Rev 22:3-5)