The Second Law

The Second Law of Thermodynamics

The second law of thermodynamics states that - in a closed system (the universe): in any change the universe becomes slightly more disorderly. The entropy goes up and information content goes down - or the universe is constantly getting more disorderly. Entropy is energy loss or in technical terms a measure of unavailable energy in a closed system.

The universe is a closed system; see the first law of thermodynamics. (The earth is not a closed, but an open system. We get our energy from the sun - a source from the 'outside'). Modern science states that there is no outside source for the universe.


Now here's the problem: If the universe were eternal then it would have run out of usable energy by now. All the stars would be burned out and we would be in heat death. (Heat death is when all the usable energy would be used up and the universe and everything in it would be the same temperature.)

The universe would have had X amount of energy available and that energy would have been used up if (and that is a BIG 'if') the universe went back to an infinite number of moments.

Some have tried to come up with a way where the universe could be eternal. They have tried to say the universe is constantly expanding and contracting in what is called a cyclical universe.

There are two major problems with this. First, there is not enough known matter in the universe to stop its expansion and to contract it back. Scientists tell us that some of the farthest galaxies are traveling close to the speed of light away from us. There is not enough known matter to stop just one of these galaxies let alone contract them all to a single point for a new "Big Bang."

The second problem is if (another BIG 'if') universal expansion were to reverse, some energy would still escape the collapse. Light and radiation traveling away from the farthest galaxies would still escape and there would be less and less energy available for each cycle, and it would stop if the universe were eternal.

Another challenge for modern science is defining an eternal universe. Just what IS infinite? If the universe were eternal then there would be an infinite number of past moments. Mathematicians recognize that an actual collection of an infinite number of things leads to contradictions, and that infinity is a concept and not an actuality.


Let's us take an infinite number of moments and number them starting at one then two and so on. If you take infinity and subtract infinity you would get zero. Now take the number three and add infinity - then subtract infinity from this sum and you are left with three. Next take out the even numbered moments and add these to infinity. Then infinity minus this sum would still equal infinity. You see that the concept of the infinite is not definable by natural law. (In this case, modern science is seeing the need for the spiritual above the physical world.)

An infinite set of objects or moments does not exist in nature so it is not a legitimate basis for reasoning about the natural world. That means that there is a finite number of past events in this world. The universe is a closed system that had a beginning and it will have an end. The Second Law of Thermodynamics requires this.

From the road and in Christ