RE: [asa] Thermodynamics & Eternal Universe - A Question

From: Dehler, Bernie <>
Date: Wed Oct 01 2008 - 14:25:55 EDT

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Christine Smith
Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2008 10:38 AM
Subject: [asa] Thermodynamics & Eternal Universe - A Question

Hi all,

A quick question to all the physicists out there...I was reading one of the articles on the ASA faith-science new blog, and came across the following:

"Materialistic explanations of the universe have to rely on one of two explanations for where the universe came from. The first is that the universe is eternal. This idea runs into problems almost immediately because of the second law of thermodynamics. This law states that the useable energy in a closed system is constantly decreasing, which means that an eternally old universe would have run out of useful energy by now. To solve this problem, some physicists argue that the universe can reset itself periodically by collapsing and re-forming in what is known as an oscillating universe. While there are logical problems with this idea (see William Lane Craig's The Kalam Cosmological Argument), it still leaves us with our current universe having a starting point."

My question is...if the universe is argued to be eternal, does the 2nd law of thermodynamics even make sense to begin with? I'm having a hard time conceptualizing the argument without a reference to time, as in "why should we assume the energy would have run out by now?...what if we're close to the beginning of eternity?"

Thanks ahead of time for your responses :)
In Christ,
Christine (ASA member, who's definitely not a physicist)

" what if we're close to the beginning of eternity?"

Hi Christine- I'm not a physicist, but wanted to give you an idea of something I think about on this topic, I heard from elsewhere. It has to do with an infinite regress.

Here's a logical proof that time couldn't have been going on for infinity past:

To get to the current moment, you have to pass through the prior moment. Since you can't ever find the most prior moment, since it is infinite, then it is impossible to arrive at the current moment.

For that reason, we need a starting point for time- when time actually started. It appears that most scientists say that at the big bang, time was created, as well as space. This solves the riddle for the beginning of time. More riddles follow- where did the big-bang energy come from, and what set it off "when" it did (you can't say "when" because there actually was no time at any point before the big bang).


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Received on Wed Oct 1 14:26:31 2008

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