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

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Wed Oct 01 2008 - 14:29:20 EDT

This is true, but misses a vital distinction. Does eternity have no
beginning or end because it is without change and hence timeless, or is
it time that, like the mathematical continuum, extends infinitely in both
directions? The former is the classic theological position. The latter
has a more recent following. I note that Craig tries to combine timeless
eternity, God before creation, with being timebound with creation.

One can get into an argument about the eternal life of the redeemed. We
have a beginning, both at birth and at the new birth, but may have
unending time in glory. Others claim that we eventually enter into
timeless eternity.

Christine's question, since it involves a changing universe, demands
time, not timeless eternity. The usual position is that time began with
the creation of space and matter. But part of the question demands that
there be no creation, that is, no start.
Dave (ASA)

On Wed, 1 Oct 2008 13:04:30 -0500 James Patterson
<> writes:
> Eternity has no beginning or end.
> Sent from my iPhone
> On Oct 1, 2008, at 12:37 PM, Christine Smith
> <
> > wrote:
> > 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
> leav
> > es 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)
> >
> >
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Received on Wed Oct 1 14:33:32 2008

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