Atheism’s insurmountable problem of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.
Frank Turek and Norman Geisler make an excellent point in their book I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist. The Second Law of Thermodynamics poses an insurmountable problem for atheistic explanations of the origin of life from non-living matter:
“…nature disorders, it doesn’t organize things (the fact that nature brings things toward disorder is another aspect of the Second Law of Thermodynamics). More time will make things worse for the Darwinist, not better. How so?”
“Let’s suppose you throw red, white, and blue confetti out of an airplane 1,000 feet above your house. What’s the chance it’s going to form the American flag on your front lawn? Very low. Why? Because natural laws will mix up or randomize the confetti. You say, ‘Allow more time.’ Okay, let’s take the plane up to 10,000 feet to give natural laws more time to work on the confetti. Does this improve the probability that the flag will form on your lawn? No, more time actually makes the flag less likely because natural laws have longer to do what they do—disorder and randomize.”
“How did life arise from nonliving chemicals, without intelligent intervention, when nonliving chemicals are susceptible to the Second Law? Darwinists have no answer, only faith.”
Similarly, Gerald Schroeder, a former Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, writes in his book, The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom :
“The flow from the big bang to the abundance and diversity of life we find today in every nook and cranny of Earth has been a passage moving upstream against the relentless tendency of nature to proceed from order to disorder. The second law of thermodynamics tells us that all non-managed, or random, systems always pass to a state of greater disorder. That is why a cup of tea gets cooler when put aside during a twenty-minute phone conversation. The orderly concentration of heat within the cup becomes randomly dispersed among the molecules of air in the room. And when the cup falls and breaks, its pieces never reassemble into the cup it once was. Disorder is the statistical trend of nature simply because for any given collection of atoms, whether from a cup or a carp, the number of disorderly combinations is vastly greater than the number of orderly combinations. Unless order is imposed on a system, random choice among all possibilities always falls in that immense expanse we refer to as disorder.”
Manifestations of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics are all around us. It is the reason dead things decay, cars rust, people age, sand castles crumble, etc., etc. But the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is just the tip of the iceberg. For a more in-depth understanding of why the origin of life has not been, and never can be, explained without reference to God, please read How Atheism Relies on Special Pleading and Why Life Could Not Have Emerged Without God.
It must be emphasized that the point is NOT that the 2nd law of thermodynamics poses a problem to Darwinian evolution. Darwinian evolution, the reader will recall, works upon the proposed natural mechanism of random mutation of genes and natural selection of reproductive offspring. Therefore, Darwinian evolution, quite obviously, applies only to that which has genes to mutate and reproductive offspring to naturally select…namely, living things. The pertinent question is not how Darwinian evolution could occur, but how simple non-living chemicals could become the simplest living thing. To put the question in perspective, the simplest living thing (the single celled organism) is described by biochemist Franklin M. Harold in The Way of the Cell:
“…a high-tech factory, complete with artificial languages and their decoding systems, memory banks for information storage and retrieval, elegant control systems regulating the automated assembly of parts and components, error fail-safe and proof-reading devices utilized for quality control, assembly processes involving the principle of prefabrication and modular construction … [and] a capacity not equaled in any of our own most advanced machines, for it would be capable of replicating its entire structure within a matter of a few hours.”
Again, a mechanism utilizing random mutation of genes and natural selection of reproductive offspring (the Darwinian mechanism) cannot apply to simple non-living chemicals since such chemicals have neither genes to mutate nor reproductive offspring to naturally select. Atheism relies upon proposed natural mechanisms, but natural mechanisms cause the measure of order to DECREASE over time. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics performs the very opposite of the increase in order necessary to build life from non-living chemicals.