Atheism Hits a Brick
The First Law of Thermodynamics
By Chuck Missler (From his Book
"The Creator Beyond Time and Space")
The First Law of Thermodynamics
asserts that matter or its energy equivalent can neither be created
nor destroyed under natural circumstances.1 One of
the logical outcomes of this law is that there is no new matter or
energy appearing anywhere in the universe, nor is there any matter
being annihilated. All matter and energy in the universe is
conserved. Consequently, this law is often referred to as the Law of
Conservation of Mass and Energy. Although matter can neither be
created nor destroyed, it can be converted from one state to
another, i.e. from a liquid to a gas, liquid to solid, solid to gas.
The overwhelming experience of experimental physics confirms this
First Law to be a fact. As we shall see, this law has enormous
implications regarding the origin of matter in our universe.
Protons are positively charged
particles which reside in the nucleus of every atom. Each proton
consists of a least three quarks. For decades it was assumed that
protons were eternally stable. However, physicists now believe that
quarks decay into antiquarks, pions and positive electrons, and
electromagnetic radiation.2 This decay process occurs at
a rate of only once per proton per 1032 years.
Consequently, since this process is irreversible, all the atoms in
the universe will eventually decay into irretrievable matter. Even
though this process of decay will take an enormously long period of
time, it is not infinite.
Cosmic Evolution and the First Law
Skeptics often scoff at the biblical
creation account because it invokes a supernatural event for the
origin of time, space, and matter. Yet, if we search the field of
cosmology in the last one hundred years we find that the theories on
the "natural" (as opposed to supernatural) origin
of matter are few and far between. There are only two options for
the origin of matter: it is either eternal or it appeared at a
finite point in the past. With the elucidation of the First Law of
Thermodynamics the implications of this debate, as we will see, have
been clearly defined.
Faced with the evidence of a finite,
expanding universe, cosmologists began to look for a way to salvage
the existence of an eternal universe. In the 1940's Hermann Bondi,
Thomas Gold and Fred Hoyle proposed a mechanism that would allow the
expanding universe to still be infinitely old3,4
This model for the universe, called the "Steady State
Model," asserts that as the universe expands, hydrogen atoms
arise spontaneously from nothing in the deep recesses of
space. The result is that the universe appears about the same (in a
"steady state") in all ages.
In the last forty years this model
for the universe has been discredited by a number of scientific
discoveries. The first of these has to do with the age of the
galaxies. If the universe is infinitely old then we should expect to
find galaxies of all ages. However decades of observations reveal
that all the visible galaxies in our universe are "middle
aged." Secondly, there is no physical (natural) mechanism for
the spontaneous origin of hydrogen atoms. In fact, hydrogen atoms
have never been observed to appear spontaneously anywhere in the
universe.5 Thirdly, Isaac Newton's Law of Inertia
declares that a body at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon
by an outside force. In the Steady State Model there is no mechanism
to explain the motion of the galaxies.
The First Law of Thermodynamics is
called a "law" because within the bounds of scientific
observation it has been proven true beyond all reasonable doubt. In
effect, the First Law states that you and I can neither create nor
destroy matter. Therefore, it follows that if something which exists
(you and I) cannot create matter, then something which doesn't exist
cannot create it either!
Matter cannot create itself and, in
the real world, cannot arise from nothing. Within the bounds of
natural law all effects must have a cause.6 Because of
this fact, the spontaneous appearance of hydrogen atoms out of
nothing (ex nihilo creation) is a definite breach of the
First Law of Thermodynamics which asserts that matter, under natural
circumstances, can neither be created nor destroyed. Therefore,
since it is not a natural event, it is by definition a supernatural
event-a miracle! This is, we believe, a rather weak starting point
for a materialistic scenario to begin.
To avoid this conclusion, a number of
physicists have proposed that the laws of physics are different
elsewhere in the universe.7 However, this assertion is
not supported by even a shred of scientific evidence. Such appeals
reveal the lengths that some will go to avoid a finite beginning for
Since matter is not eternal, we are
left with only one option- it arose out of nothing at a finite point
in the past! Ironically, the scientific materialist who argues that
all matter in the universe arose out of nothing is in agreement with
the biblical creationist. However, biblical creationists readily
admit that the appearance of matter out of nothing was a miracle,
performed by a "First Cause" that transcends the physical
universe. The scientific materialist, who believes, as Carl Sagan
does, that "the Cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever
will be," is forced to conclude that the Cosmic egg arose from
nothingness apart from any causal agent.
The atheist immediately protests,
"If God made the universe then who made God?" The Bible
indicates that God is an eternal, transcendent Spirit.8
Consequently, because time is itself a physical property of the
universe which God created, then questions about God's origin are
meaningless. This is because God existed before time and He is,
therefore, not subject to time-bound concepts such as birth and
death. He is outside of time!
Furthermore, because God always
existed prior to the creation of the universe and the laws by which
it is governed, He is not subject to them either. This means that
God was never "young" nor is He aging as dictated by the
Second Law. He is outside of our space-time domain and outside of
the aging effects altogether.
At the beginning of the atheist's
scenario, there is an equally difficult question. "Who or what
made that ball of matter that exploded in the Big Bang?" The
answer is that the Cosmic Egg made itself, which is impossible on
the basis of natural law.
So at the beginning of each model of
origins we have unanswerable questions. Atheists may then argue that
they are equal starting points. But are they?
The creationist's model begins with
an infinitely intelligent, omnipotent, transcendent Creator who used
intelligent design, expertise or know-how to create everything from
the sub-atomic particles to giant redwood trees. Was it a miracle?
beginning (time), God created the heavens (space) and
the earth (matter)."
The atheist's model begins with an
even more impressive miracle - the appearance of all matter in the
universe from nothing, by no one, and for no reason. A supernatural
event. A miracle! However, the atheist does not believe in the
outside or transcendent "First Cause" we call God.
Therefore, the atheist has no "natural explanation" nor
"supernatural explanation" for the origin of space-time
and matter. Consequently, the atheistic scenario on the origin of
the universe leaves us hanging in a totally dissatisfying position.
He begins his model with a supernatural event. This supernatural
event, however, is accomplished without a supernatural agent to
Missler, Chuck, Eastman, Mark,
M.D."The Creator Beyond Time and Space", The Word for
Today 1996, p.12-17
Chuck Missler and Mark Eastman M.D.
-1. As opposed to supernatural
-2. James S. Treifel, "The
Moment of Creation", Scribner's and Son. p 141-142
-3. H. Bondi and T. Gold, "The
Steady State Theory of the Expanding Universe," Monthly Notices
of the Royal Astronomical Society, 108:252-270 (1948).
4. Fred Hoyle, "A New Model for
the Expanding Universe," Monthly Notices of the Royal
Astronomical Society, 108:372-382 (1948).
-5. For a detailed discussion see
Gerald Schroder, "Genesis and the Big Bang, Chapter 4. Bantam
-6. In the realm of quantum mechanics
some particles have apparently arisen spontaneously as a result of a
"quantum fluctuation." However, they quickly annihilate
-7. Fred Hoyle proposed that the
continuous creation of matter be considered a natural law itself. He
included a creation constant in Einstein's theory of relativity.
-8. This is developed further in
later chapters. For more papers on this and other related subjects;