GOD AND THE IMMORTAL, THERMODYNAMIC PRINCIPLE
Posted 3/6/2004 at God and Science Discussion forum, The Astronomy Net
By Robert W. Hamilton
According to the first Law of Thermodynamics, energy is neither created nor destroyed. Since the entire universe was produced by the sudden expansion of energy, there is no reason to believe that the universe was "created", since the very essence of the universe, energy, cannot BE created. The Universe IS energy. Energy cannot be created, so how can the Universe have beeen "created"?
If there is no creation of energy, and energy is the makeup of the universe, then there is no Creator. If this "Creator" and energy are one and the same, there is no room for the distinction of "creator". Naturally we want to understand "why" the theoretical singularity expanded suddenly and rapidly in a moment of profundity catastrophic enough to merit a definition as the beginning of time itself.
But if time had a beginning, and energy had no beginning, being that it cannt be created, then energy must exist "beyond" or "outside" of time.
Time may indeed come to an end, since it is thought to have had a beginning. Energy, however, stays constant. There is no beginning. There is no end.
The best definition of energy I have come up with is "potential". It is a potential to motivate force to do work. It is only measured in the units of heat and/or light which are produced as a result of the movement of particles which carry out the form transfer which is unique to the action of energy. Actually, energy cannot really be defined, since it is only seen in what it does, and described by what it might do.
If there is a "creator" it is energy, for only energy could have been "here" eternally. Energy does not have to exist as matter, and take up space or have mass. Energy can become that, but does not have to. Since matter derived from the rapid expansion of energy, then it is safe to say that energy pre-dates matter. Matter, then, would appear to be "created", but matter is not really matter. It is an interchangeable "form" of energy. The Law concludes by stating that energy can change forms.
So where is there room for a "Creator" in all of this? With energy and matter already existing, there was no act of creation necessary... just a rapid expansion to occur and begin the process of force development leading to sub-atomic particles, atoms, molecules, and eventually elements deriving from the thermonuclear transfer of hydrogen gas into helium gas, with the aforementioned elements spilling out as byproducts of this thermodynamic transfer of energy.
If there was creation, then it was not the creation of energy. It was the transition from potential to kinetic energy caused either by the magnanimous buildup of heat implied in a concentration of energy in a single point, or the "thought" of a willful intelligence that simply caused the potential to become kinetic. Physics has no model for s simple mind-generated transfer such as this. Only a vast buildup of heat energy causing an expansion of the closed space makes any sense at all. If there was a reason for it, then the Universe is teleological...that is, "created" with a purpose.
If there was no reason for this, then there was no act of intelligence which caused the expansion, just a moment at which the heat of the potential just had to find a place to go. The law of Thermodynamics implies that everything has to go somewhere. The space itself was, and is comprised of energy, and as the expansion continues, so too does the space.
It would be a monumental discovery to find that energy "created" God and God, then, became the metaphor for the creativity that created "Him". God needed billions of years for stars to produce enough matter to become planets, carbon elements, and the building blocks of life.
God then needed a few more billion years for earth at least to develop life on the mammalian level evolving unto the human level where the definition of "God" had its genesis. Even God as a monotheistic concept needed thousands of years of polytheistic notions and supernatural hierarchies to develop into an idea of one all-encompassing Spirit subordinate still to the defining characteristics of different cultural realities.
After all this time, God still does not have the singularity and immortal simplicity that energy has. God must become immersed in the conflict that characterizes the kind of existence humanity is experiencing on earth, and predictably everywhere else in the universe where there is intelligent life unable to advance beyond the limiting perimeters of religious thinking.
This God is an idea too full of form and anthropomorphic content to compare to the mere potential that energy is defined as. This God could arguably be a form of energy itself, owing its existence to a more fundamental formlessness which is pure energy. That there could be something more profound than God is a powerful suggestion. That all of life is comprised of energy and immune from destruction is even more exciting.
All that exists must yield to entropy, the byproduct of thermodynamic exchange. For various reasons, not all of the energy in a closed space gets transformed completely in thermodynamic exchanges. The "left over" energy is present as decay. All existence, then, proceeds toward decay. If you say that God exists, then God would have to decay, and this is an affront to most theological conceptions which regard God as all-in-all, eternal, all powerful, all knowing, perfect, etc. etc. Imagine a God that needs all of that description when there is uncreated, indestructible energy moving about as the fundamental dynamic in the organization of all the processes of the Universe.
God is either the energy itself, existing with no name or form, or God is a formed unit of ideation relative to the circumstances under which "He" was brought into definition by the religions which invented "Him". To define God is to imply what God is not. All things which fit a description cannot fit descriptions differing from the description. To be "This" is to be "Not that".
To be not something is to have lack, and therefore not be absolute. To have a quality of non-absoluteness, is to fail to reflect the theological imperative of God being "All-in-ALL" It might be said that while in the universe, we have energy as the absolute, on earth, we have come only unto a pluralistic, culturally defined monotheism, just a step or two away from blatant polytheism.
The only all-consuming essence in the universe is energy, and this is a constant… An Absolute. It has its footprint on all of life, in dark energy/dark matter, in all of the apparent space between the stars, the galaxies, etc. In reality, there is no such thing as space, everything being occupied by some form of energy, so energy prevails as the one constant that was neither created nor can be destroyed though it can change form. It can dissipate and lose strength as expansion continues, but it cannot go away.
More important than wondering if there is a unified, absolute God or not is learning to flow with that inter-connected energy that leaves no gaps in the universe. All thinking is conscious energy, and all conscious energy is neither creatable nor destroyable. We have, in the vast cosmic sense, a stake in the immortality of energy, for We ARE the energy. We ebb and we flow, but we never cease to exist. God is but a portion of the total picture. A good beginning. A place to depart from and reach an even higher wisdom in a formless potential which is immortal.
RWH... Musician, Theologian, Student of Cosmic Research, Minister of Social Humanism