Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hunting for Creationism - Round 5 - Available Energy Decreases Over Time

I'm on the hunt for evidence for Creationism/Intelligent Design (hereby C/ID). Here, I set the ground rules and mission. Here, I have an index of my search.

Continuing on (they have a bunch of arguments). Today's argument, "Available Energy Decreases Over Time"

Reading the title to this argument, my first question is, "I wonder what this has to do with creationism?"

Let's take a look.

There is less available energy today then there was yesterday.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system, such as the universe, that is not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium. The Third Law of Thermodynamics states that as the temperature approaches absolute zero, the entropy of a system approaches a constant.
Fortunately for us, the temperature of the universe is not zero. It is moving that way each moment, but it is not there yet.
So far, so good. I don't see any glaring errors.

 At some prior time, all the energy in the universe was available.
Sure, at the singularity, entropy was effectively zero. Got that.

Energy must have been created at some finite time in the past; otherwise we would have died long ago.
Uh, how do you figure? I agree that the Big Bang was a prerequisite for the events that followed, that ended up forming life in this universe, etc, but how do you figure that it was "created", and why must that be the case?

This sounds like some mutant version of a cosmological argument.

The logical conclusion is that an infinite Creator made the universe a finite time ago.
How so?

Let me digress for a moment, and explain something about the nature of evidence and epistemology.

When we're investigating a phenomenon, let's say we're trying to figure out what started a forest fire, we frequently have multiple possibilities. The evidence we have initially simply indicates that the forest fire happened, and it had an apparent beginning. As we gather additional data and evidence, other possibilities come to light, and more importantly, some possibilities are more strongly supported than others.

Eventually, we converge on a a possibility that's supported by the preponderance of evidence, above the others.

In the case of the Big Bang "singularity", we do not have a whole lot of evidence to establish any plausible possibilities, let alone which ones are more likely. It may be the case it's something we can never figure out.

The argument presented here is essentially, "The universe was a zero-entropy singularity some finite time ago. Magical man must have done it!"

Why do you think that? You say that's the "logical conclusion" without actually presenting any kind of logical argument. It's merely asserted that an invisible sky wizard is the cause of a context that's so extreme and bizarre, that our everyday notions of causality may not even apply, and we can do nothing but speculate at this point.

Going back to the forest fire example, the equivalent of this argument would have been, "Okay, the evidence shows the forest fire started at one point. Clearly, the logical conclusion is that a Fire Golem is responsible.", supported with no reason, no evidence, no arguments, no logic - nothing.

... and then, as a forensic investigator, you're fired on the spot for astonishing incompetence.

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