By Babu G. Ranganathan
Evolutionists, like those in Internet media organizations such as The Panda's Thumb and Pharyngula, ignorantly continue to criticize creationists and argue that the law of entropy in science (the tendency of matter to go towards greater disorder than greater order) does not contradict evolutionary theory because they claim the law of entropy does not apply in open systems such as our Earth, and evolutionists use examples such as a seed becoming a tree as a contradiction to the law of entropy. Evolutionists are wrong on both counts for reasons which will be fully explained in this article.
Entropy does occur in open systems. We discovered entropy here on Earth which is an open system in relation to the Sun. However, entropy applies only to spontaneous or chance processes.
The spontaneous (unaided or undirected) tendency of matter is always towards greater disorder -- not towards greater order and complexity as evolution would teach. Just having enough energy from the Sun is not sufficient to overcome entropy. This tendency towards disorder, which exists in all matter, can be temporarily overcome only if there exists some energy converting and directing mechanism to direct, develop, and maintain order.
When a seed becomes a tree, for example, there is no violation to the law of entropy because the seed contains a directing genetic code and very highly complex biological mechanisms to overcome entropy so that a seed can evolve into a fully developed tree. In other words, the development of seed to tree is not a spontaneous (or chance) event. The question for evolutionists is how did biological life and order on Earth come into existence in the first place when there was no directing code and mechanism in Nature for overcoming entropy. The only rational answer is that an intelligent power outside of Nature was responsible for the original order.
The theory of evolution teaches that matter has an innate tendency to evolve towards greater and greater complexity or order. We are so accustomed to seeing evolution of technology all about us (new cars, boats, ships, inventions, etc.) that we assume that Nature must work the same way also. Of course, we forget that all those new gadgets and technology had a human designer behind them. Nature, however, does not work the same way.
Even the scientific followers of Prigogine, the father of Chaos theory, have admitted that only a very minimal level of order will ever be possible as a result of spontaneous or chance processes.
For example, a few amino acids have been produced spontaneously, but there is already a natural tendency for molecules to form into amino acids if given the right conditions. There is, however, no natural tendency for amino acids to come together spontaneously into a sequence to form into proteins. They have to be directed to do so by the genetic code in the cells of our bodies. Even the simplest cell is made up of billions of protein molecules. An average protein molecule may comprise of several hundred sequentially arranged amino acids. Many are comprised of thousands of sequential units. If they are not in the precise sequence the protein will not function!
The sequence of molecules in DNA (the genetic code) determines the sequence of molecules in proteins. Furthermore, without DNA there cannot be RNA, but without RNA there cannot be DNA. Without either DNA or RNA there cannot be proteins, but without proteins there cannot be either DNA or RNA. These complex molecules are all mutually dependent upon one another for existence!
If the cell had evolved it would have had to be all at once. A partially evolved cell cannot wait millions of years to become complete because it would be highly unstable and quickly disintegrate in the open environment, especially without the protection of a complete and fully functioning cell membrane.
Of course, once there is a complete and living cell then the genetic program and various biological mechanisms exist to direct the formation of more cells with their own genetic programs and biological mechanisms. The question is how did life come about when there were no directing mechanisms.
The great British scientist Sir Frederick Hoyle has said that the mathematical probability of the sequence of molecules in the simplest cell occurring by chance is 10 to the 40,000th power or roughly equivalent to a tornado going through a junk yard of airplane parts and assembling a 747 Jumbo Jet. It is not rational to put faith in such odds for the origin of life.
Considering the enormous complexity of life, it is much more logical to believe that the genetic and biological similarities between all species is due to a common Designer rather than common biological ancestry. It is only logical that the great Designer would design similar functions for similar purposes and different functions for different purposes in all of the various forms of life.
Contrary to popular belief, scientists have never created life in the laboratory. What scientists have done is genetically alter or engineer already existing forms of life, and by doing this scientists have been able to produce new forms of life. However, they did not produce these new life forms from non-living matter. Even if scientists ever do produce life from non-living matter it won't be by chance so it still wouldn't help support any argument for evolution.
Even in the recent case, as reported in the news, involving the creation of what is called synthetic (or artificial) life, scientists don't actually create or produce life itself from non-living matter. What scientists do in this case is create (by intelligent design) artificial DNA (genetic instructions and code) which is then implanted into an already existing living cell and, thereby, changing that cell into a new form of life. And, again, even if scientists ever do create a whole living cell from scratch (and not just its DNA) it still would not be by chance but by intelligent design. Synthetic life is another form of genetic engineering. But God was there first. Remember that!
What if we should find evidence of life on Mars? Wouldn't that prove evolution? No. It wouldn't be proof that such life had evolved from non-living matter by chance natural processes. And even if we did find evidence of life on Mars it would have most likely have come from our very own planet - Earth! In the Earth's past there was powerful volcanic activity, which could have easily spewed dirt-containing microbes into outer space, which eventually could have reached Mars. A Newsweek article of September 21, 1998, p.12 mentions exactly this possibility.
Ultimately, however, scientists concede that the law of entropy (the process of progressive energy decay and disorder) will conquer the entire universe and the universe, if left to itself, will end in total chaos (the opposite direction of evolution!). In fact, the law of entropy contradicts the Big Bang theory which teaches that the universe spontaneously went from disorder to order.
The mighty law of entropy in science simply teaches that the net direction of the universe is always downward towards greater and greater disorder and chaos -- not towards greater and greater order and complexity.
Furthermore, because of the law of entropy the universe does not have the ability to have sustained itself from all eternity since all the useful energy in the universe will some day become irreversibly and totally useless. The universe, therefore, cannot be eternal and requires a beginning. Since energy cannot come into existence from nothing by any natural process, the beginning of the universe must have required a Supernatural origin!
Science cannot prove we're here by creation, but neither can science prove we're here by chance or macro-evolution. No one has observed either. They are both accepted on faith. The issue is which faith, Darwinian macro-evolutionary theory or creation, has better scientific support.
Many have been taught to think that because Darwin had shown natural selection to occur in nature that evolution must be true. Natural selection does occur in nature, but natural selection can only "select" from biological variations that are possible and which have survival value. Natural selection itself does not produce biological variations. It is an entirely passive process in nature. Natural selection is simply another way of saying that if a variation (i.e. change in skin color, etc.) occurs which helps an animal to survive in its environment then that that variation will be preserved and be passed on to future generations. That is what scientists mean by "natural selection". Of course, nature does not do any active or conscious selecting. The term "natural selection" is simply a figure of speech. Furthermore, natural selection only applies once there is life and not before. In other words, natural selection is not involved in any pre-biotic, non-living interactions of chemicals.
Whatever evolution and natural selection that occurs in nature is limited to within biological kinds (such as the varieties of dogs, cats, horses, cows, etc.) but, evolution across biological kinds, especially from simpler kinds to more complex ones (i.e. from fish to human), is not possible unless Nature can perform genetic engineering.
The early grooves in the human embryo that appear to look like gills are really the early stages in the formation of the face, throat, and neck regions. The so-called "tailbone" is the early formation of the coccyx and spinal column which, because of the rate of growth being faster than the rest of the body at this stage, appears to look like a tail. The coccyx has already been proven to be useful in providing support for the pelvic muscles.
But, didn't we all start off from a single in our mother's womb? Yes, but that single cell from which we developed had the complete genetic information to develop into a full human being. Other single cells, such as bacteria and amoebas, which evolutionists say we had evloved from don't have the genetic information to develop into humans or other species. There is no scientific evidence that random mutations in the genetic code caused by random environmental forces such as radiation will increase genetic complexity which is what ultimately would be necessary to turn amoebas into humans. The law of entropy in nature would prevent random mutations from being able to accomplish such a feat!
What we believe about our origins does influence our philosophy and value of life as well as our view of ourselves and others. This is no small issue!
Just because science can explain how life and the universe operate and work doesn't mean there is no Supreme Designer. Would it be rational to believe that there's no designer behind airplanes because science can explain how airplanes operate and work?
Natural laws are adequate to explain how the order in life, the universe, and even a microwave oven operates, but mere undirected natural laws can never fully explain the origin of such order.
There is, of course, so much more to say on this subject. Scientist, creationist, debater, writer, and lecturer, Dr. Walt Brown covers various scientific issues ( i.e. thermodynamics, fossils, biological variation and diversity, the origin of life, comparative anatomy and embryology, the issue of vestigial organs, the age of the earth, etc. ) at greater depth on his website at www.creationscience.com . Another excellent source of information from highly qualified scientists who are creationists is the Institute for Creation Research ( www.icr.org ) in San Diego, California.
It is important to understand that belief in neither evolution or creation is necessary to the actual study of science itself. One can understand the human body and become a first class surgeon regardless of whether he or she believes the human body is the result of the chance forces of nature or of a Supreme Designer.
It is only fair that evidence supporting intelligent design or creation be presented to students alongside of evolutionary theory, especially in public schools, which receive funding from taxpayers, who are on both sides of the issue. Also, no one is being forced to believe in God or adopt a particular religion so there is no true violation of separation of church and state. As a religion and science writer, I encourage all to read my Internet article "The Natural Limits of Evolution" at my website www.religionscience.com for more in-depth study of the issue.
The author, Babu G. Ranganathan, is an experienced Christian writer. Mr. Ranganathan has his B.A. with academic concentrations in Bible and Biology from Bob Jones University. As a religion and science writer he has been recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis Who's Who In The East. The author's articles have been published in various publications including Russia's Pravda and South Korea's The Seoul Times. The author's website may be accessed at: www.religionscience.com .