Until recently, everyone assumed that the universe was eternal. Both scholars and philosophers assumed that the universe had always been here, and had no beginning. 

Modern scientific research has led scholars to the conclusion that the universe had an absolute beginning. Considering the observations of galaxies and that they appear to be moving apart, modern astronomers have postulated that we live in an expanding universe. If the universe is expanding, then “if we run the tape backward” as it were, the universe must have originated from a single point. This implies that the universe came into existence suddenly. Based on these observations, we can be assured that the matter, space and time all came into existence suddenly. Scientists call this event the “Big Bang”. The processes involved are not important. The fact that it happened is. 

There is no doubt that the universe had a beginning. This implies that it:

  1. happened by accident - the universe is one huge mistake 
  2. had a primary cause - the universe came into existence by the design of a purposeful creator. 


Not only did the universe come into existence suddenly. It also came into existence in a complete form. One of the most fundamental laws of the universe is the First Law of Thermodynamics. This law states that it is impossible to create or destroy energy. Energy can only be converted from one form to another. This is called “Conservation of Energy”. 

This means that the universe, the moment it came into existence, already had all the energy it was ever going to have. 

In this century we have seen that energy and matter are the same. This is based on Einstein's developments in Relativity. We know that matter can be converted into energy, as in an atomic reaction, and presumable energy can be converted into matter. Therefore, the same laws of conservation can be applied to matter. In the Bible we read, “In the beginning [of time] God created the heavens [space] and the earth [matter]” (Genesis 1:1). The bible is the only holy book in the world which speaks explicitly about a creator who created the universe out of nothing. 

In the Bible we read, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made” (Genesis 2:1-2). Nowhere in the bible does it speak of God creating anything further. When He created the universe, he finished it completely. Nothing more has ever been created. All the energy and matter in the universe is being “conserved”. So the bible actually upholds the law of conservation of energy and matter. 


To fully appreciate the concept of entropy, it is necessary to digress slightly into the realm of statistics. 

Consider a deck of cards, arranged in order and thrown into the air. It is more probable for the cards to fall in random order and arrangement, than for them to fall in order. We expect this because there are many more options for the cards to fall in a disordered way, but only one way for the cards to fall in order. The same laws of probability apply to the ordering within distributions of particles in systems. Consider, for example, the melting of an ice cube. Of all the possible ways of placing water molecules into a container, the highly ordered arrangement within the crystalline ice cube has a very low probability, while the disordered arrangement of the molecules in a liquid is more probable. 

Because statistical probability is so important in determining the outcome of spontaneous events, thermodynamics defines a quantity, called entropy (S), that describes the degree of randomness of a system. The larger the value of entropy, the more random (disordered) the system is. 

Because all systems undergo irreversible processes, it is implied that energy is no longer freely available to the system for conversion. The quantity, Entropy is also a measure of this unavailable” energy (Encyclopedia Britannica 15th Edition 1974). 

Entropy accounts for the fact that we can not convert heat back into fuel by "un-burning" it. We can not "grow younger".

A good illustration of Entropy is a cup of coffee left on a bench. It does not "get hot". We need to keep adding heat to keep it warm. Energy is being lost to the outside world. This loss of energy to the outside world is Entropy. 

"Entropy is increased during an irreversible process. As all spontaneous processes in the universe are irreversible it may be said that the Entropy of the universe is increasing. That is, the universe is moving from a highly ordered state to one of disorder, leading to the realisation that the universe is 'running down'" (Encyclopedia Britannica 15th Edition 1974). 

This implies that the universe began in a much higher state than what we see around us at the moment. We must remember that it has been "running down" for some time now. What we see around us is only a shadow of the original. 

When we consider Entropy we have problems in some areas: 

  1. If the world has been running down, then it must have been much better in the beginning than it is now. The Bible tells us about the world when it was new. It shows us the beauty and order of that world, when men and animals lived together in harmony in a perfect universe. 
  2. This running down process controls everything which is associated with energy, including life itself. According to the Law of Entropy, every successive generation should be slightly inferior to its predecessor. The Bible tells us that the first few generations of people lived to be much older than we do now. In Genesis chapter 5 there is a genealogy of the sons of Adam. The average age of these men when they died was 908 years. In Genesis chapter 11 there is another genealogy. In here we see the average age of the men spoken of very quickly reducing from 600 years to 150 years. Today, we are fortunate if we live to be 100 years old. The Bible upholds the law of entropy. 
  3. In fact the law of Entropy implies that the world began with a fixed amount of energy and has been steadily decaying ever since. What began this process of decay ? 
  4. The universe came into existence "ready to run". If Entropy has been at work since the beginning then things have not "evolved", but are decaying from higher order to lower order. So where did it come from in the first place ? 
We need to reconsider our concept of how the universe works. Contrary to what many are saying, the universe is not improving, but is in a state of decay. 

These are important questions. The answers we come up with will colour every aspect of our lives. The understanding we gain from this study will determine our destiny. 

Created: 23 - Jan - 1997.
Last modified: 18 - Sept - 1998.
Copyright © 1998, Graham Brodie.

Maintainer: Graham Brodie, Email