The Random Element

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Preston Harold says that entropy is a measure of disorder, of the increase in the random element. Sir Arthur Eddington asks, “When a stone falls it acquires a kinetic energy, and the amount of the energy is just that which would be required to lift the stone back to it original height…. But if the stone hits an obstacle its kinetic energy is converted into heat energy. There is still the same quantity of energy, but, but even if we could scrape it back together and put it through an engine we could not lift the stone back with it. What has happened to make the energy no longer serviceable?”

The short answer to his question is the random element. Once the stone hits the obstacle the molecules in the stone constantly collide and rebound, and this continuous shuffling of energy can only decrease organization. The hitting of the obstacle has introduced the random element.

Eddington points out that “Organization of energy is negotiable, and so is the disorganization or random element; disorganization does not forever remain attached to the particular store of energy which first suffered it, but may be passed on elsewhere.”

Ah, so where does that energy of disorganization go? Where is it passed onto?

Preston Harold reminds us that all is one:

Entropy, then, is concerned with changing arrangement, within and without. Like the number one, it is definite, but its measure cannot be spelled out, for one draws all from zero into infinity. Like one, entropy’s significance is too small or too large to be captured on paper… Introduction of the concept of entropy turned scientists from the view that everything could be discovered by microscopic dissection of objects; it demands consideration of the qualities possessed by the system of the whole.

Entropy has opened science into the realm of quality as well as quantity, it has lead it into considering seriously a holistic view of the universe; all the little microscopic parts don’t exist separately from a greater whole. The question for us at this point is:

Did Jesus realize that what is now called the second law of thermodynamics is life’s supreme law that operates throughout creation?

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We will begin exploring this possibility in our next post. Until then, peace.

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