INFINITY #2: Purpose and Order in the Universe.
by Daniel H. Harris, Ph.D.
IX. The Universe Will Burn Out! The Universe Will Die!
In a natural law universe it takes a very long but limited time for the
universe to use up its available concentrated heat energy. So a natural law universe necessarily
has a limited lifetime, the time needed to dissipate all its concentrated
heat energy. Just like a bonfire, the
universe eventually burns out.
The Heat Death of the Universe.
So the level of order (water level) in the universe will reach a minimum
(the hole in the side of the bucket) when the universe reaches a uniform
temperature throughout. This is
called the heat death of the universe.
When the universe arrives at its heat death, then all the heat energy of
the universe will be completely dissipated, it will be spread uniformly
throughout the universe. Every
celestial body in the entire universe then reaches the same temperature on its
surface and throughout. Then heat
energy will no longer go from hot places to cold places, for there will be no
more hot places, and there will be no more cold places, everything will be at
the same uniform temperature. Then
the bucket (universe) will no longer be losing water (order).
[For simplicity sake the present discussion has ignored the view of some
cosmologists who speculate that forces [which apply on a large scale within the
universe] are great enough to cause the universe to collapse on itself forming a
giant black hole. In either case,
either by heat death or by collapse, it appears that given enough time the
universe will die.]
Some Order Remains Even in a Dead Universe.
In a heat dead universe these principles also tell us that
there will be some remaining order. The remaining order will be:
1) In the arrangement-organization of matter, e.g. solids;
2) In the orbital and rotary motions of objects (which would continue
moving because of inertia);
3) In the remaining microscopic thermal motions of atoms,
4) In the motions going on inside of atoms.
Natural law predicts that the order remaining in a heat dead universe
will continue unchanged indefinitely. In
a heat dead universe there will be no living things, for life needs food, a
form of concentrated available energy and that will no longer be.
X. The Universe is Not Eternal, It Had a Beginning!
We can also say that the bucket (universe) had more water (order) in the
past. But the bucket (universe) can
only hold a limited amount of water (order-concentrated available energy). So there had to be a time when the
bucket (universe) was full of water. There
had to be a time at the beginning, when the universe had the maximum amount of
order it ever had. There must have
been a beginning. So the
universe cannot be eternal.
The universe must have had a beginning.
XI. The Pivotal Argument.
Now to understand the implications of what we have discussed thus far, we
need to use some basic logic. Don't
Panic! Its not that hard. Just
Some Very Basic Logic.
Central in our discussion will be the idea that the real world and the
world of logic are related. To
understand this, you need to understand just some very basic logic. What is possible or impossible, in logic
is determined by the idea of contradiction.
For example, if we say that the universe exists, we can't say, at the
same time, that the universe doesn't exist, that would be a contradiction,
considering the ordinary meaning of the words we used. To say that something both exists and
doesn't, is a contradiction, and impossible.
Now that you understand the idea of contradiction, and that
contradictions show us what is logically possible, and what is logically not
possible, we assert that, anything that is real and exists, must be logically
possible. And we assert that
those things that are logically impossible don't exist.
Applying Basic Logic.
With this basic understanding of logic, let's see what we can learn about
the origin of the universe. The
argument goes like this:
1) Every event has a cause or causes; **
2) If we trace causes backwards in time, far enough,
we must come to a first cause. Even if
there were an infinite number of events in the event sequence, there would be a
first number in the sequence.
3) The first cause, is the cause those events following.
4) The first cause has no cause, because it's first.
5) The first cause is necessarily self-existent.
Because, nothing can cause itself, or exist before itself, there must be
only one first cause of everything else. Any
other conclusion would be logically impossible.
Therefore, we assert that this argument is true, and we assert that there
must be one and only one self-existent, first cause of everything else.
And since we know from the SLoT that the universe must have had a
beginning, we know that the universe is not eternal, and the universe cannot be
** In INFINITY #5 we will deal with the proposition, held by some, that
there are uncaused chance processes. For
the present it is sufficient to be aware that this proposition is by its very
nature not testable and are therefore not science.
The Universe is Not the First Cause, God is!
Therefore, the universe is not the self-existent first cause of all other
things. There must be some other
first cause, which is the cause of everything, including the universe, and
which continues to be the first cause of everything that happens today. And we assert that it is reasonable
(by the ordinary definition of the word) to call this first cause of all things
God. Therefore, there is a
God who/that made the universe.
XII. The Universe Can Not Be a Closed System.
Now let's look at a second important aspect of the natural law argument. From the above discussion we can say
that the order we see in the universe today did not arise by any known or
recognized natural law process within the universe. For we know that:
1) The universe doesn't make order, it destroys order;
2) And according to natural law, the universe is all there is, the
universe is a closed system, so the order can't come form outside, for natural
law tells us there is no outside.
We Have a Contradiction.
Therefore, there is no known way according to natural law for the
universe to have order. Nevertheless,
the universe does have order. Therefore,
we have a contradiction.
Since we have a contradiction, one or more of our foundational
propositions must be wrong. That
is, one of the natural law principles must be wrong. Let's consider each possibility. First, the universe is orderly, surely
that has not been falsified by the evidence. ***
Secondarily, the universe is loosing order, surely that has not been
falsified either. That leaves us
with only one inescapable conclusion, that the universe is not a closed system,
as natural law supposes it to be. The
universe has had input from elsewhere!
[Some philosophers argue that ordinary reality is an illusion, that the
order we see is not real. But to
assume that the observed universe we can agree about is not real is a kind of
The Order Came from Elsewhere!
Returning to our bucket analogy, we can say that the bucket (universe)
didn't make the water (order) in it. The
water (order) must have been put into the bucket (universe) from outside, either
at the beginning (creation event), or on one or more occasions since.
The order we see today in the universe must have come into the universe
from somewhere outside the universe in space and/or time. Either order came into the universe from
outside of its space, on at least one occasion; or order came into the universe
from outside of time, that is, at the beginning of the universe.
[These arguments apply even if our universe were only a small part of a
much larger universe. If one were
to consider that much larger universe, then the above arguments would still
XIII. Chance and the SECOND LAW of THERMODYNAMICS (SLoT).
There is a second important way of stating the SLoT. If you will recall, the SLoT says that
order never arises spontaneously from disorder.
That is, random - disordered - chance processes do not produce order. For example:
1) Jumbling coins in your pocket is not a good way to get a sequence of
all heads up coins.
2) If you make a long distance telephone call, with noise on the line,
the noise distorts and confuses your speech, the noise doesn't add creative
comments, to improve the conversation.
3) A child's intensive and prolonged scribbling on your English paper
will not improve your grade.
4) If you were to place a pile of bricks on a flat horizontal vibrating
platform, then no matter how much energy you communicate to the bricks by
vibrating them, no matter how the platform moves, no matter how long you wait,
the pile of bricks will never organize itself to become a wall.
Chance events never produce order.
XIV. Intelligence Is The Only Source of Order!
Only the intelligent use of available energy produces order. If I want to build a wall or if I want
my desk organized, I have to intelligently make use of available energy to move
things around, that produces order. If
my desk were an isolated (closed) system (no outside inputs), then my desk would
never organize itself. Even if
energy alone, e.g. in the form of heat, or radiation, or wind, were to be
applied to my desk, then my desk would still not become organized.
Order Sends a Message, the Message of the Universe (MotU).
We can also say that intelligence must be present to measure the ordering
of my desk, since only intelligence knows what order is. So intelligence must be an active agency
in both producing and recognizing order. Thus
the making of order and the recognition of order, together constitute a form of
communication; the order being a signal between intelligences.
The watch designer-maker communicates time to the watch user. The sign painter communicates a message to the sign reader. The automobile designer-maker
communicates many messages to the automobile user.
Likewise, the order present in the universe communicates with observers
of the universe, not unlike the monuments of the most ancient civilizations
communicate with modern observers. The
universe sends us a message, the Message of the Universe MotU. Our job is to use energy and intelligence to read the MotU.
The Necessity of Both Intelligence and Energy.
For any intelligent communication to occur, energy must be used, both to
make order, and to recognize order. That
is, without available energy, intelligence cannot make or recognize order.
[One second after death, a man is just as intelligent as he was before
death, all systems are still intact, only there is no available energy to make
use of that intelligence, either for creating order or for recognizing order. Likewise, a computer may be very useful
when it is turned on, only then is it using available energy and applying
designed in intelligence.]
So in summary, the recognition of order in the universe, requires there
to be both energy and intelligence, both in the fashioning of the order, and in
the recognition of the order. Thus,
the presence of order in the universe exhibits the intelligent use of energy
in the forming of the universe.
XV. God: The Energetic Source of Order in the Universe.
Since the universe does not make order, only disorder; and since only the
intelligent use of energy can make order; it is clear that the order we see
in the universe today had to come into the universe from an energetic
intelligence beyond space-time. This
agency had to be capable of creating and/or modifying the laws of the universe,
in order to insert order (in the form of available concentrated energy) into the
universe, either at the beginning of the universe, or since. By any reasonable definition, that is
XVI. The Universe is an Object With Caused Properties!
From the discussions above we know that the universe had an external
cause. Therefore, we can think of
the universe as an object with properties, caused properties, such as the
properties of space-time, and the laws of nature.
And remembering that the SLoT shows that the universe had a beginning, we
know that the universe is not the self-existent first cause of all things.
The Universe Didn't Define Its Own Properties.
So the universe didn't make itself into what it is, the universe didn't
define - specify its own properties. Then
it appears the properties of space-time and the laws of nature are part of the
order in the universe, part of the message of the universe, the MotU.
And we realize that the properties of the space-time universe,
and the laws of nature operating within the universe,
didn't make themselves either. Since
the laws of nature operate within space and time; the laws of nature could not
create space and time. Similarly,
space and time are not sufficient, by themselves, to cause and define the laws
of nature. Nor can space create its
own properties, nor can time create its own properties.
A Highly Ordered System
It appears, therefore, that the properties of space-time were created along with the laws of nature, its matter and its energy; all these things being essential parts of the highly ordered complex system, which we call the universe.
God, the External Cause.
Thus we see that the universe had an external cause, a supernatural
agency existing beyond the space-time universe, which caused the universe,
inserting energy and order into it. Such
an intelligent energetic agency should legitimately be called God. This God exists beyond the universe, not being limited to
existence within space-time, and therefore, God existed before the universe and
will continue to exist after the universe is gone. So there is a God who/that rules both within and beyond
XVII. God's Design, the MotU Communicates God's Purpose.
We can say that God created the universe, God designed the universe. And since the universe is so complex and
orderly, and it required such incredible energy and intelligence in its
formation, it is unreasonable to suppose that such an intelligence made a
mistake in the design. Therefore, it
is reasonable to suppose that the design of the universe, which was so
intelligently selected - designed, necessarily pleases the God who/that
designed it. So there is
ultimate purpose, and there is ultimate significance!
XVIII. There is Ultimate Significance in What We Do!
So there is a God who cares. What
you do on planet Earth will be remembered.
What you do does count. And
there is ultimate significance in what you do.
This God who created the universe, the ultimate intelligence, who cares enough to make the universe and do it right, I have met Him. And I can tell you that God cares about everyone and everything, and I would like you to get to know Him. You can begin to do that as you click on this.