Kostic, after completed his PhD in mechanical engineering, with a dissertation on “Heat Transfer and Hydrodynamics of Water and Viscoelastic Fluid Flow in Rectangular Duct” (1984), at the University of Illinois at Chicago, became a mechanical engineering professor at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, where he taught courses on thermodynamics, heat transfer, and energy and environment; retiring from that position in 2014.
In 2010, Kostic launched ZerothReligion.com, which opened to the following statement:
- “The zeroth religion [is based on the belief that] energy, is the ‘building block’ of all material and space existence, and the cause for all creations and recreations in time. The zeroth religion can be considered, metaphorically, as the most basic religion, with all due respect to the first religion; the same way in which the ‘zeroth law’ of [thermodynamics], i.e. thermal equilibrium, is more basic than the grandiose ‘first law’ [thermodynamics], i.e. of energy conservation. Energy provides existence and is cause for change, and hopefully progress. Energy is possessed of an equilibrium property by material systems and redistributed and or transferred between and within systems, due to system’s non-equilibrium, via forced-displacement interactions and process towards the equilibrium state, i.e. equipartition of energy over mass and space; thus energy is conserved, according to the first law, but degraded, according to the second law. The grand law of nature, accordingly, states that the universe consists of local material or mass-energy structures in forced-equilibrium and their interactions via forced fields. The forces are balanced at any time, including inertial and process rate forces, thus conserving momentum, while charges and or mass and energy are transferred and conserved during forced displacement in space at all the times, but energy is degraded or dissipated as it is redistributed and transferred from higher to lower non-equilibrium potential towards equilibrium or the equipartition of energy.”
Here, in respect to atheism, theism, or agnosticism, it is difficult to see whether Kostic's metaphorical “religion”, as defined above, can be classified as theistic thermodynamics or atheistic thermodynamics? It would seem to be the case, given language usage, namely “creations and recreations”, that Kostic believes that “god is energy”, which causes creations and recreations in the universe; hence, thereby classifying Kostic’s “zeroth religion” as “coded theistic thermodynamics”, or closet theism.
Thims | Zerotheism
Kostic’s 2010 thermodynamics stylized metaphorical “zeroth religion”, can be compared to Libb Thims’ 2015 atheism-explicit thermodynamics based “zerotheism”, and Aug 2015 “Zerotheism for Kids” lecture, the namesake of which not being themed on the zeroth law of thermodynamics, but on 5,000+ year historical trend that humans, in their religious beliefs, have passed, in steps, from polytheism (many gods), to henotheism (one supreme god; many lesser gods), to monotheism (one god; many prophets), to a new religious belief system, in the coming millennia, based on belief in “zero” gods (no gods), hence, zero-theism. lecture, to a group of six Chicago children, ages 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, which was recorded and edited into a YouTube atheism for kids lecture series, the opening screen shot of each video part being the following diagram:
Thims, in the following months, while attempting to make a children's atheism book, based on the lecture notes, experience, and feedback, in various discussion attempted to distill the basic message the kids were taught; some examples:
- “Gibbs energy replaces gods energy, big bang cosmology replaces Nile River (Noah’s ark) flood cosmology, and evidence-based physiochemical morals replace angel-based prophesized morals.”
- “It's big bang to human molecules, and there is NO god.”
Kostic's version of "zeroth religion", accordingly would seem be a "gods energy" variety, conceptualized such that the "creation" work of god is found in the "energy" and equilibrium state transformations seen throughout the universe, defined by thermodynamics? This subliminal creation mindset, seems to be evidenced in the abstract for Kostic’s 2021 “Foundations and Ubiquity of Classical Thermodynamics” topic collection special issue, wherein the term “create” is employed four times: creators, creation, creatively, creative; the latter of which employed in the opening sentence:
- “Thermodynamics is a science of energy and entropy, and therefore, the very foundation of all other sciences and of all creative applications.”
This can be compared to Robert Hanlon, who in his is 2021 Block by Block, history of thermodynamics book, uses the term “creation” at a rate 420% above normal usage, including the peculiar use of using the term "creation" three times in one sentence, when in respect to the first law and energy. The subtle coded "creative" language of Kostic and Hanlon, accordingly, might well classify into a neo "creative energy" category of beliefs, a distant cousin to the "creative force" ideas of the 19th century?
- History – Entropy Journal.
- Zerotheism – Hmolpedia 2020.
- Zerotheism for kids – Hmolpedia 2020.
- Note: the original title was "zerotheism for kids", themed on the idea that as humankind has progressed from "polytheism" (many gods), to "henotheism" (one supreme god, many smaller gods), to "monotheism" (one god, many prophets), that we were now in an era where we are progressing into "zerotheism" (zero gods, much science). After about a year, the YouTube videos (originally titled "zerotheism for kids"), where changed back to "atheism for kids", so to have immediate recognition (i.e. atheism) and search optimization for parents; rather than use a newly-coined term, which only adds confusion, to an already confused subject (i.e. theism).
- Thims, Libb. (2015). “Zerotheism for Kids” (co-host: Thor) (main), 14-part [4:41-hr] lecture playlist (YT), 5-intro sides (Ѻ), 56-main sides (Ѻ), 11AM-3PM, Chicago, Aug 10 (recorded), Sep 7 (published).
- Children’s atheism bible – Hmolpedia 2020.
- Kostic, Milivoje. (2021). “Foundations and Ubiquity of Classical Thermodynamics”, Topical Collection (abs), Entropy, MDPI.com, Jan.
- Milivoje Kostic – Hmolpedia 2020.