Theistic thermodynamics

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The terms: theos (god), theology (study of gods), and thermodynamics (study of heat, work, and energy) all derive, etymologically, from the Greek letter "theta", number "9" (code: Ennead), symbol: Θ (code: Egyptian sun god), isopsephy "318" (code: Helios). The modern person who writes on thermodynamics and god, accordingly, must decide, whether they believe that heat his a god (e.g. sun god) or the quantity TdS? This, naturally enough, applies to derived terms such as "work", e.g. god's work or the work of the forces of nature, or "Gibbs energy", e.g. Mirza Beg (1987), believes that Gibbs energy, behind the spontaneity of human chemical reactions, is the will of Allah.

In thermodynamics, theistic thermodynamics, aka "theological thermodynamics" or "creationist thermodynamics", as compared to “atheistic thermodynamics”, refers to the view or belief that there is a god and that this god (or creator) is involved, in some way, in the origin and ongoing nature of the laws of thermodynamics, two main laws of the universe.

A tell-tale sign of theistic thermodynamics, is the use of the terms: create, creation, creature, creator, or created, which are code for an attempt to frame the laws of thermodynamics around creation myth, theology, and or theism.

Overview

In 1874, the famous Tyndall vs Stewart and Tait BAAS debate erupted between John Tyndall, an atheist and materialist, and semi-closeted scientific theists Balfour Stewart and Peter Tait; one result was the followup book The Unseen Universe: Speculations of a Future State (1875) by Stewart and Tait.[1] In 1878, James Maxwell penned his poem "A Paradoxical Ode: After Shelley", his last work, where he gave an ambiguous fence-sitting take on the debate, seemingly siding more on the Percy Shelley side of the fence.[2] This so-called signing off on the matter by Maxwell, might can say, can be defined as the year that thermodynamics, in the scientific community, tipped to the atheistic side of the fence.

In 2015, Philip Ball, in his Invisible: the Dangerous Allure of the Unseen, building on Stewart and Tait's The Unseen Universe, discussed "theological thermodynamics", in respect to the dangers of thinking about god as an invisible man, unseen force, or "higher power".[3]

Quotes

The following are example of creationist thermodynamics quotes:

“Known facts with reference to the mechanics of animal and vegetable bodies, [there is] at present in the material world a universal tendency to the dissipation of mechanical energy [and] any restoration of mechanical energy, without more than an equivalent of dissipation, is impossible in inanimate material processes, and is probably never effected by means of organized matter, either endowed with vegetable life or subject to the will of an animated creature.”
William Thomson (1852), “On a Universal Tendency in Nature to the Dissipation of Mechanical Energy” [4]
“The point of all of this is that our creator has fashioned laws that are deep seated and broadly applicable, that science is heavily intertwined in our everyday life, frequently without our realization, that we need to break down the compartmentalization of knowledge, that we need to work for a unification of learning, and that we need to understand better the meaning and purpose of life.”
Friedrich Rossini (1971), “Chemical Thermodynamics in the Real World” [5]
“The second law of thermodynamics is man’s description of the prior and continuing work of a creator, who also holds the answer to the future destiny of man and the universe.”
— Gordon Wylen (1985), Fundamentals of Classical Thermodynamics (pg. 233) [6]
“Consider that when Clausius created U, he was able to reasonably grasp the physical meaning behind it since he based the creation on two comprising properties that he grasped quite well, the vis viva of the moving atoms and the work needed to separate them. In other words, he first learned the pieces than created the whole.”
Robert Hanlon (2020), Brick by Brick (pg. 457) [7]

End matter

References

  1. Tyndall-Stewart-Tait debate – Hmolpedia 2020.
  2. A Paradoxical Ode: After Shelley – Hmolpedia 2020.
  3. (a) Ball, Philip. (2015). Invisible: the Dangerous Allure of the Unseen (thermodynamics, 5+ pgs; theological thermodynamics, pg. 140). University of Chicago.
    (b) Note: in Jan 2021, Ball's Invisible was second GB search return for "theological thermodynamics".
  4. Thomson, William. (1852). "On a Universal Tendency in Nature: to the Dissipation of Mechanical Energy" (txt), Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Apr 19, in" Philosophical Magazine, Oct 1852; in: Mathematical and Physical Papers, Volume One (§59:511).
  5. Rossini, Frederick D. (1971). “Chemical Thermodynamics in the Real World” (abs) (pdf), Priestley Medal Address, delivered Mar 29 at the national American Chemical Society meeting, Los Angeles, California; in: Chemical Engineering News, April 5, 49 (14): 50-53.
  6. (a) Wylen, Gordon and Sonntag, Richard. (1973). Fundamentals of Classical Thermodynamics (2nd ed) (section: 7.16: Some General Comments Regarding Entropy, pgs. 247-48; creator, pg. 248). Wiley.
    (b) Wylen, Gordon and Sonntag, Richard. (1985). Fundamentals of Classical Thermodynamics (3rd ed) (creator, pg. 233). Wiley.
  7. Hanlon, Robert. (2020). Block by Block: the Historical and Theoretical Foundations of Thermodynamics (Illustrators: Robert Hanlon and Carly Sanker) (Bib). Oxford University Press.
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