From the Greek meaning 'heavy with wine'
A blog devoted to science and reason
Written after a glass or two of Pinot Noir.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Wingnut Thermodynamics

Bryan Fischer, part-time nuclear physicist, now lectures on thermodynamics.*
Remember that the second law of thermodynamics - one of powerful evidences for creation - is that neither energy nor matter can be either created or destroyed.
Um… Bryan? That's the first law of thermodynamics, also known as the conservation of energy. The second law states that the entropy of a closed system never decreases.
A brief digression. Did you notice how he emphasizes the word law? That is a sure sign that the speaker doesn't understand what a scientific law is or how it differs from a basic principle and from a theory.

Now he makes a claim about the origin of the universe.
There is nothing in inside the observable universe that can explain the origin of matter or energy.
Why is it that people like Bryan Fischer make statements like this as though they are undisputed facts? The origin of energy (mass is just one form of energy) is an open scientific question. Lawrence Krauss and Brian Greene are just two physicists who have written popular accounts on the nature of matter and energy.
So what is the logical conclusion? Someone outside the universe put it there.
Logical conclusion? Fischer must never have taken a course in logic. First he assumes the truth of his premise. Then he creates a false dilemma - either there is no one or there is someone. Notice the lack of something. Of course, the someone he has in mind is his version of the christian deity.
The universe is headed toward a heat death.
Now Fischer gets the 2nd law essentially correct. The universe will according to current models keep expanding, increase in entropy, and grow very cold.
This is a scientific law predated by the psalmist back in 900 B.C.
Wait for it.
Of old you laid the foundation of earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain.
Psalm 102, verses 25 and half of 26.  Then he makes a statement as though it were a fact.
Matter and energy are not eternal. It had a beginning and it's got an end. 
Earlier he calls the eventual state of the universe a heat death. I think he does this so his listeners can conjure in their minds the biological meaning of death, but in physics, this term first coined by Lord Kelvin means that the universe has cooled to such a point that the universe's entropy is maximized and the energy in the universe has been uniformly distributed.

My question about Fischer and others like him is 
Are you deliberately misleading your followers about science 
or do you really believe this crap?"

If you'd like to hear Fischer discuss geology and paleontology, chick here. You will be entertained when he claims only eyewitness accounts can be trusted.

*Thanks to Right Wing Watch for "monitoring and exposing the activities of the right-wing movement."

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