Genesis and Entropy
I really don't know when the first formal recognition of the principle of entropy occurred, but I surmise it was during the scientific age. Entropy is commonly described as the natural tendency for disorder to increase. Left to themselves things get messy and fall apart. The principle is so solidly grounded as to be considered a scientific law. In fact, unless there is some outside interference, with two unlabeled photos of the same scene taken at different times, the one that is most disordered will always be the second one. Hence the characterization of entropy as "times arrow."
This is important background in order to consider carefully the description of creation found in the first of Genesis. Here it is, with comments:
Genesis 1 :: New International Version (NIV)
1 In the beginning
God created the heavens and the earth.
2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
The expression, "formless and empty, darkness. . . ," fairly cries out a state of maximum disorder. That is, the complete absence of any order or organization. Including the concept of mass (formless) makes the whole description like nothing so much as a black hole. Shouldn't we wonder how anyone thousands of years before the age of science could so analytically describe the scientific opposite of the advanced state of organization and system we find in today's sophisticated, complex world of life and its supporting system.
3 And God said, "Let
there be light," and there was light.
4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning--the first day.
Here we focus not on God's conception of "light" but rather on the creative element of separation. Notice that he separated the light from the darkness. This is an explicit reversal of entropy, since in the usual course of time, if there were light and darkness, they would be admixed to yield a dim greyness - not a separation into unalloyed light and darkness. It is perhaps not remarkable that an ancient would concoct some mythical tale of creation, but to include an explicit reversal of entropy, a scientific principle not articulated until several thousand years later? Not likely.
6 And God said, "Let
there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water."
7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so.
8 God called the expanse "sky." And there was evening, and there was morning--the second day.
Again, we see the element of separation, a frank reversal of entropy. It is a little like the assembly of a large, complex picture puzzle. Most creative people will begin solving the puzzle by separating - first the edge pieces from the non-edge. Then the various colors of edge, as an aid to matching (organizing) individual pieces. The same principle of separation by color, distinctive features, and possibly shape moves the creative assembly of the puzzle along. The creative motif is "separate and then place or assemble." All beginning with the reversal of entropy.
9 And God said, "Let
the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear."
And it was so.
10 God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas." And God saw that it was good.
11 Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so.
12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
13 And there was evening, and there was morning--the third day.
This third recitation of the separation (reversal of entropy) phenomena should put to rest the possibility that this was an accidental motif. Rather we see the deliberate emphasis of repetition in the semitic mind. (The Koranic formulation of divorce is the thrice repeated, "I divorce you," by the feckless husband.) Would it be a stretch to link this to the enjoined, "A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses?" (Deuteronomy 19:15) In this case, the author is his own "three witnesses."
14 And God said, "Let
there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the
night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years,
15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth." And it was so.
16 God made two great lights--the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.
17 God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth,
18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.
19 And there was evening, and there was morning--the fourth day.
We continue our separation motif introduced on the first day, but in this case with an expansion into seasonality, marking seasons and days and years.
20 And God said, "Let
the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth
across the expanse of the sky."
21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
22 God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth."
23 And there was evening, and there was morning--the fifth day.
Now we come to the next phase of creativity mentioned in our picture puzzle metaphor. Not only is separation a reversal of entropy. But the reassembly into an organized form - life is the epitome - is also a reversal of entropy. The issue is not separation and assembly, but states of order. The more order - the more creativity - the less entropy - the "anti-time, anti-science" direction. Is it possible that an author thousands of years before the scientific age could have had such a detailed, analytical understanding of the creation process without extraordinary enlightenment? Not likely.
24 And God said, "Let
the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock,
creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according
to its kind." And it was so.
25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
29 Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground--everything that has the breath of life in it--I give every green plant for food." And it was so.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day.
Finally we come to the goal of creation, or, as the evolutionist Michael Denton would say, "Nature's Destiny." Man is the goal of creation, God's crowning work. We will not argue here what Michael Denton has written a very fine book to document. But simply call attention to the fact that thousands of years before the generous scientific documentation provided by Denton, the author of Genesis in a few short verses prefigured the late learning of science.
We would be remiss to not note that the author of Genesis has avoided the problem of providing a detailed accounting of the mechanism of creation by the expedient of "God said." The motive power of God's word is noted, but not explained. This puts the Genesis account at least on an equivalent basis with Darwinian evolution, which likewise does not provide a detailed accounting of the mechanism of creation. (See "Darwin's Black Box," by Behe.) In fact, Genesis has the advantage in that it explicitly deals with the relevant scientific principles and predates the relatively untested (time-wise) Darwinism.
For those who see the
hand of an intelligent designer around them, Genesis speaks the language
of science AND faith. For those who cannot see the intelligent design,
Darwinism, too, violates the basic scientific principle of entropy, but
with no better explanation (detailed mechanism) than that of Genesis.
The evolutionist is presumed to speak the language of science, but in reality
it is another kind of faith.