Saturday, February 28, 2015

Atheism on the ropes

Lately, a new theory has been making the rounds that some popular publications claim “puts God on the ropes.” It purports a naturalistic explanation of life that eliminates the need for God.

Jeremy England, a young MIT professor, has proposed a theory that suggests that the Second law of Thermodynamics implies that life is not accidental but necessary. He is quoted in Quanta magazine as saying:

"From the standpoint of physics, there is one essential difference between living things and inanimate clumps of carbon atoms: The former tend to be much better at capturing energy from their environment and dissipating that energy as heat. Jeremy England, a 31-year-old assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has derived a mathematical formula that he believes explains this capacity. The formula, based on established physics, indicates that when a group of atoms is driven by an external source of energy (like the sun or chemical fuel) and surrounded by a heat bath (like the ocean or atmosphere), it will often gradually restructure itself in order to dissipate increasingly more energy. This could mean that under certain conditions, matter inexorably acquires the key physical attribute associated with life1.” 

This theory implies that life is an inherent and emergent property of all physical systems that behave according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This idea actually puts atheism on the ropes rather than Theism.