Creative Science 21 – Chemistry and Physics

As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay.” – Daniel 2:43 (ESV)

Chemistry is a broad term used to describe an array of sciences concerned with observing and describing characteristics and behavior of atoms and molecules. Organic chemistry, or biochemistry, deals with chemical activity in living things. Inorganic chemistry deals with chemical activity among non-living things.

Physics is a general term describing a range of sciences concerned with way things interact mechanically, particularly with regard to energy and forces. Quantum physics is concerned with sub-atomic particles. Classical physics is concerned with stuff bigger than the atom.

Chemistry is most closely related to classical physics because both deal with things at least as large as whole atoms. This means chemistry and classical physics share a common set of rules. For example, classical physics and chemistry both recognize a physical law which states that two material things cannot occupy the same space at the same time. In the realm of quantum physics this law is demonstrably untrue. The point of this distinction is to show that our mindset about reality is limited by the scope of our frame of reference. In other words, what we believe to be true is limited by our experiences. A chemist would typically ignore quantum physical laws that conflict with classical physical laws because from his viewpoint they do not apply. They simply are not part of his reality. In fact, quantum physics laws which conflict with chemistry must be ignored. The chemist is like the materialist who must deny non-material reality. Whether the non-material reality is true or not, the conflicts present problems that simply have to be denied or ignored.

Material reality is composed of matter and energy. Matter is composed of atoms in various chemical arrangements. A molecule is the smallest grouping of atoms to maintain the chemical structure of a whole substance. For example, rust is composed of molecules of iron and oxygen atoms. The smallest amount of rust that is still rust is a molecule. A molecule can be as simple as a single atom or it can be comprised of a large number of atoms organized in a very specific three-dimensional structure. Adding or removing even a single atom will change the chemical characteristics of the molecule making it a different substance.

 

A chemical element is a substance composed of only one kind of atom. For example, pure oxygen is composes of only oxygen atoms. Pure carbon is composed of pure carbon. Pure gold contains nothing but gold atoms. Atoms are composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons. An atom is identified chemically by the number of protons in its nucleus. This is because the number of protons in the nucleus determines chemical behavior of the atom. The chemical behavior of individual atoms determines how the atoms combine into molecules. When atoms join together to form a molecule, it is the specific combination of atoms which determines the chemical behavior of the substance.

 

Most molecules in non-living things are relatively simple compared with typical molecules in living things. This is exactly what the Creation model expects to find. Earth began formless and void, but order was introduced and increased over the course of the Creation week. Man was formed from the dust, thus the simple was used as the basis for construction of the complex. It stands to reason that even at the molecular level inorganic substances would generally be far less complex than living things.

 

The Materialist model supposes life formed through random natural chance. According to this model, simple became complex without supernatural direction. If we put aside for a moment the problem of entropy working against any natural increase in order or information embedded in nature, a much larger logic problem exists. Evolution supposes small and gradual changes over time. This alone is not a problem. Evolution further supposes increases in order through the process of natural selection working on beneficial mutation. This supposed process is not observed in nature, nor do we find the nearly infinite transitional stages predicted by the Evolution model.

 

As it relates to chemistry generally, there should be a spectrum of quasi-organic molecules in nature. If life rose through purely natural means, we should be able to find the building blocks of life mixed with non-organic substances. Interestingly, there seems to be a substantial and profound difference between simple inorganic chemistry and complex organic chemistry. Just as the gap here presents a problem for Materialist models, the gap fits perfectly with the Creation model. When God breathed life into the simple inorganic substances to form living substances, those substances were changed suddenly and completely from simple to complex. The transitional substances anticipated by the Materialist simply do not exist.

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About Lance Ponder

Christian author of "Ask James one"; public speaker; husband and father. Available to speak on Creation and the Gospel.
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3 Responses to Creative Science 21 – Chemistry and Physics

  1. Todd Beal says:

    Lance,

    Yet another great explanation of science in laymen’s terms. As you also briefly mentioned, it is interesting to me (yet actually strikes me as ludicrous) that in complete contradiction to Systems Theory, of which no competent scientist is ignorant, proponents of evolution believe that all things simultaneously become increasingly ordered and complex. Sure, all things do become more complex with the progression of time, but do not become increasingly ordered without an outside ordering – i.e. intervention by an intelligent being.

    Take for instance a living tree that dies. As long as it is growing, it simultaneously increases its order and complexity. But, once it dies, it gradually reduces back unto increasingly complex yet fundamentally simplified organic states that, in turn, feed new life. While living, the tree never approaches an existence other than a tree – not even a trace. And yet also, even in death, the tree never approaches a new and slightly more ordered existence. It simply breaks down into increasingly simplified organic forms until it finally becomes recycled food for all other life forms.

    Consider the structural design of humans. Humans are the most highly ordered system in the universe, but as age progresses, our bodies break down into an increasingly complex yet disordered state, rushing faster and faster toward complete surrender to entropy. The only change we humans can claim – historically speaking – is an increased learned efficiency in our ability to survive, not improve. Sure, we have developed improved laws for protecting human rights, but this begs the question, why do these laws exist. They exist because we have the same “me first” murderous instinct as the first humans did thousands of years ago. If we are indeed improving (evolving), it would stand to reason that as we improve, or evolve, our destructive instinct would grow less and less, and thus a progressively diminished need for these laws according to our increasingly perfected nature. Ironically, these nature-contradicting asinine improvements claimed by evolutionists, are the very improvements personally achieved by every sincere Christian. The greater God’s unhindered presence in one’s life, one’s heart, the less the need for artificial laws that guard against destruction of life and personal quality of life.

    I find it highly problematic that the most intelligent human beings within today’s fields of scientific academia, all agree that all things are progressively becoming more complex and more ordered, simultaneously. To consider these highly respected individuals as intelligent is to say, observable reality is nonsense, and, at its finest, contradiction supplants logic and reason to create a better tomorrow. Count me out!

  2. Lance Ponder says:

    //proponents of evolution believe that all things simultaneously become increasingly ordered and complex//

    yep

    //Sure, all things do become more complex with the progression of time//

    Huh????????? If by complex you mean more difficult to put back together then sure, but if you mean by complex that things have more parts, they don’t spontaneously do that.

    //I find it highly problematic that the most intelligent human beings within today’s fields of scientific academia, all agree that all things are progressively becoming more complex and more ordered, simultaneously. To consider these highly respected individuals as intelligent is to say, observable reality is nonsense, and, at its finest, contradiction supplants logic and reason to create a better tomorrow. Count me out!//

    Okay, with you all the way here. The technical term we’re looking for here is “entropy.” Entropy, as you may know, is the second law of thermodynamics. The concept applies to any closed system, living or non-living. It also applies to human society, I think. Entropy is considered a scientific law – a law which stands in violent contrast against the supposed wisdom of the philosophy of evolutionary thought. Of course evolution is nonsense. Ah, but to try and get the gerbil scientist off his evolutionary habitrail long enough to see he’s running in circles is akin to herding angry cats.

    • Todd Beal says:

      Lance,

      | If by complex you mean more difficult to put back together then sure, but if you mean by complex that things have more parts, they don’t spontaneously do that. |

      By complex, I mean less simplified. Notice that in my statement I say, more complex does not also mean a simultaneous increase in order. Without simultaneous ordering, complexity becomes increasingly chaotic. All systems break down over time, and without intelligent intervention they do so permanently. The underlying intelligent design becomes increasingly less ordered as things break down, yet become simultaneously more chaotically complex. Each point of breakdown contains its own complexity that increasingly contradicts the system from which it is seceding. In a sense, it is “trying” to become its own system apart from its intelligently ordered parent system. The problem is that apart from intelligent ordering, all complexity becomes chaotic.

      Take for instance, religion. The gospel as laid out in the New Testament, and also going back into its Old Testament roots, is a very ordered and complex, yet reality-adhering simplified system for personal communion with God. It is complex in that there are many dimensions, sequences, and seemingly situation-specific exceptions to established premises, but nonetheless when all is reduced back unto its underlying essence, the gospel is a finely tuned ordered system, within which all variables operate together in unbreakable non-contradictory synchronicity. The problem arises when we, the recipients of that gospel, try to secede from that intelligently designed perfect system. We increasingly introduce artificial complexity by fabricating anything from totally new religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, the religion of Baal, etc – to contradictory versions of the gospel such as Jehovah’s Witness, Christian Science, Islam, and many others. Study any one of these religions, old or new, and you will find a mind-boggling complexity that defies logic. Study them long enough and you will find even more complexity, as one main religion splinters into varied sub-religions, and yet even further into others. The problem is that the increasing complexity is never accompanied by increasing order, but instead increasing chaos.

      On the other hand, the gospel’s manifestation grows increasingly more complex for its personal nature. We each accept Jesus into our heart, but then live that gospel out according to how God designed us as unique individuals. Things that are wrong for you, according to your design, may not necessarily be wrong for me according to my design – on and on into increasingly more complex variations of living out the gospel. However, there is a fundamental difference between this type of complexity and the chaotic complexity introduced by breakaway religions. As you and I live out the gospel according to our unique personal design, we do so not in contradiction to the gospel, but in harmony with the underlying order of the gospel. When the other religious systems break away from the gospel, they do so in direct violation of the order that naturally underlies the gospel; hence they increasing descend into chaos, even while fabricating artificial belief constructs to replace the order from which they are seceding.

      So back to my initial point, complexity increasingly occurs in both ordered and disordered systems. But, apart from a simultaneous ordering of complexity, chaos inevitably thrusts the breakaway elements into increasing destruction, not ordered complexity.

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