Thermodynamics is the study of the energy that exists in our universe, in any and every form. Now we know that energy is a very important part of our universe, because, obviously, nothing can be done without it and everything that exists is a form of it! Before we delve into how thermodynamics affects the evolution-debate, it must be understood that thermodynamics is significantly more complicated than what will be covered for our purposes.
Without further ado, the two laws of thermodynamics that are important to our purposes are stated below:
First Law of Thermodynamics: Energy is neither created nor destroyed; it changes from one form to another.
Second Law of Thermodynamics: The entropy of the universe must always either increase or remain the same—it can never decrease.
Of course the second law will mean little to you, unless you know what ‘entropy’ is. Entropy, then, is the measure of disorder that exists in any system. Basically, it’s evil disorder.
Right from the beginning, reading the First Law of Thermodynamics, we can see an issue with macro-evolution—or at least the beginning as it is taught in many textbooks. If the amount of energy is ‘fixed’ in the universe, then something could have never come from nothing. In other words, we have no viable explanation, aside from God, for where the energy that makes our world came from.
Now, we come to the larger issue that the Second Law of Thermodynamics causes for macro-evolution. It’s no simple issue and the contradiction that seems apparent, is not really a contradiction. To find the issues here, we have to dig deeper.
First of all, macro-evolution requires a decrease in entropy with every change that betters a species or organism. These species would be increasing in order as they grew better (therefore decreasing in entropy), the very opposite of what the second law seems to state. Is this an issue? Not really, because the Second Law of Thermodynamics requires that the entropy in a system increases or remains the same. Thus, for an organism to evolve to a higher order, it would only have to cause an equal amount of entropy (disorder) in the system,.
The first problem occurs right here, however. Because the Second Law of Thermodynamics tells us that if evolution were to occur, then every mutation would have to be accompanied by some immediate increase in the entropy (disorder) of the system around it. The facts are, though, that no one has the slightest idea on how this might have happen. Which means, that right now, macro-evolution is not consistent with the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and until this issue can be rectified both cannot be accepted!1
The second issue caused by this law, is somewhat grander in scale. If our universe began as a singularity, then by becoming what it is today, it vastly contradicts the Second Law of Thermodynamics!
Lastly, the laws of thermodynamics illustrate an interesting fact. Everything in our world breaks down and weakens. Our world truly always moves from order to disorder. It’s a law—and the sun and stars adding energy to our system haven’t seemed to change it. Yet macro-evolution declares the very opposite. Macro-evolution declares that over millions of years, our world slowly progresses to being better.
Even though in every instant, we can clearly see the disorder creeping in on us.
1For this reasoning, I am indebted to Dr. Jay Wile in Exploring Creation with Chemistry 2nd Edition