[b-hebrew] Supernatural faith and scientific faith

Rolf Furuli furuli at online.no
Mon Jul 20 09:23:23 EDT 2009

Dear James,

According to the second law of thermodynamics, the entropy (disorder) 
will always increase. But this is a general law, and there is one big 
problem in applying this law to the origin of life, namely, that it 
is only valid definitively or conclusively inside a closed system; in 
a part of an open system the entropy can decrease, provided that it 
increases somewhere else. So, I think that the only way to make an in 
depth study of the origin of life is the cumbersome way that I 

But we cannot continue along this road-we must concentrate on Hebrew 
matters. I mentioned the scientific details in order to show 
scientific methods by which we illuminate one important question 
mentioned in the Tanakh-the origin of life. And I also wrote my post 
in order to show how much faith and conjecture are found inside 
scientific disciplines-but students and others often are not aware of 

Best regards,

Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

>>In order to explore the two possibilities I calculated and studied
>>-the total mass of bio-atoms (atoms used in living matter) on the earth.
>>-the possible sources of energy on the early earth.
>>-the energy wavelengths  that could be accepted by each bio-atom and
>>those which would be
>>      rejected.
>>-the equilibrium constants in water of each bio-atom, in order to
>>know when each atom would
>>      precipitate.
>>-the chemical and physical laws that would be at work in the
>>synthesis of atoms into molecules and in
>>      the destruction of the same.
>>-possible mechanisms that could shield synthesized molecules from
>>destructive energy.
>>-the different forces that would be at work in the synthesis of
>>nucleo-acids versus proteins.
>>-how much information that could generate by chance.
>>-how much information was necessary for the smallest possible living entity.
>>There were also many questions connected with the points above that I
>>studied. And my conclusion after reading about one thousand
>>scientific articles and 300 books and doing my own calculations, was
>>that origin of life by chance (evolution) was impossible to the
>>highest degree, if the laws of nature as we know them were at work on
>>the early earth. When one theory (chance origin) is falsified, the
>>other had to be the correct one, even though it could not be directly
>>verified by scientific means. On the basis of my study I could not
>>identify the originator of life on earth as YHWH, the God of the
>>Tanakh, but only as one or more living entities.
>You could have saved yourself a lot of time and a lot of reasoning 
>by just applying the second law of chemical thermodynamics to the 
>problem and calculated the implied change in Gibb's free energy.
>dG = dH + dS
>The change in Gibb's free energy can be approximated by the change 
>in energy of the system plus the change in entropy (measure of 
>disorder of the chemical system).
>To go from atoms/simple molecules to the kind of macromolecules in a 
>single cell implies a massively exothermic reaction. i.e. dH 
>(enthalpy is massively +ve)
>To go from a highly disordered system (atoms/simple molecules) to a 
>highly ordered system (living cell) implies a massively +ve change 
>in entropy.
>A reaction can only be feasible if the implied change in Gibb's free 
>energy is -ve. Subsitituting into our equations we get.
>dG = dH + dS
>    = +ve + +ve
>    = +ve
>    = infeasible reaction
>The implied reaction of atoms and simple molecules colliding 
>together and creating a fully functional living cell is 
>thermodynamically impossible.
>>supernatural faith versus scientific faith. Regarding long life-spans
>>under discussion, I do not see that they can be excluded on the basis
>>of biology and our knowledge of the human body, because the process
>>of aging is not understood.
>Actually, we already understand quite a bit. We know that as cells 
>reproduce the ends of the DNA shorten. Conclusions have been drawn 
>that this in some way makes the copying process imperfect and 
>results in symptoms of ageing.
>James Christian
>>Best regards,
>>Rolf Furuli
>>University of Oslo
>>>Dear James,
>>>While I personally think that Jim's theory is dead wrong, there is a huge
>>>difference between the long life-spans of biblical characters (and those in
>>>other works of literature as well) and the examples that you listed bellow.
>>>Humans living hundreds of years is not only not a part of our present-day
>>>experience. It is also totally impossible within our understanding of the
>>>laws of nature as they stand at present. Theorizing that "nature was
>>>different in the distant past" or the "God intervened in the cases of
>>>certain chosen people" is a statement of faith, by its nature unprovable by
>>>any scientific method known to us. As long as you admit that your position
>>>depends on an acceptance of the biblical text as factually accurate out of
>>>faith, that's fine. Comparing anyone who does not accept your faith with
>>>children is derogatory, and has no place on this list.
>>>Yigal Levin
>>>Co-moderator, B-Hebrew
>>b-hebrew mailing list
>>b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
>The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
>Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

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