inferential argument from the irreducible aspect of information in the material world to the “existence” of a divine principle of Logos. I’m not entertaining a “natural theology” based on science. Rather, I’m propounding a theological hypothesis which claims that the theological assumptions of a Logos Christology are highly congenial with basic assumptions of the understanding of matter and the material that came out of twentieth century scientific developments. As such, my theological reasoning is working under both scientific and philosophical constraints. First, the theological candidate of truth that the divine Logos is the informational resource of the universe would be scientifically falsified if the concept of information could be fully reduced to properties of mass or energy transactions. Second, its philosophical plausibility would be significantly reduced if the actual outcomes of the interplay between energy and information during evolution would be so pointless that the religious assumption of a generous and caring creator would be existentially counter-indicated. “All work, and no play, makes the universe dull,” to re- phase an old saying. 5 15.3 Mass-and-energy aspects of matter 5 “All work, and no play, makes Jack a dull boy.” I don’t know the exact provenance of this proverb, but it is famously featured in the movie The Shining where Jack Nicholson repeatedly types the phrase. 8
Already in the mid-nineteenth century, the concept of matter became more comprehensive and less solid than hitherto assumed. Eventually, the concept of energy was taken to be equally important, or even more fundamental, than the concept of mass. In his “Remarks on the Forces of Inorganic Nature” (1842), the German natural philosopher, Julius Robert Mayers, formulated a principle that pointed forwards to a fundamental change in the scientific concept of matter. The essential property of force or energy, according to Mayer, consists of “the unity of its indestructibility and convertibility” (Mayer, 1980, p. 70). A little later, in 1851, the English physicist William Thomson (the later Lord Kelvin) intimated: “I believe the tendency in the material world is for motion to become diffused, and that as a whole the reversion of concentration is gradually going on” (Thompson, 1980, p. 85). Thereby the intuitions were formed that were later formulated in the first and second laws of thermodynamics. The first law of thermodynamics states that energy is conserved when its energy is put into work and converted into heat; heat appeared to be a general property of matter. In 1865 Rudolph Clausius then formulated the second law of thermodynamics stating that energy exchanges are irreversible. In a closed system, a portion of energy converted into work dissipates and loses its force to do the same work twice. Thus, the energy is at once a constant feature of matter and a more and more inefficient capacity of matter, as time goes on. Understanding the universe as a closed
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- Spring '14
- Seth Lloyd