Do you think there were significant scientific changes that occurred with the fall of man? Is it possible it was not until this point that the spiritual and physical realms became separate?
Do you think there were significant scientific changes that occurred with
the fall of man? Is it possible it was not until this point that the
spiritual and physical realms became separate, or was it just that Adam
and Eve didn?t realize it until then? Also, I remember from chemistry
talking about the theory of disorder, I think it was called entropy? (or
maybe enthalpy?). But would it make sense that this law was introduced at
this point along with some of the physical laws we are bound to today?
It is hard to answer this question with complete confidence. Of course, I
am well aware that many people say that before the fall, lions did not eat
meat and that there was no killing at all, that there was no rain before
the fall and many other things. I suppose I cannot absolutely rule out
any change in the laws of nature at the time of the fall of Adam and Eve.
What I can say as a scientist is that there is no such evidence for a
change in the laws of nature. In fact, the evidence leads one to believe
that the laws of nature are unchanging. We do not see any break in
sedimentary layers or decay rate of isotopes or distribution of species
to indicate a dramatic change in weather patterns, diet, age, or anything
else. I caution you against reading the Old Testament as a science book.
It is my experience that when the Bible makes clear statements, that
these statements are backed up by scientific discovery in general.
However, we need to be careful. When the Bible says that the sun moves
across the sky or that the sun sets, we should not take that as a
scientific statement. It is true that the sun appears to move across the
sky and that it rises and sets. This is a normal human way of saying it,
but we all know (hopefully) that in fact, it is the earth which spins, not
the sun which circles the earth. What the Old Testament does NOT say is
that the earth is the center of the universe and that the planets and sun
circle around it or that there are seven planets (both of which are found
in the Koran). Again, when the Bible makes clear, scientifically precise
and checkable statements (such as the fact the universe was created, life
was created, and so forth) then science backs the Bible, but we should not
make the mistake of turning the Bible into a science text.
To be specific, no, the Law of Entropy (which I am teaching in chemistry
class this week, by the way), also known as the Second Law of
Thermodynamics, was not created at the fall. Everything which happens in
the world is governed by this law. Life cannot exist without the law of
entropy. Neither would galaxies, stars or planets exist without the
second law. The evidence tells us that this law has been in effect from
the beginning. There is no evidence for a sudden change in this law.
Like I said, I understand that some believe Genesis teaches that it never
rained before Adam and Eve. In fact, it does not say this. Some people
believe that there were never rainbows before the flood. The Bible does
not say this. What it does say is that God told Noah that the rainbow
would be a sign to him.
We need to be humble and careful about this. I cannot prove that these
things did not change dramatically at the fall of man. What I can say is
that scientific evidence does not support the contention that there was a
change on the laws of nature or in the nature of living things at this
time. Experience and the history of science tells me that we should heed
the advice of Galileo who said that “The Bible was written to tell us how
to go to heaven, not how the heavens go.” Galileo believed that nature
reveals the divine power and wisdom of God. We should not be careful to
force a debatable interpretation of what may well be a metaphorical
description onto science and the laws of nature.
In summary, if you ask my opinion, I do not believe there was a change,
even a subtle one, in the law of entropy at the time of the fall.
However, I cannot prove this and prefer to be open minded about such
John Oakes, PhD