Does the First Law of Thermodynamics Prove an Eternal Universe?

Does the first law of Thermodynamics prove an eternal universe?

Does the first law of Thermodynamics prove an eternal universe?
Image from NASA and is in Public Domain

Advocates of an eternal may say that the First Law of Thermodynamics proves our vast universe is eternally old. The First Law states that ‘in a closed system, energy/matter can neither be created nor destroyed.’And so the story goes, this proves the universe didn’t have a beginning because“energy/matter cannot be created…”.

Actually, this ‘problem’ has a very simple answer. Any law can only apply so long as it exists. Obviously, a law cannot apply when it does not exist! And so, as long as the universe did not exist, the First Law would not exist to prevent matter or energy from being created.

Of course, this is no ‘problem’ for Christians. Since God created everything — including the First Law of Thermodynamics — He is not bound by those laws.

Possible Responses

“If the First Law cannot stop matter and energy from being created out of literally nothing, doesn’t this show that the universe could have come from nothing?”
The answer is no. The very definition of nothing (a state which does not contain a single thing) flatly contradicts the idea of ‘something from nothing’. It proves that a state of nothingness cannot act to bring about anything, since action is something.

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