Does Physics Border on Theology?

monkey-head-nebula.Hubble
Courtesy of Hubble

A friend asked what exactly is meant by the notion of an “open universe” and the 2nd law of thermodynamics?

After a few minutes of staring blankly, with a slight drool, and some stammering I collected a few thoughts. Here they are.

As I understand it, and this is very much in laymen’s terms, the actual energy of the universe is static–it’s not decreasing or increasing in any way that modern science can measure. We are losing USABLE energy and gradually approaching inertia. But there would still be potential or otherwise unusable energy to make up for any of that loss. Now, there are theories which radically reconceptualize “nature” to include many universes, and in that regard, this universe/cosmos could be receiving some measure of energy from another source outside of this universe but not “supernatural” per se. In this sense our universe would be open but not require supernaturalism.

I’d suggest that this reconceptualization, in opening scientific conjecture up to all sorts of immeasurable entities beyond this known universe, makes the exercise identical to theology and is a huge concession to supernaturalism since it:

1) posits something outside of this universe,
2) posits an open-model to this universe,
3) posits conceptual entities that don’t submit to our laws of physics,
4) and it posits conceptual entities that defy known scientific, materialistic, and naturalistic measurements/probabilities.

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