Arthur Peacocke

Arthur Peacocke nsIn hmolscience, Arthur Peacocke (1924-2006) was an English biochemist-turned-theologian noted, in religious thermodynamics, for his 1983 to 1995 publications on an effort to do a Teilhardian-like reformulation of theology using dissipative structures theory as an ontic opening.

In 1983, Peacocke, in in the context of biological thermodynamics, wrote a textbook on the thermodynamics of biological complexity. [1]

In 1984, Peacocke, in his Zygon article “Thermodynamics and Life”, attempted to used Ilya Prigogine, and his order through fluctuations theory, as an ontic opening to sneak god into the picture; the abstract of which is as follows: [2]

“The basic features of thermodynamics as the ‘science of the possible’ are outlined with a special emphasis on the role of the concept of entropy as a measure of irreversibility in natural processes and its relation to ‘order’, precisely defined. Natural processes may lead to an increase in complexity, and this concept has a subtle relationship to those of order, organization, and information. These concepts are analyzed with respect to their relation to biological evolution, together with other ways of attempting to quantify it. Thermodynamic interpretations of evolution are described and critically compared, and the significance of dissipative structures, of ‘order through fluctuations’, is emphasized in relation both to the evolutionary succession of temporarily stable forms and to kinetic mechanisms producing new patterns.”

In 1995, Peacocke, in his "Chance and Law in Irreversible Thermodynamics, Theoretical Biology, and Theology", used Prigoginean thermodynamics to reconcile evolution and Christianity, intertwined with arguments about chance. [3]

1. Peacocke, Arthur R. (1983). An Introduction to the Physical Chemistry of Biological Organization. Clarendon Press.
2. Peacocke, Arthur. (1984). “Thermodynamics and Life”, Zygon, 19: 395-432.
3. Peacocke, Arthur R. (1995). "Chance and Law in Irreversible Thermodynamics, Theoretical Biology, and Theology." In Chaos and Complexity: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action, edited by J.R. Russell, N Murphy and A.R. Peacocke. Vatican City State: Vatican Observatory Publications, 2000.

Further reading
● Peacocke, Arthur R. (1986). God and the New Biology (Appendix: Thermodynamics and Life, pgs. 133-). Harper & Row.
● Peacocke, Arthur R. (1993). Theology for a Scientific Age: Being and Becoming – Natural, Divine, and Human Theology and the Sciences (thermodynamics, pgs. 32, 52, 55, 64, 281, 362, 417, 438). Fortress Press.

External links
Arthur Peacocke – Wikipedia.
Chance and Law in Irreversible Thermodynamics (synopsis) –

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