Entropy applies to everything

entropy applies to everything (image)
An entropy applies to everything like image (Ѻ), stating that “everything physical reaches entropy”; alluding to the idea that relationships are beyond material or physical things, and exempt for the second law, or something to this effect.
In hmolscience, entropy applies to everything (or second law applies to everything), as compared to the “entropy only applies” (or second law only applies), a secondary principle to the "everything is energy" motto, is the view that entropy applies to every "thing", process, system, or body in the universe.

In 1914, James Johnstone stated that "energy applies to everything" as follows: [1]

“The law of conservation applies to some things and not to others, and the things which it does not apply are unreal.”

In 1936, Boris Pavolvich stated, indirectly, that entropy applies to everything" as follows: [2]

“Every question or effect has the right to exist if it does not contradict the second law of thermodynamics.”

In other words, in this period, according to the Johnstone-Pavlovich rule, the only "things" which exist or are real, according to modern views, are those in which energy and entropy apply.

In 1996, compatibilist theologian Alan Padgett, in his “The Mutuality of Theology and Science: An Example from Time and Thermodynamics”, stated things thusly: [3]

“The end and beginning of time. I begin with the assumption that the universe, or better the ‘material universe’, since I do hold to non-material objects, is an isolated system. Physical energy and matter are not being exchanged between our material universe and some other dimension or universe. The material universe, then, contains all the known matter and energy. In such a system, entropy will always increase. This means that the material universe, left to its own devices, will come to an end. The material universe will some day reach thermal equilibrium: all free energy will be used-up, and no more ‘work’ will take place. Whether we predict another singularity at the end of ‘measured time’ (a ‘big crunch’) or continual expanse of lifeless particles into empty space (a ‘heat death’) is not of any significance. The basic point remains the same, from a thermodynamic perspective: entropy must increase (even if it never reaches an absolute maximum in an ever-expanding universe). The universe will come to an end.

Some scientists are uneasy with this conclusion. There are three objections to applying thermodynamics to the material universe of which I am aware. First, some have suggested that thermodynamics is questionable when applied to such large entities as an entire universe. After all, this science was developed on small steam engines, not huge galactic clusters. In response I would argue that all physical cosmological laws were developed on earth, in the study of small, simple systems. It is an axiom of astronomy and cosmology that the laws of physics apply throughout all time and space in the material universe. To try and exempt thermodynamics from such universality is simply an attempt to wiggle out of the problem. According to all we know of physics and astronomy, every single astronomical object will eventually decay, and the resultant matter and energy left over will not have the same capacity for work (free energy) as the original system. Entropy applies to everything in the material universe.

Secondly, William Drees has argued against the universal increase of entropy in the material universe by suggesting that it is not a ‘closed’ (he no doubt means ‘isolated’) system, in the sense necessary to apply the second law. The expansion of the material universe, he suggest, works as if there were an ‘environment’ into which entropy was carried away, even though there is no environment for the universe. Here I find Drees’ argument rather unclear. Even the radiation given off by the universe, at the edge of its expansion, is also part of the Material Universe. The expansion itself is a form of thermodynamic exchange, increasing always the entropy of the whole (radiation, energy, and matter) and decreasing the free energy in the material universe. Empty space is not an ‘environment’ in the thermodynamic sense, i.e., something from which energy can be brought into the system, to decrease the (local) entropy of that system. There is, I believe, no philosophical or scientific grounds for doubting the fact that the material universe, after billions of years, will come to an end (I count a ceaseless drifting apart of lifeless particles as an ‘end’).
Thirdly, Drees also states that the second law is a purely statistical law. As such, perhaps this universe of low entropy is a (low probability) fluctuation in an otherwise eternal universe in thermal equilibrium. Such a ‘fluctuation’ would be very, very unlikely, but if the second law is merely statistical, still possible. This would allow for the material universe to be eternal, while not running counter to the second law. Ludwig Boltzmann suggested such a model in the 19th Century, and Hawking's cosmology, perhaps, is of a similar kind. The problem here lies in interpreting the second law in a purely statistical manner. There are real forces at work in the world, which are the ground of the statistics in the second law. In a merely statistical interpretation, there is no answer given as to why some states are more probable (act as ‘attractors’) than others: the fact that some are is merely asserted, rather than explained. As Prigogine explained:

‘Dissipation produces entropy. But what then is the meaning of entropy? Over a century ago, Boltzmann came up with a most original idea: entropy is related to probability. . . . It is because the probability increases that entropy increases. Let me immediately emphasize that in this perspective the second law would have great practical importance but would be of no fundamental significance. . . . By improving our abilities to measure less and less unlikely events, we could reach a situation in which the second law would play as small a role as we want. This is the point of view that is often taken today, but it is difficult to maintain in the presence of the important constructive role of dissipative systems.’

In other words, while the merely statistical interpretation of entropy is useful and important, it is not metaphysically significant or fundamental. Dissipation, not statistics, produces entropy. “Unlikely” states of affairs, such as “fluctuations” of the age and extent of our Material Universe in an otherwise eternal thermal equilibrium, are not merely unlikely but practically impossible from a thermodynamic perspective.”

(add discussion)

The following are related quotes:

“All systems, even closed ones, are subject to the second law of thermodynamics. Entropy applies to everything in nature.”
— John MacArthur (2005), The Battle for the Beginning (pg. 152)

“The principle of entropy applies to everything in the universe. Science fiction movies are no different. There is a big trickle-down from the heights of Avatar. And most of that trickle happens in Vancouver.”
— Stephen Tobolowsky (2013), The Dangerous Animals Club (pg. 110)

See also
Not applicable view
Moriarty-Thims debate

1. Johnstone, James. (1914). The Philosophy of Biology (pg. #). Cambridge: University Press.
2. (a) Sunyaev, R.A. (2004). Zeldovich: Reminiscences (pg. 16). CRC Press.
(b) Boris Pavlovich Belousov – Wikipedia.
3. (a) Padgett, Alan G. (1996). “The Mutuality of Theology and Science: An Example from Time and Thermodynamics” (pdf), Christian Scholars’ Review (Ѻ), 26:12-35, Fall; in: Science and the Study of God (pg. 113). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
(b) Alan G. Padgett (faculty) – Luther Seminary.

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