Gordon Van Wylen

Gordon Van Wylen nsIn thermodynamics, Gordon Van Wylen (1920-) is an American mechanical engineer noted, in religious thermodynamics, for his 1959 to 1973 Fundamentals of Classical Thermodynamics, wherein the state that thermodynamical laws are man's description of god's work; which for many years was a creationist apologetics citation staple.

In 1959, Wylen, in his Fundamentals of Classical Thermodynamics, included an unusual, to-common-practice, paragraph, wherein he cites the laws of thermodynamics as being man’s description of God’s continuing work.

In the 1963 edition, Van Wylen, in his preface, was acknowledging that his textbook was written with “the help and grace of God, the Creator of the Universe.” [1]

In the 1973 second edition, Wylen and co-author American mechanical engineer Richard Sonntag (1933-2010), appended a two-page section to their Entropy chapter on general comments regarding entropy and some of its philosophical aspects, asking questions such as 'how did the universe get into a law entropy state?' or 'are there processes unknown to us that occur somewhere in the universe, such as continual creation, that have a decrease in entropy associated with them, and thus offset the continual increase in entropy with the natural processes that are known to us?', or 'is the second law valid for the entire universe?'. The then conclude that conclusive answers cannot be given, but that in their opinion: [3]

“The second law of thermodynamics is man’s description of the prior and continuing work of a creator, who also holds the answer to the future destiny of man and the universe.”

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Van Wylen is a devout Christian, stating that he has "lived a life committed to Jesus Christ" and for at least sixteen years he and his wife hosted a weekly international student Bible study in their home. Van Wylen was an inspiration for the 2003 book Spiritual Entropy by American engineer, thermodynamics professor, and ordained pastor Gilbert Wedekind. [2]

Van Wylen graduated from the University of Michigan in the 1940s, later becoming chairman of mechanical engineering there in 1969. For a period, Van Wylen was dean of the University of Michigan and in 1972 he became president of Hope College, Holland, Michigan, retiring in 1987. [2]

See also
List of thermodynamics textbooks that include human thermodynamics

1. Van Wylen, Gordon J. (1959). Thermodynamics (God, pg. xi). Wiley.
2. (a) Wedekind, Gilbert L. (2003). Spiritual Entropy: Life-Changing Insights Revealed by a Unique Natural law (pgs. ix, 148). Xulon Press.
(b) Gilbert Wedekind (about) – SpiritualEntropy.com.
3. (a) Lewis, Gordon R. and Demarest, Bruce A. (1996). Integrative Theology (pg. 53). Zondervan.
(b) Wylen, Gordon and Sonntag, Richard. (1973). Fundamentals of Classical Thermodynamics (section: 7.16: Some General Comments Regarding Entropy, pgs. 247-48; creator, pg. 248), 2nd ed. Wiley.
(c) Wylen, Gordon and Sonntag, Richard. (1985). Fundamentals of Classical Thermodynamics (creator, pg. 233), 3rd ed. Wiley.

External links
Van Wylen, Gordon J. (1920-) – WorldCat Identities.
Gordon Van Wylen – Wikipedia.

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