Evil

Mark Janes on good and evil (2010)
Left: Mark Janes (2009), in his video "Morality and Thermodynamics", on good and evil in thermodynamic terms.
In humanities, evil is a term, with negative connotation, historically relating to a state, force, feeling, or act deemed as pernicious, morally reprehensible, or repulsive or something that brings about great sorrow, distress, calamity, suffering, or misfortune; often encompassed as an effect opposite to the progress of life. [1]

In human thermodynamics, writers, beginning in about the 1980s, have begun to speculate on the relationship of the concept of evil to the universal laws of thermodynamics. Due to the etymology of the term evil in the history of religion, the term often has biased overlap for many writers, especially in the field of religious thermodynamics. The opposite of evil is termed good.


Thermodynamics
The study of the thermodynamic underpinnings of evil is a difficult subject. By virtue of its implicit connection to a definition of morality, which is itself connected to purpose and meaning, the topic of "evil" invariably digs into the greater issues concerned with the definition of life.

In 1969, American organic chemist Frank Lambert proposed a way of looking at evil in terms of the ordering or disordering effects of thermodynamics. [6]

American physicist-theologian Robert Russell, since 1982, although biased by religious platforms, has argued that as both entropy and evil are often compared to their effect or measure of disorder, then they must be related if they both exist. [2] In 2008, building on thermodynamics of Belgian chemist Ilya Prigogine, Russell states:

“Thermodynamics help[s] drive evolution and [shape] the phenomenon of both natural evil and natural goodness.”

Furthermore, according to Russell, “thermodynamics provides the physical possibilities for the actions that we consider both virtuous and immoral.” [5]
American writer Lyall Watson reasons that evil has a relation to thermodynamic and that, somehow, “creative energies” on earth counter the effects of entropy as defined by the second law of thermodynamics thus keeping earth bound full of life. [3]

In terms of viewing human activity as governed by the combined law of thermodynamics, which states that isothermal, isobaric systems tend towards free energy minimums, within each evolution window, evil can be considered as the neurological effects of human molecular movements, activities, or behaviors running counter to the overall trend. [4]

Right: a remake of Rene Descartes proving to his professor that evil does not exist, using concepts from physics.
References
1. Evil (definition): Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 2000.
2. (a) Russell, Robert John. (1982). "Disorder and Order: A Study of Entropy and a Study of Evil", Twenty-ninth Summer Conference of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science, Star Island, New Hampshire, 24–31 July.
(b) Russell, Robert John. (1984). "Entropy and Evil," Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 19.4 (December): 449-68.
(c) Russell, Robert John. (1990). "The Thermodynamics of ‘Natural Evil'," CTNS Bulletin 10.2 (Spring).
(d) Russell, Robert, J. (2005). "Evil and the Problem of Suffering in Nature - Evil, Entropy, and the Laws of Thermodynamics" Physics & Cosmology.
3. (a) Watson, Lyall. (1995). Dark Nature – A Natural History of Evil, (pgs. 16-17).
(b) Ramsland, K. (2005). "Why We Love Hannibal." Court TV's Crime Library - Criminal Minds and Methods.
4. Thims, Libb. (2005). "Evil, Structural Stability, and Predisposed Movements", Journal of Human Thermodynamics, Vol. 1, Issue 1, pg. 1-12. – August.
5. Peters, Ted and Bennett, Gaymon. (2008). The Evolution of Evil (section: “The Groaning of Creation”, pgs. 120-34 by Robert Russell). Vandenhoechk & Ruprecht.
6. (a) Lambert, Frank L. (1968). “The Ontology of Evil”, Zygon, Vol. 3., No. 2, pgs. 116-28.
(b) Miller, George T. (1971). Energetics, Kinetics, and Life: An Ecological Approach, (pg. 327). Wadsworth Pub. Co.

Further reading
Chin, Lawrence. (1999). A Thermodynamic Interpretation of History, (Ch. 10.2: “Power, The Second Law of Thermodynamics and the Problem of Evil”), A Working Paper.
Corey, Michael, A. (2000). Evolution and the Problem of Natural Evil, (section: “Evil and the Second Law of Thermodynamics”, pg. 301). Rowman and Littlefield.
● Southgate, Christopher. (2008). The Groaning of Creation: God, Evolution, and the Problem of Evil (thermodynamics, pgs. 38, 47, 79, 81, 85, 88, 90, 95). Westminster John Knox Press.

External links
Evil – Wikipedia.

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