21. Chemistry & Physics
“As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay.”—Daniel 2:43 (ESV)
Chemistry is a broad term used to describe an array of sciences concerned with observing and describing characteristics and behavior of atoms and molecules. Organic chemistry, or biochemistry, deals with chemical activity in living things. Inorganic chemistry deals with chemical activity among non-living things.
Physics is a general term describing a range of sciences concerned with way things interact mechanically, particularly with regard to energy and forces. Quantum physics is concerned with sub-atomic particles. Classical physics is concerned with stuff bigger than the atom.
Chemistry is most closely related to classical physics because both deal with things at least as large as whole atoms. This means chemistry and classical physics share a common set of rules. For example, classical physics and chemistry both recognize a physical law which states that two material things cannot occupy the same space at the same time. In the realm of quantum physics this law is demonstrably untrue. The point of this distinction is to show that our mindset about reality is limited by the scope of our frame of reference. In other words, what we believe to be true is limited by our experiences. A chemist would typically ignore quantum physical laws that conflict with classical physical laws because from his viewpoint they do not apply. They simply are not part of his reality. In fact, quantum physics laws which conflict with chemistry must be ignored. The chemist is like the materialist who must deny non-material reality. Whether the non-material reality is true or not, the conflicts present problems that simply have to be denied or ignored.
Material reality is composed of matter and energy. Matter is composed of atoms in various chemical arrangements. A molecule is the smallest grouping of atoms to maintain the chemical structure of a whole substance. For example, rust is composed of molecules of iron and oxygen atoms. The smallest amount of rust that is still rust is a molecule. A molecule can be as simple as a single atom or it can be comprised of a large number of atoms organized in a very specific three-dimensional structure. Adding or removing even a single atom will change the chemical characteristics of the molecule making it a different substance.
A chemical element is a substance composed of only one kind of atom. For example, pure oxygen is composes of only oxygen atoms. Pure carbon is composed of pure carbon. Pure gold contains nothing but gold atoms. Atoms are composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons. An atom is identified chemically by the number of protons in its nucleus. This is because the number of protons in the nucleus determines chemical behavior of the atom. The chemical behavior of individual atoms determines how the atoms combine into molecules. When atoms join together to form a molecule, it is the specific combination of atoms which determines the chemical behavior of the substance.
Most molecules in non-living things are relatively simple compared with typical molecules in living things. This is exactly what the Creation model expects to find. Earth began formless and void, but order was introduced and increased over the course of the Creation week. Man was formed from the dust, thus the simple was used as the basis for construction of the complex. It stands to reason that even at the molecular level inorganic substances would generally be far less complex than living things.
The Materialist model supposes life formed through random natural chance. According to this model, simple became complex without supernatural direction. If we put aside for a moment the problem of entropy working against any natural increase in order or information embedded in nature, a much larger logic problem exists. Evolution supposes small and gradual changes over time. This alone is not a problem. Evolution further supposes increases in order through the process of natural selection working on beneficial mutation. This supposed process is not observed in nature, nor do we find the nearly infinite transitional stages predicted by the Evolution model.
As it relates to chemistry generally, there should be a spectrum of quasi-organic molecules in nature. If life rose through purely natural means, we should be able to find the building blocks of life mixed with non-organic substances. Interestingly, there seems to be a substantial and profound difference between simple inorganic chemistry and complex organic chemistry. Just as the gap here presents a problem for Materialist models, the gap fits perfectly with the Creation model. When God breathed life into the simple inorganic substances to form living substances, those substances were changed suddenly and completely from simple to complex. The transitional substances anticipated by the Materialist simply do not exist.
Related Topics: Creation