Classical Creation Physicists Still Make News
They lived before relativity and quantum mechanics, but their insights continue to stimulate productive research in 21st-century physics.
Most fields of science were overhauled in the twentieth century. There aren’t many theories from Victorian times that have survived unscathed.
William Thomson, a.k.a. Lord Kelvin, the eminent physicist of Glasgow who dominated physical science in Victorian Britain, was a strong Christian. He gave Darwin a hard time — not with quotes from the Bible, but rather from laws of physics. Much of Lord Kelvin’s work on thermodynamics, communications and energy theory survives (e.g., the Kelvin Scale). Although some of his theories were discarded or revised, one of his speculative ideas about atoms has been ‘resurrected’ by cutting-edge physicists at the University of Durham in the UK. Lord Kelvin can be forgiven for lacking the tools to measure atoms when he was alive, but he may have been ahead of his time with one theory, says Phys.org:
In the late 1800s when scientists were still trying to figure out what exactly atoms are, one of the leading theories, proposed by Lord Kelvin, was that atoms are knots of swirling vortices in the aether. Although this idea turned out to be completely wrong, it ushered in modern knot theory, which today is used in various areas of science such as fluid dynamics, the structure of DNA, and the concept of chirality.
Now in a new paper published in Physical Review Letters, mathematical physicist Paul Sutcliffe at Durham University in the UK has theoretically shown that nanoparticles called magnetic skyrmions can be tied into various types of knots with different magnetic properties. He explains that, in a sense, these nanoknots represent a “nanoscale resurrection of Kelvin’s dream of knotted fields.“
James Clerk Maxwell
Without controversy, Maxwell’s Equations continue to bear fruit in many fields of electromagnetics and electrical engineering. James Clerk Maxwell was another strong Bible-believing Christian all of his life, even through the Darwinian revolution. One of his insights about statistical thermodynamics has generated controversy to the present day. Called ‘Maxwell’s Demon’ (not his term), this idea proposes a way to overcome the law of entropy. Some entity, whether a conscious being (the ‘demon’) or some automaton, could selectively separate hot and cold molecules into separate compartments, he reasoned, thus overcoming the second law of thermodynamics. Proof that this was not idle speculation rendered obsolete by quantum mechanics can be seen by a recent paper in PNAS titled, “Observing a quantum Maxwell demon at work.” So important is the concept, the researchers state, “Maxwell’s demon plays a central role in thermodynamics of quantum information, yet a full experimental characterization is still missing in the quantum regime.”
Science Daily confirms that importance with its title of a summary of the paper, “Pioneering research offers a fascinating view into the inner workings of the mind of ‘Maxwell’s Demon’, a famous thought experiment in physics.” The write-up at Phys.org suggests that important new breakthroughs will come from Maxwell’s insight:
In the years since James Clerk Maxwell proposed the first demon around 1870, many other versions have been theoretically and experimentally investigated. Most recently, physicists have begun investigating Maxwell’s demons that operate in the quantum regime, which could one day have implications for quantum information technologies.
Sir Isaac Newton
The most famous scientist in history, Sir Isaac Newton, whose Principia launched the scientific revolution, is not a has-been after Einstein. In fact, his name keeps coming up in discussions of one of the biggest controversies of cosmology: Does dark matter exist? Now that repeated tests have failed to identify any substance, theoretical or actual, that could account for the motions of spiral galaxies and galaxy clusters, some physicists are looking to “Modified Newtonian Dynamics” (MOND) for help. One such example giving serious consideration to MOND can be found at Live Science, which mentions Newton eight times in a piece, “Is Dark Matter Real?”. The details of these debates need not concern us here; suffice it to say that there are discussions of ‘modifying’ Newtonian dynamics, not rejecting them, as some teachers seem prone to do with Newton’s theories in the age of Einstein. Students of science may not know that Isaac Newton wrote more about the Bible than he did about science.
It’s worth remembering often that not all scientists are atheists, Darwinists, and materialists. In fact, many of the greatest scientists of all time, including founders of major fields of science, were at least theists if not Bible believers and creationists (see our list of biographies). Many still are today. The Darwinians are like the Marxist-Stalinist-Leninists who took over Russia, kicked out (or killed or imprisoned) everyone who opposed them, and presented themselves as the “saviors” of Russia. Don’t fall for the big lie. The insights of Newton, Kelvin and Maxwell sprang from minds devoted to God and His word, and one mark of a great scientific mind is the ability to produce ideas with staying power. But doesn’t Darwinism have staying power? Yes—by force (6/08/17). If Darwinism had to stand up to free debate, it would collapse like Lysenko’s fake science supported by Lenin, Stalin and Mao.
Read our biographies and decide who had the best ideas with lasting impact. Much of cutting edge-science continues to build on their foundations. Conversely, much of the worst science comes from materialists (6/05/17, 5/19/17). You can’t get much good science out of evolved monkey brains mutating by chance (7/11/17).