Arrow of Time

Emily Johnson

This is a major error in science today. The phrase refers to the observation that events in our universe tend to lose energy, wind down, and wear out overall, as if everything were driven to follow a path of decline by some sort of unidirectional "arrow of time". For example, a hot cup of coffee will naturally cool down but will not spontaneously heat up. A battery-powered device will continually drain its battery until it ceases function, but its battery will never spontaneously recharge. Eventually, all devices wear out or break down with use, but they never repair themselves. This is currently stated as the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

The first part of this law states that any isolated system or process that we choose to observe will tend to become more random and disordered in time, but not reverse. For example, the ordered structure of a sugar cube will spontaneously dissolve into a random dispersal of sugar molecules in water, but the reverse process will not occur - the ordered structure of the original sugar cube will not re-form the randomly distributed molecules in the sugar water.

The second part of this law states that energy naturally disperses in an isolates system, but does not generally collect or concentrate itself spontaneously within that system. The clearest example of this is the fact that hot objects naturally cool down (their heat energy "runs out" but they do not spontaneously heat up, energy must be deliberately focused upon the object or added to the system from an external source for this to occur.

However, a closer look shows that this "winding down" is not evidence of an external "arrow of time" that always flows in a "forward" direction defined by disorder and decay, but is a sizable over-generalization resulting from a narrow, selective view of the dynamics of our universe.

For example: if a string is suspended in a glass for sugar water in a dry environment, ordered sugar crystals will spontaneously form on the string as the water evaporates into the surrounding air.

Further more, objects actually do heat up in our universe just as often as they cool down since prior heating is obviously a requirement for every object that cools. Similarly, batteries do charge up in our universe since prior charging is a requirement before any battery can drain. While bones may break and stars burn out, bones also heal and new stars are born.