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Professor Andy C. McIntosh

Emeritus Professor of Thermodynamics

School of Chemical and Process Engineering

University of Leeds



Author's Biography

Andy McIntosh is Emeritus Professor of Thermodynamics at the University of Leeds, an Adjunct Professor in the School of Engineering at Liberty University in Virginia, holds a PhD in combustion theory and a DSc in Applied Mathematics, is a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, the Institute of Energy, the Institute of Physics and the Royal Aeronautical Society. A chartered mathematician and engineer, author of over 200 publications, his research over 35 years includes pioneering the fundamental link between thermodynamics and information, and investigations of the bombardier beetle’s combustion chamber inspiring a patented novel spray technology

Presentation Type

Full Paper Presentation


The theme of the 9th ICC is Developing and Systematizing the Creation Model of Origins. Following this theme, the proposed paper seeks to establish a rigorous and systematic approach to the important area of information and its interface with the substrate on which the information is expressed. This must first involve the understanding of the laws of thermodynamics not only for isolated systems but for closed (where only energy is allowed to cross the boundary) and open systems (where both matter and energy are allowed to cross the boundary). This is particularly an issue with the second law of thermodynamics concerning the inexorable increase of entropy which strictly only applies within an isolated system. In earlier papers the author has shown that there is a natural extension of the second law for non-isolated systems which can be expressed in terms of the free energy of a given system (the enthalpy minus the energy lost due to entropy).

In a non-isolated system, the free energy potential will never be greater than the total of that which was already initially in the isolated system and that coming in through the boundary of the system.

Once this principle is recognized for systems where energy and matter can cross the boundary, it immediately has implications concerning the secularist’s proposal of abiogenesis. Using thermodynamics we define machines as devices to raise the free energy, so that the above principle means that random energy flowing into a system will never on its own cause intricate biochemical machines to form because very precise chemical pathways are required to use the energy available to do work (free energy) and each process to do this involves a co-dependence on many other machines. The layered complexity of these systems is heavily dependent on the material environment in which such a system is operating, and indeed uses all the same chemical and physical laws that are used to such good effect by any man-made machines.

The argument in this paper then proceeds to examine the concept of coded instructions (information) which are neither matter nor energy and yet are real and vital to all that exists in living systems. Essentially fundamentally language is non-material and is used by us all to communicate and in its own right is a fundamental argument against the idea that all reality in the Universe can be defined in terms of matter and energy. But supremely this is true when we consider the information systems at the smallest scale in the biochemistry of living things. The important conclusion of this work is that non-material information, that is language / coded instructions, constrain the local thermodynamics and not the other way round. Thus there is a top-down flow of control such that the thermodynamics is essentially governed by software in a remarkably similar way to man-made digital computers being controlled by programmed algorithms originating from intelligent minds. So the information within all living systems is a product of the Mind behind all things. Acts 17:28 “in him we live, and move, and have our being” is a profound statement and has direct implications on the thermodynamics of information systems in the cells of living things.

What then are the laws that information systems must inherently obey for natural systems? Can one quantify the organisational structure of these information procedures which use the matter and energy of the hardware in any real system? Contrary to naturalistic thinking, matter and energy cannot on its own evolve information and it is shown that just as there are laws of thermodynamics, there are parallel principles governing information gain and loss which will be discussed in this paper. John 1:1 states “In the beginning was the Word” - Scripture teaches that Intelligence comes before matter, and living systems demonstrate this principle.


Engineering | Physics


Information, Language, Intelligence, Coded instructions, Thermodynamics, Engineering, Biochemistry, Entropy




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