In Pursuit Of The Perpetual Motion Machine - The Warrior's Journey®

In Pursuit Of The Perpetual Motion Machine

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A perpetual motion machine is a hypothetical machine which runs without energy (or creates more than it consumes) and runs indefinitely. To be practical, a perpetual motion machine must also be able to produce work that can be harnessed.

But physicists and engineers will tell you that perpetual motion machines are impossible. Why? It’s because of the Laws of Thermodynamics. The First Law of Thermodynamics is the law of energy conservation. It states that energy is neither being created nor lost, it is only being converted from one form to another. Gasoline in an internal combustion engine, for instance, represents stored energy (chemical energy) that is converted to kinetic energy (motion). There’s no real energy loss. It’s only converted to different forms. However, a perpetual motion machine supposedly produces energy without using any – or uses less than it produces. Since no energy can be truly created, this is physically impossible.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics also works against perpetual motion machines. This law states that, although no energy is ever lost in the sense of being destroyed, yet it is lost in the sense of being harnessable. For instance, once that chemical energy (gasoline) combusts in the engine cylinder, the motion and heat energy it generates becomes dispersed and irretrievable. Apply this to a perpetual motion machine and we have the practical loss of energy through friction and heat. The joints of any moving parts in the perpetual motion machine will produce friction and heat. If those joints (e.g. the axle or bearings of a wheel) make any noise, this represents a loss of energy as well. Therefore, this resistance will slow down and eventually stop the perpetual motion machine.

But what about “the drinking bird toy”? Isn’t that a perpetual motion machine? No. The drinking bird toy is using the ambient heat of its surroundings to heat up the chemical (dichloromethane) in its glass tube, forcing it upward into the bird’s head. Then gravity forces the bird’s head downward into the glass of water. The water then cools the chemical, allowing it to run back into the bulb at that bottom of the tube. This causes the bird to go upright again. But once the temperature of the water becomes the same as the ambient heat (a loss of heat energy), the toy will cease to work. The Laws of Thermodynamics eventually bring all perpetual motion machines to a halt.

But, honestly, there already exists a perpetual motion machine in our physical universe. Maybe it’s not one in the conventional understanding, but this machine generates far more work than the energy it uses. I’m talking about humanity. Look for a moment at this machine. It takes in about 2,400 calories per day. Yet, with the help of all the tools and labor-saving devices it’s created, this machine generates far more work than a mere 2,400 calories could ever generate on its own.

And, remember, though this machine uses energy, it fuels itself. It produces its own food (through crop cultivation and raising livestock) and fuels itself in response to a sense of hunger and thirst. And this machine heals and renews itself, without shutting down for repairs.

Ah, but humans die and thus, do not function perpetually. But humans do not die without first creating replacements for themselves, which also generate more work than the energy they use and create replacements for themselves as well.

Just look at the work humanity produces. Its skyscrapers keep getting taller, its cars faster and more fuel efficient, its aircraft keep flying higher, and its computers keep taking on bigger and bigger tasks. While all other living things produce no more work than they’ve ever done, human beings (though consuming no more energy now than at any time before) keep producing more and more work. Certainly, humanity itself is the ultimate perpetual motion machine.

And humanity’s complexity is mind-boggling. Its 40 trillion cells are fed by a network of 60,000 miles of blood vessels which bring nutrients right to each cell’s doorstep and then remove its waste – all around the clock. These 40 trillion cells form the 78 organs of the body that make up its twelve systems. These all work harmoniously, with amazing efficiency, to keep us alive, working, and reproducing.

Yet, as complex and wonderful as we are, all our own proposed perpetual motion machines (e.g. the overbalanced wheel, capillary bowl, Fludd’s water screw) – all of which fail at their primary task – are pitifully simple and crude by comparison.

If we, then, with all our brains and centuries of efforts, have not been able to create a perpetual motion machine – but have deemed it impossible, how did this masterful perpetual motion machine (humanity) come into being?

Are we to believe that unguided natural processes created this marvelously complex perpetual motion machine? Not without committing intellectual suicide, can we believe such nonsense. Not without embracing the absurd, accepting fairy tales as fact (e.g. a frog morphing into a prince), or simply being too mentally lazy to think through the matter.

No, if all our brilliance and efforts cannot create the simplest perpetual motion machine, then one as marvelous as we had to be designed and created by an infinitely intelligent Designer. In other words, there must be a God.

“LORD, you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

“All the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

“How precious are your thoughts concerning me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand” (Psalm 139:13-14, 16-18).

PRAYER:  Dear Father in heaven, please open my eyes to see Your presence and activity all around me. Please open my mind to understand Your ways. Please open my heart to receive Your Son and enthrone Him there. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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