The Enigma Of The Universe : 5. Theories of Universe With End And Jain Lokāloka

Published: 25.01.2015
Updated: 02.07.2015

The theory which suggests the end of the universe after a certain time has already been discussed. It is based on the 'Second Law of Thermodynamics'. As we have already seen, it propounds that when the universe would reach the condition of maximum entropy, billions of years from now, all the processes of nature will cease.[1] There are six things to be noted about this theory.

  1. The first is that it asserts that the matter and energy of the universe are inexorably diffusing like vapour through the insatiable void. This means that the total amount of matter and energy of the universe is undergoing continuous destruction, but this is against the principle of conservation of matter and energy which is the fundamental principle of science. Thus, to accept such theory would amount to giving up of the fundamental principle. On the other hand, the above theory is also not consistent with the Jain view of 'persistence-through-modes' which denies absolute destruction of anything real. Again, the interesting thing to note about this theory and the 'steady-state-theory' is that whereas this theory requires matter to be annihilated, the latter requires 'matter to be created'; and thus both of them are contradictory to each other and also to the fundamental principle of physical science. It may be suggested here that if these two are combined together,[2] there will be no need to postulate any creation or destruction of matter.

  2. The second thing to be paid attention to is the suggestion of Sir James Jeans, already quoted, "that the second law of thermodynamics may fail under astronomical conditions of which we have no knowledge, is certainly conceivable".[3] If this possibility comes out be true, then it is evident that the (classical) second law of thermodynamics would be applicable only in some parts of the universe. Consequently, except that limited region where it is applicable, in other parts of the universe the condition of entropy would also be different and that will falsify the conclusion that the universe has an end. The scientists, who consider this as improbable may think over it again, firstly because the new law gives rise to effects which are in accordance with the fundamental law of physical science, and secondly because in the field of science and even mathematics we have come across with the laws which do not hold under certain conditions (as for example, the laws of Euclidean geometry do not hold in the gravitational fields).

    This fact is again found expression in the words of Sir Arthur Eddington: "It has been customary in scientific philosophy to insist that the laws of nature[4] have no compulsory character; they are uniformities which have been found to occur hitherto in our limited experience, but we have no right to assert that they will occur invariably and universally."[5]

  3. The third important argument against the above theory is that the second law of thermodynamics itself is still not beyond doubt. It is a matter of discussion whether this law is finally proved or not. For example, it is observed: "Somehow Law II is supposed to be not literally true but only hightly probable; it is to occupy a precarious status of its own."[6] Again, "The validity of the second Law then becomes a matter of high probability only;..."[7] It is also observed: "That the second Law talks probabilities if the mechanical laws are exact."[8]

    In this way, when the Second Law itself is subjected to doubt, the theory of the universe with end, based on it, also automatically becomes doubtful.

  4. The fourth point is regarding the dubious nature of the second law of thermodynamics:

    One more point which makes the conclusion based on the second law of thermodynamics weak, is that this law itself is based on the classical or non-relativistic thermodynamics, whereas in modern science, this has been replaced by relativistic thermodynamics. Edmund Whittaker has taken into account this fact and therefore has asked to use the classical thermodynamics with caution. He writes: "It cannot be said, however, that the matter is altogether free from obscurity: the doctrine, though highly probable, is perhaps not established beyond dispute. For the argument is based entirely on the classical or non-relativistic thermodynamics. Now relativistic thermodynamics, which is the true theory, is considerably different from classical thermodynamics. Thus, in classical thermodynamics, a system which is in thermal equilibrium must be at a uniform temperature throughout; but in relativistic thermodynamics, a temperature gradient is necessary to prevent the flow of heat from regions of higher to regions of lower gravitational potential which are in thermal equilibrium. This simple example shows the need for caution, and the importance of using, in any general argument regarding the universe, not the classical laws, but the modified form of them which has been discovered by Professor R. C. Tolman of California Institute of Technology."[9] We have already seen how Prof. R. C. Tolman has proved that there is a loophole in the theory which describes the doom of the universe: " would seem that there is a narrow-extremely narrow loophole of escape from the generally received conclusion regarding the destiny of the cosmos."[10]

  5. The fifth point which is remarkable about this theory is that some scientists have suggested the theory of reconstruction of universe. One of such theories is the theory of Cyclic Universe which we have already discussed in detail.[11] According to this theory, the universe is endless with respect to time, and therefore, it is against the theory of universe with end. Again, the Theory of Cyclic Universe is consistent with both the scientific principle of the conservation of mass and energy as well as the Jain theory of persistence-through-modes.

  6. The sixth point is the question: Does the theory based on second law of thermodynamics believe that the very existence of the universe will come to end or not? This question can throw light on the truthfulness of this theory. If interpreted correctly, this theory only propounds that after a definite period of time the entropy will reach its maximum value. But the question again is whether the existence of the universe would come to end. In words of Sir Arthur Eddington we get an answer to this question. He has imagined that when the universe would reach the state of maximum entropy-complete disorder, the existence of universe would persist for infinite time to come; and again all the objects therein would get the opportunity to reorganise themselves. After due time (a long period), the atoms of the universe would again attain state of order as now in accordance with the laws of probability... Such very improbable condition will ensue one day and as a result the value of entropy would fall down from that of maximum state. This change would occur when the universe would attain a state far beyond the thermo dynamical balance.[12] From these observations of the famous scientist, it becomes clear that one cannot deny the existence of universe to persist even after the attainment of the state of maximum entropy, and moreover, there is also the probability of its reconstruction. Although, Eddington himself has considered this probability as very low and also neglected it,[13] yet it would be wrong to state that time itself would cease to exist, as suggested by some scientists.[14] The conclusion that there will be end of the universe and also of the time is opposed by several theories like those of Cyclic Universe, Self-pulsating Universe, Steady State Universe and Evolutionary Universe, which are all of the view that the universe is eternal-beginningless and endless. Also the Jain's theory of the universe considers the existence of the universal as eternal. Thus, only the above theory is in contradiction with all other theories; this is the strongest weak point of the above theory. Thus, even if the above theory is assumed to be true, it would mean only that the present condition of the universe would come to end, but it should not be interpreted as the ultimate end of the universe and the time.

All the six points mentioned above make it amply clear that the 'theory of universe with end' has remained dubious in the field of science.


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Title: The Enigma Of The Universe

Publisher: JVB University Ladnun

English Edition: 2010

HN4U Online Edition: 2014

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Eddington
  2. Edmund Whittaker
  3. Einstein
  4. Euclid
  5. Science
  6. Sir James Jeans
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