Since the turn of the 20th century it has been realised that the Cathar belief in the gradual decay of an imperfect material world and a reunification with a pure spirit is, with some interpretation, supported by modern physics. This is entirely in accord with current scientific thinking. However I accept that in the current context this is extremely challenging!
Laws of Thermodynamics
Every structured element of the material world is of relatively low entropy, but the first and second laws of thermodynamics say that although energy can be neither created nor destroyed, all physical processes work towords an increase in entropy. This will lead to a breakdown of structure and movement towards increasing disorder (pure energy?) which will eventually envelop the whole universe.
Discussions of the second law and the associated law of maximum entropy production create arguments amongst scientists which are of religious intensity
i.e. The tendency for entropy to increase in isolated systems is expressed in the second law of thermodynamics — perhaps the most pessimistic and amoral formulation in all human thought. — Gregory Hill and Kerry Thornley, Principia Discordia (1965)
Breaking the Law
At the root of the scientific agony is the fact that the creation of the universe is, by these immutable laws, impossible. They believe that creation requires (required?) that at some point in time a major decrease in total entropy as energy was used to create a very extensive highly structured universe, which laws or energy and enthalpy say is impossible. In the eyes of some observers this was indeed a “miracle” or an “accident’ as it flies in the face of all known natural laws.
However such opinions neglect the effects of energy and entropy in, for example, mettalurgical processes. Energy can be stored in alloyed and forged metals and because of the “disorder” of the crystalline structures, enthalpy is greater in a finely formed metal than in the constituent ores. Therefore for the act of creation to be supported by the laws of energy and enthalpy, all that is necessary is that before creation energy existed in a form which had a lower entropy ( was more ordered) than the formation of the physical universe .
Miracle or Mystery
The mystery is why this move from pure energy at a low entropy moved to a state of pure energy at high entropy and in the process create the intervening chaos of the physical universe. This argument changes one’s view of creation from a miracle to a temporary abomination–exactly the view of the Cathars.
The real difference between the Cathars and every other religious creed, was that this “miracle of creation, (Order from Chaos)” was seen as in itself evil. Every other religion saw it as good. Even from the Zoroastrans, who in many ways had similar beliefs to the Cathars saw evil as infiltrating a world which was essentially good.