It is true that the principle of conservation of energy for isolated systems is
one of the most faithfully believed principles in the physics of the last 150 years.
It is taken as a rigorous principle, for example, for the rejection of possible
perpetual-motion machines. Certainly, no violations of this principle have been
discovered. In special relativity, this generalizes to the conservation of 4-momentum,
which includes conservations of energy and 3-dimensional vector momentum. The validity
of the principle can be derived from invariance under spatial translations and time
However, as discussed in Section 20.6, within theism
we must take into account that no physical system is strictly closed. Every substance
of every discrete degree is necessarily and always open to the reception of divine
life. Secondly, space and time will not be isotropic if there are spatiotemporal
variations of the spacetime metric or of coupling parameters (see Section
25.2). We already know how to treat some metric
variations, namely those that occur according to general relativity and generate
gravity, but others may be possible.
The generalization of the conservation laws according to general relativity may
well happen again if more general and new laws of nature are predicted and/or discovered.
Theistic science essentially predicts that this will occur, and, moreover, that
the new laws will not be purely physical but will describe possible influences from
mental activities. We await with eagerness to see what experimental evidence may
support this prediction.32.4