Many creationists use the 2nd law of Thermodynamics "Progression is always downward, a law," to reject evolution. When did this misunderstanding of Thermodynamics start and how to refute it?
The general idea started probably around the 18th century, but some illustrious names in the 19th century like Sir William Thompson talked of the "heat death" of the universe, so originally it appears physicists did understand thermodynamics as a "downward progression".
At the same time, there has always been a competing view that energy is neither created nor destroyed, and that too has a long history of illustrious support.
The problem in the 19th century is that it wasn't particularly obvious how things like burned coal or exhausted stars were created or recycled. Even today these things are known to occur only on scales far greater than human civilisation, but the picture that emerges is less of "downward progression" but of energy merely moving and transforming around the universe.
Such cosmological questions are not yet settled in that they are not fully understood or modelled, but no physicist nowadays would assert in their scientific capacity that "downward progression" was a "law" - merely an opinion or a hypothesis held by some.
Therefore the 2nd law is nowadays stated in terms that both schools can agree with, that there is no upward progression (leaving it unstated whether there is an overall steady state or whether there is "downward progression").