did the universe come from?
2) according to secularism
or twenty billion years ago, something happened - the Big Bang, the event
that began our universe. Why it happened is the greatest mystery we know.
That it happened is reasonably clear."1
outlook through this peephole at the vast mysteries of the universe should
only confirm our belief in the certainty of its Creator." 2
The secular scenario.
THE CURRENT THEORIES
believe that the universe is expanding. The old idea that the universe existed
eternally more or less as it is now was called the steady state theory.
This theory was officially discarded at a 1969 meeting of the Congress of
Astronomers in Florence, Italy.
Soon after this expansion
was confirmed, a new theory gained prominence suggesting the universe might
be eternally cycling between inflation and deflation. If true, that idea
would violate several foundational beliefs that most scientists hold. Consequently,
and due to the lack of supporting astronomical observations, very few scientists
give credence to an oscillating universe theory. Instead, only two
ideas are held by the majority of astronomers to be plausible explanations
of the origin of the universe: the big bang theory and the new
Both of these two theories
seek to explain why all galaxies appear to be rushing out from a common
center, like pieces of an exploding bombshell. Given the speed and distances
of these celestial fragments, and basing calculations on the speed of light
remaining constant, scientists believe they can estimate when and where
everything seems to have begun.
Estimates indicate that
ten to thirty billion years ago all matter, energy, and space appear to
have originated from a central point. Not a point in space per se, since
that mere point (referred to as a singularity) constituted everything including
all of space. This singularity may also have been the origin of time (at
least time as we know it) due to the special relationship between space
and time. That relationship is reflected in the term space-time continuum.
-- IN THE SCIENTIFIC BEGINNING
At what is called Plank
time, 10-43 seconds, the earliest
moment at which the concept of space and time is said to have meaning, all
matter, energy, and space began a violent expansion. Residual radiation
emanating from all directions in space, discovered in 1965, was one of the
first confirmations to these theories of a catastrophic beginning. 5
Sir Arthur Eddington illustrates,
We can picture the
stars and galaxies as embedded in the surface of a rubber balloon which
is being steadily inflated; so that, apart from their individual motions
and the effects of their ordinary gravitational attraction to one another,
celestial objects are becoming farther and farther apart simply by inflation.
The difficult idea to
grasp is that outside of this balloon of expanding space-time there exists
nothing; nothing in the most absolute sense as it cannot even be considered
to be in space or to exist in time; space and time exist within it.
-- SOMETHING FROM NOTHING?
It should now be apparent
that the two origin theories, though widely accepted, raise as many questions
as they answer. The most significant question being "How could something
have come from nothing?"
The first idea, the
big bang theory, states that the singularity containing all of space, matter,
and energy began expanding fifteen billion years ago. Some believe that
is when it came into existence. Others differ by saying that it existed
all along. It was eternal and only fifteen billion years ago, for reasons
unknown, began to expand.
The alternative to the
big bang is the new inflationary theory; a kind of big bang updated with
a peculiar hypothesis of quantum physics (principles of sub-nuclear particles).
Quantum theory includes the possibility that an elementary building block
of matter can pop into existence: something from nothing with no discernible
cause. The singularity of space-time and matter, applying atheism's use
of the quantum hypothesis, may have similarly popped out of the nowhere
into the here, and resulted in today's cosmos.
Before presenting the
biblical account for comparison, one thing should be pointed out about these
alternatives. Both theories fail to account for any true origin - each
assumes certain eternalities.
The big bang theory
believes in the eternality of the present universe; albeit in the condensed
form of a singularity. The fallacy of this belief, as pointed out by physicists
like Stephen Hawking, is that the laws of thermodynamics and the nature
of gravity would have kept such an infinitesimal singularity crushed into
a black hole.
for the new inflationary theory, it necessitates at least the eternality
of its quantum laws. For how could quantum laws, which are but mere descriptions
given to the workings of the present universe, have effected their own cause
prior to their own existence? As Paul Davies writes,
But what of the laws?...
Quantum physics has to exist (in some sense) so that a quantum transition
can generate the cosmos in the first place. 7
Any rational solution
requires the existence of causal forces prior to the universe's appearance.
Otherwise it is like the old joke "Abe Lincoln was born in a log cabin he
built with his own hands". Quantum laws could not have originated that which
they themselves are a product or description of. In other words, the
universe could not have occurred as a result of chance unless chance was
already around in order to produce the universe. For if one begins with
utter nothingness, measurements of possibility and probability are totally
without meaning. And as outlined in a previous chapter, to say the universe
happened by chance is really saying that it was the effect of an unrecognized
-- WHERE THAT LEAVES US
In summary, the two
most widely accepted scientific theories on the origin of the universe agree
on two things:
1) the universe
as we know it had a definite beginning, and
2) the cause of
the universe somehow pre-existed the universe itself.
The most important ramification
of the latter statement is this: if the cause
of space-time existed before space-time, then that cause must be independent
of the time and space it created. Put simply, the creator is necessarily
independent of that which was created. This is like saying you can't expect
to find a GM assembly plant inside one of the cars it produces, or a meat
packing plant inside one of its own packages of hamburger.
What is the theological
implication of this? Just as a thorough search of the hamburger will never
produce the meat packing plant from where it came, neither will a search
of the known universe and its physical properties guarantee finding from
where or from whom it came. The Bible might be referring to this very reasoning
in stating, "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's
command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible"
(Hebrews 11:3 NASB - emphasis mine).
Thus the only real proof
of origin for any created thing is that which its originator provides. In
terms of products, that means a label or instructions. In terms of the idea
of a creator God, that means the information which he gave to Moses and
the other biblical authors.
There is no doubt
that the scheme of physics... postulates a date at which either the entities
of the Universe were created in a state of high organization, or pre-existing
entities were endowed with that organization which they have been squandering
ever since. Moreover, this organization is admittedly the antithesis of
chance. It is something which could not occur fortuitously. It has been
quoted as scientific proof of the intervention of the Creator at a time
not infinitely remote from today. It is one of those conclusions from
which we can see no logical escape - only it suffers from the drawback
that it is incredible.
Arthur Eddington 8
NEXT: PART THREE: The biblical scenario...
How long did creation
Links to Intelligent
Design and Creation Science websites