EVIDENCE 1: THE ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSE
The cumulative case for God’s existence, based upon evidence from the natural world and human experience, begins with the consideration of the universe’s origin. The origin of the universe is the greatest conundrum facing atheism. How did the physical universe come into existence in the beginning? Where did it come from? By what processes?
Atheism’s whole worldview is founded upon the presupposition that nothing outside of nature exists. Thus, everything that happens must have a physical, natural cause. But this presents a problem when the origin of the universe is contemplated. Most cosmologists now accept that the physical universe has not always existed. A number of landmark scientific discoveries over the last century have shown that the whole universe, including all physical matter and the “laws” that govern the operation of that matter, came into existence at a point in time and space in the distant past. This concept that the universe had a beginning, represents a complete reversal of the belief in its eternal existence which science had passionately maintained for over 2,000 years. Dr Stephen Hawking (1942 – 2018), in a lecture published on his website, commented on this reversal:
“All the evidence seems to indicate, that the universe has not existed forever, but that it had a beginning. This is probably the most remarkable discovery of modern cosmology.”
He’s right! It is a truly remarkable discovery. But if atheism posits that nothing exists outside of the natural universe, then we are faced with the inescapable conclusion that the universe came into existence out of nothing. Many atheist scientists have conceded this point. For example, Dr Quentin Smith, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Western Michigan University, in a debate with William Lane Craig, stated:
“The universe came from nothing, by nothing for nothing.”
BIG BANG IN TROUBLE
Until recently, the ‘Big Bang’ Theory has been proposed to describe the moment of the universe’s creation. This theory arose as a result of evidence of the universe’s ongoing expansion from a supposed creative explosion of a singularity at the beginning of time. But this theory has two huge problems.
Firstly, it doesn’t explain how the ‘stuff’ that supposedly went ‘bang’ came from in the first place. In attempting to answer this, some scientists have proposed pre-existing quantum forces and energies that might have given rise to the singularity explosion and the creation of physical matter. This of course, begs the question, “Where did those forces and energies come from?” The atheist must then either propose that these quantum forces were eternally existent or were themselves created by something even more ancient, which then moves the goal posts back yet another step.
Secondly, the Big Bang theory is, itself, now in serious trouble. In recent decades, some major doubts have been cast upon the validity of a “big bang” as an explanation of the universe’s creation. One of the major problems is explaining how such a big bang could account for the formation of galaxies and clusters of galaxies, which we observe throughout the universe. If a big bang created the universe, it should have resulted in a fairly uniform dispersal of matter throughout the universe, resulting in a sparsely spread scattering of matter. But this is not what we see. Instead, we find huge clusters of galaxies, densely populated by stars, separated by vast distances of empty space. No computer models of a supposed big bang can show how these clusters could possibly have formed.
Dr James Trefil, Professor of Physics at George Mason University, Virginia, comments:
“There shouldn’t be galaxies out there at all, and even if there are galaxies, they shouldn’t be grouped together the way they are.’ He later continues: ‘The problem of explaining the existence of galaxies has proved to be one of the thorniest in cosmology. By all rights, they just shouldn’t be there, yet there they sit. It’s hard to convey the depth of the frustration that this simple fact induces among scientists.” (J. Trefil, The Dark Side of the Universe, Macmillan Publishing Company, New York, USA, pp. 3, 55, 1988.)
Because of these and other observational anomalies that seem to contradict the Big Bang theory of the universe’s origin, a growing number of scientists are calling for the theory’s official demise. For example, cosmologist Dr Halton C. Arp, of the Mount Wilson Observatory, Pasadena, USA, writes:
“In my opinion the observations speak a different language; they call for a different view of the universe. I believe that the big bang theory should be replaced, because it is no longer a valid theory.” (Halton C. Arp, quoted in E.P. Fischer (Ed.), Neue Horizonte 92/93—Ein Forum der Naturwissenschaften—Piper-Verlag, München, Germany, pp. 112–173, 1993)
The expansion of the universe has also been challenged recently by some observational data suggesting alternate explanations for redshift in galaxies and for cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR). These and other recent developments have led a growing number of respected scientists to reject the notion of a big bang. In 2004, an “Open Letter To The Scientific Community” by 33 leading scientists was published on the internet, and republished in “New Scientist” calling for the theory’s official demise. A subsequent article was published on www.rense.com, entitled “Big Bang Theory Busted by 33 Top Scientists”.
ACKNOWLEDGING THE SUPERNATURAL
As the ‘Big Bang’ theory continues to lose credibility, a growing tide of scientists at the top of their fields, when confronted with the mounting evidence from cosmology, are conceding that the only logical explanation for the origin of the universe is that there must have been a supernatural cause. The universe cannot have created itself; therefore, the cause had to have been something outside of nature – a transcendent “supernatural” cause. A growing chorus of voices within the scientific community is now conceding the very real possibility of the existence of supernatural forces that lie beyond the realm of scientific study. Among those voices, there are many scientists who are now unashamedly testifying to their faith in a Creator God. Astrophysicist, Dr Hugh Ross, writes,
“All the data accumulated in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries tell us that a transcendent Creator must exist. For all the matter, energy, nine space dimensions, and even time, each suddenly and simultaneously came into being from some source beyond itself. Likewise, it is valid to refer to the Creator as transcendent, for the act of causing these effects must take place outside or independent of them.” (Dr Hugh Ross, “The Creator and The Cosmos”, Navpress, 2001, pp.108-112.)
This, then, is the first area of evidence in our cumulative case for the existence of God. Cosmological considerations of the origin of the universe seem to point us inexorably towards a supernatural cause. But this is only the beginning of the case for God’s existence. Stay tuned!
See my book: “7 Reasons to Believe”, for more information.