Preliminary thoughts: *Something cannot come from nothing- Nothing is nothing, nothing can do nothing, therefore nothing can cause nothing. *Every effect or anything that comes into being, needs a cause. Something cannot come from nothing. *Two possibilities- 1. The universe has always been here. 2. The universe had a beginning. *Did the universe have a beginning and if so, what caused it?
The Kalam Cosmological Argument
1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause; 2. The universe began to exist; 3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.
The critical step in this argument is demonstrating the reality of the universe’s beginning. Lets consider four lines of argumentation to show that the universe had a beginning- two scientific and two philosophical.
Argument from Science #1
Evidence from the isotropic expansion of the universe (Big Bang Theory). Current scientific observation shaows that the universe is expanding and becoming less and less dense. The implication is that as one extrapolates back in time the universe becomes progressively denser until one arrives at a state called a singularity. this singularity also know as the Big Bang is when space and time came into existence. Stephen Hawking writes, “Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang. Atheist astronomer Fred Hoyle, agrees that the Big Bang theory requires the creation of the universe from nothing. This is because, as you go backin time, you reach a point at which in Hoyle’s words, the universe was “shrunk down to nothing at all.” Atheist Anthony Kenny of Oxford University says, “A proponent of the Big Bang theory, at leat if he is an atheist, must believe that…the universe came by nothing and from nothing.”
1. NASA- “The universe was created sometime between 10 billion and 20 billion years ago from a cosmic explosion that hurled matter in all directions.”
2. UC Berkley- “The big Bang theory states that at some time in the distant past there was nothing. A process known as vaccuum fluctuation created what astrophysicists call a singularity. From that singularity, which was about the size of adime, our universe was born.”
3. University of Michigan- “About 15 billion years ago a tremendous explosion started the expension of the universe. This explosion is known as the Big Bang. At the point of this event, all matter and energy of space was contained at one point. What existed prior to this event is completely unkown and is a matter of pure speculation. This occurrence was not a conventional explosion but rather an event filling all of space with all the particles of the embryonic universe rushing away from each other.”
4. American Association for the Advancement of Science- The theory holds that a “big bang” precipitated a huge split second inflation of the universe, followed by a gradual expansion that continues to this day and is now accelerating.”
The scientific community (some theists and some atheists) recognizes the Big Bang theory as the most accurate theory regarding the origin of the universe. One question- How did nothing explode?
Argument from Science #2
This argument is based on the Thermodynamic properties of the universe. According to the naturalistic worldview, the universe is a gigantic closed system because it is everything there is and there is nothing outside of it. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics tells us that processes taking place in a closed system always tend toward a state of equilibrium. If molecules of gas were introduced into a bottle, then they would eventually spread out evenly throuoghout the bottle. What this law implies when applied to the univeres as a whole is that given enough time, the universe and all its processes will run down, and the entire universe will come to equilibrium. Therfore, if the universe has always been there, then it would have reached this state of equilibrium an infinite amount of time ago. Since equilibrium in the universe has not been reached, the universe has not been here an infinite amount of time.
In the beginning God created… (Genesis 1:1)
In the next post we will look at the philosophical evidence for the beginning of the universe.