The Origin of Everything 

      Why is the universe here? Why is there something instead of nothing? The origin of the universe is a mystery that has been reflected upon ever since human beings first looked upward into a star-filled sky. It's the science of cosmology: the study of the origin, development, and fate of the universe.
      Sophisticated instruments, including telescopes such as the Hubble, have allowed us to look farther into the distance than we could have imagined a few years ago. Scientists have observed our expanding universe, and by re-winding the action backward they have concluded that our universe was formed 13.8 billion years ago. They describe it as the Big Bang, when the universe exploded into existence from an infinitesimally small point, and it has been expanding from that moment of singularity ever since. 

Something Out of Nothing?
      Let's assume that the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe is right. What caused the Big Bang?  Many cosmologists hold the view that this happened naturally, without benefit of any creator. Other cosmologists are open to the idea of a creator, affirming what the very first verse of the first book of the Bible states: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
      Certainly everything couldn't come out of nothing. We've never observed something coming from nothing. Our universe operates on the principle of cause and effect. If the effect was the Big Bang, there must be a cause. The word “poof” is hardly an adequate explanation.
 

An Eternal Process?
      One theory states that our universe is involved in an eternal cyclical process of expansion, then contraction, then exploding out again in another big bang, and on and on. Recent discoveries debunk this theory in two ways. First of all, the universe is expanding faster and faster, so it will never collapse upon itself. Second, it has been determined that the criteria are not right for the universe to do that over and over again. One could add a third reason: there's no proof that even if the universe would collapse in on itself it would “bounce back” into another big bang from such an event.
      The idea that energy and matter have always existed is intellectually unsatisfying. You can't keep pushing the question farther into the past. You always end up asking where it all came from. If the effect is the existence of energy and matter, what's the ultimate cause?
 

Multiple Universes?
      It seems that a growing trend is the belief in multiple universes; such is the view held by theoretical physicist and string theorist Brian Greene, who is often seen on PBS.  The theory is that there might be forces beyond our own universe, perhaps a huge bubbling brew of many other universes that have had and are having an impact on our own universe. In fact, the theory is that the big bang of our own universe coming into being may have happened because of and from those other universes.  It's argued that out of perhaps billions or trillions of other universes, it's just luck that it all came together just right for everything, including us, to be here.
      However, this is all pure conjecture, for there’s no proof for multiple universes.  Even if you hypothesize their existence you’re still left with the fundamental question as to where they came from.
 

Our “Finely-Tuned” Universe
      The amazing discoveries within the last few years of the number of ways our universe is “finely tuned” so it can be here at all speaks of intelligent design, of a creator who created. For instance, if the strength of gravity was just one part in several billions weaker, it would be insufficient to hold matter together for galaxies, stars, and planets to form. If gravity were just a tad greater to the same degree, everything would have collapsed in on itself long ago, near the time of the Big Bang.  It has also been explained that if the neutron weren't exactly 1.001 times the mass of the proton, this universe wouldn't be here.
      These are just two examples of how the dials had to be set just right for everything to be here. Cosmologist Ed Harrison stated, “Here's a cosmological proof of the existence of God. . . The fine-tuning of the universe. . . Take your choice – blind chance that requires an infinite amount of universes, or design, that requires only one. Many scientists, when they admit their views, incline towards a theological, or design, argument.” (quoted from
A Place for Truth, edited by Dallas Willard, the article by Hugh Ross, “A Scientist Who Looked and Was Found”, p.132, from Masks of the Universe, New York: Macmillan, 1985)

Reason Enough for Faith
      Many hold to the conviction, including a significant number of scientists, that there is something or someone beyond space and time, and other than energy and matter, which has made all that is. Francis Collins, physician-geneticist and head of the Human Genome Project, was interviewed with atheist Richard Dawkins. Collins wrote, “At the end of the interview, he did admit that he couldn't, on a purely rational basis, exclude the possibility of a supernatural being. But, he says, such a being would be grander and more complicated and awesome than anything humans could contemplate. I wanted to jump up and shout, 'Hallelujah, we have a convert!' (But I didn’t.)” (A Place for Truth, p.89)  Scientist Hugh Ross stated that “one of the unique attributes of the Christian God is that he is a transcendent Being, capable of acting through cause and effect independent of length, width, height and time.” (A Place for Truth, p.133)
      It really makes good sense to believe that all that is – the origin of the universe – is a result of the creative activity of God. It has been argued, and I believe it's valid, that it takes more faith to believe that somehow everything exists without anyone making it than to believe that there is a Maker!
      Some 2000 years ago the brilliant scholar Paul of Tarsus wrote these inspired words:
“For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20) Yes, there is reason enough to believe that God is responsible for the origin of our universe.

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by David J. Claassen

daveclaassen.com
Copyright 2014 by David J. Claassen