Some thoughts on the origin of the universe

Dawkins (and some others like him) expose the view that there is no God. The universe came about through natural processes. There is nothing eternal that had to have kicked off this process, and no need for a creator.

There are lots of other theories out there – creationism (God created the universe literally as it is recorded in the Bible), evolution, Intelligent design. Some say the big bang started everything off. But what caused that? Where did the matter comes from? I see three options which can begin to explain the origin of life. All theories fit within one of these three options (from David Robertson, ‘The Dawkins letters’ p58 )

1. Something came from nothing. At one point there was no universe, there was no material, there was no matter [physical stuff], no time, no space. And out of that big nothing there came the Big Bang and out vast universe, tiny planet, evolution and the human species. Such a notion is beyond the realms of reason and is a total nonsensical fantasy

2. Something was eternal. In other words matter has always existed. There is a lump of rock, or a mass of gas, or some kind of matter which had no beginning and will probably have no end. And at some point that matter exploded and we ended up with the finely tuned and wonderful universe we now inhabit

3. Something was created – ex nihilo – out of nothing. And that Creator has to be incredibly powerful, intelligent and awesome beyond our imagination.

So we either have the universe being created out of nothing by no-one, the physical material which makes up the universe having always existed, or we need a creator. There are no other logical choices.

I do not subscribe to creationism – you do not need to in order to take the Bible seriously. Likewise there are flaws in the theory of evolution and in the theory of Intelligent Design. But the simple existence of ourselves and our universe necessitates something eternal. Either the universe was eternal (option 2), or it was created by something (option 3). There is no other logical option.

Some more quotes from eminent scientists (both quoted in ‘The Dawkins Letters’, p64):

“The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Bible as a whole” (Arno Penzias, Nobel-prize winner for his work on finding background radiation which supports the theory of the Big Bang)

“It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of God who intended to create beings like us” (Stephen Hawking, in ‘A Brief History of Time’)

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