Exploring the God Question 1. The Cosmos, Part 2 (Multiverses)
Published: 7 December 2014 (GMT+10)
In this article we discuss Part 2 of the First DVD in a Series, entitled Exploring the God Question 1, The Cosmos.1 As explained in our response to Part 1 (The big bang), this Series promotes the theory of evolution—not only by atheists who say ‘chance’ did it, but also by theists who add ‘God’. There is no denial of evolution, and so we repeat our comment from Part 1: Seeing there is no better way to destroy belief in God than through teaching evolution, it seems to us that the effect of this DVD series will be to convert more viewers to atheism than to theism.2
Part 2 begins with a repetition of a Dawkins quote:
We are all atheists about most of the gods humanity has ever believed in.
Some of us just go one god further. (Richard Dawkins—The God Delusion)
They must really think highly of such an inane quip to use it to start both Part 1 and Part 2 of their first DVD with it. It begs the question whether the evidence for all the claimed gods is equal. Really, it’s like saying, “Monogamous men forsake all other women; we single men just go one woman further.” However, both imply that there is no real difference between something and nothing.
This Dawkins quip is followed by a short summary of Part 1 with a few speakers recapitulating their opinions in one-liners. Then comes the major scientific misinformation, namely: “We discovered what science says about the origin and development of the universe. … ” So let us do a little recapping ourselves: Science is not a person, so it per se does not speak. The big bang is an atheistic worldview that is negated by the major laws of science. For atheists to maintain their worldview they must offer naturalistic explanations for everything which the Bible attributes to the power and authority of Almighty God. Hence the modern claim that the universe originated as the result of a big bang some 14 billion years ago, rather than being created by God in the way that Genesis records, and in the time frame and with the order of events that the Bible indicates.
Cons and pros for God being the Cause
Dr Michael Shermer (Executive Director, Skeptics Society) asks: “Why would a deity make a universe that’s 13.7 billion light years in radius,3 in which practically none of it is useable? It’s just a waste of stuff?”
There are (at least) two reasons why God made the universe so huge:
- According to Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” The fact that God created billions of stars and placed them in the billions of galaxies that contain them demonstrates, for those willing to see it, the omnipotence and omniscience of Almighty God.
- It also demonstrates that the worldview that says that all the mass and energy of the billions of stars in each of the 200 billion galaxies were once contained in a point of zero dimensions is scientific bunkum.
Atheist Sam Harris chips in with: “It is the most painfully wasteful system we could devise. Nowhere in that mayhem is there the suggestion that man is somehow central.”
Wrong on two counts!
- Dr Usama Hasan (Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society) explains that, at least within our solar system, Jupiter is important for life on Earth because Jupiter’s gravity sweeps up comets, meteorites and all kinds of debris which could possibly destroy Earth.
- Earth is indeed the primary focus of God. According to the record in Genesis that God Himself has given us, God first prepared the earth to be a habitation for mankind on Days 1, 2, and 3, of Creation week, and this was before He made the stars and galaxies on Day 4. Furthermore, it was on Earth that the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, was incarnated and died to pay the penalty for mankind’s sin; not to pay for the sin of demons or imaginary aliens. See Earth is ‘too special’?.
Furthermore, it’s tiresome to see atheists point to the immensity of the universe as if it were news. However, this truth has been well known for almost all the history of the Church. E.g. the Roman Christian philosopher Boëthius (AD c. 480–524/525), in prison awaiting trial and execution for an unjust charge of treason, wrote The Consolation of Philosophy, an imaginary dialogue between himself and ‘Lady Philosophy’. She points out that just as the earth is just a point in space, how much more insignificant is any glory of any of its inhabitants:
As you have heard from the demonstrations of the astronomers, in comparison to the vastness of the heavens, it is agreed that the whole extent of the earth has the value of a mere point; that is to say, were the earth to be compared to the vastness of the heavenly sphere, it would be judged to have no volume at all.4
This was one of the most widely read and influential books in the West during most of the Middle Ages. So churchmen were well aware of how tiny the earth is, without considering it the slightest threat to faith. Furthermore, it was exactly this consideration that led some medieval scientists to propose that it was the tiny earth that rotated rather than the immense cosmos revolving around it (see our article re Part 1 The big bang).
Theist Prof. William Lane Craig makes the point: “Since something cannot come out of nothing, since being does not come from non-being, there must exist some sort of transcendent Cause which brought the universe into existence, and this is the traditional concept of what theists have meant by God.”
Atheist Prof. Steven Weinberg responds: “We have to wait for an un-theistic explanation. Very often you have to wait a long time. But that’s what science is. Science is looking for non-theistic explanations of what we see in nature.” Notice the self-serving emphasis on the ‘non-theistic’ worldview. As we said in Part 1, today only materialistic notions are allowed to be entertained by scientists, and hence ‘science’ is hugely ‘blinkered’.
This doesn’t mean God does not exist—only that everything He has done is excluded by decree—not by evidence—as per this [in]famous quote by atheist evolutionist Prof. Richard Lewontin:
Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. 5
Atheist Michael Shermer asks: “If you posit a god that started it, I can just say, who created God? … If you say that God is that which does not need to be created, why can’t the universe be that which does not need to be created?”
The answer is that everything that has a beginning needs a creator. God did not have a beginning, so He did not need to be created. On the other hand the universe did have a beginning, so it did need to be created. See:
Genesis—fact not fancy
William Lane Craig then takes it upon himself to attack the ‘Young Earth’ Creationist (Genesis-means-what-it-says) biblical position, when he says:
Faith and science ought not to conflict, if both are means of discovering truth about reality. I think that the impression that there is a conflict has largely arisen because of literalistic interpretations of the opening chapter of the book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible. … People have taken this to describe six consecutive 24-hour days, and that viewpoint has been exploded by modern science.6
Not so! Conflict is not between faith and science, but between faith and scientists (both atheists and theists) who do not believe God’s Word. Genesis is the true account of the world’s history, which began with God creating the earth and everything in it in six consecutive days. The Bible clearly teaches:
- The days were 24 hours long.
- The whole universe was created during creation week, which was the same length as our working week.
- Mankind was created on Day 6, “from the beginning of creation” (Mark 10:6).
- The genealogies imply that Adam was created about 6,000 years ago.
- Death arose from Adam’s sin, not before.
- There was a worldwide Flood that left so much evidence that scoffers are “willingly ignorant” (2 Peter 3:3–7),
This viewpoint is rejected by atheists, but it has certainly not been “exploded by modern science” as claimed by Craig. We believe all this because the text of the Bible says so, and Jesus and the New Testament writers took it to mean this. The proper way to describe this hermeneutic7 is ‘historical grammatical’8, or perhaps ‘classical literal’, rather than ‘literalistic’. See:
- How long were the days of Genesis 1?
- Hebrew scholar (Dr Ting Wang) affirms that Genesis means what it says!
- Old Testament Theologian (Dr Robert McCabe): Genesis means what it says!
- Josephus says, ‘Genesis means what it says!’
- Is Genesis poetry / figurative, a theological argument (polemic) and thus not history?
- How could the days of Genesis be literal if the Sun wasn’t created until the fourth day?
- Non-Christian philosopher clears up myths about Augustine and the term ‘literal’
- Did God create over billions of years?
- How does the Bible teach 6,000 years?
We also remind Craig that the very first temptation ever was to doubt the word of God, as recorded in Genesis 3:1, where Satan says to Eve: “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”. And this was immediately followed by Satan’s denial of the word of God: “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). See
- Strategy of the Devil
- Who was the serpent?
- Why did God impose the death penalty for sin?
- 10 Dangers of theistic evolution
- William Lane Craig’s intellectually dishonest attack on biblical creationists
The Bible vs the Koran
The Narrator, possibly seeking to discredit what Genesis says (in the minds of Christians) by equating the Bible with the Koran, tells viewers:
According to modern science [no not ‘science’, just some scientists], the universe has developed over billions of years. The Bible and Koran seem to describe its creation over a very different timescale—just a matter of days. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And there was evening and morning, the first day.” [Genesis 1:1,3,5]
To ascribe the creation account in Genesis to the Koran is subtle disinformation. Genesis provides a unified, progressive description of Creation; the Koran does not. Instead, fragmented verses are scattered across some of its 114 chapters (or ‘Sura’). Furthermore Islam denies the divinity of Jesus Christ, but the Bible says He, Jesus Christ, was the Creator God, e.g.:
“… God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world” (Hebrews 1:1–2)
“All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3).
“For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16).
For a table of the differences between the Koran and Genesis, and further discussion, see Genesis vs the Koran.
Former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, Lord (Jonathan) Sacks comments: “But it [Genesis 1] is not a scientific account, and the proof that it isn’t is that it gets through creation in 34 verses.”
We do not call Genesis 1 a scientific account; we say it is a historic account of what God says He did. Sadly, when a few verses from what God actually says in Genesis are finally given in the DVD, they are promptly denied, not here by the atheists, but by those claiming to speak on behalf of God. Nothing new about this, see Darwin’s quisling (Charles Kingsley)
We have a question concerning Genesis 1 for Prof. Craig, Rabbi Sacks, et al.: If God had wanted to convey to the Hebrew people (and to us) that He created everything in a period of six days, how could He have said it more clearly than He did in Genesis 1?
The primary reason for our faith is that there is a book, called the Holy Bible, which proclaims the fact that God is, because only divine revelation can explain the book’s existence. The divine authorship of the Bible is seen in its amazing unity, its amazing preservation, its historical, scientific, and prophetic accuracy, its civilizing influence, its absolute honesty, and above all, its life changing message, which mends lives broken by sin and disbelief, which separate us from our holy Creator.
True Christian faith is based on this Word of God, the Bible, which tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Similarly, it is “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible” (Hebrews 11:3). This does not mean, however, that Christian faith is irrational or contrary to logic and reason (Romans 1:18–20). Indeed, the Apostle Peter commands us: “Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).
For a more detailed account of the above, see:
- Does God exist? (from the Creation Answers Book)
- Should we trust the Bible?
- Jesus Christ on the authority of Scripture
- Loving God with all your mind: logic and creation
- What? A Christian mind?
God is further revealed in Jesus Christ. The Gospels record that Jesus did things that only God can do, such as raise the dead to life (John 11:17 44), calm storms (Matthew 8:23 27), and forgive sins (Mark 2:1 12). He claimed to send prophets (Matthew 23:34) and the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49), and He accepted worship (Matthew 14:33). He was much more than just a prophet or a good man. The converted atheist, C.S. Lewis, said that there are three options (after accepting the first point, that the Bible reported Jesus accurately): Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic, or Lord (God). His life and Resurrection proved that He was indeed Lord. No wonder that soon after His death, the New Testament authors recognized Him as God and Creator (John 1:1 3, Colossians 1:15 20; Hebrews 1:3). See:
- Is Jesus Christ the Creator God?
- The Incarnation: Why did God become man?
- Our triune God
- Can we believe the Gospels? A former chief magistrate examines the witnesses to the resurrection
Can quantum mechanics create multiple universes out of nothing?
The Narrator asks: “If God didn’t cause the universe to exist, what did? Atheist physical chemist Prof. Peter Atkins acknowledges the problem: “What science cannot yet do, and one day I think it will have to turn to doing, is thinking about how a universe can come into existence without intervention, from absolutely nothing, without a creator. And that’s going to be really tough for science.”
Well, it’s going to be really tough for scientists, because science does not support such illogicality. Nevertheless the DVD Narrator tells viewers:
To understand how a universe might be created out of nothing, we must turn to the theory of quantum mechanics. It describes how in the tiny world of the atom small particles seem to appear and disappear for no obvious reason. Apparently absurd! Imagine if in our everyday world people appeared and disappeared without obvious cause. And yet the theory of quantum mechanics describes how this can happen at the atomic level, and that might offer an alternative to a creator. But why should a universe as fruitful as ours just pop out of nothing and somehow work? Imagine not just one tiny universe popping into existence but millions. Imagine that, among the millions, one of them by chance had the properties to support life. Maybe that universe was ours. This is the multiverse concept, which suggests that out of millions of possibilities we by chance are in the one universe that works.
Whoa! We seem to have gotten off the subject. The question was ‘how could our universe pop out of nothing?’ And the answer is: ‘imagine millions of universes popping out of nothing!’ That’s not an answer; that’s millions more ‘how’ questions! And here are a few other specific ones: For quantum mechanics to work, the laws of quantum mechanics must already be in existence, so how did they form out of nothing? Another problem is: how does what seems to happen at the sub-atomic level in a laboratory experiment (called a quantum fluctuation) apply to the formation of all the stars in the 200 billion galaxies in our universe? If they all appeared without obvious cause because of quantum mechanics, why aren’t they also disappearing without obvious cause due to quantum mechanics (as per the analogy given above)?
In laboratory experiments, virtual particles do appear within the vacuum of space. However, in the primordial singularity there was no space and so no vacuum. Another way of expressing this problem is: What was it that quantum fluctuated before there was anything there to quantum fluctuate?
- In the beginning God created—or was it a quantum fluctuation? [Refutation of atheist Lawrence Krauss]
- A new age of quantum madness
The Narrator correctly says: “But still the question remains: Could our universe really come from absolutely nothing?” Good question!
Prof. Alexander Vilenkin (Director, Institute of Cosmology, Tufts University, Boston) sets the record straight: “Of course, if you ask for evidence that the universe began by this spontaneous nucleation out of nothing, I don’t think we can produce any evidence for that.” Good answer!
Atheist Richard Dawkins as usual muddies the water. He tells viewers:
The principle of the multiverse provides at least an interim satisfying explanation [how?] in a way that a creator couldn’t possibly be a satisfying explanation [why not?]. Then having got ourselves into a universe which is capable of generating stars, capable of generating chemistry, and ultimately capable of generating the origin of life [says who?], then biological evolution takes over and now we have a clear run.
Prof. Paul Davies exposes this nonsense with: “The idea of shunting the problem off from the universe to the multiverse, I think, is a fraud. You can just ask the same question, where did all that come from? You really don’t explain things just by pushing it off a level. It’s just a trick.” See:
- Multiverse theory: unknown science or illogical raison d’être?
- On the origin of universes by means of natural selection—or, blinded by big bang blackness
Who fine-tuned the universe?
Having metamorphosed the problem of how our one universe came into existence into the multi-faceted problem of how millions of hypothetical universes could have come into existence, without solving anything, the DVD now discusses why our universe obeys the laws of physics. These laws operate across the entire universe, impacting the movement of galaxies, and controlling events in the miniscule world of the atom.
Dr Mario Livio (Senior Astrophysicist, Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore) tells viewers that he doesn’t think we will ever be able to answer the question why there are laws. But once again Paul Davies comes up trumps with the comment: “Science proceeds on the basis that the universe is ordered in a rational and intelligent way. It doesn’t have to be, but that’s the way it is. It sort of suggests that there is a lawmaker, an omnipotent, immutable being who imposed this order on the universe and presides over it.”
And a little later in the DVD he adds: “To say that we need brilliant minds to figure out what is going on, but mind doesn’t play a part in the structure and origin of that, seems to me to be rather peculiar.” Well said, Prof. Davies! Yet, sadly, he doesn’t accept the Lawmaker the evidence points to, but it was the very idea of a Lawmaker that led to the idea of scientific laws in the first place (see Part 1 The big bang).
Atheist Prof. Steven Weinberg isolates “dark energy’ as an extreme example of fine tuning. Concerning this, Prof. Mario Livio says: “About 73 per cent of the universe is in the form of this dark energy which, we see its effect, it’s pushing the expansion of the universe to accelerate, but we really don’t have a clue what it is, and we certainly don’t see it directly.”
So what is this incognito dark energy? It, along with ‘dark matter’,9 are terms used by astronomers to explain motions in the cosmos that they cannot explain by the laws of physics. Another term for these fictitious entities is ‘fudge factors’10, needed to make the big bang ‘work’.
The formation of galaxies is a huge problem for big bangers, because what the big bang supposedly produced from an initial point was an expanding mass of gas. The problem is how to get it to stop expanding and start contracting in localized regions so as to allow stars and galaxies to form, but without everything disappearing back into the singularity. This, according to Prof Weinberg, requires fine tuning to the order of at least 56 decimal places, with the correct amount of dark matter to get the stars, and then the galaxies, to form.
Not being able to explain any of this, the DVD Narrator offers viewers the atheists’ panacea—multiverse theory: “With so many potential universes popping into existence, perhaps the conditions could be just right in one of them to have allowed stars and galaxies to form.”
Prof. Weinberg adds: “Maybe in every trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion [universes], there’s one where the net dark energy, the sum of all the contributions, is small enough to allow the expansion to be slow enough for life to form.”
As we said in our response to Part 1, it takes far more faith—at least in the unbiblical sense of credulity—to believe in the big bang than it takes to believe that Almighty God created everything by the power of His Word, in the way that He says He did in Genesis. See:
- Bye-bye, big bang
- Has ‘dark matter’ really been proven?
- Missing cosmic sources elude astrophysicists
- Claimed dark matter ‘find’ won’t help end ‘big bang’ crisis
Four reasons to reject the big bang theory11
In addition to the many reasons contra the big bang we gave in our response to Part 1 of this DVD we submit the following:
- The theory lacks a credible mechanism. The big bang universe begins with all matter, energy, space and time compressed into a point of infinite density. There is no known mechanism to start the universe expanding out of this singularity—equations in the theory only work after the expansion has begun.
- It depends on ‘fudge factors’. It has to violate physical laws and appeal to unknown forces (dark energy) and unknown substances (dark matter) to explain what we observe.
- The Multiverse concept is excluded. Appeals to chance, e.g. via an infinite number of bubble universes, do not work because chance cannot accomplish what the laws of nature do not allow.
- Science cannot produce any final answers on the subject of origins. Present-day observations, when applied to the past, are always based on the belief system of the person(s) making the claims, and hence express their worldview, not facts about how the past came to be that way.
A prayer for those who seek something better
The DVD closes with this comment from atheist Prof. Peter Atkins: “I would be ultimately rather pleased if there was a god, because then I would have a better lease of life. I would very much like to be wrong. I would very much like to be immortal, but I’m afraid I don’t have any hope that that is the case.”
We have news for you, Prof. Atkins, and for all our readers—both good and bad news. The bad news is that the big bang is certainly not a reliable foundation when considering one’s eternal destiny. The good news is you can come to terms with God here and now in this life, and so be assured that in the life to come you will live forever with Him. The Bible tells us that through repentance and faith in the death of Christ on the cross and His Resurrection, we can have our guilty past wiped clean and become children of God, and that one day all those who have received His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, will go to live with Him for ever. (John 1:12)
Many atheists have come to the point of saying a prayer that goes something like this: “Oh God, I don’t know whether you exist or not, but if you do exist, and if you can hear me, show me the truth about yourself and I will follow wherever this truth leads me. Amen.” We commend this procedure to all our atheist readers.
References and notes
- Published in 2013 by Search for Truth Enterprises Ltd, Scotland. For more details see comments in our article Exploring the God Question: 1. The Cosmos, Part 1 (The big bang). Return to text.
- As advocated by the Narrator in the second DVD programme Life and Evolution, Part 1, where he says: “For atheists, there appears to be no better weapon to derail belief in God than evolution.” Note also that atheist William B. Provine has said: “Evolution is the greatest engine of atheism ever invented.” (Source: Slide from W.B. Provine’s 1998 “Darwin Day” address, “Darwin Day” website, University of Tennessee Knoxville TN, 1998. Return to text.
- A ‘light year’ is the distance light travels in one year. Return to text.
- Boëthius, The Consolation of Philosophy (De consolatione philosophiae) 2(7):3–7, ad 524. Return to text.
- Lewontin, R., Billions and billions of demons, The New York Review, January 9, 1997, p. 31. Return to text.
- Little wonder that the American atheist activist Eugenie Scott said: “I have found the most effective allies for evolution are people of the faith community. One clergyman with a backward collar is worth two biologists at a school board meeting any day!” (Research News Opportunities in Science and Theology (later renamed Science & Theology News) 2(8):2, April 2002. Return to text.
- I.e. that branch of theology that deals with principles of biblical interpretation. Return to text.
- ‘Historical grammatical’ is the method of interpretation that takes into account common rules of grammar and syntax and the author’s historical context. The goal is to ascertain as closely as possible the meaning intended by the original author, so that the interpreter remains under the authority of the text instead of imposing his meaning on the text. Return to text.
- Dark matter is required to hold the galaxies together during all the supposed time the universe has existed. This is because in deep time most galaxies would have flown apart if their visible stars provided the only sources of gravity. Return to text.
- The standard model of the big bang now seems to demand that the universe is about 5% ordinary matter, which is observed through telescopes; 22.5% is dark matter, which is not observed; and the remaining is a mysterious dark energy, 72.5%. These are mysterious unknown forms of matter and energy, called ‘dark’ because their existence is not directly observed. Return to text.
- Adapted from Williams, A., and Hartnett, J., Dismantling the Big Bang, Master Books, Arkansas, 2013, pp. 13–14. Return to text.