Q: Archbishop J, why do you believe that God exists (part 2)?
Everything that exists has a beginning. This is a simple statement with many profound implications for the universe, but this was not always accepted.
After all, when we go back—all the way back—we are left with two options. Either the universe always existed or there was someone or thing that existed before the universe, which set it in motion.
Isaac Newton’s first law of motion states: “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”
If the universe is moving, then there was a force that set it in motion.
This leads to two possibilities: First, everything was always in motion without a beginning. This is a challenge for the second law of thermodynamics which states—entropy of any isolated system always increases.
‘Entropy’ here is defined as “lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.” If we consider the universe as a system, then it could not evolve, reach higher and higher states of perfection and consciousness, without an external force acting on it. In fact, without an external force, it should devolve into greater disorder.
Second, everything, including space, time and matter has a beginning. This we call either creation or the ‘Big Bang’—a precise beginning where matter, space and time come into being.
It sounds simple, doesn’t it? But philosophers and scientists have been debating this for years. In ‘The Origin of the Universe’, a lecture by Stephen Hawking, the author states:
“Aristotle, the most famous of the Greek philosophers, believed the universe had existed forever. Something eternal is more perfect than something created. He suggested the reason we see progress was that floods, or other natural disasters, had repeatedly set civilization back to the beginning. The motivation for believing in an eternal universe was the desire to avoid invoking divine intervention to create the universe and set it going. Conversely, those who believed the universe had a beginning, used it as an argument for the existence of God as the first cause, or prime mover, of the universe.”
In A Brief History of Time, where Hawking sets out to investigate the universe, he chooses the assumption that the universe always existed. The only challenge is that during his enquiry, based on the observation from the Hubble Space Telescope that could see the outer reaches of the universe, he discovered that the universe was expanding away from us.
This meant that it had a beginning: time, space, and matter all came into being at that moment, the Big Bang. Through calculation by the rate of expansion it is estimated to have taken place about 15 billion years ago.
For the scientific community, this caused a major upheaval. Albert Einstein, speaking about the Big Bang said: “a singularity in time irritates me. I find it nonsensical.”
Here is the challenge. Science should only comment on what is observable. But scientists have sneaked the unobservable (faith) into their reasoning mechanisms. From the perspective of science, whether the universe had a beginning or not, should not have any emotional connection. But it did, for both Einstein and Hawking. This is because science for them was also a religion; that religion is atheism.
Science and atheism
On the question of the existence of God, scientists—if they want to be scientists working with the observable world—should be neutral. It should make no difference one way or the other.
This is the major challenge today. Atheism is a belief system. It cannot be deduced from observation, and it cannot be proved.
Robert Jastrow, an agnostic and a scientist, took a different position. He recognised that the work of Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson changed the debate about the Big Bang forever.
These two men stumbled upon celestial static that they could not explain. That static was cosmic background radiation, the residue of heat and light left over from the initial fireball of the universe.
This for Jastrow is one of the most important discoveries in science, from Galileo and Newton to his day. It shows that the world had a beginning (Look for the YouTube video, Robert Jastrow describes the Big Bang).
In his book, God and the Astronomers, Jastrow says: “Five different lines of evidence—the motions of the galaxies, the discovery of the primordial fireball, the laws of thermodynamics, the abundance of helium in the Universe and the life story of the stars—point to one conclusion: all indicate that the Universe had a beginning” (p 103).
Then he goes on to list the scientists who simply cannot accept this view. He concludes:
“Now we would like to pursue that inquiry farther back in time, but the barrier to further progress seems insurmountable. It is not a matter of another year, another decade of work, another measurement, or another theory, at this moment it seems as though science will never be able to raise the curtain on the mystery of creation. For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak,¬ as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries” (p 107).
Does this prove that God exists? No! What it does prove is that scientists who are committed to atheism are not scientists. They are evangelists of atheism. They stare at the evidence and still conclude, despite the evidence, that God cannot be the prime cause of the universe. They are biased and they are wrong.
At best, if they are honest, they can conclude, “we do not know what force, or energy set the Big Bang in motion”. They must also conclude it was a force that was eternal, that was outside of time, space, and matter. That force, we call God.
The universe is expanding thus it had a beginning. This means some force or being, that was eternal had to bring it into being.
Look at YouTube videos by Robert Jastrow. Or download his book—God and the Astronomers. Do a search on “proofs for the existence of God” and look at a few of them. Keep an open mind and ask God to lead you to the truth.