Did It Just Happen, or Was It Created?
MANY scientists are uncomfortable with the idea that the universe was created by an intelligent Creator. So they speculate that it somehow just came into existence by itself. But no one has been able to explain how that could happen.
Actually, it is as the magazine Scientific American reported in its January 1999 issue: “The big bang theory does not describe the birth of the universe.” The magazine added: “Another theory describing even earlier times will be needed to explain the original creation of the universe.”
Yet, does it seem reasonable to you that the universe just somehow created itself? Physicist Charles H. Townes observed: “It is true that physicists hope to look behind the ‘big bang,’ and possibly to explain the origin of our universe as, for example, a type of fluctuation. But then, of what is it a fluctuation and how did this in turn begin to exist? In my view, the question of origin seems always left unanswered if we explore from a scientific view alone.”
It is now accepted that the universe at one time did not exist and that by some means it came into existence. Can what has been learned about the laws of the universe help us to understand how this could have happened?
“Two Sides of the Same Coin”
The above has been said of energy and matter. “Matter is simply one form of energy,” Scientific American noted. This relationship between matter and energy was expressed by Einstein’s famous formula E=mc2 (energy equals mass times the speed of light squared). This equation reveals that a little mass, or matter, harbors unbelievable energy. “It explains,” noted university professor Timothy Ferris, “why a bomb the size of an orange can lay waste to a city.”
Looking at the other side of the coin—according to Einstein’s theory, energy can also be turned into matter. The forming of the material universe may thus have involved what one cosmologist called “the most awesome transformation of matter and energy that we have been privileged to glimpse.”
From where, though, did the matter and the energy needed for such a “transformation” originate? Science has no satisfying answer. Interestingly, the Bible says of God: “Due to the abundance of dynamic energy, he also being vigorous in power, not one of them [the heavenly bodies] is missing.” (Isaiah 40:26) Whatever means God used to create the universe, he clearly has the energy and the power needed to do so.
Does scientific evidence provide a basis for believing that a Supreme Intelligence created our universe? A look at the way the universe began helps to supply an answer.
An Orderly Beginning
Think about this: The uncontrolled conversion of matter into energy in the explosion of a nuclear bomb causes chaos, as was seen in Japan in the total destruction of Hiroshima and much of Nagasaki by such bombs in 1945. However, far from being chaotic, the universe is harmonious and beautiful! Consider, too, this marvelous earth with its amazing variety of life. Clearly, it could not have come into existence without some intelligent direction and control!
Newsweek magazine of November 9, 1998, reviewed the implications of discoveries regarding the creation of the universe. It said that the facts “suggested that matter and motion originated rather as Genesis [in the Bible] suggests, ex nihilo, out of nothing, in a stupendous explosion of light and energy.” Note the reasons Newsweek gave for comparing the beginning of the universe with the Bible’s description of the event.
“The forces loosed were—are—remarkably (miraculously?) balanced: If the Big Bang had been slightly less violent, the expansion of the universe would have been less rapid, and would soon (in a few million years, or a few minutes—in any case, soon) have collapsed back on itself. If the explosion had been slightly more violent, the universe might have dispersed into a soup too thin to aggregate into stars. The odds against us were—this is just the right word—astronomical. The ratio of matter and energy to the volume of space at the Big Bang must have been within about one quadrillionth of 1 percent of ideal.”
Newsweek suggested that there was, as it were, a “Tuner” of the universe, observing: “Take but degree away (see above, the one quadrillionth of 1 percent margin for error), . . . and what follows is not just discord but eternal entropy and ice. So, what—who?—was the great Tuner?”
Astrophysicist Alan Lightman acknowledged that scientists “find it mysterious that the universe was created in such a highly ordered condition.” He added that “any successful theory of cosmology should ultimately explain this entropy problem”—why the universe has not become chaotic.
Why Disinclined to Believe
Would you agree that “a highly ordered condition” points to an Organizer? Most would. But those professing atheism are not inclined to accept this. Why? Because of faith! As Professor Ferris wrote, “atheism is, let’s face it, a faith like any other.” And it would be better, he claimed, “if we left God out of cosmology altogether.”
That is what many do—but with difficulty. For example, after noting many things that could be considered evidences of design in the universe, George Greenstein, professor of astronomy, wrote: “I became convinced that such ‘coincidences’ could hardly have happened by chance.” Nevertheless, Greenstein asserts: “God is not an explanation.” Thus some scientists sacrifice sound reasoning to preserve their scientifically religious orthodoxy.
The “faith” of the famous physicist Fred Hoyle, however, was admittedly shaken later during his life. In the 1980’s, he confessed: “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”
Interestingly, when the age of scientific investigation in the modern sense was just dawning, Sir Isaac Newton drew similar conclusions. He was moved by his discoveries to write: “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”
Consider one consequence of the discoveries of laws of motion by Newton and Johannes Kepler.
How Spaceflight Is Possible
Kepler described the laws of planetary motion in the early 1600’s, and The World Book Encyclopedia noted that these “are used to determine the orbits of artificial satellites and to plan the flights of spacecraft.” In 1687, Newton published his famous laws of motion, and these laws, “like Kepler’s, form a cornerstone of space-flight planning,” said this encyclopedia. Why is this so?
Because by using these laws, humans can determine by mathematical calculations where in space a particular body will be at a given time. Such calculations are made possible by the consistent, ever predictable movement of heavenly bodies, including the moon and the earth. The moon, for example, speeds along in an orbit around the earth at an average of 2,300 miles [3,700 km] per hour, completing its trip of shortly less than a month with amazing predictability. The earth makes its yearly trip around the sun, traveling some 66,600 miles [107,200 km] per hour, with similar predictability.
Thus, when guiding flights to the moon, humans on the earth aim their spacecraft at a point in space many thousands of miles ahead of the orbiting moon. By various calculations they know exactly where the moon is certain to be at the predetermined time. And if the spacecraft is given proper direction and power, it will be at that spot too, making a moon landing possible.
What makes such predictability in the movement of heavenly bodies possible? The first American astronaut to orbit the earth, John Glenn, exclaimed regarding the order in the universe: “Could this have just happened? . . . I can’t believe that.” Then he added: “Some Power put all this into orbit and keeps it there.”
Space scientist Dr. Wernher von Braun, in awe of the laws governing the universe, had this to say: “Manned space flight . . . has opened for us thus far only a tiny door for viewing the awesome reaches of space. Our outlook through this peephole at the vast mysteries of the universe only confirms our belief in its creator.”
Famous physicist P.A.M. Dirac, who was a professor of mathematics at the University of Cambridge, concurred: “One could perhaps describe the situation by saying that God is a mathematician of a very high order, and He used very advanced mathematics in constructing the universe.”
Who is this Master Mathematician, this Supreme Intellect, responsible for the marvels of creation?
Created by Whom?
We do not travel through unfamiliar territory and come upon a beautiful chalet surrounded by manicured lawns and gorgeous gardens and conclude that it just happened by itself. That is a totally unreasonable conclusion. An excellent builder and a skilled gardener obviously were responsible.
Similarly, our grand universe, which is so much more complex, clearly had a Creator. In the Bible, that one identifies himself by a name, saying: “I am Jehovah. That is my name.” (Isaiah 42:8) Persons who are appreciative of God’s works are recorded in the Bible as exclaiming: “You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created.”—Revelation 4:11.
Besides revealing his personal, self-given name to humans, Jehovah has also, in his written Word, revealed his purpose for preparing the earth for human habitation. And Jesus Christ, God’s own Son, guaranteed that God’s Word can be relied upon when he said: “Your word is truth.”—John 17:17.
Not long ago a science magazine noted: “Unlike all previous generations, we know how we come to be here. But, like all previous generations, we still do not know why.” Yet, the answer to that question, Why?, is available—God’s Word provides it. Please consider the answer in the following article.
[Picture on page 6]
During the atomic blast at Hiroshima, a little matter released tremendous energy
Hiroshima Peace and Culture Foundation from material returned by the United States Armed Forces Institute of Pathology
[Picture on page 7]
Energy turned into marvelous, orderly galaxies
Courtesy of Anglo-Australian Observatory, photograph by David Malin
[Picture on page 8, 9]
What laws make moon landings possible?
[Picture on page 9]
“Some Power put all this into orbit and keeps it there.”—John Glenn