A commenter by the name of Don felt left this comment on an old post I wrote ‘This Is How The Universe Happened, It Wasn’t Magic‘, attempting to refute the scientific logic with the below logic. I replied to him, and wanted to turn it into a full-blown post for two reasons. First to communicate the latest research in science, and secondly, because I spent a lot of time writing it, and this is now my fiftieth post, yahoo! (is that three?) Continuing on, this misunderstanding is the clearest instigator of deistic and theistic belief (which is not in itself bad, but believing in something because you don’t understand something else is probably never a good reason). His comment has been corrected for spelling errors (which were quite rampant), otherwise it was left as is.
Don W. Zylstra:
Your logic is flawed: what caused the point of singularity prior to the big bang? If it was at rest, as Newton pronounced, it would stay at rest. If all energy and matter were condensed into a single point, and at equilibrium, then what caused it to move from a point of stability (i.e. 2nd law of thermodynamics) to the big bang? Where did the energy and matter come from in the first place? The whole concept here has been studied by philosophers: Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas Saint Augustine, John Locke, and recently R.C. Sproul. If there ever was a time when nothing existed, then nothing would still exist today. If something does exist, then there are only 3 options: 1) Reality is an illusion; 2) Reality was self-created: or 3) reality was created by a self-existent being. On the first point, Descartes ruled this out, because we doubt, we exist. Second point cannot be, because things cannot create themselves from nothing. On the third point, either energy and matter are eternal and have always existed (which is not rational); or the self-existent being that created things was God, which is a logical conclusion. It is especially logical given the revelation of God to mankind throughout history.
The logic behind the big-bang does not pan out, and scientists cannot provide any adequate explanations to [the] most basic philosophical arguments against the big-bang being a “natural” phenomena.
Well, let me explain. Your first mistake is assuming that people, philosophers or not, from between 200 to 2,000 years ago (where very little was objectively known), knew what they were talking about. They didn’t, they were guessing using the best data available to them, which wasn’t much.
You then make the logical inference that because inside the universe, something cannot create itself (true), then the universe cannot either (which is a guess, some would say a reasonable one). Let me tell you why this is probably not the case by using an example. Inside the universe, everything is subject to a universal speed-limit, the speed of light, known as c. Nothing, under any circumstances, theoretical or otherwise, can travel faster than this speed. But, the universe is expanding, and the rate of expansion is getting faster. There will be a time, far in the future, when all other galaxies outside of our local cluster, will disappear into nothing, because the rate of expansion of the universe will exceed that of the light emanating from their galaxies (i.e. the light will not be able to travel fast enough to overcome the expansion). So while nothing can travel faster than light INSIDE the universe, the universe itself is not subject to this limit as it can expand faster than the speed of light (this is not a theoretical observation, it is fact).
So let’s move onto your argument. Yes, everything inside the universe has to follow the laws of Thermodynamics. But you make an assumption that the instant of the Big Bang, follows the same laws as after the Big Bang. Again, we know that what occurs inside the Universe, does not necessarily occur outside the Universe. So your option 3 is not logical. It makes inferences, and then pretends the inference is logical, rational points that cannot be refuted. I refute it thus!
Before we continue to the next phase, it is helpful to know that in recent experiments, physicists were able to weigh the entire universe, and calculate the net total energy of the universe. The result was zero! i.e., all the positive energy (matter) plus the negative energy (gravity) resulted in the number, 0.00.
We need to now understand the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. The basic principle is that you cannot (accurately) know all the different attributes of a given thing simultaneously. The easiest example with which to show this is an electron spinning around an atomic nucleus. It is impossible to know both the velocity (direction & speed) of the electron, and its position. The more you know one, the less you know the other. Under no circumstances is it ever possible to accurately know both. So when you take a region of space, remove all the matter, energy, particles, and spacetime. What remains is a quantum field and gravity (neither of which can be removed). This is as close to nothing as it is possible to get. If we measure that region of nothingness, we can definitively know the amount of time over which we are measuring it, therefore we cannot know how much energy there exists in it, and since it can’t be zero (otherwise that would be definitively knowing), therefore, energy exists and it came out of nothing. Alluding to the previous net energy of zero, because gravity exerts a net negative energy, and we can’t break the 1st law of thermodynamics (i.e. you can’t create or destroy energy), and since we removed the positive energy (matter) before the experiment, the ‘universe’ recreated positive energy (matter) out of nothing so that the 1st law of thermodynamics isn’t broken. It’s very counter-intuitive I know, but that’s the science, i.e., with no logical or illogical inferences, but rather logical extrapolations of scientific theory, experiment, and fact.
Ergo, the universe can create itself. Your macro-viewpoint of cause-and-effect cannot be applied to the Universe as a whole. God does not explain anything, because then you have to ask, what created God. And you can’t just say he is uncaused, because I’ll say, why can’t the Universe be uncaused? (this is where theologians and religious people invent answers) And as I’ve just shown you, the picture of the Universe we have today, tells us it is uncaused. This is not a philosophical opinion, but a result of the latest scientific research performed by scientists such as Stephen Hawking, Lawrence Krauss, Laura Mersini and thousands of others.
Therefore, given the evidence, option (2) is the logically correct one. Reality created itself.
Fourat Janabi is the author of Random Rationality: A Rational Guide to an Irrational World, available for $1.99 on Kindle, and $7.99 on Paperback. Subscribe to this blog for updates (with your email) and receive a link to download Random Rationality for free…