I am saddened by the confusion over the scientific evidence for God, and particularly saddened that many Atheists deliberately create confusion. This week let’s return to a question I asked about a year and a half ago: Why does anything exist?
I think it’s obvious that if you start with absolutely nothing – no time, no space, no energy, no matter, no laws of physics – you can’t create anything. So, to me, there is clearly no nontheistic reason – no explanation without God – for why anything exists. It just does. By itself, this doesn’t prove that God exists, it just proves that existence is an unshakable mystery.
Yet one Atheist has published a book claiming that you can get something from nothing. Believe it or not, A Universe From Nothing is actually the title of his book. But what he does is disingenuous, and that is sad. He doesn’t start from nothing, he assumes the existence of the quantum field.
What scientists call the “quantum field” is the foundation of our reality. It is a high energy field, and, as I explain in Chapter 14 of Counting To God, described by fantastically complex mathematics. It appears to consist of pure thought – ideas in the mind of God. Clearly the creation of the universe is connected to events at the quantum level – the subatomic level – of reality. But what caused the quantum field to exist? You can’t seriously just assume the existence of the quantum field. How does energy described only by fantastically complex mathematical patterns and equations pop out of absolute nothingness?
There are other problems with his pseudo-science theory, beyond falsely claiming that the quantum field is “nothing.” First, while “virtual particles” – particles that exist for fantastically small periods of time, less time than it takes light to cross a hydrogen atom, and then disappear – do exist, there is no scientific evidence that stable particles can pop out of a quantum field. So that’s another blatant, unacknowledged leap of faith. Second, even if you could get a stable particle from the quantum field, how could an entire universe, with the mass to create hundreds of billions of galaxies, suddenly pop out? Third, even if that event happened, how could it all be so finely tuned as to create the beautifully complex universe we now observe?
The truly sad part is that many people seem to think this quantum field nonsense makes sense. I have met many people who will tell you they think the universe popped out of a quantum field, and that therefore God is unnecessary. Where exactly did the quantum field come from? It makes no sense to say that the quantum field always existed, and then the universe suddenly popped out, sort of like a cosmic egg that finally hatched. If time and space have no beginning, so that the quantum field existed in the infinite past, then, even assuming that there is some small possibility that at some point a universe will pop out, our universe would have “popped out” an infinitely long time ago. Any probability, no matter how small, becomes a certainty when multiplied by an infinite period of time.
The truth is that ALL of these pseudo-science theories that attempt to avoid creation don’t work. The “steady state” theory collapsed in 1965 when Arno and Penzias discovered the radiation from the Big Bang. The “infinite multiverse” theory was disproven in 2003 by the Borde-Guth-Villekin singularity theorem – the past can’t be infinite. The perpetually oscillating universe theory – a universe that somehow contracts and expands forever, creating an infinite number of “Big Bangs” – would run out of energy (second law of thermodynamics).
We are left with the truly astonishing scientific conclusion that our universe was created. What caused that – what was the first cause? This doesn’t automatically get you to God, but it does prove, in my view at least, that something just exists, that there is something outside space and time that is uncaused, that caused our universe to exist. To me, that’s sort of like the first punch in the face of Atheism.
The second punch, a knockout punch, is that our universe is astonishingly fine-tuned. In so many ways, from the precise settings of the constants of physics, to the number of dimensions of space, to the mind-boggling ordering of the universe at the Big Bang, to the laws of physics, to the nuclear resonance levels within atoms, and on and on, the universe at least unquestionably looks like it was perfectly designed for life. This is commonly accepted among Atheists.
So our universe was somehow created, there can’t be an infinite number of past universes, and our universe is perfectly designed. To me, those are knockout punches.
And yet the public reads the titles of these nonsense books and thinks there’s a “scientific” explanation without God for existence.
I’ve been a little behind on my blogging, but hope to get back into it this year. If you have questions, or suggestions for blog posts, please comment on my Facebook author page.
Thanks for reading.