Monthly Archives: January 2015

The God Theorem

Can a mathematical theorem point to the existence of God?

Consider whether our universe had a beginning, as claimed by the Bible. Until about a hundred years ago, there was no scientific evidence it did. Then, in the 1920s, Edwin Hubble discovered the universe is expanding in a way that implies a beginning, or “Big Bang.” Stunning confirmation of this theory came with the accidental discovery in 1965 of radiation, “relic photons” from the Big Bang (actually, to 380,000 years after the Big Bang, when the universe had cooled down enough to allow light to travel freely). Today the Big Bang theory is commonly accepted.

By itself, the Big Bang theory claims the universe had a beginning, and suggests the existence of God. So today most Atheists have retreated to belief in a “multiverse.” They believe our universe is an insignificant part of a much larger scheme, a collection of universes typically called the multiverse. To avoid the need for a beginning, Atheists typically believe the multiverse contains an infinite number of universes. One popular theory has universes exploding out of other universes, in “eternal inflation.”

Which bring us to the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem, what I call the God theorem. (For videos on this theorem, click here.) In 2003 these scientists proved that, if you assume an expanding universe, you can’t have an infinite past. Every universe that expands must have a space-time boundary in the past. What’s so powerful about this theorem is that it covers all cosmological models and theories of expanding universes. According to Professor Vilenkin:

All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.

With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe.

The multiverse has other problems, not the least of which is that it’s impossible to prove or disprove, and therefore many people think should not be considered “science.” The multiverse theory may be losing favor, even among Atheists. An opinion piece in the current issue of New Scientist magazine, by physicist Lee Smolin, is titled: “You think there’s a multiverse? Get real.”

Here’s how one blog sums it up:

If the universe came into being out of nothing, which seems to be the case from science, then the universe has a cause. Things do not pop into being, uncaused, out of nothing. The cause of the universe must be transcendent and supernatural. It must be uncaused, because there cannot be an infinite regress of causes. It must be eternal, because it created time. It must be non-physical, because it created space. There are only two possibilities for such a cause. It could be an abstract object or an agent. Abstract objects cannot cause effects. Therefore, the cause is an agent.

Sounds like God to me. Thanks for reading.

Fine-Tuning Video

This week I thought I’d share with you a great (and short!) video on the fine-tuning of the universe. Please click here: I think you will enjoy it.

The video shows how many important constants of physics (the video doesn’t say how many, but perhaps 31) are just about perfect for life, and that a small change in any of these constants would result in a universe without life. One example in the video (and in my book) is gravity. If the gravitational constant were a little bit stronger the universe would have collapsed in on itself. If it were a little bit weaker the universe would have expanded too rapidly and stars and planets would not have formed. How narrow is the range where life can exist? The video notes (I explain this on pages 76 and 77 of my book) that a change in the gravitational constant of one part in 1060 would make life impossible. That’s mind-bogglingly precise. It’s like shooting a rocket from Earth so precisely that it hangs in Earth’s gravitational field for billions of years, on the edge between falling back to Earth and escaping to space. To get 1060 marbles, you need a ball of marbles stretching 50 light years in each direction, past the Sun, past the Solar System, past dozens of nearby stars; a huge ball 600,000,000,000,000 miles in diameter. I’m told that Stephen Hawking developed the formula on which this calculation is based. What are the chances of blindly reaching into a pile of marbles 600,000,000,000,000 miles in diameter and picking out a specified, “marked” marble? Not likely, that’s for sure! Even Hawking admits this is “a remarkable fact”!

Design or accident? Next week we’ll look at the “God Theorem”; which proves you can’t try to explain this away with an infinite number of universes.

Thanks for reading.

Cosmology for God

Biologists risk career death if they publicly disagree with Darwin’s theory of unguided evolution; notwithstanding the recent scientific evidence (ENCODE, orphan genes, the fossil record, etc.) against that theory. Fortunately, in cosmology and astronomy, scientists are freer to challenge atheist beliefs. The findings in these areas are getting more attention.

Cosmology is the study of the origin and structure of the universe. Last week (December 26) the Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece titled: “Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God.” A friend of mine told me it looked like I wrote it! The author began by focusing on the special qualities of Earth (Count 6 in my book):

Today there are more than 200 known parameters necessary for a planet to support life – every single one of which must be perfectly met, or the whole thing falls apart.

He then turned to the fine tuning of the universe (Count 2 in my book):

Astrophysicists now know that the values of the four fundamental forces – gravity, the electromagnetic force, and the ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ nuclear forces – were determined less than one millionth of a second after the big bang. Alter any one value and the universe could not exist. For instance, if the ratio between the nuclear strong force and the electromagnetic force had been off by the tiniest fraction of the tiniest fraction – by even one part in 100,000,000,000,000,000 – then no star could have ever formed at all. Feel free to gulp.

I also learned recently that, two years ago, at a “State of the Universe” conference held at Cambridge University in England, astronomer Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University in Boston presented evidence that the universe cannot possibly be eternal. There is something called the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin (BGV) theorem, which proves every universe that expands (like ours) must have a space-time boundary in the past. In other words, science contradicts the atheist belief in an infinite multiverse, in which our universe was created by another universe, and that universe was created by a third universe, and so on back to infinity (turtles all the way down). According to Vilenkin: “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.”

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year! I can’t wait to learn what new scientific discoveries in 2015 demonstrate the existence of God.