Tag Archives: Einstein


Why does the universe exist? Have time and space and matter/energy always existed, back to an infinite past, or were they created by some process or being? In the last century science has begun to shed light on these age-old questions.

For thousands of years most people thought the universe had always existed. That was the view of Aristotle, Copernicus, and Isaac Newton. It was also the initial view of Albert Einstein. When it was pointed out that his theory of General Relativity required a universe in motion, either expanding or contracting, he added a fudge factor, a “cosmological constant,” to keep the universe in balance.

In 1914 it was discovered that light from certain fuzzy spots in the sky was “red-shifted,” which meant they were moving away from us at hundreds of miles per second. In the 1920’s Edwin Hubble, using the then-new 100-inch telescope at Mt. Palomar, discovered those fuzzy spots were entire galaxies. Using a variety of techniques, Hubble began to estimate their distance. In 1929 he announced that the distance away from us was generally proportional to the redshift, the speed away from us. In other words, galaxies twice as far away as others are moving away from us about twice as fast, galaxies four times further away are moving away about four times as fast, and so on. This astonishing relationship between distance and receding velocity is generally true throughout the entire universe. It is now called Hubble’s Law.

Hubble’s law begs a beginning. If you play the movie of time backwards so the galaxies are all coming together, it suggests a moment of creation. The religious implications of a beginning were violently opposed by hundreds of scientists, who cobbled together a competing theory, called the “steady state theory,” that required the constant creation of new matter in the voids of space (a violation of the first law of thermodynamics), to continually build new galaxies. The steady state theory died suddenly in 1965, when two physicists accidently discovered proof of creation – faint background radiation from the birth of the universe. Today the evidence of a beginning – called the “Big Bang” by some – is overwhelming, from the details of the faint background radiation to the relative amounts of the atomic elements. The Big Bang created the entire universe in one miraculous event. It created space, time, and all matter/energy. It did not occur in a specific part of the universe, it occurred simultaneously everywhere in the universe.

What caused the Big Bang? The cause has to be outside of space and time. One theory is that the universe arose as a fluctuation in the quantum field. But the quantum field is a high energy field within our universe. Prior to the Big Bang, space and time did not exist, and there was no quantum field. Also, if you try to imagine an eternal quantum field outside our universe then our universe would have “popped out” an infinitely long time ago. And, what caused that quantum field to exist?

A second theory is that the universe expands and contracts in an infinite series of big bangs. But that violates the second law of thermodynamics – the universe would run out of usable energy.

A third theory is that our universe popped out of another universe, and so on and so, in an infinite regress of turtles all the way down. But infinity is a monstrous mathematical concept that has never been tamed in the real world. If you imagine an infinite regress, then you have to start with an entire infinity of causes, because, no matter how far back you go, you are no closer to the beginning. Another problem is that this theory of infinite regress does not agree with modern science. In 2003 three scientists proved the universe cannot have an infinite past. As one said – “all the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.”

Could that beginning be evidence of God? Skeptics are quick to counter – what caused God? But that question reveals a problem of definition. The Bible describes God as the uncaused cause of existence, the “I am who I am” who created the heavens and the Earth. It makes no sense to ask what created something that exists without cause.

Many find it hard to believe that anything could exist without cause. Yet that is the conclusion of modern science. Something has to just be, has to exist without cause. That something has to be outside of space and time, and immensely powerful. That something fits the Biblical description of God.

Thanks for reading.

New Clues from Astronomy

This week I offer some incredible new clues from astronomy. I find each fascinating. None proves the existence of God. To prove the existence of God you need the overwhelming evidence from biology of radical new technology and new coding, “orphan genes,” in each species. In astronomy, since we can only measure our universe, there will always be those who claim (with absolutely no scientific evidence to back it up) that there are other universes and we “just got lucky,” so to speak. But let’s look at these amazing new clues.

The first made recent headlines. Scientists claim to have detected “gravity waves.” We know, from Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, that matter bends space, and apparently the massive collision of two black holes over 1 billion light years away rattled space so much that it was detected. The point is that, if this is true, and most scientists seem to think that it is (although some suspect error or even fraud), it is a major confirmation of Einstein’s theory. Since the equations of General Relativity require a singular beginning, a “big bang,” then this confirmation of General Relativity is further evidence that our universe had a beginning, exactly as claimed by the Book of Genesis perhaps 4,000 years ago.

The second item is a scientific paper on the number of “terrestrial planets” in the universe. Using a very broad definition of terrestrial planet (basically any planet at least one-half of the diameter of Earth and not more than 10 times as massive, and not taking into account many factors required for a planet to be potentially habitable), the study estimates there are 700 quintillion of them – that is 7 followed by 20 zeros. That’s not surprising. What is surprising is that the study found that these Earth-like planets should mostly be in much larger, spheroid galaxies, and not in a spiral galaxy like our Milky Way. They call this a “mild violation” of the mediocrity principle, also sometimes called the “Copernican Principle,” even though Copernicus never claimed the Earth was ordinary. The bottom line is that this is one more quality of Earth that seems special, to add to the long list I go through in Chapter 13 of Counting To God (right distance from the star, right distance from the galactic center, right type of star, right ingredients, the right moon, right solar system, and on and on).

Before giving you the last item, I can’t help but note that the paper above actually claims “the case for Extragalactic SETI remains strong.” (Meaning they think there is a strong case that there is intelligent life in some other galaxy.) They claim this simply by citing other papers, and they totally ignore the abysmal failure of every scientist in the world to come up with even a “mildly plausible” way that life could have arisen by chance. When I went to school, to find out the probably of something occurring, you would multiply the number of chances (here at most the number of terrestrial planets) by the likelihood that any of those chances would succeed. For the latter number, the chance of life forming anywhere in the universe at any time by accident, the best number I have seen, from Yale Physicist Harold Morowitz in the 1960’s, is one in a number with one hundred billion zeros. So that number overwhelms a number of Earth-like candidates with that has a mere 20 or so zeros. In other words, life couldn’t have formed by chance, there is no explanation for life without God, yet the strong Atheist beliefs of these scientists prevent them from recognizing that, and cause them to make frankly idiotic statements about life on other galaxies and pass that nonsense off to us as “science.”

The third item also relates to the so-called mediocrity or (falsely named) Copernican Principle. There is a movie, now available on DVD, called “The Principle.” It’s a little confusing, and perhaps deliberately a little hard to follow, and it has a few things in it that are wrong, and a few crazy statements by Atheist scientists, but I did find two of its key points stunning. First, some astronomers believe galaxies are not distributed randomly in space, but statistically are much more likely to be found in various shells around the Earth, each separated by 250 million light years. That is mind-blowing; if true then the entire universe is symmetric around the Earth, and this phony mediocrity principle is destroyed. The second claim is that the leftover radiation from the Big Bang, what is called the cosmic microwave background radiation, is aligned with the plane of the Earth and the other planets around the Sun. If true, that precise alignment would not appear to be by chance. This second claim is made by distinguished MIT physicist Max Tegmark and others. I intend to try to learn more about these amazing claims that Earth may actually be – yes, believe it or not, as they used to say – the center of the universe!

Thanks for reading! And please, please, spread the good news of science.