It is October 4, 1923. Edwin Hubble has just made a fascinating discovery. At the Mount Wilson Observatory, Mr. Hubble used a large telescope to take photographs of a particular star. On this particular day, he identified a star that would help determine distance between itself and our galaxy.
Discoveries such as this one would account for Hubbles confirmation that our universe is constantly expanding. These ideas had already been proposed by scientists such as Alexander Friedmann and Georges Lemaitre. Hubble confirmed these theories and published his discoveries in 1929.
Discoveries such as our expanding universe have caused the majority of scientists to surmise that our universe had a beginning. If it had a beginning, what set it in motion? How did a universe come into being from nothing?
This is where the contention between the creation account proposed by theists and a natural explanation proposed by naturalists lies. All of our disagreements can be linked in some way or another to the beginning of the universe.
While believers in God are accused of wishful thinking or narrow-minded explanations of the beginning of life, I would say our mainstream arguments are quite reasonable. Take for example the Law of Causality. Christian Philosophers such as William Lane Craig, often refer to this rule when defending creationism.
This is the argument in a nutshell:
1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.
I think these points are pretty self explanatory but perhaps we should walk through each of them.
#1 Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
Scientists have yet to discover something that began to exist without a cause. Yet, atheistic or naturalistic explanations of the universe allude to its creation from nothing.
According to these theories, life supposedly started in a quantum vacuum of energy. The universe popped into existence unprovoked, with no creator, nor designer (And these explanations have yet to account for the creation of the quantum vacuum of energy).
Somehow the universe is supposed to be the exception to rule #1. Yet we don’t see anything in the world that pops into existence uncaused.
#2 The universe began to exist.
'The evidence of an expanding universe is just one of the many reasons to believe the universe had a beginning. An infinite past would be impossible, although there are those on the fringes of science who’ve proposed that as a theory.
#3 The universe has a cause.
On this point there is not really much contention between those who believe in God and those who do not. The contention hinges on what that cause might be.
The universe can only exist within three very important elements of criteria: Time, space, and matter. The universe consists of all three and it must in order to exist at all. We know through observation that the cause of anything that exists must be transcendent.
So if time, space, and matter had a beginning (which scientific discovery does suggest) its cause would have to be timeless, spaceless, and immaterial.
Therefore naturalistic explanations of the beginning of the universe always come up short because the cause must be immaterial.
Theistic models of the creation account are not just wishful thinking. They are rich with philosophic merit.
God fits the mold of a timeless, spaceless, immaterial creator.
I hope to dive into this topic a bit further this month.