Did the universe Marshall itself and the materials it would take to create the itself before it even existed?
By John Anning
Accounting For The Existence Of The Universe
There are three and only three scenarios to consider, when accounting for the existence of the universe:
The universe was self created (Ex Nihilo – It created itself from nothing)
The universe is self existent (Eternal – It has always existed in some form or another)
The universe was created by something or someone self existent (Created by something that is eternal)
These three scenarios cover EVERY possible theory and explanation when accounting for the existence of the universe. Let’s examine each one.
(1) The Universe Was Self Created (Ex Nihilo – From Nothing)?
Did the Universe Create Itself? – Can ANYTHING create itself?
The idea behind the theory of a “self-created” universe, is that it is assumed at one point in time past, absolutely nothing existed, and then in an instant, or in some measure of time, the universe, or at least the building material necessary for the universe, suddenly and mysteriously appeared from nowhere and from nothingness through a process referred to as “spontaneous generation“. Can anything accomplish a feat of this magnitude? Remember, that for something to create itself, it must be, and not be, at the same time and in the same relationship. It would be called on to bring itself into existence before it is. How is this possible? By sheer reason, it is not possible! Again, for something to create itself, it must be and not be at the same time and in the same relationship, which is a gross and preposterous contradiction of all things regarding a reasonable and rational explanation. Nothing can create itself! To argue for a self-created universe is to argue that it had to exist and not exist at the same time and in the same relationship. One must violate the law of non-contradiction in their reasoning, or in this case, their lack of reasoning, by declaring that the universe existed before it existed, in order to be self-created. What? This does not seem like a compelling argument that has any basis in reason or rationality but rather an argument that completely dismisses logic as any valid methodology in determining truth. “Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit” (From Nothing, Nothing Comes) is not some deeply profound philisophical jargon. It is just simple logic!
Did Time and Chance Play a Role?
Some argue that given enough “Time” and “Chance“, anything can happen, even “self-creation“. In centuries past, some scientists held to a self-creation view referred to as “spontaneous generation” to account for the existence of life from non-life. Even though this theory has long been abandoned, in recent scientific history, a modified version of the term called “gradual spontaneous generation“, coined by the famous Steven Hawking, has been used, suggesting that a slow and “gradual” time frame could make this “spontaneous” event more scientifically acceptable with time added. In other words, you can’t get something from nothing quickly… you must wait for it! Aside from Gradual spontaneousness being self-contradictory as any temporal possibility, I would like to briefly explore this idea because I think it is important to understand just what influence”Time” or “Chance” might have on anything.
What is time?
Time is a word. Time is ONLY a word used to express an abstract idea of motion in the passage of events that make up our lives. Time, regardless of what science fiction writers would have us believe, is NOT another dimension. There are only three dimensions in the physical, cosmological world; height, width and depth. We live in a three-dimensional world. These three dimensions are observable and are necessary for anything to exist in the physical universe. To define any other dimension, beyond the three (in the physical world) is pure science fiction, even though it makes for some great science fiction. If a “4th dimension” were to be defined, it would have to be referring to the spiritual realm that is transcendent and outside of the constraints of the material, physical universe and its properties. I suppose in the spiritual realm, time would have no relevance or reference regarding its subjects. In any case, time is “No Thing“… Time is “Nothing“. It has no power, because it has no being or real existence outside of an idea. It is only a word and nothing more!
I am sometimes amused by some so-called scientific theories that advocate the idea of time travel or time distortion based on Einstein’s “Special Theory of Relativity“. While I know that there are some brilliant scientists working out some impressive and clever math on the subject, impressive and clever math is all that it will ever be. They treat time as if though it were something even though it is really nothing. Again, it makes for interesting temporal discussions, but beyond discussion, there is not much of a future in it. (Pun intended)
Ironically, even if Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity were true hypothetically, it could be argued that the seemingly billions of years that have passed in our space-time continuum (from our perspective) may have only been a mere few thousand years of relative time from the perspective of the universe. However, this does not change the fundamental point here… given six thousand years or a six trillion, something cannot come from nothing, or be before it is. All the time in the world is still not sufficient for self creation.
Additionally, when one starts to really investigate what Einstein and others of the Einsteinium ilk are really teaching, it resembles a religion more than any hard science. Even some well established and proven Newtonian laws of gravity must be disregarded or changed in order to make room for this new religion of time. Aside from the scientific difficulties with Relativity theory, there are a whole host of philosophical difficulties as well, including paradoxes involving contingency and causality. So, time is just a word and only a word and does not possess the necessary power or being in any self-creation process.
What is Chance?
Chance is just another word. It is a word we use to describe mathematical probabilities based on relative factors. If a coin is flipped 100 times, it is commonly understood that the “chance” or “odds” of that coin turning up “tails” only, will be at 50 percent. But does “chance” itself influence this result? No. What does influence the result are variables that are real and that can be quantifiably accounted for and measured such as… weight, air density, pressure exerted on the coin when flipped, which side we started with, how we catch it, whether we turn it over after caught, etc ..There are several variables that will determine the coin’s final side of exposure. But chance itself does not have power for determining the end results, because chance has no being, thus no power to do so. It is “No Thing” It is “Nothing” Interestingly, “chance” is the most frequently used explaination for a self-created universe.
Time + Chance = Nothing Because Nothing Plus Nothing Still Equals Nothing!
Starting with nothing, and given enough time (Nothing) plus enough chance (Nothing) will still result in NOTHING. Time and chance cannot be motivators for a self created universe, because neither time nor chance have any power to do so, as they have no being to do so. And if time and chance had being and power, then we would not be starting with nothing, since anything with “being” is something.
Some may try to point out that the Christian view of the universe, that maintains that God created the universe Ex Nihilo (from nothing) is guilty of the same claim of the cosmological view of the universe, stating that the universe was created Ex Nihilo (out of nothing). The Creationist / Intelligent Design view never claims that the universe came from absolutely nothing because the view maintains that God is something and has always existed with sufficiency to create the universe from no other existing matter.
Surely, No One Really Believes That The Universe Actually Created Itself Do They?
Evolutionists don’t like to talk about origins very often because they cannot explain events and/or circumstances prior to their “Big Bang“, even in theory. However, some evolutionists proclaim that nothing existed before the Big Bang (which hopefully I have successfully argued against). These evolutionists have the impossible task of proving that nothing existed at some point in time in an attempt to to prove that at least God doesn’t exist. Ironically, by holding to a “self-creation” view of the universe, they have also unwittingly left themselves open to the idea of a self-created god! Therefore a self-created view of the universe does not bring any relief for those who are really trying to rule out the existence of God. If indeed ANYTHING could create itself, they are then subject to ANYTHING existing, including God!!
The mantra and god’s of evolution are time, chance, and natural selection (as if anything in nature, without intelligence, can make intelligent choices in “selecting” anything at all). In other words, their faith (belief system) is predicated on randomness rather than on order. It is the belief that disorder and non-complexity can and does evolve into order and complexity, given enough time and chance, through helpful mutations, that somehow know or can discern what is helpful to the system evolving. But a value judgment involving “what is helpful” would require intelligence or intelligent design, which they avoid at all costs, because this would suggest intelligence transcendent to the universe for which they would have to account for and be accountable to.
There is no true, hard science involved in any “macro-evolutionary” process, (microbe-to-man) because it is not testable, provable or reproducible. It is a belief system, based on faith, that everything we have is the result of nothing for no apparent reason (because reason requires intelligence). Evolutionists would be quick to argue that the “goal” of evolution is to improve on itself—but without any implied or necessary intelligence.
Note: It is important to distinguish the differences between “Micro-Evolution” and “Macro-Evolution” systems.
The mainstream evolutionist will argue for the “Macro-Evolutionary” model, which promotes the belief that man has evolved from lower forms of life (the ape) and that all species of life is the result of progressively lower species, all the way back to microbes and back to the “primordial soup” that everything owes its existence.
The creationist recognizes that there is justifiable evidence to support a “Micro-Evolutionary” process that involves change and mutations within a given species, as an adaptation to environmental conditions, but NOT a process that causes one species to evolve into another.
The Universe Could Not Have Created Itself Because Nothing Can Create Itself!
To summarize, the universe could not have created itself because nothing can create itself! For “self-creation” to be a possibility at all, it would be required to exist before it is, or exist and not exist at the same time and in the same relationship. Philosophically and even metaphysically, this is impossible and not a rational option to consider regarding the origins and existence of the universe.
(2) The Universe is Self Existent (Eternal)?
Has the Universe Always Existed?
Although there are atheistic scientists who believe that the universe existed before a Big Bang, it must be known that they present no evidence for this belief, since none exists! This kind of belief is metaphysical in nature. Appeals to multiple or “parallel” cosmoses or to an infinite number of cosmic “Big Bang/Crunch” oscillations, as essential elements of the proposed mechanisms, are not acceptable in submissions, due to a lack of empirical correlation and testability. Such beliefs are without hard physical evidence and must therefore be considered unfalsifiable, currently outside the methodology of scientific investigation to confirm or disprove, and therefore more mathematically theoretical and metaphysical than scientific in nature or provable with any know science. The laws of physics simply do not support such claims. Recent cosmological evidence also suggests insufficient mass for gravity to reverse continuing cosmic expansion. The best cosmological evidence thus far suggests that the cosmos is finite rather than infinite in age.
Also, evolutionists must proclaim that the necessary materials or building blocks (or something even prior to these) have existed forever, perhaps in some altered state of existence referred to by some as a “point of singularity“. But as to why or how this pre-Big Bang point of singularity or material suddenly materialized into the current universe is a subject matter that they will avoid at all costs because this forces them to deal with causality. This is the hallmark position of an atheist because they have no other possible choice available to them in their belief (faith) system, other than believing that the universe has always existed in some form or another, prior to the Big Bang. Philosophically, if the universe has always existed, then by reason and by definition, there could not, and can not be any change involved with the universe. Change requires influence. And if something is defined as “eternal“, then self-change cannot be an attribute, or it would not, by definition, be eternal at all. However, the material universe has, and indeed still is, undergoing continual and drastic change. It is not the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. The universe is mutable, changeable, and in constant flux. Therefore, the material universe cannot be self existent and eternal for these critical reasons. Change can only be accounted for by an an external influence for any change to happen at all. (This involves the law of contingency)
One may argue that even though the universe is changing, the original components, atoms, particles, etc.. may have always existed. But even if these so-called “eternal particles” are eternal, then even their order and configuration should not have changed, because change requires outside influence, whether it be the universe in whole, or in its sub-atomic matrix. No matter how we break it down, the universe is changing and we must look to a transcendent source outside of the universe for the motivation and causality of its ever-changing condition.
Since that which is eternal cannot exhibit change on itself (otherwise it is not eternal) and since the universe is undergoing extreme change, then we must look beyond the universe itself to an eternal force or being that transcends and is responsible for the changing universe. We need to look beyond the universe itself for that which is eternal because something is eternal, and it is not the universe!
(3) The Universe Was Created by Something or Someone Self Existent (Created)
The Universe Was Created!
The only option left in our philosophical process of deductive reasoning, is the reality that something or someone self-existent, eternal and transcendent to the universe, is directly responsible for the existence of our ever-changing mutable universe.
Something with the power of being in and of itself, with necessary power and self existence, eternal and unchangeable, is at the very core of all things that exist. All things that exist have their origins from this source. And since the source is not the universe itself, then something or someone transcendent to the universe must be the source by virtue of philosophical deduction and abstract reasoning.
We could stop right here proclaiming that we have gone as far as we need to go with a compelling argument for the existence of something eternal and transcendent to the universe. Philosophically, there is compelling evidence that something has always existed prior to the existence of the universe. But for the sake of argument, and to push on a little further, let’s examine the rationale for this eternal source having intelligence rather than just being eternally non-intelligent.
Is the Eternal Source, Transcendent to the Universe, Just Inanimate In Nature?
An inanimate, lifeless and impersonal source, if eternal, would eternally be incapable of creating, because the act of creating, or producing something on its own, outside of itself would require the power of choice which requires intelligence and therefore purpose. By definition, anything inanimate is without life or intelligence. Without life and without intelligence, there is no independence of choice, reason, purpose, or anything else creative enough to “choose” to influence anything nonexistent outside of itself, into something existent outside of itself. And, by reason, if something inanimate is the eternal source we are looking for, that which has always existed before the universe should be all that would still exist now and nothing more, including the universe.
The Eternal Source, Transcendent to the Universe, Must Have Being, Intelligence, and Purpose!
There is no other conclusion from all of this, than to accept the reality of an eternal intelligent Sovereign Being, personal in nature, all powerful, living, creative, and sufficient within Himself to willingly and purposely choose to create all that exists external and separate from Himself.
Since no one, in a human sense, was around when the universe was formed, and since recorded historical records and documentation only go back about six thousand years or so, the ONLY one who could possible describe the creation account with any authority, detail, and accuracy is the Author Himself—God! Therefore, if God is indeed the author of the universe and of life, and there is no logical reason why He is not, then God and only God has the authority to speak about it. Actually, He has! (See Genesis Chapter 1)
There is only one such ontological Being that resembles the sovereign attributes of the eternal source we have been looking for here that is responsible for the first cause of everything in existence. That first cause and source is described in remarkable detail in the pages of the Bible, specifically in the very first sentence in the very first book, Genesis 1:1 which states: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth“.
Philosophy can only take us this far, and cannot offer any more detail regarding the personal nature of God. But I believe it has taken us far enough to support the truth claims of Christianity, found in the the pages of Genesis, and of the God of the Bible who is described as being all powerful (omnipotent), all knowing (omniscient), all present (omnipresent), and self-existent, being “the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow” (eternal).
Not only does God exist, but He must exist necessarily. There are no other rational options when accounting for the existence of the universe. I would encourage those of you who are interested in learning more about this incredible Being to whom we and the universe owe our existence, to read the Biblical Scriptures that refer to Him, for a more complete understanding of His divine nature and of His passion and plan for His creation.
Secular scientists may argue that creationists and creation scientists have a way of rejecting or accepting things that they do not understand or can prove. I would point out that evolutionists and secular scientists have a way of rejecting or accepting things that they do not understand or can prove either. What it really boils down to is faith in our presuppositions. A secular scientist presupposes that there is no God. A Christian scientists pre-supposes that there is a God. Both use the same scientific data and evidence to study and evaluate the universe, but will draw different conclusions based on presuppositions. Our presuppositions and faith determines how we will interpret something. However, after considering everything we have just considered, we no longer have to presuppose the existence or non-existence of God now because we can test for this rationally by philosophical reasoning. The reasonable and rational conclusion from our investigations here is compelling enough to conclude that God not only exists, but exists necessarily! In other words, God’s existence is absolutely necessary for anything to exist at all!
Faith in a created universe is not only rational, but supported by much evidence. One need not apologize for their faith in Intelligent Design and therefore in an Intelligent Creator that has power to create Ex Nihilo. Rationality and logic demands the existence of a force or power transcendent to the universe that is responsible for universe’s origins and purpose. To believe that the universe is nothing more than a cosmic accident, actually requires an enormous leap of faith because of both the irrationality of such a belief, and the lack of any compelling philosophical argument for it. Even in physics, the well known and provable laws of thermodynamics are in conflict with evolutionary theories of the universe but perfectly consistent with creation science.
A secular scientist, by faith, believes that there is no God. A Christian scientist, by faith, believes that there is a God. Faith can be a very powerful tool if developed as the result of revelation or evidence that supports it. Every conclusion that one draws from observed evidence, will be directly effected by their presupposition of whether God exists or not. Philosophically speaking, it is perfectly rational to accept that God not only exists, but must exist. He simply cannot, not be!
The scriptures contains many mysteries, and perhaps some paradoxes, but certainly no self-contradictions. The truth claims of the scriptures are accurate, reliable, and support all testable and provable science. Good science and scriptures are in perfect harmony. This is because God not only understands all scientific principles, He created them for us! His physical laws are as authoritive as His spiritual laws.
Meaning or No Meaning?
If the universe and life are the result of Intelligent Design, by an intelligent Designer, then there must be meaning and purpose to the universe and life. If the universe is the result of random processes and natural selection, then there must not be meaning and purpose to the universe and life. The universe is either one big cosmic accident, requiring billions of favorable but rare circumstances for its existence with no intelligent meaning or purpose, or exists as an act of creation for a specific meaning and purpose. Since “meaning” and “purpose” seem to be important to us, it would seem strange to me that they would exist in a meaningless or purposeless universe that owes its existence to randomly occurring events. Where there is design, there is a designer. Where there is purpose, there is a plan. And where there is love, there is someone who cares about our existence!
Biblical References (NIV)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
…They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created.
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
“You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me no god was formed, nor will there be one after Me.
“This is what the LORD says—your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by Myself,
For this is what the LORD says—He who created the heavens, He is God; He who fashioned and made the earth, He founded it; He did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited—He says: “I am the LORD, and there is no other”.
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
By wisdom the LORD laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding He set the heavens in place;
But God made the earth by His power; He founded the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding.