My approach to offering a cosmological stand for the existence of God, begins by examining the most current and accepted atheistic argument from the scientific community. Who better to voice this Godless birth of the universe than Stephen Hawking, an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge.
“Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist”
Something from Nothing
The Law of gravity Hawking refers to is a theoretical law based on Relativity not the Newtonian Law of gravity. Simply stated, it is a geometrical theory of gravity developed by Albert Einstein in which gravity’s effects are a consequence of the curvature of four-dimensional space-time. However, digging deeper one discovers Hawking isn’t even referring to the well-tested Theory of Relativity but quantum gravity, a more recent field of theoretical physics that seeks to describe the force of gravity according to the principles of quantum mechanics.
Protons and neutrons contain three hypothetical subatomic particles called quarks. Theory states strong nuclear forces composed of virtual particles called gluons bind the quarks together. These gluons randomly pop into existence then disappear so quickly, they are not directly observable, but their effects are. The short lifetimes of these virtual particles are governed by the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (HUP), which says that a short-lived state cannot have a well-defined energy.The HUP places a limit on the time that a quantum fluctuation can persist. The greater the energy of the fluctuation, the shorter the time that it may last. It is for this reason that virtual particles appear and then disappear after very short intervals. From this theoretical domain, Hawking arrives at the conclusion stated above: spontaneous creation is the reason we are here.
I do not pretend to function in the rarified atmosphere occupied by mental giants such as Hawking, but the flaws of this statement range from the subtle, unrecognized to one not versed in quantum physics, to outright ludicrous.
Something from Nothing ….almost
Going from the obvious to the subtle, Hawking’s very statement is full of contradiction. “Because there is a law such as gravity” implies gravity is, it exists, it is something. So according to this statement, the universe did not appear from absolutely nothing, because gravity existed to act on this nothingness and bring forth the universe. In addition, he doesn’t articulate his propositions and terms; gravity, the universe’s propensity for self creation, the process involved, and our existence, with any syllogistic coherency. Initially, I attempted to express this statement in one of the deductive syllogistic forms from our Logic lecture. Maybe it is because I am a complete novice to logic, but I couldn’t make any of them work.
I was certain, coming from one of the most brilliant scientists of this century, there had to be more to this assertion than waving the magic quantum gravity wand. By going to the source, Hawking’s own website, I discovered there really wasn’t, even after digging into the so-called scientific support.
The model used to support the creation of something from nothing breaks down almost immediately.
1. The setting for the appearance and disappearance of these gluons is in a vacuum. By definition, a vacuum is a region of space where this is no matter. However, even if all matter could be removed from a volume, it would still not be “empty” due to vacuum fluctuations, dark energy, transiting gamma- and cosmic rays, neutrinos, along with other phenomena in quantum physics. In modern particle physics, the vacuum state is considered as the ground state of matter. So this nothingness is still not quite nothing.
2. As stated above these gluons appear and disappear so rapidly, because of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Intuitively, it is not unreasonable to expect the energy content of the entire universe to be enormous. Hence, even if one were to argue that the universe did “pop” into existence via a quantum fluctuation, the energy content of the universe would be so large that the corresponding time of existence would be minute, and the newly born universe would then immediately vanish.
3. The answer to this is the universe experienced a burst of expansion called “inflation.” Thus it popped into existence as a smaller entity then experienced inflation right before the Big Bang. According to the NASA Science website, ” For this inflation to have taken place, the Universe at the time of the Big Bang must have been filled with an unstable form of energy whose nature is not yet known.” In fact, this posting goes on to state what powered inflation is also unknown.
4. This entire scenario has been limited to computer generated simulation. However, actually describing the energy of theoretical quantum fluctuations, involving a matrix of 10,000 trillion numbers, is impossible.”There is no computer on Earth that could possibly store such a big matrix in its memory,” states Stephen Durr, a computer scientist, “so some trickery goes into evaluating it.” This ‘trickery’ reduces the complexities of the quantum fluctuations to be approximately simulated by computer
Hawking’s response to point one is there must be hyper-laws or meta laws of physics existing as part of an infinite set of universes. These laws would be radically different, thus would not be bound by the constraints of our universe and able to violate the first law of thermodynamics. In response to point two, Hawking asserts the total energy content of the universe is exactly equal to zero. (To verify this claim, one would have to account for all the forms of energy in the universe (gravitational potential energy, the relativistic energies of all particles, etc.), add them together, and then verify that the sum really is exactly zero.)
A Magic Meta-Wand or A Cosmic Hand
By definition, a scientific law is a statement based on repeated experimental observations that describes some aspect of the universe. A scientific law always applies under the same conditions, and implies that there is a causal relationship involving its elements. The laws of thermodynamics became such because they fulfilled these requirements.
No exceptions or contradictions to the laws of thermodynamics have ever been observed.
From the nothingness of an unobservable theoretical existing-then not existing- particle, with an energy signature beyond the capability of any computer to describe, arising from an energy field between two theoretical subatomic particles, floating in a sea of yet to be identified unstable energy, powered by an inflation of unknown origin, the universe was born. All guided by a hyper-set of physics laws, reaching in from another universe, that have not been manifested again in 13.82 billion years. Yet, the international scientific community is giddy over a ‘theory’ that not only defies verification by most accepted scientific methodology but violates nearly ever law of thermodynamics.
Standing in opposition to the ‘something from nothing’ view, both the Kalam and Aquinas Cosmological arguments offer an approach consistent with the laws of thermodynamics and scientific observations. In Thomas Aquinas’s Five Ways, he disputed the concept of spontaneous creation in both his 2nd and 3rd Way, as does the Kalam Cosmological argument. Both are in agreement for something to exist, there has to be something that caused it. A thing cannot cause/create itself. These contingent beings either exist or don’t exist and cannot be infinite. Neither can an infinite regress of causation be possible as Hawking proposed in the hyper- laws of physics arising from an infinite number of universes.
Hawking does nothing to dispute the assertion of Aquinas and Kalam Cosmology of a Necessary Being speaking the universe into existence. In fact, I believe he arrives at the same conclusion, but when confronted with the reality of an Entity defying description by natural laws, computer science, and tangible evidence, he produces a magic wand to explain it all.
There is an unspeakable tragedy being played out by these brilliant minds, so gifted by the very One they deny. Inflated by their own arrogance and knowledge, they fail to recognize the magnitude of their myopia and it’s inevitable progression to utter blindness. In the end they are satan’s puppets and their brilliance disintegrates into spewing nonsense like Hawking’s quote. Instead of recognizing the discoveries they have brought forth like Hubble’s red shift and the discovery of background cosmic radiation which tell a cohesive, consistent story of the universe’s beginning, they sink into darkness carrying many with them.