Friday, November 10, 2006

The Universe Implies a God


[Timeline of the Big Bang]

The existence of our universe implies the existence of an incorporeal and infinitely powerful Creator.

Obviously nothing physical can come into existence from nothing spontaneously; all objects are merely rearrangements of preexisting substances, but are never really new. Also it is obvious that the universe is not infinitely old. The universe is constantly changing and dynamic and change cannot continue forever. After however many billions or trillions of years the stars would have to burn out; everything would have to wear out, wind down and disintegrate. Just as it is obvious that a burning fire must have been lit at some point in the past or a working clock must have been started at some time so too it is obvious that at some point in the past the universe was created and set in motion by an omnipotent, eternal and incorporeal Creator, who exists forever, unbound by time and space, whose power is unending and without limit.

16 comments:

R10B said...

You might be intertested in a new (and small) book written by Owen Gingrich titled God's Universe.

SearchingForMeaning said...

"Obviously nothing physical can come into existence from nothing spontaneously"
Obviously? OBVIOUSLY? Jump back a few hundred years. It was "obvious" to everyone that the world was flat. It was "obvious" that flies generated spontaneously from meat. It was "obvious" that the sun, moon and stars circled the earth, held in place by giant spheres. Today, to a layman, it seems "obvious" that energy cannot turn into matter and that objects retain the same weight as they speed up, yet both of these are false. And while it seems obvious that an object cannot be in two places at once and that an effect cannot come before a cause, researches in subatomic/quantum physics have taken issue with these as well. In short, claiming that anything is "obvious," especially with absolutely no substance to back it up, is a fatal mistake.

"all objects are merely rearrangements of preexisting substances, but are never really new"
So it would seem, on the macro level of electrons and protons, but scientists are currently working with subatomic particles that appear to go into and out of existence. Perhaps they are transiting universes, perhaps they are undergoing mass energy conversions, perhaps there is a matter-antimatter reaction. The point being, this is yet another simplistic assumption that may not hold water.

"Also it is obvious that the universe is not infinitely old"
Whoah! Again with the "obvious." Out of what hat did you pull this conclusion? The current incarnation of the universe, as we know it, seems to have originated some 15 billion years ago in the big bang. But what happened before that? It is just as likely that our universe is in an infinitely long loop of big bangs and big crunches (closed universes, omega > 1 ) as it is that a magical old man in the sky spoke and it came into being. At press time, science can backtrack the development of our universe to about 10^-43 of a second after the singularity, but beyond that the traditional rules of physics become insufficient for further explanation, and chances are we may never know what happened before then. But to assume that means that there was NOTHING previously is a pure assumption, one with no proof or support.

The universe is constantly changing and dynamic...
Well, not exactly. Things are constantly happening in the universe, but they are the result of the laws of "nature," and are, for the most part, predictable and expected. Things don't suddenly "happen" with no explanation. Stars run out of fuel, and die. Galaxies keep flying out into space. Satellites keep circling their hosts. The predictability, the systematicity of it all is why we have star charts that are accurate for the next billion years, and why we can launch space probes that reach exactly where we want them to when we expect them to. While there are still unknowns, dark matter, antimatter, black holes and other unseeables, they all fall within our scientific framework.

...and change cannot continue forever. After however many billions or trillions of years the stars would have to burn out;
Yes. And where does all that material go? What happens to all the energy? Does it just disappear? As you said, the is nothing new, just recycling of the old. Don't assume that everything just disappears. It changes. Which would certainly include the possibility of it collapsing (read: changing) from a previous universe into a tiny ball of maximal density and reexpanding into what we see today. That is the MOST likey explanation based on your previous conservation-of-matter statement, in fact.

everything would have to wear out, wind down and disintegrate.
And why is that? Another baseless statement. In fact, as time goes on, planets should only get harder and denser, if anything. They don't just "wear out". That is a terrestrial concept. Tires "wear out" (actually the rubber is all still there, but some has become powderized, vaporized or converted to heat energy, and is no longer on the tire itself). Celestial bodies don't just "wear out." Again, what is "obvious" on Earth really bears no necessary analogy on what goes on in the cosmos.

"Just as it is obvious that a burning fire must have been lit at some point in the past..."
So what? A fire can have existed since the big bang, and as for what's before that, we already discussed. This is an irrelevant point.

"...or a working clock must have been started at some time..."
A clock didn't just come into existence. It was started and built by a watchmaker, who was born of parents, who are made up of subatomic particles, which were all ejected from the big bang singularity. Another irrelevant statement.

"...so too it is obvious that at some point in the past the universe was created and set in motion by an omnipotent, eternal and incorporeal Creator, who exists forever, unbound by time and space, whose power is unending and without limit"
Oy. Where do I start with this one. I believe I already have covered the basics above. "Obvious," huh. If it was so obvious, don't you think all scientists, agnostics and atheists would have long ago shed their "obviously" fallacious beliefs?

JP, you have to break away from this Artscrollian, Aish-Hatorahian version of Judaism that you were presented with, and accept the fact that the world and religion are a bit more complex than you were taught in kindergarten. May you consider that there are still many who believe, even given all that was stated above. Such are aware of reality and are not running to pull the wool over their eyes and stick their heads in the ground. They are not afraid to confront science, history and reason and find a workable truce, perhaps even mesh the two, even if that mans revising our undertanding of our religion. This is a respectable position. It's time to kick your Jewish philosophy up a notch and start thinking a bit more critically.

jewish philosopher said...

Dear Searching, perhaps you are a bit smarter than I am, however I did think about this for a few minutes before posting it. In my mind, I believe there must have been an uncaused first cause starting the universe off. I'm not really alone in thinking so, either.

Baal Habos said...

JP, you may not be alone in your thinking, but you must admit that nothing you said is "obvious". So what I think you need to do is re-word your post without the word obvious and then you will see the need for backing up your statements with some reasoning or evidence. Then, readers can choose for themselves whether you present a cogent argument. Obviously.

Adam Shajnfeld said...

JP, why do you think it is obvios that a creator has to be omnipotent? What about nature implies this?

jewish philosopher said...

Well, he must be potent enough to create everything in the universe.

Adam Shajnfeld said...

Even if he is potent enough to create everything in the universe, that does not make him omnipotent. The universe does not exhaust all possibly created things. Nor does it rule out the possibility, for instance, of multiple gods who shared power, or fought with each other, or of other worlds that could not have been created for lack of power, etc.

Cameron said...

JP: The existence of our universe implies the existence of an incorporeal and infinitely powerful Creator.

CH: I guess if by 'implies' you mean 'leaves open the theoretical possibility for supernatural involvement by Santa Clause or other invisible forces', I guess it might - but no more than it implies the possibility that the universe itself is the 'uncaused cause'. It gets even more complicated when you realize that 'time' as a dimmension doesn't exist before the big bang - so while the big bang marks the creation of the universe from the original singularity, it doesn't give us the conceptual framework to discuss what existed and for how long prior to the big bang.

JP: Obviously nothing physical can come into existence from nothing spontaneously;

CH: False. The existence of Hawking radiation represents just such a quantum event where particles pop into (and then annhilating each other, pop out of) existence. Is the universe just a massive one-time quantum event that popped into existence and like Hawking radiation, didn't annhilate itself? Seems at least plausible given the evidence, and certainly more plausible than 'an old Jewis guy in a beard created the universe for Adam and Eve'.

JP....After however many billions or trillions of years the stars would have to burn out; everything would have to wear out, wind down and disintegrate.

CH: Yep. Eventually the universe will 'die'. Not really a perfect creation then is it?

JP: Just as it is obvious that a burning fire must have been lit at some point in the past or a working clock must have been started at some time so too it is obvious that at some point in the past the universe was created and set in motion by an omnipotent, eternal and incorporeal Creator, who exists forever, unbound by time and space, whose power is unending and without limit.

CH: Piffle. Consider, even if we ignore the problems in positing an omnipotent being (as you certainly do), and I agree that it is possible that a supreme intelligence had a hand in the earliest moments of creation - it still does not follow that the being is infinite in powers (she might only be able to create a universe once, it could be an accidental creation, it could be one of many she designed, and we are just the beta-test, etc.), that the being cares a whit for its creation after it starts up, or that it is even present in the universe at all.

That is, there is nothing about acknolwedging the possibility of supernatural involvement at the early stages of creation that necessarily implies any particular qualities to the supreme being(s) who created it. For all we know Odin and Zeus bickered over where Asgard/Olympia should be located and the fight they fought created the universe.

That said, I prefer a more naturalistic explanation based on the evidence (i.e. science) than relying on the story of Thor vs Odin myself.

Cameron

jewish philosopher said...

What is the naturalistic explanation for the universe? Hawking radiation? What’s that?

Adam Shajnfeld said...

JP, you still have not answered me about why the creator must be omnipotent.

jewish philosopher said...

I guess it just seems reasonable to me that if he could create the universe from nothing he could do anything.

Adam Shajnfeld said...

Why in the world would that seem reasonable to you, or obvious for that matter? How does the world tell us anything about the creator beyond that he can create the world?

jewish philosopher said...

That's just my opinion.

Adam Shajnfeld said...

"it is obvious that at some point in the past the universe was created and set in motion by an omnipotent...creator"

You didn't say it was just your opinion in the main post. But I take your statement now to mean that it is in no way obvious, nor is it reasonable.

Even if there was a creator, looking at the universe alone, all you would know was that he could create the universe. You wouldn't know how many creators. You wouldn't know whether multiple creators each have different jobs, and thus are limited in power. You wouldn't know whether there are all kinfd of other things that could have been created, but weren't, because of limitations on power.

That this seemed obvious to yo in the beginning demonstrates a profound lack of thought on the subject, or a strange and illogical sense of reasoning.

lysis22 said...

Who said that time and space came with what science calls the Big Bang.

What if Hashem has created our solid existence with wisdom far beyond the understanding of the limits of the human mentality? What if Hashem has now finally allowed humanity to see what Moshe saw when Hashem put him in the cleft of the mountain and after He passed by was able to see the back side (metaphor) or radiance of Hashem ?

Could it be that Hashem has finally shown us His radiance right now and which has been here forever in our perception of time and space?

Listen to the following which was found in 1965 by two Bell Lab Scientists who received the Nobel Prize for their find. Could it be that this radiance is what creates our assumption of a solid reality with this light which passes through something that human's understand to be the common template for all life forms in our existence. Now for all to see and hear.... Maybe, just maybe science can attempt to explain these phenomena away with natural causation but in my humble opinion, maybe not.

Listen:

http://www.bell-labs.com/project/feature/archives/cosmology/mp3icon.gif

See the Torah letters in the form of a DNA nebula stretching 80 light years across our galaxy. What a coincidence.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/03/0317_060317_dna_nebula.html

Has Hashem finally allowed man to see what Moshe saw on Har Sinai?

lysis22 said...

Sorry about the link to the radiance of Hashem link. Here is the one that you may copy into the address line of your browser to hear:

http://www.bell-labs.com/project/feature/archives/cosmology/cosmicnoise.mp3