Once again, Twitter has given me a reason to post. The debate continues to rage between people of faith and atheists. The topics range from origins of the universe and evolutionary theory to whether or not Jesus even existed and on and on and on... Sometimes I weigh in with my thoughts, but most times I don't.
Today was one of my "weigh-in" times. The question posed related to how everything in the universe came to be. Atheists tend to throw around the word "magic" when referring to the belief that God created everything. (I've seen this many times from many different atheists. They seem to want to paint believers as somehow not as intelligent or enlightened as they are. This, of course, is totally ridiculous, but that's something to talk about another time.) In the atheistic mind, it is completely irrational to believe that God spoke, and everything came into existence. This completely flies in the face of rational thought and "scientific evidence."
My question was and still is: Where did all the matter/energy in the universe come from? Science can't seem to come up with an answer.
The conversation almost immediately turned to the Big Bang theory (no, not the show). I'm sure we've all heard it, but I'll recap. Billions of years ago, there was nothing; not even space according to some things I've read. Suddenly, there appeared all the matter/energy in the universe, and it began to rapidly expand. Not so much an explosion, but more a rapid expansion in all directions. Come to think of it, should we change the name of the theory to the Big Expansion, maybe? The Big Whoosh? I don't know.
Anyway. Here is where I start to have my problem with this theory. There was nothing, and then there was something. That sounds so familiar to me. Where have I heard it before? Oh yeah! We can read a story vaguely similar to it in the Bible. But, of course, that's just plain silly, right? I mean, how could something appear out of nothing?
Oddly enough the "science" so many people cling to sounds a lot like the "fairy tales" and "magic" that atheists are so quick to dismiss as nonsense. How does a person refuse to admit the possibility of a Creator, and believe whole-heartedly in this spontaneous appearance of everything we know in the universe? I am a big fan of irony, and this seems a fine example of it!
The followers of this "science" like to say that these claims are observable, testable, and repeatable. The unfortunate reality is that this is completely false. It cannot be observed, because we cannot go back in time to witness it. It is not testable or repeatable, because everything already exists. Remember? It all started with nothing. In order to test and repeat, we'd have to destroy the entire universe which would leave no one to perform the tests. This is a very difficult problem to overcome. Seems to me that if this isn't observable, testable, and repeatable, it's actually not science, unless I've got my definition of science confused. Therefore, it could be classified as belief founded in (dare I say it?) faith. (Yes, the word faith can be applied to things other than religion.)
I'm sure we all know about the particle accelerator experiments trying to "replicate" the Big Bang. What will this prove? The particle accelerator might be able to knock particles together, but the particles had to come from somewhere in order to collide to precipitate the Big Bang. This whole experiment seems like a waste of time and money, but, who knows, maybe the cure for cancer will come out of it.
Some have stepped away (backwards?) from the Big Bang theory a little bit in recent years. Without being able to prove this theory, some scientists have turned to "theoretical quantum physics." (That's a fun concept, if you really want to think about it.) String Theory seems pretty popular right now.
I'll probably get this wrong, but, hey, if these scientists can make stuff up, so can I! String Theory makes the claim that there are "strings" flying, wobbling, undulating, vibrating around outside of space and time. Through different dimensions. Way back, a couple of these "strings" crashed into each other, creating all the matter/energy of the universe and setting off the Big Bang.
Now, anyone willing to accept this as a viable explanation, is accepting the fact that these "strings" are outside of natural laws. Anything operating outside of these laws is supernatural, correct? We're now back to accepting one supernatural thing and rejecting another.
How does one decide which supernatural thing to believe in? That brings us to the crux of the issue. Evidence and proof.
A couple of definitions for evidence:
1. that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.
2. something that makes plain or clear; an indication or sign
1. evidence sufficient to establish a thing as true, or to produce belief in its truth.
2. anything serving as such evidence
Evidence is required to establish something as true, or prove it. Based on how a person interprets evidence determines whether he or she uses that evidence as proof. Everyone involved in the debate of where everything came from has the same evidence. We are completely surrounded by it, and we each interpret it based on how we see the world.
Atheists start with their belief that there are no gods. They interpret what they see through that totally (well...mostly) naturalist lens. Believers start with their belief that God created everything. They then interpret what they see through that lens.
So, who is right? Truthfully, I don't know, but neither does anyone else. The fact is none of us were there to see everything begin. All we have to go on is interpreted evidence, belief, and faith.
Here is what we all have to ask ourselves. What do I believe? Did God create everything out of nothing? Did nothing create everything out of nothing? Look at the evidence and decide for yourself.