Searching through news articles and op-eds for me to find inspiration, I came across an opinion piece published on Scientific American with the following title: “Can Science Rule Out God?”, with the subhead reading: “We must understand the laws of nature before we can deduce their origins”.
Naturally, I became interested in what the author of the piece, a man by the name of Mark Alpert, had to say on this subject. The debate between science and religion has existed for centuries at this point since the Age of “Enlightenment” (I put it in quotation marks since it seems to have had just the opposite effect when it came to logic and reason).
From the outset, Mr. Alpert notes that he himself is not a religious man, does not outright believe in the existence of God as He is found in the Bible, but is not an atheist either, but something more akin to an agnostic (which has roots to the Greek word “agnostos” meaning “unknown” or “unknowable”, or in other words, basically means ignorant since “agnoia” means “ignorance”, so it is interesting that someone would be willing to call themselves “ignorant”). Mr. Alpert also mentions that for a decade, he had been an editor at the very scientific journal that he is currently writing for in efforts to expose “the falsehoods of ‘intelligent design’ proponents who claimed to see God’s hand in the fashioning of complex biological structures” like the human eye and bacteria.
Not quite sure what falsehoods he could be talking about with this. The only other argument here is that these complex things came about entirely by chance, which as I have explained time and time again, is nothing more than mathematical probability of an event occurring and it has no inherent power to act upon anything, but I digress.
Mr. Alpert eventually writes something that I found interesting. He notes that “as physicists investigate the most fundamental characteristics of nature, they’re tackling issues that have long been the province of philosophers and theologians: Is the universe infinite and eternal? Why does it seem to follow mathematical laws, and are those laws inevitable? And, perhaps most importantly, why does the universe exist? Why is there something instead of nothing?”
That last question is really what intrigues me (and the question about the universe being infinite and eternal, which I will get to). Indeed, why is there something instead of nothing? And here is where we arrive to one of three possible theories to explain the existence of the universe:
Theory #1: the universe was created by God, who is a self-existing, eternal being, omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient.
Theory #2: the universe is eternal and self-existing.
Theory #3: the universe is not eternal but self-created.
Let us observe the objective reality that there is, indeed, something, as opposed to nothing. By sheer reason and logic, we can completely eliminate the third theory as a whole. Why? Because of two laws: the Law of Causality (or the Law of Cause and Effect, if you will) and the Law of Noncontradiction.
The Law of Causality is, as explained, the law of Cause and Effect. Simply put, this law means that every effect must have an antecedent cause. For a ball to move, force must be applied to it. Someone must move it themselves, be it with their hands or their feet, or simply a strong enough gust of wind or the force of gravity must act on it in order for the effect of motion to occur. Following Newton’s First Law, the Law of Inertia, an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an outside force.
Every effect must have an antecedent cause and if there is no cause, there is no effect. The second of the laws I mentioned is the Law of Noncontradiction which simply states that A cannot be A and non-A at the same time and in the same relationship. Something cannot BE and NOT BE at the same time and in the same relationship.
For example, you can be a father and you can be a son at the same time, but you cannot be both at the same time and in the same relationship. You cannot be your own father and you cannot be your own son. It is logically impossible for such a relationship to exist. Another example would be that you cannot exist and not exist at the same time and in the same relationship. Or you cannot have a job and not have a job at the same time and in the same relationship, etc.
So why do I bring this law into the conversation? Because in order for the universe to create itself, it first must BE and NOT BE at the same time and the same relationship. It must exist and NOT exist, which is not physically or logically possible. In order for something to create anything, even itself, it must first BE. You cannot argue that the universe created itself because you would then be arguing illogically, as the universe must first have not existed and existed at the same time and in the same relationship.
NOTHING can create itself, as a result. It is logically, not to mention physically, impossible for something to create itself simply because it would have to literally defy LOGIC in order for this to happen. Not even God has the power to create Himself.
If there ever was a time when there was nothing, without the acting of an outside being that is self-existing and eternal, there would be nothing at this very moment. Ex nihilo, nihil fit. Out of nothing, nothing comes. So if there is SOMETHING, it absolutely could not have come from nothing, at least out of its own power. So the third theory is eliminated entirely.
So let’s move on to the second theory, which is something Mr. Alpert covers, even if unwittingly. Mr. Alpert writes:
“Cosmologists don’t know if the universe even had a beginning. Instead it might’ve had an eternal past before the big bang, stretching infinitely backward in time. Some cosmological models propose that the universe has gone through endless cycles of expansion and contraction. And some versions of the theory of inflation postulate an eternal process in which new universes are forever branching off from the speedily expanding ‘inflational background.’”
Such theories should be easy enough to discern why they might not hold up. If the universe is endlessly expanding and contracting in cycles, what is causing it and when did that start? To return to the Law of Causality, all effects must have an antecedent cause. If something, anything, including the universe itself, is expanding and contracting like a lung, then what is the CAUSE?
It is this very law that also eliminates the second theory. The very existence of the universe, the fact that there is something instead of nothing, is an effect. Again, out of nothing, nothing comes. Even those who believe in the second theory understand this principle and it is the reason why such people do not believe in the third theory. But the Law of Causality also throws a wrench at the second theory. The existence of the universe, being an effect, must have an antecedent cause.
Funny enough, even Mr. Alpert notes this: “But other cosmologists argue that inflation had to start somewhere, and the starting point could’ve been essentially nothing. As we’ve learned from quantum theory, even empty space has energy, and nothingness is unstable. All kinds of improbable things can happen in empty space, and one of them might’ve been a sudden drop to a lower vacuum energy, which could’ve triggered the inflationary expansion.”
A few things about this. First, I’m glad that he notes that cosmologists have enough logic to argue that this cycle of inflation (if true) had to start somewhere. That’s nice.
Second, and most importantly, suppose that the “sudden drop to a lower vacuum energy” is, indeed, what happened and caused this “inflationary expansion”. We return, once again, to the Law of Causality. What CAUSED that sudden drop? I don’t think I need to argue why a “sudden drop” is an effect. When you suddenly drop a coin, that drop had an antecedent cause. The same, therefore, must be applied here.
Which brings us to the first theory I talked about: the theory of a self-existing, eternal being with the power to create and manipulate energy and matter itself to create anything and everything.
Now, non-believing skeptics might argue “but doesn’t the Law of Causality apply to this theory too? You argued that an eternal, self-existing universe cannot be because of this Law, which says that all things must have a cause. Why is this theory, the one that points to an eternal, self-existing God, any different?”
The answer is simple: because the Law of Causality states that every EFFECT must have an antecedent cause. God is not an effect, but the antecedent cause. God is not a creation. He is not an effect, because if He were, literally nothing would make any sense. There’d be no universe and no intelligent being to understand anything for anything to make sense. God CANNOT be an effect and most certainly, He is not.
God is the antecedent cause in the Law of Causality. If you argue that the universe came about because of a “sudden drop” to a lower vacuum energy, one must still explain the cause of that sudden drop and the only feasible and logical outcome would have to be the acknowledgement of a self-existing, eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient being and there is only one such being that can come to mind, and that is the God of the Bible.
It is for this very reason that science cannot rule out the existence of God and those who adamantly deny the existence of God are not scientific. It is impossible to prove that something does not exist. You cannot prove a negative. It’s for this same reason that it is up to the prosecution to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in order to get a conviction. It is not up to the innocent to prove their innocence (though exculpatory evidence should be looked for, but is not necessary), but for the accuser to prove guilt. One cannot prove that God does not exist, and by virtue of the things that I talked about, it would be illogical for people to say that He hasn’t been proven to exist, because He has.
Science can’t rule out God because God is FACT. Science can’t rule out God because without God, there’d be no science in the first place. There’d be absolute nothingness because ex nihilo, nihil fit. Out of nothing, nothing comes. If there is no God, there’d be nothing right now.
“For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from His workmanship, so that men are without excuse.”
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