What does Cosmology have to do with anything?
What is the Cause of the Universe?
For a finite universe to exist there needs to be a cause. This question is regardless of religion, it is a question of truth. Based on the observable universe we know there was a time when the universe as we know it did not exit. What brought the universe into existence? Did the universe always exit? Did matter, space and time one day explode into existence? Did matter always exist? These questions have pondered scientist, philosophizer and theologian.
For those who are seeking evidence for the existence of God. The creation of the universe is one of the most powerful arguments. This is the Cosmological argument for the existence of God.
The Cosmological Argument
In the cosmological discussion the first question that needs to be answered is, “Did the universe have a beginning?” What are the options?
- If the universe had a beginning, then it needs a first cause.
- Did the universe self-cause itself? In order to self-cause itself it would have to not exist (to cause existence) and exist (in order to be caused) at the same time. Therefore, this option is ruled out because it violates the “Law of non-contradiction”.
- Did the universe always exist? As Carl Sagan believes, (“The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be”). Naturalist believe the universe either;
A. Came from nothing by nothing
B. Always existed.
Option A. is impossible, it not possible for nothing to produce something. So the option left is to accept that the universe always existed, option b.
Laws that affect the Universe:
- The First Law (Law of Energy Conservation) states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed.
- The Second Law (Law of Energy Decay) states that in a closed system, the amount of usable energy in the universe is decreasing.” Entropy is the level of disorder in a system.
A highly ordered system is in a low state of entropy. A disordered system is in a higher state of entropy.
Is the Cosmos running out of usable energy?
Cosmologists treat the universe as a gigantic heat engine with no external source of energy input. This means that the total amount of usable energy in the universe is fixed and is decreasing as time passes (nuclear fusion is occurring throughout the universe).
This means that at some point the universe was at highly ordered state. According to the 2nd Law, the universe is expected to run out of usable energy. Roy Peacock, an expert in thermodynamics, wrote “A Brief History of Eternity” to show how discoveries in the universe along with the laws of thermodynamics show the universe is finite.He writes,
The Second Law of thermodynamics is probably the most powerful piece of legislation in the physical world. It ultimately describes every process we have ever discovered: it is the final Court of Appeal in any dispute relating to action and procedures, whether they are naturally generated or man inspired. It draws the conclusion that in our universe there is an overall reduction in order, a loss of available energy that is measured as an increase in entropy. So the available stock of order is being exhausted. Akin to the dying battery of a flashlight, useful energy is being dissipated into entropy after which none remains for use…For us to live in a universe in which the Second Law of thermodynamics holds, then, it must be a universe that has a starting point, a creation.
Is there Evidence of a Finite Universe?
The Radiation Echo:
Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, two physicists at Bell Laboratories discovered the earth is bathed in a faint glow of radiation. They were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1978. Their data found this radiation was left over from the initial explosion of the beginning of the universe, commonly referred to as the Big Bang.
In November of 1989, a satellite named COBE, (Cosmic Background Explorer) was successfully launched into space with instruments aboard capable of measuring the radiation echo left behind from the Big Bang. In April 1992, the final summation of COBE’s data was made public and hailed as unprecedented. Stephen Hawking, author of “A Brief History of Time”, called the discovery, “The most important discovery of the century, if not all time.”  This affirms the universe had a beginning.
The Expanding Universe
Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity predicted that the universe had a beginning and is expanding in all directions. If we reversed the theory, there would be a starting point to the universe. This disturbed Einstein; his own theory demanded a starting point for the universe. Robert Jastrow, founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and served for twenty years as its director wrote about Einstein’s reaction in his realization of a finite universe:
Around this time, signs of irritation began to appear among the scientists. Einstein was the first to complain. He was disturbed by the idea of a Universe that blows up, because it implied that the world had a beginning. In a letter to de Sitter—discovered in a box of old records in Leiden some years ago—Einstein wrote, “This circumstance (of the expanding Universe irritates me,” and in another letter about he expanding Universe, he said: To admit such possibilities seems senseless.”….I suppose that beginning in time annoyed Einstein because of its theological implications.
Based on Einstein’s theory of general relativity, the universe is finite and expanding in all directions. Since 1919 this theory has been verified numerous experiments. Therefore, we can conclude the universe had a beginning. It is finite.
What Caused the Universe?
If the universe had beginning then it must have a cause. The Big Bang does not only involve the start of matter but also space and time. Matter, space and time are interdependent. The explosion of the universe was a highly orchestrated cosmic explosion with just the right mixture of gravity and explosive energy. John Polkinhorne, a theoretical physicist, and a colleague of Stephen Hawking, writes:
In the early expansion of the universe, there has to been a close balance between the expansive energy (driving things apart) and the force of gravity (pulling things together). If expansion dominated then matter would fly apart too rapidly for condensation into galaxies and stars to take place…(The possibility of our existence) requires a balance between the effects of expansion and contraction which at a very early epoch in the universe’s history (The Planck time) has to differ from equality by not more than 1 in 1060 . The numerate (mathematical) will marvel at such a degree of accuracy. For the non-numerate, I will borrow an illustration from Paul Davies of what that accuracy means. He points out that it is the same as aiming at a target an inch wide on the other side of the observable universe, twenty thousand million light years away, and hitting the mark.
“If the existence of the cosmos as a whole needs to be explained, and if it cannot be explained by natural causes, Then we must look to the existence and action of a supernatural cause for its explanation”
Since it is impossible for nothing to produce something, something must have always exited as the “First Cause” of the universe. Furthermore, this First Cause must be eternal (outside of time, since time is part of the finite universe) and powerful enough to account for the origin and existence of the universe. This Cause must be knowledgeable, powerful and eternal.
The Design Argument (Teleological)
The beginning of the universe requires a “First Cause”, because the universe has a starting point and is finite, the cause must be greater then the effect. In the same light, we know the existence of life also has a starting point. Matter is the building block of life, without matter, we cannot have life in this physical universe, as we know it. Therefore, the next question to be addressed is, “What is the origin to Life?”
Is the same “First Cause” that caused the universe to explode into existence the “First Cause” of life as well? There are two competing origin of life models; the macroevolutionary model and the design model.
The macroevolutionary model states that life was self-generated from nonliving (inorganic) matter. Once the gap from non-life to life was bridged, the first living cell began to evolve by random changes (mutations) in its genetic information system, creating new characteristics that were not in the original organism.
The design model and the Law of Bio-genesis states that non-life never produces life and that the first life forms were the direct result of super-intelligence.