Saturday, April 3, 2010

God Didn't Need A Beginning

by Babu G. Ranganathan

We've all asked the question from the age of two. Why did the universe have a beginning but not God? If God didn't have a beginning why should the universe have a beginning. Couldn't the universe just have always existed? Why a need for God?

The answer is found in understanding why the universe requires a beginning. Even though energy cannot be created or destroyed (by any natural processes), in every energy transfer that occurs in the universe some of the useful energy becomes irreversibly useless. This is known in science as the Second Law of Thermodynamics or the Law of Entropy. If the universe were eternal then all of the energy would have become totally useless by now and I wouldn't be writing this article and you wouldn't be reading it either!

The law of entropy (continual net energy decay) occurs in open systems as well as closed systems. We discovered the law of entropy here on Earth which is an open system in relation to the Sun. Regardless of whether the universe is a closed system or an open system, the law of entropy will have reduced the universe into totally useless energy. This is true even if the universe were expanding and contracting as some scientists believe.

But, isn't the law of entropy merely an expression of probability? Yes, but the probability is so high and certain that the odds of just one calorie of energy spontaneously defying the law of entropy would be trillions times trillions to one, and the universe is made up of far more than just one calorie of energy!

Since we know from the First Law of Thermodynamics in science that matter/energy cannot be created from nothing by any natural process, and since we know from the Second Law of Thermodynamics, or the law of entropy, that the universe does not have the ability to have sustained itself from eternity, the only logical and rational conclusion is that a supernatural power (God) brought the universe into existence. Furthermore, the complexity and order in the universe logically points to a supreme mind. Disorder in the universe is because of chance but the high degree of order can only be rationally explained due to a supreme mind or intelligence.

Einstein showed mathematically that space, time and matter came into existence simultaneously. Space and time are as physical as matter. That's why Einstein's equations show that space and time can be altered by gravity. Space is something, not nothing. That's why space has been known to produce particles. 

The universe is not eternal. It had a beginning. Time had a beginning. Time didn’t exist before there was space and matter (i.e. energy). Einstein showed that all matter is some form of energy.

What about the Higgs boson, the so-called 'God Particle'? The Higgs boson does not create mass from nothing. What it does is convert energy into mass. Again, the universe had a beginning. It is not eternal because it does not have the ability to have sustained itself eternally. All scientists believe that the universe (time, mass, and space had a beginning from nothing).

Atheistic scientists believe that the beginning of the universe came from nothing by natural processes yet to be discovered. This contradicts fundamental laws of science. 

The natural (or spontaneous) tendency of matter is towards greater disorder -- not towards greater order or complexity as evolution would teach. Even the scientific followers of Prigogine, the father of Chaos theory, have acknowledged that only a very minimal level of order will ever be possible as a result of spontaneous or chance processes.

Yes, a few amino acids have been produced spontaneously, but there is already a natural tendency for molecules to form into amino acids if given the right conditions. There is, however, no natural tendency for amino acids to come together spontaneously into a sequence to form proteins. They have to be directed to do so by the genetic code in the cells of our bodies. Even the simplest cell is made up of billions of protein molecules. An average protein molecule may comprise of several hundred sequentially arranged amino acids. Many are comprised of thousands of sequential units. If they are not in the precise sequence the protein will not function!

The tendency towards disorder that exists in all matter can only be temporarily overcome if there first exists an energy converting and directing mechanism to develop and maintain order. 

When a seed becomes a tree, for example, it does not violate entropy because there is already a per-existing biological energy converting mechanism and code in the seed which directs the order, growth and development of the tree. In other words, the development of greater order from seed to tree is not chemically a spontaneous event. It is not something that is happening by chance. The problem for atheists is how did biological order develop in the first place when there was no already existing energy-converting/ directing mechanisms in nature.

What about natural selection? Natural selection is a passive process in nature making sure that only the fit survive. Natural selection doesn't produce anything. It can only "select" from what is produced. Natural selection is not an energy converting and directing mechanism, and natural selection only operates once there is life and reproduction and not before, so it couldn't have been involved in life's origins. A partially-evolved cell (an oxymoron) would quickly disintegrate. It couldn't wait ("survive") millions of years for chance to complete it and then make it alive! A partially-evolved cell (an oxymoron) would quickly disintegrate. It couldn't wait ("survive") millions of years for chance to complete it and then make it alive! Read my Internet article: HOW FORENSIC SCIENCE REFUTES ATHEISM

Natural laws may explain how the order in the universe operates, but mere undirected natural laws are insufficient to explain the origin of that order. Once there is a complete and living cell then the code and mechanisms exist to direct the formation of more cells. The problem is how did life come about when there was no already existing directing code and mechanism in nature.

Laws of physics may explain how a television works but mere undirected laws of physics cannot explain the origin of the television. Similarly, laws of physics may explain how the universe works but mere undirected laws of physics cannot explain the origin of the universe and its order. The disorder in the universe is because of chance (i.e. entropy) but the high degree of order can only be rationally explained due to a Supreme mind or intelligence.

And what about the stars? Oh, yes, gravity may explain how the order found in the precise courses of trillions of stars is maintained, but mere undirected gravity cannot explain the origin of that order!

God's nature doesn't require that He have a beginning. God is self-sustaining. The universe is not. And because the universe is not ultimately self-sustaining, the universe requires creation (a beginning) as well as a Supreme Designer and a Supreme Sustainer. In other words, the universe requires God.

Ultimately, however, scientists concede that the Second Law of Thermodynamics will conquer the entire universe and the universe, if left to itself, will end in what scientists predict will be a heat death because all of the energy in the universe will reach a uniform state where no more work of any kind will be possible. Even a contracting and expanding universe would no longer be possible in such a state. This proves, as mentioned earlier, that the universe could not be eternal or otherwise it would have long ago reached this point of uniform energy decay or level.

All of this simply supports the belief that an intelligent power outside of nature and the universe was responsible for its origin and order.

Science cannot prove that we came about by creation or by chance processes, but educators and students should be free to investigate and make up their own minds as to which position the scientific evidence best supports.

Belief in neither chance origins nor creation is necessary to the actual study of science itself. One can understand the human body and become a first class surgeon regardless of whether he or she believes the human body is the result of the chance forces of Nature or of a Supreme Designer.

It takes faith to believe we're here by chance or by design. The latter is the wiser faith.