Where did our universe come from? A guide for Christians and Muslims|
Where did our universe come from?
It is one of the most fascinating questions that we can tackle as a species. One thing that makes this question so interesting is the fact that there are only two possible answers:
Let's start by setting the stage:
If you are a Christian or a Muslim, you believe that your god created the universe. And billions of people agree with you. More than half of the people living in the United States today believe that God created heaven and earth 6,000 years ago, just as the Bible says.
The American Heritage dictionary defines God as:
"If God didn't create the universe, then where did it come from? You can't explain our universe except through faith in God."
"It is impossible to create something out of nothing. God has always existed and he is all-powerful, so he created the universe"
"God created the universe. There is NO other explanation possible."
"The existence of a Creator is so obvious, that every intelligent person should be able to see it."
After listening to thousands of conversations, email messages, forum posts and YouTube comments, it is clear what Christians and Muslims believe.
But are they right? Or is there some other explanation that makes far more sense?
Before we begin, let me show you something. I am assuming that you are religious, but I am also assuming that you are an intelligent person. What your religion is proposing is that a being named God or Allah magically appeared out of nowhere, and that he then magically created the universe out of nothing. You currently have two magical steps in your thinking that no one will ever explain. If you are intelligent, this should make you uncomfortable. Magic is not a good explanation.
What science proposes that the universe has a natural, scientifically understandable origin, and that we will be able to discover this origin through theory and experimentation.
You might be thinking that science won't ever explain it because it is impossible to create something out of nothing. But if you believe that, then you can't believe in God either. In your explanation, God magically appears out of nothing, and then God magically creates the universe out of nothing. Religion has twice the problem that science has, plus religion has resorted to magic to explain it.
So let's give science a chance. Science has a great track record. Science has explained all kinds of things that were once mysterious.
The goal of this short video is to help you open your mind to the world of science.
Let’s start with the obvious question: if nature created the universe rather than God, then why doesn't science have an equation to explain it? It is a valid question. Right now, scientists do not know where the universe came from. However, this “not knowing” is completely normal for science.
Science is all about discovery, and, obviously, science has not discovered everything yet. It may be several decades before we completely understand the origin of our universe. However, science will understand it eventually. That is certain.
How do we know that it is certain? Because we can look at the history of science.
Imagine that you were alive at the turn of the twentieth century. It is the year 1900. Millions of people firmly believe that human beings will never fly in the air. Why do they believe that?
Because humans had never flown before, and science had no understanding of or explanation for the principles of flight. The science of aerodynamics had not been discovered yet. Eventually, however, inventors, scientists and engineers did come to understand the principles of flight. And then, suddenly, People could fly. Today you can fly from NY to LA in 6 hours for $300... something that was both impossible and unimaginable in 1900. This is completely normal for science, because science discovers new things. One year we don't know something. The next year we do, and then we can apply that knowledge and build on it.
Here are three other examples:
Think about the concept of a galaxy, and the idea that we live if one galaxy out of billions of different Galaxies in the universe. The idea of galaxies is Less than 100 years old. Only when telescopes became powerful enough to see them could scientists discover galaxies.
In 1952, no one knew the structure of DNA or how DNA worked. But in 1953 scientists unlocked the secret, and it opened up whole new branches of biology and medicine.
In 1960, if you told people that we would land on the moon within the decade, most would have laughed at you. No human being had ever been in space, much less near the moon. Landing on the moon seemed completely impossible. And yet, just 9 years later, humans took their first steps on the moon's surface.
The origin of the universe will work in exactly the same way. Today we do not know where our universe came from. Then we will make some discoveries and create the mathematics to talk about it. And we will uncover the origin of the universe. Every rational person knows that. To stand here today and say, "Science will never discover the origin of the universe" is silly. It is the same as saying, "humans will never fly" or "humans will never decode DNA".
The second thing for you to recognize is that There is not a single scientific equation that includes a factor for God. Not one. For example, think about this equation…
E = M * C^2
It is the best known equation in science. Energy = mass * the speed of light squared. This is the equation that controls nuclear power plants, nuclear bombs, every star in the cosmos and many other things in our universe. It is not:
E = M * C^2 + a factor for God.
It is E = M * C^2
There are thousands of scientific equations like this. All of these equations tell us something important about our universe. Not one of them includes any sort of factor for God. Therefore, if you assume that we will one day create a scientific equation that looks like this:
The origin of the universe = God did it.
You are being silly. But it is more than silly. It is absurd. Neither science nor nature work that way, and we all know it. There is not a single scientific example anywhere showing that any “god” has any effect on our universe. The idea that suddenly we will start writing scientific equations that include a "god" is ridiculous.
The third thing to realize is that People have been ascribing wonderful powers to their gods for thousands of years. Just think about human history. People once had no idea why the sun rises or sets. So they invented imaginary sun gods to explain it. Today scientists understand why the sun rises and sets. It has to do with the scientific principles of our planet's rotation, as well as the planet's orbit around the sun. It all makes perfect sense, and has nothing to do with any "god".
People once had no idea where the rain comes from. So they created imaginary rain gods. They did rain dances for their rain gods. They sacrificed virgins to their rain gods. Today we know where the rain comes from. If rain doesn't fall when and where we want it, we build lakes and pipelines and we pump water where we need it.
People once had no idea where babies come from. So they created imaginary fertility gods. They prayed to their gods, and made burnt offerings. Today scientists understand where babies come from. Couples now go to a fertility center rather than praying to a fertility god.
Today, people have no idea where the universe came from. So they have created their imaginary gods to explain it. But science will figure this question out in the same way that it has figured out all of the others. The fact is, your imaginary God or your imaginary Allah are just as imaginary as all the rain gods, the sun gods and the fertility gods that people once worshipped. Nature created the universe, just like nature created our sun, our solar system, our planet, our planet's weather, and all of the life on our planet. Your "god" had nothing to do with it, because your "god" is completely imaginary.
Now that you can see where the universe came from, let's look at several common religious rebuttals.
If you are thinking, "I cannot imagine where the universe came from if God did not create it" then consider upgrading your imagination. Learn more about science and the scientific process. Science is far more interesting than your "faith" is, and science is real rather than imaginary.
If you are thinking, "It is impossible to create something out of nothing. Therefore, only God could create the universe" then, again, you should learn more about science. It was once impossible for humans to fly, but now there are millions of people doing it every day.
If you are thinking, "Our universe is so perfectly designed, and only God could do that," then simply think things through. If the universe was not set up the way it was, life would not exist, and we would not be here to talk about it. God had nothing to do with this. You are confusing causation with coincidence.
If you are thinking, "There are no other intelligent, conscious, talking species on earth, because God created us when he created the universe!" then please think this through as well. The reason we are the only intelligent species on the planet is because we are the first intelligent species on the planet.
Someone had to be first. And since we are the first, we are the only one right now. God had nothing to do with this.
If you are thinking "God is eternal, and God created the universe, and when I die I will join God in heaven!" then please consider reality. Your "god" is imaginary. All of science and history supports me when I say that. Nature created the universe, and heaven is a fairy tale.
You use the products of science every day. When you drive your car, or type an email, or warm up a cup of water in the microwave oven, you are using the products of the scientific process. It is not your "god" doing these things. This is the same scientific process that will explain where our universe came from. It is that simple, and that obvious, to every intelligent person who takes the time to think about it.
Thank you for your time today.
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