The Origin of Time and Could God Really Exist?

I read a lecture by Stephen Hawking about Space and Time Warps. It’s not that I had extra time on my hands (no pun intended) but because of a comment on my post regarding Blind Faith or Logical Reasons to Believe God Exists. His comment was that the laws of physics break down prior to the Big Bang, so the state of things prior to the singularity is irrelevant because there is no standard for measuring them. It’s a great observation and shows he is a well-read person.

In another lecture on the origin of the universe, Hawking says,

“The General Theory of Relativity and the discovery of the expansion of the universe shattered the old picture of an ever existing and ever lasting universe. Instead, general relativity predicted that the universe, and time itself, would begin in the big bang.”

In the Space and Time lecture, Hawking addresses time travel, technology, wormholes, warped space, and even what I call “Back to the Future” issues. Hawking says:

We thus have experimental evidence from the bending of light, that space-time is curved, and confirmation from the Casimir effect, that we can warp it in the negative direction. So it might seem possible, that as we advance in science and technology, we might be able to construct a wormhole, or warp space and time in some other way, so as to be able to travel into our past. If this were the case, it would raise a whole host of questions and problems. One of these is, if sometime in the future, we learn to travel in time, why hasn’t someone come back from the future, to tell us how to do it.

As a fan of the Sci-Fi Channel, the lecture was definitely interesting for me, but the quote above caught my attention… Hawking, who is perhaps the greatest scientific mind in our generation, admits we have only “experimental evidence” in what he addresses.

Rather than comment on my previous post, I thought a new post regarding this new topic was in order.

If laws of physics break down prior to “creation” of the universe as we know it, does not the Bible also claim to reveal the same information? Genesis 1:2 says that prior to the creation singularity the earth was formless and void, which many biblical commentators would translate “chaos.” OK, let’s leave the Bible out of this since many people do not see it as an authoritative document.

I find myself looking more at the philosophical side of arguments to “prove” God’s existence. The argument from creation (the cosmological argument) states that since science and philosophy would indicate the universe had a beginning (therefore not eternal), and for the universe to have a beginning it would have to be caused by something outside of the known universe. Since infinite regress is not possible, the universe must have been caused by an uncaused, always existing, eternal Being (which many people call God).

As far as the Big Bang and life on this planet, the logical first question would be, “Where did the elements that caused the Big Bang come from?” Hawking’s lecture on Life in the Universe does not seem to address this concern, rather stating, “The early appearance of life on Earth suggests that there’s a good chance of the spontaneous generation of life, in suitable conditions. Maybe there was some simpler form of organisation, which built up DNA.” To me it takes more faith to believe that something spontaneously comes from nothing, unless God (the first uncaused cause) is part of the equation.

But as I read Hawking’s lecture, I was amazed at the wonder of the universe and how much we cannot even fathom. Then came my next logical question, “Since this universe is so vast and complex, and great thinkers like Hawking can communicate such complex ideas, does this not logically indicate that there must be a Designer of all of this?” For example, a walk along the beach might reveal interesting sand designs caused by the waves. On the other hand, if I notice “Billy loves Suzie” written in the sand, I must assume this information came from a literate person who is capable of loving someone else. There is complexity in the message that assumes there is an intelligent sender of the message.

So, when we see the complexity of this universe, or even of the human body (made up of nerve cells, brain cells, skin cells, bone cells, all different from each other, yet similar) we must assume there was an intelligent Designer (which we may call God). Evolution does not explain how life moves from a simple cell organism to what we see in the complexity of, let’s say, an eye. Can the eye and an optic nerve be the product of time + chance?

The second law of thermodynamics tells us that the amount of usable energy in a closed system (like the universe) is decreasing, which means that everything tends to move from order to disorder, complex to simple, life to death. This is why we have to paint the house every few years, things run down rather than get better over time.

To me, this teleological argument also points to a beginning for the universe. And since the universe has a wonderful and complex order, there must be a Designer that set it in motion at some point in the past. Laws of physics do not need to break down before the Big Bang if we recognize a Creator that not only created matter, but also time and space as well.

Blind Faith? It’s a leap of faith, and without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6), but when one chooses to believe in God after proper research, it is anything but blind.

Blind Faith or Logical Reasons to Believe God Exists?

The drought in Atlanta brought out people of faith to the capital steps to pray for rain. Across the street, the Freethought Society protested. I remembered from school, America stood for freedom of religion, but today it is being reinterpreted to mean freedom from religion, like religious expression should never be in the public arena. It appears that you can have “free thought,” but if your free thought leads you to believe in God, you’re parallel to a mindless devotee bowing down before a wooden idol.


With the rise of atheism in the media, many conclude that Christians believe in God as a crutch or an escape from reality. For some needy reason they choose to believe in an imaginary concept of God based on blind faith. But there really are solid logical arguments that would indicate it takes more faith to be an atheist. Take this one for example:

The cosmological argument simply states that the universe is limited in that it had a beginning and that its beginning was caused by something beyond the universe:

  1. The universe had a beginning.
  2. Anything that has a beginning must have been caused by something else.
  3. Therefore, the universe was caused by something else, and this cause was God.

Scientific evidence strongly supports the idea that the universe had a beginning. The view usually held by those who claim that the universe is eternal, called the steady state theory, leads some to believe that the universe is constantly producing hydrogen atoms from nothing. It would be simpler to believe that God created the universe from nothing. Also, the consensus of scientists studying the origin of the universe is that it came into being in a sudden and cataclysmic way (the Big Bang). The main evidence for the universe having a beginning is the second law of thermodynamics, which says the universe is running out of usable energy. But if it is running down, then it could not be eternal. What is winding down must have been wound up.


But beyond the scientific evidence that shows the universe began, there is a philosophical reason to believe that the world had a starting point. This argument shows that time cannot go back into the past forever. It is impossible to pass through an infinite series of moments. It is like moving your finger across an endless number of books in a library. You would never get to the last book. Even if you thought you had found the last book, there could always be one more added, then another. You can never finish an infinite series of real things.


The same goes toward “the beginning of time.” Infinite regress is impossible because there is always one more book on the shelf. So, time must have begun at a particular point in the past, and today has come at a definite time since then. Therefore, the world is a finite event after all and it needs a cause for its beginning. **


Norman Geisler puts it this way:

  1. Finite, changing things exist. For example, me. I would have to exist to deny that I exist; so either way, I must really exist.
  2. Every finite, changing thing must be caused by something else. If it is limited and it changes, then it cannot be something that exists independently. If it existed independently, or necessarily, then it would have always existed without any kind of change.
  3. There cannot be an infinite regress of these causes. In other words, you can’t go on explaining how this finite thing causes this finite thing, which causes this other finite thing, and on and on, because that really just puts off the explanation indefinitely.
  4. Therefore, there must be a first uncaused cause of every finite, changing thing that exists. 

Since the universe very plainly had a beginning, it must have been caused or started by something uncaused, which is God. But why do people reject God so strongly? I believe that if we recognize the existence of God, it means that we are accountable to something higher than ourselves. This is not acceptable to anyone who bows to no One.


** From Norman Geisler’s When Skeptics Ask.


A Golden Compass for Atheism

If we are to believe the media, atheism appears to be taking the offensive. “We’re good people, we’re just not God people.” Sounds like positive PR. According to the Barna Group, over 81 percent of Americans claim to pray at least weekly, which means to me that for people to pray, they must pray to or believe in some sort of Deity; either Christian or otherwise.  


There is movie coming out December 7, The Golden Compass, which is directed toward children; but it’s sort of like anti-Narnia. It will get a lot of publicity because it stars Nicole Kidman. What concerns me is this movie is based on the first of a trilogy of books for children called His Dark Materials written by award winning author, Philip Pullman of England. He’s an outspoken atheist and apparently his objective is to bash Christianity and promote atheism. Pullman said, “I don’t profess any religion; I don’t think it’s possible that there is a God.”


Critics of Pullman’s books point to strong anti-religion and anti-God themes, and although literary works are subject to a variety of interpretations, Pullman left little doubt about his intentions when he said in a 2003 interview with The Sydney Morning Herald that “my books are about killing God.” Here is a summary of the novel, the controversy, and an interesting book called Shedding Light on His Dark Materials. For parents wanting to make a more informed decision about seeing the film, visit Plugged in Online.


I’ve read that this movie is a watered down version of the first book, which is the least offensive of the three books. The second book of the trilogy is The Subtle Knife and the third book is The Amber Spyglass. Each book gets worse and worse regarding Pullman’s hatred of God. In the trilogy, a young streetwise girl travels through multiple worlds populated by witches, armor-plated bears, and sinister ecclesiastical assassins to defeat the oppressive forces of a senile God. Another character, an ex-nun, describes Christianity as “a very powerful and convincing mistake.”  


Bottom line: let’s not see this movie. Rather, if you’re into spiritual fantasy, let’s wait for the release of Prince Caspian in May 2008.