Big Bang False. Eternal Universe True?
If you do not want to accept that God exists, you have to be able to explain the existence of the Universe without Him creating it. If He is not in the equation, then either the Universe created itself or is eternal—there are no other options (Spencer, 1882). The popular theory today, of course, is the Big Bang Theory, which posits that the Universe created itself. Recall that in 2014, science magazines, journals, and media hailed the discovery of gravitational waves that supposedly proved Big Bang inflation (Miller, 2014). Inflation is a fundamental and crucial element of the Big Bang Theory, needed to fix the “horizon” and “flatness” problems in the Universe if there was no God to create it, but which as yet had no direct observational evidence. Further recall Nature publishing in January, 2015 the article “Gravitational Waves Discovery Now Officially Dead” (Cowen, 2015). The supposed evidence for gravitational waves proved to be merely galactic dust (Miller, 2015). So Big Bang cosmologists are, in the words of the cosmologist who proposed inflation in the first place, Alan Guth of M.I.T., “pretty much back to where we were before” (as quoted in McKee, 2015). Where were we before? In the place where there is no evidence of inflation. In the words of theoretical physicist and professor at Princeton Paul Steinhardt, “[T]he inflationary paradigm is so flexible that it is immune to experimental and observational tests…. [T]he paradigm of inflation is unfalsifiable…. [I]t is clear that the inflationary paradigm is fundamentally untestable, and hence scientifically meaningless” (2014, emp. added).
With the announcement that there is, once again, no evidence of inflation, one might predict that a new theory would emerge that solves the problem for naturalists, by perhaps resorting to an eternal Universe instead. Sure enough, a week and two days later, Phys.org announced the results of mathematical calculations completed by Ahmed Farag Ali of Benha University and the Zewail City of Science and Technology in Egypt and Saurya Das of the University of Lethbridge in Canada. Ali and Das acknowledged and highlighted the most fundamental problem with the Big Bang Theory, which creationists have long pointed out: if it’s true, how did it all start? Where did the singularity—the cosmic egg (i.e., the ylem) that “exploded”—come from? It could not create itself, according to the First Law of Thermodynamics, and if one argues that the First Law did not exist before the ylem, how did the First Law write itself into existence along with the appearance of matter and energy? If the First Law did exist, Who made it? All laws have law makers! [See Miller, 2013 for a thorough discussion of these matters.] Ali and Das claim to have resolved the problem by calculations that indicate that there was no Big Bang anyway—no singularity (Zyga, 2015). According to them, the Universe is eternal. What does this mean for creationists?
First, we wish to highlight that Ali and Das are in agreement with us that there is a major scientific problem with the Big Bang in the origin of the ylem. It could not have created itself. Such a suggestion is unscientific and unnatural—there is no scientific evidence from nature that such a thing could happen. Simply put, it would be supernatural—witchcraft without a witch. Second, we should highlight that the work of Ali and Das has not even been verified as legitimate by the scientific community at large. LiveScience, for example, noted with regard to their theory, “If [the] new theory turns out to be true, the universe may not have started with a bang” (Ghose, 2015, emp. added). As of the writing of this article, five months have passed since the announcement of Ali and Das’ work, and neither Science, Nature, Scientific American, New Scientist, or American Scientist have even weighed in on the discussion.
Third, we note that the eternality of the Universe is not a new concept. Before the Big Bang was en vogue, eternal models were popular (e.g., Sir Fred Hoyle’s Steady State model), but in time were rejected based on the observable evidence. For example, Robert Jastrow, evolutionary astronomer and former director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA, wrote:
And concurrently there was a great deal of discussion about the fact that the second law of thermodynamics, applied to the Cosmos, indicates the Universe is running down like a clock. If it is running down, there must have been a time when it was fully wound up…. Now three lines of evidence—the motions of the galaxies, the laws of thermodynamics, the life story of the stars—pointed to one conclusion; all indicated that the Universe had a beginning (1978, pp. 48-49, 111).
Simply put, the Universe cannot be eternal, according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics. All available scientific evidence indicates that the matter and energy in the Universe is wearing out or decaying. Everything is moving towards disorder and chaos, and we are depleting usable energy. This trek towards disorder and decay is an irreversible process known as entropy. The unavoidable truth of entropy is why perpetual motion machines are understood to be impossible machines in the Universe. If the Universe is eternal, then it is a perpetual motion machine in defiance of the Second Law—which has no exceptions.
If, however, we base our conclusions on the actual scientific evidence, we are forced to conclude that the Universe could not have existed forever, or it would be completely out of usable energy—i.e., it would be completely worn out (see Miller, 2013 for further discussion on the Laws of Thermodynamics and the origin of the Universe). So the only way the Universe could be eternal is if there was Someone outside of the Universe countering entropy by adding usable energy to it on a Universal scale. But then this discussion would cease to be a discussion of nature and would move into the realm of super-nature, which the naturalist-infested, modern scientific community refuses even to consider.
Ultimately, there is no evidence that energy or matter are coming into the Universe—hence the existence of the First Law of Thermodynamics. So the Universe could not be eternal. If one believes anyway that it is, he is doing so against the scientific evidence. Since he is drawing conclusions not warranted by the evidence, he is being irrational (Ruby, 1960, pp. 130-131). In short, he has a “blind faith.”
Cowen, Ron (2015), “Gravitational Waves Discovery Now Officially Dead,” Nature.com, January 30, http://www.nature.com/news/gravitational-waves-discovery-now-officially-dead-1.16830.
Ghose, Tia (2015), “Big Bang, Deflated? Universe May Have Had No Beginning,” LiveScience, February 26, http://www.livescience.com/49958-theory-no-big-bang.html.
Jastrow, Robert (1978), God and the Astronomers (New York: W.W. Norton).
McKee, Maggie (2015), “Big Bang Discovery Crumbles to Dust,” New Scientist, 225:10, February 7.
Miller, Jeff (2013), Science vs. Evolution (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Miller, Jeff (2014), “Was the Big Bang Just Proven by Astronomers?” Reason & Revelation, 34:81-83, June, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1156.
Miller, Jeff (2015), “Big Bang Inflation Evidence Officially Bites the Dust,” Reason & Revelation, 35:62-65.
Ruby, Lionel (1960), Logic: An Introduction (Chicago, IL: J.B. Lippincott).
Spencer, Herbert (1882), First Principles: A System of Synthetic Philosophy (New York: D. Appleton & Company), fourth edition.
Steinhardt, Paul (2014), “Big Bang Blunder Bursts the Multiverse Bubble,” Nature, 510:9, June 5.
Zyga, Lisa (2015), “No Big Bang? Quantum Equation Predicts Universe Has No Beginning,” Phys.org, February 9, http://phys.org/news/2015-02-big-quantum-equation-universe.html.