Limitations of atheistic creation stories
Approximately 15 million Indians have been made redundant in the economic slowdown during the coronavirus pandemic. The majority of these are women who were doing low-skilled work. In a similar way, is God unnecessary because science can now explain all we need to know about the universe?
The big-bang model and the theory of biological evolution are atheistic creation stories. They assume there is no divine influence by ruling out the supernatural. So it is often assumed that they do away with the need for a God. But we will see that these theories explain less than what most people think. They have not made God redundant.
The big bang model of the universe
According to the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), “The big bang is how astronomers explain the way the universe began. It is the idea that the universe began as just a single point, then expanded and stretched to grow as large as it is right now—and it is still stretching!” (see Appendix A). They also say, “It’s a theory of the origin and evolution of the universe”.
“The big Bang model describes how the universe expanded from an initial state of high density and temperature. After its initial expansion, the universe cooled sufficiently to allow the formation of subatomic particles, and later atoms.”
“The theory depends on two major assumptions: the universality of physical laws (but where did these come from?) and the cosmological principle.” The cosmological principle says that on large scales the universe is homogenous (the same in all locations) and isotropic (the same in all directions).
“It is beyond the realm of the big bang model to say what gave rise to the big bang. There are a number of speculative theories about this topic, but none of them make realistically testable predictions as of yet.”
“Cosmologists classify matter into four types: radiation, ordinary matter, dark matter and dark energy.” By the way, dark matter and dark energy are hypothetical in the sense that they have never been observed directly!
Essential precursors of the big bang model
As mentioned above in italics, this model doesn’t explain what caused the big bang. And the big bang doesn’t explain the origin of space, the origin of energy/matter, the origin of the laws of nature/science (physics and chemistry), or the origin of the laws of mathematics. These are all precursors or presuppositions on which this model depends.
So the big bang model doesn’t explain the origin of the universe or the origin of the laws that govern the universe!
The theory of biological evolution on earth
According to the American Museum of Natural History “the theory of evolution explains why so many plants and animals—some very similar and some very different—exist on earth now and in the past, as revealed by the fossil record”. They say that “Charles Darwin offered the world a single, simple scientific explanation for the diversity of life on Earth: evolution by natural selection”.
According to National Geographic, “Natural selection is sometimes summed up as ‘survival of the fittest’ because the ‘fittest’ organisms—those most suited to their environment—are the ones that reproduce most successfully and are most likely to pass on their traits to the next generation”.
According to the Natural History Museum in London, “In Darwin and Wallace’s time, most believed that organisms were too complex to have natural origins and must have been designed by a transcendent God. Natural selection, however, states that even the most complex organisms occur by totally natural processes.” A researcher at the Museum says, “It’s not that biologists don’t understand that organisms are complex and functional, and it does seem almost miraculous that they exist. We realise that, but we think we’ve found another way of explaining it.”
In natural selection, genetic mutations that are beneficial to an individual’s survival are passed on through reproduction. This results in a new generation of organisms that are more likely to survive to reproduce. But the examples of natural selection given by the museum were the length of a giraffe’s neck, the different color of peppered moths, the many species of beetles and the shape of the beaks of finches. It’s a big extrapolation from these small variations within species to explaining why there are so many different plants and animals on earth via the huge variations between them!
Essential precursors of the theory of biological evolution
The theory of evolution presupposes the existence of life, reproduction of life, the process of natural selection and the existent of a natural environment that will sustain life. It doesn’t explain the origin of a universe fine-tuned for life, the origin of the cell, the origin of multicellularity, the origin of life, the origin of sex, the origin of reproduction or the origin of the genetic code. These are all precursors or presuppositions on which this theory depends.
Researchers have been trying to create artificial cells for more than 20 years. They are attempting to replace the DNA in an organism with synthetic DNA. But they say, “Life is still a black box”. So it takes a tremendous amount of intelligence to create life. It’s not possible via random processes alone.
The origin of the genetic code is actually a huge problem that is glossed over. Indeed, DNA is only useful if it is translated, but the translation machinery is itself encoded in the DNA. This is a vicious circle!
So the theory of biological evolution doesn’t explain the origin of life or the origin of information!
What science can’t explain
The big-bang model and the theory of biological don’t explain everything (see schematic diagram). As we have shown above, these theories do not explain the origin of:
– the laws of logic (reasoning)
– the laws of science (physics and chemistry)
– the laws of mathematics
– a universe fine-tuned for life
– the cell,
– sex (or gender; who “evolved” first, male or female?)
– reproduction, and
– the genetic code.
Without these presuppositions, the big bang model and the theory of biological evolution could never begin to operate. If current science can’t answer these big questions, how can they be answered?
The big questions involve:
– the creation of something from nothing
– the creation of information, and
– the creation of complexity
Stephen Hawking said that the universe created itself “because there is a law such as gravity”. He thought that the “big bang” was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics. It has been said that “The big bang could’ve occurred as a result of just the laws of physics being there”. Hawking believes that “the laws of nature are fixed” or eternal. They were his god. But where did the law of gravity and the laws of quantum mechanics and the laws of physics come from?
Laws describe how nature works; they don’t cause things to happen. Laws are descriptive, not prescriptive.
According to the big bang model, the universe had a beginning. It is not eternal. This means that it had a cause (Appendix B). This leaves two options: there is a creator who always existed or that something came from nothing. But things can’t spontaneously occur without cause.
The basic problem is that something can’t create itself. For the universe to create itself, it would first have to exist. But that would mean the universe would have to exist and not exist at the same time in the same respect, which breaks the law of noncontradiction – a strict rule of logic.
The thing which creates the universe must exist in the instant prior to creation in order to create. While the universe, to be created, must not exist in the instant prior to creation in order that it may be created. So the universe cannot create itself.
What would be a sufficient cause to create everything in the universe from nothing? It must be outside time, space and energy/matter and the laws of science. It must be powerful and be able to fine-tune the universe to be able to sustain life. And have an intelligent mind to be able to create complexity and information (like in DNA).
That sounds like the God of the Bible to me. He is uncreated and eternal, “Before the mountains were born or you [God] brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Ps. 90:2NIV).
So science points to a pre-existent Creator and Designer who provided the raw materials and laws of science upon which science depends.
The big-bang model and the theory of biological evolution have not made God redundant because they can’t explain the origin of many key aspects of the universe.
The big bang model doesn’t explain the origin of the universe or the origin of the laws that govern the universe. And the theory of biological evolution doesn’t explain the origin of life or the origin of information.
Only a creator like the God of the Bible can explain these essential beginnings that science cannot explain.
Appendix A: The big bang according to NASA
“In 1927, an astronomer named Georges Lemaître had a big idea. He said that a very long time ago, the universe started as just a single point. He said the universe stretched and expanded to get as big as it is now, and that it could keep on stretching.”
“Just two years later, an astronomer named Edwin Hubble noticed that other galaxies were moving away from us. And that’s not all. The farthest galaxies were moving faster than the ones close to us.”
“This meant that the universe was still expanding, just like Lemaître thought. If things were moving apart, it meant that long ago, everything had been close together (by the way, this is an inference, not necessarily a fact).”
“When the universe began, it was just hot, tiny particles mixed with light and energy (but where did this mass, light and energy come from?). It was nothing like what we see now. As everything expanded and took up more space, it cooled down.”
“The tiny particles grouped together. They formed atoms. Then those atoms grouped together. Over lots of time, atoms came together to form stars and galaxies.”
“The first stars created bigger atoms and groups of atoms. That led to more stars being born. At the same time, galaxies were crashing and grouping together. As new stars were being born and dying, then things like asteroids, comets, planets, and black holes formed!”
“How long did all of this take? Well, we now know that the universe is 13.8 billion years old. That is a very long time.”
That’s a lot of inferences drawn from the fact that the universe seems to be expanding. The big bang model has been “patched up” over time to make it more realistic by adding the hypothetical concepts of dark matter, dark energy and cosmic inflation. This adjustment was huge as 70% of the universe is said to be dark energy, 25% dark matter and only 5% ordinary matter! So atheistic scientists believe that 95% of the universe is hypothetical!
Appendix B: Why everything that begins to exist has a cause
According to William Lane Craig (Objections to the Kalam Cosmological Argument):
- Something cannot come from nothing. This is confirmed by common experience and scientific evidence. It’s constantly verified and never falsified.
- If something can come into being from nothing, then it becomes inexplicable why just anything or everything doesn’t come into being from nothing.
Written, August 2021