Atheism and the origin of the universe

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Atheist Stephen Hawking asserted: "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing".[1]

Although many atheists indicate that they do not know how the universe came into being, some prominent atheists claim that the universe came into existence from nothing.[2][3] See also: Atheism and beliefs and Atheist worldview

Jonathan Sarfati wrote about atheist Stephen Hawking claiming the universe came from nothing: "However, logic doesn’t seem to be his strong point; ‘self-creation’ is self-contradictory. Something can do something — including create—only if it exists; something not yet existing has no power to do anything, including create itself."[4]

The steady state theory, which posited an eternal universe, was formerly advocated by atheist cosmologists, but it has fallen into disfavor.

Prominent atheists claiming the universe came from nothing

See also: Atheism and the supernatural

Atheist Stephen Hawking claims: "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing".[5] Hawking further claims that the universe “popped into existence without violating the known laws of Nature".[6]

Atheist Victor J. Stenger wrote: "Assuming the universe came from nothing, it is empty to begin with…".[7]

The atheist philosopher Quinton Smith indicated “the most reasonable belief is that we came from nothing, by nothing, and for nothing."[8]

Wayne Jackson wrote at the Christian Courier regarding Victor J. Stenger's hypothesis that the universe came from nothing:

First, in defiance of one of the most elementary principles of logic, the atheist suggests that “something” (e.g., the Universe) came from “nothing;” that zero plus zero equals something greater than zero.

Victor Stenger, an atheistic professor at the University of Hawaii, admits that “everyday experience and common sense” supports the concept that something cannot come from nothing. Nevertheless, he suggests that “common sense is often wrong, and our normal experiences are but a tiny fraction of reality” (26-27). If you want to be an atheist, you must put your “common sense” on the shelf![9]

The 1st and 2nd law of thermodynamics and the universe having a beginning

According to Ohio State University professor Patrick Woodward, the First Law of Thermodynamics "simply states that energy can be neither created nor destroyed (conservation of energy)."[10]

The Christian apologetics website Why believe in God? declares about the Second Law of Thermodynamics:

The second law of thermodynamics, or the law of increased entropy, says that over time, everything breaks down and tends towards disorder - entropy! Entropy is the amount of UNusable energy in any systems; that system could be the earth's environment or the universe itself. The more entropy there is, the more disorganisation and chaos.

Therefore, if no outside force is adding energy to an isolated system to help renew it, it will eventually burn out (heat death). This can be applied to a sun as well as a cup of tea - left to themselves, both will grow cold. You can heat up a cold tea, you cannot heat up a cold sun. NOTE: when a hot tea in an air tight room goes cold (loses all it's energy) not only do we NOT expect the process to reverse by natural causes (ie. the tea will get hot again), but both room temp and tea temp will be equal. Keep that in mind as you read the next paragraph.

Look at it like this, because the energy in the universe is finite and no new energy is being added to it (1st law), and because the energy is being used up (2nd law), the universe cannot be infinite. If our universe was infinite but was using up a finite supply of energy, it would have suffered 'heat death' a long time ago! If the universe was infinite all radioactive atoms would have decayed and the universe would be the same temperature with no hot spots, no bright burning stars. Since this is not true, the universe must have begun a finite time ago.[11]

Thus, the First Law of Thermodynamics and the Second Law of Thermodynamics point to the universe having a beginning.[12]

Theistic implications of the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics

In the articles below, theists point out that the First Law of Thermodynamics and the Second Law of Thermodynamics point to the universe having a divine origin:

Abrahamic religions, the eternal nature of God and a common atheist misunderstanding

evolutionary theory opponent
Jonathan Sarfati wrote about the eternal nature of God and the question "If God created the universe, then who created God?": "A number of sceptics ask this question. But God by definition is the uncreated creator of the universe, so the question ‘Who created God?’ is illogical, just like ‘To whom is the bachelor married?’".[13]

The Abrahamic religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam maintain that God, who is eternal, supernaturally created the universe. The physicist Gordon Van Whyden wrote in his book Thermodynamics: "The author has found that the 2nd law tends to increase his conviction that there is a creator who has the answer for the future destiny of man and the universe."[14]

A classic argument for the existence of God is the cosmological argument. According to the cosmological argument, every event in our universe necessarily has a cause. However, it is impossible that there should be an unending chain of causes going back. Therefore, there necessarily must be a cause distinct from the universe as we know it which is capable of causing all things and is itself uncaused. Atheism denies that that first cause is God.

The Kalam cosmological argument is a modern formulation of the cosmological argument which rooted in the Ilm al-Kalam heritage within medieval Islamic scholasticism.

Christians point out that the question "Who created God", which is often posed by atheists, is an illogical question.[15][16][17]

Jonathan Sarfati wrote about the eternal nature of God and the question "If God created the universe, then who created God?": "A number of sceptics ask this question. But God by definition is the uncreated creator of the universe, so the question ‘Who created God?’ is illogical, just like ‘To whom is the bachelor married?’".[18]

Many atheists do not have a firm understanding of theology, so they may be unaware of the eternal nature of God which is a part of Christian, Jewish and Islamic theology.

Lawrence Kraus, the origin of the universe and the fallacy of equivocation

See also: Atheism and equivocation

David Darling in the science magazine New Scientists wrote:

What is a big deal - the biggest deal of all - is how you get something out of nothing! Don't let the cosmologists try to kid you on this one. They have not got a clue either... 'In the beginning,' they will say, 'there was nothing - no time, space, matter or energy. Then there was a quantum fluctuation from which...' Whoa! Stop right there. You see what I mean? First there is nothing, then there is something. And the cosmologists try to bridge the two with a quantum flutter... Then they are away and before you know it, they have pulled a hundred billion galaxies out of their quantum hats.[19]
Atheist Lawrence Krauss speaking at an American Atheists conference.

The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministy (CARM) points out that the atheist Lawrence Krauss uses the logical fallacy of equivocation in his failed attempt to explain the origin of the universe.

CARM declares:

But I have a bone to pick with Dr. Krauss about his latest book, A Universe from Nothing, which has the subtitle Why there is something rather than nothing? Those having taken an intro to philosophy class will recognize that Krauss’ subtitle is a rendition of the most basic philosophical question of existence, which has been attributed to truth seekers such as Gottfried Leibniz who asked, “Why do we have something rather than nothing at all?”....

You would think that by the title of Krauss’ book he answers the question that Leibniz posed, but he doesn’t. Instead, he redefines what ‘nothing’ is. ‘Nothing’ to Dr. Krauss would be empty space or the quantum vacuum....

Dictionary.com defines ‘nothing’ as:

1. no thing; not anything; naught: to say nothing. 2. no part, share, or trace (usually followed by of ): The house showed nothing of its former magnificence. 3. something that is nonexistent. 4. nonexistence; nothingness: The sound faded to nothing.

But, I think the best definition of ‘nothing’ is Aristotle’s: “Nothing is what rocks dream about.”

Why does Krauss attempt to redefine ‘nothing’? Because Krauss is an atheist and a fairly acerbic one at that. He not only doesn’t believe in God but also doesn’t like God. Here is the problem Krauss faces: If nothing is really nothing and we have something (the universe) from a real nothing, then it points to the universe having a beginning. And as Stephen Hawking has observed, “Many people do not like the idea that time has a beginning, probably because it smacks of divine intervention.”

The problem is that empty space and/or the quantum vacuum aren’t nothing; they’re something. So Krauss’ book does absolutely ‘nothing’ to answer Leibniz’s question and leaves his readers no better off than they were before where the issue of the origin of the universe is concerned.

All the scientific evidence points to the universe exploding out of true nothingness, but atheists like Krauss hate this truth.[20]

The philosopher of science and physicist David Albert, in a review for The New York Times, wrote:

He complains that “some philosophers and many theologians define and redefine ‘nothing’ as not being any of the versions of nothing that scientists currently describe,” and that “now, I am told by religious critics that I cannot refer to empty space as ‘nothing,’ but rather as a ‘quantum vacuum,’ to distinguish it from the philosopher’s or theologian’s idealized ‘nothing,’ ” and he does a good deal of railing about “the intellectual bankruptcy of much of theology and some of modern philosophy.” But all there is to say about this, as far as I can see, is that Krauss is dead wrong and his religious and philosophical critics are absolutely right. Who cares what we would or would not have made a peep about a hundred years ago? We were wrong a hundred years ago. We know more now. And if what we formerly took for nothing turns out, on closer examination, to have the makings of protons and neutrons and tables and chairs and planets and solar systems and galaxies and universes in it, then it wasn’t nothing, and it couldn’t have been nothing, in the first place. And the history of science — if we understand it correctly — gives us no hint of how it might be possible to imagine otherwise.[21]

Richard Dawkins' endorsement of Krauss' book A Universe from Nothing

The new atheist and agnostic Richard Dawkins wrote about Krauss' book A Universe from Nothing, "The title means exactly what it says. And what is says is devastating."[22]

Dawkins wrote about the origin of the universe, “The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved literally out of nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.[23][24]

Christian evangelist and author Ray Comfort on nothing creating everything

In his book Nothing Created Everything, Christian evangelist Ray Comfort wrote:

AS WE HAVE seen, man cannot create a grain of sand from nothing, let alone a living, breathing entity. He can manipulate, engineer, influence, or maneuver but he cannot create a green pea, sheep, chickens, a pig, a tree, or even a flea, from nothing. Again, we know that with all of his genius, man cannot create anything from nothing. So how intellectually preposterous is it to actually believe that in the beginning nothing created everything. Atheism is off the charts in human folly. By contrast, the flat-earther is a real genius.[25]

In response to Richard Dawkins writing that the universe evolved literally out of nothing, Ray Comfort wrote:

Anyone who tries to actually justify that nothing created everything has to be insane. This is a scientific impossibility. There’s no way to say it kindly, but such thoughts show that the atheist doesn’t think, and proves the Bible right when it says that the fool has said in his heart that there is no God.”[26]

The agnostic Ron Rosenbaum on atheism and the origin of the universe

The agnostic Ron Rosenbaum wrote in Slate about atheism and the origin of the universe:

Atheists display a credulous and childlike faith, worship a certainty as yet unsupported by evidence—the certainty that they can or will be able to explain how and why the universe came into existence. (And some of them can behave as intolerantly to heretics who deviate from their unproven orthodoxy as the most unbending religious Inquisitor.)

Faced with the fundamental question: "Why is there something rather than nothing?" atheists have faith that science will tell us eventually. Most seem never to consider that it may well be a philosophic, logical impossibility for something to create itself from nothing.[27]

Ron Cermer on atheism and the origin of the universe

Ron Cermer wrote:

Science tells us that whatever begins to exist, must have a cause. Science also tells us that the universe has not existed forever. In other words, it had a cause. How can matter come into existence from nothing? That is one question that science will never be able to answer. They will forever be saying “we’re getting closer”, but they will never be able to answer how the universe came into existence. The Bible gives us the answer. We can read in Genesis 1:1 that “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” The word for “created” means “made from nothing”. He spoke, and it came into existence. This may seem fanciful or fairytale-like, but it makes more sense than any of the far-fetched theories that so-called scientists have come up with to explain the origins of the universe. To believe most of those, you have to throw out all logic and reason, and turn off your critical thinking skills. Who would you rather believe, some scientists who will live, on average, maybe 70 or so years, or the great God who was there when everything was made, and nothing was made without Him?[28]

See also

External links

References

  1. Hawking atheopathy by Jonathan Sarfati
  2. Atheists Respond to my Challenge to Put Up or Shut Up! by Dr. Don Boys
  3. “Atheists do not claim that nothing created everything.”
  4. Hawking atheopathy by Jonathan Sarfati
  5. Hawking atheopathy by Jonathan Sarfati
  6. Atheists Respond to my Challenge to Put Up or Shut Up! by Dr. Don Boys
  7. “Atheists do not claim that nothing created everything.”
  8. Atheists Respond to my Challenge to Put Up or Shut Up! by Dr. Don Boys
  9. The Folly of Atheism by Wayne Jackson
  10. 1st Law of Thermodynamics, Ohio State University, Professor Pat Woodward (teaches for the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry [1])
  11. Is the Universe Infinite? Past beliefs and implications, Why believe in God? website
  12. If God created the universe, then who created God? by Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.
  13. CAN LAWS OF SCIENCE EXPLAIN THE ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSE?
  14. Who created God by Don Batten
  15. If God created the universe, then who created God? by Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.
  16. Who created God
  17. If God created the universe, then who created God? by Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.
  18. CAN LAWS OF SCIENCE EXPLAIN THE ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSE?
  19. Lawrence Krauss and the Atheist Definition of Nothing, by Robin Schumacher, edited by Matt Slick
  20. On the Origin of Everything: ‘A Universe From Nothing,’ by Lawrence M. Krauss By DAVID ALBERT, The New York Times, MARCH 23, 2012
  21. A Universe From Someone: Against Lawrence Krauss by Peter S. Williams
  22. Atheists Respond to my Challenge to Put Up or Shut Up! by Dr. Don Boys
  23. Richard Dawkins quote
  24. Nothing Created Everything: The Scientific Impossibility of Atheistic Evolution by Ray Comfort, page 43
  25. Nothing Created Everything
  26. An Agnostic Manifesto by Ron Rosenbaum, Slate
  27. Atheism is Ignorance by Ron Cermer