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The Existence of the Universe is Impossible

Updated on October 28, 2017
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Anna is a pastor, writer, and theologian. She obtained her BA in religion in 2006, Diploma of Ministry in 2016, and Diploma of Divinity 2017

The science

Exciting things are happening at CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, or European Council for Nuclear Research). For decades now, physicists and engineers have studied the structure of the universe and the laws of nature using the largest and most complex scientific instruments in the world. The main focal point of their investigation is the origin of the universe. The most commonly held theory of the universe, to this point, is the hypothesis of the Big Bang. In 1927, Belgian astronomer, mathematician, physician, and Catholic priest, George Lemaître built on Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity and found that the universe was expanding. This contradicted Einstein‘s theory, and the most widely believed notion, of a static universe. In 1929 Edwin Hubble independently confirmed that the galaxies were very quickly moving away from us. From that discovery, four years later, Lemaître used that information to first conceive the theory of the Big Bang.

Put simply, the Big Bang is the idea that if the universe is expanding, as Hubble confirmed, then, logically, it must be expanding from somewhere. Moreover, one must further conclude that there was an origin for this expansion. By then following the universe all the way back to the starting point one would arrive at what would be what Lemaître dubbed the ‘superatom.’ He postulated that this superatom exploded and hurled matter in all directions, thereby creating the known universe.

Back in the present, researchers at CERN have been designing models of the conditions of the universe in the moments immediately succeeding the Big Bang and what they found has them puzzled: we shouldn’t be here. According to the world’s finest scientific minds, the most advanced research technology on the planet, and the most accurate models on earth; the entire universe should not exist. By all accounts, according to their models, the universe should have imploded only microseconds after its creation.

Immediately following the Big Bang, the universe experienced cosmic inflation, which would have created convulsions, which then would cause the collapse of the universe. But that didn’t happen. In addition, recent models suggest that in the beginning there was both matter and anti-matter, each existing in equal quantities. By all accounts, the two should have completely obliterated each other. Yet again, that didn’t happen. A fact we know quite well because we’re all here, leaving scientists pondering, desperately looking for some explanation.

This ‘God of the gaps’ theology neatly cleaned up any discrepancies in scientific understanding and Christians took it as proof that God existed.

God of the gaps

And of course, there is an explanation. I don’t subscribe to the idea that we’re all here without rhyme or reason. Somewhere out there lies the missing piece to the puzzle, someone just has to find it. Scientists are currently exploring different alternatives, but so far, each new theory further confirms what the model has previously shown; it’s not scientifically possible for the universe to exist. In the past, when science was still in its infancy and known only as ‘natural philosophy,’ the early philosophers would fill in any gap in scientific knowledge by claiming that it was of God. This ‘God of the gaps’ theology neatly cleaned up any discrepancies in scientific understanding and Christians took it as proof that God existed.

The problem of course, is that as science began to understand more and more, the gaps increasingly shrunk leaving no room for God. Within the framework of theology, it removes God from the role of creator of the universe, and assumes scientific observations will eliminate God entirely. Any deity powerful enough to create a universe ex nihilo shouldn’t be confined to mere gaps. Additionally, within the confines of scientific reason, it erroneously assumes that any scientific missing link will forever remain missing, an idea that is pessimistic, and thankfully, untrue.

The God of all creation wants us to unlock His secrets. He’s planted clues here and there, and ever so slowly, we’re beginning to discover them.

The God behind it all

It may be enough for some people to know that we exist on this earth, with or without further explanation. Other people may look at the evidence, see the impossibility of our being, and conclude that “God did it” and that may be enough for them. For the rest, they seek answers. It is innate within us to wish to learn. Neurobiologist Jaak Panksepp refers to this as “seeking behavior” and it is one of the seven core emotions of mammals and birds. Seeking prompts one to explore, investigate, and make sense of their own environment. It’s a pleasurable emotion linked to curiosity and anticipation. It provides humans and other animals with the drive to achieve their goals; whether that goal is chasing a squirrel, building a nest, or buying a fancy car. Deep down in the deepest recesses of our DNA is a drive to learn and understand the world, the universe, and our place therein.

Why does a sparrow have wings if not to fly? Why does a dog have an enlarged olfactory bulb if not to sniff? Why do humans have comparatively large and complex brains if we weren’t meant to use them? God created the entire universe. He made the earth habitable for life, while Jupiter, Mercury, and Alpha Centauri are inhospitable environments. Over time He has revealed secrets of the galaxies and the earth. Through carbon dating we can approximate that a fossil is 35,000 years old. By observing everyday phenomena, Newton discovered the theory of gravity. Oceanologists are exploring the depths of the sea, while astronomers are discovering the furthest reaches of space. Just this summer, the Cassini spacecraft crashed into Saturn sharing with us some of the most grand mysteries of the gas giant. We’re constantly learning new information all the time.

We want to learn and discover our place in the universe, that desire was created within us all. The God of all creation wants us to unlock His secrets. He’s planted clues here and there, and ever so slowly, we’re beginning to discover them. Right now, science is observing the evidence and reaching the conclusion that our existence is impossible. Yet here we are. God created the entire universe and eventually, he’ll reveal how it came about. Some of the smartest minds on the planet are dedicating their lives to finding the answer. They may not find out in this lifetime; but they’re standing on the shoulders of giants and expanding the base for the next generation of scientists to unlock the secrets of the universe. Our sheer existence may not be possible, but with God, all things are possible.

© 2017 Anna Watson

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