Origin: How Did We Get Here?

Where did we come from? Better yet…where did everything come from? These are some of the most important questions that many don’t seem to be thinking about. In a culture such as ours, most have been socialized to accept the “scientific explanation” that we arrived here by chance through natural processes, with no real purpose in mind. Yet for those who care to survey all the evidence, we can see the debate is far from settled and that, in fact, the “scientific” crowd has some explaining to do.

When it comes to the question of origins, the first piece of the puzzle, reality, is stuff. Stuff exists. All kinds of stuff. Where did it come from? Why is there something rather than nothing? Back in the early part of the 1900s it was a commonly held belief among scientists that the universe was eternal. It had existed forever. With this “fact” seemingly well established, those who held onto the belief that God had created the world from nothing were left to cling to this belief, despite what seemed to be overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Then something changed. More and more evidence began to pour in showing that the universe had had a beginning. Einstein’s theory of relativity showed that time, space, and matter were relative to each other and they had to have had a beginning at a single point in the past—before there was time, space, or matter. The Second Law of Thermodynamics proved that the amount of usable energy in the universe was running down. In other words, the universe is like a car running out of gas. If it were infinite, it would not be running out of energy—which it is. The background radiation was discovered from the Big Bang, and Edwin Hubble observed that the universe was expanding at a constant rate, which means if we go back in time, it would be contracting to a single point—when there was nothing. In other words, the universe had a beginning.

And so we find ourselves in a dilemma—either something caused the universe to come into existence, or nothing did. Saying the universe was caused by nothing is not a very good explanation, primarily because it is nonsense. Yet this is exactly what an atheist believes. The existence and beginning of the universe is a big piece of the worldview puzzle, and those who try to explain the beginning of the universe without God are forced to take the wildly irrational position that it was caused by nothing.

The Christian Worldview however, is able to take the rational position on this question. We have always believed thatsomething created the universe, and that something has a name – God. Science showed that time, space, and matter had a beginning and whatever caused those things to come into existence must be timeless, spaceless, immaterial, and obviously very powerful.

This cause would also need to be personal, in order to choose to convert a state of nothingness into what we now inhabit [earth]. An impersonal force, like gravity, just exists. It does not make choices. For example, Pantheists [like Hindus], believe that God is an impersonal force that has existed eternally. This “truth” fits no better in their worldview than it did for the atheists. As for the Christian worldview, we simply open our Bibles and point to the very first verse in the Bible that states: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).

All that being said, it doesn’t stop there. What came into existence was not just a random bunch of particles, but an extremely fine-tuned system. Over 100 constants— like the speed of light, the rate of expansion of the universe, and the force of gravity—are so fine-tuned that an infinitesimal change in just one of them would make life in the universe impossible.

To visualise this picture, think about how many controls are necessary for people to live inside a space shuttle. It isprecisely designed by top engineers and scientists in the world, to make sure the astronauts stay alive. In contrast, the universe is more fine-tuned than any space shuttle to support life. So, the logical inference would not be that this precision emerged from nothing by accident, but rather that it was designed that way. This inference adds the necessary condition that whatever caused the universe to come into existence must be timeless, spaceless, immaterial, extremely powerful, personal, and extremely intelligent. Sounds a lot more like God than “nothing” to me.

The inference to a designer; however, can be pressed even further than this. All the precision that made life in the universe possible is one thing. The cause necessary to make life actual is another thing altogether. When the theory of evolution was first introduced, scientists had little to no knowledge of what kind of complexity existed within every living cell. It was quickly assumed that, given enough time, the first life must have emerged through natural processes. As our knowledge of living cells increased, it became undeniable that the emergence of life from non-life was nothing short of a miracle. To say life emerged by chance is like saying a tornado going through a junkyard could create a jumbo jet. The reality is that the best scientists in the best labs in the world cannot create life from non-life.

As Christians we are now, more than ever, able to demonstrate what we have been claiming since the beginning; that the cause and creator of everything is God, and no other explanation seems adequate. This is not a God-of-the-gaps explanation. We are not saying, “We don’t know what happened, therefore God did it.” We are saying that whenever we encounter the type of complexity and information we see when we observe the world around us, the only adequate and logical conclusion to draw is that an intelligent designer made it happen. In other words, the more we know, the more visible God becomes.

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