When we pause to consider the origin of the universe, it’s difficult to wrap our finite minds around the infinite. Logic and a step of faith are required to accept any possible explanation for how everything came about. But in spite of ever-changing angles to old theories, our options really boil down to one of the following three scenarios. Which statement makes the most logical sense to you?
A. Before the universe began, nothing existed - and nothing created the universe out of nothing.
B. The universe has always existed in some form - going back into eternity past, with no beginning, no reason for existence, and no initial cause.
C. Before the universe began, a powerful and eternal Being existed - and that Being created the universe and everything in it.
If you’ve studied any of the evidences for the truth of the Bible or Christian faith, you’ve heard questions like this before. And most likely you’ll hear them again tomorrow night (Feb. 4th) when creationist Ken Ham debates the topic, "Is creation a viable model of origins in today's modern scientific world?" with evolutionist and TV personality, Bill Nye.
The debate is an indirect result of a short video by Nye entitled “Creationism is not appropriate for Children.” The two-and-a-half-minute YouTube clip features brash statements such as: “Your world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don't believe in evolution… If you try to ignore [evolution] your worldview just becomes crazy, just untenable, itself inconsistent.”
Of course, those of us who believe in creation couldn’t disagree more. In fact, we believe it’s more unrealistic to accept that this exceptionally complex and well-designed universe came into existence without the work of an all-powerful Creator!
Bill Nye and many others believe that science and belief in God can’t be harmonized, but again, we totally disagree. So let’s look at some simple (but logical) questions and answers to back up our stance.
Is there any scientific evidence that points to existence of a Creator?
There is plenty of scientific evidence for Creation, but we’ll just look at these basic, well-established concepts for starters:
1. The First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics.
2. The Causal Argument.
What is the First Law of Thermodynamics?
In very simple terms, this law states that the amount of energy and matter in the universe always remains constant. No new energy or matter is being created or destroyed; it simply changes form.
For example, if you burn a log in your fireplace, it may look as if “matter” (wood) is being destroyed, but it’s actually only changing forms. The potential energy of the wood changes to light and heat, while the matter of the wood changes to smoke and ashes.
So how does this relate to evidence for Creation?
Since natural processes do not create new energy or matter, logic tells us the universe must have been created by an “outside source.” Additionally, if nature cannot create simple non-living matter or energy on its own, then how could it have possibly produced any life form – not to mention extremely complex organisms?
What is the Second Law of Thermodynamics?
In very simple terms, this law states that as energy is transformed, it always degrades into less usable forms. Going along with this exchange is a natural tendency towards disorder in our universe. Natural situations do not become more orderly by themselves in the closed system of our universe, unless they have “outside help.”
Yes, there are events of increasing order, such as the building of a new car or the development of an embryo in the womb. But "outside help" is being provided in these situations. Some examples of this law at work would include:
1. If the wind blows a stack of papers off your desk, they will not land in a neat and orderly stack on the floor (or collate themselves into a more specific order!), but rather they will scatter in a disorganized fashion.
2. A brand new house, without constant upkeep / repair, will naturally become run down over time.
3. A farm will not continue to produce neat rows of bountiful crops if the farmer stops planting and tending the fields.
So how does this relate to evidence for Creation?
Atheists and evolutionists believe the world and all living species started on their own from the most basic components, and then through unguided natural processes became more and more complex over billions of years. The Second Law of Thermodynamics suggests the exact opposite should be true.
What is the Causal Argument?
The causal argument has two parts:
1. For every effect there must be a cause.
2. Every cause must always be equal to, or greater than, the effect it produces.
For example, if you see a magnificent painting on an easel, you can be sure it did not just appear, or create itself -- something must have produced it. And the producer of this painting must have been “equal to or greater” than the artwork itself. In other words, even if you placed all the correct tubes of paint and brushes next to a blank canvas and waited for years and years, the painting would still not materialize on its own. It would need a greater cause -- an artist -- to bring “life” to the artwork.
Do these scientific thoughts answer our original question about the origin of the universe?
Putting all these concepts together, does it make sense to conclude that the universe and life as we know it came into existence from nothing? Does it make sense to say that the universe has always existed -- with no initial cause, and exhibiting increasing complexity and order?
Of course Bill Nye and other atheists will put their own spin on the points we’ve discussed, but we believe these well-established scientific concepts (and others) provide clear evidence that belief in a Creator is not a blind faith -- it’s a scientifically and logically sound faith. God was the Original Cause; He was the Outside Source of the creation of new energy and matter. He was the “Outside Help” -- the Designer of complex organisms in a world that could not naturally produce them on its own.
To rephrase Bill Nye’s original quote: Your world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don't believe in God as the Creator… If you try to ignore Him, your worldview just becomes crazy, just untenable, itself inconsistent!
- Ron Reid
Remember to pray for Ken Ham and his ministry (www.answersingenesis.org) as he and his staff prepare for this important debate.
A live stream of the event will be available here. Rebroadcasts will also be available on youtube.
For more information on these and other scientific concepts, you can listen to lectures 5-12 of Dr. Dave’s course on Christian Evidences 2.