Suppose scientists wake up one day and find out that all of their calculations have been wrong—there was no Big Bang. Given the wide scope of the evidence and the ability of the theory to correctly predict so much observable phenomena, a total abandonment of the Big Bang would be extremely unlikely.
Let’s suppose that at some point in the future the Big Bang Theory is deemed wrong. Would that mean that the universe is eternal? No, for a number of reasons.
This is admitted even by atheists. Victor Stenger, a physicist who taught at the University of Hawaii, once wrote that “the universe exploded out of nothingness.” Stenger recently acknowledged that the Big Bang is looking more probable all the time. “We have to leave open the possibility that [the Big Bang] could be wrong,” he said.”
First, the Second Law of Thermodynamics (the S in SURGE) supports the Big Bang but is not dependent on it. The fact that the universe is running out of usable energy and heading toward disorder is not even up for debate. In Eddington’s words, the Second Law “holds the supreme position among the laws of nature.” It is true even if the Big Bang is not.
Second, the same can be said for Einstein’s theory of General Relativity (the E in SURGE). This theory, well verified by observation, requires a beginning to space, matter, and time whether or not it all began with a bang.
Third, there’s also scientific evidence from geology that the universe had a beginning. As many of us learned in high school chemistry, radioactive elements decay over time into other elements. For example, radioactive uranium eventually turns into lead. This means that if all uranium atoms were infinitely old, they would all be lead by now, but they are not. So the earth cannot be infinitely old.
Finally, there’s a philosophical line of evidence for the beginning of the universe. This line of evidence is so rationally inescapable that some consider it the strongest argument of all. It’s called the Kalam (from the Arabic word for “eternal”) Cosmological Argument, and it goes like this:
- An infinite number of days has no end.
- But today is the end day of history (history being a collection
of all days).
- Therefore, there were not an infinite number of days before today (i.e., time had a beginning).
Now, here’s how this proves that time had a beginning: the timeline cannot be infinite because something that is infinite has no end. Moreover, you can’t add anything to something that is infinite, but tomorrow we will add another day to our timeline. So our timeline is undeniably finite.
Let’s consider this argument from a different angle. If there were an infinite number of days before today, then today would never have arrived. But here we are! So there must have been only a finite number of days before today. In other words, even though we may not be able to see, as we look to the left, where the line begins, we know it had to begin at some point because only a finite amount of time could be passed for today to arrive. You can’t traverse an infinite number of days. Thus time must have had a beginning.
As followers of Jesus Christ we believe that Christ had come to give us life beyond this life. Supposed for a moment that we were all wrong, well we wouldn’t have lost much. However now its your turn to suppose for a moment that your life being outside of God has been a lie…Scripture states that you will lose your soul and suffer the eternal damnation. The question which remains, was it worth it?
C/f – I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, 2004 Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek
Categories: Defending the Faith