Big Bang cosmology, often referred to as the Standard Cosmological Model, demonstrates that everything we see in the universe (all space, time, and matter) had a beginning and came from nothing. If this is true, the first cause of the universe must itself be non-spatial, a-temporal, and immaterial.
[…]There are two kinds of forces in the universe: personal forces and impersonal forces. Impersonal forces, like the force of gravity, have no choice about how they affect their environment. They enter, their effect is realized. Imagine a gravity free room in which everything is simply floating in midair. Now introduce the impersonal force of gravity. What happens? We would expect the effect of gravity to be felt immediately. The instant gravity enters this room every object will be drawn to the floor. Impersonal forces cannot decide when to act; if they are present, their effect is felt. This truth has a great impact on the way we understand the first cause of the universe.
If the cause of the universe is an impersonal force, its effect (the appearance of everything from nothing) would be realized the instant the force was present. If that were the case, the first cause of the universe could be no older than the universe itself. The appearance of the cause (the impersonal force) and its effect (the creation of space, time and matter) would be simultaneous events; one would be no older than the other. But if that’s the case, we would once again find ourselves looking for what caused the first cause to appear in the first place! See the problem? The first cause of the universe must itself be uncaused and eternal in order for us to avoid the illogical and endless pursuit of a prior cause. Unless we are willing to accept the irrational premise that the cause of the universe is itself only as old as the universe itself, we are going to have to admit that this cause cannot be an impersonal force. The cause of the universe had the ability to decide to bring the universe into existence, and the ability to decide is an attribute of personhood.
The rest of the post takes a look at what can be deduced about the cause of the universe from the effect: the creation of the universe according to what science tells us.
This is a straightforward argument. We start with science. Science tells us what happened at the beginning of the universe. And then we ask ourselves what kind of cause can account for the effect that science detected. If you limit yourself to pure logic and pure experimental science, then there is one possible explanation: a supernatural cause brought the entire physical universe into being. All attempts to evade what good science tells us about the universe takes one of two forms; 1) speculating about unobservable, untestable entities or 2) hoping that all the good science we have today will be overturned tomorrow by different science. Those are the 3 options: God, speculation without evidence or speculation without evidence.
- William Lane Craig lectures against naturalism at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland
- William Lane Craig lectures on naturalistic alternatives to the Big Bang
- William Lane Craig debates Peter Millican on the existence of God
- Physicist Michael Strauss discusses Christianity and science at Stanford University
- Three ways that the progress of science conflicts with naturalistic speculations
- Henry F. Schaefer: Stephen Hawking, the Big Bang and God
- Stephen C. Meyer: does the Big Bang cosmology support God or atheism?
- What conditions support the minimum requirements for complex life?
- William Lane Craig debates Lawrence Krauss: Does God Exist?
- Lawrence Krauss debates “A Universe From Nothing” with an astrophysicist
- William Lane Craig debates Victor Stenger: Does God Exist?