The Big Bang
Large-scale order in the universe is supposedly the result of the Big Bang, but the ylem was a vast soup of particles and energy at an incredibly high temperature. It was essentially chaotic. When it blew apart, the result would have been even more chaotic. The explosion could never have produced the beautifully structured universe that we see now. Matter is not distributed randomly; it is gathered mainly in stars, and these stars are clustered in galaxies, each of which has a distinctive geometric shape. Not even the galaxies are scattered at random. It has been learned that the universe is built like a sink full of soap bubbles. The galaxies are crowded together in great spherical walls surrounding vast empty spaces.
Modern theorists try to account for structure by imagining that the ylem conformed to certain restrictions—that it was lumpy, but not too lumpy, for example. But this tactic merely transfers the problem of design from the present to the beginning. Instead of having to explain why the universe we see is highly organized, we must explain why, at its very inception, it met all sorts of special conditions tending to organization.
One way that secular cosmologists try to evade the problem of design is to imagine that our universe is only one of countless universes in existence. These have supposedly come into being through some blind process that sets physical constants and characteristics in a willy-nilly fashion. As a result, most universes are unworkable monstrosities that quickly expire. But just through random variation, a universe like ours occasionally appears whose properties allow it to survive and even give birth to life. In other words, our ordered universe is a random outcome which accidentally differs from a myriad other outcomes that are more disordered.
The idea of multiple universes must still, however, reckon with the problem of design. The design characteristics of our universe are so perfect and precise that to obtain such a result by building many universes with characteristics set at random would be essentially impossible. To get it right even once would require more tries than we could calculate.
Yet suppose we imagine that the source of universes is a tireless generator with unlimited time to operate. Maybe someday this generator would make a universe like ours. But besides attaching a minute probability to this outcome, we have further strong objections to such a fanciful theory of origins.
- Where could such a generator come from? In other words, what could generate the generator? To imagine such a generator does not, therefore, resolve the mystery of origins. It merely carries the mystery back one step earlier.
- How could such a generator create whole universes and fashion them however it likes? A theory so devoid of details merits no serious consideration. It is so vague that, although wrong, it could not be falsified.
- Why should such a generator operate at random and not according to some system setting restrictions on possible outcomes? Any such system blind to the workability of its products would undermine the theory, because it would severely limit the variation in created universes, thus, in all likelihood, making an improbable result even more improbable or simply impossible. Yet any such system favoring workable products would therefore be guided by a purpose, and purpose points to a mind rather than to a mindless generator.
- Fabricating the substance of universes would not be the generator's only task. It would have to be capable of producing a universe like ours, where on a vast scale there is perfect uniformity of composition and perfect compliance with laws governing interactions. To sidestep the obvious need for an intelligent planner and creator to accomplish such a task, advocates of the multiple-universe theory suggest, as we have said before, that the generator was able, merely by some random process, to specify all the attributes and laws needed to build a coherent universe. But here we raise two objections.
- Any process of setting the characteristics of a universe would require an a priori conception of possibilities. In other words, the generator would need to be programmed with certain information: for example, that a universe is a bounded entity on a very large scale. Otherwise, a mere generator of mass-energy packets might turn out endless cupcakes. Also required would be the information that a universe should contain elementary particles subject to mutual attractions or repulsions. Otherwise, the generator might make hardly anything except huge kaleidoscopes of formless mass-energy. Among the rare exceptions might be some containing solid masses, but likely no prettier than gigantic blobs. If information was required to build a universe, the only conceivable supplier would be an intelligent planner. But if such a planner existed, why should he have bothered with awkward universes that burst like bubbles? Why should he not have aimed for one good product?
- In order to build a universe within the acceptable range of possibilities, the generator could not be a fumbling sort of mechanical busybody. It would have to meet the stringent requirements of success in its task. Thus, it would have to be carefully designed and constructed. Making the generator itself would be a marvelous feat of engineering. Engineered by what? Another mindless generator? Engineering is the work of a mind.
- The generator would somehow have to impose upon the substance of a universe like ours both initial and perpetual compliance with the original pattern. It is hard to imagine how a generator could achieve such compliance unless it had both initial and continuing power on a divine scale.
- As an attempt to explain our universe, the theory fails in another way. It is hard to imagine how a mindless machine could create a universe where there is not only matter in motion, but also thinking minds.
- Exactly what could the generator be? The usual answer today is that all things were made by chance operating upon nothingness. Nothingness is the womb of every universe. But what we call chance is simply a flow of events without purpose or pattern. In nothingness there is no flow of events. Thus, there is also no chance. Nothing is simply nothing and contains nothing that could serve as a mechanism to generate something.
Besides the difficulty in conceptualizing a generator, the idea of multiple universes raises another difficulty. Either they originate in the same generator, or they arise independently, from generators unrelated to each other. But if a cosmologist concedes that our universe came from a generator without other offspring, he loses his leverage against design, for whatever that generator was, it led unerringly to an outcome marked by great beauty of interlocking regularities. Could chance operating upon nothing be the father of such a child?
But if a cosmologist insists that multiple universes come from the same generator, he can no longer treat them as different universes. He cannot regard them as lacking any common point. To begin with, they must have been in the same system of space-time coordinates as the generator. Where are they now? It is hard to imagine that they could have strayed into wholly nonintersecting realms. Whether they lie nestled in the matrix of our universe or float afar off, there is no reason to suppose that they are sealed against detection. So, until we find them, there is no reason to believe they exist.
Against this conclusion someone might argue that he can in fact imagine universes perfectly isolated from each other, with no space-time bridge between. Yet such a notion unravels. It is meaningless to speak of a real universe that never exists when ours exists. As far as we are concerned, it does not exist. Yet to suppose that it exists while ours exists immediately creates a bridge enabling the two universes to be mapped on a common space-time coordinate system, leading to the result that they are not really different universes but estranged members of the same universe. Again we say, there is no reason to suppose that the other universe is sealed against detection. Until we find it, there is no reason to believe it exists.
One current theory that promotes the idea of multiple universes claims that the nothingness we came from has no time or space. This assertion is self-evident. Indeed, it is hard to assign any time or place to nothing. Yet the originator of the theory seems to contradict himself. He said, "Our universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time." On what time scale? Evidently, since it embraces the origin of every universe, on the time scale of the parent nothingness. The statement is not just a slip of the tongue. It is impossible to look at it any other way. If the same nothingness produces multiple universes, we can view them as different only by thinking of them as appearing at different times or places on the same space-time coordinate system.
When we understand that the Creator of our universe could have owned no less sophistication than necessary for producing the intricate design displayed everywhere around us, and no less power than necessary for implementing and sustaining that design forever, we come to the conclusion that the worlds were made by God.
© 2007, 2012 Stanley Edgar Rickard (Ed Rickard, the author). All rights reserved.