Most readers will know Kramer from Seinfeld – one of the most memorable characters ever on television – ‘Cosmo’ Kramer. For some, the name makes them think ‘cosmology’. If that’s considered a bit on the ‘geeky’ side, so be it.
Seinfeld was supposed to be a show ‘about nothing’. Anyone who’s watched one of the 180 episodes has to agree that though they may have been about nothing important, they were still about something: close-talkers, soup Nazis, double-dippers, re-gifters, and 176 other similar ‘somethings‘. Putting together a TV show about nothing is impossible – sort of contradiction in terms.
Just as I think Seinfeld is actually ‘about something’, I also believe the universe must have been created ‘by something’. Some believe that the universe just ‘popped’ into Berita Sains, uncaused, from ‘nothing’ – Others definitely do not agree that this is a logical possibility.
If something cannot ‘pop’ into being from nothing, the universe either existed eternally or something caused its existence. There is no other alternative.
The cosmological argument goes like this:
1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2) The universe began to exist.
3) Therefore, the universe has a cause.
If you do not believe premise one, then not much can really be said that will interest you. Arguments are based on logic and rationality and something ‘popping’ into being out of absolutely nothing without a cause behind it doesn’t make logical sense.
If the universe appearing un-caused is possible, then there’s nothing to say that it isn’t possible for an elephant to ‘pop’ into being before your eyes in your front yard, for example. If the universe can pop into being, then the elephant scenario shouldn’t surprise you…maybe it wouldn’t hurt to keep a large pooper-scooper on hand just in case.
Premise two is where most of the arguments against a cause for the universe stem from.
Did the universe really have a beginning?
Discussions regarding some of the logical/philosophical issues that show the universe must have had a beginning can be found elsewhere.
There is also overwhelming evidence from science that the universe had a beginning. Whether or not you like the term ‘Big Bang’ or agree on how it happened, there was some kind of beginning. The expansion of the universe, background radiation/red shift, the second law of thermodynamics – all confirm a universe that has a beginning. There are many debates on how and when, but most serious scientists agree that the universe ‘began’.
There have been many cosmological models come in and out of fashion to try to get around a beginning point of the universe. These include the steady state model, oscillating models with continuous expansion and contraction, quantum models, string theory, amongst others, but these have been refuted by the scientific community.
Dr. William Craig discusses these in detail in his article The Ultimate Question of Origins: God and the Beginning of the Universe.
If you are well versed in physics and mathematics, three scientists, Borde, Guth and Velenkin may be of interest. they have developed a theory (with calculations) that proves the necessity of the beginning of the universe. Their work has so far been able to refute all theories that deny a beginning for the universe. You can find more about them on Wikipedia or through a Google search.
A beginning point of the universe does nothing to prove that the ‘Christian God’ exists. It does, however, indicate that something had to already exist before the universe, time, and space were created. What that something is would be the important question.
If it is a personal being, and there are good reasons to believe it is, it would make sense to find out all you can about that being. It could have huge implications for the meaning and purpose of life.