God’s Not Dead, Chapter 4 – Could the Universe Pop into Existence (pt46)
COULD THE UNIVERSE POP INTO EXISTENCE?
The author quotes Stephen Hawking from his book The Grand Design about the possibility that the universe could have popped into existence ex nihilo. “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.” As I have mentioned already Hawking speaks of quantum mechanics that allows particles to pop in and out of existence.
This is in contrast to Newton’s laws of physics, which assert that objects were set in motion because they were influenced by other objects.
I’m not absolutely positive about this but pretty sure Newton’s laws break down and are not relevant at the quantum levels. The author surely knows this and knowingly omits the information from this book. Also, Occam’s razor comes in again.
To the average observer, it seems as if the discussion is over.
Definitely not. Theoretical physicists like Hawking are not done with their theories. They aren’t done examining and understanding. The answer may still change, the discussion is not over.
If science shows that everything could simply pop into existence without apparent cause, then God as a needed First Cause is rendered unnecessary.
Unnecessary? Yes. Completely proven false? No.
However, in their rush to eliminate the need for causality, atheist scientists fail to mention that without the laws of nature, nothing would take place at all.
A thought experiment. Imagine the theory of quantum mechanics accurately explains the creation of the universe. Imagine dozens, hundreds, even thousands of universes popping into and out of existence. The laws of nature different in each instance. Who would question the laws of nature being correct if a universe emerged that couldn’t support life?
No one. The only iteration of the universe that can question the laws of the universe’s “fine tuning” are the ones that support life. We don’t know, nor can we likely ever know how many times the universe has come into existence without the “fine tuning”.
The author fails at analogizing the laws of nature to the Wizard from OZ. ‘Pay no attention to those laws behind the curtain.’ The laws are not problematic to my position, as I explained above.
The world consists of things, which obey rules.
So where did the laws of physics come from? They must be assumed in order for particles to pop into existence.
Actually, that is a bit backwards. When thinking about the “laws of nature” you must change the way you think about some words. Gravity isn’t simply a law that must be followed. It is a scientific theory that most accurately describes the way particles in our universe attract each other. If at some point in the future we find out that some particle or other didn’t act that same way the theory (law) would be changed. The “laws” aren’t unchangeable facts about the universe. With sufficient evidence for a law breaker, the law is adapted to fit the new information. All that said it is very unlikely that the Theory of Gravity will be changed very much, only slightly adapted, but think back to Newton.
Newton may have had that apple fall on his head that gave him the idea of gravity but he had no idea of super massive black holes that could bend or even trap light. The law of gravity was formed before some information was available, it wasn’t an immutable law of nature then because since we have found things like Hawking radiation that escapes black holes. Science is adaptive, you mustn’t think of the laws as set in stone as the author is alluding. The laws don’t direct the actions of the universe, they only explain those actions in terms that we can understand.