God and the Origins of the Universe
Some of the strongest general revelation comes from what is known from cosmology. Philosophers and scientists have long observed, and rightly so, that things in the nature are the result of causal chains. These thinkers deduced that there has to be and ultimate, first cause because circular causation and infinite causal chains are impossible. This first cause, they surmised is uncaused, and the only such entity with such a distinction is none other than God. These arguments form class of arguments is called “cosmological” arguments. William Lange Craig has championed a formalized version called the “Kalam Cosmological Argument” that encapsulates cosmological arguments. The argument is quite simple:
- That which begins to exist has a cause.
- The universe began to exist.
- The universe has a cause.
While the argument itself isn’t too controversial, one of the most hotly debated implications this arguments has is to what exactly caused to the universe. Craig argues that natural laws cannot account for the cause, so the cause must be a personal agent (i.e. God). On the other hand, scientists like Stephen Hawkings in The Grand Design and Lawrence Krauss in A Universe from Nothing suppose that God wasn’t necessary for the universe to exist. They essentially says that the universe came from “nothing”. But this is a little disingenuous because all they are really doing is redefining what we mean by “nothing”. What they are calling “nothing” is a vacuum filled with space but has no quanta, the basic building blocks of matter and energy. According to the proposed explanation that lies in string theory and m-theory is that there are extra dimensions that interact with the observed universe such that some things appear to come into existence and then disappear out of existence. So there is actually something – a vacuum of space and other dimensions.
Another common objection is to say to speak of a “beginning” of the universe is nonsensical because time did not exist when the universe came into being. But this is just another game with words. James Sinclair, who substantiates Craig’s Kalam Argument, explains that beginning is not necessarily temporal, rather ordinal. The universe in its early state may have existed timeless singularity, but that says nothing about its cause, nor does it imply that it doesn’t have a cause.