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  • Writer's pictureRick LoPresti

Out of nothing

Updated: Feb 12, 2023

There are many religious, philosophical, and scientific theories about origins. This can include the origins of the universe, man, time and space, matter and energy, information such as that in DNA, consciousness, different kinds of animals, and other things. Some ideas are called scientific theories when they are actually philosophical, hypothetical, and even more religious than scientific. Science is not the end all of knowledge for many reasons. The scientific method is designed more to disprove than prove ideas. This is supposed to prevent unsound ideas from being asserted as scientific facts. It is usually summarized as a three-step process. The first step is hypothesis. This is when a scientist proposes an idea based on observation. The second step is theory which is arrived at by testing the hypothesis through experiments and further study. The third step is fact. An idea is only supposed to be asserted as a scientific fact after it has been repeatedly tested. These tests must yield the same results to eliminate the possibility of coincidence and error. Today, theories must be documented in papers and distributed to fellow credentialed scientists for further study. This is called peer review. If fellow experts in the field agree that the criteria have been met, the idea then can be expressed as fact. Even then, there are supposed to be continual efforts and research which may or may not confirm that which they thought they had confirmed. Scientists are supposed to keep an open mind to new information and always be willing to admit that new discoveries invalidate their earlier claims to facts. Sometimes this happens and sometimes it doesn’t.

There are certain “sacred cows” in the professional scientific community that are off limits to criticism. Origins is one of those areas. The scientific community should be one of the biggest supporters of belief in God and the Bible, but sadly the opposite is largely true. There are many professional scientists in many fields that do believe in God and the Bible, but they are mostly silenced by the majority, especially when they propose ideas about God being involved in origins. They won’t admit it, but their public image of total unity on these topics is anything but that. They maintain a front and silence dissent from the “party line”, much like atheistic governments do to dissenters. If you want a job and funding for research, you shut up and tow the party line or else.

The Bible shows us that God created everything out of nothing (Gen 1, Jn 1:3 & 10, Col 1:16). Scientists like to use the Latin language to express and name their ideas, and this idea is called ex nihilo. That simply means out of nothing. Even many atheistic scientists believe the universe arose out of nothing. The difference is that they have no real explanation for where the matter and energy originated from. This leads to many hypotheses about origins. They can admit they don’t know scientifically and for certain what the answers to the questions of origins are, but they refuse to accept even the possibility that the answer is that God is the origin.

One way to express the idea that everything came from nothing, and that God brought it all into existence is what is called the Kalam Cosmological Argument. This simply states that everything that has a beginning has a cause. The universe had a beginning. Therefore, the universe has a cause. Another way to describe this idea is what is called the first cause argument. Every effect has a cause, so if you keep going back through effects and causes you must arrive at an uncaused first cause. The only plausible uncaused first cause is God. He is self-existent (Ex 3:14). He is eternal (Is 57:15) and infinite (Duet 10:14, 1Ki 8:27). He created time, space, matter, and energy (Gen 1). Atheistic scientists try to get around this using a common device. When their ideas show a flaw, they cover it up with another hypothesis. For example, when it is pointed out that comets cannot be millions of years old because they will burn out after only thousands of years, they propose that there may be an alleged Oort cloud (named after the scientist Oort who proposed it) outside the solar system which produces new comets. There are several problems with this. Nobody has ever observed this alleged Oort cloud. The voyager space probes are now outside the solar system and they have not detected this cloud. The Hubble and James Webb telescopes have not seen this cloud. This is not how science is supposed to work. If the answer is that we don’t know through the scientific method, then that is the scientific answer. There are many things we know that cannot be proven through the scientific method, especially in the realm of the immaterial. Some scientists even go so far as to say there is nothing outside the material realm. They try to find natural explanations for everything, but they are just desperately trying to avoid the obvious. They are desperately trying to find a naturalistic definition and explanation for consciousness, but they have not been able to.

This approach has even bled into some parts of the religious community. Some people have tried to find naturalistic explanations for everything in the Bible, particularly miracles. For example, they will not just read the text of Exodus 13-15 as it is and believe that God performed a miracle at the Red Sea so the Israelites could cross on dry ground and the Egyptians could not. Instead, they try to find natural explanations such as an underwater land bridge. They try to relocate where the crossing happened to justify this. There are at least two major problems with this attempt. They still don’t explain how the ground under the Red Sea was dried overnight, and they don’t explain why the army and horses of Egypt drowned the same day in the same place. There is not a legitimate scientific explanation for everything.

When it comes to origins, the atheistic and naturalistic scientists try to play the same game. When flaws in their ideas are pointed out, they just invent new hypotheses to cover them up. You can spot these easily in several ways. Their hypotheses are not subjected to the scientific method of observation, testing, and repeating the tests with the exact same results to confirm their ideas. Their statements always include words like maybe, could, would, seems, possibly, and my favorite – believe. The phrase “scientists believe” should be a huge red flag that they have left the realm of science are now in the realm of philosophy and religion. Another problem is that their hypotheses often contradict each other, showing that there is neither peer review nor consensus. Their hypotheses don’t address the original, core question. It is like a magician having an attractive helper, using slight of hand, and other distractions to divert our attention from the trick. This is particularly true concerning the question of origins.

One hypothesis is that there are multiverses, but that is wrought with many difficulties. It is not and probably cannot be proven scientifically, and it also has theological dilemmas. Another is that the universe keeps dying and collapsing on itself only to re-explode into another universe. This also is not proven scientifically and is not accepted by many scientists. They also don’t address the actual question of origins. They dodge it.

When questions are asked such as, “Where did the matter and energy come from?”, “Why was the alleged singularity that exploded in the big bang made up of the exact particles in the exact way at the exact heat to make the hypothesis work?”, “Where do we observe large explosions producing order?”, “How does unguided randomness produce such precision and order mathematically?”, and especially “If the singularity/big bang is true, doesn’t that extremely precise arrangement and happening have design implications?”

Then there is the subject of the end of the universe. Observations show that the universe is expanding, and that the rate of expansion is increasing, not decreasing. Their ideas should be able to make predictions about the end of the universe, but the current information seems to contradict this.

When scientists don’t know, it would be so refreshing to hear them just admit it. While they may be highly intelligent, nobody knows everything except God Himself. If you ask an atheist how much of what there is to know they know, their answer should be they don’t know; but for the illustration let’s just say the smartest scientist knows 10% of what there is to know. Is it possible that God exists in the 90% of what they don’t know? God made everything out of nothing. Even many atheistic scientists acknowledge that the universe had a beginning and arose out of nothing. Their problem is, what was the uncaused first cause? Some dodge the question by just flat out denying it was God or by saying there is no need for a first cause, but they have no scientific method for nothing creating everything. It is a scientific law that something cannot arise from nothing, so once again they are circumventing their own system to dodge the existence of God. So, why do intelligent people go to such lengths to twist their own system and logic itself to deny God? It is because since God exists, He has the right as Creator to exercise authority over His creation and make moral laws that are universal. We will all give account to Him at the end. They choose the serpent’s lie that we can decide for ourselves without God what is good and evil (Gen 3:5). All you have to do is look at the history of the world and the current state of affairs to see that doesn’t work very well at all. That is the basic difference between God’s people and the world. The people of God have realized that they cannot be their own Lord and Savior so they submit to God and ask Him to be that Father and Shepherd He promised to be to all who trust in Him and follow His word. They take responsibility for their own actions and failures instead of blaming God for them. They ask Him for mercy, grace, forgiveness, and salvation and they receive them instead of shaking a fist in His face and calling Him cruel. God created a beautiful world free from sin, suffering, and death. It was man that messed it all up. Yet God still loved us enough to come into His own creation as a man to die for our sins and save us from eternal destruction (Jn 3:16). He took the responsibility for our sins upon Himself even though it was not His fault. All He asks in return is obeying the gospel and following His commandments which only serve to benefit us in this life and the next (Acts 2:38).

If you look at your own life and see that it amounts to nothing good, you can place yourself in the hands of Him who made everything good out of nothing (Gen 1:31). He will take your nothing and make something good (1Cor 1:27-29). If you once knew God but are now apart from Him, you can return to Him and be restored. The fact that your conscience still convicts you of your need of Him shows you He is still calling you home like the prodigal (Lk 15:11-32). If you are currently following Him but you seem to be isolated and unproductive, your only responsibility is to keep doing His commandments and abide in Him. He is responsible for the results (Jn 15:1-16, 1Cor 3:7).

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