4/7/2017 Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash. Free to use under the Unsplash License.
Greetings, once again, dear reader! We are settling comfortably into this series. This is the fourth article on Christian Evidences. The first article, on 10/28/2022, introduced the topic and listed the four questions that this series will answer.
The first question is “Does God exist?” The second article, on 11/4/2022, proved that God exists, by the moral argument. The third article, on 11/16/2022, proved the existence of God, by the teleological argument.
This article is the third and final answer to the question: Does God exist? It will affirm the cosmological argument for the existence of God. Each of the three answers proves – independently – that God exists. One proof is sufficient. We have three proofs.
Are you ready to build “the third and final pole” that supports the “bright street light?” Let's get the building project started!
The Cosmological Argument
I have joked for decades that ladies use cosmetics to turn chaos into cosmos! My apologies to the ladies, who are reading. I will explain.
The Greek word κόσμος (kosmos) is the root to “cosmetics” and “cosmology.” “Cosmos” is the transliteration. The word refers to that which is ordered, such as an ordered system (e.g., the universe, the world, etc.). A lady “orders” her face by applying cosmetics. That's how “cosmetics turn chaos into cosmos.” Don't worry ladies. Men's faces usually stay in a state of chaos!
The cosmological argument may appear to be like the teleological argument, which the third article has already proved. Cosmology, however, refers to the study of the origin and structure of the universe. “Cosmological” is used in that sense. The cosmological argument is also called “the argument from origin” or “the argument from cause and effect.”
As the first article states:
The cosmological argument: If the universe is not eternal, then an Eternal First Cause has always existed. The universe is not eternal. Therefore, an Eternal First Cause, God, has always exited. A simpler form is: If something exists, then something or Someone has always existed. Something (i.e., the cosmos and all that is in it, including the earth, you, and me) exists. Therefore, something or Someone, God, has always existed.
Definitions for the argument are from Merriam-Webster Dictionary – which is called, with respect, “Mr. Webster.” Note that clarification on the use of “eternal” and “eternity” will be stated.
** Notice that Mr. Webster has “defined himself in a circle!” He states that eternal is eternity and that eternity is being eternal. The use of “eternal” and “eternity,” in this argument, means, specifically, “that which has always existed, had no beginning, and will have no end.” The importance of the clarification will present itself, under The Atheist's Further Quibbles, just before the Conclusion. **
– First (adjective): preceding all others in time, order, or importance.
** Note that the use of “first,” specifically, means “preceding (being before) all else in time, which also includes order or importance.” **
– Cause (noun): something that brings about an effect or a result.
– Matter (noun): material substance that occupies space, has mass, and is composed predominantly of atoms consisting of protons, neutrons, and electrons, that constitutes the observable universe, and that is interconvertible with energy.
Major premise: if the universe is not eternal, then an Eternal First Cause has always existed.
The Latin phrase ex nihilo, nihil fit means from nothing, nothing comes. “Nothing” means, obviously, that which does not exist – a vacuum, a void, a null, zero, emptiness, complete nonexistence. If ever there were nothing at all, then nothing would exist now. We understand this innately. It is a self-evident truth. Nothing (that which does not exist) cannot create something. To say that nothing can create something is a logical contradiction. A thought or an idea forms in the mind and soul. It doesn't “just pop into one's head,” from nothing.
I have often asked atheists to believe me when I state, “I was walking down the street and, all of a sudden, I saw a brand new car appear – from thin air, out of nothing!” They don't believe me, of course, but they usually understand where I am going, in my effort to enlighten them!
Obviously, something exists now (e.g., the universe, the earth, the keyboard on which I am typing, you, me, and so forth). Logically, therefore, something or Someone (the Eternal First Cause) has always existed. What or Who is the eternality (that has always existed) that caused (as first cause) that which exists?
The major premise is valid. Next, the fact that the universe is not eternal will be established.
Minor premise: the universe is not eternal.
The atheist must know and prove that matter (i.e., the tangible, the universe and everything that is in it), not mind (i.e., the intangible), is eternal. Matter must have always existed – if God, the Eternal Mind, has not always existed.
Has matter, the tangible universe (in some shape or form), always existed? No, it has not, as the Second Law of Thermodynamics will prove. Matter is finite, not infinite.
After establishing that the universe it not eternal, the refutation of two standard atheist rebuttals will be mentioned. Also, brief comments will be made on the Big Bang theory and on macro-evolution.
Second Law of Thermodynamics – Proof that Matter is not Eternal
This section includes certain scientific details. The reference sources contain further details that are not included in this article. Please do not allow the details to overwhelm or distract your focus! The basic point is simple, as will be explained.
First, we must understand and distinguish an “open system,” a “closed system,” and an “isolated system.” In an open system, energy and matter can enter and leave (e.g., an open frying pan, containing meat, vegetables, and water, on a heated stove eye). In a closed system, matter cannot enter or leave, but energy can enter or leave (e.g., a pot, with a lid on it, containing vegetables and water, on a heated stove eye). In an isolated system, neither matter nor energy can enter or leave. A thermos or cooler is an approximate example; however, isolated systems exist only in theory. (Of several sources, see LibreTexts, Basic Definitions, by Emily V. Eames, updated 8/13/2020.)
The Second Law of Thermodynamics is one of the four Laws of Thermodynamics. Thermodynamics is the branch of physics that studies energy transfer, as heat and work, in matter. (Source: Britannica, thermodynamics and laws of thermodynamics.)
The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that the universe contains a finite amount of usable energy that degrades (decays, deteriorates, becomes disordered) over time. This degradation is called entropy. Entropy, thus, is the degradation, running down, unwinding, and trend to disorder of a system, such as the universe. (Sources: the two Britannica references, cited above. Also, among several other sources, see Khan Academy, The laws of thermodynamics – which is based on The laws of thermodynamics, by OpenStax, part of Rice University.)
We understand entropy. Physically, we are born. We grow. If we live long enough, we begin to age and to “run down.” Eventually, we die physically. As another example, I have a 2006 Nissan Frontier truck. If I don't maintain and care for my truck, then he will “run down” faster. Now, I love my ol' truck! My truck, however, is slowly winding down. I am too. So are you. As a final example, every morning, I must bathe myself to order the disorder from a night's sleep. Eventually, I will “run down” to the point that I won't be able to do so. Someone else may have to bathe me. In time, I will die physically and won't need to be bathed. We can restore order, temporarily, in the relentless trend to disorder (entropy). Entropy, however, wins in the end. The fact is established by science and understood in life practically.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics – an established law of science that we understand practically – confirms that matter, the tangible universe, is “winding down.” It is finite. Matter will “wind down” completely at, what is called scientifically, maximum entropy, thermal equilibrium, or “heat death.” Since matter is finite, then it had to have been started (as in winding a watch) – by an infinite something or Someone.
The basic point is simple. Matter, the tangible universe is not eternal. It is finite. It is winding down. It had a beginning. The minor premise is valid.
The following sidetracks are on the refutation of two standard atheist rebuttals, brief comments on the Big Bang theory, and brief comments on macro-evolution. The conclusion will follow these sidetracks.
Refutation of Two Standard Atheist Replies
The atheist -- in his blind, atheistic faith -- may fight against the scientifically established fact that the universe is not eternal. The following are not two “straw men” that are built (which is a fallacy in logic). They are known counter statements by atheists, which I have heard personally. The refutation of two standard atheist replies, to the scientific fact that the universe is not eternal, are given, to assist readers, who may encounter the quibbles.
“But, wait!” – the atheist may state first – “what about the First Law of Thermodynamics, which states that matter cannot be created or destroyed? Matter must be eternal, if it can't be created or destroyed.”
Yes, as the citations above confirm, the First Law of Thermodynamics states that – in a closed system – matter (i.e., tangible mass and energy) cannot be created or destroyed.
Matter, however, is not eternal. It is finite, as the Second Law of Thermodynamics establishes. Further, “matter” (nothingness) could not create (spontaneously generate) matter (tangible mass and energy). That would violate the First Law of Thermodynamics, in a closed system, and the self-evident truth that “from nothing, nothing comes.”
The universe (i.e., all the tangible mass and energy that exists physically), therefore, has to be an open system – whereby a non-physical and eternal force (not mass, matter, or energy) – that exists before and above the universe – created the physical universe. (For further study, see God and the Laws of Thermodynamics: A Mechanical Engineer’s Perspective, on Apologetics Press, by Jeff Miller, PhD, published 4/1/2007.) The atheist's first “but wait!” does him no good.
“But wait!” – the atheist may continue – “the Big Bang proves that the universe and all life in it evolved. Thus, there is no God.”
The fact that the universe is not eternal, could not have created itself, and had to have been created by an eternal, non-physical, first cause has already been established. The atheist must admit this truth. The Big Bang theory does not help him. The atheist's second “but wait!” falls by the wayside in defeat.
Brief Comment on the Big Bang Theory
The following summarizes the Big Bang theory (or theories), with references, if any reader would like to study the topic further independently.
Do not allow conversations with atheists or independent study of the Big Bang theory (or theories) to intimidate you! The theory is a big bust (or failure). See the Institute for Creation Research article The Big Bust, by Henry M. Morris, PhD, 5/1/1994. The article is timeless truth, despite having been written almost three decades ago.
What is the Big Bang theory (or theories)? The Big Bang is an astronomical theory that was postulated about a hundred years ago, has undergone several revisions, continues to be revised, and has several versions. (Various versions of the Big Bang theory continue to evolve.) A predominate version of the theory speculates that the universe started violently, about 13.8 billion years ago, by the explosion of a very small, very hot, and very dense “singularity.” The theory states that, over billions of years, the initial “bang” expanded, changed, and evolved, to form the universe, the Milky Way galaxy, our solar system, the earth, you, and me. The theory is used to support the theory of macro-evolution (or the molecules to man theory).
My grade school and high school science teachers had to teach me this version of the Big Bang theory – even if they didn't believe it. Of the many sources that explain the theory and revisions, the ThoughtCo article – Understanding the Big-Bang Theory: The theory behind the origin of the universe, by Andrew Zimmerman Jones (MS Mathematics Education, BA Physics), updated 6/11/2019 – is good enough. The article points out the history of the Big Bang theory, revisions to the theory, alleged evidence for it, problems with it, and questions that the theory cannot answer.
By the way, the predominate version of the Big Bang theory alleges that the universe is 13.8 billions years old. The alleged age of the universe had been calculated more widely. For example, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) article – Then vs. Now: The Age of the Universe, published in May 2006 – states: “Before 1999, astronomers had estimated that the age of the universe was between 7 and 20 billion years.” The article – which assumes that the Big Bang is true, with no solid evidence – explains how the various alleged ages of the universe have been redetermined during this century.
It is significant to note that the predominate Big Bang theory begins with the assumption that an undefined “singularity” already existed. The theory is that an unknown “singularity” exploded, which started time and space. (The “clock wound up and started ticking.”)
Big Bang theorists speculate that they can calculate the evolution of the universe, starting at 10-43 seconds after the Big Bang. Of various sources, two are cited. See EarthHow, The History of the Universe: The Big Bang and Beyond, author not listed, updated 5/12/2022. See also National Geographic, The most popular theory of our universe's origin centers on a cosmic cataclysm unmatched in all of history – the big bang. By Michael Greshko and National Geographic Staff, 1/18/2017.
In summary on this point, the predominate version of the Big Bang theorizes that, billions of years ago, a random quantum fluctuation occurred in a spaceless, timeless “singularity.” That fluctuation (or bang), over billions of years, formed the known universe.
The unknown “singularity” was, according to the predominate Big Bang theory, smaller than the size of the period at the end of this sentence. The theory does not and cannot explain the origin of the “singularity” (i.e., the very small, very hot, and very dense substance that existed before the Big Bang). The entirety of the immense universe started by the explosion of a dot? That's their theory, in a nutshell, and they don't know how the dot got there. (A nutshell is much larger than a dot.)
The atheist, therefore, must know, and cannot know, the origin of the theoretical “singularity,” which could not have been eternal, even if it had existed.
By the way, other versions of the Big Bang theory exist. These include (with my comments italicized):
– The multiverse: one “singularity” exploded or “banged” and has formed and is forming an ongoing multitude of other universes besides ours. What or Who started the first “bang?”
– The oscillating universe: there is an endless series of “big bangs” and “big crunches.” Again, what or Who started the first “bang?” An “endless series” is a logical contradiction. The line had to start somewhere.
– The “flat hologram” universe: the universe is only a projection on the surface of a vast sphere. Really? Is this a joke? What or Who created the vast sphere?
– The digital simulation universe: the universe is only code inside an immense computer. I did not and cannot make up this one! It's imagination gone wild. What or Who created the hypothetical immense computer?
One source, for the four versions listed, is on Space.com, Alternatives to the Big Bang Theory, by Karl Tate, contributions from Daisy Dobrijevic, published 3/8/2022.
For further study on the Big Bang theory or theories, see – Answers in Genesis, under Topics, and select Big Bang topic page. The page explains five problems with the Big Bang theory. Several other articles that debunk the Big Bang theory are listed in that topic page.
Brief Comment on Macro-Evolution
Macro-evolution is the Darwinian “molecules to man” theory that speculates -- with no proof – that life evolved from non-life (“the rocks to molecules” theory). Darwinian theory speculates that life, which evolved from non-life, continued to evolve, eventually evolving into human life. The theory was introduced just over 160 years and continues to be revised. (Darwinian evolutionary theory continues to evolve.)
Darwinian scientists express their theory in intricate, scientific jargon, which intimidates some to believe the theory. Do not allow their jargon to intimidate you! They have no proof to support their theory. Their jargon reasons in a circle – by using assumptions, based on their conclusion, that, in their minds only, “prove” their conclusion. Such circular reasoning is a logical fallacy.
The theory violates the law of biogenesis, which has established that new life always comes from existing life, not from non-living matter. Of course, anyone with common sense knows this.
For comprehensive and further study on Big Bang theories, macro-evolution (Darwinism), and proof that God exists, see – Proof Evolution is False, by Shawn Nelson (Doctor of Ministry in Apologetics), February 2014. (The article can be downloaded.) It is a 31-page scholarly paper, which encapsulates the flaws in Darwinian evolution. Note that Dr. Shawn Nelson's ongoing website is Geeky Christian. His academic work is on Nelson.Ink, from which his February 2014 article is cited. I may not agree with all of his articles. I accept and agree with his paper that I have cited.
Darwinian evolution relies on the refuted Big Bang theory and does not help the atheist. It is hoped that these brief sidetracks did not distract the reader's attention to the main purpose of this article.
Let's return now to that main purpose. The major and minor premises have been established. The conclusion is next.
Conclusion: therefore, an Eternal First Cause, God, has always exited.
Since the universe is not eternal (is finite), then an Eternal First Cause has always existed. This article has proved it.
The Eternal First Cause is called God – the Eternal Mind, Power, and Intellect, Who has always existed, above and before matter, space, and time. The argument is sound and must be true. It cannot be wrong.
The Atheist's Further Quibbles
The atheist, in labored effort to support his position, may offer a few more quibbles. The rebuttal of two will be brief.
First, the atheist may ask, “What if an infinite line of 'First Causes' caused the universe?” The reply, obviously, is that an infinite line is a logical contradiction. Every line must start somewhere! What eternality, or Eternal Being, started the line? God is the Necessary (or First) Cause.
Second, the atheist may ask and state, “What if the “First Cause” died? Your argument does not prove that God is still alive.” The reply, again, is obvious. If ever nothing or no one existed, then nothing would exist now. An eternality, or Eternal Being, has always existed and, therefore, cannot die. This is why the specific definition of “eternal” and “eternity,” in this argument, means “that which has always existed, had no beginning, and will have no end.”
This article has explained that the universe could exist by only three possible means. The first is spontaneous generation (creating itself from nothing). That has been verified as false. The second is an eternal universe. That has been disproved. The third and final is that God created the universe. That is proved.
Atheists rely on one thin “match stick” (the Big Bang theory) to prop up their “short, little stool.” This article has broken that “match stick.” Their “stool” has fallen.
This article is the third and final “strong pole” that supports the “bright street light.” May these three articles be used, to God's glory, as the first step to bring many non-believers to saving faith in Christ.
The first sentence in the Bible is a fitting conclusion:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1, NIV)