Devon, PA. Just over a decade ago, I was drowsing on my couch of a Saturday, the thoughts of the books I had been reading lapping through my mind.  By happenstance rather than deliberate program, I had been plowing through  St. Augustine’s Confessions, of which I had just completed the eleventh book, the autobiography of St. Ignatius of Loyola, and Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time.

With a white-flecked crash, I awoke to find an inward voice speaking of what seemed an unfamiliar compound or distillation of those volumes.  It proclaimed: time has a beginning; it is not a mere linear measurement extensible infinitely in either direction, but emerges from a reality that stands beyond or outside it.  St. Augustine provided the elegant philosophical account that made this first moment before which there were no moments, this beginning before which there was no “before,” intelligible.  From the eternal present of God, intellectual forms are created and proceed, thence also the absolutely formless non-being of prime matter comes.  At their first contact—the union of form and matter—created being begins, and this condition (the existence of composite things, of things that are subject to division, distentio)—this condition is itself the beginning of time.

An eternity that is, by definition, outside of time; ideas (form) and matter, created from nothing and, in union, bringing into actuality the massive place that is creation—a place so vast and ancient that its boundaries cannot so much be measured by units of seconds or inches but rather by being the condition in which seconds and inches exist; a place relatively infinite, and yet marked by its flux and evanescence so that at no point does it all come together in simplicity, and from no position within it can the whole be seen as one might examine from the margin the pattern on an oriental carpet.  St. Augustine, in sketching out this account of how there is something rather than nothing, harmonized in a sudden blow with the account that I had found in desultory fashion in the pages of Hawking.

In the years since, I have taken great pleasure in contemplating this first-of-all-moments and its prodigies alongside St. Augustine, and, of course, St. Thomas Aquinas, and also in the homilies of Joseph Ratzinger.  But never did I expect the accidental overlap in my half-slumber to repeat itself.  Nor did I expect it to repeat itself in the ironic and amplified fashion of this last Friday’s Wall Street Journal.  There, I came upon this little passage from Stephen Hawking’s newest book:

As recent advances in cosmology suggest, the laws of gravity and quantum theory allow universes to appear spontaneously from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.

What Hawking intends to explain is how we exist, that is, by what efficient cause; he actually says that “spontaneous creation” accounts for why we exist and indeed he is correct though not for the reasons he intends.  His argument proposes the following: the created universe comes into being “from nothing,” but in fact there is something prior to this nothing, which he identifies as “the laws of gravity and quantum theory.”  Regarding this last clause, it is not clear if he intends that the laws of gravity and quantum theory are distinct principles, or if they are to be taken together as a single inclusive first cause.  Regarding the former clause, one must exercise a certain liberality and presume that he is not serious when he says, “from nothing,” but rather intends by “nothing” only a material nothing, as in, the absence of matter.  For, Hawking has simply stated that creation once did not exist—its relative infinity does not simply extend endlessly, as Isaac Newton believed, but rather there is a certain finitude to time, there is an outside of it.  The created universe, he identifies with the existence, the becoming, of matter.  And, crucially, prior to this condition of becoming stands a principle, a set of laws that are described in quantum theory.  In other words, law precedes matter and is the cause of it; theory traces back natural history to a position prior to its existence.  Law must be the formal cause—the form-specifying principle—of what would otherwise be absolutely formless and so in a certain sense non-existent matter.

Such an account of creation is in several ways apposite to, and in one crucial way distinct from, that Charles Darwin records in his Autobiography, where he observes,

There seems to be no more design in the variability of organic beings and in the action of natural selection, than in the course which the wind blows.  Everything in nature is the result of fixed laws.

Darwin first posits the condition of nature as absolutely without design, and one feels the point of his claim.  The movements of natural selection viewed immanently—from selection to selection, modification to modification—can scarcely reveal a purpose, a telos, to those movements.  Or rather, any given modification viewed in absolute isolation, can tell us nothing of its purpose other than that its purpose was itself.  In an instance on which Darwin draws, the origination of the bivalve’s shell, in isolation, tells us nothing more than that the bivalve’s shell developed, from some prior organism, to become the bivalve’s shell.  We can affirm nothing other than the variation.  But, of course, as soon as the human intelligence withdraws from such immanence, it begins to detect operating patterns in the myriad cases of such variability—so much so that one discerns the purpose these variations serve on a massive scale (the adaptation of organisms across generations to the contingencies of their environment) and, seeing instances and purpose together, one proposes a set of laws that accounts for them.  This, Darwin called, natural selection.

Both Darwin and Hawking tell us that the material universe conforms to laws.  Darwin seems to put a more firm point upon this claim by referring to “fixed laws.”  These laws explain to us how the universe actually operates; they do not tell us why it operates, that is, for what purpose it exists, but they do provide a compelling account of the formal and material principles that, together, are contributing causes to the existence and movement of things.

And yet, an implied difference between the physicist and the biologist may be noted.  Darwin’s short statement can make no sense unless we presume that “design” designates an idea absolutely distinct from “law.”  We might, in perhaps hackneyed fashion, propose that Darwin simply takes the existence of things as a given and, from the accumulated data of his experiences, he draws conclusions about the operation of things which he articulates in law-like statements.  Those statements, however, he does not presume to exist in nature or actually to inform that nature, but rather, he proposes them as posterior descriptions of contingent events.

That it is unlikely that one could articulate a law-like statement that is adequate to the events for which that statement claims to account unless the law itself were present in the objects being described (in this case, nature itself), Darwin seems to appreciate.  For he does not restrict himself to law-like posterior generalizations.  He tells us, rather, that “Everything in nature is the result of fixed laws” (emphasis added).  Immutable law precedes nature and indeed nature is the law’s result; conversely, law is the cause of nature.  What sort of cause?  The formal cause—it gives shape to the operation of things.

The post-Darwinian scientist wishes to object that I was right the first time—Darwin is accounting for what he actually finds in nature with law-like statements that are posterior and that do not, therefore, claim to be designs providing the prior pattern to which all things subsequently conform.  This is not, however, what Darwin has written; and either he is obfuscating or his language must suggest a priority of law to material being, and of an implacability and permanence to law that the vicissitudes of individual material beings evidently lack (i.e., there is no law that there be bivalves, but rather the bivalve is a contingent expression of a formal cause).

But let us grant this apologist his point.  Despite the improbability, it is clearly arguable that laws can be postulated based upon the actual operations of biological evolution without our actually proposing that those laws are prior and permanent to that evolution.  Darwin almost certainly had another interest in his language here to which we shall return, but for the moment I wish to concede only that point: it is possible that Darwin really intends his supposedly fixed laws to be a posterior creation, solely present in the human reason, that describes accurately the actual activities of nature, even though that nature does not have within it any actual law or logical principle.

If we can provisionally grant this to Darwin, we cannot grant it to Hawking.  His hypothesis distinguishes itself from Darwin’s on precisely this point.  Having said that the universe was created from “nothing,” Hawking clearly intends (again) by “nothing” the absence of matter (or is it matter and energy?), and, conversely, by “something,” material (or quantifiable) being.  Prior to the actual existence of material being must actually exist that set of laws described in posterior fashion by quantum theory.  That is, a non-material cause—a formal principle or law—must necessarily pre -exist matter.

Hawking’s poor phrasing tries to conceal this conclusion, which nonetheless seems a necessary predicate of his claims.  He does not give us leave to parallel Darwin’s distinction between prior “design” and posterior “law” with his own use of “law” and “theory.”  For, according to Hawking, law and theory are actual causes of material beings.  Once again, though his language crumbles in the effort to establish this point, he is arguing that law and theory must therefore precede the existence of the “something” he calls, with us, the sensible created material universe.

Hawking’s intention, of course, is to show us that these pre-existent, non-material entities called laws create the universe from “nothing,” and that, precisely because they do so “spontaneously,” there is not only reason to set aside the “hypothesis” of God as creator, but there is positive cause to deny that hypothesis in favor of the laws-as-cause.

Such a claim elicits two immediate responses.  If the laws of physics spontaneously create the something of material nature, then what is the cause of the existence of the laws themselves?  Can we regress behind this formal cause to discover its cause?  If the laws pre-exist material nature, then material being is not created from nothing—it is created from the already existent laws.  I recognize that the laws create matter “spontaneously,” which tells us only that the laws do not have to create things according to any externally imposed necessity.  But does Hawking intend this adverb also to account for the laws, so that, without any prior necessity they create themselves?  If so, then how are they laws?

Self-created law operating spontaneously and so absolutely un-beholden to any prior necessity: this sounds familiar indeed, having found divinely-inspired expression some years ago:

In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God

He was in the beginning with God.

All things came to be through him,

and without him nothing came to be.

What came to be through him was life,

and this life was the light of the human race;

the light that shines in the darkness,

and the darkness has not overcome it.

This claim does impose itself.  Law precedes matter, form gives being and life to creation.  There cannot be multiple primordial laws, coexisting but independent of one another, for their very independence and distinction would suggest a principle prior to them and, as their cause, singular.  God is the Word, but the Word is with Him.  The Word, the logos, is the logic of things—the ordered principles of all things, preceding all things, and so discernible in all things, just waiting for discovery.  But the logos, the Word, is with God: while we would affirm the absolute simplicity and self-identity of God and His thought, this sense of co-existence reminds us of the impossibility of reducing God to the handful of intelligible propositions that happen to fall under our attention at a given moment.  It would be naive to reduce a person to any one idea—even if it were a monomaniacal idea—in his head.  So would it be more than naive to reduce God just to, say, that set of laws that account for the becoming of things from nothing.  For if God is the uncreated first law, the source of the logic and order of things, any one of the individual laws and theories we can abstract cannot separately account for itself.

This leads us back to Darwin’s distinction between design and “fixed laws.”  His biographers tell us that it was not the rigorous logic of natural selection that ate away at the once ingenuous and pious Darwin until he could see nothing but its operations in the world outside his skull.  Rather, it was the encounter with suffering, with his own suffering at the death of his daughter, and with the suffering to be found in the wide world of struggle and competition, of parasitoid wasps, of, one presumes, industrialized urban jungles, and of the savage inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego, whose biological kinship to himself the eminent Victorian Darwin struggled to acknowledge.  The cruel fate of being natural brother to men one scarcely can recognize as human seemed evidence enough that the orderly laws of things could not have been the “design” of any loving God.

Indeed, the grinding mechanics of the biological and material world does sometimes beggar the imagination.  And yet, except for the great advocates of eugenics in our midst—those secret or soapbox preachers of forced sterilization, contraception, and abortion—most of us have no difficulty accepting with joy and relief the fellow humanity of men and women who appear and act markedly differently from ourselves.  Few men indeed find the existence of savages and half-savages occasion to doubt the existence of God.

Darwin found himself unable to answer that fundamental question of human life—the question of suffering, the question of death.  He had an immanent and efficient cause that accounted for the how, the mechanics, of suffering and death, and so he equivocated his language in such a fashion that it seemed almost to make this mechanical theory a theory also of why things are as they are.  He could scarcely have understood what he was doing, for, in his Autobiography, he muses that the Christian doctrine of justification and Hell is “damnable,” and such a judgment must find a criterion outside of the order of biological evolution he so famously described.  Why is suffering not simply unpleasant but evil?  Why is it evil if it is useful for evolution?  Why could Darwin believe that telling someone he may go to Hell if he does not accept God’s gift of faith—a claim that plays no evident role in the order of biological evolution—is a “damnable,” that is to say, an awful and evil act?  These questions require a far vaster scale of inquiry than that on which Darwin was apt to think.

Hawking dilates to a vaster scale by far, but not nearly so vast enough.  Even so, his emphasis on the spontaneous creation of laws bringing “something” from “nothing” advances us into the inviting darkness to which all our souls are driven if we can free them of the mind-forged manacles of philosophical materialism or naturalism from which Darwin seems to have suffered.  In that darkness, in that mystery, we discover a strange truth.  Necessity and contingency are reconciled.  Law and freedom are one.  Grace and nature, charity and justice, find their identity in the same Being.  The created universe operates according to intelligible laws; those laws precede it and inform it; those laws operate according to a necessity of their own, but they are not necessary in themselves, but as the thought of the One Necessary Being who, in a free thought, in a gift of love, “created the heavens and the earth . . . [and] saw how good it was.”

Certainly “spontaneity” can describe a condition in which things are less than they appear, i.e., where, in response to inquiry about the cause of things, we are forced to answer, “We can find no reason; it simply happened.”  But this sort of spontaneity seems to be logically impossible regarding creation itself and as a whole.  To say that law is the cause, and the universe the effect invites inquiry into the cause of law.

When we ask how existence happened and happens, Darwin, Hawking, and St. Augustine provide us compelling, concentrically arranged answers, with St. Augustine providing the most comprehensive account on the level of form and matter.  We should not be surprised that the ancient thinker was able to reason back to first principles with greater facility than the clock-work grease-monkeys of modernity.  But when we ask why creation happened and happens, Darwin poses the obstacle of evil with great poignancy, and Hawking inadvertently gives us the same answer as St. Augustine: God made the universe, because He is Good; he made it not through any necessity imposed upon His Will, but through the spontaneous self-giving of that Will, through His very identity as Love Itself, and so through gratuity, through personal generosity, through the one clear instance conceivable of a gift made in absolute freedom and love.

The existence of the laws Hawking is sedulous to suppose explain the existence of matter would themselves be inexplicable had we not been told by the Word Himself: Why?  In and for freedom and love.  In and for a goodness for whose taste even the suicide cannot lose his deluded appetite.  How? The procession of the divine intellect to create something out of nothingness by means of the union of intellectual form and pure matter.  And this procession, precisely because spontanous and from nothing cannot keep itself in being by the internal necessity of its own laws.  For logic and necessity are ultimately one with the love and freedom of God.  We discern, therefore, that there is more “spontaneity” in the universe than is found in the primeval cause of all things; each moment, each inch of creation is at all times kept in being by the action of a God Who did not have to love us, but did anyway.

These answers, to quote another recent statement of Hawking’s, “work.”  For they alone describe the operation of, not only composite (material) beings, but of all creation.  They alone reconcile “chance” and necessity, matter and form, causality and causelessness.  And they are the joy of the waking and the dreaming intellect.

35 COMMENTS

  1. Talk about missing the mark. The entire point of what Hawking says is that the god of the gaps is now so small as to not even be responsible for the creation of the universe. To take that and spin it into “Hawking Proves God” takes a special kind of logic, one apparently only available in apologetics.

    James Wilson: The laws of nature exist outside the universe, therefore God made them!
    Me: then who made God?
    JW: Nonsense! That would be an infinite regress of Gods. He is eternal and requires no creator.
    Me: and what if the laws of nature are eternal and require no creator?
    JW:…Love! Freedom!
    Me: why don’t we just go with ‘nobody actually knows’, and call me back in a couple hundred years when we have a better picture.

  2. Well stated. I’m perplexed by Hawking’s choice of words, if he did indeed wish to convey that ‘spontaneous creation’ can occur without a Mover. Is he purposely leaving the door open for another possibility?

  3. Cute though the above dialogue is, it misses the mark of my critique. For a law to be eternal, it would have to be intellectual and so it must subsist in an intellect. We can speak of a law as eternal and spontaneous only if we can posit love and freedom; that is, the intelligible necessity or logic of things is not itself necessary.

    As for the “God in the gaps,” there are no gaps. One only thinks there are if one has a really poor definition of nothing, as does Hawking. On this point, I find this essay much clearer than my own (regrettably, given how hard I had to work on mine):
    http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2010/09/1571

  4. An fascinating series of statements by someone who had the answer before he sought to find it! But…

    This is beautifully written. There’s a lot of substance here for me to think about. Though my distrust in the credibility of any man-made book claiming to be ‘the word of God’ prevents me from truly appreciating some of it, I found it quite thought-provoking.

    Most everyone who has written on the subject seems to agree that the universe came out of nothing – whether created by God or from emptiness. It’s the emptiness I have trouble understanding. The idea that nothing went poof and suddenly became something- what inspires such a thing to happen? But pointing to a ‘prime mover’ is no satisfactory answer, either. Did the mover come from a poof as well? Our minds are not capable of understanding a causeless existence – perhaps in part because we don’t want to believe such a terrifying thing. I certainly don’t. You provide a compelling explanation.

    I should note that even though I liked the piece on the whole, I was very turned off yet again by your reference to ‘advocates of eugenics in our midst.’ Maybe I’m missing something; to what are you referring? If you do indeed mean the so-called ‘pro-choice’ movement, I think you know that this is sensationalist rhetoric, unnecessary to your greater point, and, worse, an injury to an otherwise credible piece. An inability to discern abortion (which I oppose, for the record) from eugenics demonstrates a very serious misunderstanding of the motivations of the so-called ‘pro-choice’ movement. You seem more intelligent than that.

    In a somewhat related note- Do Catholics really see no difference between abortion (the murder of unborn babies) and contraception (the prevention of unwanted babies)? I fail to understand how the decision to prevent pregnancy with latex is any different from the decision to pull out early or the decision to abstain from intercourse in the first place. If using latex to prevent pregnancy is wrong, but using abstinence to prevent pregnancy is right, then it isn’t prevention that Catholics oppose, but the sex act itself. Do Catholics oppose any sex that isn’t for the purpose of reproduction?

    My apologies for the digression. It was a good read!

  5. I think “law precedes matter and is the cause of it” might be very near the heart of Dr. Wilson’s essay, along with the rather careless manner in which some folks dismiss every form of study other than their own. Scientists are not the only ones guilty of this, of course.

    Nor is it the case that they are all guilty of it. James Trefil, science writer & professor of physics at University of Virginia:

    “It now appears that our new discoveries of the laws that govern the nature of elementary particles may allow us to push the frontiers back to the very creation of the universe itself. This does not, however, alter the fact that there is a frontier. All it does is transfer our attention from the material form of the universe to the laws that govern its behavior.”

    What I find interesting is how propagandists of scientism are only loudly noting the correspondence of Big Bang theory with Christian metaphysics now that they think they might have found a way to discard the theory. While he may have been a sinister obscurantist priest, Georges Lemaitre seems to have exhibited considerable foresight when he warned the Pope not to hitch the Church’s reputation to the latest scientific model.

  6. Thank you! I have not read Hawking, but enjoyed the philosophical comparison very much. It amuses me to no end to see those who work so hard to exclude God from anything and everything, using the very arguments that lead to Him (if only they would see).

  7. “Do Catholics really see no difference between abortion (the murder of unborn babies) and contraception (the prevention of unwanted babies)?”

    Short answer: No. Both are grave sins, but there is a difference — that is, the difference between willfully interfering with the nature of the act on one hand and murder on the other.

    I’m pretty sure that’s right.

  8. Zac – the Catholic Church has always taught that the ‘marital act’ is a thing good in itself. Contraception is a deliberate shutting out of the possibility of conception, and ‘pulling out early’ is just another form of the same thing. The married couple that engages in the sexual act without contracepting gives themselves to each other in an expression of love while indicating their willingness to bring life into the world – if that is God’s will for them.

    Contracepting indicates that the couple is not open to God’s will; it places pleasure as a higher good than what God wills (which, not coincidentally, is the greatest eternal good and even the greatest temporal happiness of each person). “Natural family planning,” on the other hand, still leaves open the possibility of conception. The couple indicates that if it is God’s will that He should give them the gift of a new human life, they are willing to cooperate.

    Abortion is the intentional termination of a young human life, which is certainly more grave. However, both contraception and abortion are fruits of the same selfish motive, and both are deliberately contrary to the will of God. Catholics believe that both are mortally sinful.

  9. Fantastic Article! It appears as if a few of your readers failed to read the whole piece due to a lack of attention, and/or for seeing the word “God,” which automatically compelled them to the comment section in their latest opportunity to quote modernity’s digested waste; Dawkins and his cronies.

  10. 1. “As recent advances in cosmology suggest, the laws of gravity and quantum theory allow universes to appear spontaneously from nothing.” This would be even more brilliant if it suggested how the laws of gravity and quantum theory appear spontaneously from nothing.

    2. “…our cosmic habitat — now the entire observable universe — is just one of many.” This neatly reformulates the theological question to: why does the multiverse exist?

    3. “…this makes us in a sense the lords of creation.” And here! we have the root of the error. Rename “Tower of Babel” to “Theory of Everything” and you could have read this three millennia ago. Must Hawking give credence to the stereotype that all brilliant scientists are mad with hubris? And do I get to be one of the “lords of creation”, too, or is club membership limited to trendy atheist booksellers?

    No one would take seriously an essay by the Pope on the specifics of quantum theory, yet for some reason the opposite is acceptable. And the result is embarrassingly naive theology.

    If you know anything about the publishing business, you’ll recognize all this for what it is: a tempest-in-a-teapot contrived to boost sales of the new book, “The Grand Design”, by Stephen Hawking and Leanoard Mlodinow. Kudos to the madmen at Bantam Books for sucking us in. But “A Brief History of Time” didn’t need such shenanigans.

  11. I apologize if my previous comment seemed dismissive of your article, it is an obviously well written peice. Forgive me for it was early and I was without coffee!
    Now that I have had a chance to reread this and the link you offered I believe I have a much clearer view of your argument, however I still disagree with your conclusion.
    I have a feeling that any discussion on Stephen Hawking’s book from now on is only going to involve that one exerpt about god rather than the incredible evidence he gives for a completely causeless big bang.
    I’m interested in your source for the assertion that physical laws can only exist in a formless intellect. My understanding is that an intellect can only exist as a specific interaction of matter subject to the already existing laws of nature.

  12. Not a “formless” intellect: for something to be something actual it must have a form. Matter is informed, i.e. given specific identity by a form that precedes it. Hawking equates “nothing” with the absence of matter and what he calls “creation” he means to be the giving-of-form to matter so that it actually exists. As the linked-to article indicates, Hawking theorizes the origin of matter lies in energy, but per your earlier comment this simply regresses the question; the origin of energy per force lies in the laws of energy (“the laws of gravity and quantum theory”). But if we agree there are different kinds and degrees of energy, there must be a principle of differentiation behind the energies and, as a principle of differentiation, it cannot be internal to any one of the energies. Hawking calls this principle a law or laws, and I agree with him: energy is not law; energy is governed by/has its form as caused by law; and therefore law is prior to energy.

    Law, being neither matter nor energy, must be proper to the intellect — unless one wishes to assert with Plato the existence of eternal ideas, but this assertion doesn’t hold up for the reasons Aristotle gave; or rather, it can only be made to hold up by subordinating the ideas to the Good (as Plato does) or the One (as Plotinus does). In any case, we end up back at God. But the Christian account of God answers something the Greeks did not have to: it explains why the universe itself does not seem to be divine, necessary, and eternal, even if it is in some mathematical sense infinite. It places freedom and love prior to logic and necessity, or rather reconciles them all.

    The only way out of this chain of logic seems to be one species or another of radical idealism — solipsism, as they used to call it. But this entails giving up on reason and truth per se. The classical materialist position that nature is an irrational flux is belied by the physical sciences, and so, does not seem an option as it appeared at the turn of the last century. Again, the only avenue I can discern is the same one on which nearly every mind since the Greeks has settled, and which John tells us is that of the self-revealing God: the Logos. It’s precisely because of this reconciliation that the Christian requires faith: he does not claim to know the entirety of God based on some logical necessity; and yet faith and reason are not on contest, and so one should expect — even after admitting the necessity of faith to enter into the mystery of God’s freedom and love — that the reason will lead by some process of its own necessity to a knowledge of the source of that necessity.

    This may be too telegraphed to be helpful. I’ll let other commentators take it from here.

  13. Wait just a minute here buster, you mean to tell me that some people manufacture controversy in order to sell something?

    The picture of the clam has a nice effect, them delicious little bivalves being filter feeders and all. Reading as filter-feeding, an apt bit of advice. No wonder I’m happy as a clam whence engaged so. Not that I would be so gauche as to suggest the Confessions are a mud flat but having long ago surrendered to the meditative qualities of clam flats, digging away while rolling in the sulphureous muck, I accepted the mitre of the Clambyterian Church with simple , pleasantly embraced humility. There is a universe in them there Clam Flats, its tasty too. Gathering them aint a spontaneous activity though, it takes a lot of digging, a soft grip on the quarry and no small amount of faith. Certain recusant tendencies make the lonely intertidal zone a happy redoubt for us Clambyterians. There aint no law there, at least any law worth observing.

  14. “Most everyone who has written on the subject seems to agree that the universe came out of nothing – whether created by God or from emptiness.”

    Actually Platonists/Pythagoreans, Vedantas and Buddhists stress emanation rather than creatio ex nihilo.

    I think this an excellent article though I do disagree with James about the popular Christian account being preferable to the Platonist one. Platonists recognise the ultimate subordination of qualities to the supreme quality. However what Platonism you get a purer metaphysical conception of the relationship between the universe as relavity within the absolute or God. Perhaps only Vedanta is a superior metaphysical system. This is not to denigrate Christianity, it is a religion and has other needs beyond pure metaphysics. What popular Christianity/Semitic monotheist theology leaves out is parts of the relationship between the universe and God, or in other words how it could come out of nothing which is pure negation and has not the possibility of being anything. What Platonism and Vedanta remind us is that it is not possible and that the relative(the universe.) or maya emanates from the absolute and is a part of the absolute or atma which because of its infinitue or all-possibility includes, paradoxically, the possibility of its own impossibility or in other words includes the relative reaching out towards nothingness or impossibility but never actually reaching it.

    So in essense the universe is divine and yet paradoxically is not, it is real and relatively unreal as it both partakes in the absolute which alone is real, otherwise it would not exist at all, but is only a relative shadow of that real. This is why when Christ appeared to St.Catherine of Sienna he told her, he was he that was and she was she that not. Maya or the universe is both a theophany and divine play and joy and yet a limitation and illusion. There is both ontological continuity and discontinuity between it and God depending on the perspective ones takes, it is part of God and yet God being infinite any finite part is like nothing.

    The Platonic ideas or qualities are separate universal essenses only from a human, relative perspective. Within God they are distinguishless and inseparable, he is the good, the beautiful and bliss all at once. As Shankara reminds us Braham is without qualities or distinguishes. But from the relative, human perspectives these qualities within the supreme quality become separable and there relationships and unfolding, in relationship with substance, knits the fabric of maya or the universe.

    Transparently the universe or any physical law or what we see as the possibilites of the material(or indeed immaterial.)universe cannot alone be the whole existence because what would limit them? They cannot be limited by anything because that thing would be a possibility or possibilities and hence part of all-possibility. It cannot be limited by impossibility because impossibility is just another word for nothingness, pure negation, a mere conception beyond what is or ever could be and can be no limit to anything. So the universe or the physical laws must be part of or caused by what is infinite and absolute, or God.

    I know it is not quite relevant here but your a knowledgeable Christian James clearly and maybe you’d be interested in how a Sufi Muslim recently described the truth of the doctrine of the trinity, which he described to me as a most beautiful and true expression of the ontological relationship between the universe and God, at least from the human perspectives and as far as words and discursive thought and ratiocination can convey. He said the doctrine of the trinity describes remarkably the universal relationship between the subject, object and union with a great spiritual economy. Christianity affirms the unicity of God, with the doctrine of the trinity best being understood as the prolongation of this unicity into the relative giving us three persons and one God; Christ and the holy spirit partaking directly in God’s mysterious nature. He quoted St.Augustine’s beautiful sentence: “Let us believe that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is one God, the Creator and Ruler of the universe, and the Father is not the Son, nor the Holy Spirit neither the Father nor the Son, but a Trinity of hypostases mutually interrelated and a unity of an equal essence.”.

  15. I of course meant distinction-less and Brahman without distinctions not distuighless(what the heck!) and distinguishes.

    Also this sentence needs adjusting:

    “There is both ontological continuity and discontinuity between it and God depending on the perspective ones takes, it is part of God and yet God being infinite any finite part is like nothing.”

    It would read better if I added (but not actually nothing of course nor without concern, so to speak, for God who loves all his creation.)

    “Transparently the universe or any physical law or what we see as the possibilites of the material(or indeed immaterial.)universe cannot alone be the whole existence because what would limit them? They cannot be limited by anything because that thing would be a possibility or possibilities and hence part of all-possibility. It cannot be limited by impossibility because impossibility is just another word for nothingness, pure negation, a mere conception beyond what is or ever could be and can be no limit to anything. So the universe or the physical laws must be part of or caused by what is infinite and absolute, or God.”

    This paragraph would better read:

    “Transparently the finite universe or any physical law or what we see as the finite possibilites of the material(or indeed immaterial.)universe cannot alone be the whole existence because what would limit all-possibility to this finite plane?

    It cannot be limited by anything because that thing would be a possibility or possibilities and hence part of all-possibility. It cannot be limited by impossibility because impossibility is just another word for nothingness, pure negation, a mere conception beyond what is or ever could be and can be no limit to anything. So the universe or the physical laws must be part of or caused by which by its nature is limitless or infinite and absolute, or God.”

  16. To the first ‘dan’:

    If the laws require no explanation or cause, then they are the unmoved mover, the causeless cause of the philosophers, the logos which John the Theologian identifies as actually being a person of the Trinity, of being God himself, who became man and so forth. Our author has quoted the important passage.

    Our author’s point relies on Hawking affirming that these laws are truly ‘a priori’ – thus these laws are the logos from which comes all of the ‘logoi’ – individual ideas of things which were and are and shall be, and has its existence in a way which is beyond our knowing.

    Again, with the ancient Christians we affirm that the Law itself is Christ, the Word, who is eternal and is uncreate. (‘ed’ is inappropriate when referring to atemporal events) God did not ‘create’ the laws, the laws *are* God, and are thus uncreated and eternal.

  17. If Hawking lived in a country where everyone followed his brand of atheism, he would have died long ago. Peter Singer’s principles of strict utilitarianism would have made Hawking disposable as soon as he was paralyzed. He should be thankful he lives in a sort-of-post-Christian land instead of a hard-line atheist land.

    (This is a corollary to Groucho Marx’s Membership Law.)

  18. Right, polistra, because as we all know, all atheists are just like Peter Singer. Pardon me, but I think what you just wrote is the stupidest generalization I’ve heard in years.

  19. >The incredible evidence he gives for a completely causeless big bang.

    I reply: Boy that misses the mark. Hawking does not provide any evidence for a “causeless big bang”, rather he proposes a hypothetical primordial quantum space-time governed by something called “Imaginary Time” an ad hoc convention he comes up with by plugging imaginary #’s into the time variables for Einstein’s gravity equations. He does this to try to eliminate the Singularity(i.e. the state of T=0 where the pre-Big Bang Universe is an Infinite Mass & all the Laws of Physics break down) which he seems to erroneously believe makes it easier or necessary for God to Act(which is nonsense to any informed Thomistic Philosopher). Hawking wants to hypothesize a Primordial Space Time where the Laws of Physics still exists at a Quantum level so he can describe the Big Bang in terms similar to a virtual particle that arises in a quantum vacuum from a collapsed wave function which some people claim happens “un-caused”. Well to even claim mere virtual particles come into existence “uncaused” has never been proven nor could it in principle be proven.
    Indeed if one has read the works of Robert Russel on the theological implications of the Universe coming from a Hartle-Hawking State God can ex-nilate the HHS & he can cause it to produce a Wave fuction & if we believe certain views of Quantum Mechanics we need an intelligent observer to cause the colapse of the wave fuction.

    At best Hawking gives a naturalistic explanation for the specific Big Bang event but he doesn’t in anyway show the Universe creates itself or Gravity creates it “out of nothing uncaused”. Indeed if we believe William Dees a Hartle-Hawking State isn’t “Nothing” in the strong philosophical sense taught by Theology & Philosophy.

    This is all hype for the unwashed masses & Science fetishists who rely more on arguments of authority (Hawking Said it) than real science.

  20. I’m not Roman Catholic, I have no problem with contraception or with Roe v. Wade, but the main point, everything science is turning up bends toward creation by a transcendent God makes perfect sense. That is probably because it is true, although science can never prove truth, only disprove or show high probability. So, why is there still an argument about creation? Evolutionary biology is all laid out in the first two chapters of Genesis.

  21. @Syarlis
    Creation has nothing to do with evolutionary biology. The latter describes a plausible mechanism for how one species can emerge from another. Augustine, in a broader context, called this “rational seeds”. But creation is the joining of an essence to an act of existence, which is not the same sort of thing.

    Neither is creation something that happened at the beginning of time. It is something that happens all the time, from moment to moment. (A useful image is the pagan image of Atlas upholding the world.)

    @zac
    But pointing to a ‘prime mover’ is no satisfactory answer, either. Did the mover come from a poof as well?

    a) “Prime” of “first” means “logically prior,” not prior in time. An eternally-existing universe is still created.
    b) “Motion” and “mover” means what we call “change”. An apple “moves” from green to red, for example. A horse, from “colt” to “horse”.
    c) Nothing comes from nothing. But something may become “white” only if it was not previously white. (If it were already white, it could not become white.) The Parmenidean paradox is resolved by the concept of potency and act.
    d) A thing may become white if it is potentially white, but not actually white. Consider a big blue bouncy ball. It is actually round and actually blue (among other things). But it is potentially white (we could paint it; or the sun may bleach it). And it is potentially flat (we could melt it into a puddle of rubber. Notice that if the ball loses the form of blue, it remains a ball; but if it melts into a puddle it loses form of ball and ceases to be a ball. The first is accidental to “ball-ness” while the second is “essential.” But the big-blue-bouncy-ball is not potentially a beefsteak or a tree. IOW, potency is not “anything goes.”
    e) Motion is a change from potency to act; i.e., from potentially something to actually something.
    f) A cause cannot give what it does not have, either formally or eminently. So A cannot give motion to B unless A actually possesses motion (or something analogous to motion). That which is potentially in motion cannot move another since that which is potentially X is not actually X and what is does not actually exist cannot act.
    g) Therefore, nothing that changes can move itself, and so must be moved by another. (A part may move the whole: as the legs give motion to the body.)
    h) Some series of movers are essential, in that later movers in the series do not possess the power to move unless the prior mover is concurrently acting upon it. Example: a golf club cannot swing in a golf stroke unless the hands are concurrently swinging it. The motion of the hands depends on the arms, and the arms on the shoulders. These in turn depend on the contraction of muscles, these on the [electrical] motion of nerves, which receive their motion from the motor neurons in the brain, whose synapses are moved by electrochemical reactions, and so on.
    i) Therefore, in an essential series none of the intermediate movers have the power to move [change diddly squat] and there must be a first mover. (Consider: an infinite series of forwarded emails implies an act prior to them: the content must have been written. An infinite series of moons each reflecting the light of a preceding moon implies somewhere a source of light that shines of itself. Etc.)
    j) The first mover must be purely actual, containing no potency. (If it did, then it could be moved; and since it must be moved by another, it would not be the “first” mover.)
    k) The being of pure act exists necessarily, not contingently.
    l) There can be only one such being. If there were two, one must possess something the other lacks. But then the one lacking the power or attribute would be in potency to that power or attribute, and could be moved to it by another. A “Popper” contradiction.
    m) The unique being of pure act that exists necessarily and not as a result is Existence Itself. If it could talk, it would call itself “I AM.”
    n) Etc. A variety of properties follows by deductive logic: HE IS must exist outside space-time, has no beginning or end, is all power-full, possesses intellect and will (and so is a Person), etc. etc.

    IOW: One does not propose a “first mover” as some kind of scientific “hypothesis” and then arbitrarily declare that it is not-causes. Rather, it is a logical deduction from the fact of change in the world and its necessary, un-caused existence is a consequence of that.

  22. The simple fact is that Professor Hawking should return to the black hole that god made for him since he advances no argument beyond those offered many years ago by the fakers Laplace and Lagrange. For the uninformed mathematical physicists, those who don’t know up from down (and these are the vast majority), “god” is the nickname among mathematicians for one Kurt Gödel .
    (See discussion on “Is it possible that black holes do not exist? ” on Physics Forums
    http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=421491 for relevant citations.)
    In any case all rational scientific discourse has been effectively banned since the illegal shutdown of the first international scientific association and journal in 1837 by the Duke of Clarence, Ernest Augustus. See Percy Byssh Shelley’s Mask of Anarchy for a pertinent depiction of the Duke of Clarence, the face behind Castlereagh. A simple google search for “(“magnetic union” OR “Magnetischer Verein”) AND (“Göttingen Seven” OR “Göttinger Sieben”) gauss weber” shows that there has been no serious discussion of that action on the subsequent development of scientific practice.
    We must assume therefore that the concurrent and congruent Augustin-Louis Cauchy scientific method of theft, assassination, plagiarize at leisure remains hegemonic. Chuck Stevens 571-252-0451 stevens_c@yahoo.com

  23. “…the savage inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego, whose biological kinship to himself the eminent Victorian Darwin struggled to acknowledge.”

    Darwin acknowledged that all humans were the same species. He merely accepted that race was important, that the races differed from each other in significant ways, and that all races weren’t necessarily equal — just as all individuals aren’t necessarily equal. In other words, he just accepted reality.

  24. Refer to the website address at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_energy pertaining to dark energy.

    The following is the extract of the second paragraph under the sub-title of “Negative Pressure” for the main subject of the ‘Nature Of Dark Energy’:

    According to General Relativity, the pressure within a substance contributes to its gravitational attraction for other things just as its mass density does. This happens because the physical quantity that causes matter to generate gravitational effects is the Stress-energy tensor, which contains both the energy (or matter) density of a substance and its pressure and viscosity.

    As the phrase, the physical quantity that causes matter to generate gravitational effects is mentioned in the extracted paragraph, it gives the implication that physical quantity of matter has to exist prior to the generation of gravitational effects. Or in other words, it opposes the principality that gravitational effects could occur at the absence of matter. As it is described pertaining to Dark Energy, it implies that Dark Energy could only be derived from the existence of the physical quantity of matter. This certainly rejects Stephen Hawking’s theory in which dark energy could exist prior to the formation of the universe as if that dark energy could exist the support or influence from the physical quantity of matter.

    The following is the extract of the third paragraph under the sub-title of ‘Cosmological Constant’ for the main subject of the ‘Nature of Dark Energy’:

    The simplest explanation for dark energy is that it is simply the “cost of having space”: that is, a volume of space has some intrinsic, fundamental energy. This is the cosmological constant, sometimes called Lambda (hence Lambda-CDM model) after the Greek letter Λ, the symbol used to mathematically represent this quantity. Since energy and mass are related by E = mc2, Einstein’s theory of general relativity predicts that it will have a gravitational effect..

    E = mc2 has been used to be related to Dark Energy. As energy and mass are related in according to General Relativity and if m = 0, no matter how big the number that c could be, E (the dark energy) would turn up to be 0 since 0 is multiplied by c2 always equal to 0. Or in other words, E (the dark energy) should be equal to 0 at the absence of substance. Stephen Hawking’s theory certainly contradicts Eistein’s theory in the sense that he supports that dark energy could exist even though there could not be any matter existed prior to the formation of the universe.

    Refer to the website address at: http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/history/newtongrav.html pertaining to the law of universal gravitation. The following is the extract of the definition of law of universal gravitation:

    Every object in the universe attracts every other object with a force directed along the time of centers for the two objects that is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely separation between the two objects. Fg = G(m1 m2)//r2. (Fg is the gravitational force; m1 & m2 are the masses of the two objects; r is the separation between the objects and G is the universal gravitational constant. From the formula, we note that Fg (the gravitational force or in replacement of dark energy) has a direct influence from two masses (m1 & m2). If either of the m is equal to 0, Fg would turn up to be 0. Isaac Newton’s theory certainly opposes Stephen Hawking in which gravity or the so-called, dark energy, could exist at the absence of matter prior to the formation of this universe in this energy or gravity could create something out of nothing.

  25. Big Bang theory has been used to support that this universe could be formed out of chaos.

    Refer to the website address, http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/history/newton3laws.html, regarding to the 1st law of Newton’s Principle. It is mentioned that every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it. If this concept has been applied to the formation of this universe, it implies that this universe would remain nothing as it was until external force that would cause it to change. Or in other words, if there could be no external force or substance that could cause the formation of this universe, everything would remain as it was and the universe, that would remain nothing, would continue to remain nothing.

    If this universe could be created something out of nothing, there must be the external force that would cause something to be created out of nothing. Stephen Hawking might comment that it was gravity or quantum theory or etc. However, there must have external force that would cause gravity or quantum theory or etc., to be at work. If there would not be any external force to cause gravity or quantum theory or etc., to be at work in the formation of this universe, how could there be the formation of this universe since this world would remain nothing until eternity as supported by 1st law of Newton’s principle? Thus, the concept that this universe could be created something out of nothing is questionable from scientific point of view.

    Even if one insists that this theory could be correct, how could quantum theory or gravity or etc., be so efficient to manage the universe well in such a way that it could create sophisticated earth which plants and animals could survive here? What made the earth to be created far from the sun and not just next to it? For instance, if this earth was created a short distance just next to the sun, all animals and plants would not survive. Thus, the creation of this universe could not be co-incidence and this certainly puts quantum theory to be in doubts pertaining to its creation from something out of nothing.

  26. Refer to the website address, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Introduction_to_general_relativity, pertaining to general relativity. It is mentioned in this website 6th line after the title of ‘’Introduction to general relativity’ that the observed gravitational attraction between masses results from their warping of space and time. As the phrase, gravitational attraction between masses results from their warping of space and time, is mentioned for general relativity, it gives the implication that there have to be some kind of masses in order to create gravitational attraction through warping of space and time. Thus, it opposes Stephen Hawking’s theory that gravity or dark energy could exist prior to the formation of this universe at the absence of masses or objects in order to create something out of nothing. Or in other words, in order that gravitational force or dark energy would exist, there must be masses in this universe to interact in space and time in order to generate gravitational force.

    Refer to the above website 17th line after the title of ‘Introduction to general relativity. It is mentioned that general relativity also predicts novel effects of gravity such as, gravitational waves, gravitational lensing and an effect of gravity of time known as gravitational time dilation. Let’s examine all these factors, i.e. gravitational waves, gravitational lensing and gravitational time dilation below:

    Refer to the website address, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_wave, pertaining to gravitational waves. It is mentioned in this website 10th line after the title of ‘Gravitational wave’ that the existence of gravitational waves is possibly a consequence of the Lorentz invariance of general relativity since it brings the concept of a limiting speed of propagation of the physical interactions with it. The phrase, Lorentz invariance of general relativity…brings… the physical interactions…, here gives the implication that gravitational waves have to be dealt with physical interactions or masses. As gravitational masses have to be dealt with masses, it opposes Stephen Hawking’s theory in which Hawking mentioned that gravitational wave could exist at the presence of substances or masses prior to the formation of this universe. As gravitational waves have to be dealt with substances or masses, it is irrational for Stephen Hawking to use it to support that gravity or dark energy could exist at the absence of masses so as to create something out of nothing.

    Refer to the website address, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_lensing, pertaining to the gravitational lens. It is mentioned that a gravitational lens refers to a distribution of matter (such as a cluster of galaxies between a distant source (a background galaxy) and an observer, that is capable of bending (lensing) the light from the source, as it travels towards the observer. The phrase, a distribution of matter (such as a cluster of galaxies) between a distant source (a background galaxy) and an observer, gives a strong proof for a must to have matters or substances in order to activate a gravitational lens. Thus, gravitational lens in general relativity needs to rely on masses or substances in order to be generated and this opposes Stephen Hawking’s theory that gravity could exist at the absence of substance to create something out of nothing.

    Refer to website address, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_time_dilation, pertaining to gravitational time dilation. It is mentioned that gravitational time dilation is the effect of time passing at different rates in regions of different gravitational potential; the lower the gravitational potential, the more slowly time passes. Albert Einstein originally predicted this effect in his theory of relativity and it has since been confirmed by tests of general relativity.

    Refer to the website address, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_potential, under the sub-title of ‘Potential energy’ pertaining to gravitational potential. The following is the extract of the formula of gravitational potential:

    The gravitational potential (V) is the potential energy (U) per unit mass:
    U = mV
    where m is the mass of the object. The potential energy is the negative of the work done by the gravitational field moving the body to its given position in space from infinity. If the body has a mass of 1 unit, then the potential energy to be assigned to that body is equal to the gravitational potential. So the potential can be interpreted as the negative of the work done by the gravitational field moving a unit mass in from infinity

    From the above formula above, it is obvious that U (the potential energy or dark energy or gravity) has a direct relationship with m (the mass of the object). If m = 0, U (the dark energy would turn up to be 0 since U (the potential energy) would turn up to 0 whatever the number that V has when V is multiplied by m that is equal to 0. Thus, the generation of potential energy in general relativity would certainly have found to have conflict with Stephen Hawking’s theory in which dark energy or gravity could exist at the absence of masses or substances prior to the formation of this universe so as to create something out of nothing.

    Nevertheless, Stephen Hawking has abused general relativity to support his quantum theory in which something could be created out of nothing since general relativity demands masses or substances in order to generate dark energy or gravity.

  27. What is Big Bang Theory? The following is the definition of Big Bang theory that has been extracted from the third paragraph of the website address, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang, under the sub-title of ‘Big Bang’:
    ‘The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model that explains the early development of the Universe. According to the Big Bang theory, THE UNIVERSE WAS ONCE IN AN EXTREMELY HOT AND DENSE STATE which expanded rapidly. This rapid expansion caused the Universe to cool and resulted in its present continuously expanding state. According to the most recent measurements and observations, the Big Bang occurred approximately 13.75 billion years ago, which is thus considered the age of the Universe. After its initial expansion from a SINGULARITY, the Universe cooled sufficiently to allow energy to be converted into various subatomic particles, including protons, neutrons, and electrons.’
    As the phrase, the universe was once in an extremely hot and dense state, is mentioned in the definition of the Big Bang theory, it implies that something would have caused that universe to be once in an extremely hot and dense state. If nothing would have caused the universe to be extremely hot and dense state, how could the universe be in hot and dense condition? Or in other words, there must be something that would have caused the universe to be hot in order that Big Bang theory could be triggered off. This certainly contradicts Stephen Hawking’s theory that supports that something could be generated from nothing. This is by virtue of Big Bang theory requires heat and dense state instead of nothing in order to trigger off Big Bang theory and yet the phrase, something could be generated from nothing as suggested by Stephen Hawking, implies the absence of anything and this includes also heat and dense condition.
    The phrase, After its initial expansion from a singularity, as mentioned in the same paragraph in the website address above gives us the impression that Big Bang theory is the continuation theory of General Relativity.
    The following is the extract from the first paragraph under the sub-title of ‘Timeline of the Big Bang’:
    ‘Extrapolation of the expansion of the Universe backwards in time using GENERAL RELATIVITY yields an infinite density and temperature at a finite time in the past. This singularity signals the breakdown of general relativity. How closely we can extrapolate towards the singularity is debated—certainly no closer than the end of the Planck epoch. THIS SINGULARITY IS SOMETIMES CALLED “THE BIG BANG”, but the term can also refer to the early hot, dense phase itself, which can be considered the “birth” of our Universe.’
    Both phrases, general relativity, and , singularity is sometimes called “the Big Bang”, as extracted above give us the idea that Big Bang theory is meant for general relativity.
    What is General Relativity? The following is the definition of General Relativity as extracted from the second paragraph under the sub-title, Introduction to General Relativity, in the website address, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Introduction_to_general_relativity:
    ‘General relativity (GR) is a theory of gravitation that was developed by Albert Eistein between 1907 and 1915. According to general relativity, the observed gravitational attraction between masses results from their warping of space and time.’
    The phrase, gravitational attraction between masses results from their warping of space and time, as mentioned in this definition gives the implication that the general relativity has their derivation from three elements and there are masses, space and time. It is only at the existence of masses that has been coordinated with the warping of space and time that these would contribute the gravitational attraction.
    As mentioned early that Big Bang theory has to deal with General Relativity and yet the General Relativity is only at work among masses, space and time. As masses have to be needed to be in existence in order to have the creation of General Relativity and yet Big Bang theory has to deal with General Relativity, it gives the implication that the masses of substances have to be present in order to generate Big Bang theory. As the existence of masses of substances would then generate Big Bang theory, Stephen Hawking’s theory that Big Bang theory would create something out of nothing would be wrong. This is by virtue of it is the must to have masses of substances to interact with time and space so as to generate Big Bang theory.
    Now a question has to be raised. As it is a must to have masses of substances in order to generate Big Bang theory that would result from their warping of space of time and yet Big Bang theory requires nothing to generate something, all these point to the fact that the Big Bang theory itself is unscientific and contradictorily and cannot be reliable.

  28. Science could be used to prove the existence of God and to strongly oppose Big Bang Theory or whatever, i.e. quantum theory or etc., that supports that this universe would be created to something out of nothing.
    The following is the extract from the 1st paragraph under the sub-title, Conservation of mass, from the website address, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_mass:
    (The law of conservation of mass, also known as the principle of mass/matter conservation, states that the mass of an isolated system (closed to all matter and energy) will remain constant over time…The mass of an isolated system cannot be changed as a result of processes acting inside the system. The law implies that mass can neither be created nor destroyed, although it may be rearranged in space and changed into different types of particles;…)
    As the phrase, the mass of an isolated system (closed to all matter and energy) will remain constant over time, is mentioned above with the phrase, mass can neither be created or destroyed, it gives the implication that mass could never be increased or reduced. If mass, such as the mass of space in this universe or air or energy or etc., could never be increased or reduced, how the Big Bang theory could play a part to cause the universe to increase. If mass could never be increased or reduced, how the universe could be formed to be something out of nothing. This is by virtue of the same amount of masses of substances or energy should have existed prior to the formation of universe in order to generate the same amount of masses of planets; space in this universe; stars; and whatever that have existed in this current and sophisticated universe in accordance to the law of conservation of mass. Unless the principle of the law of conservation of mass states that the mass could never remain constant over time since it could be reduced or increased, it is then justifiable to use it to support the ever increasing of universe through Big Bang Theory by means of the generation of additional masses of space and planets in this universe. As the law of conservation of mass states that mass will remain unchanged despite it might be transformed into another form, the mass that our universe has now must have the same amount as the mass that would have appeared prior to the formation of this universe especially mass could never be created or destroyed. Thus, the ever increasing of universe through Big Bang Theory has found contradiction with the law of conservation of mass. How could this universe be created through Big Bang Theory when it supports that the mass of the space could be generated with bigger and bigger space and yet the conservation of mass supports that mass could never be created in the first place? If the conservation of mass and energy could change, all the scientific mathematical formula would be wrong since none of the formulas could be equal especially when we talk about the change of transformation of energy from one to another or the transformation of matter from one to another, i.e. Hydrogen and oxygen turn up to be water, and etc. As scientists have proven that the mass could never change over time, how could Big Bang Theory be true then? How could this universe be created to something out of nothing if the mass will remain constant over time? Or in other words, if the world prior to the formation of this universe would be nothing, there should not be anything created. The formation of this universe would only occur if the same mass would have appeared prior to the formation of the universe.
    Even if one might argue that the same amount of energy might have existed prior to the formation of this universe so as to generate matters, i.e. earth, moon and etc.,, in this modern universe, the existence of energy implies the universe would still be created from something and that is energy instead of from nothing.
    The following is the extract from the 1st paragraph under the sub-title, Conservation of energy, in the website address, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_energy:
    (The law of conservation of energy, first formulated in the nineteenth century, is a law of physics. It states that the total amount of energy in an isolated system remains constant over time. The total energy is said to be conserved over time. For an isolated system, this law means that energy can change its location within the system, and that it can change form within the system…but that energy can be neither created nor destroyed.)
    As the phrase, that energy can be neither created nor destroyed, is mentioned above, it certainly opposes Big Bang Theory in which something could be created out of nothing since the mass of energy that would have existed before the creation of the universe must remain constant or equal in size even after its creation. Even if one presumes that energy should have existed prior to the creation of the universe, the energy as well as its mass prior to the creation of the universe must be the same as the current universe. As the mass and energy can never be created, how could the mass of the space in this universe be created for further expansion as supported by Big Bang Theory?
    As Big Bang Theory has turned up to be unrealistic, it might turn up to be irrational to compute the age of the earth or the universe since the creation itself is questionable. If that could be so, the computation of the age of fossils could have problem since they might have existed permanently in the past and might not have even the beginning.
    As the mass, i.e. the space, matter, energy and etc., as well as the energy could never be created nor destroyed, and yet this universe could be created in the very beginning, it implies that something should have existed with supernatural power so much so that nothing would be impossible for him to do and this includes the creation of matter and energy in which there should be no way for it to create. Religious people call it to be God.

  29. Could Big Bang Theory exist in the very beginning to create something out of nothing?
    Indeed nobody has ever existed prior to the creation of this universe. Big Bang Theory is just a wild imagination from scientists that this universe could be created through it since nobody has eye-witness about its existence for the creation of this universe.
    As Big Bang Theory mentions that this universe was used to be very small and very dense in the beginning, the mass and/or energy and/or protons and/or other particles that are within this tiny universe to trigger off Big Bang Theory would have limited volume. As the mass from universe in the beginning that would work under the Big Bang theory would slowly release the mass from it, it would turn up to be big universe and not so dense. No matter how the mass or energy or particles(,i.e. protons and etc.), that would be released from this tiny universe under the Big Bang Theory, there would come to a point of time in which nothing would be left in it as a result of the entire releasing of mass to its surrounding. Thus, it would come to a time that the universe would no more keep on expanding since the universe that works on Big Bang Theory has released all its mass to its surrounding. Unless the thing or the small universe that would trigger off Big Bang Theory in the very beginning would create more mass of space by itself so as to replenish the mass that has been released from it, there would be no way for Big Bang Theory to create mass of space unceasingly to cause the unceasing expansion of universe especially the law of conservation of mass and energy in the website address, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_mass, states that the mass and energy could not be created. How could Big Bang Theory support that this universe would keep on expanding as if that the mass of space could keep on producing without ceasing?
    As mass could never be created by itself, the total mass of matter and/or energy and/or particles and/or protons in the thing or universe in the beginning (that would generate Big Bang Theory) would have the same mass as all the mass of all stars and planets among all the galaxies in this current and sophisticated universe since the mass could never be created as stated in the law of conservation of mass and energy. How could this little universe (that would have existed in the very beginning with the capability to trigger off Big Bang Theory) have the same amount of mass and these include all the stars and planets that are among all the galaxies in this modern world? When Big Bang theory mentions that the universe could be very dense, could the density of the rocks among all the planets and stars in this entire universe be lower than the very high density of the space or whatever in the universe that would generate Big Bang Theory? As there are more than billions of planets and stars in this current universe and the density of rocks in each planet is higher than anything else especially the very high density of space in the universe that would create Big Bang Theory in the beginning, how could the density of the space in the universe that would generate Big Bang Theory be greater than the rocks of all the planets and stars in this universe and yet the size of that universe would yet be very small then? If you would add up all the mass of planets and stars of different galaxies in this world, it would form a gigantic ball and the outlook would be many times bigger than our galaxy and it would not be a very tiny universe as mentioned in Big Bang Theory. To generate the same amount of mass of all the stars and planets for different galaxies in this modern universe, the universe that would generate Big Bang Theory in the beginning must have the same mass and it should be in gigantic size as many times as bigger than our galaxy especially the weight of a planet is many times as heavy as the very high density of space. As the universe that would generate all the stars and planets for different galaxies in the beginning should be in gigantic size, how could Big Bang Theory supports that that universe would be small and very dense especially the law of conversation of energy and mass states that mass and energy could not be created?
    Is it true that the thing that would have existed in the very beginning for the generation of Big Bang Theory could be very dense in nature? This theory seems weird in the sense that how the small little thing or so-called, universe, could be very dense. If you take a balloon to blow air on it and try to suppress its expansion so as to make the air in it to be very dense, it would explode. Thus, if the thing or the so-called, very small universe, that would have generated Big Bang Theory would turn up to be very dense, that thing or universe would explode itself since it would be under hard pressure. If you take a box and blow air in it so as to make it dense, it would reach a stage that no air could enter into the box when the air in the box has been filled up. How could it be possible for the thing or the universe that would have existed in the very beginning to be very dense so as to generate Big Bang Theory since explosion would occur within a limited space? What would have caused the thing or the so-called, universe, to be very dense in the first place?
    It is irrational to assume that the thing that would exist in the very beginning would release all its masses continuously non-stop until eternity for the fact that mass and energy could never be created under the law of conservation of mass and energy. As mass and energy could not be created by itself, how could the Big Bang Theory produce mass of space continuously as the law of conservation of mass and energy states that mass could never be created by itself? As mass and energy could not be created by itself in the thing that would have existed since the beginning, it would cease to increase in its mass when all the elements that would be within the Big Bang Theory have run out till nothing is left inside. Yet in reality what scientists have mentioned about Big Bang Theory is the forever increasing of mass of space in this universe. The forever increasing in the space expanding gives the implication that the assumption that the thing that would have been initiated with Big Bang Theory has been proven to be wrong since how could mass or energy be created itself when the law of conservation of mass and energy mentions that mass and energy cannot be created in the first place?
    A simple conclusion has to be made here. How could the Big Bang Theory generate mass of space forever to allow its continuous expansion when the law of conservation of matter states that matter or energy could never be created? If the reply is that Big Bang Theory could generate more mass of space through the work of space and time, the result would turn up to be contradictory with the law of conservation of matter that states that matter and energy could never be created.
    Big Bang Theory supports the continuous expansion of space. Is there any mass in the space? Yes, there is. The following is the extract from the 2nd paragraph in the website address, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_state, under the sub-title, Vacuum State:
    (According to present-day understanding of what is called the vacuum state or the quantum vacuum, it is “by no means a simple empty space”, and again: “it is a mistake to think of any physical vacuum as some absolutely empty void.” According to quantum mechanics, the vacuum state is not truly empty but instead contains fleeting electromagnetic waves and particles that pop into and out of existence.)
    As the phrase, vacuum state…contains fleeting electromagnetic waves and PARTICLES that pop into and out of existence, is mentioned in the extract above, it implies that the space that is in vacuum state is never empty since it contains electromagnetic waves as well as particles that pop into and out of existence. Or in other words, the increase in space could cause the increase of electromagnetic waves as well as those particles that would pop into and out of existence in the space that is in vacuum state.
    Is there any mass for particles or electromagnetic wave?
    The following is the extract from the 1st paragraph of the website address, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higgs_boson, under the sub-title, Higgs boson:
    (The Higgs boson or Higgs particle is an elementary particle in the Standard Model of particle physics. The Higgs boson is predicted to exist for theoretical reasons, and may have been detected by experiments at the Large Hadron Collider. If confirmed, this detection would prove the existence of the hypothetical Higgs field—the simplest of several proposed mechanisms for the breaking of electroweak symmetry, and the means by which elementary particles acquire mass. The leading explanation is that a field exists that has non-zero strength everywhere—even in otherwise empty space—and that PARTICLES ACQUIRE MASS when interacting with this so-called Higgs field…)
    As the phrase, particles acquire mass when interacting with the so-called Higgs field, is mentioned in the extract above, it gives the implication that there is mass among particles.
    The title, Mass of an Electromagnetic Wave, in the website address, http://vixra.org/pdf/1105.0041v2.pdf, has spelt out that there is mass for electromagnetic wave.
    As there are particles as well as electromagnetic wave in the space in vacuum state and yet it has been proven above that there is mass among particles as well as electromagnetic wave, it would come to the conclusion that the particles in space that are in vacuum state have mass. As the expansion of this universe implies the increase in space results in the multiplication of particles as well as the increase in electromagnetic wave, the entire mass of this universe would increase simultaneously. Thus, the expansion of universe would lead to the entire increase of mass.
    As the Big Bang Theory supports the expansion of this universe would lead to the entire increase of mass of space and yet the law of conservation of mass and energy states that mass could not be created, how could this theory be reliable since it supports forever increasing of mass of space as if that the mass could be created even though it could not?
    Big Bang Theory supports that the expansion of the universe is in slow pace ever since the beginning. Discuss.
    The following is the extract from the 7th paragraph after the question, Is this universe expanding faster than the speed of light?, in the website address, http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=575:
    (If we use the definition of distance given above (and only if we use this definition and no other), then the Hubble constant tells us that for every megaparsec of distance between two galaxies, the apparent speed at which the galaxies move apart from each other is greater by 71 kilometers per second….)
    As the phrase, the apparent speed at which the galaxies move apart from each other is greater by 71 kilometer per second, is mentioned above, it implies that this universe would have been expanding in a fast speed at 71 kilometre per second instead of in slow pace. As Big Bang Theory suggests a continuous expansion of this universe ever since its creation and it maintains such a high speed constantly at 71 kilometers per SECOND, the mass of space that it would have been generated must be many times bigger than the thing or the universe that would generate Big Bang Theory. How could this be possible for the mass that would be generated would be many times more than its original mass when the law of conservation of mass and energy states that mass and energy cannot be created? Big Bang Theory is itself unreliable and contradictory.
    The Big Bang Theory seems illogical especially its derivation would be from very tiny point. The following is the extract from the 3rd paragraph under the sub-title, The Big Bang, in the website address, http://www.exploratorium.edu/origins/cern/ideas/bang.html:
    (The universe began, scientists believe, with every speck of its energy jammed into a very tiny point. This extremely dense point exploded with unimaginable force, creating matter and propelling it outward to make the billions of galaxies of our vast universe. Astrophysicists dubbed this titanic explosion the Big Bang.)
    The phrase, The universe began…with every speck of its energy jammed into a very tiny point, as mentioned above seems irrational and illogical since how this very tiny point could hold the mass that is equivalent to the total mass of space, planets, stars, comets and etc. of this modern universe especially the law of conservation of matter and energy states that mass cannot be created. Big Bang Theory is itself contradictory and unscientific.

  30. a)What is the impact on mass-energy equivalence (E = MC^2) and energy if the law of conservation of mass and energy is obsolete? Should the law of conservation of mass and energy be abandoned? Should we abandon the law of conservation of mass and energy to accept Big Bang Theory since there are contradictory?
    Indeed, all the things in this universe are in the operation of the law of conservation of mass and energy. The following is the possible scenario if the law of conservation of mass and energy is obsolete:
    All chemistry and scientific formula could never be equal due to the possible and unexpected creation and/or destruction of mass and/or energy if the law of conservation of mass and energy is obsolete. Let’s give you an illustration. As we know H2 + O = H2O (water). What if there would be a destruction of oxygen, the equation would turn up to be H2 + O = H2. What if there would be a creation of nitrogen in the interval, the equation would turn up to be H2 + O = H2 + O + N. The absence of the law of conservation of mass and energy would turn up to be that H2 + O could never be equal to H2O. As the law of conservation of mass and energy states that mass cannot be created or destroyed, H2 + O would turn up to be equal to H2O. Let’s give you another illustration. E = MC^2 (mass –energy equivalence). If the law of conservation of mass and energy does not work on mass-energy equivalence, the equation could never be equal. What if there would be a destruction of energy, the equation would turn up to be E – E1 = MC^2. What if there was a creation of mass by 10000 times during the process, the equation would turn up to be E = 10000*MC^2. What if there was a destruction of mass by N, the equation would turn up to be E = (M-N)C^2. What if there was a destruction of energy by 80%, the equation would turn up to be E = MC^2*20%. As mass and energy cannot be created or destroyed, the equation would turn up to be E = MC^2. If the law of conservation of energy and mass is not at work, the General Relativity’s formula could never be established as Ruv – (1/2) guv R = (8 Pi G/c4) Tuv. What if the energy would be destroyed by 80%, the equation would turn up to be as Ruv – (1/2) guv R = [(8 Pi G/c4) Tuv.]*20%. Besides, as we know G = gravitational constant and gravitational constant has been established as {F = G (m1 m2)/(r) ^2, where F is the force between the masses, G is the gravitational constant, m1 is the first mass, m2 is the second mass, and r is the distance between the centre of the masses}. If substance could be destroyed completely in the interval, the equation would turn up to be F = G(m10)/(r)^2. What if there would be a sudden creation of m3 in the interval, F =G(m1m2m3)/[(r1)^2*(r2)^2*(r3)^2]. Note: r1 is the distance between m1 and m2; r2 is the distance as a result of the sudden creation of m3 between m1 and m3; and r3 is the distance as a result of the sudden creation of m3 between m2 and m3. All these would alter the result of gravitational constant and have direct influence upon the equation of General Relativity. What if there would be a creation or destruction of energy, T, the General Relativity would turn up to be as Ruv – (1/2) guv R = (8 Pi G/c4) Tuv + or – T. Or in other words, the mathematical formula for mass-energy equivalence could never balance if the law of conservation of mass and energy has become obsolete. It is upon the law of conversation of energy and mass that the formula has turned up to be equal due to there would not be any creation or destruction of mass or energy.
    Mass-energy equivalence expresses that E = MC^2 and that implies that matter could be converted to energy. However, this equation does not imply that energy may be converted to matters. There is no evidence from scientists that energy can be converted to matter currently. As energy could not be converted to matter, how could Big Bang Theory support that the creation could start up with energy from a very hot condensed state in a very tiny point whereby the energy could be converted to mass that is equivalent to the total mass of planets and etc. in this modern universe as if that mass could be created in which the law of conservation of mass states that it cannot?
    b)How could the density of the hot condense state in a very tiny point as suggested by Big Bang Theory be greater than the density of rock of any planets? If the density of the hot condense state could not be greater than the density of rock of any planets, how could the mass in this very tiny point be equal to the total mass of all the planets and etc. in this modern world? This is by virtue of the total mass that would be in the hot condense state must be equal to the total mass of all the planets, stars and etc. that are among all galaxies since the law of conservation of mass and energy states that mass and energy cannot be created.
    c)Some might comment that the particles in the space might not carry much mass. As we know there is electromagnetic wave in the space and each wave carries much particles. As much space in vacuum state implies more particles for much electromagnetic wave, much space implies much mass and carries more weight.
    d)If you might know the experiment that has been carried out through Large Hadron Collider at CERN, you should have known that it serves no purpose to convince the world that universe in the very hot dense could produce a mass of a huge planet. This is by virtue of we have heard of the production of matter and antimatter through it and yet none of the experiments have come to our mind that it could produce a big planet through this machine and not even a small little sand. For instance, if LHC could be so efficient to create an environment that would meet the condition that is required by Big Bang Theory, the experiment should show a creation of a planet or a small little rock instead of a tiny particle. Some might consider the existence of 6 dimensions to be at work. Why is it that the possible existence of 6 dimensions could not cause LHC to generate a piece of rock instead of tiny small particles currently when this system has generated the environment that seems to meet the condition that Big Bang Theory should be? If LHC could not create a piece of rock but small particles, how could we be sure that the very tiny point that has been assumed by scientists in Big Bang Theory in the beginning could create the mass that is equivalent to the total mass of planets and etc. in this current universe?
    e)Would there be possible that LHC could create new particles?
    The following is the extract from the website address, http://www.lhc.ac.uk/About+the+LHC/What+is+the+LHC/11833.aspx:
    (The LHC accelerates two beams of atomic particles in opposite directions around the 27km collider. When the particle beams reach their maximum speed the LHC allows them to ‘collide’ at 4 points on their circular journey.
    Thousands of new particles are produced when particles collide and detectors, placed around the collision points, allow scientists to identify these new particles by tracking their behaviour. )
    As the phrase, Thousands of new particles are produced when particles collide, is mentioned above, it implies the new particles could be generated from LHC. However, question has to be raised about the two initial beams of atomic particles in opposite directions before the collision. Where should they be after the collision? It seems to be that the initial two beams should have vanished. The two initial beams should have been transformed into these thousands of new particles after colliding instead of being treated as new particles are created out from nothing. This is the same logic as why a new product, water, should be formed when hydrogen is burned in the air.

  31. Big Bang timeline contradicts Genesis 1.

    In accordance to the Big Bang timeline, stars and galaxies were formed approximately 12 to 15 billion years before the present and yet the sun was formed 4.6 billion years ago. The earth was subsequently formed approximately 4.54 billion years.

    The following is the sequence that has been laid out by the scripture:

    a)The heaven and earth were created prior to any substances:

    Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” The word, earth, in Genesis 1:1 gives the implication the earth was created the earliest as the same as heaven. Yet stars were formed prior to the earth’s formation in accordance to the Big Bang timeline.

    b)The creation of sun:

    According to the scripture, the sun was created after the creation of the earth:

    Genesis 1:3-4, “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness.” Even if one would consider the creation of sun on day four, it would still fall after Genesis 1:1, the creation of the earth.

    As the creation of sun, Genesis 1:3-4 was placed after the creation of the earth, Genesis 1:1, it implies that the sun was created after the creation of the earth. Yet in the Big Bang timeline, it shows the reverse and that is the sun was formed 4.6 billion years before the earth, 4.54 billion years.

    c)The creation of stars:

    Genesis 1:16, “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also.”

    The phrase, [he made] the stars also, in Genesis 1:16 implies the creation of stars.

    As the creation of stars in Genesis 1:16 was placed after the creation of the earth (Genesis 1:1) and the sun (Genesis 1:3-4), it implies that stars were created prior to the creation of the earth and sun. Yet in Big Bang timeline, it shows the reverse since stars were formed in approximately 12 to 15 billion years ago before the formation of the earth, 4.54 billion years, and the sun, 4.6 billion years.

    The discrepancies as mentioned above between the Big Bang and the scripture have placed the reliability of Big Bang theory into question.

    How could Christians engross in Big Bang theory then?

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