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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

On The Existance Of God

I have been reading St. Thomas Aquinas' Shorter Summa'. In Chapter 3 of the book, he logically explains why God exists. His approach is to describe God as the first mover. He explains that, since everything is subjected to motion, there must be something that initiated the motion. That something must be immobile. He identifies that something as God.

My background is in science. Though I have not formally studied astronomy or physics, I have been reading about these branches of science and studying them for many years. In the course of my reading and studying, I came across a book explaining the origins of the universe. 

According to this book, the universe started as the Big Bang. The Big Bang was the result of a quantum fluctuation in nothing, and caused all matter and energy to form. From there, the universe has expanded to its present state. According to the author of the book, the universe is not expanding into space; it is not expanding into anything, since nothing exists (not time, not matter, not energy) outside of the universe. So, it is just expanding. And, there are equations which clearly demonstrate this scenario. Wow!

Now, I am an educated person. I think that God has given me the gifts of a reasonable amount of intelligence and the ability to understand complex concepts. And, God has given me a good imagination. Even with these gifts, I have a hard time grasping the physicists' explanation. First of all, I have a hard time imagining 'nothing'. This is not a room with no furniture. It's not being alone on a desert island. It's not being in outer space (where molecules and energy exist). It's nothing. 

I guess the closest I can come to imagining the concept of 'nothing' is the feeling one gets when one is in a completely dark room, like those used for color film photography (youngsters can search the internet to see how we used to take pictures). I've been in that type of dark room, and it is unnerving. But, there is still air in the room. And, when you walk and bump into things, you know that the room is not empty. It is not 'nothing'. So, understanding the concept of 'nothing' is my first difficulty.

The biggest problem, however, is the idea around the origin of the Big Bang. From 'nothing', as described above, there is a quantum fluctuation which resulted in the Big Bang. What is the quantum fluctuation in? There's 'nothing', remember. Nothing to fluctuate. Nothing to spark. Nothing. Now, some physicists will defend their premise by saying 'we have the equations to prove it!'. I say, hogwash. Equations will support the concept. However, people still have to use some common sense. If there is nothing to start with, there can be no quantum fluctuation. Unless, of course, God caused the quantum fluctuation. 

Most people are familiar with the book of Genesis. The story of creation is pretty commonly known. 'In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.' What if the Big Bang was the consequence of God saying 'Let there be light'? Even though the order of events as presented in the Bible do not agree with the order proposed by physicists, the idea that God started everything with his command, to me, is a much more logical and reasonable explanation than an equation avering that a quantum fluctuation in nothing resulted in the universe.