Monday, February 21, 2011

Reasoned Faith: Cosmological Arguments Part I

Modern cosmology has shown that the universe had a very hot infancy, and that it has been expanding and cooling for the past 13.7 billion years. Astronomers have found incontrovertible evidence supporting the big bang model, in the form of a widespread radiation that permeates space, a relic of the cosmic hot and dense past. We can confidently reconstruct the cosmic history from about a second after the "bang" onward, not too bad-- Marcelo Gleiser, Theoretical Physicist at Dartmouth College.
Cosmological arguments have been around for hundreds of years, but recent scientific discoveries have given these arguments more force. The big bang model shows that the universe had an origin 13.7 billion years ago. This evidence fits perfectly with William Lane Craig’s Kalam Cosmological Argument:

   Premise 1--Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence.

   Premise 2--The universe began to exist.

   Therefore-- the universe has a cause of its existence.

Prior to the big bang time, space and the physical constants did not exist. The building blocks of matter had yet to be formed. Since there were no material building blocks prior to the big bang and we know that the universe had an origin 13.7 billion years ago we know that the universe had to have some sort of cause and that the universe began to exist. This argument drives us to search for what caused the universe to come into existence.

Ever since Edwin Hubble exploded Albert Einstein’s dream of a steady state universe by discovering that the universe is expanding at a rapid pace secular scientists have been scrambling to account for a finely tuned universe that has a singularity. There have been numerous theories such as a multiple universes (there is no way to verify this theory), vacuum fluctuation models and baby universe models. Thus far the big bang model is the only one that has panned out. At this point there is no natural explanation for what caused the big bang.

What Caused the Big Bang?
This argument does not posit an explanation for the universe; it just says that it was caused. In part II of Cosmological Arguments I’ll explain how God is the best explanation for the origin of the universe.

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