As a Christian; one who knows that God is, I know that He is transcendent, all transcendent. The fact that He is, that is, so short a statement and yet it implies a state of being that is otherwise described as transcendent, is a fact that we accept with so little said or revealed by Him about Himself.
He is eternal, without beginning or end, without being restricted to space or time. His presence fills the universe; that is, all that can be observed or has the potential of being observed provided we have the instrumentation to observe all these things.
But He also fills and rules over that which may be spatially within our own observable existence or may be removed from it, either not very far or infinitely far away. Such an existence that we with our power of imagination attempt to fathom, may be plural or it may be one other existence.
Genesis 1: 1 speaks of ; “In the beginning God created the heavens (plural, but a feature of the Hebrew that may indicate a singular unit). The statement in the Good News Bible (GNB), that; “In the beginning God created the universe.”, is not a good translation, for it implies that which we know, though even in part. But the heavens on Genesis 1:1 implies an existence we cannot come to know except if revealed to us by God.
The creation of the earth and the gas filled biosphere is a unit and all forms of life has access to it; even the spiders which, soon after hatching from their eggs, releases a small very light thread of silky material that is often used to spin a spider web from. But this silky thread shortly after hatching, is elevated by even a light wind and it lifts up the young spider to be taken through the air for a short or incredibly long distance. Man uses it to carry heavy transport craft that criss-crosses the globe.
This, the biosphere is also called heaven and we move around in its lower reaches while walking or running etc.
Then, on the fourth day of the six-day creation God created the “greater light”; the sun, and the “lesser light”; the moon and all the stars. This is the rest of the universe; also called “heaven”.
“Ridiculous!” you, the atheist will hasten to say. How can it be that the earth preceded the astronomical universe? But you are proposing a universe that had its beginning from the so-called primeval atom. Prof. Hawking calls it a singularity, unit of existence so small as to be a point in space. And you teach that this unit, which, according to your general hypothesis—for it can never be said to be an established theory—was the sperm of the universe. And this statement, you tell us with a show of authority; contained in itself all the energy and matter to make up the entire universe; ever-expanding and seemingly accelerating rather than slowing down.
The question that stood so many years as the two most likely models of the universe, a closed system where at some point, depending on the quantity of matter it contains, may come to the limit of its expansion and then contracting. This can be compared to an object thrown up into the air. When the thrust of the force that started its ascent has been spent, then the gravitational force of the earth will cause it to fall back to the earth.
On the other hand, again depending on the thrust of the big bang and how much matter the universe contains and how great a collective gravitational force it will have, the universe may continue to expand forever. It is like a space craft that circles the earth until it has gained sufficient velocity to escape the earth’s gravitational force.
But now, it seems as if the expansion of the universe is accelerating instead of decreasing as would naturally be expected! What causes this? The first law of thermo dynamics teaches that energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be converted from one form to another. Where does this energy come from?
A former model of the steady universe held that while the heavenly bodies are all moving away in a direction away from the supposed centre of the universe. This model accepted a hypothesis that to keep the universe steady, other matter must be created to fill the space left by the departing stars and galaxies. This clashes with the first law of thermo dynamics as well as with man’s inherent aversion to the mere thought of the creation of new matter; for that requires a Creator.
The universe is understood to have as centre the point where the big bang took place. It is likened to a black balloon that is steadily blown up. On the surface of this balloon there are white dots that represent the galaxies. Such a model is inherently contradictory. While the universe is expanding, the galaxies on its surface are all stars and nebulas etc. that gravitate into the centre of the galaxy. The final result will be a crush where the immense sum of the forces of gravity will be so great that this will collapse into a black hole. Such a black hole can then give an idea of what the universe was when all of it was drawn together into this super atom of an infinitely small measurement.
Now, this hypothesis, for it can be nothing else, it can never be verified, there was no one present to observe such an event; requires faith. Firstly, the thought that all matter was at one moment in time squashed into a ball of infinitely small size. Many other questions are also bothersome. Where did the matter come from? Was it that of a former universe that collapsed into the super atom that exploded into the new universe, the present one? This is a popular concept, for it takes for granted that matter always existed. This model is called the oscillating model; expanding, then the crunch that follows to where all matter and energy is contracted to one point in space. This then explodes with a mighty force. So it continues forever and ever.
But the second law of thermo-dynamics doesn’t allow for this and Professor Hawking also reject this hypothesis. If matter always existed in a great great space then, entropy, the inescapable fact that though energy cannot be destroyed, it does progressively become unavailable in a closed system. The final result will then be what some call heat-death. With all energy spent, a state of equilibrium will be reached where no activity of any kind takes place. This second law of thermo-dynamics has a way to mess up all good theories. We will therefore have to learn more of it as time and opportunity allows.
Now if we can look at the models given above, we realize that they are all the creations of some great imaginations. The expanding universe is considered acceptable with most. Albert Einstein even could never make peace with his failure to have discovered this. The logic deduction to make if we leave all possible variables outside of our hypothizing, must obviously lead to the conclusion that it all began at one point in space and time. But even Professor Stephen Hawking, even though an atheist, refuses to do violence to the exercising of the mind called science. He does happen to be considered one of the greatest of the scientists since the scientific dispensation when, only for argument’s sake, the pope’s blessing of a thought is of any consequence.
I hope to allow him to speak for the scientific world in his book written in a way that we, novices can understand. Then we will see that to accept the previously mentioned ideas of the existence of the universe as for granted, are not without problems.
Yes, even Prof. Hawking allows that the belief in creation is not so far-fetched.
He even accepts the possibility that one day perhaps scientists will think of our discoveries and theories with the contempt with which scientists today reject the alchemist and pre-alchemist periods in man’s history.
Then I will ask you; “Is a heliocentric view of the universe ridiculous?” This is the model of a Greek scientist, Ptolemy who, in turn learnt it from the Greek philosopher, Aristotle. It accepts the sun as the centre of the universe.
Maybe I will push my luck even further and ask; “Do you believe that the earth was created first and is, at least in a way essential for us, the centre of the universe; that the rest of the universe was created four days after the earth?”
I know that you may want to say as some globe-trotting bishop once said; “It is too ghastly to think of!” God and those who believes in Him are getting too pushy!