Life and the universe -- origins

At this point Science does not have a theory about the genesis of the universe. The Big Bang Theory explains how our universe evolved from a supremely condensed hot state. But there is no explanation for what caused the BB if indeed anything. There are informed speculations and it’s generally thought that it occurred in the context of a parent universe but there is currently no testable theory.

Likewise abiogenesis. Theory of Evolution describes what happened after life arose but not how it came about. Again there are hypotheses but no real theory.

Tegmarks " mathematical universe" perhaps does.

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It’s generally thought that our insignificant universe arose from another by whom? The most reasonable (HA!) story is that universes ultimately arise from large enough quantum perturbations in absolutely nothing. Strong uniformitarianism - that nothing changes; as energy is vectored, the total amount is… zero - demands that. No test is necessary let alone possible.

With abiogenesis we’re making much better progress. Which we’ll never come to the end of I’m sure. We’ll be extinct first. Again, it doesn’t matter that we can never know how, it happens anyway on every world of infinite from eternity that it rains on.

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But there are some big differences between these two (i.e. origin of the universe and origin of life).

  1. We have reason to think that the origin of the universe may be beyond what we can discover (especially if it began in a space-time singularity of some kind, as seems to be the case). But we have good reason to think that the origin of life is something we can discover – and there have been significant strides made towards doing so recently.
  2. We have no evidence that we will ever have access to information from any universe but this one. But since our planet is one among a billion billion in the universe, we have every expectation that there is life elsewhere. Thus we have many origins of life to look for and only one origin of the universe.
  3. It also seems to me that the difficulties in these two questions are also very different. For the origin of life it is a matter of working out many details in the chemistry of life – asking the origin of each of these. But for the origin of the universe we are dealing with some significant unknowns and we cannot even be sure we are asking the right questions. Or to put it simply, with the origin of life we pretty much have the big picture, but with the origin of the universe we do not.

In reply to you and @Klax:

I made that comment not to compare the two questions but to clarify what we know. This is often a matter of confusion. We have strong theories about how life and the universe developed but about their origins we have only speculation.

Yes, I agree. Abiogenesis and cosmogenesis are two very different kinds of mysteries. There is good reason to think we will eventually crack the question of the origin of life but establishing an existence outside of or prior to our own universe is a much fainter hope.


We’d need a lab as physico-chemically diverse as the late Hadean, with all the gradients of light-dark, dry-wet, hot-cold, alkali-acid, high-low pressure for a start.


I think that’s a big part of the problem, nailing down the conditions on the surface of the Earth at the time. Demonstrating a plausible pathway in the lab would be a huge step forward but still leaves open the question whether that’s how it actually happened.

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We’ll never be able to do it physically, only virtually in theory, but we’ll never have the computing power for that either, to model chemistry along all those axes and more at the atomic level. Not without a million monkeys with Crays. And we’ll never, as in never, be able to observe a world at that stage close up.

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Life generated in a lab should at least cure the
“Vital Force” belief, the "only from life " and "only by
miracle " ideas.
To me it seems like a lesser sort of god who cannot set up
Laws of the universe so that life emerges on its own, sans
tweaking and meddling.


Does he have something testable? There are numerous speculations based on state of the art cosmology. Guth’s Inflation theory implies that universes can and do appear all the time in the vacuum as expanding bubbles of space time. But at present it remains unfalsifiable.

Yes, it would kill the notion of a “divine spark”.

Given millions of cubic miles of ocean,
and millions of years, seems as if a whole lot of different
conditions would have occurred.

The laws of nature (not just our insignificant universe) are prevenient of God. He can’t change them.

That is an idea.
Another is that God is omnipotent

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As God grounds natural AND transcendent being, what would He have to do to be potent?

How would i know. Christians say that God is omnipotent,
but then set limits.
I find that odd and contradictory.

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Christians say all sorts of nonsense. Like scientists who go beyond their bailiwick do. All the omnis are meaningless without limits.


There is no life created in a lab. As yet, science has no explanation for the origins of life.
Saying that nature has no capacity to create life and so God had to do it miraculously is not necessarily claiming that God could not have set up natural laws for the origin of life.

“Universe”, by definition, is everything. “Universes” is a nonsense term, a bit of science fiction to avoid the limitations of nature that demand a God.

The word has several different meanings. Etymology does not define the meaning of a word, rather usage is king. In modern cosmology the word is often used to refer to our cosmos and the possibility of other universes is taken seriously.


“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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