The Ultimate Creation Paradox

Before you have a big bang you need fuel. So there must have been something before it. Molecules? or whatever the latest microscopic component part? Where do they come from?
If you are going to deny the eternal God, Alpha and Omega, beginning and end, where do you conjure up matter from? (We shall ignore the Where does God come from for now) What is the current scientific position?

Richard

This was not a chemical explosion. It was not an explosion in space. It was an expansion of space-time.

No… energy. Matter comes later.

But energy connects the ideas of things and actions.

In any case, nobody really addresses the question of why something rather than nothing. But I am not sure that is even a meaningful question. Of course one can employ the rhetoric of “self-existence” to say what you start with must exist by default.

Theist: Starts with God. The action of God to create the universe is logically sufficient to provide all the energy required.

Naturalist: Starts with natural law. If they accept the idea that it all had a beginning then they typically suggest the positive energy in the universe is balanced by some sort of negative energy of space-time.

1 Like

Time has an energy?

Why not?

There would not appear to be any sort of forces available in nature to produce the Big bang…

There would not appear to be any reason for energy to build up to a bursting (explosive) point. And no real theory as to how such an explosion would cause matter to exist.

It would appear that the Big Bang is just a starting point, just as Genesis is a starting point.

Richard

So what is happening is that as humans we limited knowledge. Almost everything, with maybe the exception of God, has limited knowledge. ( though I’m still open to looking into process theology down the road ). There are things in science that we just don’t have answers to yet. But that’s been the case with everything. Everything in a science textbook that you read was something we did not know and then someone studied it out. Sometimes we can only study it out so far because we hit our limitation of knowledge and technology. Right now, we just don’t seem to have the technology to fully explore this question. In a few hundred years we will have answers to questions we don’t even know to ask at the moment.

So again, what we have is a gap. That gap does not mean the only answer is supernatural or magically means.

For example, out of trillions of planets out there does any of them have intelligent life comparable to us or greater than us. We don’t know. There is a gap. But it would be a bit foolish to fill that gap in with God only allowed life on earth and no where else.

I don’t know enough about things like longitudinal energy waves or energy following shortest time path vs longest time path and so on.

So what you are saying is that it is Ok to just say “we do not know”? Or even “That is beyond our ability to comprehend”?

And the counterpoint to that is that Religion is a short cut to resolution.

So as knowledge increases religion will decrease?

On that reckoning we should just delete Genesis 1-4 on the principle that our knowledge has surpassed it?

Richard

What I think is that genesis 1-11 is mythology and has nothing to say about the natural world at all. Science and myths focus on two different types of truths.

Yes it’s ok to say we don’t know and refrain from interjecting intelligent design or the supernatural into a gap.

1 Like

The big bang is not an explosion. None of this applies to big bang theory.

Yes the big bang is the start of the universe regardless of whether you are a theist or a naturalist. The question was the cause (which is beyond the scope of scientific evidence). Theists believe the cause is God and the naturalists believe the cause is natural law (for the latter why don’t you read Stephen Hawking’s books “A brief history of time” and/or “A briefer history of time.”

Genesis is an ancient text over which there is considerable disagreement regarding its purpose, meaning, and significance. Putting it in juxtaposition to or in the same category as big bang theory is ludicrous.

Space and time are not separable. And yes some think that there is a negative energy in space-time or gravity, believing the net energy of the universe is zero.

1 Like

Based on my experience and previous discussions of this subject, there’s a real problem with determining whether the universe is beginning or expanding at the big bang.

Since we cannot measure anything before the big bang, it is the beginning of the measurable universe. The universe of people’s imagination can be anything.

I was not doing so, and if you read anytihng I have put in the last few years you would know that.

Richard

Much of it is mythologized, stories with an element of truth that are embellished to make a metaphysical point.

The Tower of Babel is perhaps the best example: there really was a giant “tower” that was meant to be a place for communicating with heaven, it really was left unfinished, and a multitude of languages was involved; had it been completed it would have been the largest ziggurat ever. The Genesis writer recast the event to convey a lesson.

The Noah story is similar; there were a number of massive floods in what we think of as pre-history, big enough to have wiped out the then-known world, and there were certainly survivors. But the way it is told in Genesis bears marks of mythologizing, including poetic elements, hyperbole, and narrative balance and chiasm.

So while the focus isn’t on the natural world (indeed the writers wouldn’t have considered that there is any "natural world) the different stories are based in what we would call the natural world.

I’m still annoyed at how the YECists hijacked the term “intelligent design”. Back in the day it was a term indicating a recognition.conclusion that science pointed to a Designer; it had nothing to do with any “gaps” and everything to do with all the “non-gap” knowledge science had attained.

Especially since the idea of the singularity has rather fallen by the wayside, so there is argument over how large the universe already was when the “bang” happened. I saw a piece a while back that claimed that at the moment that the “bang” occurred the universe would have fit into a large horizontal freezer, and another more recently that it would have fit into a typical bathtub – but both pieces were in agreement that it was definitely not just a tiny near-dimensionless point.

I look at the Big Bang as a phase change: those on the later side of a phase change can only speculate at conditions before.

It might have been sublime. :grin:

In short we disagree on quite a bit.

I’m not convinced that there was ever a flood that wiped out the majority of people. Maybe there was a big flood in Mesopotamia and maybe not. I’m also not convinced that there was ever a Tower of Babel there either. Could have been a big building perhaps but I can’t imagine it would have been the largest ever or that it was connected to people being scattered or language changing.

I think that the flood is most likely purely fictional. I use to think maybe there was a small regional flood and a man was there that was somehow warned. But it was not the first storm. I think it’s just symbolism for a new creation story.

In the myth the scene is this.

A world going through a massive storm. So the sun would have been blotted out. Storm clouds everywhere casting the world into darkness. The storm even blotted over the land by covering it up with its dark chaotic waves and water. So the world was formless and void. Then instead of it being the breath of God separating it as the god hovered over the waters, we see the spirit as a dove being released and hovering above the waters and landing on a tree and that tree represented a sort of tree of life.

I think the Tower of Babel was something written after there was a king. I think the image is of a giant tower. A monstrous building like the idol of a king. Even though it never says king, you can definitely imagine a pharaoh ruling over it making everyone build it. Someone had to be the workers. Someone was in charge. But the kingdom was destroyed and the people scattered into exile into foreign lands and cultures taking on a new identify instead of the original chosen priestly one.

Now, I agree with you that is what ID is. ID is the belief that science points towards a designer. I disagree that science points towards a designer. I just don’t believe in any fine tuning. I’m not sure where Klax is. But he was actually pivotal years ago making me realize that I don’t have to use Christian jargon to cover up my disbelief. By that I mean it was him who made me realize it’s actually perfectly fine to admit there is no fine tuning. I don’t need it to have faith.

I think the misleading notion here is the phrase “before you have a big bang”.
As others have said, in various words, there was no “before” the big bang.
Time started then or thereabouts. The universe also started off with various parameters set. Only God knows why the particular parameters (“boundary conditions”) were set in a particular way, except that they did generate a universe fit to produce folk like us. No paradox, just a certain amount of human ignorance. Energy could have been one of the initial parameters.

To claim that energy pre-existed denies the laws of thermodynamics and conservation of energy.
Or do we just throw out all the laws of physics because we are talking Nature?

Richard

You may have misunderstood. Nothing physical pre-exists the start of physical time, by definition! We should suppose God acting from a different mode. But I decline to speculate on the mode of existence of God.

Who said anything about God?

The Big Bang is the alternative to God (in any form not just Genesis)

Which was the whole point of this discussion.

Richard

How is that? The rumor is that ‘big bang’ coined by Hubble was meant as a pejorative because non-theists did not like the idea when Fr. Lemaître proposed it because the big bang made God an alternative to the steady-state universe they were presuming, just the opposite of what you appear to be claiming.

Last I knew there were five mega-floods that covered large enough areas they could be candidates for the Noah account, three in the Tigris-Euphrates basin, one the flooding of the Black Sea, and the other at the head of the Persian Gulf. All it would take to get from one of those to the Noah story would be a family surviving in a craft large enough to take their animals along, and not having evidence of other survivors, and then the writer/redactor to mythologize it.

Except we know that there was an event that had all those. The building was in Eridu, and if it had been finished it would have been the biggest ziggurat ever, except the project was abandoned. The language situation was that the city itself didn’t have a large enough workforce, so they obtained laborers from across the area they ruled; apparently whoever called for this labor force didn’t stop to think about the fact that they spoke a multitude of languages and so translators would be needed. Then IIRC there was a supply aand/or funding issue on top of the ridiculous inefficiency due to the language problem, and in the lull in construction the labor force just packed up and left.

The bit about it being a tower to heaven is a misunderstanding of the purpose of a ziggurat by westerners: Back then it was almost universal that high places were where the gods came down to meet with priests and kings, but Eridu and its fellow cities were on a plain. So since they didn’t have any mountains, their solution was to build imitation mountains that would allow the priests to ascend and communicate with heaven in hopes the gods would come down and speak with them.

To a people whose deity didn’t bother with high mountains, just with a designated place, it was easy enough to misconstrue what was going on, probably deliberately, and to tell the story in a way that attributed all the screw-ups to intervention by YHWH.
And right there is a major piece in the case made for the final version having been set down during the Exile: priests trying to lead the Israelites while they were all in Babylon would have spun things to remind their people that despite what it looked like, YHWH was still supreme – and to stay away from those pagan ziggurats!

In my university days there was a group of students who’d been atheists or agnostics until they got deeply into science and decided there must be a Designer. But everyone was rational enough to recognize that anything beyond that conclusion wasn’t science any more, though for the investigation of which candidate for Divine-Design was the actual one some tried to find some science in the various holy books; mostly, though, they examined the holy books looking for the most rational claim to deity.
And I always got a kick out of telling YECists that the branch of science with the largest number in our informal club wasn’t cosmology but biology – that it was the study of evolution specifically that brought the most to decide there must be a Designer.

It’s hard to deny at least some fine-tuning as there are a number of constants that have values such that if they were changed even slightly the result would be a universe that could not have life. But it’s not so straightforward as is often claimed because not all the constants are independent, plus it’s my understanding that there are some that can vary quite a bit without radically changing the universe.

1 Like