Where did the laws of physics come from?

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #288

The basic evidence has already been presented.

The origin of the Big Bang or the universe is beyond the physical, temporal, and spacial. It follows logically that the universe has its origin in the Infinite, that is Who theologically we call God. God by definition self-exists beyond time and space and thus alone has the ability, the means, the power, the wisdom, the opportunity, and the motivation to create the universe.

This is the basic rational scientific, philosophical, theological argument. The fact that I characterized God as Trinitarian does not alter that. That is my desire to be clear and specific as to what understanding of God I am referring to. (In the past some have tried to suggest some strange concepts of God as the Creator.)

A general view of God is sufficient since 1) all faiths that believe in God believe that God created the universe, 2) the standard belief in God in our culture is Christian and thus Trinitarian, and 3) I am speaking from the theological point of view, rather than a faith point of view, and theologically God is Trinity.

Why Is There Something, Rather Than Nothing? | Sean Carroll preposterousuniverse.com

@pevaquark, I recently read this essay by Sean Carroll. He says that we need to accept the universe as a brute fact without purpose or explanation. The problem with this is that a brute universe is not a rational universe which needs explanation based on reason and observation.

Science, philosophy, and theology understand the universe as rational. If the universe is not rational, then they are all false. The big problem I have with the New Atheism is that it is being driven by its ideology to say that the universe is not rational or comprehensible, but just is.


It doesn’t follow logically, as already discussed. All you are doing is making an assertion and sticking “it’s logical” on the end of it. That’s not how logic works.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #290

It follows logically that the universe has its origin in the Infinite, that is Who theologically we call God.

It is a conclusion based on logic and the known facts. Your previous assertion that an option that should be considered was something that is not based on viable evidence demonstrates the strength of this evidence.


It follows logically that rainbows are created by the farts of unicorns.

Is that claim logical simply because I declare it to be so?

(Mervin Bitikofer) #292

You wouldn’t believe how tempted I am to send this over to the start of a new thread!

Is it quote mining if I don’t show the whole context on this one, T? I could start a juicy new rumor. :unicorn::rainbow:


That’s a non sequitur. These are the two statements:
(1) The origin of the Big Bang or the universe is beyond the physical, temporal, and spacial.
(2) the universe has its origin in the Infinite, that is Who theologically we call God.

While I happen to agree with each of these statements, they’re metaphysical claims that cannot be proven using the laws of logic or science. It can’t be demonstrated logically that: the premise (1) is true, therefore the conclusion (2).

We could instead say that science and rational existence provide compelling reasons to accept the premise and conclusion through eyes of faith. “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that seen is not made out of things that are visible” (Hebrews 11:3).

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #294

I do believe that this can be proven with the laws of logic and science.

a) Everything has a cause. Even in quantum mechanics events have causes.
b) Therefore the universe has a cause.
c) Science can track the origin of the universe up to the Beginning, the edge of time, space, and Creation.
d) It follows that the origin and Cause of the universe is beyond the physical, temporal, and spacial.
e) The only Source of a rational universe in existence before the Beginning of the universe was God, Who therefore was the only One Who could have created the universe.

Faith is not the antithesis of science and logic. Faith is the basis of science and logic, meaning that faith believes that the universe is both good and rational, even when it does not seem to be good or rational. This is in part because faith looks at the long run, rather than the short run. Also faith looks at the positive right and not at the negative wrong.

Too many people think that faith is another word for wishful thinking when it is the opposite. It is a hard headed understanding of what it takes to live a good life based on what is true.


This is where the argument breaks down. The fact that science cannot account for something proves nothing more than a gap in knowledge. Science by definition cannot be used to prove metaphysical claims. To be sure, it is an extremely compelling reason for people like you and me to affirm the God is the cause. Don’t mistake how I am speaking of faith as wishful thinking–that’s not how scripture describes it.

I just want to apply equal logical pressure on fellow believers arguing from logic that I will apply to claims made by naturalists. To the scientific materialist, I can prove using logic that there exists absolute and knowable truth, outside of the realm of the natural sciences, and not subject to empirical and scientific testing.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #296

The point I am making is NOT that science cannot account for the Beginning of the universe. The point is that that the proven Big Bang Theory indicates that the universe has a Beginning which is the beginning of matter, energy, space, and time as per E = mc squared.

It proves that there must be a Reality beyond the universe Which is the only Reality Which can be the Source of the universe. It is, so to speak, circumstantial logical evidence for God, but solid circumstantial evidence is very real rational evidence.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #297

No, an conclusion is not logical because I say it is so, nor is a conclusion illogical because you say it is so. A conclusion is logical when it passes the tests that indicate it is based on rational thought. This is what I have tried to do, but you have not.

You say that you agree that the universe is rational, which means that it can be rationally understood. This rational understanding must extend to the Beginning of the universe to be real, but you have consistently been unready to seriously consider that the universe had a rational beginning from beyond the physical. In other words it seems that your materialism or your atheism sets limits on your rationality, so that means you are not fully rational.

I have a serious issue with your response

You are comparing this with my statement that the “universe is created by power of God.”

How can you compare one with the other unless you seriously think that God is simply a fragment of human imagination like the unicorn? If that is your real understanding, how can you engage in a serious discussion metaphysical questions?


Roger, nicely done–you’re moving to a more logically coherent position (“a Reality beyond the universe”). The cosmological argument for God’s existence is rationally compelling but neither empirically nor logically provable. That the Big Bang has a cause is logical but it cannot be proven who or what was that cause.

I agree with you that it’s exceedingly rational to infer that a powerful, rational and intelligent Creator was the cause. But this truth claim is a rational inference to be apprehended by faith. One could make a strong case that any other inference would be irrational and certainly scripture teaches that we are all accountable for how we respond to God’s general revelation in nature: “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Rom 1:19-20).

I just don’t want to give the impression to our atheist friends here that we as believers are not subject to the same laws of logic that all necessarily are in order to assert anything.


Are you trying to tell T that it seems irrational to deny that a rational universe has a rational Creator? If so, I would encourage you to change your language. I doubt that anyone ever embraced the truth claims of Christ by being told that in not doing so they were irrational.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #300

Thank you for agreeing that the Big Bang has a cause is logical. I agree that this does not in itself prove the existence of God, but I do maintain as you seem to agree that this is Evidence for the existence of the Creator.

Most people seem to confuse proof with evidence. Evidence does not prove anything until it becomes preponderate. Non-believers claim that there is no evidence that God exists, when that is clearly not true.

One way they do this I have found is to say that they can accept no evidence that God exists until it is proven that God exists. While @T_aquaticus has not said this, she/he keeps comparing God to a mythical entity indicating that he/she thinks that there is NO truth content in theological thinking.

Psalm 14:1 (NIV2011)
1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
I do not quote this to prove anything, but to show that

  1. Atheism does not seem to be a serious issue in the OT.

  2. The existence of God was considered so obvious in God’s Creation, that only a person bereft of reason truly thought that God did not exist.

  3. The only real atheist is the person bereft of reason who says in his/her heart, not with her/his lips, that there is no God.

While it is true that Christians believe in God by faith. This does not mean that we do not think that God exists through reason. Philosophy and Theology are based on reason, as well as faith.

Theology is human knowledge, even when it is based on divine revelation. Thus theology is rational and obeys the laws logic according to the Logos. What I am objecting to is those who say that belief in God is not rational, when it is. Those who say that belief in God is not rational are undermining the rational understanding of our world.

Humans are saved through grace by faith. This has little to do directly with the fact that God exists. One must think that God exists to be saved by faith, but thinking and even believing that God exists does not save. Please do not overlook that fact as so many people do.

Rational logical evidence which I am providing does not prove the existence of God beyond a shadow of doubt, because

  1. Doubt is often psychological, not rational.
  2. Proof is the preponderance of evidence, not a shadow of doubt.
  3. Certainty is only available after the fact, which is why humans must live by faith.

My final point is that a rational universe must logically be based on a rational cause. Those who deny that the universe is based on a rational cause, such as Sean Carroll, end up denying that the universe is rational.

It is clear to me and I think clear to science that the universe is rationally structured or designed and @T_aquaticus agrees. I maintain that this also clear evidence that the universe is created by a rational God, but I would entertain any indication that there is an alternative possibility.

(Randy) #301

Thanks, Dr Sawtelle. You have good arguments.

However, i’ve been thinking. Please help me see whether this is not a God of the gaps argument (and maybe we will wind up there sometime anyway as a necessary conclusion).
From YEC and previous arguments, we thought that a complex organism like man required intelligence to create. However, we found that in our system, evolution does occur and there’s evidence that we have arisen from rudimentary elements and energy. I think that rationality can imply intelligence, but I’m concerned that we are winding up with the same sort of argument as ID.

In my evolutionary biology capstone capstone course 'way back in the 1990s, the very kind agnostic instructor said, “it’s fine if you want to believe in God, but where does God come from?”

What do you mean by “rational”? Can we even conceive of a universe that is not rational? What if there is a parallel, irrational universe? if there is a rational cause of a rational universe, what caused that rationality? Is it like the Russian doll, with a cause ad infinitum?

I’m just not sure we will get anywhere with this. Denis Lamoureux, by the way, argues from this and from Romans and the Book of Wisdom saying that order is present, so we are without excuse (though I disagree respectfully with this very wise man, as if that were so, there would be no need for apologetics).

Thanks. In Christ, Randy

PS I would find it interesting to learn more about your books, if you have time.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #302

@Randy, thank you for the honor and support, but I wish to make it clear that this is a degree that I have not received.

I can assure you that this is not a God of the Gaps argument. I call YHWH the God of the Facts, because it demonstrates that only YHWH God could create the universe. It puts the pressure on non-believers to prove that God could not have done this.

Indeed they must argue from ignorance because there is no solid evidence for the multiverse or any other natural Source of the universe. In other words they must argue for the No God of the Gaps.

I see you problem and I deeply sympathize with it. That really is why I became involved in these issues.

The problem seems basically simple to most people, but it is not because it is deeply entwined with the was that we as Western folk see the world, or Western dualism. We are used to seeing things as done by God or by nature. If nature did not do something then God must have done it, when life is much more complicated than that.

I have a different point of view which I believe is shared by the Bible. David wrote in Psalm 139:13-15 (NIV2011)
13 For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

In the Psalm David does not give any indication that his conception and birth was any different from the natural process of sexual reproduction that created all of us. Our ancient precursors indeed did know the facts of life.

God is at work guiding the Creation through natural, rational, and spiritual ways. The question is how and the problem is that Darwinian evolution does not properly explain.

You really need to read my book, Darwin’s Myth, where try to analyze this in detail, but the crux of the matter is that as Darwin said, evolution has two basic aspects, Variation, which has developed into Genetics and Natural Selection. So far so good, but for practical purposes science has concentrated almost completely on Variation and genetic change and not on Natural Selection which determines the rational direction of evolution based on God’s creative power.

[quote=“Randy, post:301, topic:39114”]
a complex organism like man required intelligence to create. However, we found that in our system, evolution does occur and there’s evidence that we have arisen from rudimentary elements and energy.[/quote]

Yes, humans and the whole of creation does require intelligence or rationality to create. The evolutionary process id twofold, Variation which is in large part random within definite limits, so this is the basis for myth that evolution is without meaning and purpose. What the myth ignores is that Natural Selection is the opposite of random and give life meaning and purpose.

The problem with ID is that it attacked Darwinism on the wrong issue, Variation, rather than Selection. The problem with BioLogos is that it fails to consider the possibility that Darwinian Selection is off track.

Exodus 3:14 (NIV2011)
14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

God is not a thing among things. God is Infinite, while nature is finite. By definition and nature, a finite thing like the universe has a beginning and an end. By definition and nature the Infinite does not have a beginning and an end.

This is not only an theological statement, but a philosophical one. The role of Philosophy is to be the4 referee between Science and Theology, which is why we need a real and working discipline of Philosophy to make our understanding of Science and Theology complete.

I am using it as a basic concept meaning based on thinking. We identify something as a product of thinking when we identify in it intelligible patterns.

We cannot conceive of a viable universe that is not rational.

A parallel universe is one with which there is no contact, or no interaction, so it has no impact on us and we have no knowledge of it.

Rationality is caused by thinking. The Cause of the rationality of our universe is the Logos, God’s rational Word, Jesus Christ the 2nd Person of the Trinity.

GOD IS WHO GOD IS. God is rational because God thinks. God is eternal because God is self created.

There is a huge difference between saving faith in Jesus Christ and understanding the universe is created by a rational God. We certainly cannot expect or demand that everyone acknowledge that Jesus dies for their sins, although it is true and they should. On the other hand I would say that all reasonable people should agree that our rational universe was created by a rational God in order form a rational basis for intellectual order.


Where is this test?

I have considered that the universe could have originated from outside the physical and from the physical. You seem to ignore the possibility that the universe could come from the physical. If anyone is ignoring possibilities it is you.

My statement passed all the logical tests your claims did.


That seems to be based on the unsupported assertion that a rational universe must come from another rational process.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #305

That is a lie. As I have said repeatedly, the Big Bang indicates that the universe came out of absolute Nothing, the absence of mass, energy, space, and time. The universe did not come out of the physical because there was no physical.

This too is a lie. Logic is not magic. Logic is the rational organization of Reality.

There is no evidence that unicorns exist or they could produce the universe. There is abundant evidence that the Creator exists so there is no parallel between them. The logical conclusions that I have presented cannot be disputed by this foolishness.

@T_aquaticus, you either accept the fact that that the universe is rationally constructed with cause and effect or not.


What evidence supports this claim?


I don’t ever try to argue for the existence of God for the reason stated here… Problems with apologetics?

But a few quotes:
“All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning…It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.” (physicist Alexander Vilenkin)

“Many people do not like the idea that time has a beginning, probably because it smacks of divine intervention.” (Stephen Hawking)

On fine tuning, which unsurprisingly led to the multiverse hypothesis:
“We have a lot of really, really strange coincidences, and all of these coincidences are such that they make life possible.” (physicist Andrei Linde)