The First Cause

The universe may have existed forever, according to a new model that applies quantum correction terms to complement Einstein's theory of general relativity. The model may also account for dark matter and dark energy, resolving multiple problems at once. The widely accepted age of the universe, as estimated by general relativity, is 13.8 billion years. In the beginning, everything in existence is thought to have occupied a single infinitely dense point, or singularity. Only after this point began to expand in a "Big Bang" did the universe officially begin.

Although the Big Bang singularity arises directly and unavoidably from the mathematics of general relativity, some scientists see it as problematic because the math can explain only what happened immediately after—not at or before—the singularity.

"The Big Bang singularity is the most serious problem of general relativity because the laws of physics appear to break down there," Ahmed Farag Ali at Benha University and the Zewail City of Science and Technology, both in Egypt, told Phys.org.

This quote is from this article I read earlier this week.  Admittedly, I was not shocked by this "development."

Speaking personally, the cosmology described by general relativity and the "big bang" is not a problem for me as a Christian.  As this article points out, both suggest a finite universe with a definite starting point.  I do not struggle, as scientists do, to explain an event in which the rules of mathematics and the laws described by physics do not apply since I, as a Christian, believe in a God who exists outside the bounds of space and time.  It makes perfect sense to me!  The thorniest issue for the Christian is the apparent age of the universe and how the chronology of the Bible does not agree.  But that's another issue for another post (or perhaps a comment later if anyone wants to talk...).

There are two types of people who struggle with the big bang cosmology:

  1. Those who embrace materialism and exclude God from the equation, and

  2. Those whose religious teachings present the universe as eternal.

This is nothing new.  An eternal, static universe was the conventional scientific view of the late 19th century.  Einstein's theory of general relativity, when calculated correctly, predicts quite the opposite.  Einstein resisted the notion of an expanding universe with a definite beginning until Edwin Hubble's discovery of the red shift in stars left him with no empirical reason to deny reality.

The short excerpt quoted above shows that scientists continue to wrestle with a truth that was theoretically predicted and empirically proved.  If no explanation for the material realm exists within the material realm, the only reasonable conclusion is that something or someone outside that realm provided the origin and forces that brought it into existence.  I choose to believe the first cause is God.