On Probability of Universal Origins

I’m under no delusions about affecting the ongoing “debate” between what are commonly called “Big Bang” or “Evolution” and “Creationism”.  I do, however, have a rare consideration that may be of value to anyone actually in search of the facts regarding how everything got here.

I’ve heard many people argue against the model in which the Universe is the result of the creative acts of an all-powerful God.  They suggest that such an explanation of our origins is a “cop out” that attributes hard-to-explain events to an imaginary God.  Further, they seem to take it as a given that such a scenario would be astronomically unlikely to occur, and they offer in support of their skepticism the age-old question on the origin of God.  The seem to suggest that since Creationists cannot explain the origin of God, except by another ostensible cop out (that he has always existed), the whole thing must be simply imaginary, and can have no basis in fact.

If these anti-creation arguments are to be considered worthy, then I wonder if they do not indeed cut both ways.  That is, shall we consider the “Big Bang Theory” to be equally unlikely because of similar problems?

In the BBT, as in the creation, something caused the origin of the Universe, but in the BBT, the current order of things came about without any design, except whatever appearance of design might appear based upon the related natures of the materials created in the Big Bang.  Where we have in the creation model, a God who designed everything just so, we have in BBT the same present and observable order of things, and the same interrelation between things, yet they are all precipitated from the original “bang”, as well as from whatever commonalities and differences existed in the various kinds of matter distributed by the “bang”.  Physics, therefore, was not designed, but is simply the way that these materials interact since the “bang”.

I wonder, however, whether such order from nothing is any less unlikely than an identical order having been invented on purpose.

Similarly, where the idea of God as the originator is staunchly opposed by many, I note that they seem quite comfortable in not knowing the origin or cause of the “Big Bang”.  Indeed, if a philosophy that relies on a causeless God is a problem, how about a philosophy that relies on a causeless explosion?  And so I call upon scientists to investigate the question of what caused the ostensible “Big Bang”, rather than to continue merely taking it as a given, as Creationists often do with God.

Interestingly, however, I have often heard scientists say that the question of God is “simply outside the scope of science”, and that “science is only concerned with that that can be observed and measured and experimented upon”.  Thus do many of them absolve themselves from any responsibility for considering the question of God.  They would argue that to posit a God that they could not prove by observation or experimentation would be irresponsible.

Why, then, do they not refrain from positing the Big Bang, which they can neither observe nor replicate by experimentation?

And if the Big Bang just makes perfect sense starting from what we observe in the here and now and going backwards in time in search of a plausible explanation for our origins, then one might expect that what came before the ostensible bang would be of equal interest.  That interest, however, seems to be cut off firmly at the “bang”, and not a moment earlier.  So when we are told that some massive object, perhaps smaller than a walnut, exploded into our Universe, we are not to wonder what was the origin of that mass or the cause of that explosion.  No, there’s no sense going there.   Rather, it is enough for us simply to believe it on faith.  No, wait, that’s a term from religion, and not from science.  So how can we make that sound better?  Indeed, that sounds quite a bit like the sort of rhetoric for which Creationists are criticized!

I, for one, see little difference in the likelihood of the following models:

  1. A pre-existent mass of unknown origins exploded as the result of an unknown and unaccounted-for cause, and eventually evolved into our present Universe over the next few billion years.
  2. A pre-existent God of unknown origins designed and created the Universe, presumably as he wanted it to be, at some indeterminate time in history.

Is the first considered more likely because we are used to seeing super-dense rocks explode all the time?  No.  In fact, under the current Theory, such a “Big Bang” has only happened once in the 13.75 (± 0.11) billion years since the clock started ticking.  If that doesn’t qualify as a rare event, what does?!

I do not even pretend to argue that the unlikelihood of such an event is a proof that it did not happen.  That would be ridiculous—even if I were a scientist making such an argument against Creation Theory.  What I would like to see, however, is some common-sense acknowledgement that what is proposed in BBT is an astronomically special case for which we cannot even come close to offering an explanation.  Practically everyone seems to underestimate the importance of just how many subsequent assumptions in science are presently hanging upon the BBT assumption.  Call me crazy, but that’s an awful lot of eggs in one theoretical basket, eh?!

How, then, is the lowly Creationist (who believes that it’s all explained by “God did it”) viewed as such a moron?  There is plenty of moronic behavior and belief to go around on “both sides” (as if there were only two) of this chronic debate.  Perhaps all parties would do well to acknowledge that the origins are equally hard to explain in each case.

I, for one, wish that all people, in every field of human endeavor (including, but not limited to, science and religion) were more sophisticated than what we presently witness in our society.  As it is, far too many are taken in by the hearsay game, fueled alternately by preachers and professors who are hearsayers themselves.


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