July 10, 2018 spike

The Secular Dilemma

Secular cosmologists try to use the laws of physics to explain how the cosmos came to exist without a Creator.

But they have a dilemma. The laws of physics don’t permit the Universe to exist, unless a supernatural Creator made it.

Ultimately, any origins model that denies a Creator has to violate physics in one way or another. You can’t logically and consistently affirm the laws of physics and the existence of the Universe.

That’s because all secular origins models have to answer this question: Did the Universe have a beginning?

There are only two possible answers to this: yes, or no.

And it turns out that whichever way a (secular) model answers it, it has to violate physics somehow. If the model says “yes,” then it violates certain laws of physics. If the model says “no,” then it violates certain other laws of physics.

The only origins model which can be consistent with all the laws of physics is one that affirms a supernatural Creator, who created the Universe and who determined the laws under which it operates.

But how are the “yes” and “no” answers related to physics?

I’ve already written about how physics doesn’t allow the “no” answer, because a fundamental law of physics—known as the second law of thermodynamics—shows that our Universe cannot be eternally old. In other words, our Universe must have had a beginning.

Many Christians unwisely affirm the Big Bang model, because they think that we need it to prove that the Universe had a beginning. But that’s incorrect. The second law of thermodynamics alone is sufficient to show that the Universe cannot be eternal. For more information, see this article: https://www.creationastronomy.com/big-bang-model-we-dont-need-it/.

OK, so the “no” answer violates physics. What about the “yes” answer?

First of all, we must clarify what “yes” actually means. If the Universe really had a beginning, then before it began, there was nothing. There was absolutely nothing: there was no matter, no energy, no space, no time… nothing.

Problem: this means that when the Universe began, something came from nothing. And a law of physics forbids this.

This fundamental law is often known as the Conservation of Mass-Energy. It says that the total amount of matter and energy that exists can never change. The relative amounts of each can shift back and forth, but the total combined amount is fixed and unchanging.

This has many implications, but an obvious one is that the Universe’s matter and energy cannot have popped into existence from nothing.

Since the Big Bang model requires exactly that—in other words, since the Big Bang model claims that roughly 14 billion years ago, the Universe and all of its contents popped into existence from nothing—we see that this law of physics contradicts the Big Bang model.

In fact, it disproves any secular origins model that tries to claim that at some point, something came from nothing, without a Creator being involved. Any purely naturalistic model that tries to use the laws of nature to explain the Universe, winds up being disproven by those same laws.

In this article, I’ve focused on just two aspects of this (the second law of thermodynamics, and the conservation of mass-energy). The Big Bang model contradicts physics in other ways beyond these, but I like to focus on this particular dilemma, because it can be summed up rather neatly:

  • The second law of thermodynamics says that the Universe cannot be eternal. Therefore, it must have had a beginning.
  • The conservation of mass-energy says that the Universe cannot have had a beginning. Therefore, it must be eternal.

The only way out of this dilemma is a supernatural Creator.

In other words, the only origins model that is consistent with all the laws of physics, is that the Universe was formed by a supernatural Creator who operated outside of them.



Some secular cosmologists today are confused about what “nothing” means.

First, they’ll tell you that the Universe began in a Big Bang, and that the Universe popped into existence from nothing.

When you ask how the Universe could do something like that, they’ll explain that before the Big Bang, there was a quantum field in a primordial vacuum, and then the quantum field fluctuated, producing the Big Bang, which made energy, which cooled into particles, which eventually formed the things we now see in our Universe.

There are many things wrong with that story, but my point right now is that this story does not actually describe a beginning for the Universe. It merely tries to describe how the Universe changed from being a primordial vacuum that contained no particles, into a Universe that did contain particles.

And it raises the question: was there ever a point at which there was no primordial vacuum and noquantum field that could fluctuate, because those things had not yet come to be? In other words, was there ever a point at which there was absolutely nothing?

If the answer is “yes”—if a cosmologist acknowledges that if you peer back into history far enough, there was indeed a point at which there was nothing—then the conservation of mass-energy applies to his model (and disproves it), despite his efforts to evade it.

If the answer is “no”—if a cosmologist wants to believe that there’s always been something—then despite his use of the word “beginning,” he really is claiming that the Universe is eternal, and the second law of thermodynamics disproves his model, as the article mentioned above describes.

I should also mention those cosmologists who claim that the Big Bang was only the latest in a series of Big Bangs that have been going on for eternity, because our Universe expands and contracts forever, producing an eternal series of alternating Big Bangs and Big Crunches… or others who claim that our Big Bang was the result of a collision between “cosmic membranes,” and such collisions have been going on for eternity… and other such tales that sound (kinda) scientific, but are really just science fiction.

Ultimately, they’re just variations on eternal-Universe scenarios. And so, the second law of thermodynamics debunks them.

Photo credit: Good Free Photos on Unsplash

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