The question of why anything at all exists is one of the most profound questions to ask. At some point in our lives we all wonder where everything came from. So how about the universe?
Well, logically there are only two options: either the universe always existed or the universe came into existence. If the universe always existed it does not need any cause for its existence – as it always was. But if the universe came into existence then there must have been something – a cause – that caused it to come into existence.
I believe that there are good reasons, both from philosophy and science, to think that the universe began to exist.
The almost universally accepted Big Bang cosmological model also confirms this conclusion. The Big Bang represents the origin of the universe from literally nothing; for all matter and energy, even physical space and time themselves, came into being at that moment.
In 1929, astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that the light from all observable galaxies was redshifted, indicating that these galaxies are moving away from us. In fact, he found that the universe was expanding - with all of the galaxies moving away from each other. This was considered the first tangible evidence confirming the Big Bang model. If the universe is observed to continuously expand, it follows logically that if we go back in time it must have been smaller. And as we go further back in time it will continue to get smaller and smaller, ultimately going back to a point where it began to exist. Therefore the universe must have had a beginning.
A similar conclusion follows from the law of entropy. Entropy is another word for disorganization or chaos. According to this law, entropy in a closed system over time always increases. Therefore disorder will eventually prevail. The implications are enormous for the universe, as at some point in time, it will run out of useable energy! One day the sun will simply burn out, and life on earth will cease. In the same way the universe itself will run out of energy to expand, and everything as we know it will end. But if this is the case, the universe must have started with a high level of organization and usable energy. Famous physicist and astrobiologist Paul Davis gives the obvious answer: “The universe can’t have existed forever. We know there must have been an absolute beginning a finite time ago.” The universe’s energy, says Davies, was simply “put in” at the creation as an initial condition.
And let me lastly quote Alexander Vilenkin (Professor of Physics and Director of the Institute of Cosmology at Tufts University), possibly one of the best known cosmologists of our time, who concluded as recently as 2012 that “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.”
But then the inevitable question arises: Why did the universe come into being? What caused the universe to come into existence? There must have been a cause outside of the universe which brought it into existence. We can therefore summarize our argument as follows:
1. If the universe began to exist it would have a cause
2. The universe began to exist.
From which it follows logically that
Therefore, the universe has a cause which itself by definition is outside of the universe and is therefore a spaceless, timeless and immaterial cause.
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