How Did The
Universe Start?
Why Is It Perfect?
Ernie Buist

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Ernie Buist"
Subject: Re: WebMaster:_Positive_Atheism_Index
Date: Saturday, February 12, 2000 2:19 PM

The Big Bang model is very well-established, but I would not go so far as to say it is proven. The opponents of the Big Bang models have their work cut out for them, but we all do well to remain open to the possibility that we are wrong about the Big Bang.

If you are aware of Planck Time, then surely you have studied the Inflationary Big Bang Theory. What are your objections to the possibility that there is a vast super-universe in which tiny quantum fluctuations escape into a vacuum -- one of which we experience as our Universe? (For example, positron-electron pairs can materialize out of nothing, with no cause, in a vacuum, in our Universe.)

In other words, which well-established laws of physics preclude the Inflationary Big Bang Theory as espoused by Professor Victor J. Stenger?
http://www.positiveatheism.org/crt/stenger1.htm
http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/

This model is much simpler than that espoused by Dr. Craig and others, in which our vast, complex Universe was created by an even more vast, even more complex entity that is popularly known as "God" -- which begs the question, "How did God originate?" By logic, if we are going to ask what caused the Universe, we must likewise ask what caused the cause of the Universe. If explaining the origin of the Universe is tough, explaining the origin of an entity more vast and more complex than the Universe is even tougher. In other words, if the existence of the Universe is unlikely, the existence of a more complex creator is even more unlikely.

However, the Inflationary Big Bang Theory says that the total energy of the Universe is close to zero, meaning that it took zero energy to set off the Big Bang (escaping into a vacuum with a few minute fluctuations along the way to account for the imbalances that eventually resulted in the existence of matter). This model is simpler and thus much more likely than bringing a vastly complex creator into the picture, having that creator violate laws of physics, and then telling us that science will never be able to detect or even posit the existence of said creator. Also, according to Professor Stenger, this model violates no know laws of physics; in other words, it could have happened this way -- spontaneously -- without any "outside" intervention and needing no energy.
 

Totally perfect? What do you mean by that?

The Universe is almost entirely random, with a few tiny knots of order in it. One of these insignificant knots of order is our home (we could not exist and would never have evolved in those parts of the Universe where entropy reigns). We don't even have "perfect" entropy, as evidenced by the existence of order on our planet. What we do have is a Universe that is expanding faster than entropy can take place, leaving room for small amounts of order to form and allowing for our existence.

Even on our planet, things are far from perfect. Many catastrophes have occurred in our environment. Our environment has been relatively stable for longer than it takes for the carbon-based organisms living here to evolve and fill the niches left from the last environmental catastrophe. This gives the appearance of a balance of nature -- but just wait until the next big meteor or comet hits. Most of the carbon-based organisms will not make it, and those that do will evolve to adapt to the new environment and will eventually fill the niches in order to take advantage of whatever resources (area upon on land; space within water; exposure to sunlight) are available.

Even then (and even now), I would call this system far from perfect in that there is a vast amount of waste and inefficiency resulting in untold death. How many spiders have to be hatched in order for one to grow to adulthood? (And how many flies will it eat?) How many kittens will eventually find loving homes? How many African-American boys will reach their 21st birthday? How many young people will never find stable companionship simply because they suffer from a mental disorder such as depression?

True, this system is probably the best that we can expect from naturally occurring processes, but it is certainly not how I would have designed it if I were a god possessing all power. In my system, no mother would ever bury her son (and probably no son would bury his mother). If I were all-powerful, I would not allow anything like that for any reason.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine

Graphic Rule

Material by Cliff Walker (including unsigned editorial commentary) is copyright ©1995-2006 by Cliff Walker. Each submission is copyrighted by its writer, who retains control of the work except that by submitting it to Positive Atheism, permission has been granted to use the material or an edited version: (1) on the Positive Atheism web site; (2) in Positive Atheism Magazine; (3) in subsequent works controlled by Cliff Walker or Positive Atheism Magazine (including published or posted compilations). Excerpts not exceeding 500 words are allowed provided the proper copyright notice is affixed. Other use requires permission; Positive Atheism will work to protect the rights of all who submit their writings to us.