For nearly a hundred years now, we've taught our children that the universe began with a naturally occurring big bang. This idea replaced the earlier concept of God creating the universe presented in the book of Genesis.
The Big Bang theory has two principal prefaces. The first is Christian Doppler whose work with light enabled us to tell that stars are moving away from us and in which direction. The second preface was Albert Einstein, whose relativity equations made it possible to build mathematical models around the concept of a singularity.
It was Georges Lemaître who, in 1927, combined his own observations with the observations of Edwin Hubble and proclaimed that the universe was universally expanding from a central point, and that, at some time in the past, the universe must have began with all its matter and energy compressed into a single spot called a singularity, which (for reasons yet unknown) exploded one day in a big bang creating the universe.
Big Bang was a beautiful and elegant theory. Even the Pope liked it so much he offered to make it catholic dogma with a papal edict, despite it's negative conflict with the book of genesis. Perhaps he knew people weren't going to be satisfied with "let there be light" forever.
There is a problem with the big bang theory most people don't know about though.
Lurking in the shadows is a mathematical problem that threatens to ruin big bang as a viable theory forever. It seems the matter and energy and velocity of the big bang must balance in a particularly sensitive way. At one end of the balance the universe doesn't have enough energy to ignite the stars, and without the stars there can be no matter and the universe is dead. At the other end of the scale if there is too much energy, the universe flashes out in a giant explosion at the moment of creation leaving nothing but inert cinders behind.
It turns out this balance has to be incredibly precise or we have no universe. By precise, I mean something like 10 to the eighty-second power to one against. In other words, our naturally occurring big bang universe is mathematically impossible without someone like God holding down the odds for us.
Scientists don't like invoking God in their business so they've come up with something called Dark Matter and Dark energy to balance the universe. They call it "dark" because we can't see it. We can't detect it in any way. In fact, we have no reason at all to believe in dark matter and energy, except that without it the big bang would be impossible, which coincidentally, is precisely the same reason why others invoke God changing the odds in our favor. Without it, we have no universe.
Another theory some scientists employ add extra dimensions to the big bang concept, as in the popular M or String Theory. Although absolutely fascinating and beautiful and elegant, there's a fundamental problem with String Theory in that there's absolutely no proof. It exists, at this time, as only mathematical models which might solve the problem, but only as mathematical models, we haven't managed to actually observe any of its parts.
Stephen Hawking spent the first three-fourths of his career trying to work out the Unified Field Theory to resolve problems with big bang, but in the end abandoned it in favor of M-Theory. In his last book, The Grand Design, Hawking proclaims God is no longer necessary and the universe is something of a tremendous spiral.
The only problem is that the, long-awaited and much-acclaimed, Hawking-Hertog theory of the cosmos has precisely as much proof as the God-turns-on-the-light switch theory from Genesis, which is absolutely none.
It's a beautiful theory, and I presume absolutely functional, although, I confess, I am personally utterly incapable of doing the math myself. I do, however, know people who are capable of doing the math, and they speak quite highly of it.
They don't like bringing God into it either. I'm afraid they may have no choice though.
Nature is simple. Nature is elegant. Nature's solution to vastly complex problems is to create a vast number of simple machines, each working away at a small bit of the problem. This is how evolution works and it works very well.
That the creation of the universe is so utterly complex that we can only observe it mathematically strongly suggests some sort of outside influence. I wouldn't look for the popular concept of God though. This isn't an entity who looks like man, with flowing white robes and choirs of angels. The creator God is more likely an entity of pure math himself, an immense field of ratios and equations which holds the universe together.
God may not even be sentient, at least not in the way we are sentient. But, until men like Stephen Hawking can show the universe created itself by wholly natural means, we very much require a God to explain it.
Just like with the origins of life, close won't do it. Close gets us nothing but dead rock or a dead universe. Science either must show how it was done by their means or they must accept the influence of some force outside science. If it offends them to call this outside influence God, then call it Harrold, or Petunia or Glibbity-Glop, I don't care. Logic still requires it.
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