“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” Romans 1:20
Question: How did the universe come into existence
and where did the original energy or matter come from?
There are only three possible responses to this question:
1. The universe created itself
2. The universe has always existed
3. The universe was created
This is an important question because it aims at the very foundation or beginning of the entire evolution worldview. Without a cause (and a mass/energy source) there can be no big bang, evolution of stars, or life.
1. The universe created itself.
For something to create itself it would have to both exist (in order to have the power to act) and not exist (in order to be created) at the same time. This is a contradiction—an illogical position to take. Based on all known scientific understanding and logic we know that from nothing, nothing comes. Therefore, this is not a legitimate response. A person arguing this way has violated the law of non-contradiction and is ignoring good science. This now leaves two possible choices.
2. The universe has always existed (no beginning).
In order to analyze this response we need to understand some basics about the second law of thermodynamics. The second law is concerned with heat—the flow of thermal energy. Everything in the universe is losing its available energy to do work. To illustrate this concept we will use the example called “No Refills.”
You have just been given a new car for FREE! All expenses for the lifetime of the car are paid. Sounds like a good deal. However, there is one catch. You are only allowed to have one tank of gas and never allowed to refill the tank. Once you have driven the car and used up all the gas, the car can no longer be used for transportation. In other words, the gas (energy source) has been used up and cannot be reused to propel the car. This is what the second law of thermodynamics deals with. Usable energy is constantly becoming less usable for doing work. Unless the car obtains new fuel from an outside source, it will cease to function after it exhausts its first tank of gas.
Likewise, the universe is constantly converting useful energy into less usable forms. As one example, stars are fueled by hydrogen gas that is used up as it is converted into heavier elements. But the problem is this: for any given region of space, there is only a finite amount of available energy. There is just only so much hydrogen available per cubic meter. This means that unless the universe obtains new useable energy from an outside source, it will cease to function in a finite amount of time. Stars will no longer be possible, once the hydrogen is gone.
However, there is no “outside source” available. The universe is everything, according to the secular worldview. Like the car, the universe would cease to function after its first “tank of gas” is exhausted. But if the universe were infinitely old, it should have used up that energy a long time ago. Putting it another way, if stars have eternally been processing hydrogen into heavier elements, then there would be no hydrogen left! But there is. The fact that the universe still contains useable energy indicates that it is not infinitely old—it had a beginning.
3. The universe had to be created.
Since the universe could not create itself and it had to have a beginning, the only logical solution is that the universe had to be created! This leaves us with the original question “Where did the matter come from to create the universe?” Any reply not recognizing that the universe was created ignores the laws of science and good logic.
“Where did God come from?” This question indicates a misunderstanding of the nature of God. It suggests that God is within (or “bound by”) the universe and that God is part of the chain of effects within time—all of which require a cause. God does not require a cause since He is beyond time, and is not part of the physical universe. God is a spirit, not a sequence of energetic reactions, and so the laws of thermodynamics (which place a finite limit on the age of the universe) do not apply to Him.
The best argument for God
*I don't recommend William Lane Craigs work outside of his defense of theism.