Four Big Bangs Equal Four Huge Problems For Materialists/Atheists

Have you ever wondered why is there something rather than nothing? Yes, it’s an esoteric question and not one any normal person is ever likely to think about without prompting.

So consider yourself prompted because it is an important question, one of the most important of all questions in fact. How important? Well, it’s more significant even than the question of whether a problem is solved if a congressman describes a solution but nobody on C-SPAN is listening?

Or, just to put it in the most personal of terms, why are you here rather than not here?

“Or, to put it in the most personal of terms, why are you here rather than not here?”

Actually, we know why you are here – your folks and you know what. But why were they there rather than not there? Start asking those kinds of questions and eventually you come to this one: Why is there something rather than nothing?

iApologia’s Daniel Currier poses that question in a slightly different form. He frames it as the “Cosmological Big Bang,” one of the four “big bangs” that materialists/atheists must explain in order to maintain their particular faith:

  • The “Cosmological Big Bang”
  • The “Biological Big Bang”
  • The “Psychological Big Bang”
  • The “Moral Big Bang”

The question of the Cosmological Big Bang, however, is not the issue of when the universe came into being but rather why it did. As Currier puts it:

“Simply put, from our experience, nothing ever makes something. Everything that begins to exist had a prior cause. Also, the fine tuning of the universe, like carburetors, cars and chainsaws, points to a fine tuner. Finely tuned things ultimately have an intelligent cause.”

Sometimes, materialists/atheists try to resolve the issue by simply defining it as irrelevant, as with this observation by Stephen Hawking from one of his “no boundary” lectures, referenced by Currier from LiveScience:

“Events before the Big Bang are simply not defined, because there’s no way one could measure what happened at them. Since events before the Big Bang have no observational consequences, one may as well cut them out of the theory, and say that time began at the Big Bang.”

But this “singularity” was a something, not a nothing. So it doesn’t answer the question of why is there something, whatever we choose to call it, rather than nothing?

And just to really give you something to think about, philosopher William Lane Craig points out that science in and of itself must be inadequate to the task of answering this question “if ‘nothing’ is understood in its standard usage because science only deals with what exists.”

“But this ‘singularity’ was a something, not a nothing. So it doesn’t answer the question of why is there something, whatever we choose to call it, rather than nothing?”

That is to say, as Craig continues, “science by its nature is an exploration of the physical natural world and its properties, and there is no such thing as a physics of non-being. Science only studies what exists, so the whole claim that science could explain how something came from nothing, when that word is used in its standard meaning, is absurd.”

Take a few minutes of quiet time to read Currier’s discussion of all four of big bangs. Then come back and share your thoughts with the rest of us.

Mark Tapscott is HillFaith’s editor, IT jockey, spiritual guide, chief bottle washer and overall Jack-of-All-Trades. Email him at mark.tapscott@gmail.com

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Author: Mark Tapscott

Follower of Christ, devoted husband of Claudia, doting father and grandfather, conservative lover of liberty, journalist and First Amendment fanatic, former Hill and Reagan aide, vintage Formula Ford racer, Okie by birth/Texan by blood/proud of both, resident of Maryland.

24 thoughts on “Four Big Bangs Equal Four Huge Problems For Materialists/Atheists”

  1. This is one of those questions that has been pondered since time immemorial, because there is no satisfactory answer. It seems to me that, logically, both atheists and theists cannot get around this one. If everything needs a cause, then what was the first cause? But how did the first cause come to be if everything needs a cause? Unless everything existed forever, in which cause, perhaps everything doesn’t need a cause….blah, blah. Its a fascinating thought excercise but don’t lose sleep over it. Philosophers might make a living on this stuff, but I think it’s better to just enjoy the mystery of life and worry about my kids are up to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In order to escape an infinite regress, something needs to be eternally existing. Your choices are either the ‘something’ that appears to have come into existence at some time in the past (14B +\-), or ‘someone’ who is eternally existent. This is an essential characteristic of the monotheistic gods.
      This problem of an infinite regress points to, or at least is consistent with, the existence of an eternal, creating being.

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  2. As a former atheist, I found many of his arguments familiar to the intellectual process I experienced as I tried to answer the question posed by a friend…Do you really think all this just happened by chance? One thought on the biological big bang: If the creation of life was random, how did the ability to reproduce also randomly appear at the same time? How was it able to eat, convert food to energy, and eliminate waste when it was just randomly thrown into a foreign environment? Without that “miracle” of reproduction, life would randomly be created then it would die and the process would eventually start again….never gaining a foothold. If we get past the reproduction question, eventually the colony would consume all available food, so there needed to be the random creation of a creature to convert waste products to food (think animal relationship to plants) or the creation of predators to keep the colony in check. Under what scenario would an animal evolve into its own predator? These are just a few of the massive logic gaps I could not leap across.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lenny, that is a brilliant reply/comment. I had never fully thought of it that way.

      As Dennis Prager is wont to ask when someone asserts that faith is ridiculous, “Does it takes more faith to believe something came from nothing, or that something came from a creator?”

      Common sense tells you that an atheist needs more faith than the Faithful.

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    2. “If the creation of life was random, how did the ability to reproduce also randomly appear at the same time?”

      Reproduction, copying of structure, occurs prior to life. Crystals and clays can do it. So your assumption they arose together is fallacious.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m not sure I appreciate this formal confirmation that I’m not normal, but seeing this question openly discussed in a respectable blog suggests I have more company than I might have thought.

    Through the years I’ve come to believe the very concept of nothing is beyond human ability to conceive except by reference.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Walter: you expressed exactly how I feel about the question. I remember that as a kid of 6 years old or so, as I was beginning to learn about stars, planets and the vastness of the Universe, as well as hearing biblical stories in my Sunday School classes, I began thinking about what was “there” before this Universe was created. I assumed God did it but, going backwards in time, I then had to logically pose the question ‘who created God’. As I lay awake before falling asleep I would continue thinking about this issue until a point that it became so scary to me that I had to force myself to stop thinking about it. This issue kept bothering me for years as I got older and the question always scared me. I ended up being convinced (as I still am today) that just like an animal being incapable of reading a book, humans are simply incapable of understanding the matter fully, and will remain so until we pass.

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  4. People don’t like the “something from nothing” explanation, and I get that. Let’s agree that a god or some supreme being/entity created our universe. My questions are: Just how was this act accomplished? What was the mechanism used? Was the Big Bang the process used/initiated by the supreme being that resulted in what we see now?

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  5. I dare say that EVERYONE has contemplated why there is something rather than nothing.

    At least, I believe I am more accurate than your assumption that “very few” have asked the question.

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  6. The Austrian mathematician Gödel proved that all systems requires a metasystem to prove all the rules within that system. Therefore it is impossible to understand everything about the universe without something beyond it leading to an infinite regression. My personal belief is that the universe is a physical reflection of the laws of mathematics. Where does mathematics exist? Perhaps Plato’s analogy of the cave is the closest we will ever come to understanding being.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “If the creation of life was random, how did the ability to reproduce also randomly appear at the same time?”

    Reproduction, copying of structure, occurs prior to life. Crystals and clays can do it. So your assumption they arose together is fallacious.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s important to describe what we mean when we use the word “nothing”. “Nothing” is not empty space, filled with lifeless planets and stars. “Nothing” is where there are no stars, no planets and no empty space. The closest I can get to understanding the concept “nothing” is to think of it as what people experience after they are dead.

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  9. Your first error was accepting the “Big Bang” cosmology. It is NOT fact-based and will soon stand with Ptolemy’s, in the shade.

    Dark matter = black holes. Dark energy = the gravity of black holes. Most black holes are PREmordial, i.e., they PRE-existed the “Big Bang” that “created” our “universe”.

    The ACTUAL Universe is INFINITELY larger that “ours”.

    The Big Bang was actually a WHITE HOLE, which evaporated after several septillion (10 to the 24th power) years as a black hole.

    All of the galaxies in our “universe” were formed when the Big Bang’s detritus coalesced around the millions of PREmordial black holes orbiting the Big Bang when it was a Big Black Hole.

    Now, put all of that in your pipe, and smoke it, before you start wondering where all those premordial black holes came from. I’ll wait.

    — Giordano Bruno

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  10. The universe is a brute fact. It’s always been here in one form or another. All the bickering to try and prove a god has become tiresome. Nothing comes from nothing. Creatio ex nihilo is a silly assertion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Though not quite so tiresome as to render you unwilling to post your comment that talking about the existence of God is tiresome! 🙂 I believe there is a valuable point in the fact you made your comment, Jim, and I hope that you will continue considering these issues.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. CS Lewis makes the same point about science – that it can never prove or disprove what cannot be observed (pre-existence), thus it is unhelpful with respect to these fundamental questions about the origins of existence – and GK Chesterton hilariously (to me) dissects social science approaches with respect to pre-historical mankind in a similar way. Likewise, mid-20th century sermons by Martyn Lloyd-Jones (available online) on the ahistorical errors made in ‘modern’ man’s thinking about Christianity are critically apropos.

    Too much emotionalism and too little edification in much of contemporary Christianity is at the root of a lot of repetitive error in how we all think through these challenging mysteries.

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  12. I don’t consider myself an atheist, but I enjoy this sort of discussion and often have played both sides to explore my thinking on the matter.

    First off, I think their is a categorical flaw in the logic here. You can convince me that something is not understood by science, but that isn’t the same thing as convincing me something is not understandable by science. As much as a logical error, it is, in my opinion, a theological error as well, putting limits on God. For example, I can certainly comprehend a God that is great enough to create a universe where life will arise via natural, understandable processes. If that is what God did, and science was therefore able to explain the origin of life at some point, I would hope that it wouldn’t invalidate your faith, but the claim that this is not understood, therefore it is proof of God automatically seems to infer that if it is understood it would be proof against God. The later is incorrect only because the former is as well.

    As far as ‘first cause’ goes. that has been debated and considered for centuries, long before the concept of the big bang existed. ‘Turtles all the way down’ as they say. But if science must explain what ‘something’ existed before the big bang to be considered valid, then believers must explain why God exists to be considered valid. It is only fair after all.

    I think your arguments would have weight if materialists/atheists were making the claim that they don’t believe in God or other supernatural forces because the were sure that everything is already understood by science, but I don’t see them making that claim. The claim they make is that everything is understandable by Science and won’t, in the end. require a supernatural explanation. One of the strongest pieces of evidence they have for this is that people say ‘science doesn’t understand this therefore it is supernatural’ only to be proven incorrect.

    If your belief in God hinges upon the limitations of human understanding rather than something more profound I think it is on shaky ground indeed.

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