Fractals are those bizarre mathematical shapes that become increasingly detailed the more you zoom into their interior. Just when you think you might have a chance of defining the surface of the shape, more of it emerges and the increased complexity seems never to be finally comprehended. Understanding our ultimate origins is like trying to finish zooming in on a fractal.
Many people seem to believe that it is possible to be an intellectually-fulfilled atheist because of the retreat of God in the face of scientific advances. Let’s look, though, at the fractal-like problem of pinpointing science’s beginning point, popularly called the “Big Bang”, to see that we cannot do so without producing a new problem.
Mathematical predictions have supposedly been backed by astronomical findings that show evidence for an expanding universe from the beginning of space, time, matter and energy, even though one must assume a source for such expansion. However, matter and antimatter have been shown to cancel each other in a massive release of energy to produce nothing, supposedly showing us that the reverse must have happened at the universe’s beginning. In other words, science says that randomness permitted matter to arise from nothing by running this process backwards.
Big problem: there is no cause and no evidence for one.
There are apparently three possible explanations for the origin of the laws of the universe so that we might understand why our universe which is so finely tuned should exist at all. The first is intelligent design (of any sort), ridiculed as an intellectual absurdity. Is it not, however, a cosmological absurdity that we have laws with no cause – that just are – when science seeks rational explanations? The second possibility is a grand theory of everything that explains mathematically how the nothingness of time-zero produced the ‘somethingness’ of an evolving universe. Nice if you can get it, but it doesn’t exist and is just a theoretical concept. The third explanation is little better. It extrapolates Darwinian theory by supposing that the laws of our universe exist randomly, because our universe is actually a ‘multiverse’ of universes, each having their own set of laws. For this one to ‘work’ then requires not only the right laws, but also for us to be in it to know that they are!
So if our presence in the universe is needed to explain its existence (“I think, therefore I am”?!), this really forces us to assume our existence without ultimate evidence and without any real prospect of such evidence ever emerging. To me, this places limits on science and pushes its speculation to the realm of faith! Does this not then make God a more reasonable and palatable unexplained cause for a world with values, love, and people who have a desire for purpose, all of which science cannot explain?