OF GOD AND HIS EXISTENCE;
Is God real?
Is Atheism is compatible with the fundamental laws of science? Personally, I don’t think so.
I saw this lady on T.V. expressing her views on atheism and the existence of God; or the lack thereof. I found her defense of her lack of belief in supernatural existence wanting. Her grounds were not compelling. I think the time has come to write about it.
I am Agnostic. I consider myself a deep thinker, a voracious reader and a lover of knowledge. I have never been the kind that holds a position simply because the majority holds a similar position. I believe what I believe and I stand by it so long as I can defend to myself. As a Catholic by birth, and an altar boy, the existence of God or an existence superior to our own has always been something of great interest to me. It is a subject I have read widely on.
After extensive reading and philosophical contemplation, there was a time that I came to dismiss the idea of divine/supernatural existence in its entirety. I went full atheist. But as an Engineer, the more science I came across, the more this position became untenable to defend.
Then years later, the more I became familiar with science in general and physics in particular, I abandoned the notion of Atheism. I found that it was inconsistent with the fundamental laws of Science. So I came to the conclusion that some form of higher supernatural existence must exist. A conclusion that a creator must exist for the laws of science to hold. But the creator was not a deterministic being with personal attributes like the God’s of earthly religions. It was an amorphous entity/ force that had no interaction with it’s creation.
This made me a Deist. Or simply a person that believes that while a creator of the universe exists, the creator takes no further part in it. That creator definitely does not need to be worshiped. Especially not by inhabitants of a tiny rock, orbiting a very ordinary type 3, main sequence star called the sun that is tucked in some very obscure corner of a very ordinary spiral galaxy that has 100 times more stars than there are people on earth. Not when that ordinary spiral galaxy is just one amongst an estimated 2 trillion galaxies in the observable universe alone and no one knows how far the universe extends past the observable universe.
I found Atheism to be incompatible with the fundamental laws of science and by extension, nature. Science is by strict definition, the explanation and prediction of nature and natural phenomena in an empirical and testable manner. Science, unlike philosophy and metaphysics, is not subjective and renders itself to conclusive and never changing facts.
Then I finally, after a years of reading and contemplating, I am now agnostic. An agnostic person simply believes the question of whether or not ‘God’ exists is impossible to answer definitively. At least as presently understood.
Allow me to illustrate why I had to abandon deism and Atheism. If science is not your thing, most of this probably won’t make sense.
1 We live in a finely tuned universe. Our observable universe is so finely tuned that we can formulate simple elegant and never changing mathematical formulae to explain its observed behavior and predict future behaviour . The reason that the universe exists as we observe it and the reason that we are around to observe it and have this discourse is premised on this fine tuning principle.
The fine-tuned Universe is the proposition that the conditions that allow life in the Universe can only occur when certain universal fundamental physical constants lie within a very narrow range, so that if any of several fundamental constants were only slightly different, the Universe would be unlikely to be conducive to the establishment and development of matter, astronomical structures, elemental diversity, or life as it is understood
Take, for instance, the neutron. It is 1.00137841870 times heavier than the proton, which is what allows it to decay into a proton, electron and neutrino—a process that determined the relative abundances of hydrogen and helium after the big bang and gave us a universe dominated by hydrogen. If the neutron-to-proton mass ratio were even slightly different, we would be living in a very different universe: one, perhaps, with far too much helium, in which stars would have burned out too quickly for life to evolve, or one in which protons decayed into neutrons rather than the other way around, leaving the universe without atoms. So, in fact, we wouldn’t be living here at all—we wouldn’t exist.
Examples of such “fine-tuning” abound. Tweak the charge on an electron, for instance, or change the strength of the gravitational force or the strong nuclear force just a smidget, and the universe would look very different, and likely be lifeless.
Fine tuning implies intent. It implies the existence of a creator with intent. Or maybe it implies that, at the current of level of understanding, science doesn’t understand exactly how fine tuning works.
This happens a lot in Science. The Newtonian theory of gravity could explain the motions of planets around the sun very well, but there were little deviations in these orbits it couldn’t explain. Science didn’t say that this was because of divine reasons; it sought answers. It turned out that while Newton’s mathematics was highly accurate, he completely misunderstood gravity. More than 200 years after Newton formulated his theory of gravity; Albert Einstein extended his theory of Special Relativity to gravity and his General Theory of Relativity was born. It was mind bogglingly accurate. It changed how we understood gravity and finally explained the observed deviations in planetary orbits. Problem solved.
Or maybe the universe isn’t fine tuned, it just exists as it should and it is us that are fine tuned to exist in a universe with the conditions that it has.
It is impossible to tell.
2. The second law of thermodynamics states that; ‘ the state of entropy of an
isolated system will always increase over time.’ It states that in an isolated system, the amount of disorder increases over time. This universal law is a cornerstone of modern science. It cannot be contradicted.
A closed system, given an infinite amount of time, would degenerate into a state of complete disorder. Simply put, everything tends towards disorder in time. People and plants grow older and eventually die. Machines deteriorate over time. A fire burns then eventually dies. All this is entropy, and it always increases over time.
If our universe had no beginning and is infinitely old, it would have descended into a state of complete disorder and suffered a heat death an infinitely long time ago. Since the observed entropy in the observed universe is very low, it thus follows that the universe came into existence a finite time in the past. Thus an infinitely old universe would be in clear contradiction of this fundamental law of nature. Either the universe is finite in age or the second law of thermodynamics as presently understood is incorrect.
Again, it is impossible to tell.
3. The First law of thermodynamics. It states that, ‘ In a closed system, the sum total of energy and matter is constant’. It means that, in a closed system, like our universe, matter and energy cannot be created nor destroyed. This is a fundamental law of nature. Thus, since an infinitely old universe would violate the second law of thermodynamics, it follows that our universe came into ‘being’ a finite time in the past; it must have a beginning. Without a ‘creator’, it would then imply that at some point in the finite past, the universe came into existence on its own volition. This clearly violates the Law of conservation of energy and the first law of thermodynamics. From nothing comes nothing; something cannot come from nothing. The existence of a creator of the universe, not bound by the Laws of thermodynamics is mandatory for these two fundamental laws of nature to hold true.
Or maybe these highly, highly verified laws as presently understood, are incorrect. That I find hard to believe.
Again, it is impossible to tell.
4. Remember to Newton’s 1st law of motion? ‘A body at rest will continue to be at rest and a body in motion will continue to be in motion until an external force acts on it’. This is elementary. It is a cornerstone of science without which science would collapse.
If we consider our universe to be closed system; we have our planet rotating at great speeds on its own axis, in turn revolving at even greater speeds around the sun and the solar system and other heavenly bodies revolving around our galactic centre at even greater speeds and galaxies redshifting (moving) away from each other at great velocities. In fact, in the time it has taken me to write this nonsense, we have travelled millions of kilometres through space. All this apparent motion began at the instant of the big bang, the instant of creation; but riddle me this, since our universe is a closed system and we cannot violate Newton’s law, where is the external force?
A prime mover outside the realm of Newton’s law seems necessary for the law itself to hold true. Or maybe Newton’s highly verified laws of motion are inaccurate. Or Maybe our universe isn’t a closed physical system.
Again, at current understanding, it is impossible to tell.
5. The law of causality. Causality is the relationship between causes and effects. It is considered to be fundamental to all natural science , especially physics. A cause, like applying force to a pushcart, causes an effect, the acceleration of the cart. Every observed phenomena or action is an effect of a previous cause, which is in itself an effect of a previous cause and so forth. It is possible to trace back a chain of causes and effects up to the instant of the big bang which is the most widely proven theory of creation.
The Big Bang has a lot of concrete scientific proof. But even it must have a cause. Theoretical Physicists and Cosmologists restrict themselves to the instant of the big bang because whatever existed before has no bearing on observed phenomena. But this causal chain cannot be infinite, since an infinite regression of logical causality would violate the laws of causality.
Thus a ‘First cause’, itself uncaused, must exist. A cause that exists necessarily must exist for the laws of causality to hold true. The first cause could be the creator. Or maybe we simply do not properly understand how causality works.
Again, it is impossible to tell.
I could go on but you get my point. Without the existence of a ‘creator’, God, first cause, primal mover or whatever one would wish to call him; many fundamental laws of science would collapse.
Science and this entity are either inseparable, or the fundamental laws of science as presently understood are deficient.
When Einstein explained the nature of space, time, motion and gravity through complex and elegant equations to accurately describe the very nature of our vast universe, it was like he had stared into the very mind of’ God ‘himself.
Our home galaxy, the Milky Way, has around 400 billion stars just like our sun and probably trillions of planets like the earth. The observable universe; the part of the universe we can theoretically observe due to the limitation of the speed of light, has upto 2 trillion galaxies just like our like galaxy, each with upto trillions of stars. We don’t know how far the universe goes beyond this. It could be infinite. It could be one out of an infinity of other universes in an eternal multiverse.
The notion that it came into existence by itself or that it has existed forever seems illogical.
Somedays I feel like some master mathematician must have written countless lines of code to make it all come together. Somedays I feel like it’s us, with our current level of understanding, that don’t properly understand the laws of nature. It’s impossible to tell definitively.
Maybe if Humanity somehow doesn’t self destruct and evolves into a type 3 or 4 civilization; maybe these mysteries will be brought to light.
But Atheism, the absolute belief that there is no form of higher existence, cannot hold water. Simply because there can be no certainty as far as this question is concerned.
The same goes for the deism.
I’ll sign out by quoting a paragraph I like.
“Philosophy is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat.
Metaphysics is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn’t there.
Theology is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn’t there, and shouting “I found it!”
Science is like being in a dark room looking for a black cat while using a flashlight.”
The question of whether God exist is impossible to answer. That is why I am now agnostic.
My argument is devoid of religious inclinations.