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Was the universe created? (not an evolution discussion)

  1. Nov 9, 2005 #1
    Hi. I have a problem with a statement that was in the first chapter of my "World Religions" book for school. It first explains that the word "God" can have many different meanings. It then concludes the chapter with "It is a fact, not a mystery, that God, whatever or whoever God might be, created the Universe".

    I think what it is saying is that everyone defines 'god' differently, but it is a fact that the universe went from a state of 'non-existence' to 'existence'. Would you agree?

    Trouble is, why? Is there some proof that it had to have not existed, then at some later time existed? Is there a good scientific reason to not believe that it 'was always there'? (other than simply being hard to imagine)

    What is your reaction.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2005 #2
    Move to philosophy forum?
     
  4. Nov 9, 2005 #3

    cronxeh

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    You seek an answer to a question you dont understand
     
  5. Nov 9, 2005 #4
    time was created when the universe was created so there is really no such thing as before the universe was created. you can't say there was nothing, then there was something because there was no such thing as then, then.
     
  6. Nov 9, 2005 #5
    you were supposed to say 'grasshopper'
     
  7. Nov 9, 2005 #6

    Evo

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    That's about as wrong as a statement can get. It is not a fact.
     
  8. Nov 9, 2005 #7

    JamesU

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    great reply evo! more chocolates?
     
  9. Nov 9, 2005 #8

    loseyourname

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    I remember an article on Slate about a year back explaining how (theoretically) a universe could be created in a lab.
     
  10. Nov 9, 2005 #9

    Evo

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    Why do people think that someone or something has to intentionally be behind everything that happens? Where everything came from is something we don't understand. I have no problem with that. Why are some people afraid of accepting that we just don't understand? Why do they have to <insert mythical figure here> every time they don't know the answer? Is it because they can't handle not having an answer?
     
  11. Nov 9, 2005 #10

    Math Is Hard

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    I think it is because we're very comfortable with the notion of cause and effect in our everyday experiences.
     
  12. Nov 9, 2005 #11
    that's true I do all sorts of stupid stuff without knowing what I'm doing.

    edit: damn MIH got in my way again
     
  13. Nov 9, 2005 #12
    Great replies Evo, something we see eye to eye on.
     
  14. Nov 9, 2005 #13
    to bad you are blind, grasshopper

    you can't say something, have someone disagree with you, then say you see eye to eye with them. that is, I believe, the exact definition of "you can't do that" look it up
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2005
  15. Nov 9, 2005 #14

    Evo

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    He said he had a problem with the statement and I was agreeing with him.
     
  16. Nov 9, 2005 #15
    Because one of the beauties of life is that we can understand what seems incomprehensible, and the curious mind strives to.
     
  17. Nov 9, 2005 #16

    Evo

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    But by answering every question with <insert mythical being here>, there is no striving to understand anything.
     
  18. Nov 10, 2005 #17
    I think you're just bias against religion.:biggrin:
     
  19. Nov 10, 2005 #18

    russ_watters

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    Shhh - don't scare it away! It almost wandered into the trib-trap!
     
  20. Nov 10, 2005 #19
    I was wondering what he said, but I wasn't going to go to the trouble of reading it. I don't know him and it was like 15 lines long.
     
  21. Nov 10, 2005 #20
    Your paraphrase doesn't capture the meaning of the original. The statement specifically cites "God" as the creator. This means a being with the ability to have intentionally designed and created the universe. Your paraphrase lacks the all important attribution of it all to that being, which is the main point of the book's statement. Stating the universe once did not exist, but now it does, doesn't exclude a non-theological cause for this the way the book's bald assertion does.
     
  22. Nov 10, 2005 #21

    Ivan Seeking

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    [clears throat, looks down at shoes] well, it could be a fact but to accept it as such is an act of faith.
     
  23. Nov 10, 2005 #22

    cronxeh

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    Humanity is like a dragonfly heading into the chloroform cloud.
     
  24. Nov 10, 2005 #23

    Moonbear

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    The answer I've never been able to get out of someone who holds the view that the universe was created by a god (or whatever you want to call it) is where did that god come from? It seems comfortable to them to not believe something as complex as the universe could have formed without a creator, yet somehow something as complex as a creator capable of producing an entire universe could form out of nothing, or have always been there? To me, it's not an explanation, it's passing the buck.
     
  25. Nov 10, 2005 #24
    Well, either I'm insane or everyone else is, cuz I read the OP differently.

    If you define God as the creator of the Universe, and this is your only definition of God, then whatever created the Universe is therefore God. If the Universe was created by two branes colliding then the collision is God. If the Universe was born out of a black hole in another Universe, then the black hole is God (or the mother Universe). If the Universe was created by a big beardy bloke who lives in Heaven and has the unique property of having 5 fingers in The Simpsons, then said cartoon character is God. If the Universe were created by a thought, the thinker is God.

    That, I believe, is the idea under question. King Nothing seems to be pointing out that if the Universe cannot be said to have been created, then the statement is wrong. For instance, a steady-state Universe or one in perputual banging and crashing would not have been created. This is not the prevailing theory. There was, we believe, a first moment, and so a creation and so God (as defined above).
     
  26. Nov 10, 2005 #25
    I think you've read it quite well - that's exactly what the book is saying. While giving an extremely definition of "God" does open the door for a lot of theories, it still implies that the universe had to exist because of some cause or thinker or something that we don't understand. But there's no reason that it had to exist because of anything at all. Some people believe it was always there.
     
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