From Nothing to Something: Why Theism is the better explanation

by guest blogger Eric Chabot

In a previous post, we reviewed some of the basics of the cosmological argument

I said that perhaps we can remember the line from the Sound of Music that says, “Nothing comes from nothing nothing ever could.” Sadly, there are those that say that “something can come from nothing.” There is a theory called Quantum Physics which attempts to say that things can pop in and out of existence without resorting to any cause. But this is problematic since the latest findings in cosmology show that everything in the known universe—all time, space, energy, and matter—was once contained in a point of infinite density known as a singularity. This means there was “nothing” before there was time, space, matter, and energy. Also, Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity shows time, space, and matter are co-relative. They are interdependent on one another-you cannot have one without the other. So to say that particles can come into existence out of nothing is incorrect. These particles arise as spontaneous fluctuations of the energy contained in the sub-atomic vacuum which constitutes an indeterministic cause of their obligation. So the vacuum is not “nothing” but it is sea of fluctuating energy endowed with rich structure and subject to physical laws.

There is something else that strikes me as problematic to the naturalistic answer to this issue: If we were to posit that The universe came into existence from nothing by nothing— then we would have to think about the following:

1. Hoe does nothing produces rationality? How does nothing produce consciousness? Remember, in a naturalistic context, the universe was produced by mindless, nonconscious processes.

2. How does nothing create the very natural laws that allow scientists to make observations, etc? Remember, to offer a scientific explanation of anything one must always appeal to existing laws (or at very least plausible hypotheses). No laws, no science; it’s as simple as that.

3. How does nothing create the very natural laws which then go onto create a fine-tuned universe? Remember, natural laws (gravitation, magnetism, etc) do nothing and set nothing into motion. So when someone such as Richard Dawkins and other atheists appeal to “the blind forces of nature” as being able to explain all the observable complexity (such as anticipatory, irreducible and specified complexity), this makes no sense.

4. So after nothing creates the natural laws and then these natural laws create a fine-tuned universe, am I supposed to assume that these natural laws go onto create life from non-life, the genetic code, etc? As I said natural laws merely describe regularities in nature. Also, as Stephen Meyer points out, these laws don’t generate complex sequences, whether specified or otherwise. The laws describe highly regular, repetitive and periodic patterns. This is something that is empirically detectable- it is part of our inference to the best explanation.

Conclusion

When I look around the world, all our observation tells us that only Mind or intelligence is the only known condition that can remove the improbabilities against life’s emergence. In other words, “something produces something.” It is hard to see how a blind, naturalistic, undirected process can account for something coming from nothing. Theism has better explanatory power for many of the things we observe in reality.

Eric Chabot is a Ratio Christi chapter director and blogs at Ratio Christi-Ohio State University

The Poached Egg Apologetics