More than two years ago my grandson Scott sent me a copy of Sean Carroll’s book, The Big Picture. Carroll is a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology and a highly respected scientist and writer in his field. I wrote a review of Carroll’s book on this blog on September 5, 2019.
Carroll wrote that there are three kinds of matter particles and three forces that make up everything in our physical universe. These particles and these forces make up everything you experience in your everyday lives. There is nothing else. He concluded that there are “no gods, no spirits, no transcendent meanings.”
Now I am reading Return of the God Hypothesis by Stephen C. Meyer. Meyer is a distinguished Cambridge educated scholar in his own right, and he challenges Carroll’s atheistic conclusions. Meyer makes many persuasive arguments in support of a transcendent creator (God), but his refutation of Carroll’s particular thesis is primarily based on general scientific acceptance of the Big Bang theory of how the universe began.
In the 1920s scientists discovered evidence that our universe had originated at a single point in time. Later scientific observations confirmed this theory, and the age of the universe was calculated to be approximately 13.8 billion years. At one instant at the beginning of time, from a single point of extreme density and temperature, an explosion of unimaginable power took place, and energy was hurled into the void. At that very moment, time, light, the laws of physics, and all those things which we perceive as reality sprang into being. Energy became matter, and the matter gradually coalesced into the universe we know.
Carroll’s explanation of the universe is based on matter and forces, but before the Big Bang there was no matter and the laws of physics did not exist. How does something come from nothing?
“Ex nihilo nihil fil!”
Carroll has no real answer.
Meyer’s answer is God.