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Cosmology: The Collapse of the Concept of An Eternal Universe
and the Discovery of Creation
Physics and Astronomy: The Collapse of the Idea of A Random Universe and the Discovery of the Anthropic Principle
Quantum Physics and the Discovery of Divine Wisdom
The Natural Sciences: The Collapse of Darwinism and the Victory of
"Intelligent Design"
Psychology: The Collapse of Freudianism and the Acceptance of Faith
Medicine: The Discovery of How "Hearts Find Peace"
Society: The Fall of Communism, Fascism, and the Hippie Dream
The Movement Toward Religious Morality
Conclusion

 


Cosmology: The Collapse of the Concept of An Eternal
Universe and the Discovery of Creation

The first blow to atheism from twentieth-century science was in the field of cosmology. The idea that the universe had existed forever was discounted, for scientists discovered that it had a beginning. In other words, they proved scientifically that the universe had been created from nothing.


Immanuel Kant (1724-1804; above) proposed that the universe was eternal, a claim that is strongly defended by materialists.

This idea of an eternal universe came to the Western world, along with materialist philosophy, from classical Greek civilization. It stated that only matter exists, and that the universe comes from eternity and goes to eternity. In the Middle Ages, when the Catholic church dominated Western thought, materialism was forgotten. However, in the modern period Western scientists and philosophers became consumed with curiosity about these classical Greek origins and revived an interest in materialism.

The first person to propose a materialist understanding of the universe was the renowned German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), even though he was not a materialist in the philosophical sense of the word. Kant proposed that the universe was eternal and that every possibility could be realized only within this eternity. With the coming of the nineteenth century, it became widely accepted that the universe had no beginning and that there had been no moment of creation. Adopted passionately by such dialectical materialists as Marx and Engels, this idea found its way into the twentieth century.

This idea has always been compatible with atheism, for accepting that the universe had a beginning would mean that God had created it. Thus the only way to counter this idea was to claim that the universe was eternal, even though science did not support such a claim. Georges Politzer (1903-42), a dogged proponent of this claim, became widely known as a supporter of materialism and Marxism in the first half of the twentieth century through his book Principes Fondamentaux de Philosophie (The Fundamental Principles of Philosophy). Assuming the "eternal universe" model to be valid, he opposed the idea of creation:

The universe was not a created object. If it were, then it would have to be created instantaneously by God and brought into existence from nothing. To admit creation, one has to admit, in the first place, the existence of a moment when the universe did not exist, and that something came out of nothingness. This is something to which science cannot accede.4


In the picture above we see Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (1820-95) at an 1847 meeting in London defending their atheist views.

By supporting the idea of an eternal universe, Politzer thought that science was on his side. However, very soon thereafter, the fact that he had alluded to by saying "if it is so, we must accept the existence of a creator," that is, that the universe had a beginning, was proven. This proof came as a result of the "Big Bang" theory, perhaps the most important concept of twentieth-century astronomy.

The Big Bang theory was formulated after a series of discoveries. In 1929, the American astronomer Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) noticed that the galaxies were continually moving away from each other and that the universe was expanding. If the flow of time in an expanding universe were reversed, the whole universe must have come from a single point. While assessing the validity of Hubble's discovery, astronomers were faced with the fact that this single point was a "metaphysical" state of reality in which there was an infinite gravitational attraction with no mass. Matter and time came into being through the explosion of this mass-less point. In other words, the universe was created from nothing.

On the one hand, some die-hard materialist astronomers have tried to resist the Big Bang theory and maintain the idea of an eternal universe. Arthur Eddington (1882-1944), a renowned materialist physicist, summed up their view quite well when he said: "Philosophically, the notion of an abrupt beginning to the present order of Nature is repugnant to me."5 Despite this repugnance, however, the Big Bang theory continues to be corroborated by concrete scientific discoveries. In their observations made in the 1960s, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson detected radioactive remains of the explosion (cosmic background radiation). These observations were verified in the 1990s by the COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer) satellite.


The materialists' claim that the "universe is eternal" was disproved by Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) discovery that the universe began from one point as the result of a great explosion.

Confronted with all of these facts, atheists have been squeezed into a corner. Anthony Flew, an atheist professor of philosophy at the University of Reading and author of Atheistic Humanism, makes this interesting confession:

Notoriously, confession is good for the soul. I will therefore begin by confessing that the Stratonician atheist has to be embarrassed by the contemporary cosmological consensus. For it seems that the cosmologists are providing a scientific proof of what St. Thomas contended could not be proved philosophically; namely, that the universe had a beginning. So long as the universe can be comfortably thought of as being not only without end but also without beginning, it remains easy to urge that its brute existence, and whatever are found to be its most fundamental features, should be accepted as the explanatory ultimates. Although I believe that it remains still correct, it certainly is neither easy nor comfortable to maintain this position in the face of the Big Bang story.6

An example of the atheists' reaction to the Big Bang theory is seen in a 1989 article by John Maddox, editor of Nature, one of the best-known materialist-scientific journals. In his article, entitled "Down with the Big Bang," Maddox wrote that the Big Bang is "philosophically unacceptable," because "creationists and those of similar persuasions have ample justification in the doctrine of the Big Bang." He also predicted that it "is unlikely to survive the decade ahead."7

However, despite Maddox' hopes, the Big Bang theory continues to gain credence, and new discoveries continue to prove that the universe was created.

Some materialists have a relatively logical view of this issue. For example, the English materialist physicist H. P. Lipton "unwillingly" accepts the scientific fact of creation. He writes:

I think that we must admit that the only acceptable explanation is creation. I know that this is anathema to physicists, as indeed it is to me, but we must not reject a theory that we do not like if the experimental evidence supports it.8

Thus, modern astronomy proves and states that time and matter were brought into being by an eternally powerful Creator, Who is independent of both of them. The eternal power that created the universe in which we live is God, the possessor of infinite might, knowledge, and wisdom.

4. George Politzer, Principes Fondamentaux de Philosophie (Paris: Editions Sociales, 1954), 84.
5. S. Jaki, Cosmos and Creator (Chicago: Regnery Gateway, 1980), 54
6. Henry Margenau and Roy Abraham Vargesse, Cosmos, Bios, Theos (La Salle IL: Open Court Publishing, 1992,) 241.
7. John Maddox, "Down with the Big Bang," Nature, vol. 340 (1989): 378.
8. H. P. Lipson, "A Physicist Looks at Evolution," Physics Bulletin, vol. 138 (1980): 138.

This site is based on the works of Harun Yahya
www.harunyahya.com

e-mail: info@harunyahya.com

 
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