Is the Universe Eternal?
We seem to hear a lot from the atheistic community these days, especially after Richard Dawkins’ recent atheist rally in Washington, D.C. According to USA Today, organizers called it the “largest gathering of the secular movement in world history.”
The media seems to enjoy writing about skeptics who are high profile academics—scientists, professors, and the like—and their ideas these days. Article after article appear and communicate to the world that only “dumb” people or ill-informed people embrace the belief in a personal, infinite God—one who has the power to create the Universe and mankind.
The person who holds an atheistic view puts himself in a very difficult position. When you think through the issues, you realize that stating “there is no God” is not a rational position to assume.
Let’s look at the arguments.
You have to ask, “Does this universe really exist? And if something does exist, where did it come from?” When you ask that, you really only have two possible conclusions:
• Something must be eternal
• Something not eternal came from nothing
An atheist has only a few options.
First, they might say, “The universe is eternal.” But that’s not true, because the second law of thermodynamics says that the universe is not eternal. In a closed system, the available energy will become less and less until, finally, you have no available energy at all. This is called heat death.
Now, for the atheist, the universe is all there is. It is a closed system. There is nothing outside it, and we know that it only takes a finite amount of time for a system to reach heat death.
For the atheist, the universe has always been around. If the universe has always existed, it should have already reached heat death. However, there is clearly still energy present. So we can conclude that the atheist is wrong in his assumptions.
This means one of two things:
1. The universe was created a finite amount of time ago and hasn’t yet had enough time to reach heat death.
2. There must be a cosmic gas station attendant out there somewhere feeding it energy.
Gordon Van Wylen, former head of engineering at the University of Michigan, said, “Many authors and myself must believe in God. We have no choice. The Second Law of Thermodynamics insists upon this.” Van Wylen wrote the textbook on Thermodynamics most universities use today.
If the atheist is logical, he must conclude the same. The universe is not eternal.
So if it’s not eternal, where did it come from? We’ll take a look at that next week.