May 18, 2024

“Four Big Bangs” That Kill Atheism

“Four Big Bangs” That Kill Atheism
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In a recent conversation with an atheist, I challenged him with four major topics his worldview can’t explain. I remembered them by using Frank Pastore’s nice mental hook, the “four big bangs” that materialism can’t explain.

  1. The “Cosmological Big Bang”
  2. The “Biological Big Bang”
  3. The “Psychological Big Bang”
  4. The “Moral Big Bang”

When atheists try to explain these away, there seems to be much hand waving and “just so” stories. I love lines like, “sure, we don’t know, but at least we’re humble because we admit we don’t know” or “at least we don’t believe in the God of the gaps.”

But I digress, each of these four items are predicated upon something, almost magically, the popping into existence of things when the wheel of time is spun.

1) The “Cosmological Big Bang”

This is the most fundamental issue the materialists struggle to explain. I want to be clear, I’m not talking about when the universe started to exist, rather that it did start to exist. Things are much more likely not to exist than to exist. They can’t explain why.

This “just so story” sounds like this: the universe popped into existence, like “poof”, and then expanded through eons of time. Sometimes the claim is that there was nothing and that nothing turned into everything, as in “no thing” or “not anything” caused it all. Nothing is actually what rocks think about. That radical view takes much faith, more than I can muster. Really, are you afraid a pink elephant just appeared in your fridge and now is eating your salad?

Others say “nothing” means “something.” Don’t worry if this misnomer confuses you, the rest of us are confused too. If it’s “something,” please stop calling it “nothing,” right? They say this “nothing” was a singularity, or “all the matter in the universe smashed into an incredibly hot, infinitely dense speck of matter.” Or was this “nothing” some sort of quantum vacuum?

The problem becomes exponentially worse when we understand that the universe is finely tuned. To explain what I mean by fine tuning, think of the International Space Station, or even your car, mower, vacuum or microwave. Even the simplest of these are finely tuned. Many things need to be just right or else the machine does not work. There are many more ways for machines not to work than to work.

The universe is no different, except for it is exponentially more finely tuned, the most complex structure known. So many constants need to be just right. If not, the universe, all the elements, our solar system, our sun and our earth would not exist. In addition, life on earth would not exist if these constraints were not tuned to be just right.

Examples of some of these constants include things like the strength of the strong nuclear force, the weak nuclear force, the electromagnetic force and the gravitational constant.

Scientist and agnostic Robert Jastrow, says this in “The Enchanted Loom”:

“Now we see how the astronomical evidence supports the Biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and Biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy.”

We may disagree with some of his thoughts, but his main point is true; the evidence points to the biblical God. Simply put, from our experience, nothing ever makes something. Everything that begins to exist had a prior cause. Also, the fine tuning of the universe, like carburetors, cars and chainsaws, points to a fine tuner. Finely tuned things ultimately have an intelligent cause.

2) The “Biological Big Bang”

First dead matter, then alive matter, that’s the problem. Am I just to believe that a “poof,” composed of eons of time, created life? We could talk about the debunked “spontaneous generation” hypothesis from history to the modern “abiogenesis” version, but both have the same issue, lacking evidence.

Paul Davies, a well-known Astrobiologist, says this, “One of the great mysteries of life is how it began. What physical process transformed a nonliving mix of chemicals into something as complex as a living cell?” In a conversation on the Unbelievable radio show, he said we have no naturalistic theory for the origin of life. Anyone who has studied the origin of life will tell you the same. Life always comes from life. Life from non-life is a dead end, pardon the pun.

Also, you remember the fine tuning of the universe, right? Well, life too is finely tuned. From finely tuned cells, to finely tuned molecular machines, to finely tuned DNA code, to finely tuned molecules and all way to the finely tuned elements, life and its building blocks are finely tuned! Again, fine tuned things have an intelligent cause.

In addition, life’s microscopic machines are real machines, not metaphors. In biology, we find gears and motors, turbines and generators. These types of machines, from our experience, are always designed. 

We must not forget the information contained in the cells. Again, from our universal experience, meaningful and functional information like this always comes from minds.

3) The “Psychological Big Bang”

The question is simple, how did consciousness arise? From a bacteria like cell, to a blob brain, to a mind?

Somehow we acquired the capacity for creativity and consciousness, design and beauty, self-awareness and self-reflection. From proverbs to poems, to meaning and methods, to emotions and economics.

We have mental abilities, and complementary physical abilities that other organisms don’t have. We love beauty, love the arts and love music. In addition to beauty appreciation, we can make it too.

We can do complex mathematics, we have a complex language and we have the ability to create complex technology.

Our technology, as a whole, not only needs intelligent minds to dream and design, but also proper bodies to create. But there is another level too, that is the topic of fire. Most of our technology requires fire in manufacturing. Very few things, if any, were created without the help of fire.

Here is the interesting part, we are the only creatures on earth that can use fire. Not only do our minds have the ability, but we also have the proper body to make and interact with fire.

Greased with the ingredient of eons of time, this all seems so much like a fairy-tale for grownups!

4) The “Morality Big Bang”

Let me get this straight, we were some type of amoral animals, and through another poof of evolutionary generations, we now possess moral sensibilities? Why is it wrong for one Bag-O-Chemicals to bump off another Bag-O-Chemicals? Why is it wrong to torture babies for the fun of it, and right to treat them kindly?

If our main purpose on earth is to just pass down our genes to the next generation, as many Darwinists say, why the “me too” movement and why is rape so wrong? Oh, am I not supposed to bring up that conundrum? Why do we know those things are bad, wrong and evil? Why is it more wrong for one to try to trip someone maliciously and fail than for one to accidentally trip another? Who cares?

In an atheistic universe, there is no ultimate morality, except for pragmatic reasons. The only reason we do what is “right” is because it helps us. But that does not make things good or evil! And the “it just helps me” line seems quite selfish, so why would that be good?

And why is it a good thing to pass on our genes to the next generation? First, who cares if our genetics are passed on or not passed on? Second, the point seems quite circular. It’s good because it’s good. We are reusing moral language to explain the existence of morality.

The Monstrous Mountain to Climb

Again, each of these four “big bangs” point to God. They are a monstrous mountain to climb, and when the atheist scientist scales them…well, let me quote Robert Jastrow again from his work “God and the Astronomers.”

“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

Yep, the Bible was right all along.

I have a passion to have answers for Christianity as Peter taught us to do. I would love for you to come along with me and not miss a post! In the future, I plan on giving more resources and answers you can share with both believers and unbelievers. Plus, I want to send you a Free Quick Guide why I think science points to God. I would love for you to have this Free Quick Guide and the latest posts straight to your inbox. 

So, what did you think? Feel free to share your thoughts below!

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34 thoughts on ““Four Big Bangs” That Kill Atheism

  1. All you’re doing is pushing the question of why there is something rather than nothing back one level. “Why is there something rather than nothing? It has to be God.”

    OK, why is there a God rather than nothing? Did there have to be a God to create God too? It’s the problem of infinite regress.

    You can choose to believe that the universe came from nothing or that God came from nothing, but you can’t prove either one.

    1. The very act of creation assumes time, as there is a sequential process: pre-creation and post-creation with a delta-state between the two. The God of the Bible is an existing, infinite being, not bound to time. You’re okay with infinite regress, so apparently infinity is useful in your argument, so let’s apply it. Consider two states: time and timeless (infinity). An infinite being in the timeless state could chose to enter the time-state, but doing so would have no impact on their existence. A created being, by way of creation, must exist in the time-state. Could it be possible for a created being to move into the timeless state, as much as a non-created being moving into the time-state? What would be the proof that either event occurred? We consider death to be the end of life, a definitive boundary of existence. If a person you knew were to be undeniably, scientifically dead, but then came back to life, wouldn’t that be proof of timelessness? If this person had historical artifacts, writings and witnesses that substantiated their existence, would the proof have been made? If after thousands of years, this person was to show they were not subject to the erosions and impacts of time, would that be proof?
      How such a transition between time and timeless states might be momentarily beyond comprehension, but genuine evidence suggests other possibilities – exactly the theme of the post.

      1. I thought it was clear that I think infinite regress is a problem when I said “It’s the problem of infinite regress.”

        As to your comment, consider this: If time is infinite and time travel is possible, than it has already been discovered and people have done it. Yet there is currently no proof of time travelers, so the likelihood if it being possible is slim.

        1. Mark,
          He didn’t say time was infinite; rather, the opposite. He never mentioned anything about time travel. The point Chris was making, I think, is that God exists in the timeless state; He is infinite. Therefore there is no infinite regression problem since there is no precursor, or no “pre-” anything in the timeless state. God just is, or as He might say Himself, “I Am.”

        2. Unfortunately, it is much easier to bog down the conversation by creating a Straw Man (time travel) rather than answer is there prima facie evidence for God’s existence from the 4 arguments listed above in the article.

    2. Law of Causality…whatever begins to exist has a cause. Overwhelming scientific evidence points to the fact that the universe began to exist – so there was a beginning; all matter, energy, space, time and laws. The Cause would have to be, logically, outside of matter, energy, space, time and laws.

      There is always a measure of faith involved in believing in God – there doesn’t have to be proof. Only prima facie evidence – similar to evidence presented in a court of law – there would be enough evidence (not proof) for a judge to make a decision in favor of that evidence.

    3. Paul refutes the problem of an infinite regress in 1 Corinthians 8:6. He claims that God is the origin of all that exists while Christ is the means by which everything exists. Note that god is the source of existence while Christ is the means. Everything exists because existence is eternal. The assumption is that there is a beginning to existence because there is a beginning to things. However, existence does have an origin which is essentially non-existence. How do we know this? Because Paul has pointed out that God is the origin of existence. God is the origin of the means, and cannot exist without redefining the meaning of the source or origin. The origin of existence can’t exist without creating an infinite regression.

      So Paul has simultaneously refuted an infinite regression and pointed out that God doesn’t exist. Ironically, the Old Testament supplies us with God’s name (e.g. YHVH), which means “I will be” or “I will be what I will be”. This indicates potential and potential is not actual. Potentiality doesn’t exist.

  2. This is an excellent article. Beside being well-thought out, it is entertaining and easily accessible to us “lay persons” not indoctrinated to the ways of the clergy. However, you lost me at one specific point: “…the evidence points to the biblical God.” Evidence does indeed point to some deep mystery, something almost completely unknown and unknowable to the human mind, but the god of the bible is far less than that. He (is he/she/it masculine?) is at various times full of rage, envy, jealousy, and variously described as arbitrary, vindictive, vengeful and decidedly a very poor judge of character given all the people who fail him in the biblical stories. These descriptions reveal more about the people who wrote them than the god they purport to describe. These stories reveal how the people of those times and places recognized the great mystery in their lives in their time and place. I revere the bible for the account of what those people knew and understood about themselves in relation to the mystery but I do not see it as a definitive account of how, when, why and where this mystery continues to impact our lives today. I see a much more hidden, mysterious god who is not given to human failings and motivations but who, for whatever reasons, continues to sustain this universe in an improbable existence, the improbability of which we will never fathom. The answers to the four questions are and will remain unknowable to us, as does the being/intellect/life force/power that underwrites this entire enterprise we call life.

  3. Yes, what led me to the inevitable belief in an intelligent “director” of this visible and invisible universe were the outright contradictions and failures of the main categories of the sciences. My atheistic assumptions were forced into reconsideration…good article here

  4. I read this article after a Dentist friend of mine posted it on his facebook page.
    I understand that the use of “quantum physics arguments” may have persuaded him that there was “real science” in the author’s explanations.

    The “Big Bang” discussion subsumes that a “Creator” must exist. It searches science for gaps and creates tortured arguments to support the author’s assumptions . Real science does not cherry pick and rearrange evidence in this way. Science looks at the whole body of empirical evidence and draws conclusions. As more evidence becomes available, conclusions may be refined to account for it.

    For “creation” arguments based on a qualified physicist’s understanding of quantum physics and space-time issues, I refer readers to Hawking’s “Brief Answers…” book.

    Placing “God” outside of nature is a convenient way of protecting “him” from science. Such arguments also make it easy for humans to imagine all sorts of supernatural phenomena.

    1. How was my arguments “tortured”? How did I search for “science gaps”? Where did I “cherry pick and rearrange evidence”?

      Do things that start to exist ever not have a cause? Or, from our universal experience, do things that start to exist have causes?

      So you want God inside of nature? How is that supposed to work? How does something cause itself?

      1. Examples of tortured arguments:
        “Things are much more likely not to exist than to exist. They can’t explain why.”
        Classic “God of the gaps” reasoning i.e. If science can’t yet explain it, God must be behind it.
        Cherry picking involves looking for such gaps in knowledge.
        Causality—What caused God?
        By definition anything “supernatural” is beyond our senses and cannot be proven to exist whether it be “God”, Osiris, “The Force” or the Easter Bunny.

        1. First, by definition science can’t prove anything true. It can, however, give strong evidence for something to be true. So yes, science can assess claims and see if different attributes point to different causes…including God.

          You claim that I’m using a “God of the gaps” argument when I say such things as: “Things are much more likely not to exist than to exist. They can’t explain why.” First, I did not say “If science can’t yet explain it, God must be behind it”, that is misrepresenting my case. In context, I said materialists can’t explain it. I’m not saying there is a gap in knowledge as a whole, rather there’s a gap in the marterialist’s worldview. The evidence from philosophy and science point to a designer outside of the universe. A God of the gaps would be “we don’t know, so it must be God”…actually it would be identical to saying “we don’t know, so it must be naturalism.” Both would be wrong. We need evidence, the evidence points to out side of the universe as the cause, some superior designer.

          And who made God you ask? Well, I’ve talked about that before here, but here it is again: The “who made God” question has this problem, who would have made the creator who made the creator? You see, it becomes an infinite regress of creator creating creators – forever. In philosophy this “prime-mover” is also called the “uncaused-first-cause”. In other words, this “prime mover” has always been in existence, thus uncaused. He is not dependent upon the space time continuum. In fact, we read in history and theology (ie. the Bible), this exact thing – one who isn’t dependent on time and who is eternal. We know from experience things that began to exist must have a cause. We know the universe had a beginning, came into existence. We also know that the causes must be outside of the thing that comes into existence. Outside the Universe there is no space, time or matter. To cause a universe and life, this cause must must be super powerful, smart and be able to make choices as well! Plus only minds cause the creation of large amounts of meaningful information, DNA anyone? This uncaused-first-cause must be spaceless, timeless, immaterial, eternal, smart, powerful, has a mind and personal.

          1. “By definition, science can’t prove anything true.” (Your claim)
            This is a misleading way of defining science and seems to imply a disdain for science.
            By definition (cf. Karl Popper), science methodically and iteratively approximates truth to the highest degree possible based on hypotheses that are both testable and falsifiable.

            Scientific Evidence for God?
            Claiming that science provides evidence for an “intelligent designer” (i.e. God) is simply not true. I would again refer you to Stephen Hawking who has shown that the natural laws of the universe alone can account for the creation of all of the matter, energy and space (i.e. everything) in the universe. In addition, based on the work of Einstein, time did not exist until the “birth” of the universe. It is therefore impossible to even consider a natural, temporal being before the “big bang”.

            Philosophical Evidence for God?
            (The “who made God” question–a.k.a. infinite regress, prime mover).
            As you may know, the infinite regress and “prime mover” arguments date from Thomas Aquinas. No one (including Aquinas) has made a strong argument why infinite regress is not possible, which would eliminate the need for a “prime mover”. Even if one concedes a “prime mover”, there is also no reason why the prime mover needs to be a single “being”, such as the Judeo-Christian-Muslim God. It could easily be a committee of prime movers or even an inanimate object. If there has to be a “prime mover” and the “prime mover” can be inanimate, then why couldn’t the prime mover be the “big bang singularity”?

            Another argument for the existence of God made by Aquinas is the teleological argument (later named the watchmaker analogy–the basis of ID) It asserts that the universe was designed for a purpose just as a watch was designed by a watchmaker to keep time. This is an argument by analogy, but the analogy is a false one. The top-down design paradigm of the watchmaker making the watch has little to do with the way life evolved on earth, which is a bottom-up design. The undisputable fact is that random genetic variations sometimes produce desirable traits which natural selection (i.e. the real natural designer) chooses to keep. Life on earth has been evolving for at least 3.5 billion years. The fossil record shows a lot of bottom up design changes due to changing environmental conditions.

            The role of counterexamples and falsifiability.
            The discovery of counterexamples to scientific assertions is always an opportunity to dig deeper into the real “magic” and “mystery” of the universe. On the other hand, when scientific assertions provide counterexamples to “creation science”, they are often seen as a threat (cf. the reactions to the unshaken assertions of Darwin).

            Science advances when a valid counter argument is found for a scientific assertion. It reminds us that the “story” is still incomplete and that new paths of knowledge can be revealed. Isaac Newton was shown to be wrong about classical mechanics at very large scales (the universe) and very small scales (atomic and subatomic levels). This was painful for some scientists to accept, but in the end, knowledge of the universe advanced and new discoveries were made possible.

            Real scientific assertions are testable and falsifiable, but pseudoscientific assertions (e.g. – many made by ID) are rarely allowed to be falsifiable. Further, ID often puts “God” outside of nature and zealously protects “him” from any scientific scrutiny. (cf. The parable of the invisible gardener.)

            In the end, science seeks to expand knowledge at the risk/hope of getting things wrong, while ID seeks to protect dogma (the existence of God) even by rejecting valid scientific knowledge.

    2. Placing “God” outside of nature is a convenient way of protecting “him” from science. Such arguments also make it easy for humans to imagine all sorts of supernatural phenomena. – Rich Braden

      Rich, WE did not “place him” anywhere. It is no argument. It is a logical fact that follows from what would be necessary to create the universe. Supernatural phenomena is such an elusive term. What we take for granted today would of course be considered supernatural to any human several centuries ago.
      Miracles are now *explained* with *science* as when a ten-year-old girl dropped from a commercial aircraft over South America that exploded. She fell to earth and survived, and walked out of the jungle.

      1. “Miracles are now *explained* with *science* as when a ten-year-old girl dropped from a commercial aircraft over South America that exploded. She fell to earth and survived, and walked out of the jungle.”
        Such things happen.

  5. Deductive reasoning is another irrefutable proof of the existence of God for no chemical action or reaction during the much talked process of Evolution, has power to create this human ability.

  6. You need to add a print or download button to your articles. This is worth saving and referring back to, or passing on to others not on Facebook.

  7. >>>First, by definition science can’t prove anything true.

    True. Nothing in science can be proven to be true since science is based upon induction. Laws, theories and hypotheses can be falsified, but not proven true. Theories can be robust or strong, but proof is outside the capabilities of science. Induction explains things from past experiences. Thus, induction is circular, and therefore scientific explanations are ultimately dependent upon blind faith. Conclusions of science are always tentative and could change with just one small piece of new information.

  8. Atheists say “At least we don’t believe in the god of the gaps.” No, they believe in the Science of the Gaps. “We don’t know but we’ll find out you betcha.” Ya think? Why then does every research paper end with the words, “More research is needed.”? We don’t know everything about ANYTHING. This is in perfect accord with Scriptures. Who would have thought that this “ancient” and “unscientific book,” the Holy Bible, would correctly state so much of current science when it was written almost 2,000 years ago?

    He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. – Ecclesiastes 3:11

    1. It is hardly a surprise that people do not know everything. So the Bible only repeats what we already knew for very long.

  9. “This “just so story” sounds like this: the universe popped into existence, like “poof”,”

    With childish language you never make a point, I fear.

  10. I will have to say, as one of The Way (Christianity), that there appears to be among the Faithful a persistent erroneous perception of science as being some kind of bastion of God-hating atheists. Nothing could be further from the truth. Science makes no assumptions about the existence of God, and any rational scientist would be wise to keep it free from religious doctrine.

    The problems start when either religion tries to dictate to scientists how to interpret data or when science is used to declare the nature or purpose of God.

    As for the argument between naturalism and science, the burden remains on the Christian to accept the valid role of science in our society.

  11. All science can hope to do is describe the physical world. Since science describes what is already there, God created science.

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