He Spoke

I’ve been doing some reading on the origins of the universe. I wish I had studied physics. There are interesting perspectives which seem just beyond my grasp. What does stand out, however, is the idea that something is eternal and the source of everything around us. Here’s a bit from William Lane Craig:

With respect to the alternative of Eternal Inflation, it was suggested by some theorists during the 1980s that perhaps the inflationary expansion of the universe was not confined to a brief period early in the history of the universe but is eternal in the past, each inflating region being the product of a prior inflating region. Although such models were hotly debated, something of a watershed appears to have been reached in 2003, when three leading cosmologists, Arvin Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin, were able to prove that any universe which has, on average, been expanding throughout its history cannot be infinite in the past but must have a past space-time boundary.

What makes their proof so powerful is that it holds regardless of the physical description of the universe prior to the Planck time. Because we can’t yet provide a physical description of the very early universe, this brief moment has been fertile ground for speculations. (One scientist has compared it to the regions on ancient maps labeled “Here there be dragons!”—it can be filled with all sorts of fantasies.) But the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem is independent of any physical description of that moment. Their theorem implies that even if our universe is just a tiny part of a so-called “multiverse” composed of many universes, the multiverse must have an absolute beginning.

Vilenkin is blunt about the implications:

It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176).

The universe began and expanded such that we now are here looking back and wondering at the scope and are awed. What shall we do?

Psalms 33:1-9 Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright. (2) Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! (3) Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts. (4) For the word of the LORD is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness. (5) He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD. (6) By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host. (7) He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses. (8) Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! (9)
For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.

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