By: Chad Meeks
In his book, A Universe From Nothing, the atheist and physicist, Lawrence Krauss, writes,
The purpose of this book is simple. I want to show how modern science, in various guises, can address and is addressing the question why there is something rather than nothing: The answers that have been obtained—from staggeringly beautiful experimental observations, as well as from the theories that underline much of modern physics—all suggest that getting something from nothing is not a problem. Indeed, something from nothing may have been required for the universe to come into being. Moreover, all signs suggest that this is how our universe could have arisen.
My real purpose here is to demonstrate that in fact science has changed the playing field, so that these abstract and useless debates about the nature of nothingness have been replaced by useful, operational efforts to describe how our universe might actually have originated.
Physicist Frank Close also submits, “Everything came from nothing. Modern physics suggests that it is possible that the universe could have emerged out of the vacuum.”
One of the major implications of Krauss and Close’s claims is that there is no need for a creator. According to Krauss—and others like him—science can now explain the existence of the universe without any need of defaulting to a being that caused it all.
Over the last couple of articles, I have been focusing on the historical reliability of Scripture. My overall claim is that one is completely justified in believing the Bible is the historically reliable Word of God without any argumentation or evidence. But if a counter argument is presented, Christians must graciously investigate the counter argument to see if it holds water. I am first addressing some obvious counters that are usually overlooked within a discussion like this. Given that Scripture claims God created the entire universe (Genesis 1:1; Col 1:16; Rev. 4:11; Jn 1:3), if a creator isn’t necessary, then the validity and veracity of Scripture is called into question. In fact, it is a traditional view of Christianity that everything was created by God out of nothing.
So does science show the universe wasn’t created; thus, showing that the Bible is false? Not hardly! What then are Christians to make of the claims of Krauss and those like him? Do we need an advance degree in physics or cosmology to even call into question what is being claimed here? Fortunately, given that most of us have little to no advanced knowledge of physics or cosmology, we need not defend the need for a creator based upon some kind of scientific argument.
The standard cosmological model for the existence of the universe is generally called the Big Bang theory. This model claims that at some point some 14 billion years ago, all that existed was a quantum vacuum—a soup of cosmic energy. As this energy cooled, it started to expand, resulting in everything that we know and see today coming into existence: matter, time, stars, planets, trees, bunnies, etc. For Krauss and his friends, this quantum vacuum is considered “nothing.” Since, as he claims, no matter or time exists, then it can be considered a nothing. But it stretches credulity to claim that a quantum vacuum of energy is nothing. This vacuum is definitely something—it has properties and even energy. Thus, claiming that the universe came from “nothing” seems completely contrary to reality.
From nothing, one gets…nothing. If there is something (for example, oh, I don’t know…the universe), then it must have come from something. Therefore, it makes no logical sense to claim that something can come from nothing. And it strikes me as self-defeating to claim that something—like a quantum vacuum—is actually “nothing.”
Whether one accepts big bang cosmology or not, it doesn’t matter for my argument. Just taking the idea as is presented by Krauss, it seems absurd to claim a ball of dense, super-hot energy is nothing. Clearly that just isn’t the case.
Therefore, our claim that the Bible is historically reliable is unscathed by any contemporary claims within science and cosmology.
Krauss, Lawrence. A Universe From Nothing (NY: Free Press, 2012), xiii.
Close, Frank. Nothing (Oxford: Oxford, 2009), 128.