That Big Bang

We have no clear idea about how the universe came into existence. Scientists have some hazy theories, but the theories are packed with assumptions that may be wrong.

People who are inclined toward religious belief tend to assume that some enormously wise and powerful entity called “God” created the universe. This idea explains nothing, but I guess it’s comforting.

It explains nothing because, as Richard Dawkins has pointed out, in order to create a complex universe — one with finely tuned physical laws — God would have to be complex. A simple God (a God with no internal features) couldn’t do the necessary equations. If God is complex, then we can’t dodge the question of where God came from. It’s an infinite regress. If you’re going to assume that a complex God “just is” and doesn’t need explanation, you might just as well assume that the universe “just is” and doesn’t need explanation.

Still, it’s a fun idea to think about. Let’s assume for a moment that the universe was created (13.8 billion years or so ago) by an unimaginably vast and powerful entity that we may as well call “God.” Sadly, nothing in the physical universe gives us any clue about the nature of this God. We might entertain any number of hypotheses, all of them equally likely (or unlikely). For instance:

Our universe might have been created by a trainee God. An unpaid intern. This would explain a lot. It would explain the bits that really don’t work at all well. For all we know, after the act of creation, God’s supervisor (an even more vast and powerful entity) might have said, “Nah, that’s no good. You’ve messed it up. Try again.” They might have tossed our universe out onto the cosmic trash heap and left it to rot.

You can’t prove that isn’t how it happened.

Or possibly our universe is nothing but a really large fireworks display. Considered as fireworks, it’s pretty spectacular, actually. A bit repetitive, but not too bad. In this scenario, God may have been entirely unconcerned about (or not aware of) the thin film of complex carbon-based molecules coating the surface of a small rocky planet somewhere. We may be no more than a very minor bit of cosmic scum, of no importance whatever to the Almighty.

Here’s an even better theory. We don’t know that there aren’t lots and lots of equally vast, equally powerful entities. These entities might have fraternal organizations of some sort. The fraternities might have celebrations of some sort. And we all know what happens in the alley behind the frat-house after a party.

Our entire universe might be nothing more than a pool of barf. The act of creation might have been an unintended result of over-indulgence in cosmic intoxicants.

Hey, for all we know, that may be exactly how it happened.

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2 Responses to That Big Bang

  1. Ron Greenman says:

    I’ve always liked the idea that God is an over-indulged child. That the universe is his very large sandbox. And that his dad is feeling guilty about always having to stay late at work to run the adult version universe and so brings him lots of toys. We are just his collection of action figures, the animals his toy zoo collection, and the plants, hills, starts, etc. are scenery that came with some dioramas. If you here a very load woman’s voice coming from somewhere overhead saying, “God, put your toys away. It’s time for dinner.” Well then, the jig is up.

  2. Ricardo says:

    big bang does not denote creation, just expansion of something already there (all the mass and energy in the universe)

    The Creation is how simple minds explain how a craftsman god created a clay figure just like any old pre-history craftsman might have done. There’s no creation, only transformation. what all that mass and energy were before such expansion took place, it’s anyone’s guess. I believe, as in faith, that existence is the only thing possible and it’s got no beginning nor end. Existence just is and have no cause. how much can we recede back into that primordial singularity of the big bang? possibly forever. just like trying to get out of a black hole…

    cheers 🙂

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