The cause of the origin of the universe.
What is the cause of the origin of the universe? Perhaps every thinking person has pondered this question at some point. The natural universe (which includes the properties of space, time, matter, and energy) came into being at the cosmological event known as the Big Bang. Because it is a logical absurdity to suggest that something can cause itself, the cause of the universe must necessarily be spaceless, timeless, immaterial, and energy-less. Indeed, it would every bit as absurd to suggest that a person could give birth to himself as it would be to suggest that something within the natural universe could be the cause of the natural universe.
An atheist is certainly free to reject God as the cause for the universe. However, in doing so, he/she must invoke some other spaceless, timeless, immaterial, and energy-less cause for the universe. He/she must also provide rational justification to support the proposed cause. The standard atheist response of, “I don’t know what caused the universe, but I will let science eventually figure it out” simply does not work in this situation. Why? Because science already has figured it out. And the answer which science provides is devastating to atheism:
The observer effect refers to the conclusion of modern physics that, prior to observation by a conscious observer, particles exist only in an immaterial form known as a possibility wave (or probability wave). It is only after an observation is made by a conscious observer that these possibilities “collapse into actuality,” thereby taking on material form. In short, modern physics has demonstrated that material things do not exist in the absence of a conscious observer. Readers who find this bizarre or difficult to understand are in good company. Even the world’s most elite physicists are amazed and puzzled by the observer effect. However, it has been repeatedly scientifically verified. Please click here and here to watch two videos which explain the observer effect.
Physicist Richard Conn Henry from Johns Hopkins University explains why this conclusion of modern physics has left atheists with no leg to stand on. Materialism (in which atheism is grounded) is the philosophical stance which says that matter is the ultimate reality (or the something-from-which-everything-else-comes). But modern physics rules out materialism, and leaves us with the inescapable conclusion that mind is the something-from-which-everything-else-comes:
Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the illusion of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism. [Solipsism is defined as “the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist.”]
(Journal of Scientific Exploration, Issue 21-3)
The knighted mathematician, physicist and astronomer Sir James Jeans echoes Henry’s above comments in his book The Mysterious Universe:
There is a wide measure of agreement which, on the physical side of science approaches almost unanimity, that the stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine. Mind no longer appears as an accidental intruder into the realm of matter. We are beginning to suspect that we ought rather to hail mind as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. (Italics added)
(Sir James Jeans, The Mysterious Universe, 1937, p. 137)
Indeed, the mind-first view is what the founder of quantum physics himself, the Nobel Prize winning physicist Max Planck, was referring to when he said:
I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.
(Religion and Natural Science (Lecture Given 1937) Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers, 1949, p. 184)
Scientific confirmation of the universe’s beginning has caused much sorrow among scientists ideologically committed to atheism because, for centuries, most atheists have hung their hat on belief in an eternally existing universe in order to do away with God….no beginning, therefore no Beginner. Robert Jastrow is an astronomer, physicist, and the founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. As a self-described agnostic, Jastrow found the theistic implications of the Big Bang distasteful, yet inescapable. He therefore describes his realization of these implications as “like a bad dream” in his book 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.
Those wishing to more deeply explore the scientific confirmation that matter is the product of mind (and not vice-versa) are encouraged to read The Mental Universe by physicist Richard Conn Henry (mentioned above), Mindful Universe by physicist Henry Stapp, from the University of California at Berkeley, and God is Not Dead: What Quantum Physics Tells Us About our Origins and How We Should Live by physicist Amit Goswami, from the University of Oregon.