The universe exists; therefore, its existence must be explained in some way. We have to answer the question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” How did we come to be here? For many years the response was that we have just always been here and always will be. But science has proven that the universe is not eternal. The second law of thermodynamics tells us that it is decaying – eternal things do not decay. We know that there was a singularity event from which the universe came into existence – and scientists even named it: the Big Bang. Stephen Hawking says, “Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the big bang.” Physicists John Barrow and Frank Tipler state: “At this singularity, space and time came into existence; literally nothing existed before the singularity, so, if the Universe originated at such a singularity, we would truly have a creation ex nihilo.” Not only did all matter and energy come into being at the singularity event but time and space as well. That means at one point there was nothing. But now there is something. How did that happen?
We know we can’t get something from nothing. So whatever change the nothingness to somethingness must be different from this something we observe; it must be different from this universe. Everything in this universe is finite and contingent, not eternal. Nothing that we observe here in this universe is capable of creating this universe. This finite, contingent universe of matter is unable to explain itself, so the creator of this universe must be different from what is here in the universe. What would be different from our finite universe of time, space, energy and matter? It must be something that exists outside of our time, space, energy, and matter. Most people would define that entity as “God” of some sort.
Of course, the natural progression from this point is to then question who made God. If God made the universe, then who made God? However, only things that have a beginning require a cause to bring it into being. We haven’t proven that God has a beginning (unlike the universe, which does have a beginning). Since God is eternal, He has no beginning, and therefore does not require a cause.
How can we assert that God is eternal? Are we avoiding the question by making that claim? Not at all. Because we exist now, something had to have existed forever. Since science has proven that the universe has a beginning, then there was a time when there was no universe. But we know that nothing produces nothing. We can’t get something from nothing. If there had ever been a time when nothing existed (no universe and no eternal God), then there would still be nothing now.
Because something does exist now, it follows that something had to exist forever. R.C. Sproul states: “Indeed, reason demands that if something exists, either the world or God (or anything else), then something must be self-existent….There must be a self-existent being of some sort somewhere or nothing would or could exist.” (emphasis mine)
If prior to the existence of the universe there was absolutely nothing – no God, no space, no time – how could the universe possibly have come to exist? The atheist finds it more unintelligible to believe in god than that the universe came into being uncaused out of nothing. To suggest that things could just pop into existence, uncaused and out of nothings is to quit doing serious intellectual study - and resort to magic.
So how did the universe come into being? Sir Arthur Eddington concluded, “The beginning seems to present insuperable difficulties unless we agree to look on it as frankly supernatural.” It “involves a certain metaphysical aspect which may be either appealing or revolting,” says Hubert Reeves astrophysicist.
The truth is there. We have something where there used to be nothing. The natural cannot explain that, therefore, there must be something supernatural. It should be our life’s goal to understand who or what that Supernatural Being is, to whom we owe our very existence.