Whether you consider a famous work of art or just a doodle you do for fun, the existence of art points to an artist. It would be ridiculous to look at a painting and deny the existence of the painter. In the same way, the existence of our vastly intricate universe holds many clues that point to a Creator.
For centuries, scientists thought the universe was eternal—that it didn’t have a beginning point nor would it ever end. However, as more scientific discoveries were made, it became clear that the universe DID have a beginning, as it is expanding outward.
One of the easiest scientific proofs of the universe having a beginning is based on the first and second laws of thermodynamics. The first law says that there is a limited amount of usable energy in the universe. The second law says that as energy is transferred and transformed, more and more energy is wasted and contributes to irreversible disorder.
An example of this is how our sun is losing energy every day. In the distant future, our sun will run out of usable energy and stop feeding its energy into our Solar System. Eventually, stars will no longer be born. Galaxies will die as their stars run out of energy. Black holes will no longer have anything to consume and will dissipate. This all looks kind of like a countdown timer. Countdowns have a beginning and an end. The finite amount of energy in the universe is winding down and, if left alone, will one day reach zero.
When we consider our universe's limited energy, we have to ask, "If energy is not being created now—only used and wasted—then where did it come from?" The finite energy in our universe must have had a beginning point because we can see it slowly winding down.
If the universe had no beginning, if was an eternal thing that has always existed, then that limited energy would have run out long ago, and we wouldn't exist because we need energy to live. Nothing in our physical universe exists forever as it is all subject to those laws of thermodynamics. Everything will eventually run out of energy.
Let's say you light a candle and let it burn. How long do you think it will shine? Maybe until the evening? Overnight or into the next day? What if you lit it six months ago, a year ago, or on the first day of third grade? What if it was a 10-foot candle? Would it still be burning after YEARS? Of course not. The farther back in time you go, the more ridiculous it is to think that a candle would last that long.
Since there's only a limited amount of energy in the flame, that energy is being used up to burn the wick and melt the wax. You could say that the candle is "counting down" until the fire's energy has been used up. Even if it was possible to light a candle an "eternity" ago, it would still only last so long. That candle would be long gone today.
The same is true with the universe. Since there is still usable energy in the universe today, this proves that the universe cannot be eternal. If the universe is not eternal, then it must have had a beginning. But what caused the beginning of the universe?
The Big Bang theory proposes that a very compacted, unstable ball of energy exploded to start the creation of the universe. However, science has yet to explain where this original energy came from or what caused it to expand. Many physicists are forced to admit that universe does appear to have a design, though often the presumption is that it came from "nothing." But nothing cannot create something.
If you have a homework assignment but do zero work on it, then turn in your assignment, nothing will have been done. If someone asks you to bake a pie but you aren't given a recipe, ingredients, bowls, or even an oven, then you can't create anything. When you have nothing, then nothing can be created. If you see a completed assignment or a beautifully baked pie, then you know that something (and someone) came before its existence.
If nothing could come from nothing, then we would see this happening all the time today. But since we don't, then we know that this isn't how the universe functions.
Someone had to have created the universe. Science has proven that time, space, and matter are things that came into existence at the same time. Since these things were created at the same time, the one doing the creating would have to exist outside of time, space, and matter, for they would not have been created yet.
The creator would also have to be all-powerful to create everything out of nothing, as well as have personal agency to choose to create at all. What being fits this description? God—as revealed in the Bible! God is timeless (eternal) (Psalm 90:2), spaceless (without limits) (1 Kings 8:27), immaterial (spirit) (John 4:24), all-powerful (Psalm 29:4), and personal (Genesis 1:31).
The second way the universe points to a Creator is the design we can observe in the universe. There are over 100 narrowly defined factors that must be just right for the universe to exist. If any of them were off just by a small decimal point, life would not be possible on earth and the universe would cease to exist.
A few examples include the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the earth’s atmosphere, gravitational pulls, and the placements of the planets (Psalm 147:4-5). There is no way that the universe could have happened by accident, random chance, or by itself. This very finely tuned, accurately designed universe required an intelligent and all-powerful designer. Who fits that description? God.
"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge." —Psalm 19:1-2
Imagine walking into your kitchen and seeing alphabet beads on the table. When you look down, you read, "I love you" and see a strawberry cut into the shape of a heart. Would you believe these items randomly tumbled onto the counter like that? Of course not. You'd know that someone put the letters in that order and formed the shape of a heart with a knife.
Complex messages and designs require an intelligent mind. DNA is a complex code which contains specific "directions" for each cell in every living organism. The chemicals in DNA are not random. In a single human cell, there are 3.2 billion DNA chemicals that are placed in just the right sequence so that the cell will do what it is supposed to do. Among these chemicals are "instructions" that will even "proofread" and repair genetic mutations automatically!
If the programming code to your cells were incorrect, your body would not be able to function—just as mistakes in a computer programming code would render computer errors. The supreme intelligence that is required to write the genetic code for every living organism necessitates an all-knowing being—God!
The beginning of the universe, as well its intricately ordered design, points to God as the Creator. Romans 1:18-21 talks about how the universe makes it obvious that God exists and, because of this, those who attempt to suppress the truth of God's existence have no excuse for their foolishness.
God designed everything in the universe for one specific purpose: to glorify Him (Psalm 19:1)! Since human beings are also God’s creation, we should seek to glorify Him with our lives as best we can every day.
REFERENCES: 1. Geisler, Norman and Turek, Frank, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, Crossway, 2004, pg. 150. 2. Geisler, Norman and Turek, Frank, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, Crossway, 2004, pg. 150. 3. Geisler, Norman and Turek, Frank, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, Crossway, 2004, pg. 150. 4. "DNA proofreading and repair," https://www.khanacademy.org/science/biology/dna-as-the-genetic-material/dna-replication/a/dna-proofreading-and-repair (accessed 9-8-22)
The beginning of the universe, as well its intricately ordered design, points to God as the Creator. Scientists have discovered that the universe is expanding and therefore had a beginning point. Since something cannot come from nothing, the universe must have a cause for its creation. Only God is qualified to be the Creator of the universe as He exists outside of space, time, and matter. He is all powerful and all knowing. Observable designs in the universe through physics, nature, and every living thing point to a Creator. From the 100+ narrowly defined factors that must be perfect for the universe to exist to the complex code of DNA, the evidence of intelligent design is obvious (Romans 1:20; Psalm 19:1-2).
Hanna loves spending time with kids and teens. She enjoys being detectives with them to investigate God's Word to discover truths to answer any questions. She is the co-author of a newly published apologetics curriculum for children and teaches one online for highschoolers-adults. To learn more about her ministry you can visit networkerstec.com. For fun, she likes to play Ultimate Frisbee, read historical fiction, and paint.