Theist Cosmology: As Long As God’s Necessary Somewhere

Question from Physitheist:
I’m going to start this by saying that I’m a Christian, but also someone who believes in science…Here’s my question. According to the laws of thermodynamics energy moves to heat. Also there is no process that is truly reversible because we can not reach absolute zero, and the process would take infinite time. Since entropy continues to increase, and there is a limit of mass and energy how are we here? If there is not a limit of energy and mass, then why do you think so? And if you believe that energy and mass can appear out of thin air balanced out by anti matter why haven’t we ever seen this? After all the amount of unusable heat created is enormous. So basically my question is this, given the laws of thermodynamics, if you extrapolate to the size of the universe how are we here? After all the Big Crunch theory doesn’t really solve the energy problem since no process is 100 percent efficient. We’d still only have heat since there’s no such thing as negligible when the scale is eternity.

Thank you, and have a wonderful day!

Jesus loves you!

Answer by SmartLX:
I answered a similar question in my piece The World of Leftover Energy, so you can comment on that one if you like. Here I’ll just try to address some of your specific points and questions.

If you extrapolate the laws of thermodynamics regarding entropy to account for the entire universe they need to be applied as to a closed system, because we’re not aware of any energy leaving the universe. A hypothetical Big Crunch takes all the matter and energy there has ever been and jams it back together in a singularity – even the “lost” energy that’s been radiated outwards throughout the history of the compressed universe. That could actually achieve 100% efficiency through recycling, as literally no energy would be lost and the singularity could behave exactly the same as the previous singularity.

There is most likely a finite amount of matter and energy in THIS universe. If it’s the only universe, an eternal existence would have to depend on some form of reclamation, like the Big Crunch, or an exponential decrease that never hits zero, like I describe in the other piece. If there are other universes, as many have theorised and some evidence actively suggests, then it’s very possible that the total matter and energy in the multiverse is infinite, and entropy doesn’t mean much on the grand scale. I don’t feel the need to declare one or the other scenario more likely. An eternal universe isn’t certain in the first place, but a non-eternal universe doesn’t guarantee an eternal creator god.

Think about what would happen if a small group of matching matter and antimatter particles suddenly emerged naturally somewhere on Earth, and therefore in an environment saturated with existing particles of matter (e.g. air, water or earth). The antimatter would be annihilated by the existing matter in an instant, and the matter it touched would also be annihilated, so you’d be left with no antimatter and exactly the amount of matter you started with. It could be happening all around us and we’d never detect it without precise instruments. This isn’t proof that it happens, but it makes it impossible to say that it isn’t happening.

139 thoughts on “Theist Cosmology: As Long As God’s Necessary Somewhere”

  1. I know you were addressing Sarah, but if I may answer your post…

    Jimmy writes: [Dr. Sarah. Do you have any theories as to what would cause these early men and women to take such a radical leap of faith and dedicate the rest of their lives to spreading the Gospel?]

    No doubt the same level of belief that led German men to unequivocally follow Hitler in WW II. The same level of belief that led Japanese soldiers on isolated Pacific Islands to continue fighting for their Emperor into the 1950s even though the war was over. The same level of belief that samurai had for their Shogun, willing to sacrifice themselves at any time. Humans have shown a tenacity of will and lifelong pursuit of beliefs, religious and non-religious, throughout history. The stories of the apostles and others in the early history of Christianity are no different than the rest. Human stubbornness, that’s all it is…

    But allow me to back up a second, and make a point that needs to be made. You’ve moved on to the next round of questions, and that’s fine, but we haven’t really resolved the original ones. There still isn’t proof for any of it! No proof of a resurrected Jesus appearing to Paul, no proof of Paul being beheaded or crucified or otherwise martyred. no proof of a prolonged Christian persecution. Did you know, for example, that there is zero proof for the whole story of Christians being fed to the lions? None whatsoever. Yet that fable endures to this day with most Christians, who are blissfully unaware that it is devoid of truth. The whole foundation of Christianity is one of baseless claims. There is no proof for most of the apostles even being real people, much less suffering the fate that people think they did.

    So while I appreciate your next round of questions, I can’t help but wonder why we are pursuing them when we can’t even find evidence for the vast majority of it…

  2. Tim. The examples that you have offered (Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan) do not compare whatsoever to the early church movement. These are examples of soldiers fighting and sacrificing their lives for their country and their political leader. This is not uncommon at all and in fact has happened throughout history. Jesus was not a military leader and the apostles weren’t fighting anyone.
    Perhaps a better comparison would be the nonviolent movements led by Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Gandhi said this about Jesus “Of all the things I have read what remained with me forever was that Jesus came almost to give a new law – not an eye for an eye but to receive two blows when only one was given, and to go two miles when they were asked to go one. I came to see that the Sermon on the Mount was the whole of Christianity for him who wanted to live a Christian life. It is that sermon that has endeared Jesus to me.”
    Martin Luther King Jr. said this about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount “Certainly these are great words, words lifted to cosmic proportions. And over the centuries, many persons have argued that this is an extremely difficult command. Many would go so far as to say that it just isn’t possible to move out into the actual practice of this glorious command. They would go on to say that this is just additional proof that Jesus was an impractical idealist who never quite came down to earth. So the arguments abound. But far from being an impractical idealist, Jesus has become the practical realist. The words of this text glitter in our eyes with a new urgency. Far from being the pious injunction of a utopian dreamer, this command is an absolute necessity for the survival of our civilization. Yes, it is love that will save our world and our civilization, love even for enemies.
    Now let me hasten to say that Jesus was very serious when he gave this command; he wasn’t playing. He realized that it’s hard to love your enemies. He realized that it’s difficult to love those persons who seek to defeat you, those persons who say evil things about you. He realized that it was painfully hard, pressingly hard. But he wasn’t playing. And we cannot dismiss this passage as just another example of Oriental hyperbole, just a sort of exaggeration to get over the point. This is a basic philosophy of all that we hear coming from the lips of our Master. Because Jesus wasn’t playing; because he was serious. We have the Christian and moral responsibility to seek to discover the meaning of these words, and to discover how we can live out this command, and why we should live by this command.”

    It’s a good thing no one told Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. that Jesus wasn’t a real person. Our world would be a very different place.

  3. read an article, “The Day Religion Died,” and It caused me to reflect on my disbelief and why and when it started.

    As I child I had been taught to believe in God and never to question his actions, or anything the bible says. But, as I

    grew older, and began to think more for myself, I did start to question, and when I did, I began to question every

    thing that I had ever been told about God and how everything came to be. I Guess it was at that point in time that I

    started to really study the bible to find an answer to those question. I also wanted to know what Science had to say

    about it all and I decided to study both fields of thought in an effort to determine which of the two made the most

    sense to me, and which seemed to be the most logical and truthfull.

    As I diligently studied both I realized that all the bible had to offer was a collection of mythological stories and lot of

    superstitious nonsense, none of which offered any credible evidence pertaining to origin or how the universe or any

    thing came to be. Science on the other hand, gave both logical and credible explanations, made complete sense and

    provided plenty of evidense for those explanations. I decided to chose Science over God for determining the answer

    to my questions, and I found science to be the only tool to even begin to answer those questions. I found the bible to

    be absolutley worthless in this respect.

    Neil DeGrass Tyson ( a noted astrophysicist) said and I quote: ” Science is true whether you believe it or not”. I agree

    with him.

    I have had people ask me, “well, if there is no God then why do we even exist” for me, the answer to that is a very

    simple one. We exist because energy exits. It always has, and it always will. And it’s existence does not require a god.

    To me, the universe and all that exists is just simply a by product, or an extension of this energy. We may never fully

    know why it exists or what caused it to exist, but if we ever do find out, I believe it will be through Science, and not

    gods or religion. To me, the big bang theory sounds like the most logical explanation.

    I believe that man created gods and he created them in an abundance. I believe man created them to in an effort to

    explain all the things he did not understand about himself and his world. As there was no real Science at that time to

    dispute it, those explanations were accepted by the majority of people as the truth. In time those gods and beliefs

    became the many different religions that persist in the world today. Each with their own little spin, and each one of

    them claiming to represent the only true god and the only true religion.

    It is a sad commentary on the human race that in this day and age, that with all we have learned through Science over

    the years, we can not rid ourselves of the religious dogma and belief in gods that do nothing to make life on this earth

    better for all of us but instead, only serve to increase the misery and sorrow they have perpetrated on the human race

    since they were invented.

    John Lennon said it all in his song, Imagine.

    Imagine there’s no heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today…

    1. The main problem with that article, is it fails to recognize that the terrorists weren’t the pones who destroyed the world trade center. the entire buildings couldn’t be brought down with a couple of planes. there had to be bombs set off all across the building which makes it an inside job, likely done by the US government itself. In fact if you actually study it, you’d find out the US is actually the one who would benefit the most, as awful as that sounds.

      Secondly, I believe in science, especially proven laws like the laws of thermodynamics.
      Which states that there essentially couldn’t be usable energy here today if there always was because all actions have a little bit of waste. Entropy never decreases. All you’ve done is switched out one religious dogma with another.
      Science changes over time And people have now all but abandoned the big bang theory, as being the starting point.
      If you look at all other possibilities, then whatever is left is the truth.
      Yes, religions have hurt the world, but so has science, war, economy… in fact, the things that have hurt the world the most isn’t religion, but the problems of the leaders, being power lust and greed. Mammon is the enemy if you ask me.

  4. I apologize Jimmy for not seeing your reply 3 months ago. Anyways:

    [Tim. The examples that you have offered (Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan) do not compare whatsoever to the early church movement. These are examples of soldiers fighting and sacrificing their lives for their country and their political leader. This is not uncommon at all and in fact has happened throughout history. Jesus was not a military leader and the apostles weren’t fighting anyone.
    Perhaps a better comparison would be the nonviolent movements led by Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Gandhi]

    They were political movements, all of them. They all had a charismatic leader that people looked up to and truly believed could effect a change. They all wanted the status quo changed, and that status quo was their oppression. The Christian movement is no different in that regard than India or Germany or civil rights in America.

    [It’s a good thing no one told Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. that Jesus wasn’t a real person. Our world would be a very different place.]

    That’s an interesting comment. The taking over of places like India by Europeans and the use of slaves in the U.S was justified by the Bible. If there was no idea of Jesus maybe we wouldn’t have had the problems in the first place…

  5. Phys writes: [The main problem with that article, is it fails to recognize that the terrorists weren’t the pones who destroyed the world trade center. the entire buildings couldn’t be brought down with a couple of planes. there had to be bombs set off all across the building which makes it an inside job, likely done by the US government itself. In fact if you actually study it, you’d find out the US is actually the one who would benefit the most, as awful as that sounds.]

    I don’t usually throw out my educational background in discussions, because it seems like a trite thing to do. But in this case I see no alternative. I’m a civil engineer, Phys. Not only have I had classes in chemistry and physics and dynamics (dynamic motion), I’ve also had classes in reinforced concrete and steel and indeterminate structures and so forth. I have a pretty good idea about why buildings stand up and how they can fall. Steel loses it strength the hotter it gets. Jet fuel burns pretty hot. It is entirely probable that whatever damage was done to some of the steel on and near those floors kinetically (when the plane hit them) weakened the steel, and the subsequent fire did the rest. Once the floors above started moving, there was no way to keep them from stopping. Buildings aren’t designed to withstand that kind of loading, and a moving load exerts a much larger force than a static one.

    Your claim is, to be blunt, the kind made by conspiracy theorist nut jobs. And then your very next paragraph you have the gall to state that you “believe in science”. It’s almost arrogant to state that after completely ignoring an entire mountain of science when you claimed that the towers couldn’t fall from those plane impacts and resulting fires. Why you insist on continually wasting people’s time in these discussions with pseudo-science and uneducated statements on all things science is your business, but it’s getting to the point where answering you is becoming a waste of time…

    [ I believe in science, especially proven laws like the laws of thermodynamics. Which states that there essentially couldn’t be usable energy here today if there always was because all actions have a little bit of waste. Entropy never decreases. All you’ve done is switched out one religious dogma with another.]

    If you knew anything about entropy you would understand that the entire entropy of a system can be increased in the volume is increased. The universe is expanding, therefore the total possible entropy of the universe is expanding. So the singularity could exist with 100% entropy for a long time, but as soon as the expansion took place everything was NOT at maximum entropy. So your statement is, like all the others, wrong.

    [Science changes over time And people have now all but abandoned the big bang theory, as being the starting point.]

    The Big Bang theory has not been abandoned. But let’s say it is one day. That is not a bad thing. If it is abandoned that means we have a better understanding of the universe and can now present a more accurate picture of what happened. We’ve advanced our knowledge. That is a good thing, and what science is supposed to do. Or we could do what cultists do, which is to continue to claim some divine entity exists, even though there is still not even one single scrap of data to support that claim. Talk about an abandoned theory. But you “believe in science”, right?

    [Mammon is the enemy if you ask me.]

    Blame it on unicorns instead. There’s no proof for them either, so that is just as useful…

    1. …I’ve been trying to post, and none of them have went through…
      First, my paycheck says engineer, so getting on your high horse doesn’t mean much, our heads are basically level.
      Second, Mammon was a term meaning greed, and power lust, which I think everyone can agree exists…

      1. I wouldn’t say I was on my high horse. I specifically mentioned that posting credentials is not a common habit of mine because I don’t see the value in it. I was not trying to imply that I am smarter than anyone. I just wanted to head off any possible comments about my ability to accurately and intelligently comment on the topic.

        I notice you didn’t refute or dispute anything I mentioned however….

        On Mammon, I thought you were speaking of the deity (or even the comic book character). Mammon is sometimes called one of the seven princes of hell after all…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *