The Beginning Ain’t the Be-All and End-All

Question from John:
Universe had a beginning, “proved” by second law of thermodynamics.
Dear Sir, I understand that an argument used by creationists, in favour of a Universe that had a beginning, is that the second law of thermodynamics requires that it will inevitably wind down. In essence, the claim is that the universe can not have been infinite into the past as it would have inevitably already run down. The fact of a purported finite amount of usable energy therefore implies that the universe MUST have had a beginning or else we would not be here now to discuss this. Is there a scientific rebuttal to this claim please?

Answer by SmartLX:
There are two principal possibilities which address the idea of an infinite universe having run down by now, both of which are centered around the concept of renewal.

1. The universe periodically contracts in a Big Crunch before a new Big Bang. This drags together not only all the matter in the universe but all the space and time as well. All the unusable energy lost to the edges of the universe is brought back to the singularity and can be useful once again.
2. The matter and energy in the hypothetical (but currently quite likely-looking) multiverse is infinite. When one universe runs down, countless others are still going and more universes spontaneously start up all the time. No laws of physics are broken by this sudden emergence if the amount of anti-matter that emerges is equal to the amount of matter, because matter and energy are conserved in an equation akin to 0 = 1 + -1.

Creationists often think, as they are told to by people like William Lane Craig, that once they establish that the universe had a beginning the argument is basically sewn up. Even if the above two possibilities are dismissed and you take it as read that the universe began, that it was begun by a god can only ever be an argument from ignorance. Without knowing how it happened, you can’t just assert it was one particular thing without eliminating all other possibilities, even the ones people haven’t thought of yet. The potential for spontaneous emergence from the “quantum foam” suggested by quantum mechanics, for one, ensures for the moment that well-formulated alternatives are out there, and you don’t even have to appeal to the un-thought-of.

3 thoughts on “The Beginning Ain’t the Be-All and End-All”

  1. This question and answer is my firsts time I HAVE TRIED to understand something and…failed. Endless are times when I DIDN’T EVEN TRY.

    I don’t feel bad or sad about it, since I have known for a long time that I am not THAT intelligent, but having a PROOF now kinda makes me feel embarrassed and…low. I expected MORE of myself.

    What’s even sadder is that even character wise I am not so special as I would like to think I am. Or, probably, awareness-wise.

    Actually, I am nothing special at all, having in mind how many of us are there now, and knowing how many great people have lived, MOZART comes to mind first, topping the list, far above all other people that have lived, but being aware of all this makes me a little less ordinary than a plain Jane.
    And, this is something, knowing that I am nothing, cos few of us are aware of being nothings.
    So, this makes me a winner of losers. At least I know I am nothing.

    1. Special! You are. Why? Because you are unique. There is no one else in the whole universe like you. You are more rare than a snowflake. What makes you so? Is who you were, are and going to be. And that is another reason, that the Atheist has it so very wrong. Because, if it were left to chance, there would be another like you. Only without the brain, mind and heart. Are you better, are we better than anyone else? No. For we are all special. Made by Him who made each of us, not on an assembly line, but from His heart. So take heart and live for Him, Special

      1. [Because, if it were left to chance, there would be another like you.]

        Statistically speaking, that is nonsense. If you run the numbers Gerald you would quickly see how small a chance there is for that. Not only because of DNA, but because each neural network in brains is different, and add in the experience set that each individual has that makes up who they are, and it becomes apparent that no other creature can be the same as any other creature. That’s got nothing to do with gods, and everything to do with chemistry, entropy, and statistics…

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