The Big Bang: Did Someone Light Fuse?

From: Carlos Mattioli
Sent: Monday, March 04, 2002
Subject: Accident v. Design

It seems the first question to be asked is whether or not God exists. I've found it very interesting reading the site and letters back and forth regarding this subject, particularly those threads with people with scientific backgrounds. It seems the creation view (which I will define for discussion purposes as Big Bang w/ Someone lighting the fuse) has its main objection as why does the fuse need to be lit in the first place? As one reader pointed out (Alex Olivier), under the law of conservation, matter or energy has always existed, and our existence (under a materialistic perspective) can be explained by the transformation between one form to the other. In other words, the universe has simply always existed as as matter, energy, or a portion of both in various states of transformation (E=mc ^2, as he put it).

With very limited scientific background, but, (even though most people are reluctant to admit it), an abundant background in logical analysis and argument through rigorous legal training, there appears to be a flaw in reasoning against a Fuse Lighter. First, at one point it would seem that the universe was either all energy, or all matter. If all matter, there is the Newtonian law that matter at rest stays at rest until acted upon by some force. If the "force" which could act upon the universe as pure matter is energy, then that energy is already bound as matter, thus it cannot act upon itself in a state of rest. It seems something outside that matter would be needed.

If the universe was pure energy for ever until the Big Bang, why would it start converting to matter all of a sudden? What would cause it to do so? It seems a catalyst of some sort would have to be introduced - a grain of matter for the energy to start to interact with, and start the conversion process. Again, what would cause energy to change from that state to matter, if all matter was bound up in energy that "always existed?"

I guess there is the possibility that energy and matter always co-existed, in a constant flux of state form one to the other. But, there is also the possibility, however unlikely, that the universe could revert to all matter or all energy at some point. If you allow that this state of flux to have existed forever, and that the "flux" is undirected, then under the laws of probability, you would eventually have to have at some point all matter, or all energy, at which point the universe would lock up in one form or the other (much like my computer). After all, the probability of lock up had all eternity to occur, and there was no direction preventing its occurrence, then it must have occurred.

If lock up did not occur, then you can not infer lack of direction. If lock up did occur, then you have the "origination" dilemma noted above. I would be interested in comments regarding these issues.


Dear Carlos,

I appreciate your reflections. I was not attempting to "prove" God's existence. Just saying that the Big Bang theory suggests a prior force ("Someone to light the fuse"). As you note, the alternative is the old theory that matter (and/or energy) has always existed. I understand that was Aristotle's view, altho he also posited a "First Cause."

My hope was more to stir up some sense of wonder. Ever since I was a child, I have always asked, Why does something exist and not nothing at all? To many people that question seems a waste of time, but to me it seems like it is worth spending a great amount of time wondering about. What do you think, Carlos?

Of course, there is a much bigger question. Today is Good Friday - and we must ask: Who is this man on the cross? And why is he there? The answer has enormous consequences.

God bless,

Fr. Phil Bloom

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