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The Universe

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Was our Universe created, or has it come into existence by pure chance?

 

Here we refer to the well known law of conservation of matter. This law states that 'Matter cannot be created nor destroyed'.

 

What that means is that all that we are able to do is convert one form of substance to another. We can never create matter from nothing, and similarly we cannot turn matter into nothing. Trees are brought down to make wood and paper, sand is used in the making of glass...etc., but we can never create wood or glass out of vacuum.

 

Similarly we cannot completely destroy wood or glass, for even if we burn wood, we are only converting it to ashes and gases that are given off in the process.

 

We have also shown that all matter had a definite beginning or a moment in time when it came to exist, the moment when the universe was created. By joining these seemingly contradicting statements together:

1- Since the universe had a definite beginning, we can say that it was created.

2- Laws of physics states that matter cannot be created!

 

cradle.jpgaftermath.jpg

 

Therefore, it is only rational to say that the universe was created by a power that is above and independent of the laws of physics as we know them. That power is clearly not restricted or confined to the basic laws of physics but far superior.

 

Neither can this power be of a physical essence. It is also justifiable to expect this power not to have had a beginning because the concept of a beginning, and for that matter time in general, has been shown to be a dimension of the physical universe only. In his 'Theory of relativity', Einstein stated that time, space and matter were all created when the universe was born, and that before that moment time did not exist. It is not easy for the human mind to envisage the concept of no time, but if one accepts that time is only a dimension of the physical world the idea becomes more acceptable. Further still, and since the universe had a definite beginning before which nothing existed, then such an awesome event (the creation of the universe) cannot be attributed to chance, since before that initial moment of creation nothing existed, not even chance!

 

(To be continued...)

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...A superior non-physical power and creator is the only possible explanation to this argument.

a- The laws of probabilities

 

The laws of probability offer another interesting argument:

If we throw the dice, the chance of obtaining double 6 is (1 in 36). What this means is that on average if we throw the dice 1000 times, the chances are that we should get double 6 around 27 times. Now if we throw the dice 1000 times and we obtain double 6 every single throw then there is a design, a system or a controlling force behind the throws. We can hardly call it chance.

 

The science of Genetics offers vivid evidence that chance could not be a factor in the process of creation due to the very precise combinations necessary in the building of cells. These requisite combinations defy all laws of probabilities.

 

On a larger scale, We only need to look at the Universe to be able to marvel at the endless examples of precision and beautiful design. Every field of scientific knowledge seems to testify to the existence of a master Creator. It does not seem difficult to dismiss the possibility of chance.

b- The Mechanical argument

 

The mechanical argument is also in support of the concept of a creator.

'For every action there is a reaction, equal to it and opposite in direction.'

 

Everything that has moved was moved by something else. If we go back in time, tracing everything to its original mover, we would ultimately arrive at that which was not moved by anything else. That analysis will also lead us to the unavoidable conclusion of an initial Creator.

c- The Development vs. Destruction argument

Everything left unattended gradually disintegrates. If one builds a house and leaves it unattended, in a few weeks it will become full of dust. In thirty years or so the paint will start falling off. After two hundred years or so some of the walls will start to weaken and fall, and maybe in a thousand years or so the whole house will be flat to the ground. In other words, and if left unattended, any organised structure or system will eventually become one of chaos.

 

(To be continued...)

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...Never will chaos suddenly spring into a system. A house will never spring into being of its own doing.

If we try to analyse what has actually happened on Earth we realise that it was quite remarkable. When the Earth was first formed it was a very hostile hot planet with no form of life whatsoever. Gradually simple forms of life evolved leading all the time to more complex forms of living creatures and culminating in the appearance of mankind. The trend has been reversed, instead of things crumbling they have in fact developed all the time to higher forms of being. Chaos has developed into a system. Has the Earth been attended all the time?

 

It is amusing, to put it mildly, to observe man so full of vanity thinking he is the master of everything merely because he is given some intelligence to discover some of the laws of the Universe. In reality, man has no authority in setting or altering such laws. With the aid of the physical senses, man is given a view over a divine masterpiece, but considering the human being is a mere spectator within the huge Universe, he can indeed be very pompous!

 

There is so much symmetry in the Universe to be able to go through all of it, but one particular design has special appeal,. And that is the Macro/Micro pattern.

d- The Macro/Micro patterns

 

If we look at the Universe at large we find that it is composed of vast areas of empty space and also other areas containing shapeless matter in the form of hot gases, dark matter and formed stars. These stars group together to form galaxies. Our galaxy, 'The Milky Way' has within it no less than 100 billion individual stars. Our star, the Sun, has nine planets in orbit around it. Most of these planets have a number of moons again in orbit. The basic force that governs the movement of all these bodies is gravity. The moons rotate around their planets, which all rotate around the mother star, which in our case is the Sun. Similarly, all these stars revolve round the centre of gravity of the galaxy.

 

(To be continued...)

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...Galaxies group together to form clusters of galaxies and once again individual galaxies revolve round the centre of gravity of the cluster. Clusters group together to form super-clusters, and these obey the same laws. These are the largest units in the universe as we know it today.

However, and if we proceed in the opposite direction, we notice that the similarity is truly remarkable. If we look at the other end of the scale and examine the atom which is the smallest form of substance able to exist in a chemical reaction, we find that it is composed of electrons revolving round a nucleus, in the same way as stars revolve round the centre of gravity of their galaxies. Are we but seeing the finger prints of the Creator?

 

 

If one searches one can surely find God. God's signs in His creation are all around us. It was very naive when the first man in Space, the Soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin, said when he was high in orbit around the Earth:

"Where is God? I do not see him!"

 

It seems ironic though that he met his death in a helicopter accident, still in the air, where he could not find his maker! No doubt he found Him now! :D

 

"It is He(God) Who has created for you all things that are on Earth; Moreover His design comprehended the Heavens, for He gave order and perfection to the Seven Firmaments; and of all things He has perfect knowledge."(Qur'an 2:29)

 

"(God is)He Who created the Seven Heavens in layers. You will not find any flaw in the Creation of the All-Merciful. Look again - do you see any gaps? Then look again, and again. Your sight will return to you dazzled and exhausted!" (Qur'an, al-Mulk: 3-4)

 

 

(www.)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.therevival.co.uk/articles/act_of%20chance.php"]Source[/url]

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Yuri Gagarin, said when he was high in orbit around the Earth:

"Where is God? I do not see him!"

 

It seems ironic though that he met his death in a helicopter accident, still in the air, where he could not find his maker! No doubt he found Him now! :D

 

 

lol.

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Here we refer to the well known law of conservation of matter. This law states that 'Matter cannot be created nor destroyed'.

 

What that means is that all that we are able to do is convert one form of substance to another. We can never create matter from nothing, and similarly we cannot turn matter into nothing. Trees are brought down to make wood and paper, sand is used in the making of glass...etc., but we can never create wood or glass out of vacuum.

 

technically incorrect - energy and matter are interchangeable. this is the principle behind nuclear fusion - and its what Einstein's E=MC^2 is all about.

 

you could say that in the context of the origin of the universe, this raises more questions than it answers. Cosmology is fascinating stuff.

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:D i'm curious to see if you might be able to present Yousuf with the correct formulation of the 'laws of conservation'. Moreover, to what type of a system they apply. I'm not trying to put you on blast here, but if you want to get technical...

 

Anyway, I love the universe :D :D

 

Peace,

AS

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:D i'm curious to see if you might be able to present Yousuf with the correct formulation of the 'laws of conservation'. Moreover, to what type of a system they apply. I'm not trying to put you on blast here, but if you want to get technical...

 

Anyway, I love the universe :D :D

 

Peace,

AS

 

the "laws of conservation" apply in any situation where the Strong nuclear force is not overcome (i.e. pretty much every natural occurence)

the most common example of when the strong force is overcome is in nuclear fission, where unstable nuclei (especially uranium etc.) are bombarded with neutrons. The high-speed neutrons have the force to overcome the Strong force and shatter the nucleus, which re-collects into smaller nuclei. But the mass of the new nuclei is always less than the mass of the original nucleus - because some of the mass is converted into energy. Thats the system by which nuclear power stations work (and, of course, some nuclear weapons)

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the "laws of conservation" apply in any situation where the Strong nuclear force is not overcome (i.e. pretty much every natural occurence)

 

I suppose you're not wrong-wrong but you've evaded the question. For the benefit of everyone here (don't feel bad physicists don't really get into this it seems), the laws of conservation of mass & energy, as well as the that for the non-negative rate of entropy generation apply to:

 

An isolated system that only experiences mass transport, heat transfer, and boundary work transfer.

 

All other interactions (eg: electrical & shaft work) are experienced as heat transfer and boundary work, respectively, by [very] small sub-systems; that is, when they are examined from an isolated perspective.

 

Anyway, when you said mass and energy are interchangeable THAT was technically incorrect. They CAN be converted from one form to another BUT exergy is destroyed at every non-equilibrium stage so you really end up with less than you had.

 

Usually I don't get into all these semantics so please excuse me. It's just a rare opportunity for someone on this board to touch topics in my language. I'm going to quit subverting Yousuf's topic now.

 

Peace,

AS

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We have also shown that all matter had a definite beginning or a moment in time when it came to exist,

umm...no....

 

I shall try to remain calm :D....ppl, prove stuff instead of assuming it :D !!!!!

 

 

I'm not going to bother tearing up this arguement, I'm seeing serious problems with almost every line that you wrote. That's right, almost every damn freaking line! Good God man! You're understanding of physics is primitive at best! Your take on dice, mechanical, and........lets just say my jaw literally dropped at the level of .... throughout your post!

 

How do you expect anyone to take your theory seriously? It's like listening to those nuts that promote creationist theory as a science!!!!!!

 

P.S. On the otherhand it's nice that you formulate theories at all. You really shouln't try to attack an issue as big as the universe's origins until you have enough knowledge, and use of detailed logic. Keep going to school man, you're on the right track :D

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I am a researcher/philosopher, cosmologist, and student of the Quran, science etc. I am pasting a revised version of a published article I wrote in 1989. It was initially written for dawah purposes, to define a "Muslim" for the group ANALYS, which I was a part of and which organised all those lectures at U of T with Keith Moore, Gary Miller etc. Participants of this Forum might be interested in "Chance or Intelligence". I need to have it translated into several languages. Work is already under way to translate it into Spanish, French and Urdu. Any suggestions for other languages are most welcome.

 

I have never really participated in any internet dialogue, but Zeshan Shahbaz, who just posted the article on Extraterrestrial life/Extrasolar planets on this site, suggested that I let the esteemed and knowledgeable persons in this interesting forum know about all this work which has been very deep but low key all this time.

 

As far as proof for God's existence goes, I have discussed this extensively in the co-authored book: "From Facts to Values: Certainty, Order, Balance and their Universal Implications". The proof there mainly concerns the teleological angle, but it is not the standard teleological, cosmological proof. If anyone is interested in purchasing "From Facts to Values" please advise. I will post a summary of that book later on. Three entirely new proofs will, inshallah, appear in a soon to be published book by M. Muslim and myself. I will also post another longer (published) article: "Quran: Flawless Bridge Between 'Science' and 'Religion'".

 

After more than 20 years on the subject of science/Quran etc., there is a lot to say but in the meantime.....

 

 

Chance or Intelligence?

by Nadeem Haque

 

This Universe, indeed, displays a remarkable vista of order and consistency. We can observe, for example, the great regularity with which the celestial bodies follow precise orbits, and marvel at the way in which water from the seas is brought to the land by wind-driven clouds, which are in turn formed by the evaporation of water: without this replenishment, life would be impossible. We are also amazed by the migration patterns of many species, including newborn eels, relentlessly trekking through thousands of miles of ocean, to nestle in their own local streams, and of bees, who use sunlight for navigation in their quest for nectar. We may ponder as to why all living things exist in pairs, and contemplate on the optimality of the processes which comprise the whole universe. Even incredibly minute changes would disrupt the balances in nature: after all, had the earth’s orbit been slightly offset in either direction, water and the resulting forms of life would not have emerged. In fact, we can observe and are awed by the great unity in the laws of the cosmos; through the spectrum of life and non-life ranging from the microcosmic subatomic particles to the macrocosmic expanse of the universe itself, integration is manifested on, and between, every level.

 

Reflections may lead us to pertinent questions: Could such encompassing order have arisen purely by unintentioned accident? Or could there be an intelligent originator to this spectacular array of living and non-living forms — a designer that may have developed or evolved them through processes which have yet to be fully determined? What conclusions are evidential?

 

Is it probable that all the letters on this page unscrambled themselves by chance to form these meaningful and structured sentences? How then, could a human being - with ears, eyes and a mind - have been formed by chance? Is it credible that such a vast universe with an inestimable billions of galaxies could have evolved by accident? Does not the integration and complexity of a single cell far exceed that of a mere piece of paper with some intelligible writing on it, let alone this universe and all that it contains? Especially since the universe also contains this piece of paper!

 

We know that we are not the cause of ourselves, for embryonic development is organized and directed in stages under natural laws. But directed by what and by whose laws? Chance or Intelligence? What about a multiplicity of infinite beings? Could such have been responsible for this cosmological fabrication? Would not the resulting state of this universe have then been disordered and chaotic due to the conflicting commands of these infinitely powerful entities, who would have been trying to accede to the throne of authority in rivalry? Indeed, in such a regime, we would expect to see inconsistency in the universe as opposed to consistency. Instead of rain, we might conceivably have received a heavy downpour of elephants from the skies. Indeed, an umbrella would certainly not be terribly useful in such a universe! Such a scenario would also give rise to the question: which of the infinite beings came first? And why? On the other hand, if such a multiplicity of infinite beings were in perfect agreement for all time, then there would not be any need for more than one — nor is there any evidence.

 

If our response to the chance (unintentioned creation) and multiplicity (creation by two or more beings) hypotheses is negative, then our answer has to lie between zero and two. In other words, there can only be one unique governing intelligence — unique by the virtue of having no demigods, intermediaries, mystical incarnate beings, or any other human or nonhumans, as associates. This vast singular intelligence, then, must have created and developed all living and non-living things, as well as space-time itself, and must therefore be independent of it.

 

If this is our conclusion, then it means that the myriad forms of matter and energy as well as the physiological structure of the human being must be subject to the natural laws of this singular and independent governing intelligence.

 

In addition to this involuntary physiological dependence of human beings to the prescribed natural laws, we are also endowed with a mind which has the capacity to voluntarily question and reason. A reasoning person would be naturally drawn to the logical conclusion of the existence of a unique originator, and therefore of a meaningful purpose to this existence. Such a person would live in full cognizance of this awareness, in peace with himself or herself and the rest of nature.

 

Indeed, reasoning persons do live, and have been living throughout the ages, in all parts of the world. They can be found dwelling in the midst of exuberant jungles or in our large, populous and crowded cities. They may even exist on earthlike planets, in the far reaches of our ever-expanding universe. What would distinguish such individuals would be the employment of reason and evidence as the foundation for life. If such a people are to be given a name which linguistically denotes ‘voluntary peaceful submission’ to this unique Intelligence, and which includes all of these attributes, a suitable term in one language would be the word Muslim.

 

Originally published in OIC’s: Islamic Thought and Scientific Creativity. This is a revised version, dated March, 2006, as edited by the author. The author may be contacted at: haque_nadeem[at]hotmail

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On the discussion of whether or not matter can be created:

 

We can argue about the laws of conservation and their specifics all day, but it won't help.

A much more useful example is that of empty space. The big bang theory basically goes that once there was nothing....and then there was.

In fact this is going on all of the time. If we take a section of vacuum-completely empty space- then we will see the creation of matter/anti-matter pairs that pop into existence until they collide and become nothing again. So, space is not really empty but it has the potential to be empty and the potential to be full. It is a seething mass of stuff...non stuff and stuff we haven't even got names for.

The real question is whether or not god is necessary for such an event. Unlike the big bang, this is something that we can watch(well, measure readings using a machine) happening and never really see god's intervention.

 

The big bang is just the same, but on a larger scale. But the introduction of time with the big bang makes it more interesting. We cannot say that there was no time before the big bang, because if there was no time, then there was no 'before'. Philosophical discussions about 'before the big bang' are usually quite futile since we can have no real concept of 'before our universe'. We can imagine things before, after or even outside of our universe, but they are only even objects of our imagination.

 

On the discussion of chance:

A couple of years ago I came across an argument that seems to solve most philosophical problems with chance and the existence of our world.

Firstly, without god as an explanation(so assuming that the universe is governed(and created) only by chance) as to why our world is the way it is(right size, distance from the sun, chemical composition to favour the development of life) it seems incredibly unlikely that we'd be on it. It is easy to imagine, when one consideres the billions of stars in our galaxy, and the millions of galaxies that at least one world, somewhere, would develop life.

But the difficulty comes when we think: "But why am I here? Out of all the planets I ended up on one that would support life. What are the chances?"

 

The simple answer is: that is the only way it could happen. You could not live on any other world(that did not have the necessary water/air etc) and so could not evolve a mind capable of asking that question. And so we must conclude that there is a 1/1 chance that we would be on a planet that could sustain life.

 

"The laws of probability offer another interesting argument:

If we throw the dice, the chance of obtaining double 6 is (1 in 36). What this means is that on average if we throw the dice 1000 times, the chances are that we should get double 6 around 27 times. Now if we throw the dice 1000 times and we obtain double 6 every single throw then there is a design, a system or a controlling force behind the throws. We can hardly call it chance. "

 

So this is erroneous. If we throw a pair of dice 1000 times and get double 6 every time, we cannot rule out chance. If the whole of the 'rules' of this dice game were known to us then perhaps we could come to the conclusion that the dice are led by some intelligence. But the fact is that we don't know the rules. If we roll 1000 6s in a row then we should consider the possibility that had we thrown anything else, the dice would have exploded, killing us and making it impossible for us to think "hey, I just rolled something and it WASN'T a double 6".

 

This might seem like a cop out: "the universe is the way it is, because it is, and if it weren't, it wouldn't be" but it is in fact one of the more advanced(and I might say, beautifully simplistic) philosophical arguments. It certainly scuppers the ontological argument, anyway.

 

~RN

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