What Scientific Evidence Proves God Created and Designed the Universe?/Program 4
|By: Dr. Hugh Ross; ©2009|
|How does science help us understand some of our theological questions and problems? For example, what happens when your child or grandchild asks, “Daddy, how can God hear and answer the prayers of billions of people all at the same time?” What do you say? How can Jesus die on the cross and pay for everybody’s sin during the few hours he was on the cross? Why is it that we cannot understand the Trinity?|
Today on the John Ankerberg Show, why are astronomers talking about God? In 2005, the Hubble Space Telescope revealed more than 10,000 galaxies and led astronomers to estimate there must be 200 billion galaxies in the observable universe, and 50 billion trillion stars. Where did it all come from? Does the Big Bang theory prove that the universe had a beginning, and that a supernatural causal agent brought all matter, energy, space and time into existence? Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking says, “It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.” Do the words “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” accurately describe what science has discovered? My guest today is astronomer and astrophysicist Dr. Hugh Ross, who received his Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Toronto, and did postdoctoral research at Cal Tech on quasars. We invite you to join us.
- Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. You won’t want to miss this information. We’re going to answer the question, how does science open up and help us understand some theological questions and problems? For example, when your kid asks you, “Daddy, how can God hear and answer the prayers of billions of people all at the same time?” What do you say? Well, we’re going to show you the science helps you to answer that question. How can Jesus die on the cross and pay for everybody’s sin during the few hours He was on that cross? Why is it that we cannot understand the trinity?
- Now, my guest today is astronomer and astrophysicist, Dr. Hugh Ross, he got his Ph.D. in astronomy at the University of Toronto and did his postdoctoral research on quasars at Cal Tech. He’s written a lot of books. And when I saw him do this presentation, I thought, I’ve got to share this with my audience. Today let’s set this up, Hugh. This goes back to something that we’ve showed the people on a previous program about the Big Bang, when God brought the universe into existence, there are nine dimensions of space and one of time that come up, and we’re going to talk about, after you see the clip: how those nine dimensions of space, how they affect some of the theological problems that we grapple with. Alright, so let’s start with the clip first. Watch this.
Clip from Journey Toward Creation
- The study of the cosmos can be compared with the backward running of a fireworks video. As we measure and observe the cosmos closer and closer to the first moment of its existence, we’re running a tape backward toward the moment of creation.
- As we draw closer still to the creation event, we observe the universe becoming hotter and hotter. Eventually in this backward replay the universe would be so hot that protons and neutrons can’t stick together. All atomic nuclei fall apart.
- Let’s push on. As we probe even earlier, we encounter a blinding flash, just one millisecond from the creation event. This flash is generated by the sudden annihilation of all anti matter in the universe. A delicate balance of a billion and one particles to every billion anti particles guarantees the existence of matter in the later universe, and it also guarantees the possibility of life.
- Pushing back to just a few dozen microseconds from the creation event, protons, neutrons, antiprotons, antineutrons decompose into even more fundamental particles called quarks. At one ten billionth of a second from the creation event, the universe is too hot and too dense for even for quarks to exist. At one hundred billionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second from creation, the universe is too compressed for light to be possible.
- The universe is now completely dark, and smaller than a single atom. All we see at this proximity to the creation event are the shrinking dimensions of length, width, height and time, that is, until we reach a speck of time just a ten millionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second from creation. Before this moment, all ten dimensions of the universe began to expand. After this instant, only four dimensions continue to expand. So what has happened to the other six spacial dimensions? They remain tightly curled up, smaller than a billionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of an inch around their dimensions of length, width, height and time. These other six dimensions still exist but with no possibility of uncurling.
- Let’s dare to roll back the film the rest of the way. The universe continues to shrink, the ten dimensions growing smaller and smaller. At the creation threshold itself, often referred to as the Big Bang, all ten dimensions become infinitely or near infinitely small, and suddenly disappear.
- And it is from this infinitely small beginning that the entire universe sprang forth. And every aspect from the formation of planets, galaxies, stars, to the relationship between the mass energy and the space energy density, and even the laws of physics themselves must have been carefully fine tuned from the creation event in order to make life possible for this brief moment in cosmic history on our tiny blue dot.
- Ankerberg: Hugh, those ten space time dimensions of the universe, that we saw in the Big Bang, are absolutely mind blowing. And what you’re saying is that those were discovered by mathematical computations with taking into account the real evidence of the universe that you see. And that’s the only way it all went together.
- Ross: True. And it also predicted a lot of things that we’re puzzled over, like black holes that had a lot of serious anomalies, that couldn’t be resolved if all you had was three dimensions. With nine dimensions everything got tied together. Also, this nine-dimensional space theory predicted the equations of special and general relativity. So if we never had that theory today, this would have produced it. So there’s a lot of evidence that this has got to be right.
- Ankerberg: Alright, now let’s bring this over into our first one: How can God, hear and answer the prayers of billions of people that are all praying to Him at the same time? How does the science help us answer this question?
- Ross: Well, that comes through the theory of general relativity, the space time theorems of general relativity, and then the theorem from Borde, Vilenkin and Guth demonstrates that there must be a causal agent beyond time that creates the universe.
- Now, time is a dimensional realm in which cause and effect phenomena take place, so what physicists have done in this sense is to demonstrate that the creator of the universe, at a minimum, must have access to do cause and effect operations in the equivalent of two independent dimensions of time. So, for us human beings, and everything else in the universe, time is linear; but for the Creator of the universe, time is geometric. And with geometric time, you can have a Creator that can listen to six billion prayers, all simultaneously uttered unto Him.
- And the way to look at that is to think about time as a plane, where you’ve got a length of time, and a width of time. So, for example, we could have a timeline of our universe over here, this is time going forward in our cosmos, and you could have a moment when six billion people decide to pray to God, all at the same time. But because God has access to another dimension of time or its equivalent, He could be existing on a timeline perpendicular to ours that’s infinitely long, and He can easily carve out, say 30 minutes of individually focused time, on a prayer that’s taken you a few seconds to utter, and do that with all of the rest of the people on the planet simultaneously. I had a chance to share this with my sons when they were just 3½ years of age and they understood this and said, “Okay, then it really is worthwhile praying to God every night, because He really can hear my prayers.”
- Ankerberg: Yeah, just on a human basis because God is so much greater than we are. But if it was just a human basis, and that timeline to the left led into an infinite time, so you could have billions and billions of years, where a human being could actually carve out 30 seconds or 30 minutes for every one of those prayers and answer it all in that one second, that is on the timeline of earth.
- Ross: Well, what’s a microsecond for us, can be infinite time for Him. And this is actually stated in the Bible, when the psalmist talks about how a day with the Lord is like a thousand years, a thousand years is like a day; a thousand years is like a watch in the night. What the psalmist is declaring there is that God could arbitrarily expand time or shrink time in our time context. So that’s another way you can get at the answer, how can God listen to all of our prayers at the same time.
- Ankerberg: What does it mean to shrink time, expand time?
- Ross: Well, what I do in my book Beyond the Cosmos is show you that if God has access to the equivalent of two dimensions of time, then you could take a timeline in one plane and then you can tilt that angle up or down to arbitrarily shrink or expand time in our time dimension. And you know, the Bible is the only holy book that says that God can do that. It’s the only holy book that talks about God creating time and operating before time began. It’s the only holy book that says God has no beginning and no ending.
- I mean, look at it another way. You have atheists saying, “Well, if God created the universe, who created time?” Well, if I were to flip this around, we could have the time dimension of the universe over here, God could be working on another timeline over here that’s infinitely long, but never crosses or touches our timeline. Fancy that – no beginning, no ending, it’d be uncreated. The Bible is also alone in making that claim. He’s bigger than time, bigger than our cosmic time. And any entity that’s confined to a single line of time must have a beginning, must be created. You want an elegant proof that the universe is created and everything in the universe is created – that’s it. We’re all confined to a single dimension of time that cannot be stopped or reversed; therefore, we have to have some kind of ultimate beginning or creation event. But that’s not true of the Creator. He is not timefully bound like we are. He can create time, any number of time dimensions, anytime He wants.
- Ankerberg: Alright, so science helps us understand how God can hear and answer the prayers of billions of people that are all praying at the same second. But take us now to Jesus dying on the cross. How could Jesus be dying for the sins of the world? In the short space of a few hours all the sins of the world are on Him and He pays for all of us, all of the sin that we have done. How does that happen? What does science help us understand?
- Ross: Well, a lot of skeptics struggle over that. You know, He was on the cross, for what, nine hours? And they say, “You’re telling me that He paid the penalty of the offences of all humanity in just those nine hours?” Well, the Bible tells us He was not only human, He was not only man, He was also God. And so He had divine attributes, as He was dying on the cross. And we already know from physics that He would have access to the equivalent of these extra dimensions of time. So, for example, that nine hours on the cross, He could also be suffering in a timeline that’s perpendicular to our timeline. He could be also in another dimension of time that’s perpendicular to both dimensions. He could be in a sphere of time, consequently, in those nine hours of the cross, He could be suffering for all of eternity on 40 billion infinitely long lines of time. A Creator can do that, that has that kind of power. Now, I’m not saying that’s the way Jesus did do it, I’m just saying that’s the way that He could have done it, that we human beings can comprehend. But it helps us appreciate that when He died on the cross, He really was paying the penalty, being the eternal torment in hell, for all of eternity, for every human being that ever lived. He can do that in nine hours on the cross.
- Ankerberg: Alright, Hugh, this is absolutely amazing and I love this information. We’re going to take a break. And when we come back we’re going to talk about, how is it that we cannot understand the trinity? And the tips that science is giving to us about how we might start to comprehend a little bit of what the trinity actually it. So, folks, stick with us. We’ll be right back.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re back. We’re talking with astronomer and astrophysicist, Dr. Hugh Ross. And we’re now going to look at the question: How can we not understand the trinity? How does science help us understand a little bit of what God has been telling us in Scripture about who He is? Hugh, help us out. Why is it we have a problem understanding, first of all?
- Ross: Let me begin, John, by pointing out that the Scriptures say that no one has seen God. Paul says, in Timothy, that it’s impossible for anyone to see God, or to touch Him. Yet Jeremiah tells us that God fills the entire entirety of the entire creation. It’s a God who is closer to us than we are to one another. Nowhere can you go where God is not physically present, yet we can’t see Him or touch Him. Mind boggling concept.
- But to help us visualize that, I’ve brought with me today a severely handicapped couple, namely, Mr. and Mrs. Flat. And their handicap is that they only have two dimensions, length and width. They don’t have height. And I’m going to put them in their universe, a universe that we can call Flatland, for there is only the two dimensions. Now, what I want you to notice here is that I can, as a three dimensional being, can put my hand a tenth of a millimeter above Mr. and Mrs. Flat. Because I’m above their plane, they can’t see me, they can’t touch me, yet I’m physically closer to them, than they are to one another. The Scriptures also tell us that God sees us in a way that we can’t see one another or ourselves.
- Now, when Mrs. Flat looks at her husband, all she sees is a line, a straight line. If she carefully walks around her husband, she can get several different line elements and can calculate in her two dimensional brain the outline of her husband, Mr. Flat. But know that this is a three dimensional being. I don’t have to mess around with any calculations. I immediately see the outer outline of Mr. Flat, but I see something that neither one of them can see, I can look inside and see what’s inside of that outer edge. Likewise, it tells us in Scripture that God looks upon the heart and sees the inside of us, which is the spiritual level, soulish level that we can’t see. God knows us better than we know ourselves. So, this demonstration, knowing that physics demonstrates that God must have access to dimensions beyond what we human beings can experience, we can appreciate how He has that kind of intimate understanding and knowledge of each one of us.
- Something else this demonstration can help us illustrate is this conflict. I mean, you’ve got religions in the world that say that God is one and only one; religions say that there are multiple gods. Christianity stands alone in saying that God is one essence in three persons. Now, for example, what I could do with Mr. Flat is poke a single finger through the plane. The only way that he is going to be able to detect me physically is if I come into his plane, just like Jesus kind of came into our realm in the incarnation. But if I were to poke a finger through the plane, he would come around and investigate and draw the conclusion that I am a small circle. And of course, he would run home to his wife and say that he’d had an encounter with Hugh Ross, that I’m a small circle. And then the next day, I could visit Mrs. Flat, but instead of putting one finger through the plane, I would put three fingers through the plane, she would come over and investigate and come to the conclusion that I’m three small circles. And, of course, she would rush home and say, “I’ve had an encounter too, and you’re wrong, my dear husband, he’s not one small circle, he’s three small circles.”
- And we can imagine that Mr. and Mrs. Flat would have a theological debate that would run on for several hours. And come Sunday morning, she goes to the church of the three circles and he goes to the church of the one circle, both of them failing to appreciate that when I was putting one finger through the plane, or three fingers through the plane, or two, that all those little circles they were seeing were part of a single, close, three dimensional surface that we see as my hand. That’s an illustration how, in one context, God could be one, and in a different context He could be three.
- Now, this doesn’t illustrate all the characteristics that the Bible talks about in the trinity, but it does demonstrate that if we allow God to be as big as what the physics declares, then you can have God as one essence and three persons. It’s not like my mother said before she became a Christian, that the trinity is a mathematical contradiction or impossibility. It’s only a contradiction if we put God into the same confines as us human beings: the restrictions of just length, width, height and time. But He’s not just a God that fills the entirety of His creation, it’s a God that transcends His creation and is in no way limited by His creation, or by the space, time dimensions.
- Ankerberg: Alright, Hugh, you also have a fascinating illustration of how Jesus, when He was here on earth, could pass through walls and into the room where the disciples were at. How in the world can science help us understand that?
- Ross: Well, John, the physics tells us that God has got access to extra dimensions of space, not just length, width and height. I don’t know if this is the way that Jesus did do it, but it’s a way that we can prove that He could have done it. So, for example, I can take a two dimensional plane, and rotate it into a third dimension of depth, like so, and now this plane becomes, from your perspective, a single line. Now, you can take that single line and taking advantage of a fourth dimension of space, you can rotate that line, like so, and now it becomes a single point. You can take a sixth dimension of space and then rotate that point and make it completely disappear.
- And so one way Jesus could have entered the upper room is He could take His three dimensional physical body and take it from dimensions length, width and height, and rotate it into three more dimensions, so we can call a fourth, fifth and sixth dimension of space. Once in that fourth, fifth and sixth dimensions, now the walls and windows and the doors of the upper room would pose no barrier at all. He could simply pass right through, and once inside, He can take His three dimensional physical body in dimensions four, five and six and rotate it into one two and three, the length, width and height of the disciples. This also would explain how Jesus could appear and disappear in physical form to His disciples, such as on the road to Emmaus, where He would appear physically and disappear right in front of the eyes of the disciples.
- Again, I am not saying this is the way He must do it, I am just saying it is a way He could do it. Given the power that He has, He’s literally got millions of different options for how He could physically appear and disappear and pass through walls.
- Ankerberg: Alright, Hugh, here’s a puzzling question, How can God be sovereign and in control of everything and yet give man free will to choose?
- Ross: Okay, John, we know from these discoveries about the universe that God is capable of operating cause and effect before the beginning of time. In effect, He’s got access to the equivalent of at least another dimension of time. It’s a God that can create time at will. So there’s no limit to how many time dimensions He could be operating in, or their equivalent. So, for example, we can conceive of God’s operation, say, in a sphere of time where you’ve got a length of time, a width of time and a height of time. So, for example, we could conceive of our existence in this universe on a timeline that’s right about here, where you’ve got the beginning of the universe progressing towards the end of the universe.
- But, notice that we could have got at the North Pole of this sphere of time, dropping a perpendicular timeline down to the very beginning of the universe, another perpendicular timeline that would run down to this present moment and a third perpendicular timeline that would run down to the very end of the universe, when God conquers evil and replaces His universe with a brand new one. What you need to notice here is that over these billions of years, all of these time points along our timeline, come together at a single instant at the North Pole of this sphere of time, which means that God from the single moment, can be simultaneously controlling and operating events along these billions of years of our time.
- So, this helps us to appreciate how God, before we were created, before the universe was created, can know the day of our birth, our present moment, the day of our death and can be controlling events all along that timeline.
- Ankerberg: Alright. Follow up question on that, just between us, and that is that that also assumes that time has already happened. If it’s in a straight line, I’ve already lived and my kids have lived, and their kids have lived, all the way along the line. Does that mean that all events are there? Or are they in the mind of God?
- Ross: They’re all there. But it means that God, right now, can see the day of your death and can control exactly what’s going to happen. You know what it says with King David, that God has marked on His calendar the day his life will end: that’s all been predetermined. And He actually experiences it in the now. We don’t, but He can.
- Ankerberg: Folks, I want to say thank you to Hugh for providing all of this information. And we hope that you will join us again next week.