## PAGE 1 SUPPORTING FACTS

PROBLEM OF INFINITY (an unintelligible concept)

When discussing the problem of infinity it is important to understand that an actual infinite number of things cannot exist. What is really being discussed is potential infinity. An ‘ideal’ limit that is never reached. An example would be dividing a yardstick in half again and again beyond the microscopic level. No matter how many times you divide said yardstick in half you will never reach an ‘infinitieth’ division.

In more simple terms, no matter how high or how long you count you can never reach infinity. That is, you can never pass through an infinite number of elements one at a time. There will always be an infinite number of elements remaining to count, divide, or pass through.

For better understanding consider the following: Imagine you had an infinite number of rocks in your possession. One day your best friend is visiting and because you are in a generous mood you decide to give him half of your rocks. After giving him half of your rocks how many rocks remain in your possession? An infinite number of rocks! How many rocks does your best friend have in his possession? An infinite number of rocks! Now instead imagine you were not feeling so generous when your best friend visited and as result rather than half of your rocks you decided to part with every fifth rock. How many rocks remain in your possession? An infinite number of rocks! How many rocks are in your best friend’s possession? An infinite number of rocks!

Why does any of this matter? When making an argument for a universe that had an actual beginning there is a significant amount of scientific evidence for the Christian to point to. There is also a strong philosophical case (problem of infinity) to be made as well. For an atheist to make the claim that the universe exists eternally (infinitely) he has to deal with all of the problems listed above.

The atheist that claims an infinite universe posits two objections:

The first objection is an appeal to modern math (set theory). Set theory allows one to deal with an actual infinite number of things. It is true that set theory allows us to manipulate an actual infinite number of things (i.e. all natural numbers) but only after adopting a certain set of axioms and rules. This is akin to saying “I know I can’t leap buildings in a single bound but let’s imagine what it would be like if I could.”

The second objection makes the claim that even with an infinite past we can pick a point within that past and trace it back to today (this point in time). The problem with this objection is that it answers the wrong question. We know from any

In more simple terms, no matter how high or how long you count you can never reach infinity. That is, you can never pass through an infinite number of elements one at a time. There will always be an infinite number of elements remaining to count, divide, or pass through.

For better understanding consider the following: Imagine you had an infinite number of rocks in your possession. One day your best friend is visiting and because you are in a generous mood you decide to give him half of your rocks. After giving him half of your rocks how many rocks remain in your possession? An infinite number of rocks! How many rocks does your best friend have in his possession? An infinite number of rocks! Now instead imagine you were not feeling so generous when your best friend visited and as result rather than half of your rocks you decided to part with every fifth rock. How many rocks remain in your possession? An infinite number of rocks! How many rocks are in your best friend’s possession? An infinite number of rocks!

Why does any of this matter? When making an argument for a universe that had an actual beginning there is a significant amount of scientific evidence for the Christian to point to. There is also a strong philosophical case (problem of infinity) to be made as well. For an atheist to make the claim that the universe exists eternally (infinitely) he has to deal with all of the problems listed above.

The atheist that claims an infinite universe posits two objections:

The first objection is an appeal to modern math (set theory). Set theory allows one to deal with an actual infinite number of things. It is true that set theory allows us to manipulate an actual infinite number of things (i.e. all natural numbers) but only after adopting a certain set of axioms and rules. This is akin to saying “I know I can’t leap buildings in a single bound but let’s imagine what it would be like if I could.”

The second objection makes the claim that even with an infinite past we can pick a point within that past and trace it back to today (this point in time). The problem with this objection is that it answers the wrong question. We know from any

**finite**moment in the past we can step through each succeeding moment to the present. What we cannot do is pass through every moment of a beginning less (infinite) past. In order to reach moment zero (today) we would need to get through moment -1 and before -1 we would need to pass through moment -2…**EVIDENCE FROM AN EXPANDING UNIVERSE**

In 1929 Edwin Hubble found that light from distant galaxies appeared redder than expected. This ‘red shift’ is due to the stretching of light as galaxies move away from each other. The farther the distance between the earth and the observed galaxy the greater the red shift.

It is helpful to imagine the universe expanding like a balloon being inflated. The center of the universe is not at any one planet but instead at the center of the balloon. The planets, stars, sun, etc. are all like buttons glued to the surface of the balloon moving farther and farther apart as the balloon (universe) expands. This expansion is the ‘actual’ creation of space.

The important thing to grasp here is that we can trace the expansion back in time. As the balloon deflates the distance between the buttons on the surface of the balloon begins to shrink. Eventually the distances between all the buttons on the balloon will become zero as the balloon (universe) collapses. This point, where the distance between all points is zero is the beginning of the universe.

It is helpful to imagine the universe expanding like a balloon being inflated. The center of the universe is not at any one planet but instead at the center of the balloon. The planets, stars, sun, etc. are all like buttons glued to the surface of the balloon moving farther and farther apart as the balloon (universe) expands. This expansion is the ‘actual’ creation of space.

The important thing to grasp here is that we can trace the expansion back in time. As the balloon deflates the distance between the buttons on the surface of the balloon begins to shrink. Eventually the distances between all the buttons on the balloon will become zero as the balloon (universe) collapses. This point, where the distance between all points is zero is the beginning of the universe.

**SECOND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS (THE LAW OF INCREASED ENTROPY)**

While quantity remains the same (First Law), the quality of matter/energy deteriorates gradually over time. How so? Usable energy is inevitably used for productivity, growth and repair. In the process, usable energy is converted into unusable energy. Thus, usable energy is irretrievably lost in the form of unusable energy. [http://www.allaboutscience.org/second-law-of-thermodynamics.htm]

The implications are clear. The universe being a closed system with a finite amount of usable energy will run out. Like gas spreading its self evenly throughout a bottle the energy in the universe will do the same. The result will be a state of equilibrium. The universe will be like a featureless soup in which the temperature and pressure are the same everywhere. Scientists refer to this as the heat death of the universe; a state in which NO life is possible. How does all of this point to a universe with a beginning? If the universe (this includes all possible universes) were beginning less we would have already reached a point of equilibrium. An infinite past would have used up all of the energy in the universe long ago.

The implications are clear. The universe being a closed system with a finite amount of usable energy will run out. Like gas spreading its self evenly throughout a bottle the energy in the universe will do the same. The result will be a state of equilibrium. The universe will be like a featureless soup in which the temperature and pressure are the same everywhere. Scientists refer to this as the heat death of the universe; a state in which NO life is possible. How does all of this point to a universe with a beginning? If the universe (this includes all possible universes) were beginning less we would have already reached a point of equilibrium. An infinite past would have used up all of the energy in the universe long ago.

**ANY MULTIVERSE THEORY BEGS THE QUESTION**

What if our universe is just a bubble of energy along with many other bubbles of energy in a much larger multiverse? The response to this is simple. The objection only pushes the problem back a step. You still have to deal with the larger multiverse running out of its usable energy. It takes more faith to believe this than to believe in God.

**Scientific support**:

In 2003 Arvin Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin were able to prove that

**any**universe which has, on average, been expanding throughout its history cannot be infinite in the past but must have a past space-time boundary. Their theorem implies that the quantum vacuum state out of which our universe may have evolved—which some scientific popularizations have misleadingly and inaccurately referred to as “nothing”—cannot be eternal in the past but must have had a beginning. Even if our universe is just a tiny part of a much grander “multiverse” composed of many universes

**, their theorem requires that the multiverse itself must have a beginning**.

In his 2006 book,

*Many Worlds in One*, Vilenkin emphasizes his conclusion this way: “It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man.

**With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning**.” (pg. 176)

*References*

Craig, William Lane.

http://www.allaboutscience.org/second-law-of-thermodynamics.htm

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/contemporary-cosmology-and-the-beginning-of-the-universe

*On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision*. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2010. Print.http://www.allaboutscience.org/second-law-of-thermodynamics.htm

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/contemporary-cosmology-and-the-beginning-of-the-universe