The Origin of Matter

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The first evidence, that of the origin of matter (also known as the cosmological or First Cause argument), is as follows: Since all that happens has a cause behind it (i.e., every effect has a cause), and in the next link the cause is the effect of another cause, we find as we move back that the chain can only begin with a First Cause.

Otherwise, we would only enter into a vicious circle, going round and round without any conclusion. So we are left with no Option but to acknowledge that the ultimate First Cause is God and that it is He who created matter.

Atheists have always denied that a creator is involved or even necessary. They first declared that the universe has always been there and will always be there. At this moment it is just as it was earlier, and will remain the same in the future. It had no beginning and will have no end. Life is no more than an additional manifestation of matter, and matter will continue to exist forever. The Qur’an conveys to us their mindset:

“They say, ‘There is nothing but our worldly life; we die and live, and nothing destroys us except time.’ Of that they have no knowledge; they are merely conjecturing.” (45:24)

This concept (the Static Model of the universe) remained unchanged until recently. It had to be modified in light of newer scientific discoveries. Early last century it was discovered that the universe is expanding. This led to the conclusion that it must have been smaller yesterday, smaller than that the day before, and so on. The further back in time we go, the more dense the universe becomes. Ultimately, we arrive at a moment in time when the universe could not have been contracted any further. It was compressed into a single minute point of immense density at extremely high temperatures and pressures. That is, at that time, 15 billion years ago, the universe was contained within a “point” with, virtually no space or time in existence (at Planck time 1043’s, Planck temp. 1032 K, and Planck density 10″7 kg m-3, when the entire universe was of size 10‘33 cm across). The Big Bang occurred at that point (that is, the point exploded); time and space came into existence, and this presentday universe came into being through a process of continuous expansion and cooling over a period of 15 billion years.

Scientists then reasoned that since gravitational force should ultimately overcome the original expansion pressure, the universe should as eons pass by contract, returning to the same minute point, to the same density, and the same pressures and temperatures (in scientific jargon: the Big Crunch). When that happens, it would once again explode with another Big Bang and the cycle would start over once more. However, there is no certainty that life would appear again, nor any certainty that if it did, it would be the kind of life we are familiar with. Thus, according to this modified theory, the universe exists within a cycle still with no beginning and no end. The cycle of expansion, contraction, explosion could be expected to go on eternally.

Then the atheists had to modify their hypothesis a third time, when it was further discovered that the expansion rate of the universe is not decreasing (which scientists had assumed should be happening due to gravitational pull). It was actually accelerating due to an unknown force pushing it outward; and hence, no Big Crunch is considered likely to happen. Rather, expansion would probably go on continually until all matter is lost in eternity. This finding led to the conclusion that many galaxies must have already gone beyond the limits of vision and that humans will never know how extensive the universe really is since light coming from the galaxies at its far edge would never reach the earth; for as the ray approaches earth, the expanding universe would pull it back even farther.

According to this theory, while nothing can yet be said about the fate of the universe, at least we know that it started at some time in the past with a Big Bang. As to where the starting matter came from, the answer given by atheistic scientists is that the universe is a “free lunch.” Ultimately, since matter can be reduced to positive energy, which is matched by the negative energy provided by the force of gravity, the two cancel each other out. So, say the atheists, the universe came out of nothing, requiring no God to create it.

Although this superficial answer fails to state where these positive and negative energies could have come from, Stephen Hawking, a leading scientist of the contemporary world, has written:

“The inflation was… a good thing in that it produced all the contents of the universe quite literally out of nothing. When the universe was a single point it contained nothing. Yet there are now l0so particles in the part of the universe that we can observe. Where did all these particles come from? The answer is that relativity and quantum mechanics allow matter to be created out of energy in the form of particle-antiparticle pairs. And where did the energy come from to create matter? The answer is that it was borrowed from the gravitational energy of the universe. The universe has an enormous debt of negative gravitational energy, which exactly balances the positive energy of matter. During the inflationary period, the universe borrowed heavily from its gravitational energy to finance the creation of more matter.”

But the argument that the universe came into existence out of nothing (according to the explanation above) does not satisfy anyone, not even the atheists themselves, who point out that the above passage starts on a note of high hope but ends with a sob of disappointing contradiction.

Thus, to the question of where matter came from, and indeed, why it came into existence at all (since it could just as well not have), those who deny God have no answer. We quote from The Non-Existence of God by Nicolas Everitt: [In which Craig quotes Sandage and Tammann in Heism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology, Oxford University Press, 1995]

“Craig continues that we may plausibly argue that the cause of the universe is a ‘personal being,‘ by which he means a being capable of free choice. For we need an explanation of why the universe began to exist when it did, rather than earlier or later. The ‘plausible argument,‘ which he in fact invokes for saying that the cause must be a personal one, is ‘an Islamic principle of determination,‘ according to which ‘when two different states of affairs are equally possible and one results, this realization of one rather than the other must be the result of a personal agent who freely chooses one rather than the other.”

Author : Syed Iqbal Zaheer

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