I think the biggest blunder science has committed is this: it has shown how it is possible to be spaceless and timeless. Why? This is because when theists bring their God in the picture at all, they bring him in as the creator of the universe, not as a mere observer. As universe primarily means its space, time, matter and energy, so God as the supposed creator of the universe is the creator of space, time, matter and energy. That means before creation by God there cannot be any space, time, matter and energy. That will further mean the creator God can never be in any space and time and neither can the creator God contain any matter or energy. That is why creator of the universe will always necessarily have to be spaceless, timeless and immaterial; it can never be otherwise. So once scientists have shown how it is possible to be spaceless and timeless, they will no longer be able to convince us that this spaceless and timeless God cannot exist. All their efforts will be futile and all their arguments against this creator God will fall on deaf ears only.
We already know that the total energy of the universe is zero. We also know that matter and energy are equivalent. From these can we conclude that the total matter of the universe is also zero? Scientist Vector J Stenger thought so. Here is a quote:
‘E=mc2 says matter and energy are the same entity. Since E=0, the total matter of the universe is zero. Zero does not have to come from anything.
‘Now, if by matter you just mean the equivalent of rest energy, then that came from gravitational energy during the expansion in the early universe.’
– Vic Stenger, having been asked for a simple explanation to the question, “where did all the matter come from?” to a letter to Cliff Walker (September 11, 2001).1
But not everyone thinks so; there are other voices also. As per them it cannot be said that the total matter of the universe is zero simply because its total energy is zero. Actually matter in the universe counts for positive energy and gravity counts for negative energy. So when we add this positive energy of matter with the negative energy of gravity, we arrive at a total energy of zero for the universe. But matter in itself has a non-zero value in the universe.
So I think the whole issue needs re-examination.
I think I have already made the point clear that the beginning of the universe will always mean that it will begin from zero space, zero time, zero matter and zero energy.2 Therefore the total space, total time, total matter and total energy of the universe should also always have to be zero, because nothing in the universe can come from outside. So, if the universe has a beginning, then its total matter will obviously be zero. This is as per logic.
Now we can also give scientific reason as to why the total matter of the universe will have to be zero.
How is the zero total energy of the universe arrived at? Here matter is treated as positive energy and gravity is treated as negative energy. When we add this positive energy of matter with the negative energy of gravity, we get zero total energy for the universe.
But energy cannot be directly deducted from matter. Neither can matter be directly deducted from energy. We will have to bring both of them into the same category before making any such addition or subtraction. We will have to convert either matter into energy or energy into matter. In the above case matter has been converted into energy and this energy is treated as positive energy. From this positive energy negative energy of gravity is subtracted.
Now instead of converting matter into energy, if we convert negative gravitational energy into matter, then we will get negative matter. If we now subtract this negative matter from the positive matter, then we will arrive at the total zero matter of the universe.
So both from the logical point of view as well as from the scientific point of view we can say that the total matter of the universe is zero.
Actually if we say that the total energy of the universe is zero and if matter and energy are also equivalent, then why can we not say that the total matter of the universe is also zero?
As the total matter of the universe is zero, so can we not say that the universe as a whole is immaterial?
- Positive atheism quotes of Victor J. Stenger, http://www.positiveatheism.org
The reason as to why theists call their God spaceless, timeless and immaterial is the recognition of the fact that if the universe has a beginning, then that beginning can never be from a source that already contained space, time, matter and energy.
Universe primarily means its space, time, matter and energy. Therefore when we say that the universe has a beginning, we mean to say that its space, time, matter and energy have a beginning. Now the question is: can the universe have a beginning from a source that already contained space, time, matter and energy? If the source already contained space, time, matter and energy, then that would mean that space, time, matter and energy were already there. If space, time, matter and energy were already there, then that would further mean that the universe was already there. If the universe was already there, then why do we again say that the universe has a beginning?
The above reasoning shows that if the universe has a beginning at all, then that beginning can never be from a source that already contained space, time, matter and energy because in that case it will imply that the universe was already there. Therefore the beginning of the universe will always mean that it can begin from zero space, zero time, zero matter and zero energy only. As the universe can begin from zero space, zero time, zero matter and zero energy only, so the total space, total time, total matter and total energy of the universe should always remain zero, as otherwise one will have to explain as to whence appear the extra space, extra time, extra matter and extra energy that were not already there at the beginning.
So for a universe having a beginning this question must have an answer: how does the total space-time of an ever-expanding universe always remain zero?
Only a beginningless, eternal universe will not give us any such trouble.
Atheists sometimes object that there is no clear definition of a god/God. Here I want to say very clearly that God cannot be defined, God’s attributes can only be described. If God is the creator of the universe, then from this it follows that before creation God was alone and that there was no one else, nothing else other than God. As universe means space, time, matter and energy, so from this it follows that before creation there was no space, no time, no matter and no energy. That means God was neither in any space nor in any time and that God could contain neither any matter nor any energy, because before creation there was no space, no time, no matter and no energy. Being neither in space nor in time God will be thus spaceless and timeless. Containing neither any matter nor any energy God will be thus immaterial and his total energy will be zero. All these directly follow from the statement that God is the creator of the universe. By simple logic it can also be shown that this God being spaceless and timeless will also have the following attributes: God will be changeless, immortal, all-pervading, one, unborn, uncreated, without any beginning, without an end, everlasting and non-composite.1
Some believers also say that God is omnipotent and omniscient; God is all-powerful and all-knowing. But I do not think so. God being the creator of the universe must have necessary power and knowledge for creating it. Otherwise how has God created the universe? But I do not think that solely due to this reason God can be called omnipotent and omniscient.
Thus the complete description of the creator of the universe will be this: God is spaceless, timeless, changeless, immortal, all-pervading, one, unborn, uncreated, without any beginning, without an end, everlasting, non-composite and immaterial.
Whatever else has been said about this God is just wishful thinking.
Although many scientists have verbally denied God, yet through their scientific work they have always remained faithful to their creator God. I will give a few examples here.
1) God is said to be immaterial. This means God contains no matter. As matter and energy are equivalent, so we can say that God contains no energy. So total energy of God is zero. God is the source from which everything has originated. If the source does not contain any energy, then the outcome – here, the universe – cannot contain any energy. That means the total energy of the universe cannot be other than zero. Remaining faithful to their creator God scientists have also shown that the total energy of the universe is indeed zero.
2) God is also said to be spaceless and timeless. If God is really there, then there will be the presence of an everlasting state of spacelessness and timelessness in addition to the universe, because this God is everlastingly present with all his attributes. Due to the presence of this everlasting state of spacelessness and timelessness in addition to our universe space and time in our universe cannot be absolute. For space and time to be absolute, they will have to have the same values in each and every case without any single exception. But due to the presence of this everlasting state space and time will have null values in at least one case, that is, in case of God, whereas in every other case they can have non-zero values. Thus it can be seen that due to the presence of this everlasting state of spacelessness and timelessness in addition to our universe space and time in our universe will fail to have the same values in each and every case, which they must have if they are to be absolute. So in this situation it is impossible for space and time to be absolute. Here also remaining faithful to their creator God scientists have shown that space and time are not at all absolute.
3) God is said to be timeless. Remaining again faithful to the creator God Einstein has shown how a timeless state can obtain. Special theory of relativity (STR) has shown that at the speed of light time totally stops.
4) God is said to be spaceless. In this case also Einstein remained faithful to the creator God and has shown how a spaceless state can obtain. STR has shown that travel distance becomes zero for light. If certain amount of space (say, a room) is filled up with light only, then the volume of that room will be zero due to this property of light. As zero volume means no space, so in this way a spaceless state can obtain.
In all the four cases above scientists could have shown just the opposite than what they have actually shown, thus falsifying God. Just show that the universe as a whole has non-zero energy value, God will be falsified. Or show that it is in no way possible to be spaceless and timeless, again God will be falsified. Or show that space and time are not relative, but absolute and God will be falsified. Any one of these shown by them could have falsified God for all time to come. And they were always free to falsify him. But despite that they have failed to do so. This is solely because as scientists it is not their job to manufacture truth, but to discover it. So it was not at all possible for them to do otherwise than what they had actually done, even if they had wanted to.
In a debate with Dr. William Lane Craig in March, 2014 theoretical physicist Sean Carroll has said the following in his opening speech:
If you have a universe that obeys the conventional rules of quantum mechanics, has a non-zero energy, and the individual laws of physics are themselves not changing with time, that universe is necessarily eternal. The time parameter in Schrödinger’s equation, telling you how the universe evolves, goes from minus infinity to infinity.1
But is it possible that the universe can have non-zero energy value? Let us suppose that the universe has non-zero energy value. In that case the universe will behave like a giant matter, because we now know that matter and energy are equivalent. This giant matter will create its own gravitational field that will try to extend beyond the universe, because here the entire universe itself is the matter that has created that field. But there is actually no space outside the universe where this field can extend. For this we can give two reasons. Scientists say that there was no space and time before the big bang. Space and time came into existence along with the big bang only. So there was no preexisting space-time within which this big bang occurred. Another reason is that this universe is also expanding at an accelerating rate. But when it is asked what it is expanding into, the answer we usually get from the scientists is that it is not expanding into anything, because the universe is not embedded into any higher space-time. So these two points suggest that there is no space-time outside the universe. Therefore universe as a whole cannot have any gravitational field that will extend beyond the universe. So, if it is the case that there is no space outside the universe, then in that case it cannot have any non-zero energy value.
Dr. Sten Odenwald has provided the following information on behalf of NASA Astronomy Cafe, part of the NASA Education and Public Outreach program:
‘General relativity tells us that what we call space is just another feature of the gravitational field of the universe, so space and space-time can and do not exist apart from the matter and energy that creates the gravitational field. This is not speculation, but sound observation.’2
So, if at any time of its evolution the universe has non-zero energy value, then it will create the gravitational field that will extend beyond the universe. As space is just another feature of the gravitational field, so in that case there will be space outside the universe. But cosmologists repeatedly say that there is no space outside the universe, because the universe is not expanding into anything. So universe having non-zero energy directly contradicts the statement that there is no space outside the universe.