How Did the Universe Begin?
by Ralph Epperson

There are only three possible answers to this question.

1. It was created by something larger than itself since the first law of thermodynamics says that energy cannot be created, only changed.

The universe had to be created by something outside itself, because of the same law. We also know that man could not have created it.

2. It was begun by chance (or accident); or

3. The answer is not sure.

Shown this way, the question is:

Let us first examine the probabilities of chance (accident) accounting for the initial creation of energy. Chance is not really chance! Mathematicians can accurately measure the probability of anything occurring once they know the nature of the things that chance will be acting upon. For example, a quarter has two sides, and if tossed up into the air and allowed to land on the ground, it will land only one of two ways: either it will land on one side (called heads) or on the other (called tails). We can say, therefore, that the chances of a quarter landing on heads is one in two (barring the unlikely and extremely low percentages of time that it could land on its side. Even this probability could be scientifically determined once scientists tossed the coin enough times. But, for the sake of argument, we will say that there are only two ways that the coin can land, either on one side or on the other.)

If we toss up two quarters, there are now four ways that the coins can land: either they will both land on heads; they will both land on tails; the first will land on heads and the other will land on tails; or the first will land on tails and the other on heads. There are two ways that these things can be measured: scientists can actually toss the coins into the air enough times and record their actual observations, or mathematicians can calculate the probabilities involved by using the laws of mathematics without actually tossing the coins.

Let us now examine the number of times that ten consecutively numbered cards can come up in a random fashion (meaning by chance), one being drawn out of the ten at a time. There are 3,628,000 different ways that those cards can be drawn out; In other words, 4,7,5,9,1,8,3,2,10, and 6 would be one such example. The chances of this sequence coming out of such a single random drawing would be one in 3,628,000.

If we increase the number of cards to 100, there would be 10158 ways that the numbered cards could come out in any random drawing.

Let me explain what the number, 10158, represents for those not familiar with such things. The result of multiplication of 10 times 10 is 100. When written as a square, it is written as 102. When written as a number, it is a 1 followed by the number of zeroes shown after the number, in this case, one followed by two zeroes, or 100.

10 times 10 times 10 is 1,000, written as 103, or 1 followed by three zeroes (1,000).

10(158) would be the number 1 followed by 158 zeroes or:


What are the chances of any particular sequence of, say all odd numbers occurring, in increasing numbers, and then all even numbers, in decreasing numbers, coming out of a randomly drawn series of just 100 numbers? The answer to that question can be determined by the laws of mathematics. The answer is, once again, one chance in one followed by 158 zeroes.

The age of the universe has been estimated by some scientists at 30 billion (30,000,000,000) years. There would be 1018 seconds in those 30 billion years (1 followed by 18 zeroes, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 seconds). Notice how much smaller that figure is compared to 10158.

Astrophysicists estimate that there are no more than 1080 infinitesimal particles in the universe. Assuming that each particle could participate in a thousand billion 1012 different events every second (an impossibly high figure, by the way), then the greatest number of events that could ever happen (or trials that could be made) in all of the universe throughout its entire history is only 10110. Most mathematicians believe that this figure is much lower, about 1050.

Any event with a probability of less than one chance in 10110, therefore, cannot occur by chance. Its probability becomes zero, at least in our known universe. Thus, the sequence of the ascending and then descending numbers of 100 components has a ZERO probability of happening by chance.

Some scientists have measured the chance of a replicating (defined as a repetition of an experiment under controlled conditions so that a specific result may be observed) molecule occurring by chance at 10450.

Frank Salisbury has calculated the probability of a typical DNA chain arising by chance to be 10600. (DNA is the basic building block of life, and it has a zero probability of occurring by chance).

Mike Stubbs has calculated the chance of insulin, an important protein hormone secreted by the pancreas, developing by chance at 3x10158. He states that even if there was a machine which could sort the amino acids that make up insulin into groups of 512 at a rate of one billion per second, it would take 1052 years to produce 1068 combinations, only one of which would be insulin. In other words, you could expect to get the insulin combination only once in 1052 years. Yet there are only 1018 seconds in a 30 billion year universe!

Other scientists have made some calculations of the probability of life originating by chance. Sir Fred Hoyle, one of the leading scientists of this age, has computed the number of chances necessary for even the simplest life imaginable to have evolved by chance to be one chance in 1040,000. (That is roughly comparable to the probability of rolling double sixes, 12 on two dice, 50,000 times in a row!)

Dr. Harold Morowitz, professor of Molecular Chemistry at Yale University, has concluded that the odds of life creating itself by chance are one in 10 followed by one billion zeroes! Yet any chance with less than one chance in 10 followed by 110 zeroes has NO CHANCE!

Lastly, Edward Conklin, a biologist, has stated that, "The probability of life originating from accident (or chance) is comparable to the probability of an unabridged dictionary resulting from an explosion in a print shop." In other words, the universe originating by chance has NO CHANCE!

If the universe did not originate by chance, what then are the other alternatives? Either the universe was started by something or someone capable of creating a universe (a master designer) or no one is sure how it got started.

First, we will examine the thought that the universe was created by a designer. Presume that you are someone who has lived in a forest all of your life, by yourself, and you suddenly decide to take a long walk into the neighboring desert. As far as you know, there are no other human beings because you have never seen anyone else. As you are walking, you look down and spot a shiny object in the sand. You pick it up, and examine it carefully. You do not know what the object is because you have never seen one before. (It is a wrist watch, but it is an unknown object as far as your experience extends.) There are only two ways that this shiny object could have gotten there: either it was made by something or someone, or else it got there by accident or chance.

If it got there by chance, its origins would have to be no different than any other object in your view: for instance, the rocks or bushes nearby. You examine the unknown object and notice that parts of it are moving, and if you examined it long enough, you would discover that every time the little moving part got to the unknown symbol "12", it was either totally dark or the sun was directly overhead. Your mind starts to tell you that this is no ordinary object. It seems to have some function, one not associated with a random happening. You start thinking that it could not have gotten there by chance. You conclude that it was actually created by someone or something, with an actual purpose in mind. You look around the area and find no other objects of a similar nature. If the object did not get there by chance, it had to have been created by something or someone more powerful than chance. But you see no one in any direction, nor anything capable of making such an object. Yet, your mind tells you that it was actually created; it could not have gotten there by chance. What are your conclusions? Even though you cannot identify who or what made this shiny object, your mind tells you that it was not created by accident. It had to have been created; there is no other option.

The universe is far more complex than that watch. Yet we are being asked by some to believe that it got there by accident, by some random happening known as chance. The human mind screams at the observer, "The universe is too complex to have been assembled by chance. It had to have been the result of a conscious design of a designer."

Perhaps another example of the human mind's unwillingness to logically conclude that there was a designer in the universe occurred a few years ago when scientists looked at some pictures of parts of the planet Mars. These pictures had been taken by a flyby space mission, and appeared to show a monkey face on the surface of the planet. The almost immediate response by some in the scientific community was that the face had to have been created. It seemed to show that some form of intelligent mind had physically created the face. These scientists were jubilant. They had found what appeared to be evidence of intelligent life on another planet. Yet, it appeared that those who wanted to believe that the face had been created by some sort of conscious design, had excluded the possibility that the face could have been created by chance. Anyone would have had to conclude that there was at least a possibility that the face could have been created by wind, erosion, or just simply by chance. But the scientists were quick to point out that the face had been made by an intelligent form of life. Chance was almost dismissed as having no chance. The face had to have been created.

Many of these same skeptical scientists look at the universe, with all of its precise laws, and claim to see no evidence of design, nor any designer. Yet these same scientists had determined with precise accuracy just how far away from Mars their probe had to be so that it would not crash into the planet itself. They had to know precisely just how far it would have to be so that it would not fly by into a trajectory that would not allow it to orbit. These scientists were making their projections based upon scientific laws, in a universe that is structured on precise laws. Yet, they reasoned that the universe was not created. As we have examined, there is absolutely no chance that the universe was created by chance. But, many skeptics are quick to believe that it had to be created by chance, because they refuse to believe in a designer. A universe that could not have occurred by chance had been created by chance. A monkey face that could have been created by chance had been created solely by intelligent life. It does not make sense unless you think like an atheist. The human mind screams at the observer, "The universe is too complex to have been assembled by chance. It had to have been the result of a conscious design of a designer!"

America's founding fathers said that the fact that man had human rights was a "self-evident truth." They recognized that certain things were self-evident. That meant that they were not debatable. They were true simply because they were true. They wrote the following into America's Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men were created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.."

A "self-evident truth" is not debatable. There are no other options. It is true simply because it is true. That is the way it is. The fact that the universe was created by a Master Designer is a "self-evident truth." The human mind is compelled to conclude that there is a creator, a first cause. That thought is a "self-evident truth." Unless you think like an atheist!

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