Mathematicians from Tufts University are challenging some anti-biblical models of the origin of the universe:
24 April 2012…For instance, one idea is that the universe is cyclical with big bangs followed by big crunches followed by big bangs in an infinite cycle.
Another is the notion of eternal inflation in which different parts of the universe expand and contract at different rates. These regions can be thought of as different universes in a giant multiverse.
So although we seem to live in an inflating cosmos, other universes may be very different. And while our universe may look as if it has a beginning, the multiverse need not have a beginning…
Audrey Mithani and Alexander Vilenkin at Tufts University in Massachusetts say that these models are mathematically incompatible with an eternal past. Indeed, their analysis suggests that these three models of the universe must have had a beginning too.
Their argument focuses on the mathematical properties of eternity–a universe with no beginning and no end. Such a universe must contain trajectories that stretch infinitely into the past.
However, Mithani and Vilenkin point to a proof dating from 2003 that these kind of past trajectories cannot be infinite if they are part of a universe that expands in a specific way.
They go on to show that cyclical universes and universes of eternal inflation both expand in this way. So they cannot be eternal in the past and must therefore have had a beginning. “Although inflation may be eternal in the future, it cannot be extended indefinitely to the past,” they say.
They treat the emergent model of the universe differently, showing that although it may seem stable from a classical point of view, it is unstable from a quantum mechanical point of view. “A simple emergent universe model…cannot escape quantum collapse,” they say.
The conclusion is inescapable. “None of these scenarios can actually be past-eternal,” say Mithani and Vilenkin. http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/27793/?ref=rss
And if the physical universe had to have a beginning, then something that was not physical must have started it. And that leads to the logical conclusion that a non-physical being, like God, must have done so. And that is what the Bible teaches:
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1:1-5)
And while the mathematicians at Tufts did not go into biblical detail, their conclusion that the physical universe must have had a beginning is correct.
As far as the future role of resurrected human beings in the universe, notice the following passage from Hebrews:
6 But one testified in a certain place, saying: “What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? 7 You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands. 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”
For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (Hebrews 2:6-10)
So, the entire universe was made for humankind, but is not yet under human subjection, but will be first under Jesus. And then, later under humankind.
But there is more. Notice something else that the Bible teaches:
33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end. (Luke 1:33)
6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end…(Isaiah 9:6-7)
This seems to mean that either the physical dimensions of Christ’s kingdom will always be increasing (hence perhaps more and more planets, stars, and galaxies) and/or their will a continual increase in the number of beings in Christ’s kingdom.
Interestingly, the same mathematicians at Tufts agree with this concept as they stated that the universe can, according to their mathematical model, continue to expand into the future, consistent with scripture (which, no, they did not cite).
As I have written here for some time, scripture and properly understood science are compatible (and I am not declaring that there cannot be any flaws in the Tufts’ mathematical model, though I agree with their conclusions that the physical universe had to have a beginning and that it can continue to expand forever). (Speaking of science, sometimes it is misunderstood–today’s commentary from the Living Church of God points out one area of scientific misunderstanding that lasted for around a century–for details, please check out Commentary: What Happened to Brontosaurus?)
While humans now are fairly insignificant in certain physical ways, God has a plan to involve humanity in ruling the universe. A universe that He began (Genesis 1:1).
Some articles of possibly related interest may include:
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist? Who is God?
How is God Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient? Here is a biblical article by Wallace Smith which answers what many really wonder about it.
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally?
Is God’s Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge.
The Bible: Fact or Fiction? This is a booklet written by Douglas Winnail that answers if the Bible is just a collection of myths and legends or the inspired word of God.
Read the Bible Christians should read and study the Bible. This article gives some rationale for regular bible reading.
What is the Appropriate Form of Biblical Interpretation? Should the Bible be literally understood? What do the writings of the Bible, Origen, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Augustine show?
Bible and Historical Resources on the Internet Electronic bibles, Two Babylons, early Christian literature, photos, and even links to old Herbert W. Armstrong materials.