Theistic Evolution - Creation vs Evolution, Science, Bible, Mike Riddle


Who Created God?


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A number of unbelieving skeptics ask this question.  But God by definition is the uncreated creator of the universe, so the question ‘Who created God?’ is illogical, just like ‘To whom is the bachelor married?’

Maybe a better question to ask would be: ‘If the universe needs a cause, then why doesn’t God need a cause?  And if God doesn’t need a cause, why should the universe need a cause?’ My reply is simply, Christians should use the following reasoning:

  1. Everything which has a beginning has a cause. 1
  2. The universe has a beginning.
  3. Therefore the universe has a cause.

It is important to stress the words in bold type.  The universe requires a cause because it had a beginning, as will be shown below. God, unlike the universe, has no beginning, so He does dot need a cause.  In addition, Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which has much experimental support, shows that time is linked to matter and space.  So time itself would have begun along with matter and space.

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Since God, by definition, is the Creator of the whole universe, He is the Creator of time.  Therefore He is not limited by the time dimension that He created, and so He has no beginning in time — God is ‘the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity’ (Isaiah 57:15).  Therefore He doesn’t have, or need a cause.

In contrast, there is good evidence, and science now believes that the universe had a beginning.  This is shown from the Laws of Thermodynamics, the most fundamental laws of the physical sciences.

  • The 1st Law of Thermodynamics: The total amount of mass-energy in the universe is constant.
  • The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics: The amount of energy available for work is running out, or entropy is increasing, and will continue until energy is exhausted.

If the total amount of mass-energy is limited, and the amount of usable energy is decreasing, then the universe cannot have existed forever, otherwise it would already have exhausted all usable energy — which is the ‘heat death’ of the universe.  For example, all radioactive atoms would have decayed, every part of the universe would be the same temperature, and no further work (energy) would be possible.

So the obvious corollary is that the universe began a finite time ago with a lot of usable energy, and is now running down.

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Now, what if the questioner accepts that the universe had a beginning, but not that it needs a cause? But it is self-evident that all things that begin in the universe have a cause — no-one really denies it.  All science and history would collapse if this law of cause and effect were denied.  So would all law enforcement, if the police didn’t think they needed to find a cause for a stabbed body or a burgled house.

Also, the universe could not have been self-caused — nothing can create itself, because that would mean that it existed before it came into existence, which is a logical absurdity.


  • The universe (including time itself) can be shown to have had a beginning.
  • It is unreasonable to believe something could begin to exist without a cause.
  • The universe therefore requires a cause, just as Genesis 1:1 and Romans 1:20 teach.
  • God, as the Creator of time, stands outside of time.  Since He has no beginning in time, He has always existed, so does not need a cause.


There are only two ways to refute an argument:

  1. Show that it is logically invalid.
  2. Show that at least one of the premises is false.

Is the argument valid?

    A valid argument is one where it is impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion false.  Note that validity does not depend on the truth of the premises, but on the form of the argument.  The argument in this article is valid; it is of the same form as:  All horses have four legs; Trigger was a horse; therefore Trigger had four legs.  So the only hope for the skeptic is to dispute one or both of the premises.

Are the premises true?

    1. Does the universe have a beginning?

      Oscillating universe ideas were popularized by atheists like the late Dr. Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov solely to avoid the notion of a beginning, with its implications of a Creator.  But as shown above, the Laws of Thermodynamics undercut that argument.  Even an oscillating universe cannot overcome those laws.  Each one of the hypothetical cycles would exhaust more and more usable energy, and at some future time would die its' 'heat death'.

      This means every cycle would be larger and longer than the previous one, so looking back in time there would be smaller and smaller cycles.  So the multi-cycle model could have an infinite future, but can only have a finite past. 2

      Also, there are many lines of evidence showing that there is far too little mass for gravity to stop expansion and allow cycling in the first place, i.e., the universe is ‘open’.  This means it has edges, or limits.

      According to the best estimates (even granting old-earth assumptions), the universe still has only about half the mass needed for re-contraction.  This includes the combined total of both luminous matter and non-luminous matter (found in galactic halos), as well as any possible contribution of neutrinos to total mass. 3

      Some recent evidence for an ‘open’ universe comes from the number of light-bending ‘gravitational lenses’ in the sky. 4   Also, analysis of Type Ia supernovae shows that the universe’s expansion rate is not slowing enough for a closed universe. 5, 6   It seems there is only 40-80% of the required matter to cause a ‘big crunch’ that would be followed by another 'big bang' event.

      Incidentally, this low mass is also a major problem for the currently fashionable ‘inflationary’ version of the ‘big bang’ theory, as this predicts a mass density just on the threshold of collapse — a ‘flat’ universe.

      Finally, no known mechanism would allow a bounce back after a hypothetical ‘big crunch’.7

      As the late Professor Beatrice Tinsley of Yale explained, even though the mathematics say that the universe oscillates, ‘There is no known physical mechanism to reverse a catastrophic big crunch.’

      Off the paper and into the real world of physics, those models start from the Big Bang, expand, collapse, and that’s the end.8

    2. Denial of cause and effect

      Some physicists assert that quantum mechanics violates this cause/effect principle and can produce something from nothing.  For instance, Paul Davies writes:

      spacetime could appear out of nothingness as a result of a quantum transition. … Particles can appear out of nowhere without specific causation … Yet the world of quantum mechanics routinely produces something out of nothing.9

      This is a gross misapplication of quantum mechanics.  Quantum mechanics has never produced something out of nothing.  Davies himself admitted on the previous page that his scenario "should not be taken too seriously."

      Theories that the universe is a quantum fluctuation must presuppose that there was something to fluctuate to begin the process — their ‘quantum vacuum’ is a lot of matter-antimatter potential — not ‘nothing’.

      Also, [Jonathan Sarfati] has plenty of theoretical and practical experience at quantum mechanics (QM) from his doctoral thesis work.  For example Dr. Sarfati, in his work shows that Raman spectroscopy is a QM phenomenon.  But from the wave-number and intensity of the spectral bands, the masses of the atoms can be worked out, and force constants of the bonds causing the bands.  To help the atheist position that the universe came into existence without a cause, one would need to find Raman bands appearing without being caused by transitions in vibrational quantum states, or alpha particles appearing without pre-existing nuclei, etc.

      If QM was as acausal as some people think, then we should not assume that these phenomena have a cause.  Then Dr. Sarfati may as well burn his Ph.D. thesis, and all the spectroscopy journals should quit writing, and all nuclear physics research should end.

      Also, if there is no cause, there is no explanation why this particular universe appeared at a particular time, nor why it was a universe and not, say, a banana or cat which appeared.  This universe can't have any properties to explain its preferential coming into existence, because it would not have any properties until it actually came into existence.

Is creation by God rational?

As a last desperate approach by skeptics to avoid a theistic conclusion is to assert that creation in time is incoherent.  Davies correctly points out that since time itself began with the beginning of the universe, it is meaningless to talk about what happened ‘before’ the universe began.  But he claims that causes must precede their effects.  So if nothing happened ‘before’ the universe began, then (according to Davies) it is meaningless to discuss the cause of the universe’s beginning.

But the philosopher (and New Testament scholar) William Lane Craig, in a useful critique of Davies,10 pointed out that Davies is deficient in philosophical knowledge.  Philosophers have long discussed the notion of simultaneous causation.  Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) gave the example of a weight resting on a cushion simultaneously causing a depression in it.  Craig says:

The first moment of time is the moment of God's creative act and of creation's simultaneous coming to be.

Some skeptics claim that all this analysis is tentative, because that is the nature of science.  So this can’t be used to prove creation by God.  Now think about it... skeptics can't have it both ways: saying that the Bible is wrong because science has proved it so, but if science appears consistent with the Bible, then well, science is tentative anyway.


The Bible informs us that time is a dimension that God created, into which man was subjected.  It even tells us that one day time will no longer exist.  That will be called "eternity."  God Himself stands outside of the dimension He created (Psalm 90:4, 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2).  He dwells in eternity and is not subject to the limitations of time.  God spoke history before it came into being.  He can move through time as a man flips through a history book.  The Bible is His history book given to us.

Because we live in the dimension of time, it is impossible for us to fully understand anything that does not have a beginning and an end.  Simply accept that fact, and believe the concept of God's eternal nature the same way you believe the concept of space having no beginning and end -- by faith -- even though such thoughts put a strain on our distinctly insufficient gray matter.

Bruce M. Larner, adapted from author Jonathan Sarfati

References and Notes

  1. Actually, the word ‘cause’ has several different meanings in philosophy. But in this article, I am referring to the efficient cause, the chief agent causing something to be made.   [Return]
  2. Novikov, I.D. and Zel’dovich, Ya. B., "Physical Processes Near Cosmological Singularities", Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 11:401-2 (1973).     [Return]
  3. Schramm, D.N. and Steigman, G., "Relic Neutrinos and the Density of the Universe," Astrophysical Journal, 243:1-7 (1981).    [Return]
  4. Watson, A., "Clusters point to Never Ending Universe," Science, 278 (5342):1402 (1997).   [Return]
  5. Perlmutter, S. et al., "Discovery of a supernova explosion at half the age of the universe," Nature, 391(6662):51 (1998). Perspective by Branch, D. Destiny and destiny. Same issue, pp. 23-24.     [Return]
  6. Glanz, J., "New light on the fate of the universe," Science, 278 (5339):799-800.     [Return]
  7. Guth, A.H. and Sher, M., "The Impossibility of a Bouncing Universe," Nature, 302:505-507 (1983).    [Return]
  8. Tinsley, B., "From Big Bang to Eternity?", Natural History Magazine (October 1975), pp. 102-5. Cited in Craig, W.L., Apologetics: An Introduction (Chicago: Moody, 1984), p. 61.     [Return]
  9. Davies, P., God and the New Physics (Simon & Schuster, 1983), p. 215.     [Return]
  10. Craig, W.L., "God, Creation and Mr. Davies," Brit. J. Phil. Sci. 37:163-175 (1986).     [Return]

Author: Jonathan Sarfati, Answers in Genesis. First published in: Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal 12(1):20-22, 1998.

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