HOME ABOUT THIS SITE CONTACT US
Harun Yahya - Timelessness and the Reality of Fate
Timelessness and the Reality of Fate
   

 



Chapter 2

The Universe is Created From Non-Existence
 

Materialism is a system of thought that holds matter to be an absolute entity and denies the existence of anything but matter. Having its roots in ancient Greece and gaining increased acceptance, particularly in the 19th century, and becoming famous with the dialectical materialism of Karl Marx, this system of thought claims that matter has existed forever and that it will exist for all eternity. Since it maintains that matter is not created, it does not accept the existence of a Creator. 


The founder of dialectical materialism: Karl Marx

As we have just stated, materialism became popular mainly in the 19th century. One of the principal reasons for this is the "static universe" model that was then produced in response to the question of "how the universe had come about". This model answered the question by stating that the universe had not come about, it had existed forever and would continue to exist forever. The universe was accepted to be a stable, constant and unchanging collection of matter and the notion was promoted that such a universe did not require us to believe in a Creator.


The confirmation of the opposite of this universe model, that is, the discovery that the universe had a beginning and that it was alterable, unquestionably proved the existence of a Creator. In his book "Principes Fondamentaux de Philosophie", renowned materialist philosopher Georges Politzer accepted this fact in his denial of creation on the basis of this "boundless universe" model: 

The universe is not a created object. If it were, then it would have to have been created instantaneously by God and brought into existence from nothing. To admit creation, one has to admit, in the first place, the existence of a moment when the universe did not exist, and that something came out of nothingness. This is something to which science cannot concede.2

At the end of a period that started in the second quarter of the 20th century, modern science, however, proved the fact admitted by materialists when they said: "If it was so, then we would perforce agree that a Creator existed,"—that is, that the universe had a beginning. This fact was revealed after a number of stages. 


The Expansion of the Universe

In 1929, in the California Mount Wilson observatory, an American astronomer by the name of Edwin Hubble made one of the greatest discoveries in the history of astronomy. While he observed the stars with a giant telescope, he found out that the light from them was shifted to the red end of the spectrum and that this shift was more pronounced the further a star was from the earth. This discovery had an electrifying effect in the world of science, because according to the recognised rules of physics, the spectra of light beams travelling towards the point of observation tend towards violet while the spectra of light beams moving away from the point of observation tend towards red. This meant that the stars were constantly moving away from us. 


Edwin Hubble, next to his giant telescope.

Before long, Hubble made another very important discovery: Stars and galaxies moved away not only from us, but also from one another. The only conclusion that could be derived from a universe where everything moves away from everything else is that the universe constantly "expands." To elucidate, the universe may be thought of as the surface of a balloon being blown up. Just as the points on the surface of a balloon move apart from each other as the balloon is inflated, so do the objects in space move apart from each other as the universe keeps expanding.

In fact, this had been theoretically discovered even earlier. Albert Einstein, judging from the calculations which had led him to formulate the Theory of Relativity in 1915, had concluded that the universe could not be static. Greatly taken by surprise at his own discovery, Einstein added a factor called the "cosmological constant" to his equations, simply to eliminate this unbecoming conclusion. Convinced by astronomers that the universe was static, he did not want his theory to conflict with this model. This view, which was later withdrawn by Einstein himself — who confessed that it was "the greatest mistake of his career," — was thrown on to the scrap heaps of history in view of developing scientific discoveries. 

For the first time in 1922, Russian scientist Alexander Friedmann discovered on the basis of the Theory of Relativity that the universe was alterable and that even a slight change caused it to expand or shrink. While Friedmann reached this conclusion, he also corrected the mistake (of the cosmological constant) in Einstein's article dated 1917. 

The first person who used the solutions discovered by Friedmann was the Belgian cosmic scientist, Georges Lemaitre (1894-1966). Relying on these solutions, Lemaitre maintained that the universe had a beginning and that it had been constantly expanding since then. In addition, he stated that the radiation remaining from this starting moment could be detected (this radiation, given the name of 'cosmic background radiation' was indeed later detected by observations).


The Discovery of the Big Bang

The fact that the universe expands proposed a model very different from that of the "static universe" that had gained general currency. The expansion of the universe implied that, when travelling backwards in time, the universe would prove to have originated from a single point.

The calculations showed that this "single point" that harboured all the matter of the universe should have had "zero volume" and "infinite density." The universe had come about by the explosion of this single point with zero volume. This explosion was named the "Big Bang" and the theory came to be so called. 

EVIDENCE FOR THE BIG BANG: THE SHIFT TO RED IN THE LIGHTS OF GALAXIES

An observer who views the spectra of a distancing object will see that this become increasingly redder. Observations made from the earth have shown that the spectra of light beams of the galaxies and stars in the sky increasingly tend towards red. This means that heavenly bodies constantly move away from us. The discovery of this fact by observations made in the 1920's has proved that the universe has an expanding structure and that it originated in the Big Bang.

You may wonder how a point with no volume, that is, occupying no space, and with infinite density can exist. Actually, "a point with no volume and infinite density" is a theoretical from of expression. Scientifically, a point described as having "zero volume" means a point with no volume. In fact, a point with no volume means that it is "nonexistent". Therefore, the universe has been brought into existence from non-existence. This fact invalidates the hypothesis of materialism that "the universe has existed since time immemorial". 



"Steady State" Trial


Astronomers devoted to the materialist philosophy sought to resist the Big Bang and uphold the steady state theory. The cause of this effort was revealed in A.S. Eddington's words "Philosophically, the notion of an abrupt beginning to the present order of Nature is repugnant to me."3

World renowned mathematician and astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle was one of those who were disturbed by the Big Bang theory. In the middle of the century, Hoyle championed a theory called the "steady-state," which was similar to the "constant universe" approach of the 19th century. Though he accepted that the universe was expanding, Hoyle argued that the universe was both infinite in size and eternal in duration. According to this model, as the universe expanded, matter was suddenly starting to come into existence on its own and only to the extent that it was needed. With the sole ostensible aim of supporting the dogma of "eternally existing matter" — the basis of the materialist philosophy, — this theory was totally at variance with the "Big Bang" theory, which held that the universe had a beginning.

Those who defended the steady-state theory opposed the Big Bang for a long time. Science, however, was working against them.


New Evidence for the Big Bang: Cosmic Background Radiation

In 1948, George Gamow came up with another idea concerning the Big Bang. He stated that after the formation of the universe by a big explosion, a radiation surplus left over from this explosion should have existed in the universe. Moreover, this radiation ought to be uniformly diffused throughout the universe.


George Gamow

This evidence which "ought to have existed" was soon to be found. In 1965, two researchers by the name of Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discovered these waves. This radiation, called "cosmic background radiation", was very different from just any haphazard radiation coming from a particular direction in space. It was extraordinarily uniform. In other words, it did not seem to radiate from a particular source but rather pervaded the whole of space. Thus, it was understood that the 3 degrees Kelvin heat waves that were uniformly radiated from all around space had been left over from the initial stages of the Big Bang. Moreover, this figure was very close to the figure previously foreseen by scientists. Although they were able to make measurements only at a single wave length (microwave), Penzias and Wilson were awarded a Nobel Prize for being the first persons to show this original evidence of the Big Bang by experiment. 

In 1989, George Smoot and the NASA team under his leadership sent the Cosmic Background Radiation Discovery Satellite (COBE) into space to do research on cosmic background radiation. It took only eight minutes for the sensitive scanners on this satellite to confirm the measurements of Penzias and Wilson. The scanners accurately identified the remains of the big explosion that had taken place at the outset of the universe. 

Defined as the greatest astronomic discovery of all times, this finding did not stop there. Where the COBE 1 satellite had given information on the temperature at a certain point in space, the COBE 2 satellite went further, discovering that there is a temperature difference between  two points in space. This showed that the heat generated after the big bang increasingly diminished. After this event, many scientists commented on COBE's success as the "Big Bang's confirmation in an extraordinary way." 


Further Evidence: Hydrogen-Helium Concentration


A photograph taken by the Hubble telescope. Every luminous point in the picture is a galaxy. It is estimated that there are approximately 300 billion galaxies in the entire universe. It is predicted that there are on average 250-300 billion stars in each galaxy. All of the matter and energy making up this giant universe is created from nothing and this is very clear evidence for creation.

Another important piece of evidence for the Big Bang was the amount of hydrogen and helium in space. From the latest calculations, it was understood that the hydrogen-helium concentration in the universe tallied with the theoretical calculations of the hydrogen-helium concentration remaining after the Big Bang.

As is generally known, stars produce energy by transforming their hydrogen constituents into helium through a nuclear reaction. If the universe had not had a beginning and if it had existed forever, then all the hydrogen in the stars should have been consumed and transformed into helium. However, the fact that the hydrogen gas in the stars has not yet been consumed and that the stars still continue to produce energy by constantly turning this gas into helium is certain evidence that the universe is not infinite and had a beginning. 


The Big Bang's Victory

All of this compelling evidence caused the Big Bang theory to be embraced by the scientific community. The Big Bang model is the latest position reached by science on the formation and beginning of the universe. Defending the steady-state theory alongside Fred Hoyle for years, Dennis Sciama described the final position they had reached after all the evidence for the Big Bang theory was revealed. Sciama stated that he had taken part in the heated debate between the defenders of the steady-state theory and those who tested that theory with the hope of refuting it. He added that he had defended the steady-state theory, not because he deemed it valid, but because he wished that it were valid. Fred Hoyle stood out against all objections as evidence against this theory began to unfold. Sciama goes on to say that he had first taken a stand along with Hoyle but, as evidence began to pile up, he had had to admit that the game was over and that the steady-state theory had to be dismissed.4

Prof. George Abel from the University of California also states that currently available evidence shows that the universe originated billions of years ago with the Big Bang. He concedes that he has no choice but to accept the Big Bang theory. 5



Fred Hoyle

With the Big Bang's victory, the concept of "eternal matter" that constituted the basis of the materialist philosophy has been thrown on to the trash-heap of history. What, then, came before the Big Bang and what was the power that brought the universe into "being" with this big explosion when it was "non-existent"? This question certainly implies, in Arthur Eddington's words, a "philosophically unfavourable" fact for the materialists, that is, the existence of a Creator. The renowned atheist philosopher Antony Flew comments on the issue: 

Notoriously, confession is good for the soul. I will, therefore, begin by confessing that the Stratonician atheist has to be embarrassed by the contemporary cosmological consensus. For it seems that the cosmologists are providing a scientific proof of what St. Thomas contended could not be proved philosophically; namely, that the universe had a beginning. So long as the universe can be comfortably thought of as being not only without end but also without beginning, it remains easy to urge that its brute existence, and whatever are found to be its most fundamental features, should be accepted as the explanatory ultimates. Although I believe that it remains still correct, it certainly is neither easy nor comfortable to maintain this position in the face of the Big Bang story.6

Many scientists who do not blindly condition themselves to be atheists have admitted the role of an almighty Creator in the creation of the universe. This Creator must be a being Who has created both matter and time, yet Who is independent of both. 

Roger Penrose, a physicist who has done extensive research on the origin of the universe, has also stated that the universe rests where it is not by mere coincidence, and this shows that it definitely has a purpose. For some people, "the universe is just there" and it just goes on being there. We just happened to find ourselves right in the middle of this whole thing. This viewpoint would probably not help us in understanding the universe. According to Penrose's view, there are many deep affairs going on within the universe whose existence we cannot today perceive.7


Facts Announced By The Qur'an 14 Centuries Ago

To sum up, the definite conclusion reached by astrophysics was that the entire universe, with its matter and time dimensions, came into being at a moment of zero with a big explosion (Big Bang). Before the Big Bang, there was no such thing as time. Matter, energy, and time came into existence out of a state of nothingness where neither matter, nor energy, and nor time was existent this event can be defined as entirely metaphysical. However, this great reality discovered by modern physics only at the end of this century was announced to us in the Qur'an 14 centuries ago. 

To Him is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth. (Surat al-Anaam, 101)

The Big Bang theory showed that, in the beginning, all the objects in the universe were of one piece and then were parted. This fact, which was postulated by the Big Bang theory was stated in the Qur'an 14 centuries ago, when people had a very limited knowledge about the universe: 

Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of creation), before we clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe? (Surat al-Anbiya, 30)

As stated at the beginning of this chapter, the expansion of the universe is one of the most important pieces of evidence that the universe was created out of nothing. Although this fact, which has existed since the universe was created, was not discovered by modern science until the 20th century, Allah informed us of this reality in the Qur'an which was revealed 1,400 years ago:

It is We who have built the universe with (Our creative) power, and, verily, it is We who are steadily expanding it. (Surat adh-Dhariyat, 47)


The Explosion That Brought Order

In reality, the Big Bang caused much greater trouble for the materialists and atheists (those terms being almost synonymous), than the above confessions of the atheist philosopher, Antony Flew. The Big Bang proved not only that the universe was created out of nothing, but also that it was brought into being in a very planned, systematic and controlled manner. 

Perfect order arose after the Big Bang, which was an explosion. Explosions, however, never bring about order. All of the observable explosions tend to harm, cause to disintegrate, and destroy what is present. For example, the atom and hydrogen bomb explosions, fire-damp explosions, volcanic explosions, natural gas explosions, solar explosions all have destructive effects. 

If, however, we are introduced to a very detailed order after an explosion, we then conclude that there is a "supernatural" intervention behind this explosion and that all the pieces dispersed by the explosion are made to move in a very controlled way.

The following statement made by Sir Fred Hoyle, who accepted his mistake after many years of opposition to the Big Bang Theory, expresses this situation very well:

The big bang theory holds that the universe began with a single explosion. Yet, an explosion merely throws matter apart, while the big bang has mysteriously produced the opposite effect - with matter clumping together in the form of galaxies.8

While stating that the Big Bang's giving way to order is contradictory, he surely interprets the Big Bang with a materialistic bias and assumes that this was an "uncontrolled explosion." In reality, however, he was the one who contradicted himself by making such a statement simply to dismiss the existence of a Creator, Who is Allah. If great order has arisen as the result of an explosion, then the concept of an "uncontrolled explosion" must be set aside and it must be accepted that the explosion was extraordinarily controlled.

This order holds true for all stages after the Big Bang. The matter that has emerged with the Big Bang is in the form of the particles we call "atomic particles". But these – as Hoyle stated, have "mysteriously" come together and formed atoms everywhere and in every part of the universe. Being composed in great order, these atoms have formed galaxies by concentrating in certain parts of the universe. In these galaxies stars have formed stars, and around these stars, star systems and planets have come into existence. All these vast heavenly bodies are extraordinarily organized. If we think that there are approximately 300 billion galaxies in the universe, and 300 billion stars in each one of them, we can better understand the degree of the extraordinariness of the order and balance in question. 


Delicate Balances

Another aspect of this amazing order formed in the universe following the Big Bang is the creation of a "habitable universe". The conditions for the formation of a habitable planet are so many and so complex that it is almost impossible to think that this formation is coincidental. 


Eta Carinae star is destroyed by a supernova explosion. This and similar explosions always cause disorder. However, the Big Bang, known as the most drastic explosion ever to have taken place, has given way to a space based on extremely precise balances and all the systems therein. This extraordinary balance and order can by no means be explained away by coincidences and it all proves that the entire universe has been created by an exalted and mighty Creator Who is Allah.

Paul Davies, a renowned professor of theoretical physics, calculated how "fine tuned" the pace of expansion after the Big Bang was, and he reached an incredible conclusion. According to Davies, if the rate of expansion after the Big Bang had been different even by the ratio of one over a billion times a billion, no habitable star type would have been formed:

Careful measurement puts the rate of expansion very close to a critical value at which the universe will just escape its own gravity and expand forever. A little slower and the cosmos would collapse, a little faster and the cosmic material would have long ago completely dispersed. It is interesting to ask precisely how delicately the rate of expansion has been "fine-tuned" to fall on this narrow dividing line between two catastrophes. If at time I S (by which time the pattern of expansion was already firmly established) the expansion rate had differed from its actual value by more than 10-18, it would have been sufficient to throw the delicate balance out. The explosive vigour of the universe is thus matched with almost unbelievable accuracy to its gravitating power. The big bang was not, evidently, any old bang, but an explosion of exquisitely arranged magnitude.9

The amazing balance in the universe is thus explained in a scientific magazine:

If the density of the universe matter had been a little more, then the universe, according to Einstein's Theory of Relativity, would never expand due to the attraction forces of atomic particles, and have would have recollapsed to turn into a spot. If the density had initially been a little less, then the universe would have expanded at the highest speed, and the atomic particles would not have been able to attract and capture one another and stars and galaxies would never have been formed. Naturally, we, too, would not have existed! According to the calculations made, the difference between the initial real density of the universe and the critical density beyond which there is no likelihood of its formation is less than a quadrillion of a hundredth. This is like placing a pen on its sharp end so that it can stay so even after one billion years. Moreover, this balance gets more delicate as the universe expands.10 


We are so peaceful on the Earth where we live that we never realize we exist on a tiny planet moving at thousands of kilometers an hour in a boundless, airless cavity. The fact to be kept in mind, however, is that Earth is a special shelter created for man so that he may live thereon.

The famous physicist Prof. Stephen Hawking makes this comment on the balance in the speed of expansion in his book A Brief History of Time:

If the rate of expansion one second after the big bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have re-collapsed before it ever reached its present size.11

As regards this interesting situation Paul Davies states:

It is hard to resist the impression that the present structure of the universe, apparently so sensitive to minor alterations in the numbers, has been rather carefully thought out… The seemingly miraculous concurrence of numerical values that nature has assigned to her fundamental constants must remain the most compelling evidence for an element of cosmic design.12

In relation to the same set of facts, an American professor of Astronomy, George Greenstein, writes in his book The Symbiotic Universe:

As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency–or, rather Agency–must be involved (in the formation of the universe).13

We must conclude, when we examine the glorious system in the universe, that the existence of the universe and its workings rest on extremely delicate balances and an order too complex to be explained away by coincidental causes. As is evident, it is by no means possible for this delicate balance and order to have been formed on its own and by coincidence after a great explosion. The formation of such an order following an explosion such as the Big Bang could only have been possible as a result of conscious interventions at each step. This is the creation of Allah, Who created the universe out of nothing and Who at every moment keeps it under His control and guidance. 


The End of Materialism


Modern science proves the reality of the creation of the universe by Allah, contrary to what outdated materialists philosophy maintains. Newsweek made "Science Finds God" the cover story of its July 27th 1998 issue.

All these facts indicate that the claims of the materialist philosophy, which is simply a 19th century dogma, are invalidated by 20th century science. By deeming everything to consist of nothing but matter, materialism made the great mistake of denying the existence of a Creator Who brought matter into being and ordered it. By exposing the great plan, design and order prevalent in the material sphere, modern science has proved the existence of a Creator Who rules over the material sphere, that is, Allah. The design we encounter in the universe is also revealed in the world of living beings, causing the greatest support of materialism, Darwin»s theory of evolution, to be demolished. 

Materialism could have held sway over a great number of people for centuries, having even disguised itself with the mask of "science" in the 19th century. Yet it seems that in the 21st century, it will be remembered as a superstitious belief opposing science. Humanity has rid itself of such superstitious beliefs as that the world stands on the horns of an ox, or that it is flat, and so will it rid itself of materialism.

 
    

2. George Politzer, Principes Fondamentaux de Philosophie, Editions Sociales, Paris, 1954, pp.62-63
3. S. Jaki, Cosmos and Creator, Chicago: Regnery Gateway, 1980, p.54
4. Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time: A Reader's Companion (edited by Stephen Hawking ; prepared by Gene Stone.), New York, Bantam Books, 1982, p. 62-63
5. George O. Abel, Exploration of the Universe, Holt Rinehart and Winston, 1975, pp. 665-667
6. Henry Margenau and Roy Abraham Varghese, eds., Cosmos, Bios, Theos, La Salle, IL: Open Court Publishing, 1992 p. 241
7. Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time: A Reader's Companion (edited by Stephen Hawking; prepared by Gene Stone.), New York, Bantam Books, 1982, p. 143
8. W.R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991; originally published by Philosophical Library in 1987, p. 462
9. W.R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991; originally published by Philosophical Library in 1987, p. 405-406
10. Bilim ve Teknik magazine, vol. 201, p. 16
11. Stephen W. Hawking, A Brief History of Time, Bantam Books, April 1988, p. 121
12. Paul Davies, God and the New Physics, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983, p. 189
13. Hugh Ross, Ph.D., The Creator and the Cosmos, Navpress, 1995, p. 76