you are here: > UCA > 3. The universe and its origins
 
3.3
Most popular theories on the origin of the universe 
 
  As you would expect from several thousands of years of questioning and thinking, there are thousands of variations on the questions of the purpose, nature and substance of the Universe.  
  Different cultures at different periods in time of human existence have had their own way of explaining an understanding of the Universe. We discuss a number of these in greater detail further into this book.  
  But for all the alternative answers that still exist to the present day, three principle theories fundamentally underline the beliefs of the majority of modern human thought:- o That God (or Gods) created the Universe and was present before the universe was created o That the Universe created itself o That the Universe has always existed.  
Theory (1) That God(Or Gods) Created The Universe  
  The theory that a single "God" , "Gods" or force created the Universe forms the basis of the philosophies of the largest religions currently in the world: o Christianity o Islam o Judaism and even Buddhism.  
  Each of these major religions base their philosophies on the essential belief that God(s) existed before the Universe was created and that God was the architect and creator of the Universe.  
  The theory is popularly described in the "Book of Genesis" in The Bible which describes the Universe being created around human kind and taking approximately six days to complete.  
  If we accept this theory as being possible, discarding the story book account of the actual "how" it was done, then the next question is why? for what purpose did God create the universe?  
  In the Judaic/Christian tradition, the answer of "purpose" of the Universe is in the context of the Universe being created for man. That man is at the centre of the Universe, that all other livings things serve to sustain man, with God ruling in judgment over man.  
  Let us probe the implications and therefore the first of the potential flaws in this "model" -man as the "head lifeform" over all other life forms in the Universe.  
  Statistically, it is impossible to suggest that there are no other life bearing planets in the Universe. For the moment we will not even attempt to argue the precise number, or even offer an "optimistic" number of life bearing planets in the Universe, we know there are literally a billion billion billion stars in the Universe. (For an explanation of why science establishes such a large number, see Ch 10). Lets say for the moment that there are only ten million life bearing planets around older stars and some around younger stars.  
  Next, let us look at the statistical probability of human beings being the most advanced lifeforms of all those life forms on a relatively few (ten million) planets. It is not only improbable, it is statistically impossible to say that human beings would definitely be the highest order life form in the Universe.  
  Not only would this be highly improbable, it shows a complete contradiction in the Judaic/Christian notion of God having a sense of evolutionary hierarchy- man being the most advanced = the closest to God = everything else serving man.  
  To be fair, the Judaic/Christian model would probably have incorporated more if written today, than over 2,000 years ago. Yet it remains a model to which a significant number of humanity still subscribe. Let us therefore look at simply asking the question "why?" again and see what the Judaic/Christian model says.  
  We are told in the Judaic/Christian philosophy on creation that "God created the Universe for man, because God created man in his own image."  
  Again, let us ignore the inconsistencies of God being male instead female, or having no sex at all, let us simply ask the question "why?" again.  
  Curiously, this is where the most popular theory of God creating the Universe breaks down. The Theory returns in on itself to create a circular argument on the creation of the Universe. -why? because man is Gods image -why? so man could exist -why? because God so loved man-why? because man is God's image?-why etc.  
  While some ancient Gnostic and Eastern texts indicate that there may be more practical influences at work than spiritual super-beings, the popularized Christian theory of Genesis never allows us to understand the actual reasoning "behind" the act of creation:- if there was a need? If it was just a whim of a higher power who at any moment could "pull" the rug from under creation and end existence at any moment (hence the development /belief of the concept of a "judgment day" in Judaic/Christian religions).  
  Without discounting the possibility that the sacred and ancient religious texts of Egypt, the Sumerians, Jews and Sth American cultures may in fact contain important understandings of the history of humankind, we are constrained at this point by the interpretation and translations of these texts which talk of the universe and God or Gods. Unfortunately these texts as they are currently interpreted do not provide us an objective workable model on the underlying reasons for the creation of the Universe, as these models continue to contain fundamental circular flaws and missing answers.  
Theory (2) That The Universe Created Itself  
  The second most popular theory of creation is that the universe created itself. That at some point, billions of years ago the Universe (being matter) decided to exist and then did.  
  This theory is more commonly described by the process of the creation of the Universe via the "Big Bang" theory, rather than the question of who or what created the Universe.  
  Contrary to popular belief, the Big Bang theory is not the first theory to consider the possibility that the universe created itself.  
  One of the earliest Ancient Egyptian beliefs on history of creation of the world, over six thousand years old, affirms the belief that the God Neb-er-tcher is the universe and contains within its being all duality- manifest and unmanifest, masculine and feminine, physical and mental. The belief states that its was through the God interacting with itself (described as the act of masturbation and fertilization via its mouth of words and ideas) that the universe sprouted forth.  
  The Maori's of New Zealand and the Sth Pacific have a similar theory of the universe creating itself from an idea in motion, in their most sacred of chants:  
  FIRST PERIOD (thought) From the conception the increase, From the increase the thought, From the thought the remembrance, From the remembrance the consciousness, From the consciousness the desire  
  SECOND PERIOD (night) The world became fruitful; It dwelt with the feeble glimmering; It brought forth night; The great night, the long night, The lowest night, the loftiest night, The thick night to be felt, The night to be touched The night not to be seen, The night of death.  
  THIRD PERIOD (light) From the nothing the begetting, From the nothing the increase, From the nothing the abundance, The power of increasing The living breath It dwelt with the empty space, And produced the atmosphere which is above us...  
  Meanwhile, the Big Bang theory gives us the origin of the Universe as: "Attributes the make up of the stars, of galaxies and planets of originally coming from that defining moment when the Universe came into existence."  
  This theory has developed mainly as the result of scientists using telescopes and increasingly sophisticated measuring devices to probe into the far reaches of known space and discovering earlier and earlier structures in terms of age.  
  The theory supposes that if we were to look backwards towards the original point of the Big Bang we would see younger and younger structures, while if we looked the other way we would see older and older structures.  
  Interestingly, this theory has been described as Godless, in that it supposedly does not include the hand of a "higher" creator at work to create the Universe. But in fact the theory gives the role of the creator to the Universe itself, therefore making the Universe its own creator (its own God) and therefore being both a higher power and the result of its own creation.  
  Surprisingly, the translation of this to the concept that all matter is therefore part of God and therefore God, has not been actively explored by the majority of Big Bang Theorists. Up until the Hubble Space Telescope started to work properly in late 1993, Big Bang theorists had gathered impressive experimental and statistical evidence to support the theory. However, since late 1993, the theory has struck a number of anomalies, with the advent of the refocused Hubble space telescope that has identifying structures in the far reaches of the "younger" universe that appear to be older than the estimated date of when the universe was created.  
  When the question is asked of the theory why did the universe create itself? Sometimes there is no answer and sometimes an answer is inserted such as "because it could."  
  There is no explanation in the theory as to why something should suddenly appear from nothing and spontaneously decide to create itself.  
  In respect to the supporters and believers of the Big Bang Theory (model), it may serve their needs adequately at other levels, such as describing how matter disperses throughout the Universe, the different shapes of stars and therefore galaxies.  
  Our point is that in crucial areas of understanding "before the act of creation, the purpose of creation", the Big Bang model does not provide effective answers.  
Theory (3) That The Universe Has Always Existed  
  The third most popular theory of how the Universe was created (not what or who created the Universe) is the theory that the universe has always existed and that there is no definitive answer of when the universe was created, or even why the Universe was created.  
  This theory is most popular amongst atheists (people who believe there is no God) and parts of the science community.  
  One argument used by the supporters of this model is that at the very smallest workings and the very largest structures of matter, time is meaningless, therefore "technically" it is correct to say that the Universe has existed for all time, therefore always existed.  
  Another argument of believers of this theory is one of pragmatism- "what is the point of trying to find out who or what created what? It exists doesn't it?"  
  Certainly the point of pragmatism is a strong argument. Yet our purpose for any model on creation is to understand who? why? what purpose? We have very real and immediate needs to understand, to overcome the uncertainty and confusion that is wasting so many lives. On these questions, let us look at existing theories on the origins of the Universe.  
   
 
<<Back       Continue>>
 

Copyright © 2010 UCADIA. All rights reserved.