How Everything Began
THE CONVENTIONAL STORY
Look up at the night sky, full of stars and planets. Where did it all come from? These days most scientists will answer that question with some version of the big bang theory. In the beginning (or before the beginning, if you will), you will hear, all matter in the universe was concentrated into a single point (known as a singularity) at an extremely high temperature, and then it exploded with tremendous force. From an expanding superheated cloud of sub-atomic particles, atoms gradually formed, then stars, galaxies, planets and finally life. This litany, having assumed the status of revealed truth, is elaborated in countless text books, paperbacks, slick science magazines and television specials complete with computer generated effects.
As an exciting, mind grabbing story it certainly works. And the big bang theory does seem to be based on factual observation, and the scientific method.
The big bang theory, though appealing and apparently plausible, literally
collapses when confronted with one gnawing question: where did the singularity
come from? Here the scientists face the same difficulty as the religionists they
taunt with the question, `Where did God come from?' And just as the religionists
respond with the answer that God is the cause of all causes, the scientists are
faced with the prospect of declaring a mathematically indescribable, physically
unrealizable point of infinite density and temperature, of infinitesimal size,
existing before all conceptions of time and space, as the cause of all causes.
At this point, the hapless scientists stand convicted of the same unforgivable
intellectual crime that they have accused the saints and mystics of committing -
making physically unverifiable supernatural claims.
An open-minded thinker now has to choose between two options about the origin
of everything - a dead insentient unintelligent singularity or a living thinking
intelligent designer. Neither of these is `scientific' in the sense in which the
term is presently used; in fact anything which is beyond the realm of space and
time is actually beyond the jurisdiction of science. Therefore an approach of an
entirely different nature is called for to deal with this question.
A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE
`To observe a chain of events only from a certain point in time is unscientific and gives only incomplete knowledge. We must know where things begin. If we carry out our investigations far enough, we will find that the origin of nature is achintya-shakti (inconceivable energy).'
Eloquence, it is said, is truth spoken concisely. The eloquence of Srila Prabhupada, the greatest exponent of spiritual science in the modern times, can be seen in these words. In these few words, Srila Prabhupada has captured the essential flaw of the entire scientific methodology, as propounded by modern science. He has also delineated the fundamental basis of research in higher dimensional science.
Srila Prabhupada provides the philosophical basis for such an approach with a beautiful analogy. When a person accustomed to living in darkness suddenly comes upon light, he is likely to think that the darkness has produced light. The truth however is exactly the opposite. Light is the origin, the beginning and the absence of light is known as darkness. So light is the source of darkness and not the other way round.
Similarly, the modern scientist is accustomed to dwelling in the world of matter, studying electrons, atoms, molecules, and other such insentient nonliving things. And when he stumbles upon life in a complicated combination of matter, he automatically tends to think that life has come from matter. But no one has been able to come up with even a theory to explain how life came from matter, leave alone replicate such a `lucky accident' in the laboratory!
On the other hand, our practical experience shows that an intelligent living
person can easily create a variety of things; a carpenter creates a bureau, a
civil engineer makes a skyscraper, an automobile engineer produces a Mercedes.
There is absolutely no experience of the raw materials aligning by themselves
into a useful product. Just imagine what would happen to the unemployment rate
worldwide if that happened!
THE OBVIOUS CONCLUSION
The point is that it is far more logical, rational, reasonable and even scientific (used in the broadest sense) to infer that the starting point of everything was a living person rather than a dead singularity. Lord Kelvin, one of the world's greatest physicist, has stated this same conclusion in these profound words, `If you think deeply enough, you will be forced by science to believe in God.'
Also a thoughtful person can decide which doctrine to embrace based on what
the consequences of that doctrine will be. In the previous issue, Treason
against humanity', we discussed how a purely materialistic conception of life is
individually frustrating, socially disastrous and globally unsustainable. (When
we reject either God or the soul as `unscientific' and thus relegate
spirituality to the realm of mythology, such a result is inevitable)
DID MAN CREATE GOD?
Of course, it should be emphasized that the conception of God is not a `survival mechanism' that the evolving man came up with to succeed in his struggle for existence. The wonders of creation all around us bear eloquent testimony for a super-intelligent creator. Organs of extraordinary complexity in our own body such as the eye and the brain defy all reductionistic explanations. In Darwin's own words, `To suppose that the eye could have been formed by evolution, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.' The incredibly delicate ecological balance in nature, the mind-boggling magnitude of the solar energy and thousands of similar fantastic facets of the world insist that there is an intelligence behind them. (Refer to the previous issue A giant in a tiny package') In simple words, man did not create God; rather God created man and everything else.
In this issue, we discussed how even accepting that a big bang occurred, there is ample scientific room to consider that `God might have caused the big bang.' In subsequent issues, we will discuss whether the big bang is actually a scientifically admissible theory at all and, even if it is, what it requires to get from the big bang to where the universe is at present. Do join us as we continue on a journey that expands the frontiers of science and even goes beyond them.
Join us again for another session of thought-provoking discussion.
The Spiritual Scientist
Investigating Reality from the Higher Dimensional
Perspective of Vedic Wisdom