According to Geisler and Turek, a number of scientific discoveries come down on the side of the cosmological proof rather than the steady state hypothesis. To assist in remembering what these are, the authors have provided the acronym SURGE.
“S” stands for the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The Laws of Thermodynamics stipulate that, within the universe, there is only a finite amount of energy and that over time this energy is dissipated into disorder or entropy.
From this, both the scientist and the theologian must come to similar conclusions. If there is only a finite amount of energy in the universe, by definition there had to have been some kind of starting point or things would have already reached maximum entropy in ages past. Yet we find that we are still here.
This alone is enough to cause the Steady State house of cards to come crashing down. However, from the remainder of their acronym, Geisler and Turek provide the apologist with additional lines of scientific evidence attesting to a moment of creation.
The letter “U” stands for universal expansion. In 1920, Astronomer Edwin Hubble deduced from the red shift in light that the universe is expanding outward from one particular point.
Traditionally, those embracing the idea of God creating the universe have held the notion of the Big Bang at arm’s length. The concept must be handled with caution because if one is not careful one can end up with a less than Biblical cosmology where matter is as eternally existent as God and not dependent upon Him for its existence. However, the expansion of the universe is itself a confirmation of the laws of thermodynamics as it points to a definitive point of creation because, if the cosmos was infinitely old, the universe would have collapsed back on itself by now.
The “R” in SURGE stands for “radiation” from the Big Bang. Discovered in 1965 by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, cosmic background radiation was left over from the moment of creation and has not yet dissipated (81).
Yet another aspect of the cosmic background radiation attesting to a deliberate intelligence at work in the universe is the concept of “galactic seeds”, which serve as the “G” in SURGE. According to the theory of cosmic background radiation, this energy signature would not be uniform across the backdrop of space but instead be scattered about in concentrated pockets.
Geisler and Turek write, “These temperature ripples enabled matter to congregate by gravitational attraction into galaxies (82).” These seeds themselves attest to deliberation, as Geisler and Turek further elaborate, “The ripples show that…the universe was precisely tweaked to cause just enough matter to congregate to allow galaxy formation but not enough to cause the universe to collapse back on itself (83).”
The “E” in SURGE stands for Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. According to Geisler and Turek, the theory posits a need for an absolute beginning for space, time and matter since these are interdependent with one not being able to exist without the others. It was because of the theory of relativity that scientists were able to discover the expanding universe, cosmic background radiation and galactic seeds (84).
Despite the marvels of nature, a number of those most familiar with its technicalities and implications continue on in their unbelief. For example, some such as Robert Atkins attempt to evade the matter of how matter came about. In his “Creation Revisited”, Atkins postulated origins derived from mathematical points swirling about in nothingness which Ravi Zacharias pointed out to him after a debate moderated by William F. Buckley were actually something (80).
Others such as Robert Jastrow admit, “Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proved by their own methods that the world began abruptly in an act of creation…That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.” Yet according to Geisler, these minds continue on in their agnosticism despite the evidence. Hence the name of Giesler’s book “I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist”.
The theist might be ready to let his guard down to rest thinking a decisive victory has been scored in the apologetic encounter. However, the battle is far from over.
For while the cosmological argument brings the unbeliever into a more theistic orbit, it hardly brings him to the embrace of a creator that cares about His creation or even relates to it on a personal level. The reluctant theist might even attempt to save face by countering that, even if some force or entity we have come to refer to as God set the universe in motion, what we see around us including ourselves is the result of random chance and deterministic consequences spanning back millennia.
By Frederick Meekins
Norman Geisler and Frank Turek. “I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist.”