Demystifying the Mysteries of Life: The Origin of the Cosmos

Feature Article of Sunday, 21 April 2013

Columnist: Owusu-Ansah, Emmanuel Sarpong

By Emmanuel Sarpong Owusu-Ansah

We were told as children and catechumens that the universe was created by a Creator God, but we were made to understand that if we sought to establish the origin of the Creator God by hook or crook, we would go mad; and so we should never entertain such subjects in our minds. Scared of losing my head, I avoided any conversation on the origin of God.

It is quite obvious today that the reason we were told not to contemplate the origin of God, was to demonstrate how difficult it was and still is to understand or establish the source of existence. But as an adult, I still believe, from personal experience, that there is an iota of truth in that scary statement. Thus, seeking, by all means, to know the origin of the First Cause or existence could have unpleasant psychological consequences, particularly if one is not mentally prepared.

The number of theories put forth to explain the origin of the universe or to attempt a solution to the puzzle regarding the origin of the cosmos are quite many. However, only two are given very serious attention or consideration. Call them the mainstream theories as they are widely published in various books, journals, newspapers, etc., and cited in the works of academics in the field and those in other academic disciplines, as well as the general public.

Again most of the debates on the origin of the cosmos revolve around or centre on these two ideas. They are: the Big Bang theory (the scientific viewpoint) and the Creationist theory (which of course is the religious and somewhat philosophical position).

THE BIG BANG THEORY states that the universe was once a hot gravitational singularity, which exploded or expanded exceedingly rapidly from its hot and dense state. In other words, all the matter of the universe was present at a single place in the form of extremely hot and dense ball. After the passage of billions of years, this hot and dense entity experienced a massive blast (expansion). All the matter which was concentrated at one place scattered into space with unimaginably rapid speed. This scattering was along all directions taking the shapes of galaxies (stars, gases, dust and dark matter), rocks and other entities.

What the big bang theory evidently seems to suggest is that the universe came into existence at a certain point in time, roughly 13 to 20 billion years ago. What it fails to explain is where that singularity or the original hot ball that exploded and formed the universe came from, or how it came into existence. Is that entity infinitely old, or has it always existed? Was it created by someone or something else? Etc. These questions are yet to be resolved by the exponents of the Big Bang theory.

One other big question is: did humankind and animals with a body so fragile also emerge from that massively hot and dense entity that the Big Bang theorists propose? It is extremely difficult to comprehend how living beings could have emerged or attained their origin from an entity with a temperature estimated to be approximately 1000 trillion degrees Celsius at just a tiny fraction of a second after the supposed explosion?

And even if the Big Bang theory is credible, it accounts for or explains not the origin but the evolution or progression (development) of the universe. The Big Bang theory, as a matter of fact, is logically impossible and thus flawed. It has in fact been admitted by some scientists that there is no physical model that can explain the earliest moments of the universe’s existence due to a lack of a consistent theory of quantum gravity.

CREATIONISM or THE CREATIONISTS THEORY maintains that the universe is the handiwork or creation of a supernatural being. It explains that the universe is intelligently designed and created for a purpose by a Supreme Being of supreme mind. Creationism does not only attempt a justification of the existence of such a being but argues that it has no beginning and no end – it exists of itself/herself/himself; it is timeless.

One of my subsequent articles will focus on Creationism’s arguments aimed at establishing or proving the existence of a ‘Primus Motor’ – Prime Mover or First Cause (God).

Despite the soundness of some of the arguments posited by creationists or theologians such as Thomas Aquinas, Augustine of Hippo, and Anselm of Canterbury to explain the origin of the universe and the nature of the Supreme Being, it is still hugely difficult to comprehend how an entity can exist of itself or out of nothing.

Again unlike the Big Bang theory which seems to have some amount, even if minute, of empirical evidence, the creationist concept cannot be subjected to empirical verification. It relies enormously on theoretical arguments and faith.

However, proving the origin of the universe through reason alone may not be a significant limitation since according to renowned rationalists such as Rene Descartes, Emmanuel Kant, Gottfried Leibniz, and Baruch Spinoza, it is through reason or rational analyses, that humankind could arrive at the objective truth.

Despite its marked limitations, Creationism, in my personal opinion, is much more convincing than the Big Bang proposition, as the former explains the First Cause and existence in a more logical and coordinated way (as we shall see in my subsequent articles) than the latter. In other words, Creationism is more consistent with the harmonious and purposeful nature of the cosmos than Big Bang which creates the image of a doomed universe; a universe with chaotic beginning and no purpose.

I will endeavour, in my next two articles, to reconcile the Big Bang theory and Creationism, and to highlight the arguments posited by creationists to prove the existence of God.

Emmanuel Sarpong Owusu-Ansah (Black Power) is an Investigative Journalist, a researcher, an educator and the author of Fourth Phase of Enslavement (2011) and In My End is My Beginning (2012). He may be contacted via email ([email protected]).