By Guy Cramer
Quintessence, the gas pedal of the Universe
Quintessence is the recent theory put forward and widely accepted among astronomers and cosmologists as the most plausible explanation that the universe is accelerating faster now then in the past, which accounts for the few billion years difference in the assumed age of the Universe with deceleration factored in is as 12 Billion years old, and the age of some stars in our galaxy which appear to be 15 billion years old. This can only make sense if the universe began accelerating recently (in geological time) which makes the 15 Billion year number closer to the correct answer.
I won't go into the confusing theories and new astronomical measurements of objects that has led to the physics involved in quintessence, as there are better-qualified people for this. However the theological questions it raises are interesting.
From Scientific American, Jan. 2001 The Quintessential Universe, Jeremiah P. Ostriker and Paul Steinhardt p.47-53 the following three quotes about Quintessence caught my attention.
- a degree in exactitude that may be reasonable in a mathematical idealization but that seems ludicrous in the real world. This need for almost supernatural fine-tuning is the principle motivation for considering alternatives to the cosmological constant.
-Is it not a coincidence that, just when thinking beings evolved, the universe suddenly shifted into overdrive.
-If the dark energy is vacuum energy, the coincidence is almost impossible to account for.1
Stephen Hawking’s popular book A Brief History of Time has been quoted many time, however his comments on God are some of the most popular
Dr. Fritz Schaefer (a quantum chemist, nominated for the Nobel Prize and was recently cited as the third most quoted chemist in the world.) produced the following three paragraphs about Hawking’s theological comments:
example, he (Hawking) writes, "These laws may have originally been decreed
by God, but it appears that he has since left the universe to evolve
according to them and does not now intervene in it" (p. 122). The grounds on
which Hawking claims "it appears" are unstated and what happens is that a
straw God is set up that is certainly not the God of Biblical history. What
follows is a curious mixture of deism and the ubiquitous God of the gaps.
Now, lest anyone be confused, let me state that Hawking strenuously denies charges that he is an atheist. When he is accused of that he really gets angry and says that such assertions are not true at all. He is an agnostic or deist or something more along those lines. He's certainly not an atheist and not even very sympathetic to atheism.
One of the most famous and quoted statements in the book is, "So long as the universe had a beginning, we could suppose it had a creator [the cosmological argument]… 2
So we can see that Hawking sees the need for a creator, but after the creation point Hawking’s God lets things evolve from then on without interference.
Dr. John Polkinghorne, a quantum physicist, and president of Queens College, Cambridge states,
|“In the early expansion of the universe there has to be a close balance between the expansive energy (driving things apart) and the force of gravity (pulling things together). If expansion dominated then matter would fly apart too rapidly for condensation into galaxies and stars to take place. Nothing interesting could happen in so thinly spread a world. On the other hand, if gravity dominated, the world would collapse in on itself again before there was time for the processes of life to get going. For us to be possible requires a balance between the effects of expansion and contraction which at a very early epoch in the universe's history (the Planck time) has to differ from equality by not more than 1 in 1060. The numerate will marvel at such a degree of accuracy. For the non-numerate I will borrow an illustration from Paul Davis of what that accuracy means. He points out that it is the same as aiming at a target an inch wide on the other side of the observable universe, twenty thousand million light years away and hitting the mark!” 3|
The Quintessence theory provides us with two options contrary to Hawking’s views.
1) A Creator is still active in the Universe after the creation event.
There is no creator
and there are many trillions or more universes that have different properties
than this ours and we exist in the one where everything randomly came together
at just the right time and place to allow, galaxies, stars and planets to form.
An example; Nuclear power is quite safe as the chance of a critical accident per
reactor is 1 per 1,000 years. However if you have 1,000 reactors worldwide then
your chances become 1 accident per year average at one of those reactors at some
location in the world. If there are one Billion Trillion plus universes we
happen to exist in the one that works.
You either have Faith in a Creator or Faith that we are but one miraculous universe out of many, either way requires faith, as we can’t prove dogmatically that Billions of Trillions of universes exist and we can’t prove dogmatically that God Exists. However there is much evidence in the Bible and Nature that the Creator is the God of the Bible. I have personally found the evidence to be much more than reasonable doubt but I also understand that God will not force people to believe in him and direct proof would counter the faith that God asks for. God has always chosen the slow difficult way. Respecting human freedom regardless of the cost.
The ironic part of Quintessence is that faith is required regardless of your stance; this is one of many many many universes we can’t see, or this is the only universe and it has an active Creator. The biggest leap of faith now seems to be that this is the only Universe and it didn’t have a Creator.
At least we have a Bible to prove
or disprove and so far I can't disprove it, in trying to do so I have found
compelling evidence that it is what it claims to be.
The Bible is a book written with foreknowledge of things to come. However, time reversals are impossible, but a Creator who has to exist in more than 10 dimensions (first microsecond of our universe had at least 10 dimensions, thus the Creator must exist in an equal or higher number of dimensions), that creator exists outside of time and can display all the attributes the God of the Bible claims and give this foreknowledge to the authors he chooses?
The scriptures pick up meanings of time that are not necessarily obvious in translation. In the original Hebrew text of the Old Testament, for example, the future is always written in the past tense, and the past is always written in the future tense (Gasque and LaSor 1978, 260-277).
For those of you that think the Bible is mythology or fairytales, re-examine the First sentence in the Bible as see how close it resembles our universe as we have come to understand it in just the last few decades.
"In the beginning (time), God created the heavens (space) and the earth (matter)." Genesis 1:1
© Copyright 2001, Trinity Consulting, All Rights Reserved.
1. Scientific American, Jan. 2001 The Quintessential Universe, Jeremiah P. Ostriker and Paul Steinhardt p.47-53
3. John Polkinghorne, "One World" (London: SPCK, 1987), p.57-58 Ravi Zacharias, "Can Man Live Without God" (Word) 1994, p. 84
© Copyright 2001, Trinity Consulting, All Rights Reserved.