Question: "Is the universe eternal?"
Answer: The Bible makes it clear that the universe is not eternal, that it had a beginning, and that the beginning was its creation by God (Genesis 1:1). This truth has been denied by philosophers and pseudo-scientists who have come up with a variety of different theories in an effort to “prove” the eternality of the universe. Further, atheists will say that matter and energy are eternal, following the first law of thermodynamics—“Energy can be transformed (changed from one form to another), but it can neither be created nor destroyed.”
Philosophically, why do we have something rather than nothing at all? If the universe had a beginning, then it must have a cause, and therefore cannot be eternal. And every drop of evidence we have points to the universe having a beginning, but this truth is not something welcomed by naturalists and atheists. Numerous scientifically minded atheists have expressed a desire to find a loophole to the scientific fact that the present order of nature had a beginning. Unfortunately for them, such a loophole does not exist. Here are five proofs that the universe is not eternal:
(1) The universe is running down, and something that is running down must have started at some point. The second law of thermodynamics states that the universe is running out of usable energy and if you doubt this, look in the mirror (you’re aging and running down just like everything else).
(2) The universe is expanding. This was confirmed through the Hubble telescope many years ago, and it is interesting to note that the universe is expanding from a single point, meaning the entire universe could be contracted back into a single point. Also, note that the universe is not expanding into space, but space itself is expanding.
(3) The radiation echo was discovered by Bell Labs scientists in 1965. The radiation echo is thought to be the heat afterglow from the Big Bang. Its discovery dealt a death blow to any theory of the universe being in a steady state because it shows instead that the universe had a spectacularly dynamic beginning—easily associated with God’s creative act.
(4) Galaxy Seeds. Scientists believe that, if the Big Bang is true (first, there was nothing, then, BANG, something came into being), then temperature “ripples” should exist in space, and it would be these ripples that enabled matter to collect into galaxies. To discover whether these ripples exist, the Cosmic Background Explorer – COBE – was launched in 1989 to find them, with the findings being released in 1992. What COBE found was perfect/precise ripples that, sure enough, enable galaxies to form. So critical and spectacular was this finding that the NASA lead for COBE, said, “If you’re religious, it’s like looking at God.”
(5) Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity means that the universe had a beginning and was not eternal as he had previously believed (Einstein was originally a pantheist). His theory proved that the universe is not a cause, but instead one big effect—something brought it into existence. Einstein disliked his end result so much that he introduced a “fudge factor” into his theory that allowed for an eternal universe. But there was only one problem. His fudge factor required a division by zero in his calculations—a mathematical error any good math student knows not to make. When discovered by other mathematicians, Einstein admitted his error calling it “the greatest blunder of my life.” After his acknowledgment, and upon confirming further research that showed the universe expanding just as his theory of relativity predicted, Einstein bowed to the fact that the universe is not eternal and said that he wanted “to know how God created the world.”
Further, it should be understood that every effect must resemble its cause. This is because, simply put, you cannot give what you do not have, so it is impossible for an effect to possess something its originating cause did not have. That being the case, how can one believe that an impersonal, amoral, purposeless, and meaningless universe accidentally created beings that are full of personality, morals, meaning, and purpose? Only mind can create mind. In the end it is either matter before mind or mind before matter, and all scientific, philosophical, and reasonable evidence points to the latter.
In conclusion, we find that all scientific evidence points to the fact that the universe had a beginning, just as the Bible states, and that a Cause must exist that resembles all we know today. As Lord Kelvin, a British scientist once said, "If you study science deep enough and long enough, it will force you to believe in God."