Last time we looked at the Horizontal Cosmological proof for God also known as the Kalam proof. Today I want to explore the Vertical Cosmological proof of God. This is stated as follows:
1. Every finite thing constantly needs something else to exist
2. Everything in the universe is finite
3. therefore the universe constantly needs something else to exist
Now I have to admit that I had some trouble wrapping my mind around this proof. I could follow this proof as it pertained to things on the earth and the earth itself. Realistically I know that I am dependent on my parents for my very existence and I am dependent on the earth for my continued existence. All life on earth and the earth itself is dependent on the sun’s existence. Now where I had a problem was how the universe was dependent on God for its continued existence. It just seemed that once created it was self sustaining.
I tend to have a scientific bent on how I view the universe and that science seemed to stand in the way of accepting this proof. Then science came to my rescue. Over the last two decades scientist have made some amazing observations about the universe. It seems that we are missing some things in the universe, matter and energy.
Our universe has some amazing structures, the various galaxies and nebulae. The problem is there is not enough detectable matter in the universe to keep these structures intact. We are missing matter and the gravitational pull that matter has. Simply put, the galaxies should be coming apart. Now, this missing matter is no small amount, some estimates are that the ordinary matter makes up less that 20% of the matter needed to hold everything together. We are missing over 80% of the matter. In order to compensate for this missing mass, scientists have hypothesized something called dark matter. Dark matter cannot be seen directly with telescopes; because it neither emits nor absorbs light or other electromagnetic radiation at any detectable levels. This is so completely different from the normal matter we are familiar with that we may never be able to detect it, even black holes are detectable as matter is drawn into them.
The other observation is that rather than slowing its expansion the universe is accelerating its expansion.. Once again we have a problem, there is not enough usable energy in the universe to account for the acceleration and once again we are not talking about an insignificant amount. It is estimated that we are missing about 73% of the energy in the universe. Scientists have hypothesized something called dark energy to make up the 73% of missing energy needed to explain the accelerating universe.
So today we are living in a universe without enough mass or energy to explain its structure or expansion. Science is left hypothesizing undetectable matter and energy in order to explain the continued existence of the universe. Bottom line, the universe should not be doing what it is doing and in order to explain it we need some undetectable force.
Now I am not a big advocate of God in the gaps theories. This only creates problems when the gaps in our information are filled, but the need to posit dark energy and matter in order to explain the universe is interesting to say the least. It is entirely possible that at some undetermined time in the future science will be able to detect either dare matter or dark energy or both but for now a mystery remains.
We know that the universe consists of finite matter and energy and therefore the universe itself is finite. We also know the universe had a beginning and eventually entropy will increase to the point that there will be no usable energy left at which time for all intents and purposes it will cease to exist. Something greater than the universe is needed to account for its continued existence. That something is the God of the Bible. The two Cosmological proofs show the need for an infinite, necessary and uncaused being to exist in order for the creation and continued existence of the universe and everything in it, God.
Next time I will look at the Teleological proof, the proof from design. Personally, this is my favorite proof even though it is not as good as the two cosmological proofs it was good enough to cause one of the most influential atheists philosophers of the twentieth century to finally come to the conclusion that there is a God.
Have a blessed day,