Who created God? It is an age-old question that has plagued all those who like to think about the big questions. Having grown up as an agnostic non-Christian, it provided me with a potential reason why there might not be any god. Various religions tend to solve the problem in different ways. The LDS church (Mormonism) says that the God (Elohim) to whom we are accountable had a father god, then grew up on a planet as a man, and progressed to become a god himself. Many other religions have claimed that gods beget other gods. Of course the problem with this idea is how did the first god get here? This problem of infinite regression invalidates such religions. Christianity claims that God has always existed. Is this idea even possible? Does science address such issues?
Christianity answers the question of who made God in the very first verse of the very first book, Genesis:
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1)
This verse tells us that God was acting before time when He created the universe. Many other verses from the New Testament tell us that God was acting before time began, and so, He created time, along with the other dimensions of our universe:
- No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. (1 Corinthians 2:7)
- This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time (2 Timothy 1:9)
- The hope of eternal life, which God... promised before the beginning of time (Titus 1:2)
- To the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:25)
The idea that God created time, along with the physical universe, is not just some wacky modern Christian interpretation of the Bible. Justin Martyr, a second century Christian apologist, in his Hortatory Address to the Greeks, said that Plato got the idea that time was created along with the universe from Moses:
"And from what source did Plato draw the information that time was created along with the heavens? For he wrote thus: 'Time, accordingly, was created along with the heavens; in order that, coming into being together, they might also be together dissolved, if ever their dissolution should take place.' Had he not learned this from the divine history of Moses?"1
God exists in timeless eternity
How does God acting before time began get around the problem of God's creation? There are two possible interpretations of these verses. One is that God exists outside of time. Since we live in a universe of cause and effect, we naturally assume that this is the only way in which any kind of existence can function. However, the premise is false. Without the dimension of time, there is no cause and effect, and all things that could exist in such a realm would have no need of being caused, but would have always existed. Therefore, God has no need of being created, but, in fact, created the time dimension of our universe specifically for a reason - so that cause and effect would exist for us. However, since God created time, cause and effect would never apply to His existence.
God exists in multiple dimensions of time
The second interpretation is that God exists in more than one dimension of time. Things that exist in one dimension of time are restricted to time's arrow and are confined to cause and effect. However, two dimensions of time form a plane of time, which has no beginning and no end and is not restricted to any single direction. A being that exists in at least two dimensions of time can travel anywhere in time and yet never had a beginning, since a plane of time has no starting point. Either interpretation leads one to the conclusion that God has no need of having been created.
Why can't the universe be eternal?
The idea that God can be eternal leads us to the idea that maybe the universe is eternal, and, therefore, God doesn't need to exist at all. Actually, this was the prevalent belief of atheists before the observational data of the 20th century strongly refuted the idea that the universe was eternal. This fact presented a big dilemma for atheists, since a non-eternal universe implied that it must have been caused. Maybe Genesis 1:1 was correct! Not to be dismayed by the facts, atheists have invented some metaphysical "science" that attempts to explain away the existence of God. Hence, most atheistic cosmologists believe that we see only the visible part of a much larger "multiverse" that randomly spews out universes with different physical parameters.2 Since there is no evidence supporting this idea (nor can there be, according to the laws of the universe), it is really just a substitute "god" for atheists. And, since this "god" is non-intelligent by definition, it requires a complex hypothesis, which would be ruled out if we use Occam's razor, which states that one should use the simplest logical explanation for any phenomenon. Purposeful intelligent design of the universe makes much more sense, especially based upon what we know about the design of the universe.
What does science say about time?
When Stephen Hawking, George Ellis, and Roger Penrose extended the equations for general relativity to include space and time, the results showed that time has a beginning - at the moment of creation (i.e., the Big Bang).3 In fact, if you examine university websites, you will find that many professors make such a claim - that the universe had a beginning and that this beginning marked the beginning of time (see The Universe is Not Eternal, But Had A Beginning). Such assertions support the Bible's claim that time began at the creation of the universe.
God has no need to have been created, since He exists either outside time (where cause and effect do not operate) or within multiple dimensions of time (such that there is no beginning of God's plane of time). Hence God is eternal, having never been created. Although it is possible that the universe itself is eternal, eliminating the need for its creation, observational evidence contradicts this hypothesis, since the universe began to exist a finite ~13.8 billion years ago. The only possible escape for the atheist is the invention of a kind of super universe, which can never be confirmed experimentally (hence it is metaphysical in nature, and not scientific).
- Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?
- The Extradimensional Nature of God
- The Universe is Not Eternal, But Had A Beginning
- General Introduction for Non-Believers
- Missing the Obvious
- Extreme Fine Tuning - Dark Energy or the Cosmological Constant
- Justin Martyr. Hortatory Address to the Greeks, Chapter 33. Quoted from Plato's Timaeus Part 1.
- "Uncomfortable with the idea that physical parameters like lambda [cosmological constant] are simply lucky accidents, some cosmologists, including Hawking, have suggested that there have been an infinite number of big bangs going off in a larger 'multiverse,' each with different values for these parameters. Only those values that are compatible with life could be observed by beings such as ourselves." Glanz, J. 1999. AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY MEETING: Hawking Blesses the Accelerating Universe. Science 284: 34-35.
- "The conclusion of this lecture is that the universe has not existed
forever. Rather, the universe, and time itself, had a beginning in the Big
Bang, about 15 billion years ago." Stephen Hawking
The Beginning of Time.
Penrose, R. 1966. An analysis of the structure of space-time. Adams Prize Essay, Cambridge University.
Hawking, S.W. 1966. Singularities and the Geometry of space-time. Adams Prize Essay, Cambridge University.
Hawking, S.W. and G.F.R. Ellis. 1968. The cosmic black-body radiation and the existence of singularities in our universe. Astrophysical Journal 152: 25-36.
Hawking, S.W. and R. Penrose. 1970. The singularities of gravitational collapse and cosmology. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A: 529-548.
Last Modified May 17, 2011