The Meaning of Life–Where Did We Come From?

In our look at the meaning of life, we asked the question: Where did we come from? With the help of some science we’ve just seen where the universe came from. The Theory of Relativity shows us there must have been a First Cause for the universe. This First Cause we call God. From this we concluded God must be eternal, infinite, omnipresent, omniscient, immaterial, transcendent, self-existent, unchanging, and personal.

But what about we humans? Where specifically did we come from? We turn to the Bible’s answer in Genesis:

Genesis 1:26–28 (NLT):
26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. AdamAndEveThey will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” 27 So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Genesis 2:7, 18-24 (NLT):
7 Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person…
18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” 19 So the LORD God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. 20 He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.
21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.
23 “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’ ” 24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.

There is a lot here to unpack, but today we are only interested in man’s creation. Some people, even Christians, think of this tale as symbolic, a nice story, but an unlikely sequence of events. It’s beyond their experience that any living thing could be made simply from “ground” or “dust”. Yet that’s exactly how the Bible describes the process.

Does it matter if Adam and Eve were real people and that the events of Genesis 2 happened as described? I submit that it does. And in subsequent posts I will present arguments from the fossil record and evidence from DNA and elsewhere to show that science actually supports Genesis’s description of man’s creation.

Yet even without this evidence, why would we think that a God who could create the universe from scratch—in a single instant—could not also “form” a fully grown man—in an instant—using elements from the earth? Would such a feat be beyond God? We’ve already shown God is omnipotent. Omnipotence means he is all-powerful, able to perform any act not contrary to his nature. I submit: For such a supreme Being, creating man from dust should be “child’s play”.

Thus we conclude that all of mankind are children of this first couple. From them we inherited both “God’s image” and their fallen nature. We’ll talk more about this later. For now, we have an answer to our first question on the meaning of life: Where did we come from?

But now we must address the world’s answer to the question of man’s creation—evolution. For the next three posts, we’ll look at the arguments against evolution. That will be the end of our “science posts”.

Science Tells Us About God’s Attributes – Part II

Last time we saw how the Theory of Relativity predicts that the Creator of the universe must be eternal, infinite, omnipresent, immaterial, and omniscient. Now we’ll finish our list of God’s attributes that relativity tells us the Creator must possess.

E. God is Transcendent & Self-existent.

Relativity says that the First Cause of the universe came from a place outside of and apart from all time, space, and matter. Existing apart from the universe in a state of supremacy is the definition of being transcendent. Thus God is transcendent. Also, the First Cause of the universe had to be self-existent, meaning it wasn’t dependent on anything else. This too is an attribute of God.

F. God is Unchangeable.

To our list we can add another quality—being immutable or unchangeable. How do we know God cannot change? Because anything that is infinite and eternal is, by definition, unable to be changed.

Consider infinity for a moment. Infinity is defined as the set of all numbers to which one cannot add one or take one away. It includes everything. If you can’t add anything to it or take anything away from it, it cannot be changed. This also tells us why God cannot in any way be physical or material.

Let us ponder a collection of DVDs. Now let us collect all the DVDs in the world and put them in a line. Can we always add one more DVD to our collection? Yes. Can we always remove one from it? Again, yes. So no matter how we try, we can never amass an “infinite” set of DVDs. It’s simply impossible. The set will always be finite. This is why there can never be an “infinite” set of any physical thing. This applies to anything made of matter—to atoms, to grains of sand, to DVDs, and even universes. (Aye, laddie. The multiple universe theory doesn’t work.) It’s impossible for a set of finite things ever to become infinite. And because it can’t be added to or subtracted from, it’s unchangeable.

We can also apply this rule to time. If history is merely a collection of days, then adding one more day to today gives us tomorrow. We can always add another day to history. Thus, time is finite, not infinite. This is called the Kalam Cosmological Argument and is yet another proof that time had a beginning.

Thus The First Cause of the universe, the God who is infinite and eternal, must be unchangeable.

The Bible tells us much about God’s unchanging nature. From Psalm 102:25–27 (NLT): “Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands. They will perish, but you remain forever; they will wear out like old clothing. You will change them like a garment and discard them. But you are always the same; you will live forever.”

The Dutch theologian Herman Bavinck tells us there is a great difference between the Creator, which is pure Being, and the creatures God made, which are always becoming. The Creator is immutable, unchanging. But, says Bavinck, “Every creature is continually becoming. It is changeable, constantly striving, seeks rest and satisfaction, and finds this rest in God, in him alone, for only he is pure being and not becoming.”

Science Tells Us About God’s Attributes – Part I

Last time we saw how the Theory of Relativity gave us powerful, verified, conclusive proof that all time, space, matter, and energy arose from nothing. It told us that these four are forever intertwined and must exist together. And “before” they existed, there was—nothing.

Now we’ll see how science tells us about God’s attributes and confirms the Bible.

The agnostic astronomer and Director of the Mt. Wilson Observatory, Robert Jastrow, wrote of this, “Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover… That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.”

So relativity and the Big Bang support Genesis 1:1: “God created the heavens and the earth.”

But if we look closely at these conclusions, we learn something astonishing. We can now derive something of God’s nature. In our search for the meaning of life, it seems we have just stumbled across a description of the Creator, partial though it may be. Here are the attributes relativity predicts for God:

A. God is Eternal

Let us consider time alone. Physicist Stephen Hawking says time is inextricably bound with space and matter. One can’t exist without the other. Astronomer Hugh Ross explains that relativity requires a cause for the universe that is outside of and apart from all time space and matter. Now ponder the moment before all time, space, and matter came into being. What do we call a place without time, where there is no yesterday, today, or tomorrow? We call it eternity. Thus, science tells us God must be eternal.

And that’s exactly what the Bible says. From Revelation 1:8 (HCSB): “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘the One who is, who was, and who is coming, the Almighty.’” And from Psalm 90:2 (HCSB): “Before the mountains were born, before You gave birth to the earth and the world, from eternity to eternity, You are God.”

B. God is Infinite & Omnipresent

Now let’s look at space and matter, also inextricably linked. They too were created from a place outside of and apart from all time, space, and matter.

So what do we call a place with no length, width, or height—a place without boundaries? Where there are no atoms or molecules—a place with no limits on weight or form? We call such a place infinity. So science also tells us God must be infinite. From this it follows that a God who is infinite is also omnipresent—present everywhere at once.

The Bible agrees with both points. From Psalm 139:7-10 (HCSB): “Where can I go to escape Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol [Hell], You are there. If I live at the eastern horizon or settle at the western limits, even there Your hand will lead me; Your right hand will hold on to me.”

And from 1 Timothy 1:17 (HCSB): “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”

C. God is Immaterial.

We can now make a third conclusion. The First Cause that made the universe cannot have been matter, since it itself created matter. Thus the First Cause (God) must be immaterial. From the above passages we see that the Bible agrees God is immaterial. It says he is an invisible God and spirit. A God who is spirit is not material.

D. God is Omniscient

Note that if God sits outside of time and space—because he himself created these things—then he has the ability to view any section of time and any physical location. He can be anywhere and he knows the future. Thus relativity predicts that God will be omniscient.

And of course this is what the Bible says. From Isaiah 46:9-10 (NLT): “Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.”
And from 1 Corinthians 2:7 (NLT): “No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began.”

We’ll stop here for now. But we’re not done with what relativity predicts for the attributes of the Creator. Next time we’ll examine the rest.