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Did God create The Universe?


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1 minute ago, ksfisher said:

I'd imagine our understanding of the universe and creation could be compared to a bird's understanding of a 747 and the reasons for flying of each passenger on board.  Maybe even less. 

Probably less.

Indeed. As I said, I once held to JFS's literal view of the Creation. As I got older, I figured evolution made the most sense, but I didn't give it much thought. Later, my son was attending a charter school in Utah, and their biology "textbook" was Richard Milton's "Shattering the Myths of Darwinism." I read it and was appalled by how stupid it all was. I'm not an expert, but there were so many logical leaps and factual errors that I called the school and complained about it. Since then, I've done a bit of reading on the subject, and I haven't seen any compelling reasons to reject organic evolution. It is what best fits the evidence (and there's a lot of it); intelligent design, it seems to me, is just an attempt to rationalize a hyperliteralist creationism. 

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6 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

That's assuming we understand what "matter unorganized" means. I'm always wary of people who think the reason they aren't taken seriously by the "mainstream" is that there's some kind of conspiracy to defend orthodoxy. 

True scientists should be very wary of what you describe as "orthodoxy".  Too many fields of science have been corrupted politically motivated funding and on-going narratives carefully maintained and "enforced".  Such as climate hysteria, gender studies, evolution, etc.  Even cosmology!

No assumption here.  We do not necessarily need to understand what "matter unorganized" means.  We either wait for further revelation or we will understand in the next world.  Good chance we knew this in the pre-exisence but in mortality the "veil of forgetfulness" has been placed over our minds.

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2 minutes ago, longview said:

True scientists should be very wary of what you describe as "orthodoxy".  Too many fields of science have been corrupted politically motivated funding and on-going narratives carefully maintained and "enforced".  Such as climate hysteria, gender studies, evolution, etc.  Even cosmology!

No assumption here.  We do not necessarily need to understand what "matter unorganized" means.  We either wait for further revelation or we will understand in the next world.  Good chance we knew this in the pre-exisence but in mortality the "veil of forgetfulness" has been placed over our minds.

Well, at least I now have a better idea of where you're coming from. 

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3 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

Indeed. As I said, I once held to JFS's literal view of the Creation. As I got older, I figured evolution made the most sense, but I didn't give it much thought. Later, my son was attending a charter school in Utah, and their biology "textbook" was Richard Milton's "Shattering the Myths of Darwinism." I read it and was appalled by how stupid it all was. I'm not an expert, but there were so many logical leaps and factual errors that I called the school and complained about it. Since then, I've done a bit of reading on the subject, and I haven't seen any compelling reasons to reject organic evolution. It is what best fits the evidence (and there's a lot of it); intelligent design, it seems to me, is just an attempt to rationalize a hyperliteralist creationism. 

I've got no problems with organic evolution.  No problems with the Big Bang.  I don't see how they could contradict the gospel or God as creator.  The more I learn the more I say to myself "this is brilliant!"  Speciation, in my opinion, is a beautiful process that gives us insight into the mind of God and the care that He has put into His works.  It helps me understand how we, as His agents on this planet, should care for our fellow creatures.   All of it is testimony affirming from my perspective. 

Edited by ksfisher
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4 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

I've got no problems with organic evolution.  No problems with the Big Bang.  I don't see how they could contradict the gospel of God as creator.  The more I learn the more I say to myself "this is brilliant!"  Speciation, in my opinion, is a beautiful process that gives us insight into the mind of God and the care that He has put into His works.  It helps me understand how we, as His agents on this planet, should care for our fellow creatures.   All of it is testimony affirming from my perspective. 

That was always my approach. 

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57 minutes ago, longview said:

But you have not really addressed the increasing contradictions as more observations are being made.  That Big Bang proponents are scrambling to cover for by inventing new cosmological features such as Dark Energy and Dark Matter for which they have zero evidence except with contrived mathematics.

Well, this isn't a science discussion board and so I shan't belabor the point. The particularly striking observation is that there are more, smaller, and more complex galaxies than previous models of galaxy evolution had suggested (https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-02056-5). That's really more an appendage to the Big Bang model but it is an observation that has to be accommodated. And as mentioned in a quote at the end of the article, has one scientist "wondering". For me, it would be shocking to me if such new observations didn't demand accommodation and we had everything figured out. That this challenge exists is scarcely a Kantzian Scientific Revolution. One doesn't toss out the established science just because some veteran antagonist is announcing victory laps in the news.

Bring it back to a more LDS idea, it would be like tossing out LDS models of Church History because it was learned that some libraries near Palmyra had more snippets of books previously thought inaccessible to Joseph. As a consequence long time critic of the Church xxx announces that he was right all along and everything the Church says is rubbish.

In both cases, I find the response premature and entirely unjustified. Nonetheless, to each their own.

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4 hours ago, longview said:

Because Big Bang proponents have not a clue about the pre-conditions for the Big Bang?

You were affirming what @InCognitus was saying:  "What the James Webb telescope shows, according to a NASA source, is that the universe doesn't originate from a single point:  "The Big Bang happened everywhere at once and was a process happening in time, not a point in time.  In other words, there is NO definite location within the expanding universe where the point of singularity can be found (I can agree with that).  However Big Bang proponents had been using the "Red Shift" phenomena as evidence for, well, the Big Bang!  Please review my post above for alternative cosmologies ably presented by Eric Lerner.  He shows how Big Bang proponents are madly scrambling to account for ever more contradictions as more observations are being made.

I said "How so compelling!" to express my sarcasm.  The Big Bang can only produce a finite universe (with finite number of intelligences) and definite starting point for time but an uncertain ending point (a possibility for finite time?).  The point of singularity is finite.  The resulting Big Bang cannot be infinite.

On the other hand, we have the Gospel as restored by Joseph Smith.  It definitely teaches of endless generations of the Gods and the work will NEVER end.  Therefore the universe has to be infinite and the number of intelligences has to be infinite.   It is even taught that ALL intelligences (you, me and future spirit children) are co-eternal with God).  It is the purpose of God to invite intelligences to participate in the Plan of Happiness and thus enable ever greater dominions and endless generations forever and ever (no end to infinity).

I have read Lerner. I am very unconvinced. He makes a big deal about scientists ignoring electro-magnetism which is just untrue. He also makes patently untrue statements in the book I read about the Universe’s expansion. The one I remember most is his claim that the Universe isn’t old enough for stars that are further away to be visible because they are so far that light could not travel to us in the timeframe of the Universe. After reading that I chucked the book. If an amateur like me sees how incredibly wrong it is I have a hard time believing that a professional would make that argument in good faith.

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On 8/14/2022 at 2:26 AM, Saint Bonaventure said:

What you've written here hits right at the differences between Latter-day Saint's theology and Catholic theology.

The Word being made flesh and dwelling among us--the Incarnation of the Son--is a condescension of God so that Jesus is both fully God and fully man and lived in a particular place and at a particular time. 

If you feel like going on an adventure, I suggest Doctrine and Covenants section 93. You may find certain things to relate to, and other things to be unrelatable. I can't predict in advance which will be which.

On 8/14/2022 at 2:26 AM, Saint Bonaventure said:

I'm fuzzy on intelligences; I'm having thoughts of you saying maybe that angels or pre-mortal human essences are/were unembodied and then were embodied. I'm definitely confused.

From DC 93, here's a verse that discusses the origin of Man and Intelligences:

29 Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.

As for angels, LDS theology holds that angels are children of God, the same as we are, but they have been raised to a different status. Also, that certain angels were mortals who lived on the earth, but who have received assignments to interact with mortals in the carrying out of God's will. The following is from the Wikipedia article about angels, and is part of the article that pertains to LDS beliefs about them:

"Latter Day Saints believe that angels either are the spirits of humans who are deceased or who have yet to be born, or are humans who have been resurrected or translated and have physical bodies of flesh and bones. Joseph Smith taught that "there are no angels who minister to this earth but those that do belong or have belonged to it." As such, Latter Day Saints also believe that Adam, the first man, was and is now the archangel Michael, and that Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah. Likewise the Angel Moroni first lived in a pre-Columbian American civilization as the 5th-century prophet-warrior named Moroni."

 

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@Metis_LDS I don't claim to be an expert in the long running debate between Lerner and his preferred plasma cosmology. Is Lerner the only one you are seeing who is proposing that the JWST "wrecks" the Big Bang Model? (His name is the only one that comes up in my internet searches). From what I understand, Lerner has long rejected the Big Bang, and has long been relegated to the fringe of cosmology. I kind of hate going after the person instead of the arguments, but it seems to me that if a longtime, fringe opponent of the Big Bang is the only one "panicking" about the JWST data, then I see no reason to take him very seriously. In past evolution debates here, I have been accused of being a "sucker" taken in by the scientific "establishment." In keeping with that position, I will take Lerner's ideas under advisement as an interesting fringe position, but will wait until more mainstream cosmologists take up his arguments.

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49 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

I will take Lerner's ideas under advisement as an interesting fringe position, but will wait until more mainstream cosmologists take up his arguments.

I think you are wise to wait for others.  All I was trying to point out is that observations so far are not what was expected.  I always fell that in getting funding for these types of expensive projects the Science people do a sales job.  This one was "we will see near the being of the universe" I am not a science person in anyway but when I saw that James Webb images were more of the same as the Hubble telescope, (better images and things we could not see thru dust but basically the same) I got a really strong feeling that something was wrong.

Edited by Metis_LDS
clarity
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19 minutes ago, Metis_LDS said:

All I was trying to point out is that observations so far are not what was expected.

It makes sense to me that new technology will reveal things that we didn't expect. I am reminded of a previous thread (I cannot get the site's search engine to find it) that started with a headline like "new discovery in hominid evolution throws everything we know about hominid evolution in doubt" as if we had made some discovery that was going to completely refute evolution. Upon further investigation, the headline (like Lerner's headlines) was vastly sensationalized and way overstated the discovery. I don't recall specifics, but basically some hominid fossil find was either in an expected place or there was something else about it that was outside of what the current hominid evolution models predicted. But it did not throw all of hominid evolution into doubt, just required tweaking the theories and models a little.

I will not be at all surprised if JWST provides data that is not expected. I expect that when such data comes in, it will require some minor tweaks to our best guess models, but I would not expect complete refutation of the standard model.

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2 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

I will not be at all surprised if JWST provides data that is not expected. I expect that when such data comes in, it will require some minor tweaks to our best guess models, but I would not expect complete refutation of the standard model.

Okay,  but remember that these are the people that came up with Dark Matter and have spent 100's of millions looking and not finding any proof.

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On 8/12/2022 at 3:31 PM, DT_ said:

In 2011 Reuters reported, " God’s mind was behind complex scientific theories such as the Big Bang, and Christians should reject the idea that the universe came into being by accident, Pope Benedict said on Thursday. "

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pope-bigbang-idUSTRE7052OC20110106

I have some questions for believers.

Was Gen 1:3 describing the creation of the Universe or the Earth? Or was the language of Genesis 1 merely metaphorical? 

Please share your opinions.

 

God certainly created the world and what we currently can see, but not from nothing. Everything is either energy or matter, which God organizes. It is speculation as to whether God created the universe, as perhaps the universe has always existed.  And predates God. But this has not been revealed. God has certainly stated He has created a lot beyond our world.  Hopefully, we will find out in the next life all the facts. 

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On 8/21/2022 at 8:05 PM, Metis_LDS said:

OPPS!! Looks like the James Webb Telescope will upset the apple cart.  What it sees wrecks the Big Bang Model.

https://mindmatters.ai/2022/08/james-webb-space-telescope-shows-big-bang-didnt-happen-wait/

Cool!

But I'd say that it is very early days to make such a sweeping conclusion. Plenty of problems stump astronomers and physicists already and existing data does not support a lot of things that we have believed.

One of the things that has made me question the BB theory as it stands is this whole idea of the universe emerging from that singularity. Black holes may evaporate over time (Hawking), but if the entire Universe is inside a singularity, how does it start expanding?? Gravitation should keep it right there. Right? Of course, physicists get around this by saying that gravity didn't exist until a certain amount of time after the bang started. So it couldn't hold it all together, because it didn't exist. Which is very counter-intuitive, and sounds like a coping mechanism.

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8 hours ago, Metis_LDS said:

I watched the video, the evidence seems to be her saying no over and over,  I was not moved.

It's a YouTube short. Have you not run into those yet? It repeats until the heat death of the universe (and maybe a bit afterwards). In case you missed it, she was saying this was just a teaser for her full video which will be coming out soon (like this week or next week). She's an Oxford University PhD astrophysicist, by the way, and isn't exactly some dilettante who calls himself Stargazer. There's a little authority there, a bit of knowledge, and perhaps some expertise. 

The point of posting the short was tell you that there are other scientists who are not falling all over themselves desperate to debunk the Big Bang. Or wanting to make headlines and a name for themselves using flashy headlines with the word "Panic!" in them.

It doesn't matter whether you were moved or not. It's not a Beethoven sonata. Whether you're moved or not is immaterial -- what counts is truth. It happens that I like the Big Bang, because it confirms my biases. But if the BB turns out not to be a fact, I'd shrug my shoulders and move on, because the truth is what I care about most.

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On 8/17/2022 at 10:03 AM, ksfisher said:

I've got no problems with organic evolution.  No problems with the Big Bang.  I don't see how they could contradict the gospel or God as creator.  The more I learn the more I say to myself "this is brilliant!"  Speciation, in my opinion, is a beautiful process that gives us insight into the mind of God and the care that He has put into His works.  It helps me understand how we, as His agents on this planet, should care for our fellow creatures.   All of it is testimony affirming from my perspective. 

I don't understand sometimes, or all the time in life ;) how people that believe in evolution or the big bang theory, become Atheist. Because who is behind the big bang????

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30 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I don't understand sometimes, or all the time in life ;) how people that believe in evolution or the big bang theory, become Atheist. Because who is behind the big bang????

Stephen Hawking, a famous atheist and physicist, has said that it happened through random chance: "I think the universe was spontaneously created out of nothing, according to the laws of science."

Which is actually harder to believe than anything Joseph Smith ever came up with. Or was told.

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On 8/21/2022 at 8:05 PM, Metis_LDS said:

OPPS!! Looks like the James Webb Telescope will upset the apple cart.  What it sees wrecks the Big Bang Model.

https://mindmatters.ai/2022/08/james-webb-space-telescope-shows-big-bang-didnt-happen-wait/

More to come.

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On 8/12/2022 at 6:03 PM, Rivers said:

According to classical theism as I understand it, there needed to be a First Cause for the universe to come into existence.  If every cause is contingent on another cause, the First Cause had to be caused by something uncreated and self-existent.  And that uncreated something is God.  So yes, God Created the universe.  
 

And I don’t believe this line of thinking necessarily conflicts with Restoration theology.

It does.  How then was God "caused"?   The argument goes back to Aquinas

And we cannot deduce "causes" when all see is correlation- see Hume on causation.  One event followed by another- and we perceive the first event as "causitive" through inductive reasoning- without any logical connection.

All we get to know about is what the human brain can fathom- the idea of a first cause is nothing anyone has ever experienced- see the usual Rorty quote below.

Quote

 

 " To say that the world is out there, that it is not our creation, is to say, with common sense, that most things in space and time are the effects of causes which do not include human mental states.  To say that truth is not out there is simply to say that where there are no sentences, there is no truth, that sentences are elements of human languages, and that human languages are human creations.

 

 

 

Furthermore it would require a God who was completely transcendent- that means NOT part of the universe itself.  He would have to be "outside" the universe in order to "Cause" it-  God could not have a material body- "refined matter" or not- and of course we know that even spirit is matter- so pre-existent matter is crucial to the existence of the universe. No spirits in the pre-earth life! 

God could not be our "Father" if he could not be part of a chain of "fathers" either.  Who/ what was the "First God/Father"?  Seeing God as the Organizer is the basis of most of our doctrines.   It is also the way Hebrews in the OT saw it- as I read it God "defined" light and darkness, land and sea etc as part of "opposition in all things-" also which is the height of human reasoning.   He "Called" things into existence through the Word, representing human reasoning through the Messenger.

Just look up "first cause" and find all the arguments against it.

https://iep.utm.edu/hume-causation/#:~:text=Hume argues that we cannot,nothing more than this certainty.

Edited by mfbukowski
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On 8/13/2022 at 5:11 AM, CA Steve said:

I thought we believed that matter was eternal and if so, how could the LDS God create the universe? Don't we believe that God organized it?

Yes, He organized it.

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On 8/13/2022 at 5:46 PM, Rivers said:

But where did the chaotic matter come from? 

But that begs the question that it DID come from somewhere or someone- a first cause. But logic does not point to a first cause, all the arguments are inductive.  But unfortunately we have no evidence either way. 😕

 

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On 8/13/2022 at 6:26 PM, Saint Bonaventure said:

The Word being made flesh and dwelling among us--the Incarnation of the Son--is a condescension of God so that Jesus is both fully God and fully man and lived in a particular place and at a particular time. 

Yep, that is in fact my paradigm.

I believe that the Father self determined himself to be immanent, the greatest sacrifice that made the atonement possible 

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