Everything in the universe has a purpose. Some purposes are grand, like a star gathering planets in its embrace and covering them with life-giving warmth. Some are less than majestic, like a stone laying still for countless eons within the earth’s crust, serving merely as another small addition to our planet’s mass. Yet everything intertwines, therefore everything is necessary. The brightest stars and the dullest stones could not exist without each other, or infinite numbers of others. Everything that there is needs to be as it is for everything to be.
A Bowl of Starlight
There is a balance to the universe. As Newton said, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Equality is maintained, whether you split a boulder, a star, or an atom. The force used for any action is maintained by something else. Nothing is ever lost. Whether it be energy or mass, everything that there ever was is and will continue to be.
If energy never disappears but transfers continuously throughout time and space, imagine the energy released at the beginning, energy powerful enough to forge trillions of galaxies filled with many more trillions of stars surrounded by clouds of planets. A single moment that set loose everything that exists within the universe, from moons and stars to corduroys and tooth floss. It all stemmed from a single moment, a single release of energy. The whole of existence spun out of an instance. It began.
Even more remarkable is that it began something that does not seem to end. Energy is never lost. The relentless pressure of gravity at the center of the sun fuses hydrogen atoms together, which fusion releases the massive amounts of energy stored within the atoms, which energy is transferred to the sun’s surface and blasted into space as light. This light speeds along its eight-minute flight to earth where it strikes a green leaf. Photosynthetic cells within the leaf change the light energy into chemical energy that feeds the plant (plants literally eat sunlight). The plant, say an iceberg lettuce, is, in turn, eaten by you. Chemicals in your stomach break down the plant to the size of individual sugar molecules that are absorbed in your gut. These sugar molecules provide you the energy needed to read this sentence, breathe day and night, and run a marathon. And that energy started as a ray of sunlight. Actually, it started much further back, because the sun formed in a giant gas cloud billions of years ago, which itself was formed by forces stretching all the way back to that instant when the universe suddenly appeared. Think about that the next time you eat a salad. You are actually eating the beginning of time. Billions of years of actions and reactions led to that salad appearing on your plate. All that was, is and will be.
Eternity is written in the fabric of the Universe. Though we experience time linearly, always moving forward, never staying still and never going back, the simple fact of this energetic equilibrium reveals the eternal quality of things. If energy is never lost, then energy has always been and will always be. Though the universe began in one instant, the energy that sparked it to life existed before. It came from somewhere. Furthermore, as the universe wraps itself back up, the energy contained within it will not disappear. It will go somewhere. This means energy is eternal. It does not stop.
This eternal energy raises a critical question: where did it come from? We know that the universe had a beginning. We know that there was nothing, and then everything that we know appeared suddenly. A magnificent release of energy and matter occurred in an instant, in fact, the first instant of time. So, again, where did that energy and matter come from?
The Eternal Question
This question is the first and last question of both science and religion, though it is inherently non-scientific. It deals with a place, a thing maybe, or even a Person, which cannot be measured, tasted, touched, seen, or heard. Yet because everything began, it had to begin from something. One constant observed throughout the universe is that something only arises from something else. There is nothing that comes from nothing. Yet we cannot test something that existed prior to our scientific understanding of existence. The whole universe has a one-way ticket on the train called time, no one can stop along the way, and no one can see beyond the first station. We can build massive telescopes capable of looking all the way back across time and space, right up to the edge of the beginning, but no instrument will ever be capable of peeking even an inch beyond that. Therefore, the question of the origin of the universe must be answered outside of the boundaries of science.
Many scientists may attempt an answer, and many may believe their answer scientific because strings of acronyms follow their names. Yet the very best a scientist can do to answer is guess. There are no facts to call upon to shed any more light on the truth than those that we observe, and there never will be. A guess is no more rooted in scientific method than the first chapter of Genesis. To believe either proposal requires faith, which returns us to the first words of this article. Everything has a purpose.
Everything that is needs everything that is to be as it is. The universe is intertwined in a cosmic web of need and satisfaction. Though galaxies separate two objects or persons, they would not be as they are without the other. Certainly, the connection may be distant across time as well as space, but the connection still exists, and the connection is still vital. The universe is a grand concoction of infinite actions and reactions spread across the vast track of time, and each one interweaves with each other one. Yet this is not chaos, but the thin tracings of a beautiful master plan.
What these cosmic interconnections boil down to is that everything is related. The entire universe is a picture of relationships. Everything we touch, taste, see, and hear tells us about the intrinsic necessity of relationships. Absolutely all of everything that can be measured and understood screams that relationship is the most important thing in the Universe. The simple reason for this is that relationship is the reason for the Universe. This returns us to the first chapter of Genesis.
The Master Coder
God made the Universe. He coded it. He wrote the laws that govern how everything behaves and grows. He wrote the laws of physics and the laws of life. He did all this so that He could have a relationship. He designed the entirety of the Universe so that there would be Man, for Man was to be His image. Man was shaped by the laws God laid out. God’s laws, His coding so to speak, led all creation to its culmination in Mankind. We were formed from the clay, wrought by time and law, into these intelligent creatures on two legs. There we stood in the place where God peeled away the layer between His world and ours, the place where two dimensions intersected, the Garden of Eden. There in the Garden, He breathed His life into us. He breathed eternity into us. He made us in His image.
This should not shock even the most hardened Atheist, so long as he is even mildly interested in computer science. Here in these last decades, the whole world has discovered a truth that existed from the beginning of time. The law creates. The law builds. The law gives life. After all, what is computer code but written law? What do we do with computer code? We build Universes!
Sure, what we have so far achieved does not even come close to what surrounds us, but we have only begun, and our growth in this has been exponential. We rapidly approach that dark day when we will code beings like us. We will make man in our own image, male and female we will create them, and these will make us a god more powerful than our image. But I will say more on this elsewhere.
The point we discover as we dig deep into the story of creation is that all things were made for a reason, and that reason is a relationship. We were made to be with God. He made us for Himself, not that we would be his servants or sycophants, but that we would become His bride. His Word, the Bible, shows us clearly that a bride is not less than a groom, but simply that they each serve different roles. Yet the picture He paints over and over again in the Bible is that Mankind is made to be His bride in an incredible relationship of absolute love. Thus, we find the ultimate reason for the Universe, which is Love.