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Recently I came across an article that caught my attention. Since the title was a question, and one that I felt was worth grappling with, I have used it as the title of this blog, as well: Was Our Universe Created in a Laboratory?
The original article was written by Abraham "Avi" Loeb. He is an Israeli-American theoretical physicist who works in the field of astrophysics and cosmology. And Loeb is no lightweight. He is the Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard University, and is the former chair of that department.
Over the years, various cosmologists have wrestled with questions about the origin of the universe. Most of these folks are, or have been, committed Naturalists. Naturalism is the belief that the natural universe, operating by natural laws, is all that exists. It is a religious belief (based on faith), not a scientific one. With that as a starting point, people who hold that belief dismiss, out of hand, the idea that God might have created the natural universe, or, indeed, that God even exists. Based on their belief, there has to be some natural explanation for the existence of the natural universe.
Of course, as of now, there is no scientific explanation for its existence, but that does not keep them from speculating about how it could have naturally come to exist. Various scientists have proposed such ideas as emergence from a vacuum fluctuation, or repeated periods of contraction and expansion, or the string theory idea of the multiverse, or even that it emerged out of the collapse of matter in the interior of a black hole.
Well, Loeb, being a big believer in extraterrestrial life, has dedicated much of his research to efforts at locating evidence of ETs existence. Using that belief, he has come up with a new idea. He believes that it is possible that our universe was created in the laboratory of an advanced technological civilization. He speculates that since our universe has a flat geometry with a zero net energy, an advanced civilization could have developed a technology that created a baby universe out of nothing through quantum tunneling (whatever that means).
Sometimes when I read this kind of stuff I just have to shake my head. Loeb is obviously a very intelligent person. He is a science professor at Harvard University, for Pete’s sake, and has won all kinds of awards and honors for his scholarship. But an advanced civilization creating our universe in a laboratory? Seriously?
This is just another case of someone who is so committed to his naturalistic worldview that he is willing to go to almost any lengths to protect those beliefs – even to the point of making up wild and crazy theories. Since science has no clue as to how our universe came to exist, and since Loeb so firmly believes that it had to have come about by some kind of natural means, in his mind, even silly theories are better than conceding any possibility that God might exist. He thinks he is acting as a scientist. In reality, he is acting more like a zealot cult leader.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
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