Physicists believe our universe began with a “Big Bang” about 14 billion years ago. The evidence suggests that the universe was infinitely hot and infinitely dense before it rapidly expanded, resulting in the still-expanding universe of which we are a tiny part.
But the physicists don’t know why the Big Bang occurred or what, if anything, existed before it. Maybe an earlier universe collapsed upon itself and then bounced back in a tremendous explosion. Maybe our universe resulted from some kind of random quantum fluctuation — or from a really cool experiment carried out by a kid with blue skin and 12 eyes.
Another hypothesis, of course, is that God kicked off the Big Bang. I wouldn’t bet on that, but you never know (although you might get to know if you ever join the choir invisible).
It’s also been suggested by some physicists that a black hole in another universe may have had something to do with the beginning of ours. The latest theory along those lines is that a star in a universe with four spatial dimensions (not our familiar three) ended its life as a supernova, creating a 4-D black hole at its core and simultaneously ejecting some debris out into 4-D space. Our universe could be a 3-D sliver of this 4-D cosmic debris. Or something like that.
Something immediately struck me when I read an article about this latest theory. It wasn’t the plausibility of the theory, which I’m almost completely unqualified to judge. It was the sudden feeling that we’ve now figured out why the Big Bang occurred. And no god had anything to do with it! It’s just the cosmos and us after all!
If I were religious, this momentary reaction might be understandable. But I’m not. So why did the idea that there’s no god out there pulling strings make me feel suddenly lonely? I guess it’s hard to escape your upbringing, no matter how old you get. And all that space out there can make a person feel a little bit alone, even on a planet with 7 billion people and 3 billion internet users.
Of course, God could have created that other universe that gave rise to ours, or the even earlier universe that gave rise to that one, or the one that came before that other one, and so on and so on, but somehow it’s just not the same once universes start giving birth to new ones all by themselves.