February 5, 2012
Updated and Expanded April 27, 2014
I’m going to take an agnostic point of view to muddle through the complex ideas and theories behind a creator god and the Universe and try to come to some conclusions with my own personal understandings and why I hold them as literal and practical approaches to questions that have long been unanswered and probably will remain officially unanswered for a long time to come. It’s at this great paradox that many people simply give up and accept one thing or another. I think that the insecurity of not knowing or not believing is too much of a weight to carry for most individuals and that letting go of the burden of the question (whether it is concluded as true or not) seems to be their only viable option to carry on in life feeling better about themselves and the world they are caught up in.
It would be incredibly difficult and time consuming to venture through every known theistic religion and discern between their varying beliefs, to decipher which is likely to comply with my perceived notions of what is logically possible or true and what is not. For this reason, I don’t want to touch any one specific religion and instead will throw all religiously labeled preconceptions aside and approach this with a raw perspective of the nature of a creator god and the Universe. Essentially, spell out how a creator god could or could not exist and what role the Universe holds.
Before I even begin, I’d simply like to say, with the utmost honesty and humility that I wish I was much more educated in the field of science, more specifically in microbiology, genetics, neuroscience, physics and astronomy. If you wanted to understand the relationship between human beings and the Universe and what the nature of that relationship is, I think these fields are invaluable. No one knows what the future holds, perhaps one day we will be able to prove or disprove the existence of a creator god and if we do, I’m convinced one or more of these fields will play a major role.
We first must figure out the enigma of a god. Immediately, we have to throw away every humanized theory of a god’s identity. An entity that has created the whole of the Universe, from quasars to the elementary particles within subatomic particles and everything in-between, would not be human-like. Humans are but one small grain of sand on a beach full of incalculable grains of sand. The probability that a god that created something so immeasurable, would look so specifically like one of its youngest of creations is unlikely. The tendency for human beings to believe that their creator looks like them is a psychological desire. To make us feel important and special. To make us stand out among so many other created things, to justify our perception of being more important or valuable. It’s simply human neediness and shameless arrogance.
In order for god to have created the Universe, it would have to predate the Universe. All the understandings we have for the Universe, all the known laws and theories would not necessarily have to apply to a creator god, for it would be above and beyond them. God’s appearance could be something we have never seen before, shapeless and formless to our knowledge. Simply put, human beings would not be able to comprehend or manifest an image of what a creator god would look like because all our preconceptions would be based on things we or our ancestors have only seen before. Also note that I have tried to refrain from referring to this creator god with a gender. Giving a supernatural being a gender would suggest that there are others like it. God would not need to be male, unless there are females.
To further explain, gender is directly connected to reproduction. If there is only one creator, it cannot be one gender and not another. Therefore, either god is ungendered and asexual or there is more than one creator god, each of which is creating and destroying the Universe simultaneously, in every solar system, every galaxy and possibly every Universe because as some astrophysicists believe, there is actually a multiverse – where our universe is merely one of an incalculable number.
So if god is not human-like and not gendered, then what is it? Sometimes in order to understand something we must first understand what it does. If something is being created and something is doing the creating, then the product of that creation must most certainly be made of that which is doing the creating. If this creator god is creating and destroying the Universe, the particles that make up the Universe must also make up the creator. For example, carbon is on the periodic table, when added to other chemical molecules it can create something new. Carbon is made of atoms and these atoms are made of subatomic particles, themselves discernible from one another by elementary particles which are currently the smallest known particles to exist, the most recent of which was the Higgs boson. And those particles may be made of even smaller particles not yet discovered. The point is that everything in the Universe is made of something else and when you break them down, you discover that everything is actually many things connected together, giving the illusion of being one solid thing.
Any creator god would definitely need to be made of the same particles that it is creating. And there in lies a great problem. Where did these particles come from? Where did the particles that the creator god is made from originate? Sadly, it’s an endless question because once you figure out where or when the particles were created, you must ask why or how they were created and so on and so forth.
At this point I can state, that if a creator god existed, it would either be nongendered or it would be one of many creator gods coexisting in the multiverse. I could say that the term god would be synonymous with particles because we know that everything is made of smaller things. So I should instead say that this creator particle(s) is creating and destroying the universe and possibly many other universes simultaneously.
I think that for a lot of theists (people who believe in god) they have trouble wrapping their minds around the notion that god is more element than human-like because it destroys that humanistic character that so many give it. Believers want their god to understand them, to love them, to care about their well-being, etc. Much like a parent or family member would do. Psychology has made attempts at explaining why human beings throughout history have created these enigmas and the bones for those theories support that human beings are trying to sate their primal desire for acceptance, security, guidance by manifesting a sort of uber-imaginary parent or friend, much like children sometimes do when they yearn for social interaction. Life is hard and it’s a great comfort for people to think that there is someone out there, who is all-powerful and all-knowing watching over them and who is doing what it believes is the best for them.
If the creator god(s) is, or is made of, something like elementary particles, then most of the omnipotent powers humans give to this creator would be nullified. It could not know everything, be everywhere at once, etc. Its very level of consciousness would be in question. It would not speak English, if it could verbally speak at all. A verbal language would require a voice box or larynx, which would then require a body and we already discerned that it is not human and nor do I see possible for it to be anything Earthly animalistic, because it would have to be capable of existing in zero gravity and in otherwise inhospitable locations throughout the universe, such as inside stars as they are born.
If god is the source of everything, then it must contain the information to create everything. Just as I said earlier, in order to understand what something is, you should first understand what it does. If the creator god is elementary particles that create and destroy, it should therefore somehow contain the information to do these things. I disavow the notion that a creator god “knows” all things, I think instead such a being would rather retain the information of all things in existence and hold the ability to create things not yet known. Think of it this way, a creator god would contain or be source code and when it creates something the code becomes binary. The creation is then capable of certain actions or knowledge based on that binary code and then performs or utilizes that knowledge by reading the binary code.
Or one could also say that the creator god or particles are like the DNA of the multiverse. Retaining all the knowledge required to create and destroy, but not an actual living entity itself. When that knowledge or energy is spent or as something is created, the creation inherits some of that knowledge, the capabilities of action and/or thought. As DNA is indeed code, organic code.
The trouble here is that now we have code as a creator, who must then also been created or have some sort of origins. It’s like that chicken or egg debate. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? An egg (which is a reproductive mass of cells) cannot exist without a living thing in which it is formed. Therefore, the chicken came before the egg, but then where did the chicken come from? According to evolution, we know that birds are genetically related to reptiles and that reptiles evolved from amphibian like creatures that came from the oceans. And we can continue to go back until we get to micro single-celled organisms. So the real question should be, where did the micro-organisms that first inhabited the Earth come from? A theory suggests that they traveled here on asteroids that impacted with the Earth during its initial formation and colonized, because we know that micro-organisms can exist on asteroids and other space material, but we do not know how they get there.
The next question would be where did these micro-organisms come from out in space? Is there some sort of wellspring of life somewhere in the center of the universe? Are there numerous wells, spewing out the particles needed to create life? Is the creator god a celestial wellspring of elementary particles?
After all this inquiry about creation and creators, what of destruction and destroyers? We know that according to the nature of the Universe, everything that is created is also ultimately destroyed and in that void of apparently nothing, there comes into existence new matter and new life. Where there is matter ceasing to be, there is anti-matter. And if that wasn’t enough there is also dark matter. People confuse the terms dark matter and anti-matter as one in the same. Actually, dark matter is not intended to be ominous, the term dark simply refers to its inability to be seen with modern telescopic instruments. Dark matter does not react to light or radiation, the only way we know that it exists is due to its interaction with gravity. Some scientists believe that this dark matter is what holds things together by gravitational pull, that dark matter is made of elementary or some unknown particles that have not yet been discovered because we are not yet technologically capable of isolating those particles.
And so what of anti-matter? What is it and what role does it play as the destructive force in the universe? Is it a part of the creator god, is it separate? It’s difficult to say how any of this could fit together, two apparently opposing sides. In that theoretical evaluation I am reminded that creation and destruction truly go hand-in-hand, they are two sides of the same whole. Anti-matter does exactly as its name would suggest, it eliminates matter. If you were to touch anti-matter particles, your hand would disintegrate. In the Universe, the most powerful examples of anti-matter are known as black holes. These form after the death of stars and absorb all matter within their gravitational pull, until eventually they explode. Some scientists believe that this is how the Universe perpetuates itself, that when black holes explode they cast out particles and energy (known and perhaps even unknown) that through gravity re-collect into new types of mass that eventually form stars, planets, etc. Some theorize that this is how the Universe began, what they call the Big Bang Theory. My unanswered question about that theory is how and why did the big bang occur, what set it off? New research into black holes suggest that most, if not all, actually evaporate rather than explode.
The transcending thread in this writing is particles and energy of some sort or another and in some way or another. If there is a creator god or gods, they are made of these particles and energy and they are creating and destroying, using particles, all things within this Universe and in the greater multiverse. It is highly unlikely that this particle(s) and energy, if you will, is a conscious being, rather instead this source contains the information required to create, sustain and destroy all things that are known and things yet to be known and does not require consciousness. It must only retain the information to create and destroy and also not be anything tangibly discernible in its physical nature, only a source of power in its recycled energy.
If you are theistic, a believer in a creator god or if you are agnostic and unsure of what to believe or if you are an atheist such as myself, I am hoping that this writing can offer everyone something. Thoughts to chew around on within your own mind, digest and perhaps draw your own conclusions about a creator god and the Universe we call home. I’ve long taken the approach that in life we must question everything because learning is essential to our existence and the future. Knowledge is such a powerful tool, it is invaluable and when we learn and use that knowledge it becomes something that not only betters ourselves as individuals, but changes the world and leaves it better than when we first experienced it. Knowledge in use becomes wisdom.
This essay is available as an audio track on SoundCloud: