If every effect in nature has a cause, what is the cause of nature itself? Who or what put the matter and energy into the universe? Is it even remotely reasonable to suggest that nature created itself? If for even a single instant there was nothing in existence—no matter, no universe, no God—then how could there be anything at all? When events occur—we see a huge crater where level ground used to be, a famous movie star is found with his head cut off—we immediately ask what caused these things to happen. It would hardly be considered a reasonable or scientific explanation to say, “Well, they just happened. There is no cause.” We know that something caused the crater to show up. We know that someone cut off the movie star’s head. We may not know the identity of the person who committed the act, but we know that someone did it.
Similarly we may not know what kind of creator made the universe, but we do know that it was made, and that someone made it. Our world looks so physical, and yet we know with scientific certainty that it was the result of a force beyond physics. This is the literal meaning of the term metaphysics—that which is after or beyond physics. Science has discovered a reality that it had previously consigned to the domain of faith. But today it takes no faith to recognize that the origin of the universe is metaphysical. The universe that came into being in a primeval explosion fifteen billion years ago did not cause itself. It was caused or created, which means there had to be a creator. To that creator we give the nameGod.
It seems at this point that we have established the existence of a creator, but nothing can be known about the nature of that creator. I submit that this is not so. Many attributes of the creator remain unknown or hidden, but there are some conclusions that we can rea- sonably draw from what we know. As the universe was produced by a creative act, it is reasonable to infer that it was produced by some sort of mind. Mind is the origin of matter, and it is mind that produced matter, rather than the other way around. As the universe comprises the totality of nature, containing everything that is natural, its creator must necessarily be outside nature. As the creator used no natural laws or forces to create the universe, the creator is clearly supernatural. As space and time are within the universe, the creator is also outside space and time, which is to say, eternal. As the universe is material, the creator is immaterial, which is to say, spiritual. As the universe was created from nothing, the creator is incomprehensibly powerful or, as best as we can tell, omnipotent.
Is the cosmos all there is, or was, or ever will be? Of course not. That idea is complete nonsense, and from a man who should have known better. The laws of nature give “no hint” of a divine plan or creator? How could Steven Weinberg have made an assertion as foolish as that? To the dogmatic atheist, it seems like science fiction, or a recur- rent nightmare. But there’s no getting around the scientific fact. The finding of modern physics that the universe has a beginning in space and in time meets E. 0. Wilson’s litmus test for one of the most important scientific discoveries ever made. It provides, for all who take the trouble to understand and reflect upon it, powerful and convincing evidence of the existence of an eternal, supernatural being that created our world and everything in it.