Last Wednesday we introduced the Latin statement ex nihilo, nihil fit. This phrase simply means “out of nothing, nothing comes” and is a fundamental axiom of both science and theology.
The most important question science can answer is “Why is there something rather than nothing?” To appeal to an unexplained explosion of dense matter or some other reason is to beg the question. If at some point in the past all matter was compressed into an infinitesimally small point, we still do not know from whence this matter came. Even if we want to believe this matter is eternal, we still do not know what made it “bang” and produce the universe. If anything exists now, something, or someone, has to have always existed; otherwise,
there is no logical explanation for why there is anything at all.
In our day, many physicists are happy to believe in some kind of self-creation. They are content to embrace the notion that the universe created itself out of nothingness. This theory is logically absurd. In order for the universe to create itself, it would have to exist before it existed. It would have to “be” and “not be” at the same time and in the same relationship. But how can something that is not a reality make itself a reality? How can nothing turn into something?
Self-creation is illogical, for it violates the law of noncontradiction: “A cannot be both A and non-A at the same time and in the same relationship.” If, as self-creation asserts, something (A) can be something and nothing (non-A) at the same time and in the same sense, then we cannot make any real distinctions or discover truth. By definition, a fact and its contrary cannot both be true; otherwise, truth has no meaning.
Quantum physics, many contend, shows that “nothing” can cause “something” to happen. In atoms, electrons seem to disappear and simultaneously reappear elsewhere without reason. But just because we cannot determine the cause does not mean none exists. However, instead of admitting humbly that we do not yet understand such movements, many arrogantly and illogically claim nothing causes them and, therefore, that nothing can also create the universe.
It is right to believe that the universe was created ex nihilo by God’s word. However, it is not right to think this “nothing” created the “something” we see. The Bible teaches creation out of nothing, which means God created the universe, not out of a preexisting substance, but in a space created by the Creator. Take some time to marvel at God’s work in creation and His ability to do even the most seemingly impossible of actions.