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Would God Create a Gigantic Universe?

Large Universe

Some critics claim that if God existed, then the universe would not be 13.7 billion years old or be 93 billion light years across as it is currently. Hasn’t science shown that this immense universe was not created for us but that we are an inconsequential part of an uncreated universe?

The problem with this argument is that science can show us only the universe’s dimensions; it cannot reveal any meaning or lack of meaning inherent in those dimensions. In response to this argument, the believer can simply ask, “Why can’t God choose to create a magnificent and grand universe like ours?” The critic might respond that God wouldn’t use such an inefficient process like cosmic and biological evolution and would instead create life instantaneously.

Is Efficiency the Best?

 
But the inefficiency of creating a grand universe would be a problem only for a being that is limited in time and resources. For example, after I completed my graduate studies I drove across the country without stopping, because I didn’t have a lot of time or money to spare (especially after draining my student loans). But if I wasn’t starting a job for six months and had just received a large inheritance, I might have gone on a long, scenic trip instead.

In the same way, because God has unlimited time and resources (due to his being eternal and omnipotent), there is no difficulty in him making a grand cosmos for human beings. It’s not as if God loses track of us in the expansive universe he created. Moreover, the human brain is the most complex thing in the universe, so why not think that God made a grand universe for such brains to explore?

Moreover, how does the critic know with confidence that God would not create a world like ours? Suppose God made a very tiny universe with just our solar system in it. Would the typical atheist think, in contrast, that such a world proves God exists? He might just as plausibly argue that if God existed, surely he would have created something grander. A small and simple universe, he might argue, is precisely what we would expect if it simply popped into existence from nothing, without a cause. As C. S. Lewis put it, “We treat God as the policeman in the story treated the suspect; whatever he does will be used in evidence against him.”1

Finally, if God chose to create human life through the evolutionary process, then billions of years would be required for the process to culminate in the emergence of human beings. If the universe were static during that time, then it would collapse due to the strength of gravity. Only an expanding universe that eventually becomes billions of light-years in diameter would allow the universe to be life-permitting for the time that is required for intelligent life to evolve.

Is the Center the Best?

 
Other critics claim that Copernicus’s discovery that Earth revolves around the sun “de-throned” the special place human beings possessed at the center of a geocentric, God-created universe. However, the reason the earth resided at the center of the universe in the older geocentric model was not because it was special. It was because it was basically just heavy junk.

According to Aristotle’s view of the world, heavier materials such as Earth would fall closer to the center of the universe. Earth was considered the heaviest of the four elements followed by water, fire, and air. It would make sense that our planet would form in the basin of the universe where all the dirt collected, while the more glorified stars made of light and fire would exist higher up in the universe.

In his commentary on Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “[I]n the whole universe, just as the earth which is contained by all, being in the middle, is the most material and ignoble among bodies, so the outermost sphere is most formal and most noble.”2 Far from making human beings insignificant, later astronomical advances have liberated human beings from residing in the most “ignoble” spot of the universe.

So, in conclusion, neither the location of human beings in the universe nor the size of the universe they inhabit constitutes proof that God did not create the universe.
 
 
Originally posted at Catholic Answers. Used with author's permission.
(Image credit: Mysterious Universe)

Notes:

  1. C.S. Lewis. Miracles. (HarperCollins, New York, 1996) 79.
  2. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Aristotle's 'On the Heavens,' Book II, Lecture 20, Section 485. It’s important to remember that the Church has never asserted that the physical descriptions of the universe provided by Aristotle or Aquinas were infallible and unchanging Church teachings.
Trent Horn

Written by

Trent Horn holds a Master’s degree in Theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville and is currently an apologist and speaker for Catholic Answers. He specializes in training pro-lifers to intelligently and compassionately engage pro-choice advocates in genuine dialogue. He recently released his first book, titled Answering Atheism: How to Make the Case for God with Logic and Charity. Follow Trent at his blog, TrentHorn.com.

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  • David Nickol

    Moreover, the human brain is the most complex thing in the universe, so why not think that God made a grand universe for such brains to explore?

    This reminds me of something I saw recently (a remark, or possibly a cartoon caption): "The Miss Universe Pageant is rigged! It is always won by someone from Earth!"

    Of course, we don't know what the most complex thing in the universe is, because we haven't explored the whole universe.

    So, in conclusion, the neither the location of human beings in the
    universe nor the size of the universe they inhabit constitutes proof
    that God did not create the universe.

    Personally, I think it would be foolish to make the arguments Trent Horn criticizes here. If there is a Creator, he could have created a "universe" that consisted only of our solar system, with the earth as the very center and the sun and planets revolving around it, or he could have created a multiverse of such scope as to make our currently known universe as insignificant as one grain of sand on a beach.

    But of course Trent Horn (and Christianity in general) still does put the human race at the very center of creation. After all, our brains are the most complex things in the universe! Apparently, the entire universe was created just for us, even if we occupy a tiny space that is not at the center. And God himself became a human being, just for us. If what Trent Horn doesn't contemplate is the case—that there is life elsewhere in the universe, even living creatures with more complex brains than ours (if they have "brains")—those creatures will still have to face the fact that God became a human being—not a Vulcan or a Krell or a Kryptonian or a Dalek. So as Christianity sees it, human beings really are extraordinarily special. We may be specs in an out-of-the-way part of an immense universe, but God did it all for us, appears quite obsessed with us, and became one of us (and still is one of us). Christianity has accepted that the earth isn't the physical center of the universe, although it did so kicking and screaming, and there are a still some holdouts. But the human race is considered the "pinnacle of creation," and the "Fall" is claimed (at least by some) to have affected all of creation.

    • Loreen Lee

      Yes, and then comes along the Copernican revolution, not only in physics/ cosmology, but in philosophy, so that since Kant we may say that although the universe is no longer 'geocentric' it possibly is becoming more and more 'ego'-centric! grin grin.

    • Geena Safire

      Jesus did say there were other sheep that were not of his flock. That could mean that there could be other inhabited planets with ensouled creatures. Maybe Jesus has to die a lot of times.

      • David Nickol

        Maybe Jesus has to die a lot of times.

        The Catholic Church teaches that the Incarnation could occur only once. If another intelligent race had a "Fall" similar to the human race and was in need of some kind of salvation, some other means would have to be found than the Second Person of the Trinity being incarnated as a member of that race, dying, and rising from the dead. From the Catholic point of view, if there are other intelligent races, they will just have to accept the fact that God (or rather, one person of the Trinity) is a human.

        I think Christianity takes it as a point of pride for the human race that God the Son became a man. (John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.") But it has also been suggested that however many intelligent races there may be in the universe, the human race is the only one that "fell" and needed to be redeemed. Humans may be the only ones who needed a savior. That would not be something to be proud of.

        • Raphael

          Rather, Christians are humbled by the fact that Jesus became man and died for our sins. We are eternally grateful for His sacrifice so that we can avoid the eternal pains of hell. It would be foolish for any intelligent race in the universe to refuse His offer of salvation.

          • David Nickol

            Rather, Christians are humbled by the fact that Jesus became man and died for our sins.

            Well, I think we can agree that they ought to be. But it seems to me Christianity in some respects exalts the human race. Who, after all, is the "Queen of Heaven" and "Mediatrix of All Graces"? Mary, a human woman. If there are other intelligent races in the universe, what will they make of the fact that the Second Person of the Trinity is a human male, and the "Mediatrix of All Graces" is a human female?

            We are eternally grateful for His sacrifice so that we can avoid the eternal pains of hell.

            I thought people chose to go to hell. Are you saying that without Jesus as savior, all of humanity would have gone to hell?

          • Raphael

            What are these "other intelligent races in the universe" you speak of?

          • David Nickol

            What are these "other intelligent races in the universe" you speak of?

            Well, right here on earth we had the Nephilim, the Anakim, and the Rephaim. (Check your Bible.)

            Of course, we don't know if there have been, are, or will be other intelligent races in the universe. But I think it is fair to say that we know now that it is in the realm of possibility. Since it was only in the early 20th century that it was discovered that our galaxy was only one of billions, and most of Christian doctrine was formulated even well before it was realized that the sun was just another star, it is not surprising that Christianity is so "geocentric" and "humancentric." And of course it is always possible that humans are the only intelligent race in the universe, or even that life in even its simplest forms exists on earth alone. And it is also possible that Christianity is true and that the Catholic Church is the "one true church," that it is infallible, and so on. I don't pretend to know.

            But I would say that with the discoveries of the past few centuries and the political and cultural developments, Christianity is beginning to look "dated." It's like the Claudette Colbert movie Cleopatra from 1934, about which I am sure audiences back then must have said, "That is what ancient Egypt looked like," but which we now look at today and say, "Wow, it looks like something from the 1930s!" For example, Mary is still regarded as "Queen of Heaven," but queens are pretty much obsolete in the year 2013, and the idea of heaven as a kingdom with a queen strikes us as rather quaint. I read somewhere (I will try to find it) that Christian heaven is remarkably similar to the Roman Empire, where "intercession" with higher powers was a very important way of operating.

            Now, as I said, far be it from me to say Christianity is not true. I have no idea. But one can hardly blame most people in the 21st century for not relating well to the notion of kings and queens and thrones and many of the other metaphors that Christianity is so often still couched in. Maybe the waning of Christianity is not a result of its being untrue as of Christians for failing to realize it appears "old fashioned" and dated and neglecting to update it in terms that people can relate to today.

          • Danny Getchell

            Faiths which are created in an attempt to be current with the zeitgeist are unfortunately even dodgier. For example. Mormonism, with its futile attempts to find massive Iron Age civilizations in upstate New York. For even dodgier example: Scientology.

          • David Nickol

            Faiths which are created in an attempt to be current with the zeitgeist are unfortunately even dodgier.

            I am not suggesting the Catholic Church or anyone else should create a "new" Christianity. But I do think basic truths have to be reexplained, reinterpreted, or "remetaphorized" when a significant amount of time has passed and there has been dramatic cultural change. Now, I am not sure if it were up to me that I would abandon the word Lord as a title for Jesus, but in times past people understood what a lord was. To 21st-century Americans, however, if you say, "Jesus is our lord," you are saying nothing meaningful to them. The same goes for saying Mary is Queen of Heaven. The first queen that probably pops into the minds of most English-speaking people is Queen Elizabeth II, and to say that Mary is to Heaven what Queen Elizabeth II is to the Commonwealth of Nations doesn't really convey what I think Catholicism wants to convey about the exalted status of Mary.

          • Raphael

            But I would say that with the discoveries of the past few centuries and the political and cultural developments, Christianity is beginning to look "dated." It's like the Claudette Colbert movie Cleopatra from 1934, about which I am sure audiences back then must have said, "That is what ancient Egypt looked like," but which we now look at today and say, "Wow, it looks like something from the 1930s!" For example, Mary is still regarded as "Queen of Heaven," but queens are pretty much obsolete in the year 2013, and the idea of heaven as a kingdom with a queen strikes us as rather quaint. I read somewhere (I will try to find it) that Christian heaven is remarkably similar to the Roman Empire, where "intercession" with higher powers was a very important way of operating.

            Now, as I said, far be it from me to say Christianity is not true. I have no idea. But one can hardly blame most people in the 21st century for not relating well to the notion of kings and queens and thrones and many of the other metaphors that Christianity is so often still couched in. Maybe the waning of Christianity is not a result of its being untrue as of Christians for failing to realize it appears "old fashioned" and dated and neglecting to update it in terms that people can relate to today.

            Your disparagement of Christianity and the Blessed Virgin Mary is just a straw man. I leave you with Gen. 3:15. (Check your Bible.)

          • David Nickol

            Your disparagement of Christianity and the Blessed Virgin Mary is just a straw man. I leave you with Gen. 3:15. (Check your Bible.)

            It seems to me that those Christians who can find a reference to Mary (and Jesus) in Genesis 3:15 can find anything they want to find anywhere in the Old Testament. An accurate translation would be

            I will plant enmity between you and the woman,
            And between your offspring and hers;
            They will strike at your head,
            And you shall strike at their heel.

            There is no justification for identifying the serpent as Satan, the woman as Mary, or "your offspring" as Jesus. It is simply not in the text.

          • Raphael

            The reference to Gen. 3:15 obviously escapes you. Nonetheless, I will pray for your soul this Advent and Christmas. From today's Psalms:

            Because of my brothers and friends
            I will say, “Peace be within you!”
            Because of the house of the LORD, our God,
            I will pray for your good.
            Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

          • David Nickol

            Thanks, Raphael. Whether or not there is a reference to Jesus and Mary in Genesis 3:15, I appreciate the thought.

      • Joe Ser

        God, Angels, Humans, Animals is the understanding Catholic have.

    • [---
      Of course, we don't know what the most complex thing in the universe is, because we haven't explored the whole universe.
      ---]
      We also haven't tested the laws of physics everywhere but we can still speak with confidence about the far reaches of the universe based on our local observations. The claim that our brain is perhaps the most complex seems pretty reasonable since even on our own planet, with all the right conditions, we can not account for another creature like unto us. Life on another planet will likely be spread across a similar spectrum of varying complexity through processes of natural selection and mutation. Such a spectrum of complexity (heavily weighted toward simple in cardinality) will be required for any kind of sustainable biological economy (no matter what planet). And in any such spectrum, we are going to be near the top or at the top.

      • David Nickol

        We also haven't tested the laws of physics everywhere but we can still speak with confidence about the far reaches of the universe based on our local observations.

        It is one thing to assume the laws of physics are the same throughout the universe and quite another to assume the human brain is the most complex thing in the universe. Also, it is different to say our brain is perhaps the most complex thing in the universe and another to say it is the most complex thing.

        I remember reading something by Stephen Jay Gould in which he referred to exobiology (the study of extraterrestrial life) as "that other great subject without a subject matter." Paul Davies had a good piece in the New York Times recently in which he pointed out that we don't have even a clue whether life on Earth is the only life in the universe, or whether life is relatively abundant, or somewhere in between. It is fairly easy to make claims about the human brain compared to other brains of animals on earth. But it is simply impossible to say if there are organisms with brains elsewhere in the universe, let alone how human brains compare.

        It is tempting to think that if there is intelligent life in the universe, intelligent beings will be humanoid. I don't think there is any reason to at all, and yet even some of the best science fiction makes that assumption. (I remember a cartoon from The New Yorker from probably thirty-five years ago that showed a woman at a cocktail party with a huge bouffant hairdo and very large square-rimmed eyeglasses remarking, "They say if there is life on Mars, it won't look anything like us.")

        Of course, if abstract thought is a function of the soul and not the brain, then I don't see why human beings need to have complex brains to be at the high end of the intelligence spectrum! The fact that the most intelligent species on earth also has the most complex brain is yet another indicator that the concept of the soul is unnecessary and that materialism is not "absurd."

      • Argon

        I would greatly appreciate a useful definition of 'complexity' in the context of a human brain compared to say, the internet, the microbiological community of Earth, or something useful, quantifiable metric. I've seen descriptions that mention total neurons, interconnections and the like but these pale in comparison to things like the number of stars or planets in the galaxy or even the number of bacteria in a lake biome that may form a consortium of organisms.

        This is not to say that the human brain has unique capabilities that other brains may not but overall, 'complexity' might not be a useful metric when comparing it to other things in the universe.

    • Dan Carollo

      "human beings really are extraordinarily special."

      But not because of our physical makeup, our place or size in the physical universe --- but rather as a function of God's own prerogative and love. We are not special on our OWN terms, but on God's. And it is not arrogance, but rather awe and humility, to simply accept his own terms for us.

      The discoveries of science itself (even if you accept strong, anthropic fine-tuning) cannot tell us conclusively one way or the other -- whether we're important or not. In the end, it really comes down to a philosophical choice, or which meta-narrative you finding compelling to answer the "ultimate questions".

      Atheists seem to look to the apparent randomness, suffering and waste in the universe to support their meta-narrative. Those who believe in a personal God will point to things like the mathematical elegance of the universe, the existence of other minds, love, goodness, beauty, the hope of ultimate redemption, and the self-authenticating experience of faith as theirs.

      I find that the latter makes the most, complete sense of the entire picture (both philosophically and personally). But again, it's a fundamental disagreement that will have to be waged on some turf other than science itself.

      By the way, even bronze-age ancients or Greco-Romans understood their smallness and contingency in the face of the universe...

      Psalm 8:4-5:
      "What are human beings that you are mindful of them,
      mortals that you care for them?
      Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
      and crowned them with glory and honor."

      and James 4:14:
      "What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."

  • Abe Rosenzweig

    "Moreover, the human brain is the most complex thing in the universe..."
    Whaaaa....? We know this, how?

    *edit* I see that David also honed in on this.

  • Methodological Naturalist

    I'm beginning to realize articles like these (or even the entire experiment that is SN) may not be primarily intended at atheist audiences but rather at questioning Catholics. I say this because as I've perused the site, the topics are top heavy with questions constructed in ways I seldom come across in faith-free environments.

    Just look at the first two sentences of this article that provide its kindling. I've never heard an argument constructed that way and I'm a happy New Atheist who gets all the juicy newsletters. And so I have a question for all the regular Catholics who may be lurking but not posting. Are these really good representations of your questions?

    I'd like to welcome any questioning Catholics to stand out and offer their opinions about an article like this. Does it speak for you? I'm quite curious.

    I offer this observation charitably.

    • Danny Getchell

      As I'm sure you have discovered, MN, there are many books and websites devoted to "apologetics" which are by no means intended for a skeptical audience, but rather for a believing audience which desires intellectual reinforcement.

      Although SN is not dedicated to the latter, the articles published here are quite often sourced from sites whose intent is to arm Catholics with the tools they need in disputations with the "other". So I'm not at all surprised to see a pattern of misunderstanding about "what skeptics believe" when the source is considered.

  • This illustrates a problem many atheists have with religion: You can justify anything you like. Is the earth at the center of a young universe? That makes perfect theological sense! Wait, have we changed our minds? That makes perfect theological sense!

    It gives rise to a sneaking suspicion that a good deal of theological reasoning does not help us discover truth but instead is post hoc rationalization for whatever conclusion we want to reach.

  • Kevin Aldrich

    I think we can't but see ourselves as the center of the universe because we are persons and that means we are universes in ourselves.

    This can be seen in every child who naturally sees himself or herself as the most important person in the world, and I would have to agree he or she is.

    We are in this way all bubbles in a multiverse of persons.

    • bubbles in a multiverse of persons

      I like that.

    • Geena Safire

      I love your bubbles in a multiverse analogy. So much nicer than (mem)branes in a bulk.

      I remember a teacher of parenting once said. The most important thing for a parent to teach a child is that she is the most marvelous, wonderful, special, important person in the world. The second most important thing is to teach her that every other person in the world is also.

    • Methodological Naturalist

      But I don't know anyone who thinks they are the most important person in the universe. I'm not trying to rain on the idiom parade, just trying to figure out the meaning you're trying to get across.

      • Kevin Aldrich

        It is my experience as a child, of being a teacher, and as a father, that children naturally see themselves as the center of the world and all-important.

        It is why they are outraged when an injustice is done to them. It is why it is such a shattering experience to realize that other people do not care about your every thought, feeling, experience, and word.

        I think this is because we really are persons, ends in ourselves, existing for our own sake, and so, not at home at all in a world that does not recognize this.

        • Methodological Naturalist

          I don't know. I think that might just be a projection of your own interpretation of what's going on inside another person's head.

          That seems like a difficult thing to do!

  • Off topic, but in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'm grateful to Brandon for creating that rarest of Internet beasts: a forum where people who disagree profoundly can debate without feeling like you need to go wash off the troll slime afterward.

    Okay, I meant that to sound prettier, but you know what I mean. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

  • I believe that from astronomy, we get that everywhere is the center of the universe.... which renders our understanding of "center" superfluous. Therefore, saying the Earth or Sirius or some far off quasar is the center is not technically wrong.... it's just at best not meaningful. The inflation from a single primordial atom was not expansion within an existing space time continuum that would have a center. It was expanding the existence of that point. Therefore all observable( and non-observable) points are one and the same as the primordial origin.

    • Loreen Lee

      I once had the idea that 'everyone' was the center of the universe and dismissed the thought - oh it's just another crazy one. Thanks Irenaeus.for the physics. I guess the theist would say that we are also 'all centered' in God, or something.

    • Linda

      There was an interview with a cartographer on NPR a few months back, and he was explaining that you could tell a lot about a map by noting what was at the center (Jerusalem, Mecca, Rome), and therefore, what was central to the thinking at the time. When asked about the biggest change he pointed out that now that we're using online maps, the center of our world is whatever we want it to be, and with GPS, it is usually us.

  • I enjoyed this article and have no strong criticism to offer. I especially appreciated the insight from Aquinas's commentary on Aristotle. I didn't know Aquinas thought that about the center, and that changes my understanding of Thomistic and Aristotelian cosmology. Thanks for the nice article!

  • Danny Getchell

    So, in conclusion, neither the location of human beings in the universe nor the size of the universe they inhabit constitutes proof that God did not create the universe.

    I agree. Those facts constitute no such proof. But they do constitute reasonable evidence for the position that the universe was not constructed for the human race.

  • Dan Carollo

    Indeed -- the Argument (or Objection) from "Size". This objection has always puzzled me. It certainly has some rhetorical force -- but very little logical force at all. What exactly follows from the size of the universe? How do we know it is not just as big as it needs to be? In his infinite and creative plentitude, why should he NOT create an immense universe (or even multiple verses) that strains our comprehension?
    Reminds me a bit of "Horton Hears a Who". (remember the main principle of the book)

    • Susan

      How do we know anything?

      The trouble is that this deity was invented when people had no idea that disease was caused by germs, viruses and genetic deficiencies.

      And it has been re-invented to be beyond evidence. No matter what the evidence is, we can't falsify it. Yet, there's no actual evidence for it.

      It has been defined as "super"natural. "Beyond" time and space. "Omni"-everything undefinable. Omnibenevolent. omniscient, omnipotent. All terms that are vague and susceptible to equivocation and all sorts of human error.

      All without evidence.

      So, yeah. It's unfalsifiable. That doesn't make it a good hypothesis. Not even close.

      We can make up almost anything at all and insist that it's true because you can't "prove" that it isn't

      Not very convincing.

      On what basis do you think it's convincing to begin with?

    • Sqrat

      In his infinite and creative plentitude, why should he NOT create an immense universe (or even multiple verses) that strains our comprehension?

      It's not that that strains our comprehension. What strains our comprehension, as Danny Getchell put it so succinctly, is the claim that an immense universe was created for us. That is the claim that Horn makes in his article -- that God made a "grand cosmos for human beings."

      • Methodological Naturalist

        That just doesn't make sense. Humans have only been aware of the grand cosmos for about a century. Before that we had a single galaxy to ponder and for countless generations before that humans were stuck with the astronomy of Elijah.

        One may as we'll claim God created cisplatin for oncologists as well as for the shamans of Bethlehem.

        • Danny Getchell

          What would frustrate me would be the realization that God has made us increasingly aware of the size and scope of the universe.......at the same time that he has enabled us to learn why we'll never be able to explore more than the tiniest fraction of it.

          • ColdStanding

            In St. Luke we find: "He who is not with me, is against me. He who does not gather with me, scatters."

            How can you participate in the greater things God has prepared for us ("My Father's house has many rooms" which is the vast material and immaterial creation) when you so violently rail against God, manifesting rebellion towards your creator, in this life? You bury your talent (condemn God, judge Him and refuse your duty to Him). You are buried in a tomb in Egypt (out of the holy land, an exile, in sin, asleep). You are the rich man feasting (sensual man) while Lazarus (your soul) languishes, covered in soars (sin) licked by dogs (demons), who then has the temerity to complain when you find yourself in hell for all eternity because you ignored the prophets (science of the saints).

            It is not that what is laid up in the Christian treasury makes no sense or is illogical. It is that you have no ear for it. Search for the music of the Ars Nova movement if you desire an example of what you have no ear for. You know not in what sense or way to take it; it confounds your (accidentally formed) habitual sense of things.

            The gift is in front of you (all that you see of the universe and much more) but you refuse to open it because it comes unexpectedly to you; the gift affronts your pride. You'd rather your pride than all that you see before you.

          • Danny Getchell

            It is that you have no ear for it.

            I can't disagree with that.

          • ColdStanding

            Great. That's honest. I appreciate that.

          • Paul Boillot

            Ugh, Cold cold cold.

            Do you think your 'tough love' brand of evangelization is doing anyone any good? Do you think it's doing *you* any good? Is this what your Christ taught you?

            I think the task you've given yourself is too great, and the strain of it is showing in your abrasiveness.

          • ColdStanding

            Ha! I'm not "tough love"-ing you right now. Nor did I seek to be abrasive. If I were to read Chaucer to you in the original "Old" English, would you find what I say difficult to understand? I surmise you would. That doesn't make what I say unintelligible, just difficult to understand because you are not used it hearing people talk that way.

            I do this to show you that it is possible to get the sense of what these ancient writers were on about, even in this day and age. It isn't even terribly difficult to do. But I propose that you are using this distance and slight difficulty as a pretext to deride and (you hope) destroy.

            But you are blaming the funeral for the death.

          • Paul Boillot

            Well, first of all, you were talking to Danny, not me, so I don't know why I'd be worried about your love being directed at me.

            "Nor did I seek to be abrasive."

            You're going to use the excuse of "ye olde englishe be difikult ti oonderstande"?

            I am, in fact, used to hearing people talk in the condemnatory religious vocabulary you used, and nothing that you said was "unintelligible," nor did I make that claim. I'm fairly sure that I understand your religion at least as well as you do, if not much better.

            What you choose to believe in private is your matter, so it is with me. I use a jargon when discussing religion and religious people such as yourself which would be, while utterly intelligible, inappropriate to use here.

            It's not that I wouldn't want you to hear it, or that I don't believe what I'm saying wholeheartedly, it's that, as Ron Burgundy said so poignantly in Anchorman (it was a movie, a good one, but raunchy...don't worry about it), "when in Rome."

          • ColdStanding

            You are the one that brought it up, that noticed it, so clearly you placed yourself in the position of being recipient of the comment. You reacted by calling it "tough love." You own it now. Such a dodger.

            If you think my words are condemnatory and you are so skilled at the way I speak, then answer me this: Were the people, in Jerusalem, that the tower fell on, guilty of greater sins than those that it did not fall on?

          • Paul Boillot

            "You are the one that brought it up, that noticed it, so clearly you placed yourself in the position of being recipient of the comment. You reacted by calling it "tough love." You own it now. Such a dodger."

            Is this third grade? Are we resorting to "he who smelt it delt it?"

            No no, you were talking to Danny, you used the pronoun "you" in your response to him, it's pretty clear that your putative love, tough or otherwise, was not initially directed at me.

            I'm not trying to dodge, I can handle any love you throw my way my dear fellow, I just want to iron out a logical misstep you made.

          • ColdStanding

            That passage does not mean "coming death for all".

          • Paul Boillot

            Well, unless they repent, amirite? Hey-oohh!

            We know your beliefs, Cold, you don't have to be abusive and use archaic language to tell us that you think we're going to Hell unless we repent.

            Most atheists I know are pretty well versed (pun!) in your religion.

          • ColdStanding

            To hell? Nay, friend, I have great faith you shall be saved. Even though, at this moment, you might not think you will want to be.

          • Danny Getchell

            He who is not with me, is against me.

            That is a position which I have rejected my entire life, whether in religion, economics or politics.

          • ColdStanding

            Et voi la, you are anti-chrisitan*. No? You are not with, you do not agree with this point and many other things Jesus said/says, let alone the Old Testament, so, was He right, no? You are not with Him, so you are against Him. You are not with His works, so you seek to scatter them. No?

            I have not seen your posts too often, so I don't really have much of an idea of what your general stance is. If I have missed the mark, mea culpa (my bad).

            *by which I mean you have a less than favorable disposition to Christianity in general, and Roman Catholicism (which is Christianity) in particular. The unfavorably disposed might read that line as me accusing you of being an anti-christ. For some reason that irritates the already irritated.

          • Danny Getchell

            I do not desire that Christianity be destroyed, nor that its believers be denied access to the public square, nor that I cause any Christian to lose his or her faith.

            If any post here has been taken to mean the contrary, I offer apology.

            The fact that I adore coffee and loathe tea does not mean that I wish the tea plantations to be plowed under, or that I would deny the tea drinkers their beverage of choice.

          • ColdStanding

            What, then, do you aim to achieve in posting here?

            Also:

            A question about...

            The fact that I adore coffee and loathe tea...

            Do you loath Christianity?

          • Danny Getchell

            Do you loath Christianity?

            I do not.

          • David Nickol

            You are not with Him, so you are against Him.

            Didn't Jesus say, "For he that is not against us is for us" (Mark 9:40)?

          • ColdStanding

            Yes, when they were casting out demons in the name of Jesus Christ, I do believe. A rather important qualifier, no? For they are confessing Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Also shows the danger of, I believe it is called, proof-texting? Quoting single lines without the balance of the story. I like to call that chop chop.

            That said, perhaps you'd relay what your aim is in quoting that line in relation to my postings. I could guess and all, but the horses' mouth being available is likely to save me from misinterpretation.

      • Dan Carollo

        Hi Sqrat (how exactly do you pronounce that? :)
        God made the universe "For Us", in the sense that he gives it the properties and laws to finally bring about our existence.
        He could have created us as disembodied, dislocated pure "minds" -- but he didn't. If God really does exist, then there is no fundamental problem or logical contradiction with him making a universe "FOR" conscious, knowledge-seeking persons (or even multiple groups of persons on multiple "pale, blue dots" throughout the universe).

        • Danny Getchell

          Given an undefined deist God you are correct. But if you posit that God is triune, that the second person of that trinity was and is fully human, and that person was born to a human mother, it does leave all the rest of the universe's sentient species out of the picture, so to speak.

        • Sqrat

          I try not to pronounce it too exactly at all.

          The point I was trying to make is simply that the universe hardly seems tailor-made for us, it being a much larger (and, I would add, a much more hostile) place than it needs to be for the survival of our kind.

          Of course, one could argue that the universe God created wasn't large, in fact it was incredibly tiny, and only grew very large over billions of years. During the vast majority of that time, the planet we call home either didn't exist or would have been a hostile and alien environment for us (as, indeed, much of it still is).

          Horn argues that it doesn't matter. God could have created a universe that is 13.7 billion years old and consists of a hundred billion galaxies with a hundred billion stars each, just for us, without even breaking a sweat, because he has unlimited time and resources at his disposal.

          I do not find that argument convincing. Horn seems to expect that people such as I would not, so I don't suppose that even he thought it would be persuasive. Did you anticipate that your particular spin on his argument would be any more persuasive than the original?

          • Dan Carollo

            I don't think Trent was attempting to make a general, convincing argument in favor of God -- He was just answering one common objection (ie. the universe is "too big" or "too wasteful"). This objection is, of course, given a lot of fuel from fundamentalists -- who ALSO assume God MUST have created the universe in a particular way (that is, in 6 literal days, no evolution happening, etc.) The thing is, NO one has ANY idea how God would (or should) choose to create a universe. We just have to take what is given us.

          • Sqrat

            I agree, up to a point. Again, as Danny Getchell pointed out, what leaves us dumbfounded, in considering the size and the age of the universe, is less the claim that it was created than that it was created just for us. If we are the ultimate purpose of the universe, a universe created by a supernatural being of unlimited powers who could have created the universe any way he wanted, then it does, indeed, seem to be too big, too wasteful for its supposed purpose. I would have to concede that a being of unlimited powers, who had available to him an unlimited number of ways of creating a universe just for us, some wasteful, some economical, could have chosen one of the wasteful ways if he wanted. I simply ask, why would he want to?

            There has been speculation in the physics community for many years now that it would be possible for us mere humans to create universes in a laboratory. We have obviously not yet done so. It would take a tremendous amount of energy, and we may not yet have that kind of energy at our disposal even with the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. But perhaps we might some day do so.

            If we do succeed in creating a universe, it might, like our own, eventually grow to be very large and very old. In such a universe, an intelligent race might some day arise who developed a religion and a theology that asserted (1) that their universe was created, and (2) that it was created just for them. They would be only half right.

          • Geena Safire

            and (if I may) (3) that it was created by an all-intelligent, all-powerful, and all-loving personal being that knows and cares about and is present with every one of them at every moment and knows and cares about everything they do (and their intentions) and what they want and will assist each at every moment upon request, and wants them to pray to and worship this being, but not for it's benefit (as it needs nothing) but only for theirs.

          • ColdStanding

            Why so big? To humble us, in the sense of circumspection.

            Yes, there is some sense that all this was made with us in mind (which I prefer to the expression "for us"), however, we must not let it go to our heads, which we are wont to let happen. Therefore, we must be circumspect, and acknowledge that while our future holds promise of mighty growth, we are still the size of a mustard seed on a tiny planet in a vast swirl of immensity. We are but a beginning; a seed. If we are not watered in this life by the heavenly dew, we shall not grow (achieve the purpose for which we are intended and which we can not, of ourselves, commence because we are dependent on factors literally outside of ourselves).

            It can be said that, we are now a body with a soul in it. We are purposed to be a soul with the body of Christ in it.

          • Paul Boillot

            "It can be said that, we are now a body with a soul in it. We are purposed to be a soul with the body of Christ in it."

            Que?

            "Why so big? To humble us"

            The heart of arrogance.

            You (and I) know next to nothing about any place in the universe but this one, and precious little about that. And yet, you find it in yourself to claim that the entirety of the rest of 'creation,' clusters, nebulae, galaxies, systems and worlds in the billions of billions, is all for you, to curb your ego.

            Has it occurred to you that if there is a creator, he simply does not care about you?

            Has it occurred to you that there may be other intelligent life out there?

            I wonder if on another world, in a galaxy far far away, someone else is telling his companions that our galaxy was made to so that he could reign in his sense of self-importance.

          • ColdStanding

            I am arrogant, 'tis true. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. I freely admit it.

            However, you call me arrogant, not to correct me of my fault, for you have by your philosophy no reason to care of my faults. Nay, you seek to collar me with the charge of arrogance to give licence to your own faults, which you call (mistakenly) in-born predispositions.

            The maker of us all does care about us and I know this because He has made it known by a public act of proclamation in His role as the King of Kings.

            I do know that there is other intelligent life out there, angles for one. However, I do not know that there is other intelligent life that is also a combination of material body and immaterial soul, so as to be of the same type as human beings. It's possible, but, not particularly relevant, because any human interaction with these proposed beings of a similar quality and nature to us is not really likely to happen in my lifetime.

            As to your incredulity at the design of the universe being leaned towards the encouragement of humility in the beings that populate it, the trouble that you are having is the failure to understand that the purposes of the design are multiple not exclusive. The universe isn't exclusively designed to humble us. Nay, it is, of all the things it is designed to do, also designed to humble us.

          • Paul Boillot

            However, you call me arrogant, not to correct me of my fault, for you have by your philosophy no reason to care of my faults. Nay, you seek to collar me with the charge of arrogance to give licence to your own faults, which you call (mistakenly) in-born predispositions.

            Does it seem that way to you? That's a shame.

            I should point out that your belief, "you have by your philosophy no reason to care of my faults," is factually incorrect.

            You don't actually know my philosophy (you've never asked or been answered), but let me tell you: as far as I'm concerned your good is my good.

          • ColdStanding

            My good is God. Is yours?

            I am always amused at how mysterious people think themselves to be; how unknowable they take themselves to be. We are really so simple. Dust. Like the leaves in the wind you and I will be gone. We are not even a moment.

            Or souls, however, they are eternal.

          • Paul Boillot

            I think every time we chat, I get a better handle on your beliefs, and my sense of Christopher Hitchens's hitting-the-nail-on-the-head regarding fundamentalism is reinforced.

            "I am always amused at how mysterious people think themselves to be; how unknowable they take themselves to be. We are really so simple. Dust. "

            Sadomasochistic and totalitarian: we are the highest form of creation, we are slime...total invigilation and subservience.

            As a side note, was this, " Dust. Like the leaves in the wind you and I will be gone. We are not even a moment." a play off of Kansas' most popular song?

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH2w6Oxx0kQ

          • ColdStanding

            I should think it was Kansas that did the pilfering. Even a broken clock is right two times a day.

            As to Mr. Hitchens, his employment of Freudian psyco-sexual diagnostic categories is an attempt to shame those that feel guilty about hidden vice; to embarrass out of belief. A rhetorical employment. Jedi mind tricks. Punt.

            No, what I am doing is clothing myself in belief. I am putting on the robes of humility. It is a specific technique by which the meaning of these ancient scriptures can be unlocked. You might not find people talking like this at your local parish, but never the less, it is part of the Catholic heritage.

          • Paul Boillot

            It's a shame that you don't know more about what you're discussing; Mr. Hitchens is the last person you'd be able to accuse of attempting "to shame those that feel guilty about hidden vice."

            What with being an avowed lover of drink and smoke, a bi-sexual, an atheist and all-around contrarian, you would never have been able to find a person less interested in shaming sexual vice while he was alive.

            The shame is in the total abasement of the self, the slavery of attaching your mind and will to another's totally, the abnegation of responsibility and substitution of the thrills of wild highs/lows for the satisfaction of thinking for yourself in solidarity with all other rational beings.

            I'm sitting here, at my computer, literally scoffing at "the robes of humility." Scoff.

            And finally, as to the meaning of the ancient texts, there's no need to don the cloak of abusive rhetoric to understand them. That sort of dialectic is appropriate inside your enclave, but not in public.

            There's no reason to expect anyone to let themselves bet talked to that way.

          • ColdStanding

            Fortuna is a heartless mother of dogs. Enjoy!

          • Paul Boillot

            "It can be said that, we are now a body with a soul in it. We are purposed to be a soul with the body of Christ in it."

            Que?

  • James Hartic

    "So, in conclusion, neither the location of human beings in the universe
    nor the size of the universe they inhabit constitutes proof that God did
    not create the universe."

    Nor does the size of the universe constitute proof that God did create the
    universe. There very well may be an intelligence behind the creation and
    evolution of the expanding universe, including biological evolution of all creatures. Given that possibility.... to assume that this entity is the God of the bible or any other God concept is a leap. It may very well be that this "creative force" that we refer to as god, is still in the midst of evolving his creation, and is not particularly interested in humankind anymore than this "he" is interested in any other species, other than in the creative aspect of the "project universe"....as an artist for example....for whom the creative process is more important than what happens to the final product....especially if the work itself is ongoing with no end in sight. The Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient and loving "god" are largely assumptions about the characteristics of this entity based on religious texts and philosophical discourse and anthropomorphic projections.....especially the loving part.

    In any case, regarding the evolution of the universe, this may be something of interest to some of you. Dawkins interview with Fr. George Coyne

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkS1B0huWX4

  • HeraSentMe

    Here's the real problem: The Universe is huge, containing trillions upon trillions of stars, planets and so forth. It's also ancient - about 14 billion years old. Earth is not even half that old, and it's only housed people for less than a million years.

    That makes the idea of a anthropocentric creation by a human-obssessed god not only facially absurd, but also an exercise in astonishing arrogance.

    For most of history, people didn't know any of that. Observation without the aid of scientific equipment and knowledge made it appear that Earth was the center of reality, and people were the reason Earth existed. So egocentric religions like Christianity made sense. Or at least weren't obviously dumb.

    That was then, this is now. Now we know the Earth is an insignificant part of reality, and people are just part of a thin, patchy, carbon-based film on its surface. Nobody else would care, or even know, if we blew up the Earth and ourselves. We are important only to ourselves and one another, we need to realize that and act accordingly, and stop relying on silly, ancient fairy tales to give our lives meaning.

    • James Hartic

      I think I just said that, did I not?.....but with less acrimony :-)

      • HeraSentMe

        I think our posts overlap, and I think acrimony in the face of disingenuous apologetics isn't a bad thing.

  • Treat the "gigantic universe argument" as an evidential argument, not a logical argument. Logical certainty is not often possible when it comes to explaining features of the world. Of course a gigantic, ancient, inefficient, inhospitable universe in which we occupy no privileged location is logically compatible with Christianity. But is it what Christianity would have lead people to expect? And we have ample historical testimony to answer emphatically: No. Just look at the works of Christian scientists and writers of old to see how they thought things would be before the evidence showed them otherwise.

    Now that by itself doesn't actually constitute evidence against Christianity. What matters is not the likelihood (of the data assuming the theory is true). What matters is the likelihood ratio -- how much more likely the data is in one theory than another. Atheism isn't useful here because atheism isn't a theory. For an alternate theory, I'll pick modern naturalism, which basically says that the natural universe is all there is. Is a gigantic, ancient, inefficient, inhospitable universe in which we occupy no privileged location what modern naturalism would have lead people to expect? Yes, of course. That's hardly surprising since modern naturalism conforms itself to the findings of science, whereas Christianity in important ways does not.

    Since the "gigantic universe" looks much more likely when we start from the assumptions of modern naturalism than when we start from the assumptions of Christianity, the "gigantic universe argument" is to the same degree evidence for modern naturalism over against Christianity.

  • Ph.Lestang

    HI! Funny how we human beings always believe that we are at the center of everything, while in fact the universe most probably includes many other intelligent species. We are just one of them.
    Philippe Lestang, France, Author of "Le fait Jesus"

  • m8lsem

    If God exists for an eternity, the Big Bang is a very efficient, and quick, way to create a universe with us in it. Why do people think God needs to be an efficient bricklayer, creating each item with exquisite care, instead of instantly launching the whole with a plan for each iota thereof?

  • Dan Torag

    I don't believe any atheist would ask this question. The question would be why does the bible not state it, or at least not contradict it? The fact of the matter is any religion/religious leader that acknowledges widely believed science(science can change it's view tomorrow with new evidence) says not to take the entire bible or holy book at face value to understand it, you have to have faith and comprehension of the religion/teachings to truly understand its message. Now that's fine I don't understand anything about any holy books any I have read I have never pondered on the meaning of the words in depth, but the stories just don't add up to me and that's my opinion. One religious leader stands out in this though, The Dalai Lama. he states that if science disproved any of the values of Buddhism it would have to change. Now I don't know much about Buddhism but if I had to choose between a religious group/s that only changes its beliefs when they become unpopular(or never do) and tells people who read that passage to ignore it(but not take it out). Or the one that is willing to change when its disproven but it hasn't , it's message is simpler to grasp, has been around for longer than most if not all. seems like a simple logical choice to me...

  • Geoffrey Floyd

    The problem isn't that the universe is bigger than necessary or that we got here via a long evolutionary process that is inefficient. The problem is that the universe is apparently naturalistic. Why would god create a universe that appears to not have a guiding hand, or at least leaves open a strong possibility of naturalism? Why didn't god create all the biological forms at once instead of over millions of years? Why are there primates that have 98% similar DNA as us? Why are some of the physical constants tuned far more precisely than necessary (e.g. entropy is far lower than need be for a life permitting universe)?

    I think the bottom line is, if the monotheistic concept of god exists, why wouldn't god create a "realm" similar to where he resides where "souls" endowed with libertarian free will can just choose to be with god or not (assuming no "sin" can exist in heaven). It looks totally unnecessary to make a world made up of atoms, particles, strings or what have you and let the universe run it's course, with periodic interventions to create planets, tweak constants, create biological complexity every few millions or so etc. etc.

    At this point the theists will tell me "you can't prove god wouldn't do it that way, or wouldn't need to and the burden of proof is yours". Or they might say "How can you prove that this world is not the world where the maximum number of people are saved and that's why things are the way they are?" At that point I respond, "It's intuitively obvious to most thinking people that god could create a place where people with free will could just choose to be with god or not. A "magical" place similar to what heaven is supposedly like. If someone can freely choose one way or another, why is any suffering or time spent in this universe more likely to entice a free decision to be with god? How does our knowledge of Gorillas, Apes, Neanderthal convert more believers? Did that naturalistic looking evolution just happen to give us a brain that is more likely to believe in god thereby saving more of us? Is that how god justifies fooling us like this?

    Unless a design argument is really compelling, like that of Mt. Rushmore, it's unlikely that a design hypothesis or any other argument for gods existence is true.

  • dovhenis

    THE GREAT science feat in 2013 על מהות ומקור היקום

    The 2013 gravity comprehension/definition is the greatest
    science feat since the early 1920s.

    Learn what, scientifically, natural gravity is and what
    evolution is.

    Think of the consequences re classical science of this
    comprehension of gravity…

    איך נברא היקום יש מאין

    Origin And Nature of the Universe, the greatest science feat
    since the early 1920s.

    New Science 2013 versus classical science

    Classical Science Is Anticipated/Replaced By The 2013
    Gravity Comprehension !!!

    http://universe-life.com/2014/02/24/gravity/

    Attn classical science hierarchy, including Darwin and
    Einstein…

    “I hope that now you understand what gravity is and why it is
    the monotheism of the universe…DH”

    =================================

    Gravity is the natural selection of
    self-attraction by the elementary particles of an evolving system on their
    cyclic course towards the self-replication of the system. Period

    ( Gravitons are the elementary particles of the
    universe. RNA nucleotides genes and
    serotonin are the elementary particles of Earth life)

    כח המשיכה

    כח המשיכה הוא הבחירה הטבעית להיצמדות הדדית של חלקיקי היסוד של
    מערכת מתפתחת במהלך התפתחותה המחזורית לעבר שיכפולה. נקודה

    ( הגרוויטון הוא חלקיק היסוד של היקום. הגנים, הנוקלאוטידים של חומצה
    ריבונוקלאית והסרוטונין הם החלקיקים היסודיים של חיי כדור הארץ)

    Dov Henis(comments from 22nd century)

    http://universe-life.com/2013/11/14/subverting-organized-religious-science/

    http://universe-life.com/2013/09/03/the-shortest-grand-unified-theory/

    http://universe-life.com/2013/09/30/science-adjust-vision-concepts-beyond-aaas-trade-union-religion/

    PS: Note, again:

    - Classical Science Is Anticipated/Replaced By The 2013
    Gravity Comprehension !!!

    - Think of the consequences re classical science of this
    comprehension of gravity…

    DH

    נ.ב.
    הבנת מהות כח המשיכה מספקת בסיס הגיוני מפשט/צפוי/מתקן לכל מגזרי ורכיבי
    המדע הקלסי

    יש פה אי- ניצול של הזדמנות/אפשרות של ישראל להדיח באלגנטיות מתורבתת
    את ארה"ב מעמדתה בעולם כמוליכה/המקבעת של עדר ה"מדענים/מדע"
    באמצעות האיגוד המקצועי האמריקאי הדתי, ולתפוס את עמדת ההולכה/פיתוח/הובלה של המדע
    2013 החדש המשתדרג, ולהפוך את המדע האמריקאי לגרורה של המדע הישראלי. אי-ניצול זה הוא מחדל מטומטם /עלוב/מביש של
    ישראל....

    דה

     What would the human world be without god, or
    without science

    (May 1/ 3 2014)

    Scientifically natural gravity is the monotheism of
    the universe.

    The reverence- to- god- tradition, religion of the
    present Western culture, was introduced
    by Abraham (2117-1942 BCE) from the
    Casdites-Babylonians, in whom it was evoked by the sight of the apparently
    "praying" palm trees, with their palm-like leaves, rewarded with "God's gift", in
    Persian "Bagdad" (bag=god, dad=dat hence date-fruit, data=
    given/gift. This reverence- tradition
    was re- adopted by the Jews exiled into Babylonia (586 BCE) , and later adopted
    also by the Persians who conquered the
    Babylonian empire, and later adopted also by Alexander , who conquered the
    Persian empire, and later adopted also
    by the Greeks and finally adopted also by the Romans and by their following
    Western world heritage…

    - What would a world without god look like?

    - What would a world without science look like?

    Science =
    knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned
    through experiments and observation

    God = the
    perfect and all-powerful spirit or being that is worshipped especially by Christians,
    Jews, and Muslims as the one who created and rules the universe

    a spirit or being that has great power, strength,
    knowledge, etc., and that can affect nature and the lives of people

    : one of various spirits or beings worshipped in
    some religions

    Science and god are incompatible.

    The present world is a god-believer scienceless
    world, conducted by ruthlessly competing-for- energy interests , with
    consequent catastrophes to humanity...

    Dov Henis (comments from 22nd century)

    http://universe-life.com/

    http://universe-life.com/2006/03/12/inception-and-prevalence-of-western-monotheism/

  • "As C. S. Lewis put it, “We treat God as the policeman in the story treated the suspect; whatever he does will be used in evidence against him.”"

    It seems to me that this happens in reverse. There is no amount of evil, for instance, which can count against an all-good God. Why on Earth would an all-powerful being need evolution to create human beings? It was never what Christians believed before evolution became known-some still don't. Any goal could be achieved absent this long, wasteful process, which causes great suffering as well. The same could be said for the universe too. It has more empty space than life. Often we are asked to believe that the physical properties of the universe are evidence for God. So they cannot ever be an argument against God? A small universe was what the Bible depicted, and people originally posited. It is not odd to say this would be far more parsimonious if God had humans' creation as the goal.

  • "Some critics claim that if God existed, then the universe would not be 13.7 billion years old or be 93 billion light years across as it is currently."

    It's not just critics that claimed this; it was also the official position of Christendom up until the Copernican revolution. There were people in the 1500s willing to argue precisely your position-- that an infinite universe would be a greater testament to the grandeur of god than a finite universe-- but this was a heretical belief. Plausible? Sure. And it helps that the heretical position happened to be demonstrably correct. But this doesn't exactly increase my confidence that the Christianity has access to cosmic truth.