The fact of the existence of the physical universe is the ultimate mystery. We take it for granted, we don’t think about it, it’s like air, it’s simply there, and we live inside of it every day.
When we do ask the hard questions, like, “What did the universe come from?” We can’t answer it, so we often listen to the experts, who are the physicists who have become philosophers. And, since they are experts, we may believe their theories about the origin of the universe and life. After all, they are the experts. They think about this stuff all day, and they went through really hard and specialized schools, they are super smart, and they have equations that prove everything, and people got Nobel prizes for their discoveries and theories.
Some physicists rationalize the existence of the universe as being the result of a quantum fluctuation in the pre-creation space. That is, they believe the whole creation may have come into existence spontaneously. They use the Casimir effect (and other experiments) as evidence that virtual electrons and virtual positrons spring out of the empty space. (Note: this “empty space” is actually filled with a “quantum foam,” from which virtual electrons and positrons spring for a moment before quickly they recombine and disappear.
In other words, this creation scenario depends upon empty space (from which virtual positrons and electrons spring and recombine) as being the incident from which all the particles constituting the entire universe of particles sprang in a moment by a massive quantum fluctuation.
This spontaneous quantum fluctuation (that didn’t recombine) creation theory depends upon the theories and evidence of quantum mechanics. While such a cosmic split in the void of space cannot be ruled out, it still begs the question of what/who created the pre-creation void? What natural process generated it? And what natural process created that? In other words, what is the original cause of the creation original space come from which the space came that generated the quantum fluctuation from which the universe sprang? Obviously, the best and brightest physicists of our time have no answers to this question.
Such problems are called an infinite regress. Physicists, atheists, and philosophers criticize theists who say that “God created the creation” because that raises the question of where God came from. But obviously, the physicists who believe in quantum fluctuations creating the universe have presented a solution that offers a solution no deeper than the theist’s faith that the creation was generated by God. Neither solution resolves the fundamental mystery by proposing an original cause, a first cause that generated the mass, energy, space, and time we see in the physical universe.
In other words, both conventional physicists and theists rely on faith that their theory is correct. And being realistic and intellectually honest, neither theory gives a logically satisfying answer to the question about the final/ultimate/original origin of the creation/universe.
The physicist seeks to identify ever more elemental physical processes that may explain a more complex/higher level phenomenon. Staying inside the self-constrained boundaries of physics, no cause other than physical processes can even be considered as the cause of phenomena. In other words, God cannot be considered the cause of the creation, because only non-God solutions are considered. Thus, the physics community has committed itself to the exploration of only physical phenomena, and only physical causes and effects. Thus, the physicist in effect has declared, “I have faith in physical processes” as the cause and origin of the universe.
But, such a position, cannot declare that there is no God, because there has been no search, no study to test whether there is or is not a God. Instead, all physics community can say, is, that they have looked for smaller and smaller, more elemental physical causes (masses and forces) and inside of that domain of research and theoretical consideration, they have not found evidence of God.
Of course, if you don’t look for God, and specifically restrict the consideration of God as a causative factor in the existence of the creation, then it would not be likely that a physicist would conclude that God was the cause. The physics community is looking in a different arena, and what they do is amazing, skilled, intelligent, logical, and imaginative. But, all their work proves is that they have been able to explain every physical phenomenon in the fields of Newtonian mechanics, quantum mechanics, field theory, particle physics, and relativity using ever-smaller phenomena. Such discovery and elaboration of the details of the physical world does not prove, or disprove, the origin of the universe as purely physical or God-created.
In the case of the typical physicist, many hold to the religion of secular humanism and Scientism. As such, many seek to justify all knowledge past the current level of explanation by identified physical causes as in the realm of “someday science will fill in the gap and identify the details of the currently unseen/unidentified physical phenomena that produced xyz particle or force.
It may be true that all forces may be someday be unified as originating from a single primal force. And, it may also be true that all particles may someday be known to have decayed from a single primal mass. But, even in that scenario, the man who believes that the physical universe is all there is, will not be able to take his knowledge any farther and say, “This is the source, this is the beginning, there is no God.”
Rather, the man of faith in God, and the man of faith in the physical universe-alone will both still be men of faith, each clinging to his own religion.
Thus, the question of origin cannot be resolved by finding the unified mass and field theory. Rather, each man must decide in his own heart whether he hears a still small voice speaking that convinces him of the existence of God.
The man who believes only in the existence of the physical universe as the source of all creation and life will also explain the mystery of life by another process of faith, that the theory of evolution was adequate to explain the entirety of the ascent of life from primordial slime to man. Such a doctrine seeks to entirely replace the working of the hand of God with the blind hand of chance and time, and survival of the fittest as the motive force that shaped the minds, hearts, and bodies of all animate creatures. Each man must choose in who and what he believes.