Let me start by saying I’m not actually a believer at this moment. When listening to the lectures, I hear a lot of talk about the complexity of things being a big proponent for creation or design because somebody created it. But at some point in the paradigm you’re at least admitting that, somewhere, something just existed that was at least as complex as, or more complex than, us….If we couldn’t have just existed, how could you say God just existed without something creating him. I’d like to hear your answer on that.
— Submitted by an attendee at an RTB event in San Antonio, TX
Your question is one of the most important any human being could ask—and one that most Christians are ill prepared to answer.
As I understand your query, if explaining the natural realm’s ability to support life, especially human life, requires extreme levels of complexity and design, then would not the cause of all this complexity and design need a cause that is even greater than Him? As Richard Dawkins puts it, the problem with Christianity is accounting for who “designed the Designer?”1
The question of who created God was the heart of my debate with Lewis Wolpert at Imperial College in London. (You can listen to the debate here). In a nutshell, I explained that, today, physicists across the philosophical spectrum acknowledge that the space-time theorems are unassailable. If the universe contains mass and if general relativity reliably describes the movements of bodies in the universe, the theorems are valid. Those theorems establish that space and time had a beginning at the origin of the universe. They imply that the causal agent of the universe is not subject to space and time—thus, that agent can create space-time dimensions at will.
Of course, any entity—such as the universe and everything subject to the laws and dimensions of the universe—that is constrained to a single dimension of time, where time cannot be stopped or reversed, must have a beginning. Ultimately, such entities must be traceable back to a creation event. However, an entity not constrained by time need not have been created.
The Bible declares in multiple passages that God created time (e.g., John 1:3; Colossians 1:16–17). Psalm 90 adds that God can arbitrarily compress or expand time as we know it. In my book Beyond the Cosmos (3rd edition), I include diagrams illustrating that this compression and expansion of time is only possible for beings with access to the equivalent of at least two dimensions of time. Scripture also declares that God has no beginning, no ending, and is not created (e.g., Psalm 90:2; Hebrews 7:3). These declarations could be true only of a Being who created time, rather than one who is subject to time.
Philosophers responding to Dawkins have pointed out that he made a category error. God is in a different category than the universe or humans in that He is not subject to the physical laws of the universe or to its space-time dimensionality.
For a more thorough answer to this question, I suggest reading Beyond the Cosmos. The book includes a description of scientific evidence for the existence of nine dimensions of space and for a Being who brought into existence ten space-time dimensions.
- Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006), 109.