Which Came First, the Universe or the Gods?
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," pondering deep philosophical questions and cleaning delicate upholstery since 2005! Sometimes you've just got to ask yourself, "What would Billy Mays do?" Go, therefore, and do thus, Pilgrim.
I'm acutely aware that the physics behind the Big Bang theory eludes me completely. Yeah, yeah, I know, there was an explosion, and stuff got thrown around, and time passed, and here we are. How did this happen? Beats me.
With the news this afternoon that Stephen Hawking will be publishing a new book shortly, a book in which he demonstrates that Divine Intervention was not a necessary prerequisite for the creation of the universe, I think it's high time we at "The Gods Are Bored" weigh in on Intelligent Design. Yet again.
Could it actually be possible that we've got the sequence of events wrong? I mean, just for the sake of argument. What if the Big Bang happened, and through its energy, Divinity was produced? No "chicken or egg" here, just BANG! and then the Divine.
Throughout history our great thinkers have pointed to our Earth's uniqueness as a repository for organic life. Well, even before astronomers began finding other stars with planets around them, I would have given you good odds for the existence of other planets, and even for other planets with life on them, and even for other planets with intelligent life on them, and even other planets with higher quality intelligence than what you find here. (On that last point, contact me if you want the wager!)
Now I'll go one step further. Many of us sense the existence of Higher Powers. That's how we get the bored and busy gods! We sense Higher Powers and throw human construct on Them until ... voila! A jealous god, a love goddess, a trickster. Suppose those Higher Powers exist beyond our ability to comprehend Them at this particular juncture in our evolution. And suppose those Higher Powers evolved after the Big Bang.
Are you comfortable explaining the entire universe with just your five senses? What if there's a Deity Planet out there where everyone has ten senses? What if there's a planet with a God School on it, where super-sensory Beings train to communicate with organic beings at various stages of evolution? (If you've seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, you may be thinking of it now.) Why can't there be a planet with a God School? Hey, I bet you there is one! It's a big universe out there. Don't be thinking that you, or Stephen Hawking, or even your deities have the final word on it.
So, if the Big Bang came first, and then Divinity, then what happens when the universe grinds to a close? Does everything just die, including deities?
Well, I say we cross that bridge when we come to it. In the meantime, though, we here at "The Gods Are Bored" are not ruling out the possibility (we actually think it's a probability) that in the beginning there was a Big Bang, and from it sprang Divinity ... powerful energy we can feel but not understand. Everyone knows that when you can't understand something, you activate your inner database to try to make sense of the feeling. So here come the gods and goddesses of every stripe, the faeries and angels and demons and spirits and ghosts and extraterrestrials. We endow Divinity with human traits simply because that's our schema.
The moral of this sermon is that it's a great big universe out there, and if we understand all of it at this moment in our history, why are we still paying physicists to study it?
Think of the universe as a race that began with a blast from a starter pistol. Everything is off and running! Forget the finish line, and enjoy an interesting contest.