Do you realize that from virtually every standpoint, you should not exist? Philosophers debate the question of, “Why is there somethinginstead of nothing?” However, the physics of your existence is much more of an issue than a philosophical debate. Modern scientific discoveries have added to the evidence that you should not exist. We know that matter and energy are directly related. We can turn matter into energy, as evidenced by the atomic bomb. Scientists have now shown that energy can be turned into matter. Einstein’s equation E = mc2 can work forward and backward.
The complicating factor is that two kinds of matter are always produced when energy is turned into matter. In addition to the ordinary matter we are made of, there is also a mirror image of it called “antimatter.” Antimatter consists of positively charged electrons (positrons) and negatively charged protons (antiprotons). When matter and antimatter are combined, they destroy each other, reverting to the energy from which they came. The cosmic creation event should have created equal amounts of matter and antimatter. How did they not destroy each other?
Another physics principle that says you should not exist is the Second Law of Thermodynamics. It says that in a closed system, things tend to move to disorder. This law allows diffusion to happen. It is why we, and everything else, fall apart with age. The cosmos, by definition, is a closed system. Carl Sagan used to say, “The cosmos is everything that is or ever was or ever will be.” The physical world is slowly dissolving, and disorder (called entropy) is increasing. The stringent conditions needed for you to exist are becoming less and less likely. The Bible writers recognized this fact. Isaiah wrote, “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the Earth beneath. The heavens will vanish like smoke, the Earth will wear out like a garment, and its inhabitants will die like flies, but my salvation will last forever…” (Isaiah 51:6). The spiritual realm is not affected by entropy, but the physical realm is. We exist because God created us. How He separated matter and antimatter is a mystery to science. How life came into being with the massive increase of order can only be explained because God designed our existence for a purpose.
When you take the position of the atheist, you should not exist. Existence is a vast mystery that philosophers and scientists can’t answer. From a biblical perspective, we are major players in the struggle between good and evil. (Read the book of Job.) We have a purpose, and we exist to fulfill that purpose. Being created in the image of God answers many of our questions. COVID, climate change, and the struggles between good and evil in our world remind us that our existence is temporary. There is a new existence coming that will verify why we exist in the present.
One of the fascinating problems scientists face as they investigate the creation is the antimatter dilemma. Einstein’s famous equation e=mc2 tells us that energy and mass are directly related. We know that mass can be turned into energy, which is the basis of the atomic bomb and nuclear power generation.
Complex experiments have allowed scientists to turn energy into mass, producing two kinds of matter. One kind of matter is the ordinary kind that we all know about – negative electrons, positive protons, and neutrons with no charge. The other kind of matter is the opposite of ordinary matter. The nucleus of this antimatter has negatively charged protons and electrons with a positive charge, called positrons. When antimatter comes in contact with ordinary matter, they destroy each other and revert to the energy from which they came.
Antimatter atoms do exist, and scientists can produce them in the laboratory. They must be stored in magnetic fields because they would destroy any container made of ordinary matter. If the universe was created by turning energy into matter, there should be equal amounts of matter and antimatter in the cosmos. The antimatter dilemma is how did our kind of matter get isolated so that we can exist?
We can’t tell if the stars we see are made of matter or antimatter. That is because the light coming from them is not matter, so antistar radiation and normal star radiation would look the same. The process that propels nuclear reactions in stars produces gamma rays. The gamma rays that the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is detecting are not what normal stars would produce. For that reason, astrophysicists believe they are seeing emissions from antimatter stars.
The Bible tells us that God is energy (light – 1 John 1:5). Because of that, God could create the universe by simply taking some energy and turning it into matter. Suggesting that the creation process was not guided by intelligence means some unknown force solved the antimatter dilemma by separating matter and antimatter at the point of creation. Of course, that does not explain the origin of energy. Researchers say that finding evidence for antimatter stars “would be a major blow for the standard cosmological model.”
“In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth” is a very simple statement, but the presence of antimatter tells us that what God did is incredibly complex. This is real creation and speaks once again of God’s wisdom and power.
Why does matter exist? That may sound like a silly question, but as we study nuclear reactions, it becomes crucial. Nuclear reactions produce two kinds of matter—matter and antimatter. The strange thing about these two forms of matter is that when they collide, they destroy each other, producing nothing but energy.
In the past 50 years, scientists have found that every kind of matter seems to have an antimatter equivalent. Science has discovered that electrons, which are well understood, have antimatter particles called anti-electrons or positrons. We now have ways of producing beams of positrons that physicists use in all kinds of experiments. Einstein’s famous equation, e = mc^2 can be verified when we collide positrons and electrons.
Research has led to the discovery of antiprotons, antineutrons, antineutrinos, antimuons, etc. If nuclear processes were involved in the creation of the universe, the cosmos should be full of the same amount of antimatter as there is matter. Could there be antiplanets, antistars, antigalaxies, etc.? One can even postulate antipeople. You could create the ultimate soap opera where a matter boy falls in love with an antimatter girl. The problem is that he can’t touch her, because if he does, their physical particles will all destroy each other in a huge thermonuclear explosion that would wipe out the planet.
That fictitious fable can’t happen, but it raises an important point. If all nuclear reactions produce equal amounts of matter and antimatter, shouldn’t all the matter and antimatter eventually collide and produce nothing but energy. Why does matter exist?
Science News (December 21, 2019, / January 4, 2020) reported on proof that antineutrinos and neutrinos violate parity. The oscillation of the two kinds of neutrinos is not the same. Neutrinos vibrate more rapidly than the mathematical predictions of what their frequency should be, and antineutrinos vibrate more slowly. Scientists don’t understand why these oscillations are different since they violate parity. The design of the building blocks of matter involves differences in oscillation frequencies, and that allows matter to exist.
Why does matter exist? We could state that with the old philosophical question, “Why is there something instead of nothing?” Those questions seem to be answered at least in part by our new understanding of matter and antimatter. A major point we need to make is that matter and antimatter start with an energy source. That energy source must be external to our dimension. When we consider the intricate design features, that source would seem to be God.
Recent discoveries have caused those of us with backgrounds in physics to overhaul our thinking radically. This is especially true in quantum mechanics and how matter and energy interact in the creation. One of the most interesting areas has to do with antimatter research.
When energy is turned into matter, the products are matter and antimatter. When antimatter and ordinary matter are combined, they destroy each other, producing energy. The process can be described by the famous formula E = mc². But it is far more complex than the simple change from one form to another.
One of the basic experiments we do in high school physics is called the double slit experiment. When light shines on a screen with two slits in it, bands called interference patterns are produced on a screen on the side opposite the light. That shows that light has wave properties even though it has properties of particles. This effect not only happens with visible light, but also with radio waves, Xrays, ultraviolet, and infrared.
In 1924 an experiment by French physicist Louis de Broglie showed that electrons also produce an interference pattern. That means that electrons have wave properties like light. On May 3, 2019, Dr. Marco Giammarchi of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics in Milan announced that a team of scientists has discovered that positrons, which are antimatter particles, also produce interference patterns. What this means is that antimatter has both particle and wave properties. There is a whole left-handed world out there to match the right-handed world in which we live, and antimatter research will tell us more about it.
The notion of God as the creator has escaped our world today. We have not understood that there was a beginning, that God caused the beginning, and that His imprint is on all we see around us. We have been told that evolution explains all these things, but in reality, evolution doesn’t address the question. Evolution does not explain creation.
Evolution assumes that time has been created. Evolution assumes that space has been created and that matter/energy has been created within space/time. Evolution assumes that forces we are just beginning to understand shaped the matter/energy in space/ time so that stable physical matter came into existence. It assumes that the properties of matter/energy caused it to become organized into galaxies, and stars, and solar systems.
Evolution further assumes that within one of those solar systems a planet was created within the Goldilocks zone where water could exist as a liquid. On that planet, carbon and oxygen and heavy metals were produced to allow tangible matter to exist for long periods of time. Then evolution assumes that within a limited time these materials came into existence in an environment and with a catalyst that could produce life.
This post was adapted from “First-Century Athens and the 21st-Century World” by John N. Clayton. We encourage you to read the complete article which appears in the third quarter 2018 DOES GOD EXIST? Journal. If you subscribe to the printed version, you should have received it in the mail. Otherwise, you can read it online at THIS LINK.