Evolution and the End of the Universe

Dave Farcas

There is no basis for hope in evolution. Even if humans evolve to an advanced state and become virtually immortal, the universe will finally die a heat death through entropy, and no life will be possible. Furthermore, evolution can not bring justice to all the poor, lost victims of history and evolution. The victims of evolution would remain mute victims forever.

Only universal resurrection can bring justice to all the dead victims of evolution and history. The biblical writers did not see reality divided between natural and supernatural realms. For them the physical universe is God's good creation and the hope of all things is for the coming of God who will make His home in His creation and dwell among us.

The singularity that the Big Bang (moment of creation of the universe) started from was a point in time and space of infinite mass. The singularity of the Big Bang was smaller than the proton of an atom. All of the energy and mass of the universe came from this singularity. In fact, most of the matter from the Big Bang was annihilated in a reaction between matter and anti-matter. Everything thing in the universe today is made up of the residual mass/energy that was left. Time and space only came into existence at the instant of the Big Bang. The universe that has been expanding ever since is not expanding into space; space itself is expanding. The universe is finite (has a limited amount of mass/energy) but unbounded.

Physicists can only go back to the first second of the Big Bang with any reasonable degree of confidence to describe the conditions that existed at that time. Physics and Mathematics are at a loss to explain what occurred at the very moment of creation or, for that matter, what conditions were like before it. They can only speculate as to what it was like prior to the moment of creation, but this is not true empirical science. The moment of creation is an impassible barrier for science.

In fact, the recent recognition by science (in the 1920's) that the universe had a beginning, and was not eternal, has been a real dilemma for many scientists. Einstein himself could not accept the implications of Hubble's discovery that the galaxies are moving away form each other at a high speed. The universe is not steady state or static, it is dynamic, and if it's expanding it can be extrapolated back to a single point (singularity) of origin in time and space. This is a hard pill for many to swallow. If the universe had a beginning it will also have an end (expanding forever until maximum entropy is reached and heat death occurs: zero available free energy) then the physical universe can not in any sense be ultimate reality.

Before I go into the details I want to place the "inevitable" death of the universe in perspective. Until the 1920's, the consensus among astronomers was that the universe was steady state, with no beginning and no end. In fact, it was believed that our own Milky Way galaxy with its 400 billion stars constituted the entire universe. The observations of the great astronomer Edwin Hubble revolutionized our conception of the universe. Hubble observed that the "nebulae" which were thought to be gaseous clouds residing in the Milky Way were in fact distant galaxies - billions of them. Even more astounding, they exhibited a red shift in their light spectrum: this indicated that they were moving away from us, and at very high speed! This observation was a scientific, seismic event. Even Einstein couldn't accept that the universe was expanding, so he came up with the cosmological constant to try and explain it away. Einstein later regretted that as the greatest mistake of his career.

Why was the realization that the universe was not steady state (without a beginning and an end) so disturbing to the scientific community? The implications of an expanding universe are that it had a beginning in time and, through entropy, will eventually have an end. The Nobel prize winning physicist Steven Weinberg lamented, "The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it seems pointless." In reply to the physicist Paul Davis, who suggested in his book The Mind of God that the laws of physics reveal a plan (i.e. divine) underlying nature; Weinberg raised the point: "What kind of plan is it that allows the Holocaust, and countless other evils, to happen? .... why should we be interested in a God who seems so little interested in us?"

The universe is not eternal, as all religions and even science believed (before the 1920s). The universe had a beginning (the Big Bang) and will eventually, through entropy, die a heat death: There will be no more available energy for galaxies, stars, life. Even atoms will decay - only an eternity of absolute cold and darkness will remain. All will be lost, no memory of anything that was will survive. It will be as if the universe never was.

The only reply to such a stark and despairing reality is the reality of the Crucified God. Only a God who is totally committed to the other, by experiencing absolute death on the cross of Christ, can overcome the annihilating nothingness that threatens the universe. Power cannot do it, even the most advanced technology that may arise after billions of years of evolution and progress cannot do it. Only the love of God on the cross of Christ can do it. In other words, only the non-power of love (self-emptying of God) can save the universe from eternal death and nothingness. "God so loved the Cosmos that he gave His only beloved Son" (John 3:16). God has freely abandoned eternal self-existence for eternal coexistence with the cosmos. The annihilating nothingness that is the destiny of a self-existent universe (which is an impossibility) has already been experienced by God; so that all (stars, atoms, people, animals - everything) that God has given his life for, to create, will not be lost. This is what makes the gospel of Jesus Christ utterly unique. All religions including the "Christian"; atheistic, scientific reductionism; and all other philosophies and worldviews - either deny the absolute nature of death (the delusion of a life after death) - or they fatalistically accept it as the destiny of the universe. They accept that most, or all, will be lost forever.

The biblical hope has never been for a life after death: an escape from this "decaying" material universe into a transcendent, supernatural, realm (Heaven, Nirvana, etc.) The prophets, Jesus, and Paul did not hope for a restoration to a "prefall," "perfect," golden age (Eden). No, they didn't look back, they looked forward to the coming of the radically, new reality of God: the kingdom or New Creation. They did not share the "eternal return" myths of the contemporary pagan societies. The prevailing belief among pagan worldviews was that the universe (what little of it they knew existed) was eternal and that time was an endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The only way to escape this cycle was to attain some kind of enlightenment or salvation that will allow your soul to escape the material realm and ascend to the heavens, or assimilate into the oneness of the ground of being (Nirvana). So salvation was seen as escape from this world. It was a very personal matter, some would attain it, but countless millions would continue to go through the eternal cycle of death and rebirths until they got it right.

The biblical writers took death very seriously: it was not a passageway to another life - it was the end of life. The Jews were, for most of their early history, were not very concerned about life after death; they were focused on living a life, in the present, faithful to their covenant with God.

About two centuries before Christ, the Jews began to believe in the resurrection of the dead. They didn't develop this belief because they had suddenly become concerned about life after death. They came to this belief because they believed that God was just. The justice of God, to them, meant that God will make all things right, even if God must raise the dead to do so. God is faithful to His covenant and will overcome all sin and death: anything that threatens His beloved creation - He will make all things right.

For far too long the Christian church has been focused on a world-denying Gnosticism: "Accept Jesus into my heart so that I will a have a private, personal relationship with God; so that I will go to heaven when I die." It is entirely too I-centered and otherworldly-centered. Salvation cannot be only for a select few, it is an all-or-none proposition. Salvation is not a matter of salvation of the fittest: believe the "right" doctrine, be one of the "elect", accept Christ into your heart, etc." Salvation, like creation, is entirely God's responsibility. Salvation is what God does for the other: the entire creation, at great cost to Godself on the cross of Christ. Salvation is not only for "Christians," or Homo Sapiens, or planet Earth. Salvation is for the entire creation: the universe and everything beyond the universe. Not life after death, but the death of death (I Corinthians 15:26). Not going to God (Heaven), but God (Heaven) coming to us.

God would have incarnated in Christ regardless of whether or not the problem of human sin was present. The Christ would have come to bring creation to completion by overcoming entropy (death) and making the creation the eschatological Sabbath rest of God; and His home. God will not be the autocratic God above us, but rather the God with us and alongside us, giving Godself to the creation forever so that, ". neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39).