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I have a dear friend I've known for years. In a recent she mentioned prayer. I disclosed for the first time, that being the first opportunity come up, my atheism. Yesterday, we had a long discussion back and forth. Short texts, nothing lengthy. She sent me the following text just this moment, she wants chat later. "I have get ready go a dinner with family. But where did the universe come from have the big bang? It couldn't come out of nothingness." Does anyone have a good, concise, respectful answer. I don't want be mean her. Maybe you guys can help. Thanks. **** update

Thanks to my friends on this site, I think i came up with an acceptable explanation. Took a screenshot. I suppose we agreed to disagree.

barjoe 8 Nov 15

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No god is needed to explain the universe. Potential energy/energy has always existed. There is no reason to give this energy self-awareness/consciousness, will/volition, or any other human attributes. Energy sometimes becomes matter, matter sometimes becomes a living thing and sometimes a sentient being; and matter returns to an energy state.

If she can say that a god, that is complex enough to create everything, has always existed, why is it such a leap to acknowledge that all this complexity can exist without the need for a god to have created it?

This response reminded me of Hitchens writing of the story of Laplace explaining to Napoleon how the orrery (solar system model) worked without the assumption of a creator.


Who created the creator?

His mom and dad lol

The darling beloved dimwits cannot get their amoeba-sized brains around that question.

Thank you. It's such a simple question and yet so many fail to see it.


You can think of the Big Bang as a phase change, in some ways akin to the boiling of water. It is not that there was nothing, it is just that here is nothing on this side of the phase change that can give us any inkling of what is on the other side of the transition. Or this could all be BS.

And the other explanation: At first there was nothing...which exploded.


Which is simpler, A or B?


  1. God created the universe.
  2. Who created God? God always existed.


  1. The universe always existed.

(Neither is more or less mysterious than the other.)


Here's a video about how a universe can come from nothing, and how our universe is consistent with that model:


I would add that there is a tendency when we don't understand something to answer it even if we don't have an adequate response. While we don't necessarily have a concrete answer about the origin of the universe, we shouldn't give into the temptation to provide another answer that explains nothing. To do so is no better than to say, "it's magic."


My atheism started at the age of eight when I used to ask where did God come from.

You are one smart cookie. What kinds of answers did you get?

@LovinLarge I only remember they were evasive and unsatisfactory that was a very long time ago.

@Lorajay Of course, sorry. If they'd had any substance, they would have been memorable!


As unsatisfying as it is, "I don't know" is a valid answer. If there is no knowledge, then be honest instead of making something up. I am sure you can make that more tactful, but that is the gist of it. We don't know if a god or gods exist either. People can believe in it, but there is still a need for proof before you claim knowledge (without getting too deep into how to know if you can know anything or if reality is real, etc.).

I think it's a mistake to make any type of comparison between not knowing how the universe began with not knowing if any gods exist because we know the universe exists.

As to not knowing if any gods exist, we know that no credible evidence has been produced to support the existence of any including nothing else in the natural world that suggests that anything like a god is even possible and these are the ways we would determine the existence of anything else.

@LovinLarge Maybe, but for the believer, it might allow you to start to put open the door and get them to think about the quality of their evidence and the questions they are really asking themselves. I tend to play the long game if it is a friend you want to keep (per my reading of the OP).


We don't know.

@t1nick I'm not an astrophysicist.


Tell her to read the book "A Universe from Nothing" by Lawrence Krauss, physicist and cosmologist.

Thank you. This is the second recommendation for this book. I know I'll read it.

Any book by Lawrence Krauss or Sean Carroll will give you some ideas of what is going on. Personally, I would not open a subject I did not know something of as it is an easy way to get trapped. Then you feel like an idiot and you are not. I have been reading many books on these subjects and it takes a lot of studies to just get the definitions of what is being talked about straight. Sean, and I am sure, Lawrence has videos on YouTube to watch. They are quite informative. If you want There is a Podcast with Joe Rogan who interviews Scientists and they are good as Joe is not educated in Science. Joe also has many other Podcasts with all kinds of people including people that are just nuts.


If nothing can come from nothing, then where did this infinitely complex, infinitely powerful being come from and what is he made of? If this being and the stuff he is made of could come from nothing, then so could the universe and the stuff it is made of. That would mean that no creator is required.

This is the answer I am getting and it's a good, valid one.. I was looking for a simple answer that's not a whataboutism question. Big Bang for dummies?

@barjoe "The Big Bang" is still a supposition with lots of supporting evidence. However, all the evidence at present time also supports "A Big Bounce". Personally, I like the second theory better, it does not require a "faster than light" inflationary period the "Big Bang" does. I always felt that amounted to a "special pleading" fallacy.



Ask and you shall receive!



We can't know, although we can theorize. Throwing a deity into the mix doesn't seem to help explain anything. It just adds a middle man.


I am ok not having all of the answers.
Religion sure as hell is nothing but fiction and lies.


sounds like another attempt at conversion to me. I get so sick of this!

It's not that. Listen to someone's religious references for ten years without me saying a word. Finally I break down and say 'hey I don't believe there is a God' Instant controversy followed by 40 questions.


I would suggest that the question "Where did the universe come from ... ?" makes unjustified assumptions about both the nature of time and the nature of causality. She may be unacquainted with the idea that space-time is a single entity.

We all are unacquainted. Well most of us.


. . . a very good read :


Thanks Dave. I will read it and suggest it to her.


When you press creationists on what their god created the universe out of - it's "nothing".

Yes, but only a god can do that. Besides, look at all these trees. 🙂


Ask her if she has any proof that it came from something or anything and agree to disagree and leave it at that. Good friends are hard to come by.


Tell them that our Years are not god years that is a invention of man


All any of us knows is that the universe is expanding, so we assume it may have been all in one place once.. that's all we know, but scientist build math models based on their assumptions that makes predictions of other phenomenon we can see and measure. It doesn't mean it's how it is, it just makes it more likely.


I wonder what @t1nick would say. I would say that we don't know because we weren't here but there are scientific theories that use the knowledge we have to address the issue.


Where did God come from? Both questions depend on infinite regression. Turtles all the way down. God solves nothing.

skado Level 9 Nov 15, 2020

I agree. You don't have to convert me. I'm trying to answer her question not argue with her. I guess her answer would be 'God has always been here' That's not acceptable to me. I'd like to give an answer that'd be acceptable to me.

I'm not trying to convert anyone. This seems like the answer to her question to me.

@skado Another person gave the same answer.^^^^ I guess I want a simple scientific answer to creation. Big Bang for dummies

We would all like that I guess, but I’m not sure it exists. Even the Big Bang isn’t very satisfying to me. I suspect the Big Bang was just a transition from a previous state. I feel it’s a mistake to assume that everything must have a beginning. We used to think the earth had a beginning edge and and ending edge where one would fall off. Now we know it has no edges. I suspect the universe is like that. We can never find a right answer to a wrong question.

@skado Thanks. I'm going to go with your answer predicated with a the thought behind "A Universe from Nothing" Admittedly my answer is an oversimplification. What do you think?

I suggest that the universe came from nothing, the absence of space itself. It may return to nothing. It might be incomprehensible but that doesn't mean it resulted from external control by God. That being said; Where did God come from?

Perfect. I wouldn’t know how to make it any better than that.

@skado You helped me get there. Thanks


Perhaps recommend some books that you've found helpful and enlightening.


Simply telling you the universe couldn't come from nothing doesn't answer anything. All it tells you is the universe couldn't come from nothing, it doesn't tell you God did it, it doesn't even tell it's more likely God did it because we know nothing about what was before the Big Bang to assume it's more likely God did it. Simply saying God did it because there is no other known explanation of how the universe came about is an argument from ignorance which is logically fallacious.

Of course it's because there is no other explanation.


Actually the Universe did come from nothing. In physics and mathematics there is an unchallenged formula proving something can come from nothing. There is also a good video on the subject from Krauss.

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