Illustration (Image credit: Wix)
A Jew’s faith in G-d is not built solely on a blind reliance on the unprovable despite the odds stacked against it. Jewish belief stems in large part from our ancestors’ unbroken chain of testimony regarding their direct relationship with the Creator, and the divine eternal revelations they received from Him.
However, many reject this testimony handed down in Jewish tradition, arguing that science and logic disprove G-d’s existence in one way or another.
But this assertion was turned on its head through an insight gained in a university course in statistics that I took over a decade ago to fulfill required credits. Rather than refute G-d’s existence, I grasped that logic in fact proves His existence – which stands to reason since logic too is a divine creation.
We begin by realizing that time is either infinite or finite. The universe has either existed forever on an infinite time scale with no beginning, or else it suddenly sprang into being out of total nothingness at a particular point of time.
The scientific world expends tremendous resources seeking proof of one of these two possibilities. Science’s leading explanation of creation, the Big Bang Theory, posits a finite beginning roughly 13.7 billion years ago, theorizing that the universe expanded outward from a single point of infinite density and gravity. Interestingly enough, a contrasting theory hypothesizes that the universe expands but also cycles through a contraction phase, known as the Big Crunch, leading to an eternal succession of universes “banging” outward and “crunching” back in, existing in infinite time. Much effort has been spent by the world’s scientists to pinpoint the veracity of one or the other of these theories.
However, using simple probability we can reject the possibility that time is infinite, and likewise reject that time began in a “big bang.”
Probability theory tells us that every single event has a statistical likelihood that it will occur. You flip a coin and you have one chance out of two that it will land on heads; roll a dice and one out of six times you’ll roll a one. The less probable the event, the more tries or times are required before your outcome will happen.
Let us consider one very particular incidence – the total and irreversible destruction of the entire universe, collapsing it into nothingness. This is not the cyclic “big crunch” described above, but is instead the annihilation of all existence through a process our science may not yet have hypothesized, but which nevertheless exists as a potentiality. Whether this comes about by a natural occurrence, or is brought on by an active agent such as a doomsday weapon infinitely surpassing the wildest nightmares of the Manhattan Project scientists, is immaterial. All that matters is that such a phenomenon has a possibility of occurring, and therefore it has a given probability associated with it.
Say that this probability is supremely infinitesimal, one in a gazillion – an occurrence so unlikely that it would take so many flips of a coin as to be irrelevant.
But if you were living in an infinite time scale? Then that infinitely miniscule probability – even if it were on the scale of once every centillion years – would necessarily have occurred.
If time were infinite, there would be no beginning; the number of years spanning back into the past would be numberless. A centillion years would have already passed an infinite number of times; and so too the probability of a galactic calamity putting an end to existence once and for all would also have had to have occurred. After all, the amount of tries required for every single potentiality in existence to be realized would have passed an infinite number of times.
And yet – we are still here.
Our universe continues to exist, meaning the end of the universe has not come to pass. Our very existence shows that time cannot conceivably exist on an infinite scale. If it did, destruction would have already found its opportunity to take place, and we would simply not be here.
With infinite time ruled out, we are left with only one logical possibility: The universe and all that it contains sprang into existence out of a void when all of time began, at a single finite point at the beginning of the temporal spectrum, before which there was nothing.
This of course is a monumental revelation if we grasp it, for it incontrovertibly proves yesh me’ayin - “creation ex nihilo” or “creation from nothing.” It shows that some omnipotent force existing beyond physicality and temporality sculpted all of existence out of nothing, precisely as the Torah recounts: “In the beginning G-d created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).
Further, it singularly rules out the Big Bang Theory as not providing any sort of alternative explanation for the creation of the universe.
The Big Bang Theory’s timeline of the universe (Image credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team (Original version: NASA; modified by Ryan Kaldari) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
After all, the Big Bang Theory asserts that the universe sprang from a single point of infinite density and gravity; but where did that point come from? You cannot have the creation of time and space begin with a point that already exists in time and space. One is left with the logical conclusion that there exists a force responsible for Creation that transcends corporeal existence.
Along those lines, our theory also proves that the Creator cannot possibly “die.” After all, the One who created space and time out of nothing, who crafted physicality and temporality, cannot be bound or limited by that which He Himself brought into being; He is Ein Sof - “Unending.”
What are the chances that G-d exists? To put it simply, the odds in His favor are unbeatable.