Would God Create a Universe With a Lot of "Wasted" Time and Space?
Is the universe a big waste of time and space? Some atheists contend that the immensity of the universe, as well as the billions of years that have passed, are not what one would expect if God created it. For example, Dr. Richard Carrier writes,
…the Christian theory does not predict what we observe, while the natural theory does predict what we observe. After all, what need does an intelligent engineer have of billions of years and trillions of galaxies filled with billions of stars apiece? That tremendous waste is only needed if life had to arise by natural accident. It would have no plausible purpose in the Christian God’s plan.
What atheists like Carrier fail to appreciate is that the universe we live in has a very legitimate purpose within the Christian worldview, namely to reveal God’s glory. In the Bible, the Psalmist declares,
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.
This is consistent with the nature of the Christian God who reveals, in the pages of the Bible, that he is passionate to reveal his greatness and glory to all mankind. Furthermore, the whole idea of “waste” only makes sense when there are limited resources. But the omnipotent and omniscient God of the Bible has unlimited resources and therefore cannot “waste” anything. Hence, our immense universe, filled with trillions of galaxies, stretched out over enormous distances, is exactly what one might expect if the Christian God really did exist.
Richard Carrier, Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith (Richmond: Philosophy Press, 2011), 59.
Psalm 19:1-2 (NIV)