Neil deGrasse Tyson, Before the Universe and Why God is the Best Explanation

by / July 14, 2016

Near the end of his article, Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist who starred in the series “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey”, talks about what was prior to the universe’s existences.

After making some slightly disparaging remarks toward the theists view, he postulates a couple other “where the universe came from” ideas. The multiverse and it “just popped into existences from nothing”. It seems that for himself, he holds to the safe and seemly intellectually superior skeptics view of “I don’t know”. Then he rises the good o’l question of if God did it, who made God?


The Two Main Competitors Problems

However, I’m blown away with the lack of cogency of the only two real competitors to an intelligent being: the infamous multiverse and the “popped into existences from nothing” views. I’m not trying to sound saucy here, but really, are those the best hypothesis out there?

The multiverse hypothesis has big problems, namely it is conjecture in the minds of its believers and it is not really possible to demonstrate even if true. It seems to me that if multiverse is true, you would still need something to bring them all into existence, who or what was that prime mover? Plus the complexity of making all those universes rises to infinity!


POOF, Like Magic!

So the naturalist’s view is still left with the universe(s) going “POOF”… into existence, for no reason? Nothing makes everything? Magic without a magician? I’m scratching my head.

Tyson concedes both these views usually don’t satisfy people, as you can see why. However, it seems to me he takes them more serious than the possibility of a “prime-mover.”


So, Who Made God?

Seemingly, in an attempt to discredit a deity, one of his last questions (more or less rhetorical), asks the infamous question of “what was around before God?” or otherwise cashed out as “who made God?” This question has been answered by the fields of theology, history and philosophy.

The “who made God” question has this problem, who would have made the creator who made the creator? You see, it becomes an infinite regress of creator creating creators – forever. Silly, I know.

A preacher once preached that the Earth sits upon nothing (without getting technical about gravity). An old lady came up afterwards and said “I don’t agree with you, the Earth rests on turtles.” So the preacher asked “What’s under those turtles?” She responded “more turtles.” To which he replied, and under those?” Out of finality, she said, “turtles all the way down!”


So What About That God Question?

However, there is an answer to this question. A good one, quite simple and elementary. With just a little knowledge of theology, history and philosophy, Tyson should have known better (except for the fact that he seems to degrade the field of philosophy, while philosophizing). In philosophy this “prime-mover” is also called the “uncaused-first-cause”. In other words, this “prime mover” has always been in existence, thus uncaused. He is not dependent upon the space time continuum. In fact, we read in history and theology (ie. the Bible), this exact thing – one who isn’t dependent on time and who is eternal.

Even as a scientists he should have known better. We know from experience things that began to exist must have a cause. We know the universe had a beginning, came into existence. We also know that the causes must be outside of the thing that comes into existence. Outside the Universe there is no space, time or matter. To cause a universe and life, this cause must must be super powerful, smart and be able to make choices as well! Plus only minds cause the creation of large amounts of meaningful information, DNA anyone? This uncaused-first-cause must be spaceless, timeless, immaterial, eternal, smart, powerful, has a mind and personal. Ah, that sounds familiar….


What If We Did Not Know Who Made It All?

Even if there was no answer to this question, a being who created everything still seems to be a perfectly good argument. Just because we would not know who the “prime-mover” was, does not deny the idea that there was an original “prime-mover.” Does one have to know who painted a picture, carved a horse or even committed a homicide to recognize agent of causation?


Great Rhetorical Value?

But the question, “who created God”, seems to be misleading. This rhetorical question seems to be meant to raise questions in the uninformed mind. Seemly it is an attempt to discredit those who hold to this view. Even though he may view his ignorance as more intellectual, it seems that he created a straw-man for the theists, rhetorically dismissing it while trying to make it look unreasonable.

However, in reality, the most logically satisfying view is the one he seems to dismiss. It is the most logical and coherent. We have a robust worldview with amazing explanatory power. The naturalistic worldview is broken, having very limited explanatory power, a degraded view that has lame and tenuous answers – a view that does not match reality.

So, what’s your view? Do you agree with Tyson? Or do you agree with me that a Creator seem to be the best explanation? Why?

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Daniel Currier
Daniel Currier is a biologist with a technology and design background. He speaks and writes on apologetics in the areas that deal with the interaction between Christianity, science, and technology at the To book Daniel Currier as a speaker, please click here to go to his speaking page. Please subscribe to his latest posts at iApologia blog by clicking here. If you would like to read more of his articles click here to visit

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