Where do we come from? The most fundamental question in all of science concerns the ultimate origin of the universe in which we live. As recently as the early 1920, astronomers believed the universe to be constant and unchanging. At that time it was thought that the stars which make up the Milky Way were the universe, and that although individual stars might be born, live and die, the milky way itself continued more or less unchanged, just as a forest may remain more or less unchanged, even though individual trees grow, live their lives and die. The earth had remained the same without alteration from all eternity. The five continents of the present day had always existed, and they had always had the same flora and fauna, except insofar as change or transplantation had taken place at the hand of man. The species of plants and animals had been established once for all when they came into existence. Thus in contrast to the history of mankind, which develops in time, there was ascribed to the history of nature only an unfolding in space. All changes, all development in nature, was denied.
This petrified outlook on nature was soon shattered by a combination of new developments in both theory and observation. The earth and the whole solar system appeared as something that had come into being in the course of time. If the earth was something that had come into being: it must have had a history not only of coexistence in space but also of succession in time. This supported the fact that nature does not just exist but comes into being and passes away. Thus the decision had to be taken to acknowledge that not only earth, its present surface and the plants and animals living on it, but the whole universe as we see it today did not exist as such from eternity; it possessed a history in time.
It was indeed a great discovery made by the natural scientists, which changed the petrified outlook of universe. The scientists view that nature did not just exist but came into being and passed away and that the processes of nature must have had a history not only of coexistence in space but also of succession in time was indeed illuminating. It, besides unmasking other invaluable mysteries underlying development of the universe, supports the fact that the universe has its start in time. Another most important factor revealed by the discovery was that it was only the history of mankind which at present is passing through its development and that all the development orders preceding the present Human Stage, that is, the Animals, the Vegetables, the Planet Earth and the Cosmos, each of which was active at one time continued to become immutable simultaneously on succession of the higher order.
The scientific view that the universe did not exist as such from eternity, it was born and has since developed has further been strengthened by the Big Bang Theory. According to the astro-physicists, at a certain time in the past, which can be calculated as roughly 15 thousand million years, all of the matter and energy in the universe was concentrated in a mathematical point, a singularity, [The scientific discovery that at the time of the birth of the universe, single unified force prevailed testifies beyond doubt that the Creator of the universe is One without any partners and that whatever the universe contains belongs to Him. This fact as it has now been confirmed by the astro-physicists has been revealed in many a verse of Holy Quran. In Suras 22(64) and 112(1-4) it is thus revealed: “Unto Him belongeth all that is in the heaven and all that is in the earth. Lo! He verily is the Absolute, the Owner of Praise.” “Say: He is Allah the One! Allah, the eternally Besought of all! He begetteth not nor was begotten. And there is none comparable unto Him.”] from which it burst out to create the universe as we know it. The outburst has been dubbed “Big Bang”. In 1965, radio astronomers Arno Penzies and Robert Wilson of the Bell Telephone Laboratories detected a baffling radio noise, which came evenly from all directions of the sky. The Princeton University confirmed that the radio hiss was a distant echo of the cosmos radiation, which originated from the Big Bang and filled all the space. The layman tends to picture the Big Bang in terms of a very dense lump of matter located in an infinite void, suddenly exploding. Einstein, however, has shown that both space and time (which he called space-time) and matters were inseparable. The Big Bang, therefore, created not just matter but space-time as well. There was nothing, [ This scientific discovery establishes that the universe originated as an act of creation. The Big Bang may be a great spiritual “charge” of attraction (vitality) which appeared in a powerful eruption (commonly known as “Big Bang” by the astro-physicist) and created the external world in the form of cosmic radiation that illuminated the space. The birth of the universe with the mighty outburst in the form of a great illumination known as Big Bang is just in accord with the revelation of the Holy Quran. In Sura 51(47) it is thus revealed: “And We built the heaven with might, and We it is Who make the vast extent (thereof)”] not even empty space, “outside” for the Big Bang to explode into. Besides the above scientific outlook of the universe, these discoveries provide us comprehensive discipline with which we can formulate the development process of the universe. The discoveries that in contrast to the present creative stage of Mankind, where creative activity is still in progress, the processes of the nature must have had a history not only of coexistence in space but also of succession in time reveal that the universe has developed in stages. On succession of each higher stage, the values so earned in the preceding stage became immutable. Since in contrast to the history of mankind, all the preceding stages have become immutable, it establishes that the human being lives at the top of all the creative stages we call them universe. The man lives at the top of all creation is further strengthened by the fact that when we look into the universe and analyse the laws prevailing in it independently of any reference to nature, we find that the laws of mathematics formulated by us a product of our own minds do not only come completely in accord with the laws prevailing in the universe but it reveals that these laws are its ultimate nature. Man thus stands conqueror of all the preceding orders of the universe, which simply continue to maintain their values to serve as a basis for the top leading creative stage of Man. Since in the process of development of the universe what real has emerged at the top creative stage of Man, it is attainment of Self-consciousness – highest kind of awareness which has made the man consciousness of himself, we can infer from it that all the creative stages of the universe (both inorganic and organic) preceding the present Self-conscious Stage of Man have the characteristics of consciousness also. Thus all the development stages right from particle to the present creative stage of Man are living and conscious relative to the conscious level of the stage. It further reveals that the development of universe in successive stages implies development of consciousness in steps or stages. These discoveries support that inorganic matter is not dead. As blood runs through the veins of a living organism so a current of life runs through all matter although it may appear to us to be dead. It is alive because it has properties on account of which it acts and behaves. It responds to outside situations and stimuli as the animal or the human being does. Its activity follows definite laws, which are studied by the physicists and the chemists. The activity of the animal and of man also proceeds in accordance with definite principles, which are studied by the behaviourists and the psychologists. Matter is life from another point of view as there could have been no organic life without matter and its laws. The laws of matter seem to have been designed in order to make possible the development of higher stages of life on Earth. Matter is primitive life and the laws governing it have fixed tendencies developed by it just as instincts have developed by the animal.
The most important question, which the modern sciences have been unable to solve, is to determine the nature of development of the universe. It is an important question because as discovered by physicists and natural scientists, there does not exist any absolute, stationary frame of reference with which we may determine the nature and distinguish the succession of development stages of the universe. The universe is a restless place; stars; nebulae; galaxies; and all the vast gravitational systems of outer space are incessantly in motion. But their movements can be described only with respect to each other.
The materialists interpret birth and development of universe in one direction as mechanical in nature. It is observed, they say, that the clusters of galaxies move apart from one another as the space between them expands and that the heat energy within the atoms and in outer space is inexorably diffusing like vapour through the insatiable void. The implication is that at a certain time in the past the universe was concentrated in a mathematical point – a singularity – from which it burst out to create the universe, as we know it. Regarding development of universe in one direction and its ultimate fate, they claim that in the very beginning the nucleus of the universe was very hot. It was at unimaginable temperatures such as no longer exist even in the interior of stars. There was no element in such heat, no molecules, no atom – nothing but free neutrons and other sub-atomic particles in a state of chaotic agitation. As the temperature continued to drop, the cosmic mass continued to develop into aggregate proportions. Ultimately the development of the universe would cease when the heat processes cool down and reach a state of maximum entropy, that is, when the heat is uniformly spread in the cosmos. When the universe reaches that state, no energy can be used because all of it will be uniformly distributed in the Cosmos. And there is no way of avoiding this destiny, as according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics we cannot convert the heat into work unless we have difference of temperatures. The materialists conclude, therefore, that the developmental processes of nature are irreversible. Nature moves just in one way.A cursory glance at the interpretation given above in regard to the birth of the universe, its development in one direction and its ultimate fate will show that it is laid on mechanical grounds. The materialists relate the phenomenon of birth of the universe with the concentration of mass energy at a certain point in space-time from where it burst out. Regarding development of universe, they claim that as the temperature continued to fall along with expansion of the nucleus mass, the free neutrons and other sub-atomic particles continued to develop into aggregate proportions in the form of galaxies, nebulae etc. Similarly they explain the rational development of universe in one direction on the plea that since energy tends to cool and spread in one direction hence the developmental processes of universe proceed in one direction only; they cannot be reversed!
The material outlook does not explain development of universe; it rather explains dissolution of energy from its chaotic state to the state of normalisation in the wake of expansion. The modern scientific discoveries reject mechanical interpretation of the birth and development of the universe. Among other factors we shall discuss in the next pages, the following discoveries to support the creation of the universe:
1) Einstein discarded [ The UNESCO COURIER – September 1984. The Story of the Universe. P.8.] the view that matter and energy were concentrated at a mathematical point – a singularity – in space from where it erupted. According to him, there did not exist any space nor any point where the matter and energy were concentrated. Both space-time and matter were inseparable. The Big Bang, therefore, created not just matter but space-time as well. There was nothing, not even empty space “outside” for the Big Bang to explode into. It was not, therefore, a lump of matter located in an infinite void which exploded suddenly. The universe did not exist; it was born at one time.2) The scientific discovery that there does not [ The Universe and Dr. Einstein. Lincoln Barnet with a foreword by Albert Einstein.] exist any absolute, stationary frame of reference with which we could distinguish the succession of various developmental stages or explain the nature of development of the universe supports that the universe was born and it is being developed under the creative process.
3) It is established by the physical sciences that the universe in spite of its development in successive stages behaves as a complete rational order. These sciences have further established that matter moves under law only and that as a result of processing of matter from high energy to low energy processes, the values earned at the low energy process besides stubbornly sticking with their laws dominate the laws developed in the high-energy processes. It reveals that high energy processes in the wake of development of universe continued to yield to the low energy processes by transforming into higher and higher rational orders.
4) The research into the developmental processes of the universe has shown that they are irreversible, that is, they proceed in one direction only – the direction towards higher and higher rational orders. That the developmental processes of universe are rational and irreversible support that the universe has developed from lower to higher conscious orders which turned into mental processes at the biological stages of development. Processing of matter in higher rational orders implies processing of matter-motion and also space-time as a unified higher order. Einstein has shown that space-time, matter and motion cannot be separated. Processing of matter in higher rational orders, therefore, implies processing of all values, that is, matter-motion and space-time as a unified higher order laid under different and higher kind of rational discipline. It shows, therefore, that at each higher rational order, the space-time, matter and motion have been "pressed" and "squeezed" from simple outward motion established at the preceding rational order to complicated "inward motions" (mental) at higher rational orders. Hence absolute space [“Along with absolute space, Einstein discarded the concept of absolute time - of a steady, unvarying, inexorable universal time flow, streaming from the infinite past to the infinite future. Just as there is no such thing as colour without an eye to discern it, so an instant or an hour or a day is nothing without an event to mark it. And just as space is simply a possible order of material objects, so time is simply a possible order of events.” (The Universe and Dr. Einstein…P.46). But we shall further add that it is not space-time only but forms and motions. (Energy) are also relative; they continue to change their sense at each higher rational order. The world determined by the animal is what its sense perceptions determine for it. But as against it, the world determined by the Human Self outlives even the whole universe!] or absolute time does not exist; they continue to change into different sense at each higher rational order. We can witness this fact more vividly at the biological stages developed on the completion of physical order of the Earth where the physical processes further squeezed from their "outward motion" and turned into "inward mental processes" in the form of recepts and precepts at Vegetable and Animal Stages of development. That at the top creative stage of Man, consciousness or life has become aware of itself as a Self-conscious entity and determines the whole universe relevant to its conscious enlightenment establishes beyond doubt that the development of Universe implies development of consciousness or life in higher stages. Development of universe in conscious stages shows that the universe is a creation and that the gradual reflection of creation is in fact the reflection of the attributes of that part of the Creator, which he wants to manifest in the creation.
These facts establish that the nature of development of universe is not mechanical; the universe is a creation and its creation in successive rational order implies appearance of greater and greater cognition and appreciation in creation of the possibilities, attributes and beauty of its Creator as it develops from stages to stages and comes near the desire and Will of the Creator. The unimaginable heat temperatures caused by great chaotic agitation visualised by the physicists in the nucleus mass of the universe within fractions of its birth and then settling down the heat temperatures as the universe developed in higher and higher rational orders in one direction establishes that the nucleus mass was a living substance and that its chaotic agitation was nothing but its inherent "feeling" of its separation from its source. In the next chapter we shall discuss classification of the developmental stages of the universe in the light of physical and natural sciences as well as in the light of revelations made in the Holy Quran and determine concrete laws and principles underlying the development of the universe.