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Can something come from Nothing?

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Post Voting Period
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after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/1/2017 Category: Science
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 500 times Debate No: 99500
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (0)




Pro can either start arguing in Round 1 and waive the final round, or use the first round for acceptance alone, and allow me to start the debate in Round 2.

No new arguments in the final round.

I, con, will be arguing that the Universe needs a Creator who is Omnipotent and Omniscient, while Pro will argue that the Universe can start existing without an divine being as described.

Use proper grammar and sufficient sources, explain your arguments clearly.

Good Luck!


Alrighty then. I shall argue that life came from prebiotic molecules through the process of abiotic synthesis. I will also try to incorporate my take on the Big Bang Theory. If my opponent wishes to use a specific religion to back his claims such as Catholicism, I will make certain to explain how much of a valid source of information that religion and its Holy Scriptures are. I will be sure to incorporate data and evidence with valid sources such as websites and articles.

I ask that my opponent uses a proper burden of evidence and, if possible, incorporate some valid sources of his own.

Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor
Debate Round No. 1


For this debate, I would like to neglect a specific religion. I am interested in showing why there needs to be a God behind life and matter. But if Pro is interested, I would like to challenge him to a debate regarding the topic of how valid the Bible is as a historic source.

At first, I would like to define nothing. When I refer to "nothing" I don't mean the absence of something, for the empty space and vacuums could be referred to as nothing term "nothing" describes the state before the Universe, before matter and before time, which excludes all of the named.

But how do we know that the Universe has a beginning? Couldn't the universe just have been here forever? The second law of thermodynamics clearly eliminates this thesis:

"Applied to the universe as a whole, this law states that the cosmos is on a one-way slide toward a state of maximum disorder, or entropy. Irreversible changes, such as the gradual consumption of fuel by the sun and stars, ensure that the universe must eventually "run down" and exhaust its supplies of useful energy. It follows that the universe cannot have been drawing on this finite stock of useful energy for all eternity." [1]

The Law of the conservation of mass
The law of the conservation of mass states that no matter, how something is rearranged, the matter/mass stays the same. Furthermore, no matter can come from nothing or disappear into nothing. Therefore, nothing but an Omnipotent being can create the Universe.

If pro cannot prove that either:
-the law of conservation of mass doesn't account in this situation
-there is an other theory that states something outside the law of conservation of mass
-the universe did not have a start
then my point is proven that something can not come from nothing.

How can life evolve from no-life?
The question, in fact is not, if live can evolve from no-life. I myself am a living proof that it did. But how? I want to show that life needs Intelligence to start.

DNA is a part of life. Without DNA it would be nearly impossible for anything to reproduce. But DNA can, in no case, just come from nothing. As I will show, DNA is a code and any Code needs Intelligence to be created

These are the components of code found in [2]Claude Shannon's paper: A Mathematical Theory of Communication:
1. Code is a Information source producing a message.
2. Code possesses a "transmitter", producing a Signal to move this Information.
3. Any kind of medium which can be used to move this Information.
4. A receiver, which reproduces the initial signal/piece of information.
5. A purpose, the information is intended for.

Evolution can not account for the DNA, because in the Theory of Evolution there is no Intelligence which could have created this code. This again shows that there has to be a divine being somewhere in the process of life evolving.



I. Introduction

II. The Beginning of the Universe, the Big Bang
III. Prebiotic Molecules and Abiotic Synthesis
IV. Sources

I. Introduction

"The universe starts off with the Big Bang theory, and the first thing that emerged from the Big Bang is essentially hydrogen and then helium. And that's what combusts in stars. Finally, stars implode, and they build heavier elements out of that. And those heavier elements are reconstituted in the heart of other stars, eventually." -John Rhys-Davies

My argument will explain the reason behind my interpretation of the origin of life and the very universe through scientific evidence. I will strive, through careful reasoning and the usage of valid sources, to support my points.

My opponent's argument primarily relies on trying to disprove any theories I may present to prove that the universe was not created by a divine being.
I ask that my opponent provides evidence, with valid sources, on the existence of a divine being next round.

II. The Beginning of the Universe, the Big Bang

The Big Bang Theory (no, not the show) is the leading explanation towards the creation of the universe. While we do not possess sophisticated enough tools and technology to peer back at the universe's birth, we can, through mathematical theories and models, provide evidence towards the Big Bang Theory (S1).

Contrary to popular belief, the Big Bang was not an explosion. Instead, it is more like a balloon being inflated. The balloon starts small, and expands outward at the same speed all around. As puts it, our universe is like an infinitely expanding balloon.

There is many pieces of evidence that makes the Big Bang one of the most prominent theories of how the universe was conceived:

Point One: The Red-shift of light is evidence of the universe's expansion. Light travels to Earth from other galaxies.The distance between the Earth and the galaxy increases because of the Universe's expansion, causing the wavelength of that light to get longer (S2). Similar to how, as stated by the Doppler Effect, sound waves experience a shift in frequency and wavelength towards the observer. This is not due to the sound itself changing, but the distance the observer is from the source of the sound (S3). Similarly, light will have changed wavelengths and frequencies dependent on how far the observer, or Earth, is to the source of the light, or galaxy. We can also use Red-shifts to find the approximate age of the universe with the equation, (distance of a particular galaxy) / (that galaxy's velocity) = (time). Astrologists have concluded from this equation that the Earth is around fifteen billion years old (S4).

Point Two: According to the research center at Liverpool John Moore's University, "very early in its history, the whole Universe was very hot. As it expanded, this heat left behind a "glow" that fills the entire Universe. The Big Bang theory not only predicts that this glow should exist, but that it should be visible as microwaves - part of the Electromagnetic Spectrum. This is the Cosmic Microwave Background which has been accurately measured by orbiting detectors, and is very good evidence that the Big Bang theory is correct." To summarize, if the universe, when first created, was very hot, and expanded, it would leave behind microwaves. Astrologists, using orbiting detectors, have confirmed that there are microwaves all across the universe (S5).

Point Three: According to the Australia Telescope National Facility website, "Astronomers are able to measure the relative amounts of the light nuclei hydrogen, deuterium (an isotope of hydrogen with one proton and one neutron), helium-3, helium-4 and lithium-7 in distant, unmixed clouds of primordial gas. The relative abundances of these nuclei correspond with the calculated predicted ratios from the Big Bang model," (S6). As the universe formed, according to the Big Bang Theory, it created various elements. Scientists, using the Big Bang theory, have been able to predict existing elements and isotopes located in unmixed clouds of primordial gas.

III. Prebiotic Molecules and Abiotic Synthesis

Prebiotic Molecules: molecules believed to be the chemical and environmental precursors of organic life

Abiotic Synthesis: making compounds using non-living molecules (S7)

It is believed that prebiotic molecules were responsible for the creation of life on Earth, being the raw materials from which living cells were formed. Prebiotic molecules are found in meteorites (S8). Assuming that the Earth was hit by meterorites millions, even billions, of years ago, we can assume that some prebiotic molecules landed on Earth. Molecules containing the four elements, nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen, can synthesize amino acids, carbohydrates, nucleic acids and other key compounds for life (S9).

Prebiotic molecules can create organic molecules such as cells and amino acids through abiotic synthesis. Abiotic synthesis can be demonstrated through the famous Miller-Urey Experiment. The Miller-Urey Experiment was an experiment conducted by biochemists, Stanley Miller and Harold Urey. The experiment showed that several organic compounds could be formed spontaneously by simulating the conditions of Earth's early atmosphere. In the website, Windows to the Universe, the experiment is described as "an apparatus which held a mix of gasses similar to those found in Earth's early atmosphere over a pool of water, representing Earth's early ocean. Electrodes delivered an electric current, simulating lightning, into the gas-filled chamber. After allowing the experiment to run for one week, they analyzed the contents of the liquid pool. They found that several organic amino acids had formed spontaneously from inorganic raw materials. These molecules collected together in the pool of water to form coacervates," (S10). The Miller-Urey Experiment demonstrated that substances, such as prebiotic molecules, had the potential to create organic life, given the conditions on Earth's early atmosphere.

Debate Round No. 2


Pro does not in a single Point address the topic of this Debate in his Points I. and II.
The Big Bang theory is a very good explanation, Pro shows a lot of evidence for it. But pro wrongly assume that the Big Bang Theory contains proof of there being no divine creature. The interpretation of this Theory has to be parted from the evidence - it can be interpreted both from naturalistic and theistic beliefs.
Furthermore, Pro ignores the Fact that Matter cannot come from nothing, which would show that there is, in this topic, no need for a God.
The Big Bang does not show, where the Universe came from, just how it expanded after beginning. To show where the Universe came from, Pro needs to argue with something, that takes us before the Big Bang happened.

Miller-Urey Experiment
I don't want to spend much time proving this to be a false Experiment, there is a lot Evidence showing it did not simulate the real conditions on earth. Hugh Ross points out [1]:

"These experiments were hailed as proof that a naturalistic pathway existed for life to self-assemble from non organic substances. It was not long, however, before geochemists recognized that the conditions under which the Miller-Urey and Fox experiments were run were nothing like the conditions existing on Earth at the time of life"s origin. Experiments run under actual conditions of the early Earth yielded none of the building block molecules of proteins, DNA, or RNA."

Furthermore, Miller and Urey only managed to bind several amino acids [1] while for life there would be the need to bind thousands more, before one bond falls apart.

Later on in his speech, Hugh Ross declares [1]:

"Geophysicists and chemists explained that no prebiotics were ever found because even the tiniest amount of oxygen in Earth"s atmosphere and oceans stymies the formation of prebiotic molecules. However, if Earth"s atmosphere and oceans had no oxygen at all, ultraviolet radiation from the youthful Sun would bathe Earth"s surface. This ultraviolet radiation is just as catastrophic to prebiotic chemistry as oxygen. If oxygen existed on the early Earth, it would be impossible for prebiotic building block molecules to form. If oxygen did not exist, it would still be impossible for prebiotic building block molecules to form. Without any prebiotic building block molecules, no conceivable naturalistic model or scenario for life"s origin is possible."

The Oxygen-Ultraviolet-Paradox Ross describes here shows that even if there was some kind of pre-biotic soup with elements from meteors, there could have in no case formed amino acids. But even if there would have been any, moving from amino acids to life is a giant leap.
Scientists today could take elements, bond them together to complex DNA-strands - still there would be no life. Explaining that there can be chemical compounds same as the ones we find in life, is a first step, but doesn't explain how life started.

The Kalam Cosmological Argument

1.Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2.The Universe began to exist.
Conclusion: The Universe has a cause. [2]

The only Theory known to me describing the Universe to have a cause is theism. Followingly, theism needs to be true. Neither naturalism or anything else accredits the Universe to have a cause.

The World we live in is Complex. The whole Universe is Complex. The more research is made, the more the world gets complicated. All this Complexity - can it just evolve from nothing? If we look at the nature around us, it seems perfect for us, kind of like it as prepared only for mankind. Tons of different adjustment -perfect for mankind. What if gravity would be way stronger? For sure, according to Evolution, we would have just evolved differently. But what if the mass of neutrons would be 0,1 per cent higher? There wouldn't be enough heavy elements for life. What if it was 0.1 per cent lower? Black holes - everything, everywhere [3]. If the nuclear energy, bonding atoms, would be two per cent lower or 0.3 per cent higher, most of the elements could not even exist [4].

Dr. Hugh Ross even lists hundreds of details, which could have prevented life in his Book "Why the Universe is the way it is" [5]. Every single one shows, that there needs to be a God creating everything. Believing that all this happened by accident is pure madness. In his book "Creator and the Cosmos: How the latest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God" he even states, that if the number of electrons wouldn't be the same as the number of protons in the whole universe with a precisely of 1:1037, then the gravitational forces would have been overcome by the electromagnetical forces and stars and planets could have never even formed.

[3] Richard Swinburne; Physical Cosmology and Philosophy (J. Leslie)
[4] The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. JOHN D. BARROW and FRANK J. TIPLER


"The Bible gives a true and trustworthy account of creation, and that account in no way conflicts with or contradicts an old-Earth view, and vice versa.' -Hugh Ross

The bulk of my opponent's response in Round Three relies on the "scientist," Hugh Ross. He is a fairly prominent Christian theologist who uses unrealistic theories and all that boondoggle to consilidate Biblical beliefs with modern science. However, he has admitted to believing that the universe is billions of years old and the Big Bang Theory. My first point will be devoted to discussing how Hugh Ross is a terrible source for "scientific knowledge," thus nullifying my opponent's rebuttals against my claims on the Miller-Urey experiment and prebiotic molecules.

As I said before, Ross has tried to support the Bible by combining religious beliefs with science. However, many of his arguments and beliefs are no less than daft and ridiculous. For example, Ross accepts that the universe is billions of years old. On the contrary, the Bible states that the universe is no older than seven thousand. Additionally, Ross's theories on our creation has, as Dr. T Mortenson claims, offers "no textual support from Genesis or anywhere else in the Bible or in the mainstream scientific literature. His story is a product of his own imagination coupled with the imaginary stories in the big bang model," (S1). In conclusion, Hugh Ross is an unreliable source of scientific knowledge because of his hipocracy and his baseless theories. I'd prefer if my opponent uses more reliable sources in the following round.

I ask that, as I requested before, my opponent uses evidence on a divine being existing. As I have said before, my opponent's argument primarily relies on countering my own. However, he fails to take the next step and suggest why a divine being existing and creating the universe is much more realistic than theories such as the Big Bang.

Debate Round No. 3


Showing that Ross believes theories that don't make sense does not prove that his scientific arguments are not legit. His research shows some interesting things even though he believes in things that are really not very logical. For the sake of this debate I will try to give you other evidence though.

I repeat, again, that this debate has nothing to do with the big bang. The big bang is, as I already said, a theory with a lot of evidence we can not ignore, but it cannot explain how and why matter came from nothing. I plead Pro to prove that matter can and will come from nothing, as he has not even talked about this. Furthermore I would appreciate Pro to answer on the kalam cosmological Argument and the law of conservation off mass which he did not respond to yet and which both show, that there must be a God behind the universe. Also DNA being a code proves that there needs to be intelligence behind life. Pro did not yet refute this. I beg Pro to show how these arguments are not conclusive or that
there is evidence against them. Dropping all of them would mean that there is nothing disapproval against them. Followingly the would be evidence for a divine something and that wouldn't be in Pro's favour ;)

Miller-Urey Experiment
The Miller-Urey Experiment was conducted in the year 1952. 65 years ago a 22-year old student made an experiment and we should assume it's true? The Experiments are legit, no doubt. But did they really simulate the conditions of the earth at that time? Geochemichts nowadays disagree with the fundamentals used for the M/U experiment, which were stated by A.I. Oparin. They assume that instead of that there were plenty of ammonia, methane and hydrogen (which were vital for the atmosphere Oparin described) there was nitrogen, carbon and aqueous vapor [1]. Furthermore, there are significant indications that there were vast amounts of free oxygen [2].

This changes everything, because oxygen in the air, either as aqueous vapor or in it's natural form would have hindered the binding of biomolecules and reduced the already existing ones.

Let's assume, we want to form a Protein made up of 100 amino acids - even though this is really short, for a usable protein we would need about 300. Amino acids have two different spatial arrangements, in Germany we call them L- and D- forms, I will go with that. In experiments of whatever kind, these different kinds are used in 50:50 distribution, although in nature we find a distribution which is way different. So in an experiment, the chance of right bonding is about 1:2, for a chain of 100 amino acids it would be (1:2) "S04;S04;. But then again we need peptide bonds, which only accure every second time...multiplied by the small chance we estimated....incredibly small. But then again this only makes up one third of a protein, every further bond lifting the chance exponentially. Oh wait...we only have one protein? Not enough for any kind of life. If we follow this calculation the chance of a living cell is about...impossible. And don't forget, even if it would have happened it doesn't have life. A cell doesn't just jump to life, even if it has everything it needs except...something that starts it's life. I've seen tons of people ending lives but never once in the whole history has there ever been a report of life just starting from dead chemicals.

My argument of fine-tuning has evidence not only from Hugh Ross so I will not search more evidence for it. But recalculating some of his points, we can be sure he isn't lying.

I challenge pro to refute some of my arguments I gave in the first rounds. Pro hasn't replied to any of the ones I named earlier. Pro did not give evidence that an divine being couldn't have created the universe or started life. I also showed that parts of his arguments were not conclusive or are not convenient.

I want to thank CosmoJarvis for this debate, you did very well!

[1] John Lennox: God's Undertaker: Has Science buried God (178-181)
[2] Charles B. Thaxton: The mystery of Life's Origin (73-94)


Repeatedly, my opponent has failed to provide any evidence of the existence of a divine being. His only sort of defense for his argument is the belief that if I do not answer con's questions, it "would be evidence for a divine something and that wouldn't be in Pro's favour." However, as the guidelines of the debate state, "Con will be arguing that the Universe needs a Creator who is Omnipotent and Omniscient, while Pro will argue that the Universe can start existing without a divine being as described."

I have provided evidence of the Big Bang, to which my opponent has failed to refute. He has not provided any claims towards why the Big Bang Theory is incorrect and why a divine being would instead be needed to create the Universe. Instead, my opponent has sidetracked the debate to discussing topics such as intelligent design and the construction of our environment, and still, he has not stated his argument on why the Universe was created by a divine being.

My opponent has failed to present an argument addressing the focal point of the debate and failed to present compelling evidence on the existence of a divine being, and ceded from addressing my points on the Big Bang theory.

Regardless, I found this debate to be enjoyable. Thank you for inviting me debate against you, 7536658.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by C_e_e 10 months ago
I hate when debates end in a tie like this, .
Posted by 7536658 11 months ago
But I really enjoyed this debate, thank you very much and good luck ;)
Posted by 7536658 11 months ago
The Big Bang doesn't describe how the universe started, it describes what happened after that...I quite your description:

"The universe starts off with the Big Bang theory, and the first thing that emerged from the Big Bang is essentially hydrogen and then helium. And that's what combusts in stars. Finally, stars implode, and they build heavier elements out of that. And those heavier elements are reconstituted in the heart of other stars, eventually." -John Rhys-Davies

You can't just say it starts like that. it needs to have something that started it. Nothing can just come from nothing. That's what the kalam argument also states. I have said this before and I will say it over and over again:

1. The big bang does NOT, in any way, describe how the universe started to exist. Showing WHY the big bang started would have been what you have needed to do.
2. The big bang itself does not prove that there is no need for a divine creator. The big bang just describes how the universe expanded, not why, not without some kind of God behind it, it only describes how.

Furthermore, I did actually give reasons why the universe needs a divine creator. You did not respond to a single one, which makes e kind of feel you would like to ignore them because you have no answer. I am sure with a bit of research you could actually respond to some of them and I would offer a second debate to you, but we then need to clear the stage because at the moment we are just circling around without bringing new points.
Posted by CosmoJarvis 11 months ago
The original guidelines of the debate, as you said in round one, were that "con will be arguing that the Universe needs a Creator who is Omnipotent and Omniscient, while Pro will argue that the Universe can start existing without an divine being as described."

I have stated that the Big Bang likely created the universe. You, on the other hand, have failed to explain why the universe needs a creator who is omnipotent and omniscient.
Posted by 7536658 11 months ago
(1:2) "S04;S04;.

I'm sorry i just saw the or didn't accept this way of meant (1:2) to the power of one-hundred ;)
Posted by 7536658 11 months ago
I do not mean to show that the Big Bang theorie is false, I admit that would be hard and there is a lot of evidence for it. I gave you different reasons why there has to be a divine being...also in the last round there is no new arguments, as agreed.

Thank you though for your debate!
Posted by CosmoJarvis 11 months ago
Next round, can you provide evidence of there being a divine being? Even if theories such as the Big Bang were found to be untrue, it would not necessarily mean that a divine being exists.
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