Please note that this site is not a defense of Young-Earth Creationism, a belief I do not happen to agree with. This is simply a defense of the idea that our universe was created by an intelligent designer. I would like to note that I used to be a Naturalist (one who believes that the universe had no intelligent creator), so I believe that I understand the arguments for both sides to a fair degree.
There are really three parts to the Creationism question.
1) Did the universe begin to exist?
2) What can we logically and scientifically conclude about whatever force (if any) caused the universe to exist?
3) Does the 'God of the Bible' fit the criteria for whatever force caused the universe to exist?
DID THE UNIVERSE BEGIN TO EXIST?
Prior to the 20th century, most naturalists believed that our universe had always existed. This was an easy way to discard the Biblical idea of Creationism. If the universe always existed, they concluded, then it never began to exist. If it never began to exist, then it was never created by God or any other force.
Today, however, the vast majority of scientists agree that our universe began to exist, and I have never heard any scientist give it an age of more than 20 billion years old. Most agree it began to exist around 14-15 billion years ago. The primary reason we believe this is the discovery, by astronomer Vesto Slipher in 1914, that our universe was expanding. Today, this is a commonly accepted fact although it was met with much hostility in Slipher's day. Albert Einstein himself said, "This circumstance of an expanding universe irritates me...To admit such possibilities seems senseless". He later admitted such possibilities.
If it is expanding, then there had to be a starting point of the expansion. This starting point is commonly referred to as the 'Big Bang'. While technically only a theory, very few actual scientists disagree that the Big Bang happened. No reasonable scientific theory has been offered in its place.
There are different versions of the Big Bang theory. The primary theory is that the Big Bang created all matter and energy out of nothing.
One other version of the theory has matter and energy existing prior to the Big Bang theory, but being tightly compacted into a very small area which always existed, only to start rapidly expanding around 10-15 billion years ago for some reason.
Another version is called the Big Crunch/Big Bang theory. This states that our universe is involved in a never-ending cycle of expansion and contraction. According to this theory, the expansion of our universe will eventually end, and then gravity will pull all of the matter and energy back upon itself, eventually shrinking it back down to a very small area, which will then explode and start expanding again. However, in order for this to happen, the universe would have to have an average density of at least one Hydrogen atom in a volume of ten cubic feet. The density of our universe is 1000 times too small for this to happen. Even if you include the speculated "dark matter" it will never come close to having the density necessary to collapse back upon itself. Most scientists believe the universe will continue expanding forever, since nothing can slow it or reverse it. In the words of Gerald H. Schroeder, 'There is simply not enough matter to produce the gravitational force needed to stop the outward flight of the myraid of stars and galaxies of the universe' (Genesis and the Big Bang, pg. 78).
Obviously, the most logical conclusion, based on the scientific evidence, is that our universe, at some point, began to exist.
WHAT CAUSED THE UNIVERSE TO EXIST?
There are basically two possible responses to this question:
The idea that 'nothing' caused the universe to exist, while perhaps possible in theory, takes more faith than I am able to muster. If nothing caused it to exist, it would not exist. The beginning of the universe was quite a remarkable event. Chances are that, before the creation of the universe, nothing that we could define as 'natural' existed. There was not only no matter or energy, but probably no empty space or time, either. While this is rather difficult for us to grasp, the important point is that if we start with nothing, only nothing would logically arise from it.
Suppose I was to take an empty shoebox, completely seal it, and then some time later, open it up and find something inside of it. Without some sort of magician-type trickery, this would be impossible. You could say it would be even more impossible for our universe to come to exist on its own, since it didn't even have the metaphorical shoe box and empty space in which to begin to exist, nor even the time between the closing and opening of the shoe box.
The other idea is that 'something' caused the universe to exist. What could we know about this 'something'? All that we would call 'natural' began to exist at the exact point that the universe began to exist, since 'natural' is a term we use to describe that which is in the universe. Whatever force caused the universe to exist, therefore, could not be a natural force. Therefore, the 'something' would have to be described as a supernatural force, though I'll admit that 'supernatural' is a vague term and not easy to define.
Science has also proven that time began to exist when the universe began to exist. The Law of Relativity has proven that time and matter are related. This belief is held as fact by such astrophysicists as Steven Hawking, George Ellis, and Roger Penrose. Therefore, whatever force created matter could not be subject to time (at least not time as we know it). So this 'something' that created the universe is a timeless force.
Since this force created all that is natural, this force is quite obviously a creative force, a force that is able to make matter and energy out of nothing.
When the universe was created, natural laws were created. These laws were orderly enough that life in our universe became not only possible, but apparently inevitable. Science agrees that there is much order in our universe. The second law of thermodynamics states that all systems move away from order towards entropy. This is not possible unless the universe either started out incredibly orderly, or had a period where it moved from disorder towards order. Since nature could not possibly have created itself to be orderly, or move from disorder towards order by natural means alone, then the force which created the universe either specifically created it to be orderly, or had a reason to create order out of disorder. Therefore, this 'something' that created the universe is, in some sense, intelligent.
So we can logically conclude, from the scientific evidence, that whatever force that created the universe is supernatural, timeless, creative, and intelligent.
There are essentially two competing theories.
The first is what is the theory that, while the universe may have a cause, it is not an intelligent, purposeful one - that random, unguided forces created the universe as we know it. While hypothetically possible, this theory completely fails to explain how the universe could have ended up so orderly as to make life not only possible, but apparently inevitable, and allows it to thrive for billions of years. Imagine trying to convince an evolutionist (and for the record, I do believe in Evolution) that the fossil record is the way it is by random coincidence, as an alternative to the theory of evolution which explains why the fossil record is the way it is. If we have two competing theories to explain something, one of which does explain the facts, and the other of which ascribes the facts to "random coincidence", which is the stronger theory?
The second theory is the Multiverse theory. This is the theory that there are a practically unlimited number of universes, meaning that any universe which could hypothetically exist probably does exist. This would mean that the universe we are in would only have to be possible in order to exist, no matter how unlikely it may be. Since a universe created by random, unguided forces could hypothetically end up with enough order to promote life, then the Multiverse theory is a viable alternative. The main problem with this theory is that it still ascribes "random coincidence" to explain the facts, so using it to explain the order in the universe makes just as much sense as using it to explain the fossil record. So if this theory disproves God, then it also disproves Evolution, since the fossil record could, hypothetically, be explained by random coincidence instead of Evolution. The other problem is that if, as it states, any universe which could hypothetically exist doesexist, then this would mean that there exists a universe in which an omniscient, omnipotent deity has purposely ordered the matter and energy within it in order to promote life, since such a universe is theoretically possible. So this theory does not disprove God, and, in fact, makes God's existence almost certain, with the only question being whether we happen to be one of the universes with a God, or in one of the universes where random, unguided forces happened to create a universe capable of promoting life. In fact, with an infinite number of universes, there would be an infinite number of Gods of infinite number of types. So anyone subscribing to the Multiverse theory cannot be an atheist, but, at best, can only believe that no God or gods exist in this particular universe. A person who subscribes to Multiverse theory would be a polytheist, believing in many more gods than one who subscribes to the theory of a created universe does.
DID THE 'GOD OF THE BIBLE' CREATE THE UNIVERSE?
Many scientifically-minded people reject the Bible because of apparent contradictions between science and the Bible.
Science tells us the universe is billions of years old, but the Bible seems to suggest that the universe is only a few thousand years old.
Science tells us that evolution is fact, while the Bible seems to suggest that all creatures were created 'as is'.
While it's true that not all Christians take the book of Genesis (source of the Biblical Creation story) literally, a somewhat literal understanding of Genesis can actually be in relative harmony with the scientific understanding of our universe. But we have to accept that Biblical creation story is a simple rendering of what happened, intended for people who were not scientifically minded.
Genesis 1:1 says, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." (KJV). A lot of people mistakenly think this is referring to the spiritual Heaven and our planet Earth (which we know was not created at the beginning of the universe, but approximately ten billion years after).
The word used for 'heaven' is the Hebrew word 'shamayim' which is defined by Strong's Concordance as being 'from an unused root meaning to be lofty; the sky (as aloft; the dual perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve)" In other words, this is talking about the empty space in the universe, which, according to science, came to exist when the universe began to exist.
The word used for 'earth' is 'erets' which is defined by Strong's as meaning "common, country, earth, field, ground, land, X natins, way, + wilderness, world." In other words, this is talking not about the planet Earth, but about the matter which makes it up.
So Genesis 1:1 is essentially saying, "At the beginning of time, God created the universe and the matter within it". Science would agree that at the beginning of time, the universe and the matter within it was suddenly created.
Then the order of creation, according to the Bible is this:
Day 1 - Light
Day 2 - Firm land & water (planets)
Day 3 - Vegetation
Day 4 - Stars
Day 5 - Water beasts
Day 6 - Land beasts & man
Science, of course, disagrees that the process of creation took six literal days. However, it is interesting that the order of creation according to science MATCHES the order of creation according to the Bible. But wait, stars being created after the planets and vegetation certainly seems wrong. But look closely at what it says about stars on the 4th day:
Genesis 1:14-15: "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so." (KJV) Science teaches us that the stars were not visible from the Earth until 1 or 2 billion years after it formed, that the sky was too obstructed from dust and volcanic activity until then. So while the stars were created before the planet Earth, they were not visible from Earth until sometime after vegetation began to exist, but well before land creatures existed.
Then Genesis 1:16 says, "And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also." (KJV) A lot of people point this out as saying God made the sun, moon, and stars on this day. But if you look at the original Hebrew, the word for 'made' at the beginning of this passage is 'asah', which means 'appointed' or 'bestowed' (such as in the sentence 'they made me their leader'). The sun and moon already existed, God was just appointing them to be the markers of our days and nights. And as for 'he made the stars also', no word for 'made' actually appears in the Hebrew writings (Strong's Concordance gives the word the number '9999' which is a symbol for no such word being there). Essentially, it says, "The stars, also", meaning God appointed the stars as well on that day.
Therefore, there is harmony in the order of creation between the Bible and science. But what about the length of time? The word used for 'day' is the Hebrew word 'Yowm', which is, according to Strong's Concordance, "from an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literal (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figurative (a space of time defined by an associated term)" So the word for 'day' could very well be a figurative term. And even if it is meant to be a literal day, as many Christians believe, it is possible that the creation of the universe took both six literal days, and several billion years, due to something called 'relativity'.
THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY
Most people are familiar to some degree with this theory, which is now largely accepted by the scientific community. To simplify, it states that two beings can experience time differently. In other words, not all clocks in the universe run at the same rate. A common example is that if you take two people, one standing in place and the other traveling in a rocket near the speed of light, that what would seem to be mere hours to the rocket traveler would be years to the person standing in place. Though this has not been proven with humans (since we have yet to reach speeds anywhere near the speed of light), it has been proven with particles known as mu-mesons that are created by cosmic rays striking the earth's atmosphere. They travel from the top of the Earth's atmosphere to the Earth itself at near the speed of light. Though this, to our perspective, takes 200 microseconds, it has been proven to take only 4.5 microseconds from the point of view of the mu-meson particles.
Interesting that this theory, usually credited as beginning with Einstein, is actually first suggested in the Bible, which claims that God and man experience time differently. 'For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past' (Psalms 90:4) and 'One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day' (2 Peter 3:8).
Keep in mind that the billions of years claimed by science are years from man's perspective. According to the Bible, man was not created until the 6th day, so the first 5 days of creation could not have been days from man's perspective, but were days from God's perspective. The idea of "relativity" as proposed by both the Bible and by Einstein show that a being such as God would likely not experience days the same way that man does. These supposed billions of years of creation could very well have only taken 5 literal days on God's clock. I've heard some say that since one day is a thousand years to God, creation then took 6,000 years, making the universe about 12,000 years old. However, looking closely at 2 Peter 3:8, it doesn't just say that a day is a thousand years, but also that a thousand years is a day. Taken literally, this equation would be self-canceling (1 day = 1000 years, 1000 years = 1 day). It is more likely to be implying that God's time is fluid in relation to man's, not specifically set as an exact proportion. Therefore the days of creation could have been thousands, millions, or even billions of years.
Others will say that the days referred to here are days created by the spinning of the Earth, as it mentions a 'morning' and 'evening' for each day. However, the bible refers to a 'morning' and 'evening' on the FIRST day of creation, before the planet Earth was even created, so it could not have had anything to do with the spinning of the Earth. It also says that the evening and morning WERE the days, not that they were part of the days, so there is quite obviously something else implied here.
The Hebrew words used for 'evening' (erev) and 'morning' (boker) have deeper meanings than simply referring to times of the day. They also refer to chaos (erev) and order (boker), so these passages actually refer to the movement from chaos to order in the creation process.
I know a lot of Christians will disagree with me on this and on other things I've written as well, and I certainly respect the opinions of those who do. These are simply my personal opinions on the evidence. I would have to say that the world appears to be many billions of years old, whether it is or not. I can't imagine why God would create the world to appear older than it is.
In many ways, I think the exact amount of time it took to create the world isn't that important as long as we agree that God, not nature, was responsible for creation, whether it took 6 days or 15 billion years in man's time.
For the most part, I believe in evolution. There are those who subscribe to the theory of "Intelligent Design" who believe that evolution generally happened but also believe that God stepped in and tweaked the process now and then, adding certain features that they believe involve irreducible complexity (i.c.). First of all, I don't believe that God is so incompetent to start a process that He needs to tweak in order for it to work. At best, the only reason for Him to step in add features that Evolution cannot explain would be to show that He is part of the process, which is hypothetically possible. But my second reason for discounting the theory of "Intelligent Design" is that it's ultimately a "god of the gaps" argument, meaning that while evolution explains the vast majority of what we understand about the process, there are a few areas that we don't know for sure about, and so people just say "God did it" to explain those parts that are currently attributed to i.c. The main problem with this is that having explained most of the process, there's no reason why evolution won't eventually figure out how those parts evolved, and those whose faith hinges on "god of the gaps" arguments will have less reason to justify their faith. In fact, many of the features previously assigned to having i.c. as the Intelligent Design movement was starting out, have already been shown how their complexity isn't irreducible.
WHAT IF THE UNIVERSE DID ALWAYS EXIST?
I frequently hear non-believers using this argument in an attempt to disprove God, despite the fact that science has essentially proven that the universe began to exist. But to be fair, I'll address this subject.
If the universe always existed, this does not imply that the universe was always pretty much like it is now. It could have taken other forms before. But the first law of Thermodynamics tells us that matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed by natural means, so all matter and energy which currently exists would have always existed in one form or another. Many scientists believe that matter can turn into energy or vice-versa, but nature cannot produce energy or matter out of nothing. Therefore, if the universe always existed, then everything within it has always existed in some form.
If, as Naturalists tell us, nothing exists besides the universe, then our universe is what is called a 'closed system'. This means that nothing, not energy or matter, can enter or leave the universe. The second law of Thermodynamics explains what will eventually happen within a closed system. It says that within a closed system, everything will move away from order towards chaos. This law does not say that there cannot be isolated increases in order in one part of the system, but this can only happen due to a decrease in another part of the system.
As I mentioned earlier, the amount of order on planet Earth can (and does) increase due to the huge amount of energy coming from our sun, but the flip side of this is that our sun is gradually moving towards chaos, and will eventually burn itself out, and once this happens, the order on planet Earth will quickly move towards chaos. This isn't only happening in our solar system, but in the entire universe as well.
If our universe has been around for infinity years, it would be infinitely disordered and entropied. Our stars would not be in the process of decaying; they would have fully decayed by now. Therefore there would be NO order left in our universe. The only way that our universe could not have reached complete entropy is if it is actually NOT a closed system. If so, then something must exist outside of nature that is able to effect our universe. Being outside of nature, the force would then be supernatural. And since science has proven that time, as we know it, is dependent on nature, the force would also have to be timeless. And if it's having a beneficial effect on our universe, it would also have to be intelligent. Therefore, if our universe always existed, a supernatural, timeless, intelligent force would, by necessity, have to exist.
The most natural state of affairs is non-existence. Given pure chance, it is most likely that nothing would exist. If something does exist, the most natural state of affairs in simplicity, just a bunch of matter sitting there in space, existing in total chaos. Of course, the most natural state of affairs for this matter would be inertia. It would most likely not be moving at all, or if it was moving, it wouldn't be moving in any distinct pattern.
However, this is not what we have. Our universe, even excluding the life in it, is an incredibly complex machine, moving in very distinct patterns. Can anyone honestly accept that this happened by the observed natural laws, which contradict this ever happening?
Some great quotes:
"It is...remarkable that the theistic description, which was developed millennia before, and therefore in isolation from, the current scientific description, so closely matches the broad perception of current cosmology and paleontology. It is not that theology responded to modern scientific discoveries. Theology presents a fixed view of the universe. Science, through its progressively improved understanding of the world, has come to agree with theology" (G. Schroeder, "Genesis and the Big Bang" pg. 160).
"For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries" (R. Jastrow, "God and the Astronomers", pg. 116).
THE BEGINNING OF LIFE
Both the Bible and the scientific evidence, as well as simple logic, tell us that life began sometime after the creation of the universe. There are 2 major theories for how life came to exist.
1. Spontaneous Generation. This is the belief that billions of years ago, chemicals in a sort of 'primordial soup' developed into single-celled organisms. This was first proposed in the 6th century B.C. by Greek philosopher Anaximander. Charles Darwin is widely credited with advancing this theory. Practically no scientists of the 20th century believe that spontaneous generation could occur today, but many still claim that it was possible billions of years ago because they believed that early Earth had an atmosphere consisting mainly of hydrogen, ammonia, methane, water vapor (the primary 'building blocks' of life), but little or no oxygen.
But an important development that contradicts spontaneous generation is the fact that even the simplest one-celled creatures, we've now discovered, are incredibly complex. When Darwin propagated his belief in spontaneous generation, he assumed that one-celled creatures were simple, not much more complex than the chemicals that created them.
Scientists know that reproduction, even asexual reproduction, is an incredibly complex process. So it is really logical to believe that it is possible for a creature capable of reproduction, to just spring up out of a puddle of primordial soup?
In the 1970's, British astronomer Sir Frederick Hoyle calculated the probability of spontaneous generation in primordial soup such as was believed to have existed billions of years ago. So even assuming that an atmosphere favorable to spontaneous generation did exist, what would be the possibility of the generation of a single amoebae? Hoyle determined it to be one chance in ten to the forty thousandth power! In other words, one chance in a one with forty thousand zeroes after it (about as many zeroes as there are letters on this web page).
A possibility, though? Mathematics tells us that something with the odds of one over ten to the fiftieth power is considered impossible. The chance of spontaneous generation is way beyond miraculous. Hoyle said it "is about the same as the probability that a tornado sweeping through a junk yard could assemble a 747 from the contents therein" (Nature, vol. 294:105).
One might ask, though, if something with such odds against it could occur given the approximately 15 billion years since creation that many scientists estimate, and the incredible size of our planet. However, if you took the number of SECONDS in those 15 billions years and multiplied them by the number of GRAMS OF MATTER in the Earth, you would still be nowhere near 10 to the forty thousandth power. In fact, you would still be well below ten to the FIFTIETH power.
2. Creationism. There really are 2 sub-theories for creationism, one is called Theistic Evolution, the idea that spontaneous generation did happen, but was controlled by God, that these single-celled organisms were made by God, and that God controlled their evolution into what we have today. Interference from God could certainly explain how something as impossible as spontaneous generation could happen. It could happen, if an incredibly powerful and intelligent being, capable of performing miracles, caused it to happen.
The other theory is that God created us pretty much as we are today, as is suggested by the Bible's book of Genesis. If God had the power to instantly create something as complex as this universe (which no reasonable scientist believes was created gradually), why couldn't He make people just as quickly? What would be God's motive for creating us gradually with the power He has at His disposal?
Some great quotes:
"The improbability involved in generating even one bacterium is so large that it reduces all considerations of time and space to nothingness. Given such odds, the time until the black holes evaporate and the space to the ends of the universe would make no difference at all. If we were to wait, we would truly be waiting for a miracle" (Robert Shapiro, "Origins - A Skeptic's Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth", pg. 105)
"If we do not accept the hypothesis of spontaneous generation, then at this one point in the history of evolution we must have recourse to the miracle of supernatural creation" (Ernst Haeckel, "The History of Creation")
"Although the tiniest bacterial cells are incredibly small...each is in effect a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one hundred thousand millions atoms, far more complicated than any machine built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world" (Michael Denton, "Evolution - A Theory in Crisis")
"However, the macromolecule-to-cell transition is a jump of fantastic dimensions, which lies beyond the range of testable hypothesis. In this area all is conjecture. ...We simply wish to point out the fact that there is no scientific evidence. The physicist has learned to avoid trying to specify when time began and when matter was created, except within the framework of frank speculation. The origin of the precursor cell appears to fall into the same category of unknowables." [Davis E. Green (evolutionist, Institute for Enzyme Research, University of Wisconsin, Madison) and Robert F. Goldberger (evolutionist, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland), Molecular Insights into the Living Processes, Academic Press, New York, 1967, pp. 406-407]
"It is therefore a matter of faith on the part of biologist that biogenesis did occur and he can choose whatever method of biogenesis happens to suit him personally; the evidence for what did happen is not available." [Prof. G. A. Kerkut (evolutionist, Department of Physiology and Biochemistry, Univ. of Southampton) in Implications of Evolution, Pergamon Press, London, 1960, p. 150]
"To be forced to believe only one conclusion - that everything in the universe happened by chance - would violate the very objectivity of science itself...What random process could produce the brains of a man or the system of the human eye?" (Wernher Von Bran)
Oddly, scientists at the beginning of this century ridiculed the idea of miracles and of life having an intelligent creator, but are now embracing miracles to explain how life could have been created, and many are also embracing the idea of an intelligent creator, even though they still reject God.
THE PANSPERMIA THEORY
Overwhelmed with the evidence for an intelligent creator of life, many respectable scientists, even nobel-prize winners, are claiming that life in our galaxy was created by extra-terrestrial beings from another part of our universe. This theory is called Panspermia. Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA, asserts that spontaneous generation, though outside of the realm of chance on Earth, might be possible in other parts of our universe, and that this life grew into intelligent beings which later delivered life to our part of the universe. There is not only no evidence to support such a claim, but science has proven that the laws of physics and chemistry are essentially the same throughout the entire universe.
In fairness to the supporters of Panspermia, let's go ahead and assume for a moment that the chance of life being spontaneously generated is much greater in another part of the universe. Let's even say that it is one trillion times as great in some other galaxy than it is in our own. If so, then the chance of life being spontaneously generated moves up from one over ten the 40,000th power to being one over ten to the 39,988th power, still far beyond impossible.
THE MONKEY/TYPEWRITER SCENARIO
When I was a materialist, my best argument about the impossibility of spontaneous generation was the argument that, given enough time, nothing is impossible no matter what the odds against it are. Thomas Huxley, a noted 19th century agnostic, gave what is commonly referred to as the monkey/typewriter scenario. It states that if you had six monkeys that would live forever, six typewriters that would never wear out, an unlimited supply of paper and ink, and an infinite amount of time, that those six monkeys would eventually type all of the books in existence. If an event had a chance of one over infinity of occurring, then it would occur given an infinite amount if time. This argument was held as proof of spontaneous generation for a long time, and is still being used today, even though the argument has been proven incredibly fallible when related to spontaneous generation.
This theory calls for an unlimited amount of time and material, and science now teaches us that our universe is not eternal, but has a finite beginning, and contains finite material. According to the best scientific estimates, our universe is about fifteen billion years old. If you believe that there are multiple universes or that matter existed prior to the Big Bang, just keep in mind that almost all scientists will agree that life on our planet began sometime after the Big Bang, so the time and space we are dealing with when talking about spontaneous generation is not nearly as unlimited as Huxley's scenario called for.
The number of seconds in fifteen billion years is less than 1 times 10 to the 18th power, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000. This seems very high, but is not nearly enough time to make an occurrence such as spontaneous generation likely, even given the number of pounds of matter on planet Earth (approximately 1 times 10 the 25th power or 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds).
I don't know how much 'primordial soup' there was on planet Earth in the days that scientists think spontaneous generation might have been possible, or how long of a time period it would take for spontaneous generation to happen. Since I don't know these facts, I'll be very generous and say that one second is all this is required and that the amount of primordial soup was equal to the number of pounds of matter on Earth. Certainly I am way over-estimating here, wouldn't you agree? For one thing, the amount of time supposedly possible was not 15 billion years but really less than a billion, since spontaneous generation was supposedly only possible for the first billion years of the Earth's life. Also, it could not have happened in stone, which is what most of the Earth's matter is made of. But even given one chance per pound of matter (on the entire Earth) per second (since the creation of the universe), you will end up with five times 10 to the 42nd power attempts, still fall short of the number of possible attempts required to make an occurrence that has a chance of one over ten to the forty thousandth power likely to happen (the chance of it happening given this number of attempts would be approximately one over 10 to the 39,957th power). Given an infinite amount of time and/or an unlimited amount of space, then, yes, spontaneous generation would almost certainly happen. Given only 15 billion years and the size of the Earth, the chance of it happening would still be considered miraculous.
If you still believe that the universe in infinite, or that there are infinite universes, then it certainly is probable that one universe would have conditions that would make spontaneous generation happen. Unfortunately, if there is such a universe, it isn't the one in which we are currently residing. Even the promoters of Panspermia wouldn't claim that life in our universe began before the Big Bang or in a different universe. The chance of spontaneous generation happening in our universe is beyond what is mathematically (or logically) considered to be possible.
THE BIG BANG
The Big Bang theory, also, is believed to be a theory first proposed in the 20th century, but was actually proposed much earlier by biblical scholars, probably as early as the 7th century A.D., taken from information in the Old Testament. The earliest existing reference is in a commentary on the book of Genesis written by Nahmanides (1194-1270 A.D.) in which he was referring to a much earlier source. Of course, he never referred to it as the 'big bang', but this is basically how he described the first moments of the universe (note: this is his theory put into Gerald Schroeder's words):
'At the briefest instant following creation all the matter of the universe was concentrated in a very small place, no larger than a grain of mustard. The matter at this time was so thin, so intangible, that it did not have real substance. It did have, however, a potential to gain substance and form and to become tangible matter. From the initial concentration of this intangible substance in its minute location, the substance expanded, expanding the universe as it did so. As the expansion progressed, a change in the substance occurred. This initially thin noncorporeal substance took on the tangible aspects of matter as we know it. From this initial act of creation, from this etherially thin pseudosubstance, everything that has existed, or will ever exist, was, is, and will be formed' (Gerald Schroeder, 'Genesis and the Big Bang', pg. 65). This is basically how science describes the big bang based on scientific evidence, but was originally formed by biblical scholars based on biblical evidence over a thousand years ago.
I believe that the only thing that explains what we have today, with any reasonable logic, is the existence of a creator. Since our universe is finite, and the creator made this universe, the creator would have to have existed in some sense before the creation of the universe. It couldn't have only created the universe itself and left it at that, because we do have life in this universe, which is a mathematical impossibility. Therefore the same creator who made the universe also had to have created life. If the creator made mankind as intelligent beings who are spiritually advanced enough to contemplate Him, it would be natural that there would be a purpose for this, that the creator would want to have some sort of relationship with these beings. Why go through the trouble of creating something, only to leave it alone from that point on?
If the creator made life as single-cell amoebas, then the creator is the only explanation for how these single-cell amoebas could have become so much more complex and intelligent over time. For the creator to have done this, there must have been a purpose, just as those who have created and developed computers over the years have had a purpose for doing so.
I hope I have convinced you that the incredible complexity of the universe could not have arisen due to mere chance. If you do not believe in a creator, is it because of the evidence, or is it simply a matter of faith? If it is because of the evidence, that's fine, but what evidence have you been offered which suggests that the universe exists through natural means? I'm not saying that faith is a bad thing, of course. My faith in God existed prior to my research on Creationism vs. Naturalism. I only urge you to start asking yourself why you believe what you do. Though I may not know who you are, I believe that you are God's most glorious creation, and that the creator desperately wants to be a part of your life.
"The Heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork" (Psalms 19:1).
The major texts of my research are:
"Is There A God?" by Richard Swinburne.
"The Creator - Beyond Time And Space" by Mark Eastman and Chuck Missler.
"Genesis and the Big Bang" by Gerald L. Schroeder, Ph.D.
"The Thinking Person's Guide to God" by Thomas Harpur
I would recommend any of these books to anyone interested in further study on the topic.
And here's a good web page I found---> The Existence of God and the Beginning of the Universe
And here's another---> Scientific Evidence for the Existence of God