"By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God's command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen." (Hebrews 11:3 NLT)
University of Cambridge theoretical physicists recently simulated how a ring-shaped black hole could cause Einstein’s theory of relativity to break down. Ring-shaped black holes were “discovered” in 2002. Now their dynamics have been successfully simulated using supercomputers. Should this type of black hole form, they say it would lead to a“naked singularity", causing equations behind general relativity to break down.
Einstein’s theory—the foundation of modern physics—tells us that matter warps its surrounding spacetime. Gravity is the name we give to the effect of that warp. Understanding of gravity forms the basis of the estimation of the age of the stars and GPS signals we rely on to help us navigate.
Relativity theory has been accepted as absolutely true for the last century. But now physicists admit one of its limitations is the existence of singularities--points in space and time where gravity is so intense that the laws of physics do not apply.
General relativity predicts that singularities exist at the center of black holes. Those black holes are surrounded by an event horizon--the "point of no return" where gravitational pull is so strong that escape is impossible (meaning they cannot be observed from the outside). A Cambridge researcher stated that as long as singularities stay hidden behind an event horizon, general relativity holds. Theoretical physicists believe this is always the case, because of what they name "cosmic censorship conjecture.”
But what if a singularity existed outside an event horizon? It would be visible from the outside and would represent an object that has collapsed to an infinite density, a state causing laws of physics to break down. Theoretical physicists hypothesize that such a thing, called a naked singularity, might exist in higher dimensions. We think of the universe as existing in 3 dimensions, plus a fourth dimension of time, together referred to as spacetime. But in some branches of theoretical physics, the universe could be made up of as many as 11 dimensions, which are inferred in high energy experiments.
If naked singularities exist, physicists admit that the theory of general relativity breaks down. If general relativity breaks down, it would throw everything upside down, because it would no longer have any predictive power and would no longer be considered a standalone theory to explain the universe.
It is evident that Christians are not the only ones who live by faith. Theoretical physicists research on the basis of theories, prediction, and conjecture. Supercomputers simulate theories. Einstein’s equations are based on theory. Einstein said, "Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."
Here are a few questions for the researchers. If singularities and event horizons cannot be observed from the outside, how can we know for sure they actually exist? What force designed “cosmic censorship”? Does the predictability of the universe not lend credence to the existence of God? Why do some scientists ridicule Christians who believe in the unseen God, while they conduct research on the basis of what cannot be observed? Since no one can demystify the cosmos, is it not wise to worship its Creator? Does the fundamental principle of quantum physics ("First you believe, then you see") not indicate scientists also operate by faith?
In our humanity, we should be humble to the point of admitting our ignorance before the omnipotent and omniscient Creator. Einstein said, "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind. That deep emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God."
"Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can't see. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together." (Colossians 1:15-17 NLT)
Johnny R. Almond
Interim Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church; Fredericksburg, Virginia