Why Can’t We Understand God?

Humor a deist, intelligent design advocate, Christian, creationist as he fumbles through an explanation of why physicists and other scientists should not be closed-minded.  Criticism is (as always) welcome.

  • We can’t quite get our heads around the nature of creation of the universe and time
  • We can’t quite get our heads around the bending of physics
  • Because we are limited.

Allow me to introduce you to Mr. and Mrs. Flat.  They are two-dimensional stick-figure line drawings on a plane sheet of paper.  They were drawn by a human.  They live their lives in two dimensions, X and Y.  They are wicked-smart physicist line drawing people, and have done quite a lot of thinking about the nature of the universe.  They have concluded:

  • There are two dimensions where we exist.
  • There is a third dimension that extends at an angle from the other two, and we call this “Z”.  We think that things could have shapes in three dimensions.  This is not very controversial.
  • Some radicals think there might be a fourth dimension, in which we travel while still part of the first three.  This is possibly crazy talk.

One day, you decide to poke your finger through their piece of paper.  They perceive a disturbance, and a place where there are XY coordinates in a rough circle that are the shape of something not-paper.  They see the different shapes your finger makes as it goes through the plane, and realize that here is a three-dimensional object.  They can’t see you because they are 2D and you are 3D.  But they can perceive you, and contemplate you.

If you were to put yourself in your line drawing and explain to them all about our for-sure known four dimensions, plus all the things that go on in 3D just all the time like nothing, they would have a hard time with it, but maybe believe you.  If you told them YOU had drawn them with your own hand, they would maybe believe you, but raise all sorts of objections about being able to affect their 2D world through use of an obviously-different set of physical rules.  Their minds boggle, but they are physicists and super good at theoretical maths.  They crunch the numbers and conclude that it looks like you must be a nutter, just another 2D line drawing with cockamamie ideas about the origins of their existence.


  • You exist in three dimensions, XY and Z
  • You travel through time as a fourth dimension, T
  • There are probably some other dimensions, according to some wicked-hard maths that I can’t figure out but some scientists seem pretty convinced so . . .
  • Some people say there is a God who created the whole universe. This is possibly crazy talk.

It should be obvious that, to make something, you have to be outside of and/or apart from it in some way.  You can’t 3D-print your 3D printer while using it to 3D print itself, right?  That’s silliness!  But you can use your tools to make a 3D printer which will then be able to 3D print other cool stuff.  So can God.

“In the Beginning, God…”

We have an indeterminate period of possibly-infinite time where the world existed, but was basically a blank slate.  We have an external entity of capabilities beyond what can be found inside our universe.  This entity MUST be outside of our known universe, because

…created the heavens and the earth.

What? you say, this is impossible!  The universe is infinite according to the 4 dimensions we are really, really sure exist.  There is no way you could just CREATE the whole Universe.  This is possibly crazy talk!

All things were made by him…

No.  We have done the maths and we are really quite sure it looks like there was nothing, then Big Bang and there was everything, which settled down a bit over the last 13.8 billion years and ta-da! here we are.  Nobody did any MAKING of this universe.  That makes no sense at all, according to the physics we can theorize.

Right.  That’s the point.  The rules of the system were created by a being not of the system.  You can’t expect a 2D stick figure to MAKE a sheet of paper and then draw stick people on it.  And you can’t expect that something which conforms to the physics of the known universe could possibly MAKE the known universe.  It’s unpossible!  That leaves two choices:

  1. The universe was created
  2. The universe sprang forth from nothing

This leaves a conundrum for all sentients in the known universe to ponder:  Do I find it to be more likely that nothing suddenly turned into everything?  Or do I find it more likely that we don’t know 100% of all there is to know, and there can exist something outside the known physical system of our universe, which created it?

That something is God.  You may choose to believe that nothing can turn into something, and you will have my sincere pity.  I chose long ago to believe that we haven’t quite got the numbers in on 100% of everything, and the universe was created by a (?) outside of it.

This “creator” must necessarily NOT be limited to our four dimensions.  This “creator” could be capable of manipulating our dimensions and physical laws at whim.  You could say that this would be a very “powerful” being.  That it could, in fact, possibly create “by wisdom” and one could theorize that everything in our known universe was created by it.


To admit you do not know everything is the essence of scientific curiosity.  Do not be ashamed to stand with the giants of history, and think that there can be “a God.”

Even, do not shy away from being afraid of It.  This has been described as “…the beginning of knowledge!

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