The chapter was a little mind-blowing and difficult to summarize.
How the God Hypothesis predicts Time
According to the God Hypothesis, God invented time. He was there “before” it and exists outside it; it is part of the created material order.
The fact that God can survey all of time at once implies that all time still exists. The theory of relativity concludes that the whole of space-time must have a real and continuing existence, regardless of our perception of time as past-present-future.
We can move freely backwards and forwards in any of space’s three dimensions, but we can only move forward in time. Strictly speaking time is not moving; we are moving through the pre-existing landscape of time.
This unique uni-directional nature of time is called the “arrow of time”.
Almost all the equations and theories of science are symmetrical with respect to time – they hold true whether events are running forward or backward theoretically. The exception is the second law of thermodynamics, because entropy (disorder) must increase or not change and can never decrease with time’s passage. The arrow of time is a property of entropy alone.
The more ways there are to arrange the components of a system, the higher its entropy. You have to work hard to decrease entropy (pumping a tire, stretching a rubber band).
Example: The Rubber Band
In an unstretched band, the rubber molecules are coiled randomly into balls. There are a large number of ways the molecules can be arranged in this coil fashion, so entropy is very high. When the rubber band is stretched, the molecules uncoil and elongate, lining up parallel to one another. There are only a small number of ways this arrangement of molecules can work, so entropy is low.
There must be an injection of energy to go from the unstretched (high entropy) state to the stretche (low entropy) state. Not only this, but the energy must have direction and control, because just zapping the rubber band in a microwave won’t do.
In an isolated system like the universe, low entropy (highly ordered state) cannot “just happen” any more than a rubber band can stretch itself. But, a state of low entropy can “unwind” to high entropy, releasing energy in the process.
The only way science can explain the phenomenon of time is by assuming that the universe began in a highly ordered (low entropy) state. In order to set the universe in motion, something had to have supplied energy that was not already present.
The Hypothesis of God Predicts This
The scientific scenarios above validate the biblical concept of eternity, because before the universe existed, time could not exist. Until the universe was there, it could not be in any particular entropy state.
An energetic act of creation must have occurred before time could begin to run. This fits well with God’s creation.
As entropy began to increase (and time began to exist) the universe changed and evolved. This progressive development is clearly assumed by the Bible in passages that speak of the unfolding of creation (Genesis) as well as the “wearing out” and “fading away” of the universe. The Bible also assumes that the universe will have an end; this fits the idea that the universe’s entropy will increase up to a maximum state, and the universe will collapse.
None of this proves the existence of God, but the hypothesis of God does make correct predictions about the findings of science in relation to the origin of time and the universe.
Getting Rid of Time
Some scientists, aware of the theological implications of the beginning of time, have tried to get rid of the concept. One theory has been an eternal recurrence of expansions and contractions of the universe. However, if the universe has a net energy total of zero, then the collapse would leave no energy to recreate a low entropy state. Even if energy is left over, this would cause time and entropy to continue to increase to a maximum state, and time would have stopped.
It is almost taken for granted by many cosmologists that we exist in a “multiverse”. Some theorize that our universe could be from an eternally prior universe, we could be unbounded by time, if the mathematical concept of “imaginary time” replaces real time. But we live in real time, so this remains just a mathematical concept not applicable to the real world.