Just as it is impossible to count down through the negative integers from minus infinty to zero, so it is impossible in real time, for time t to run from minus infinity to plus infinity. The real past, therefore, must have a beginning, exactly as empirical science suggests.
Empirical, testable science points to a beginning for the cosmos. This has philosophical implications that point to ‘the hand of God’, as Stephen Hawking puts it. A possible way out is to propose a mathematical model of the cosmos that has no beginning. Will this work?
To explain the origin of the universe, in an attempt to avoid ‘the hand of God’, Sean Carroll argued that science produces mathematical models of the universe and theism does not. One must be careful, however, not to confuse the designing of mathematical models with doing science. Science is testable and none of the mathematical models we have produced actually work, according to Carroll. Also, Judeo-Christian theism, with its belief that God has established laws of nature that govern the cosmos, makes mathematical models possible. Thus, Judeo-Christian theism actually compliments science in this area.
There is a prediction that arises out of one of the most ancient texts of Judeo-Christian theism that, thousands of years later, has proved to be the very foundation of science and the testable predictions that are essential to science.
Sean Carroll has argued that if the physical world is the entirety of reality, then it makes no sense to ask what caused physical reality. But defining away the problem is a rational-inquiry-stopper. There is reason to believe that the causal principle may still apply.