How can I know the origin of the universe?

If I can’t experiment (successfully) to find out the origin of the universe (Can something come out of nothing? blog) and if I can’t observe the origin of the universe . . . what can I do in the realm of science to figure out the origin of the universe?

I can observe objects in the universe in their current state of existence and try to figure out their origin.  This is where, for example, I could look at fossils and try to date them.  But there are problems . . .

I can only see the object in the present, and, without using historical documents, I must suppose what historical cause(s) brought it to the state it is currently in.

I can try to use what I know about observational science, but I still have big problems.  For example, how do I know the original state of the object (what it was to begin with)?  How do I know whether the processes that have aged the object happened suddenly at an event back in history or over a long period of time?

None of us have ever lived a million or thousand years, so we can’t date things back a million or thousand years scientifically.  We don’t know for sure what processes the object went through, whether they were fast or slow.

The only way we can date things with certainty if we weren’t there to witness the processes is if they connect to historical events we trust happened.

For example, I was not alive when Elvis was, but if I saw a costume that belonged to him in a museum, I would probably believe it was really his, because I believe the history I’ve been told about Elvis.  But that history exists in the past and cannot lend itself to observation.

The only thing I can observe is how the costume appears in the present, and other than being able to date the costume somewhat accurately (if someone hasn’t aged it quickly), I can’t know for sure who wore it.  I have to trust the historical artifacts (photos, documents, videos) to get anywhere.

Beliefs are the driving force.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed. (Psalm 34:4-5, ESV)


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