Premise (1) [Whatever begins to exist has a cause.] does not state merely a physical law like the law of gravity or the laws of thermodynamics, which are valid for things within the universe. Premise (1) is not a physical principle. Rather, premise (1) is a metaphysical principle: being cannot come from nonbeing; something cannot come into existence uncased from nothing. The principle therefore applies to all of reality, and it is thus metaphysically absurd that the universe should pop into being uncaused out of nothing. This response seem quite reasonable: for on the atheistic view, there was not even the potentiality of the universe’s existence prior to the big bang, since nothing is prior to the big bang. But then how can could the universe become actual if there was not even the potentiality of its existence?