May 25, 2019

In the Beginning: Big Bang or the Bible?

For as long as I can remember, there has been a battle
raging between the Bible and science.

Actually, let me correct that statement: there has
been a battle raging between proponents of the Bible and proponents of science.
The battle is between people, and that’s an important distinction, because
science and the Bible are not enemies.

Human beings are generally FAR too eager to choose
sides in arguments, and then once a side has been chosen, to completely
disregard, discredit, and even attempt to destroy the other side. That’s what
has happened in the so-called “debate” between scientists and believers - BUT
believe it or not, science and the Bible get along just fine.

The first sentence of the Bible is: In the beginning, God created the heavens
and the earth
. In case you were wondering, “the heavens and the earth”
means… everything. The Bible says quite plainly that the only reason that there
is “something” instead of “nothing” is because God made it. He made it all!

Contrary to what some new-age religions claim, God and
the universe are not the same thing. He is the creator, not the creation, and
as such, He exists independently, outside of that creation, and - according to causality
- He must have existed BEFORE what He created.

Even if you’ve never heard the term “causality,” you’re
probably quite familiar with it by its other name: the law of cause and effect.
Those two words must occur in that order. CAUSE first, EFFECT second. Any
observable effect happens after whatever caused it. It’s a very common sense
type of thinking, but it’s also one of the cornerstones of modern science.

Scientists have spent hundreds of years collecting
information, doing experiments, making observations, and by using vast amounts
of data and brain-melting math, they have been able to piece together a string
of cause and effect all the way back to the beginning of the universe.

Well, almost.

It’s complicated.

Scientists still don’t - and may never - know all the
answers about how the universe started or how it became what we see today, and
it’s important to note that they don’t ALL agree about how it happened.

(Of course, Christians don’t ALL agree about
everything in the Bible, either, so…)

But the best theory science has to offer, or at least
the one which MOST scientists generally agree on, goes by a name that you’ve
undoubtedly heard before…


No, not the TV show with a bunch of nerds. The big
bang is an idea that came about in the early 1900’s, and one of the most
important and well-known scientists who contributed to the theory was Albert
Einstein through his
 Special and General Theories of Relativity.

I’m about to grossly over-simplify things in a big
way, but the basic gist of the big bang is this: by using telescopes both on
land and in space to study the light from the billions of stars and galaxies
visible in the sky, we have learned that the universe is expanding.

We know this because the light coming from far away
galaxies has been red-shifted in much the same way that the Doppler effect
causes the pitch of a train whistle to drop when it passes you. The motion of
the train causes the pitch to be higher while the train is coming toward you,
and lower as it moves away. The same thing happens to light from stars and
galaxies over the vast distances of space, and it tells us that almost
everything else in the universe is moving AWAY from us.

Running the line of cause and effect backwards in time,
we see that all of the stars and galaxies which are currently moving away from
each other must have originally started out from a single point in space.

A singularity.

An infinitely dense, infinitely small, mind boggling
mathematical point in spacetime where gravity is so strong that even light
can’t escape from it. By now, you’ve probably heard about the first picture
ever taken of a black hole: the supermassive black hole located at the center
of galaxy M87. It contains as much mass as 6 and a half BILLION stars like our

Scientists believe that every black hole contains a
singularity at its center, but even the supermassive monster we recently
photographed  is barely a drop in the
ocean compared to the singularity which led to the big bang. THAT singularity
contained ALL of the matter in the entire universe. A long, long time ago, this
singularity appeared and immediately erupted in an event we now refer to as the
Big Bang, and the universe has been expanding, growing, and evolving ever

Now… I know a lot of Christians who scoff at the
notion of the Big Bang. But you shouldn’t!! Let me tell you why.

Like I mentioned before, the big bang is not the only
theory of how the universe came to be. In the 1920s and 30s, most astronomers
preferred what was called the STEADY STATE THEORY, in which the universe was
said to be eternal, with no beginning. There was no beginning of the universe,
no beginning of time. It had always… just been there! In fact, it was actually
a supporter of the Steady State Theory  -
British astronomer Fred Hoyle - who first used the term “big bang” in 1949, and
a lot of the early "big bangers" took offense to the term. They thought Hoyle was
mocking them, though he later said he wasn’t insulting anyone and only used the
term to lay out the differences between the competing theories.

Whether Hoyle was mocking big bang scientists or not, Christians
should avoid doing so. We should actually view the big bang theory as being in
agreement with the Bible. You see, the Bible says that there was, in fact, a
beginning - a point in time which would be the very first point in time. There
was nothing, not even time, before THE beginning. And that is exactly what the
big bang theory says, as well.

The Steady state scientists strongly opposed the big
bang theory because they felt like it was importing religious ideas into
science, and they just couldn’t stand the thought of that! Fred Hoyle himself
said: "The reason why scientists like the "big bang" is because
they are overshadowed by the Book of Genesis."

As it turns out, we have learned a LOT about space and
the origins of the universe since scientists first proposed the big bang theory.
We’re actually coming up on the 50th anniversary of the first manned
moon landing later this year, on July 20th.  Besides several trips to the moon and back,
we have sent satellites to survey every planet in our solar system, we’ve
launched ridiculously overpowered telescopes into space which have actually
discovered planets around other stars, we’ve landed probes on Venus and Mars
(as well as some asteroids and even comets), and we’re now looking very
seriously at manned missions to Mars. Computers have been getting more and more
powerful for decades and have played an indispensable role in being able to
study what’s out there and where it all may have come from.

With all the new findings, it looks like the steady
state theory of the universe is gone for good, and the big bang theory (some
variation of it at least) is here to stay, and that’s actually good for people
like myself, who believe in God - specifically, the God of the Bible.

Science can only go back so far by tracing the line of
cause and effect. Even if scientists do eventually get all of the details
worked out all the way back to the first moment of time (and they’ve already
got it more-or-less worked out down to a tiny, tiny fraction of the very first
second), virtually all of them agree that the creation of the universe is an
EVENT which was CAUSED by something which science will probably never be able
to explain definitively, because science is limited to what human beings can
observe within our universe.

Whatever caused the universe to pop into existence
would have to be something outside of our universe, which existed BEFORE the
universe, literally before spacetime as we know it was even a thing, and thus,
beyond the reach of science. Fortunately, the identity of the FIRST CAUSE has
actually been known for thousands of years by anybody who has ever read Genesis

In the
beginning, GOD created the heavens and the earth.

American Astronomer (and self-proclaimed agnostic) Robert
Jastrow made the following remark in his book entitled God and the Astronomers:

“At this moment it seems as though science will never
be able to raise the curtain on the mystery of creation. For the scientist who
has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream.
He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest
peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of
theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

So, what’s it going to be? Bible or Big Bang? Why not…

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