Did the Big Bang just go bye-bye?
I’m not too big on overly sensational titles, but for this month’s question, I decided to use… an overly sensational title.
When thinking about the origin of the universe, one of the first things that comes to most people’s minds is “the Big Bang”. Our public schools and state universities teach about it, and there’s no shortage of magazine articles and television documentaries depicting staggeringly complex details of this alleged momentous event. We’re told by the world’s leading scientists it’s a fact beyond denying. (e.g. “Theory No More? Scientists Make ‘Big Bang’ Breakthrough with Find”, March 18, 2014, Fox News Mobile, March 18)
Initially proposed back in 1948, the Big Bang bgecame the prevailing “theory” of the origin of the universe, at least among those who reject the biblical literal six-day creation account of Genesis 1. This theory has undergone major adjustments since its inception and bears little resemblance to its original form. It is so pliable it seems to be able to accommodate just about any scientific discovery. But a theory that can account for anything and everything, really isn’t even a theory. An actual theory must make specific predictions and therefore be in a position of being potentially falsifiable (e.g. when the predictions are proven false). In other words, the Big Bang never tends to be questioned when new discoveries are made; it just gets more and more band aids to stay alive. After the model is tweaked (to accommodate the new findings) the new findings are then later used as evidence that the model is accurate!
However, not everyone is in love with the idea. Interestingly, Sir Fred Hoyle, who was one of the world’s leading astronomers and an atheist for most of his life, when first hearing about this new theory of the origin of the universe in the 1940s, sarcastically called it the “big bang” and that name stuck and has been used ever since. More recently, there was an open letter written to the scientific community expressing grave doubts about the Big Bang (details later in this article). In spite of all of its problems, it still holds first place among secular scientists and other non-Christians.
What I find even more interesting is… the number of Christians who look upon the Big Bang with reverence and respect, often giving it more precedence than the Bible. There are quite a few Christian apologists who actually claim the Big Bang is “proof” that the Bible is true! Their general reasoning is that since the Big Bang implies there truly was a beginning to the universe, it fits in very well with Genesis which clearly states that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” However, this merger (combining the Big Bang with the Bible) is fraught with problems, both scientifically and scripturally. It is not my intention in this particular article to enumerate all of the problems, but here are just a few listed as bullet points:
- It creates contradictions in the order of events listed in Genesis 1.
- It introduces death into God’s creation long before Adam is even created.
- It rules out an actual global, worldwide flood (Genesis 6-8).
The larger point I am making with this article is that it is never wise to use secular scientific theories as “proof” the Bible is true. If we do (and many have and continue to do so), what do we do when scientists strongly question or disregard their own ideas? What does that say about our “proof”?
With this in mind, consider the fact that in 2004, New Scientist (May 22) published an “An Open Letter to the Scientific Community” which was a very strong rebuttal to the Big Bang, and it was signed by numerous prestigious scientists.
Much more recently, things have taken another interesting turn. Phys.org surprised everyone with the following headlines (Feb 9, 2015) “No Big Bang? Quantum equation predicts universe has no beginning”
The article stated:
“The universe may have existed forever, according to a new model that applies quantum correction terms to complement Einstein's theory of general relativity. The model may also account for dark matter and dark energy, resolving multiple problems at once.”
I am certainly not implying all scientists will immediately give up hope in the Big Bang… that’s typically not how things work. What I am saying is there now appears to be alleged evidence (according to all of their assumptions and how they look at things) that there wasn’t an actual beginning. So now what do those Christians do who so often use the Big Bang as a big part of their defense that the Bible is correct? If this new approach finds favor amongst the majority of astronomers and physicists (too early to tell), will those Christians “fight science” in an effort to hold on to the Big Bang to defend the Bible, or will they acquiesce to the new theory (that states there was no beginning) and try to somehow convince others that it also “proves” the Bible is right?
The lesson to be learned is we need to view Scripture as inspired and authoritative from cover-to-cover and if there are ever significant alleged contradictions between “science” and the Bible, we need to hold-fast to God’s Word and wait for the scientists to catch-up. This is because there is never really a problem between true science and the Bible… just sometimes between scientist’s opinions and the Bible.
We never need to be intimidated by whatever the “theory of the day” is. God’s Word is true and trustworthy from beginning to end. “Let God be true, and every human being a liar.” (Romans 3:4)
In light of all of this, it’s interesting to note the following quote by a Professor of Astronomy at Princeton University:
“‘Cosmology may look like a science, but it isn’t a science,’ says James Gunn of Princeton University, co-founder of the Sloan survey. ‘A basic tenet of science is that you can do repeatable experiments, and you can’t do that in cosmology.’”
Cho, Adrian, A singular conundrum: How odd is our universe? Science 317:1848–1850, 2007.
And one more, just for fun, from Leon Ledermann (Nobel Prize winning physicist):
“When you read or hear anything about the birth of the universe, someone is making it up.”
The Fire in the Equations: Science, Religion and the Search for God, by Kitty Ferguson, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1995, p. 145
So whether or not secular scientists change their mind regarding the Big Bang or the eternality of the universe, we can trust that God “says what He means and means what He says”. There’s no need to wait to hear from the secular world to determine what God really meant!
As with all of our other articles, much more could be said about this, but if you have any questions related to this month’s article or any other issue, please don’t hesitate to contact us!