The Big Bang and the Bible
Science may just now be catching up with the Bible. Theories come and go, but just in the last couple of decades scientists are concluding that there was a BEGINNING to our Universe! And if there was a beginning, there must be a Beginner. Some scientists have balked at these conclusions—even though based on Einstein's theory of general relativity. Even he at first resisted what his computations were telling him. He finally admitted "the necessity for a beginning" and "the presence of a superior reasoning power."
Perhaps this seeming confirmation for our faith comes at a good time! In our world, as we are barreling down to the next millennium of time, people are asking some ultimate questions about the destiny of the human race. World events seem out of control…. Where are we heading? Where will it all end? Perhaps some of our answers can come from where it all began.
Where it All Began
Since the time of Aristotle—about 2,300 years ago—scientific theory said the universe was without beginning. Up to the 1960s, two thirds of leading U.S. scientists surveyed believed the same. Now with data from telescopes, scientists are finding Genesis 1:1 right after all: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…." There, indeed, was a beginning to our universe!
Einstein's equations calculated both an expanding as well as a decelerating universe-both of which pointed toward a beginning point. But he never did accept the understanding of a personal God because of his bitterness toward clergy and his inability to resolve God's omnipotence and man's responsibility for his choices. Perhaps if he had probed further into the Bible, he would have found a wonderful divine plan. This plan, in fact, presents a glorious outcome designed by an all-powerful, all loving God who also worked with man's free moral agency of choice!
Scientists Need Faith
Still, some scientists may challenge that a beginning does NOT imply an Intelligent Beginner. They propose that the laws of nature allow for the creation of the universe without a Creator. They label it "quantum fluctuation." But since both those scientists and Creationists agree that before the Universe there was no time or space as we know it -there would also be no laws of nature to spontaneously produce the highly unlikely result of our well-tuned universe! Another suggestion is that our finite universe is like only one bubble in an infinitely large eternal macro-universe with many bubble universes. Of course, these ideas cannot be tested by observation. Scientists need more faith to deny a Creator than it takes to believe in one!
Birth of Universe
"Big Bang" sounds like a random explosion. (Actually it is the name given by one of its critics—and the name stuck.) But, in fact, scientists say this phenomenal beginning point in time and space was very precise. Cosmologists today teach that ten to twenty billion years ago our entire universe was compressed into what scientists called a "singularity." This "singularity" was comprised of all the mass of our universe packed into an infinitesimally tiny volume of space, considerably smaller than an atomic nucleus. Space and time did not exist. This infinitely dense singularity exploded at unimaginable temperatures. Physicists concur that for our universe to have been able to support life, its original expansion rate had to be "fine-tuned to one part in 10 to the 60th power—that's 1 with 60 zeros after it." The head of the NASA COBE satellite team, George Smoot describes the big bang as "finely orchestrated." If the rate of expansion one second after the big bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million," says Stephen Hawking, "the universe would have recollapsed before it ever reached its present state." What deeper meaning we can now see in Psalm 19, "The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse [Strong's #7549] is declaring the work of His hands."
Not only is the rate of expansion finely orchestrated, but the ratios of necessary elements essential for life in our universe are also fine-tuned. Harvard's Astronomy Department Chairman, Robert Kirshner says: "A delicate match between the energies of helium, the unstable beryllium and the resulting carbon allows the last to be created. Without this process, we would not be here." And where is the universe going? "Since the universe is a space-time continuum, this implies something outside space and time." A non-universe plane of existence beyond our own implies—yes again—a Creator!
How much more we can appreciate what the Scriptures mean when they say, "He who created the heavens, He is God; He who fashioned and made the Earth, He founded it; He did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited" (Isaiah 45:18).
Earth Created in Six Days
Wait a minute! say some Christians, how can science help confirm what we understand about Genesis when the earth was created in six days? Actually the opening verses describe the "heaven and earth" to be "without form and void" before the creative days began. In this unprepared state, the universe could have easily existed from 10 to 20 billion years.
But according to the Bible, were not the sun and moon created on the fourth day? "And God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. And placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to govern the day and the night and to separate the light from the darkness…a fourth day" (Genesis 1:14-19). First of all, it is hardly reasonable to suppose, the earth could have grass and fruit trees on the third day without sunlight (Genesis 1:11-13)—if the sun was not created till the fourth day! What eventually happened on the fourth day was that the sun and moon became clearly discernible on earth so as to "govern" or mark the days and the months. The sun as part of the universe clearly existed before the third or fourth day of creation according to Genesis!
Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence?
It's interesting how on one hand some may begrudge scientists who have concluded the evidence pointing to Intelligence, and yet our government has spent millions of dollars for NASA's project called SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence)! For years SETI has searched for signals to find "beings superior to us, not only technically, but perhaps spiritually and morally." Man has an instinctive yearning to know about what is beyond his tangible world. But no signals or messages from outer space have been discovered.
The only intelligent messages discovered have been in the tiny universe of microbiology—they are the complex DNA codes for life! By 1967 Nobel prize winners Crick and Watson cracked the genetic DNA code which are information messages in each of our own cells—like sentences with grammar rules.
But the search for Intelligence beyond our finite terrestrial boundaries should be concluded! The same God who intelligently prepared the Universe for life also designed the codes for life on earth. "Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf!" (Psalm 66:5)
Intelligent Design is a theory to explain intelligent results. As we enter the twenty-first century, science has yet to come up with a consistent natural explanation for the origin of the universe and life. It would seem that the supernatural explanation given in Hebrews 11:3 is still the best one we have: "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible."
The second step after concluding God made our universe is to conclude God will reward our search to know him personally. "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6). When in ancient times Job questioned why God would permit him to suffer, what was God's answer in reply? God comforted him by reviewing His power and wisdom in the wonders of His creation: "Then the LORD answered Job…Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth…Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? Canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?" (Job 38:1,4,33).
If we can appreciate the beautifully precise design of God's physical universe—our faith can more easily trust His wisdom in His divine design for preserving his intelligent creation Man. Yes, we may confidently face the future because we have already seen what our wise, all-powerful Creator prepared for us in the past….
A. Vibert Douglas, "Forty Minutes with Einstein," JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY OF CANADA (1956), p. 100.
Lincoln Barnett, THE UNIVERSE AND DR. EINSTEIN (New York: William Sloane Assoc., 1948), p. 106.
S. Brush, "How Cosmology Became a Science," SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, Aug. 1992.
Einstein, Albert, OUT OF MY LATER YEARS (NY: Philosophical Library, 1950), pp. 27-28.
H. Pagels, PERFECT SYMMETRY, Michael Joseph, London, 1985.
Gerald L. Schroeder, THE SCIENCE OF GOD (NY: Broadway Books, 1997), p. 25.
"The Great Debate," COSMIC PURSUIT, Fall 1997, p. 22.
Stephen W. Hawking, A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME--FROM THE BIG BANG TO BLACK HOLES (New York Bantam Books, 1998), p. 122-123.
Robert P. Kirshner, "The Earth's Elements," SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN (October 1994), p. 61.
Naftali J. Berg, SCIENCE IN THE LIGHT OF TORAH, Ed. Herman Branover (Jason Aronson Inc, Northvale, NJ), 1994, pp. 56,57.
Fred Heeren, SHOW ME GOD (Day Star Publications, Wheeling, IL, 1997), p. 71.
Ibid, p. 67.