Big Bang Theory
How can I write a report on the big bang if I do not believe in it?
Yesterday a boy at church came to me with a question. He is apparently being asked to do a report at school on the big bang. He wanted to know how he could or how he should write a report on something he did not believe was true. I gave him a fairly quick answer, but wanted to follow-up. So, I provided my full response to his parents saying 'you can share as little or as much as you want with him'. But, I also wanted to share it online in the event that others are in a similar situation. Hope this helps. In His service, Daniel
Point 1: Big Bang Supports Creation
Prior to the big bang theory, scientists could claim that the bible was wrong because the universe was infinite, it never just sprang into existence like the Genesis account. Hubble's discovery of an 'expanding universe' caused a paradigm shift for scientists in our understanding of the universe. If the universe is getting bigger, then it was once smaller. It had a beginning. Moreover, the cosmic radiation (heat) that was detected years later by scientists supports the idea that this smaller universe came to being from an explosion, the heat of which can still be found today. Together, this data supports the idea that the universe was created in a 'big bang' and has been expanding (growing) in size ever since.
From a Christian perspective, we have two choices. We can outright exclude any science that appears to go against what we are told in the bible, or we can look to science to help build our faith. I think the evidence of the big bang theory improves my faith and here is why. Science now supports the idea of creation! It shows that everything was created from nothing. This sound to me like "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
Point 2: A scientific theory is not a fact
The scientific theory of the 'big bang' is not a fact. Theories, like the 'big bang', are constantly being adjusted to fit with new data or sometimes are thrown out completely. One should take these theories with a grain of salt, because they most likely will change. I put my bet on the sure thing and that is full trust in the bible as the ultimate source of truth!!!
Point 3: 'Let there be light', No details . . . .
God did not start the Bible with "In the beginning, God created a quantum source of energy in multidimensional space, then declared its expansion in an explosion of light and energy, creating all matter". No, God said let there be light. No details. Why? Well, the purpose of the creation account was not to give Moses a scientific explanation on the creation of the world. The Bible indicates that God's communication to Moses was centered on the relationship between God and man. Genesis mirrors the content of the rest of the Bible, which focuses on mankind and his relationship to God.
So, if one wants to know the details what are we to do? Well, there is always science. Science is just one way to understand the world around us and bring us closer to understanding God. As Robert Boyle, the father of modern chemistry, said: “From a knowledge of God’s work we shall know Him.” But, science has its problems. Science is limited as we are limited because conclusions are dependent on the data we can collect from our senses and by what we understand of natural law (assumptions like the law of gravity cannot be broken). This means there will lots of mistakes on the way to understanding the universe. Is the big bang wrong or right? The future will tell. But the key for me is that it provides some scientific proof of God.
My best advise to anyone in this situation is to not sweat it. Whether your son wants to believe the evidence of the big bang or deny it altogether, he can still write about it objectively. For example, rather than saying "the Big Bang theory explains what happened at the very beginning of our universe", he could say "the Big Bang theory attempts to explain what happened at the very beginning of our universe". He can mention the data in support of this theory (e.g. expanding universe and cosmic radiation), then go into the unknown factors (see bullet point below).
- According to the standard theory, our universe began as a "singularity" around 14 billion years ago. What is a "singularity"? Singularities are zones which defy our understanding of physics, thought to exist at the core of black holes. Our universe is thought to have begun as an infinitely dense, infinitely small, infinitely hot zone. Where did it come from? Scientists don't know. Why did it appear? Scientists don't know. How can matter and energy appear from nothing when the laws of physics say matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed. Scientists don't know. Ahhh . . . . the limitations of science. Beyond the laws of physics, requiring a supernatural force. Here is my God: "Let there be light"!!!