Did God use a big bang?
Trying to ‘fit God’ into a secular construct
Published: 6 October 2012 (GMT+10)
Rick L, U.S., wrote in response to the article Multiverse Theory:
I would summarize by saying it takes more faith to believe in Multiverse theory than it does to believe in God. Ockham’s Razor as you reference.
I am not as emotive about it. I welcome the chance to ponder the universe and try to explain the physical laws we see. Science is my friend. I don’t see it as a snub of God. I’m sure He can take it.
I would have to agree that this theory is philosophical and not scientific. It can never be tested or proven to be true or false. I think there may be some merit to the expansion theory. I like it.
I am willing to entertain the Big Bang Theory. I don’t think it threatens God’s hand in creation. Science may eventually explain how everything was created all the way back to a singularity. That’s great, it just explains God’s method. The Big Bang Theory still won’t explain why the singularity was there in the first place or what preceded it. So, God will always be the final answer.
Gary Bates, the author of the aforementioned article, responds.
Thanks for your email. However, may I gently suggest that (per our feedback rules) that before you contacted a biblical (young-earth) creationist site, with your views on how God may have used something like the big bang, that it would have been helpful to peruse our site. For example, simply typing ‘big bang’ into the search engine, reveals a plethora of articles on the subject including a very good summary of the problems with the big bang called The mind of God and the ‘big bang’. However, I have responded in a manner that will allow you to access more information via the links in this article. I hope, in the interests of being fully informed, that you will take the time to read them. I mean this with the greatest respect, of course. We aim to be a service to Christians and specialize as an information ministry in this regard. This site contains lots of information.
The big bang wholly fails on two scores.
1. It fails theologically.
The order of creation completely contradicts the order of creation as specified in Genesis chapter one. See Chronological order in Genesis 1: Big bang beginnings and days before the sun. For example: Contrast the differences below from our article Two worldviews in conflict: Evolution is absolutely opposed to the Bible.
Compare the following:
|The Big Bang order of appearance
(also for ‘progressive creation’)
|The order of appearance in Genesis 1|
|1. Matter always existed or just appeared||1. God created matter|
|2. Sun/stars existed before Earth||2. Earth created before sun/stars|
|3. Sun is Earth’s first light||3. Light created before sun|
|4. First life = marine organisms||4. First life = land plants|
|5. Reptiles pre-date birds||5. Birds pre-date land reptiles|
|6. Land mammals predate whales||6. Whales pre-date land mammals|
|7. Disease/death precede man||7. Disease/death result from man’s sin|
Moreover, the big bang is a secular hypothesis that seeks to explain the universe without God (despite the views of those Christians who want to accept it). As such, it has its place in the General Theory of Evolution (GTE) which is more than just the molecules to man idea. It has to explain where a universe came from in the first place. See Physicists: The universe had a beginning. In his classic book, Refuting Compromise, Jonathan Sarfati wrote in chapter five, (remember that the big bang puts stars before day four when Genesis one says they were created):
The big bang of today is nothing like the big bang of, say, 20 years ago. In fact, it would be fair to say it is constantly being revised and changed. This illustrates the philosophical nature of the theory and that it is not the great ‘scientific fact’ that many believe it is.
“Some assert that what really happened on this fourth ‘day’ was that the sun and other heavenly bodies ‘appeared’ when a dense cloud layer dissipated after millions of years. This is not only fanciful science but bad exegesis of Hebrew. The word ‘asah means ‘make’ throughout Genesis 1, and is sometimes used interchangeably with ‘create’ (bara’)—e.g. in Genesis 1:26–27. It is pure desperation to apply a different meaning to the same word in the same grammatical construction in the same passage, just to fit in with atheistic evolutionary ideas like the big bang. If God had meant ‘appeared’, then He presumably would have used the Hebrew word for appear (ra’ah), as He did when He said that the dry land ‘appeared’ as the waters gathered in one place on Day 3 (Genesis 1:9). We have checked over 20 major translations, and all clearly teach that the sun, moon and stars were made on the fourth day.
I thoroughly recommend this book as it is very thorough in its discussions on the big bang, and much more.
2. It fails scientifically.
The big bang of today is nothing like the big bang of, say, 20 years ago. In fact, it would be fair to say it is constantly being revised and changed. This illustrates the philosophical nature of the theory and that it is not the great ‘scientific fact’ that many believe it is. There have been many attempts to salvage the big bang with so called ‘fudge factors’, including the completely ridiculous Multiverse Theory, along with String Theory, and Dark Matter/Dark Energy, and so on.
If one purports to be a Christian, and thus, follower of Christ, implicit in that is to believe what Christ (and His apostles) believed.
Are you also aware that hundreds of secular cosmologists are also petitioning to have the idea of the big bang removed from evolutionary cosmology? See Secular scientists blast the big bang. Also, that there have been two international (secular) conferences called ‘Crisis in Cosmology’ whose thrust was to encourage fellow scientists to abandon the big bang and come up with another model. University physicist and CMI associate, Dr John Hartnett, attended the second one. His report is here.
It therefore seems ironic that Christians would acquiesce to the ever-changing alleged ‘science’ of the big bang. If one purports to be a Christian, and thus, follower of Christ, implicit in that is to believe what Christ (and His apostles) believed. There are over 100 references to Genesis in the New Testament. So Jesus and the apostles clearly understood Genesis as a historical document without the need for the application of ‘modern’ science to help us decipher its ‘hidden meanings’. If one does not find the words ‘big bang’ or ‘billions/millions of years’ in Scripture, then it reveals (and perhaps most don’t realise this) that one’s authority is not Scripture. It is the secular interpretation of the universe (i.e. secular science) that becomes one’s starting point. That wrong ‘authority’ is then being applied or imposed on the biblical texts.
I pray that all this will be helpful to you. Of course one could argue that just because the terms ‘big bang’ and ‘millions of years’ are absent from Scripture, it doesn’t mean that they are not valid. However, their absence is only one clue we have that they are not biblical. As I showed earlier the chronology of the big bang contradicts Scripture. This is something we can strongly infer from Scripture rather than inferring into it.
You know, if they DO scrap the Big Bang, it would be a massive victory for you guys. The way we are headed, it's bound to happen sooner or later. If the BBT goes down the flusher, people will start to wonder "Wow, I thought that was about as proven scientifically as it gets. What else might be wrong?" It would actually be rather funny, honestly. Everywhere, literally, in the media is the big bang concept. Everything secular refers to the big bang as a fact. Perhaps it would be nice for people to be taught the difference between historical science and operational science?
I am a Bible-believing Christian, and also believe 100% in the Big Bang: God spoke – and BANG “it happened”.
I know this was probably meant as a tongue in cheek comment, but your comment is actually an expression that has done the rounds of Christian circles for about as long as I can remember. I think it causes confusion because it actually conveys the idea that God did use a big bang, and the whole point of the article (theologically and scientifically) was to show that such a thing was not possible. Kind regards.
First, the obvious. I know the responder to the writer's inquiry is intelligent and is a Christian. Next, my complaint. However, as is “CMI custom”, the responder is simply following the easy route and popping the top off of that "creationist-anti-big-bang-can" and spilling the contents…somehow expecting the writer to be intellectually and theologically stimulated and depart thinking that his honest questions have been answered. A more stimulating answer might be: 1. there may actually be a version of big bang science which yields a very true fit to the Genesis creation account (why doesn’t CMI investigate this?), so the broad brush approach by Bates, "It Fails Theologically" may not be the end of the matter; 2. string theory and dark matter/energy may not be the fudge factors Hartnett and others say they are and CMI's continued opposition to these likely physical and cosmic characters may be only positioning them for a hard fall when more science emerges, not to mention that big bang is not the only theory under revision (!) seeing that Humphreys and Hartnett have both scrapped previous models and presently are in need of some serious revision to their current ones (!), so Bates’ conclusion, “It Fails Scientifically” is based on what merit? Happy the day when CMI ceases to give pat and irrelevant answers to honest questions of origins and begins the difficult and rigorous work to produce a credible, viable origins theory which upholds the Genesis creation story…even if it has to look a little “big bang-ish” to get the job done.
respectfully, you've missed the point. In one sense you are actually repeating, kind of endorsing what the questioner suggested, i.e. Did God use a big bang?'. Note, the big bang is not just some yet not fully understood model that God might have used to create the universe. The big bang has some definite constructs and an implied order of how things appeared that are anti biblical. The article demonstrated this. It's an order of cosmological evolution, if you like. So, when you say that there might be a version of big bang science that God might have used, it is no different to saying that God could have used evolution. You are putting God (probably unwittingly) into a man made philosophical construct about the past. The article showed the constructs of the big bang and its problem for biblical adherents (the Bible puts stars before the sun etc.). So, a Bible first approach allows God to tell us the parameters that He used. So, He limits Himself, in a sense, meaning that we cannot just invoke any idea or lastest scientific fad if it does not line up with God's Word. In addition, when you say that string theory and dark matter might not be the fudge factors we think (have you actually read our artilces on this?), then respectfully it would be encumbent upon you to show why. Please demonstrate how they can fit within the parameters of God's Word or how they can be invoked as empirical science, rather than what they really are (a point you seem to miss or not understand). They are nothing more than secular philosophical constructs designed to explain the universe without God. Why on Earth would a Bible-believing Christian accede to such ideas?
Randy S, if you expect us to swallow the BBT, then you also expect us, in a logical context, to accept every premise of that particular theory.
So logically we assume that the planets, stars, matter, life, organics and chemical, ALL evolved.
You want us to ASSUME mega-evolution as though it happened.
The hard facts show a completed universe and the burden of proof is therefore upon those who claim it was once NOT a sophisticated ordered universe, as REALITY only shows us the facts.
So, I am amused by your allusions, it seems they are tantamount to saying, "Please mr footballer, can we remove your legs so that you can't score goals against us?"
P.S. Pu-lease don't tell me that because you have a particular attitude, indeed the USUAL evolutionary attitude towards CMI, that that counts as some sort of refutation?
Again.....Lol! That's amusing, but that's all.
When it comes to understanding the origin of life and the universe, I believe theistic darwinists need to distinguish between the historical origins of life and the universe and what some call the scientific origins of life and the universe. Depending on the situation, there can be a difference, because if the universe came into existence supernaturally, then the universe came into existence historically but not scientifically. The theistic darwinist must admit there are instances when you can distinguish between an historical event and a scientific event, otherwise they must deny the miracles of Christ and His resurrection.
No one disputes that we and the universe exist. Therefore no one disputes that the universe must have an historical origin. But did the universe have a scientific origin? The theistic darwinist says ’Yes’. How does the theistic darwinist know this?
The following question: ‘How did the universe come into existence?’ is an historical question, not a scientific one. (It can only be regarded as a scientific question if the assumption that the universe came into existence naturally, is your starting point. Which, for true darwinists, is their starting point because, being atheists, they have no philosophical choice, regardless.) But viewing the question as an historical one, leads to options. Two options. Either the universe came into existence supernaturally or naturally. Only if we can establish that the answer is the latter, does it become logical to then proceed and seek scientific explanations for origins.
So how do we establish or where do we turn to determine whether origins historically occurred supernaturally or naturally? One alternative is to turn to history itself, if indeed history has supplied us with the answer in the form of a record. Genesis claims to be such a record. And the author of Genesis supplied us with a supernatural history of the origins of the universe.
Another once said: Never read any article or writing in the light of your own beliefs. Always read it in the light of the author’s own beliefs. The reading of a text and criticism of a text should never be confused. Reading a text in the light of the writer’s own beliefs is one thing. Criticising a text in light of your own beliefs is something entirely different. In fact, if you don’t read it in the light of the author’s belief, how can you successfully criticise it in the light of your own? Reading it in light of your own beliefs leaves little if anything to criticise. So regardless of whether you think the author is right or wrong, always begin with the question: What message is the author himself trying to convey?
This question holds true for Genesis. Genesis was never meant to be a scientific explanation of origins because origins never occurred scientifically – not according to the author or the way Genesis reads. However, Genesis was meant to be an historical explanation of origins. That is how it reads when simply read, and it makes perfect historical sense.
Philosophically, the question: ‘How did the universe historically come into existence – supernaturally or naturally?’ is a question no scientist can answer from an historical viewpoint. Nor can he answer it from a scientific viewpoint. Any scientific answer attempted must introduce historical novelty because, as has often been pointed out, 1) no human (scientist or otherwise) was there and 2) origins are not occurring today. However, to extrapolate (as darwinists attempt to do) from current scientific data about the universe to historical novelty, is not science, and is definitely not forensic science, because no forensic scientist ever introduces historical novelty into their deliberations.
I would direct Rick to this document as a good starting point in the understanding of the big bang theory.
"By basing our scientific research on the assumption that His Word is true (instead of the assumption that it is wrong or irrelevant) our scientific theories are much more likely, in the long run, to come to accurately represent reality."
Isaiah 45:12 mentions that, HE/GOD stretched the heavens across the expanse, not exploded them! ( BIG BANG )
Enjoyed article & comments.Note for Kevin K. Though "Big Bang" [which I do not accept] is postulated as an expansion, not an explosion. "B.B."was originally a derogatory name before it became THE theory. Evolutionists will mock you as not understanding the theory if you use "explosion" in discussion with them. [although they frequently use it themselves].
John, indeed, it was Fred Hoyle who coined the term derisively. See Big bang critic Fred Hoyle dies. But you have made a good point on how a term or expression reinforces the 'truth' of something, even if it never happened. In short, most people believe in the alleged 'fact' of the big bang even though most know nothing about it.
How do we know that the Sydney Opera House is 39 years old? Through eye-witness testimony.
How do we know that the Black Plague happened? Eye-witness testimony.
The pyramids? Eye-witness testimony.
Sumeria? You guessed it, eye-witness testimony. All of these testimonies came in various methods. The only way we can establish a time in the past as an established event is through eye-witness testimony. And, even in the beginning, we have one, written by the Creator Himself.
It is most destructive to the faith when people who refuse to study attack those who do. It takes very little time researching to conclude that the BB was created because the "Steady State" cosmology was so overtly atheistic and that it has become a wastebin idea that changes to try and stay acceptable to anyone. Although it may seem less offensive the BB attacks the authority of Scripture and can never be reconciled with it. Either the Bible is true or it's not, it is is the BB is false so why do people who claim to be Christian try to defend it? Anyone who denies the BB will be attacked regardless of their worldview so this compromise with it does not impress the secularists, it brings more contempt. This divisiveness exist because so many refuse to do what God asks us to do, believe His Word.
Thanks for the comment. However, I'm not sure I'd agree that the big bang was created due to the atheistic idea of Hoyle's steady state theory. The bb is overtly secular in its construct, and one of its own subsets is to avoid the observational data that our own Milky Way looks like it is in the center of the universe. Just like evolution, the bb has been accepted by too many Christians on the basis of them mistakenly thinking it is good science. See http://creation.com/dismantle-the-big-bang-and-rediscover-gods-universe.