Secular scientists blast the big bang
What now for naïve apologetics?
It’s amazing to see how many Christian leaders have not merely tolerated the ‘big bang’ idea, but embraced it wholeheartedly. To hear their pronouncements, believers should welcome it as a major plank in our defense of the faith. ‘At last, we can use science to prove there’s a creator of the universe.’
However, the price of succumbing to the lure of secular acceptability, at least in physics and astronomy, has been heavy. We have long warned that adopting the big bang into Christian thought is like bringing the wooden horse within the walls of Troy. This is because:
- The big bang forces acceptance of a sequence of events totally incompatible with the Bible (e.g. earth after sun instead of earth before sun—see Two worldviews in conflict and How could the days of Genesis 1 be literal if the Sun wasn’t created until the fourth day?)
- The big bang’s billions of years of astronomical evolution are not only based on naturalistic assumptions, they are contrary to the words of Jesus Himself, who said people were there from the beginning, not towards the end of an interminably long ‘creation’ process (Mark 10:6)—see Jesus and the age of the world.
- The slow evolution of the stars, then solar system and planets (including earth) in big bang thinking means that ‘big bang Christians’ are invariably dragged into accepting ‘geological evolution’ (millions of years for the earth’s fossil-bearing rocks to be laid down). So they end up denying the global Flood, and accepting death, bloodshed and disease (as seen in the fossils) before Adam. This removes the Fall and the Curse on creation from any effect on the real world, as well as removing the biblical answer Christians have always had to the problem of suffering and evil (God made a perfect world, ruined by sin). See Terrorists and Death and The god of an old earth.
- Marrying one’s theology to today’s science means that one is likely to be widowed tomorrow.
In fact, the signs are strong that exactly that is happening, and that those who have ‘bought’ the big bang for its allegedly irrefutable science have been ‘sold a pup’. A bombshell ‘Open Letter to the Scientific Community’ by 33 leading scientists has been published on the internet (Cosmology statement) and in New Scientist (Lerner, E., Bucking the big bang, New Scientist 182(2448)20, 22 May 2004). An article on www.rense.com titled ‘Big bang theory busted by 33 top scientists’ (27 May 2004) says, ‘Our ideas about the history of the universe are dominated by big bang theory. But its dominance rests more on funding decisions than on the scientific method, according to Eric Lerner, mathematician Michael Ibison of Earthtech.org, and dozens of other scientists from around the world.’
The open letter includes statements such as:
- ‘The big bang today relies on a growing number of hypothetical entities, things that we have never observed—inflation, dark matter and dark energy are the most prominent examples. Without them, there would be a fatal contradiction between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory.’
- ‘But the big bang theory can’t survive without these fudge factors. Without the hypothetical inflation field, the big bang does not predict the smooth, isotropic cosmic background radiation that is observed, because there would be no way for parts of the universe that are now more than a few degrees away in the sky to come to the same temperature and thus emit the same amount of microwave radiation. … Inflation requires a density 20 times larger than that implied by big bang nucleosynthesis, the theory’s explanation of the origin of the light elements.’ [This refers to the horizon problem, and supports what we say in Light-travel time: a problem for the big bang.]
- ‘In no other field of physics would this continual recourse to new hypothetical objects be accepted as a way of bridging the gap between theory and observation. It would, at the least, raise serious questions about the validity of the underlying theory [emphasis in original].’
- ‘What is more, the big bang theory can boast of no quantitative predictions that have subsequently been validated by observation. The successes claimed by the theory’s supporters consist of its ability to retrospectively fit observations with a steadily increasing array of adjustable parameters, just as the old Earth-centred cosmology of Ptolemy needed layer upon layer of epicycles.’
The dissidents say that there are other explanations of cosmology that do make some successful predictions. These other models don’t have all the answers to objections, but, they say, ‘That is scarcely surprising, as their development has been severely hampered by a complete lack of funding. Indeed, such questions and alternatives cannot even now be freely discussed and examined.’
Those who urge Christians to accept the big bang as a ‘science fact’ point to its near-universal acceptance by the scientific community. However, the 33 dissidents describe a situation familiar to many creationist scientists: ‘An open exchange of ideas is lacking in most mainstream conferences … doubt and dissent are not tolerated, and young scientists learn to remain silent if they have something negative to say about the standard big bang model. Those who doubt the big bang fear that saying so will cost them their funding.’
Evolutionist and historian of science, Evelleen Richards, has noticed that it’s hard even for rival evolutionary theories to get a hearing when challenging the ruling paradigm—see Science … a reality check. This should give some idea of the difficulties biblical creationists face.
But don’t we read, even in the daily newspapers, about many ‘observations’ that only ever seem to support the big bang? In fact, these prominent secular scientists say:
‘Even observations are now interpreted through this biased filter, judged right or wrong depending on whether or not they support the big bang. So discordant data on red shifts, lithium and helium abundances, and galaxy distribution, among other topics, are ignored or ridiculed.’
Science is a wonderful human tool, but it needs to be understood, not worshipped. It is fallible, changing, and is severely limited as to what it can and cannot determine. As CMI has often pointed out, instead of a scientific concept, the big-bang idea is more a dogmatic religious one—based on the religion of humanism1. As these big-bang opposers point out:
‘Giving support only to projects within the big bang framework undermines a fundamental element of the scientific method—the constant testing of theory against observation. Such a restriction makes unbiased discussion and research impossible.’
Furthermore, contrary to the naïve pronouncements of many who should know better, it is not in any sense a matter of ‘looking into a telescope and “seeing”? the big bang billions of years ago.’ As always, observations are interpreted and filtered through worldview lenses. Those who developed the big bang were guided by secular worldview filters just as much as those who are now crying that the emperor has no clothes. They wanted a universe that created itself; their opponents want an eternal, uncreated universe. From a Christian perspective, both are in open defiance of their Creator’s account of what really happened.
With Darwinism on the run, the Enemy of souls is seeking to seduce believers into embracing a more subtle, yet far deadlier way of evading the authority of the Bible. With progressive creationism/big-bangery rampaging through the evangelical community, he must think he is on a winner.
For a powerful, profound exposition of all of the issues involved in this, today’s most important evangelical compromise position, my colleague Dr Jonathan Sarfati’s just-released book Refuting Compromise is not just a casual recommendation ‘for further reading’. Chapter 5 pokes holes into the big bang, showing how it has become a ruling paradigm, supported by fallacious logic and ignoring many scientific problems—some confirmed by the above letter from big-bang–dissenting evolutionary cosmologists. It also shows how one can use a ‘first cause’ argument without needing the big bang. The book is in fact destined to become a Christian classic, a culture-changing colossus of ‘cut-through-the-smokescreen’ clarity and logic. I urge all who are reading this to get Refuting Compromise, read it, lend it and give it out far and wide.
References and notes
- What is Secular Humanism?, christiananswers.net, accessed 2005. Return to text.