The Big Bang: Does it point to God ?
- In this article, we briefly discuss the big bang and investigate its theistic implications.
- We look at evidence for the big bang.
- We see that the big bang creation event came as a distasteful surprise to atheists…
- and that the big bang can rationally be viewed as evidence for the supernatural…
- and as evidence for a Christian Theistic view of the origin of the world.
- And we look at the characteristics of the Cause of the big bang (based on the evidence)…
- and find a good match between these characteristics and the Christian God.
Evidence for the Big Bang
- Various pieces of evidence point to the reality of the Big Bang (i.e., that all matter, energy, space, time, and forces of the physical universe came into existence at an instance about 13.7 billion years ago).
- The second law of thermodynamics (shows that the universe can not be infinitely old, or else it would have run out of usable energy, i.e., it would have reached heat death, or maximum entropy)
- The observed expansion of the universe (which, extrapolated into the past, indicates that about 14 billion years ago, the entire universe was about the size of the period at the end of this sentence, and before that it didn’t exist –i.e., it had zero size.)
- The predicted (and observed) background radiation in our universe (confirms that the big bang really happened).
- The predicted (and observed) ripples in the background radiation in our universe (confirms that the big bang really happened).
- The general theory of relativity, predicts an expanding universe (i.e., a universe that contracts as we look into the past, until it reaches zero size, and ceases to exist).
- The space-time (singularity) theorem of Hawking and Penrose shows that not only all physical matter and energy and forces, but also all physical space and time of the universe came into existence at the instant of the “birth of the physical universe” (i.e., the singularity at the beginning of the physical universe.)
A Big Surprise for Atheism
- Not predicted: The Big Bang is not what would be predicted by atheism (for example, if we were to speak to atheists 120 years ago, when people did not know about the big bang).
- Not a natural consequence: The big bang is not something that is a natural consequence of Atheism (because atheism would hope that the universe was eternal, in the hopes that then there might be no need for God).
- A surprise: And the Big Bang comes as a surprise to Atheism…
- We see this in the reluctance of atheists and atheist-influenced scientists to accept the Big Bang…
- Example #1: It appears that Einstein was influenced by atheist thinking in preferring a closed-universe that does not need a God… this is why he committed what he later admitted to be the biggest blunder in his career… he incorporated a fudge factor into his theory of relativity to avoid an expanding universe (his theory of relativity had pointed to an expanding universe, but Einstein didn’t like the idea most-likely because of being influenced by practical-atheism, which prefers an eternal universe which might not need a God to create it)…
- Example #2: Another example is astronomer Fred Hoyle who for many years resisted the Big Bang theory (he and two other atheist scientists came up with what is called the “steady state theory” which opposed the big bang theory for several years, until the scientific evidence for the big-bang became overwhelming).
- Example #3: Another example is an atheist editor of the British scientific journal “Nature” who wrote an editorial titled “Down with the Big Bang”, where he expressed his strong distaste for the Big Bang because it invoked a beginning to the physical universe (my take: because he didn’t like the fact that science has proved that the universe is not eternal… because if the universe is eternal, then maybe one could hope that God does not exist… that the universe does need God to create it).
- Quotes by other scientists (who were atheists) also indicate a distaste for the big-bang (because atheists expected the universe to have existed for ever, and were surprised to find that the universe did NOT exist forever).
Evidence for a Christian Theistic view of the origin of the World.
- A self-proclaimed Agnostic (non-Christian) astronomer, Robert Jastrow (founder of NASA’s Institute of Space Studies) writes:
- “Now we see how the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced sharply and suddenly at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy” (Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers, p. 14).
- Scientist George Smoot (who was the scientist who lead the team of scientists who first measured ripples in the cosmic background radiation) says: “There is no doubt that a parallel exists between the big bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing”. (quoted in Fred Heeren, Show me God, p. 139.)
Evidence for the Supernatural
- Agnostic (or Atheist) non-Christian scientist Arthur Eddington states: “The beginning seems to present insuperable difficulties unless we agree to look on it as frankly supernatural”. (Arthur Eddington, The Expanding Universe, p. 178)
- Speaking of the big bang, agnostic astronomer Robert Jastrow states: “That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.” (A scientist caught between two faiths: Interview with Robert Jastrow, Christianity Today, August 6, 1982).
- Why “supernatural”? … because all matter, space, time, all natural forces and all of nature, came into existence at the big bang…
- So whatever caused the big bang had to be outside of nature… i.e., had to be supernatural.
- So we see that it is rational to view the Big Bang as evidence for the Supernatural…
The Physical Universe is an Effect
- Speaking in the context of “cause and effect”…
- Since the physical universe did not exist for ever, it is an effect.
- It is rational then to ask, “what is the cause of this effect”…
- An aside: It is evident that something exists (today). E.g., we can reasonably infer (as a fact) that the physical universe exists today.
- Given the fact that the physical universe exists today, there are only two rational alternatives: (a) either the physical universe always existed, and is uncaused, or (b) the physical universe had a beginning, and was caused by something else…
- A third alternative (c) that the universe caused itself – is irrational… because the universe would have to pre-exist itself which is impossible… i.e., for the universe to not exist, and then to cause itself to come into existence, it would have to have existed before it existed to be able to bring itself into existence… which is a confusing mess of irrationality …
- So, we have only two rational alternatives (a) and (b) above…
- Since there is now overwhelming scientific evidence that the physical universe did NOT exist for ever, but actually had a beginning (about 13.7 billion years ago), this eliminates alternative “a” (i.e., that the physical universe always existed, and is uncaused)…
- This (above) leaves us with alternative ‘b’ as the rational conclusion. I.e., the physical universe had a beginning, and was caused by something else…
What was the Cause of this Effect (the Physical Universe)
- What was this “something else” that created the physical universe?
- Let us call this “something else” the “First Cause”.
What are the Characteristics of this First Cause (that created the Physical Universe)
These characteristics fit the Christian God extremely well.
An Aside: Based on the characteristics above, it is rational to rule out atheism, pantheism, panentheism, and deism… leaving theism as the most rational choice. And given Theism, I find that the Christian God is the best choice.
- The First Cause had to be supernatural (as we discussed above).
- It had to be non-physical and non-material (since science shows us that all physical matter, energy, forces, space, and time came into existence at the big-bang… these did not exist before the big-bang).
- The First Cause had to be transcendent (i.e., outside of time, space and matter).
- It had to be extremely powerful (to be able to create our vast physical universe).
- The First Cause had to be extremely intelligent … to design and fine-tune our vast physical universe – i.e., there is strong scientific evidence that parameters that control the big-bang have been extremely finely tuned to better than 1 part in 10^50, i.e., 1 followed by 50 zeros, (to enable stable galaxies, stars, planets to form, and for life to be sustained on planet earth) and that the negentropic starting point of the physical universe has been fine-tuned to one part in 10^10^123 … it would take extreme intelligence to be able to plan and execute such incredible fine-tuning.
- The First Cause had to be volitional, with the ability to freely make a choice to create the universe… (a volitional being could choose to create the universe; an impersonal force would not be able to make such a choice… E.g., if all the preconditions were eternally present for an impersonal force to create the physical universe, then the physical universe would have to have been created an infinite eternity (of time) ago… An eternal impersonal force could not choose to ignore all the pre-conditions that were eternally present to create the physical universe, until a specific “time” 13.7 billion years ago, and then choose to create the universe… However, a volitional being, could indeed make a choice to not create the physical universe (even if all the preconditions were ready and available), and conversely, could indeed make a choice TO create the physical universe 13.7 billion years ago…
- The First Cause had to be pains-taking and had to care about the creation (given the extent of care taken with the fine-tuning of the physical parameters of the physical universe for stability and for intelligent life, us, to exist).
- And it had to be personal (since volition, intelligence, and caring are key components of what it means to be personal).
- In this article, we have briefly discussed the big bang and investigated its theistic implications.
- We looked at evidence for the big bang.
- We saw that the big bang creation event came as a distasteful surprise to atheists… and that the big bang can rationally be viewed as evidence for the supernatural… and as evidence for a Christian Theistic view of the origin of the world…
- Furthermore, we looked at the characteristics of the Cause of the big bang (based on the evidence)… and found a good match between these characteristics and the Christian God.
Grace and Peace to you
- Wishing you Peace and Joy through Jesus Christ.
- Cogito Ergo Credo
- I think therefore I believe (Latin).
- Cogitamus Ergo Credamus
- We think therefore we believe (Latin).
- Credes ut Intelligas
- Believe so that you may truly understand (the nature of reality).
- These Latin phrases encapsulate my view (and that of many other intelligent and thinking Christians) regarding the inter-relationship between Christian Faith and Authentic Scientific/Philosophical Knowledge.