Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Recent Big Bang Discovery Supports the Bible

In 1669, Mount Etna, on the island of Sicily, famously erupted ultimately killing more than 20,000 residents. What most people don’t know is that the eruption began with weeks of rumblings warning the people that the mountain was about to explode. In fact, multiple eruptions occurred over the ensuing weeks each killing more and more people who refused to heed the warning and evacuate. Many of the victims could have saved themselves by fleeing, but stayed, ignoring the explosion. Ignoring such an explosion like that is quickly fatal. However, there is an even larger explosion that has been ignored for decades that could be argued as indirectly far more fatal eventually.

Earlier this month an amazing discovery was announced across all media outlets regarding the theoretical beginnings of our universe. Using a special telescope called BICEP2 located at the South Pole, researchers believe that they have found evidence beyond our solar system of traces of gravity waves which suggest the beginning and rapid expansion of the universe (inflation) which is often referred to as the Big Bang. When this discovery was first announced some made the assertion that this discovery  challenges the religious narrative found in the Bible. But, in fact it does exactly the opposite. This discovery actually supports the Biblical account of the origin of the universe and ironically opposes all others. This discovery, if confirmed, is strong evidence supporting Genesis chapter 1.

The prevalent theory of cosmic origins prior to the Big Bang theory was referred to as the “Steady State,” which argued that the universe has always existed, without a beginning and without needing a cause. This new discovery supporting the Big Bang would prove Steady State cosmology to be entirely false. If this evidence is confirmed, then the universe had a beginning. And, by simple application of the Law of Causality, if it had a beginning, there had to be a cause or an independent agent (or causer). This agent would be separate and apart from the effect (the universe). Dr. Fred Hoyle is the astronomer who actually coined the term “Big Bang.” This atheist-turned-agnostic famously stated, “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics.” As Hoyle saw it, the Big Bang was not a chaotic explosion, but rather a very highly ordered event that could not have occurred by random chance. Further, it was an event that was both caused and caused by a “superintellect.”

Concerning the recent discovery, the universe is filled with microwave radiation. This led scientists to ask, “Where does this microwave radiation come from?” Well, it is believed to be a vestige from a hot and dense state from the early days of our universe. However, this radiation blocks our ability to "look" further back in time to anything before the radiation. It is like a screen that covers everything that happened before. But, in this screen are imprints or ripples that suggest what did happen before. These researchers are looking through telescopes to find ripples in patterns that help us theorize about how the universe emerged. Astronomers can thereby infer from the imprints what went on behind or before this screen. What they have discovered in their observations is that there is in fact a pattern in the microwave background radiation that is predictably produced by the early fluctuations in the density of the radiation that eventually caused planets and stars. This was first predicted by Einstein in his theory of General Relativity wherein these ripples were referred to as gravitational waves. These ripples are like cosmic shock waves that commonly follow explosions. When different objects are accelerated relative to each other it causes ripples in space and time. And, these ripples cause imprints on the background radiation. So, what caused these gravitational waves? The plausible theory is that these are the result of a super rapid or inflationary expansion of the very early days of our universe (the Big Bang).

The evidence for the early inflationary period of the universe is a central feature of standard Big Bang cosmology, namely that the universe is not infinite in the past but it had an absolute beginning a finite time ago. And, this is entirely consistent with the Bible. The Bible supports that the universe does not have an infinite past but rather had a beginning and was brought into existence a finite time ago.

Andrew Parker is a Ph.D. zoologist and visiting member of the University of Oxford. Even though he is not a creationist, in 2009, he wrote the book, “The Genesis Enigma,” which brings attention to how the first book of the Bible is surprisingly and uniquely scientifically accurate. Parker points out, The Bible is the only source of antiquity to ever get it right. How did the authors of the Bible do that? Genesis actually gets the sequence of creation correct. The Genesis account begins with “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  In Hebrew the phrase “heavens and the earth” is a phrase used to refer to the universe. This Hebrew account of the origin of the universe is uniquely different from all other accounts of the origin of the universe in all other books of historical antiquity. For example, Greco-Roman thought held that matter and the universe were eternal. Pagan mythology held that there was primordial stuff from which the universe was made. The idea that there was an absolute beginning at which time the universe was rapidly created from nothing is unique to Judaism in the ancient world.

Hebrews 11:3 says, “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” In addition, there is another place in the Bible where God uses the Hebrew phrase “heaven and earth.” In Jeremiah 33:25 God refers to His establishment of a “covenant with day and night and the fixed order of heaven and earth.” Another way to say “fixed order” is to say that God set in motion the “laws” of the universe which we are observing today.

The conclusions of this discovery still require speculation and are in need of third-party confirmation. But, for those who argue that God has not left a sign that He created everything, here you go. The Big Bang is about as big an explosion as you can observe. Since we are living on the other side of this explosion, it seems we are out of danger. However, seeing the evidence and blindly ignoring its most awesome cause could turn out to be far more fatal than Mount Etna. As Psalm 19:1 faithfully puts it, “The heavens declare the glory of God.” Are you ignoring this explosion or are you listening?

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