I've been considering writing a post on my views on Creationism for a bit, but debater at heart's comment on a recent post has proved to be the catalyst for a potentially divisive post. Comments on the below post are, as always welcome, but if you disagree with my opinions, I'd greatly appreciate it if you refrain from calling me a heretic, an atheist, a theistic evolutionist, or any other nasty name that does not represent my beliefs. I believe in the Creation account given in the Bible, including but not limited to Genesis 1 & 2. I believe that what is said in these two chapters is what really happened.
That said, I am a Big Bang, "Middle Earth" Creationist, which I shall explain shortly.
A lot of times, when fellow Christians hear the phrase "Big Bang" they think of an atheistic theory that has no support in scripture. After all, the Bible never says "In the beginning, God created a particle that exploded and created the universe." I'll address that in a second, but first, let me tell you a story.
In 1927, Abbe Georges Henri Joseph Eduoard Lemaitre, a Roman Catholic priest, published an astonishing theory. Based on mathematics and observations he had made of the universe, he proposed that the Universe was constantly expanding from an original point. Einstein told him that while the theory contained good mathematics, the actual physics of the thing was rot. The theory was scorned by most prominent scientists as unscientific and necessitating a beginning of the universe, something they, as atheists, could not support. They called it the "Big Bang" theory in derision, as if the universe had suddenly exploded one day.
However, a few years after the original publication, Edwin Hubble (for whom the Hubble Telescope is named) observed a red-shift in galaxies far away from Earth.
As an explanation, red-shift and the corresponding blue-shift are two parts of a concept known as the Doppler effect. The Doppler effect is a product of moving objects that interact with any type of electromagnetic or sound waves - light, energy, sound, etc. As an object moves closer to a fixed observation point, the electromagnetic waves it produces appear to build up on each other, resulting in an apparently higher frequency to the observer. For instance, if you and I are standing on a train platform, the sound the train's whistle makes as it approaches us will go up in pitch because of the Doppler effect; the air is being compressed. As the object, or train, moves away, its waves lengthen and drop in frequency - the pitch of the train's whistle goes down. Red-shift and blue-shift are the terms for the same phenomenon in light. An approaching train would produce a small, but detectable blue glow, while a receding train produces a red one.
But anyways, Hubble observed red-shift from distant galaxies, and blue-shift from closer ones, indicating that the galaxies were, in fact, moving away from a fixed point in space. There's more evidence and scientific explanation on the net, but it's pretty advanced stuff, and my point here is only that the evidence pointed, and still does, toward a universe that originally started at one fixed point.
When this new evidence came out, other scientists had some serious back-pedaling to do. The previously held theory of a steady-state universe (that the Universe has existed in the same state it is in now for eternity) was gradually dropped; it didn't fit the mounting evidence of a distinct beginning in time and space for the universe we see. The scientists were left with the reality that the theory they had mocked as a Big Bang was the most viable option left. So after a few changes to make it acceptable to their worldviews, they started propagating the theory. Their addition to the Big Bang theory is that a tiny particle containing everything in the universe floated around for a while and then decided to start expanding one day. While they can tell us, based on observation and physics, that the universe had a distinct beginning, they can't tell us what happened before or why.
This is where us contrary Christians come in. There is a preference of rejecting out of hand anything that our ideological opponents claim, because these opponents are the ones supporting it, sometimes without examining what they say. For instance, scientists today claim to support the "true" theory of the Big Bang, and we've tended to accept that at face value, and oppose the Big Bang theory. However, what the scientists support is not the real Big Bang theory. They've taken a scientific theory, and modified it to suit their worldview better. While the worldview is justly opposed, the unmodified theory of the Big Bang does not contradict the Bible's account of Creation. I'd go as far as to say that the Big Bang theory is the only scientific theory that correlates with Genesis 1 and 2. Why?
Here's what the unmodified Big Bang theory and its associated theories say:
- Einstein's General Theory of Relativity states that space and time are intrinsically linked. You can't have one without the other
- According the to Big Bang theory, space had a beginning, and therefore, time had a beginning
- In other words, the universe is not infinitely old.
- We can trace the expansion of the universe back to an infinitesimally small point
- Such a small point in space, containing the entirety of the universe is incredibly unstable
- Said point would begin to expand as soon as it came into existence
- As in, it couldn't exist for a few millenia and spontaneously expand.
What the Bible says:
- "In the beginning, God created the heavens, and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters." (Genesis 1:1)
- The universe was created by God
- As Paul says, the universe we observe was created from what we cannot see (Col.1.16-17) and is held together by the power or strength of God's word (Heb. 1.3)
- The universe is finite; God is not
- God created the universe first and then created the earth and all that is on it
- God exists outside of space and time
While these two lists of what happened seem unrelated at first glance, they line up with each other very accurately.
Have you ever dipped your finger into a still birdbath or pond? The ripples spread out from the place your finger first touched. I think that the ripples we see in the universe, the expansion of galaxies starting from a central place, are the ripples of Creation when God first created space and time. God creates heavens and the earth, and that Creation spreads out from what He first spoke it into existence and continues to sustain by His speech.
Perhaps that a bit too poetical for your tastes, so think about it this way. When God created the heavens and the earth in verse 1, He's making the universe.
At this point, I need to say something pretty important. Science is humanity's attempt to describe reality. If the science does not directly contradict what the Bible says about reality, then there is no reason to deny it, or call it un-biblical.
Now, you might be saying that the Bible doesn't say that God created a particle that exploded into the universe. While, I agree, that is true, the Bible doesn't say that, I would also argue that the Bible does not say that God created any eukaryotic skin cells in human beings. This is an instance where science does not contradict what the Bible says. In fact, the theory of the Big Bang lines up so closely with the account of Creation, that first there was nothing, and then there was everything, that in 1951 the Catholic Church declared it to not contradict the Bible. I'm not a Catholic, and you may not be, but I would agree with their statement on this matter.
I'm going to leave my discussion of "Middle Earth" creationism for another time, since this is already one long post.