Is the big bang evolution story of the Universe really science? And is the big bang a valid starting point to argue that science supports the biblical narrative history from the Genesis account and elsewhere? Can we consider a big bang creation in our apologetics?
Foundations for our apologetics
In apologetics1 we are engaged in a spiritual war, which we fight on a daily basis. We win some battles, we lose some, but we know that the war will eventually be won by God. He has told us that fact. Often however our comrades in arms, i.e. other Christians, may themselves not clearly see the enemy’s tactics. That does not mean they cannot see the enemy but may be they are too close in battle to see the whole war.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Proverbs 27:6 (KJV)
Sometimes we must criticise what our friends have said in an effort to prevent the enemy from developing a breach in the wall of truth and eventually destroying the foundations. In this case our friends are our fellow Christians who have gotten off the track by absorbing too much of the pagan culture in which they live.
Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. Proverbs 27:17 (KJVER)
Sometimes our friends make many good points in their apologetics in favour of correct thinking about how flawed big bang cosmology and evolution are, but in my opinion sometimes they yield too much ground to the enemy. That means they cannot clearly perceive and distinguish with their fallen minds (we all have them) where the pagan philosophy ends and where the biblical worldview begins.
One important concept to keep in mind, in regards to whatever philosophical position you might compare the biblical message to, is that the history of the Bible does not need to be proven. That is not to say the Bible stands apart from man’s science. Science properly applied to investigations that attempt to interpret what happened in the past, i.e. paleontology, archeology, geology, cosmogony, etc, will support the biblical history.
Our minds have been corrupted by sin. All humans are subject to the effects of sin. So we need to be always mindful that no task, no requirement, exists for us to prove God correct. Instead God simply asks us to believe His Word as He intended. I am not saying to believe against all evidence, i.e. in spite of it, but believe while assessing the evidence from a biblical perspective. That is a rational and logical approach, whereby we may give answers to those who seek them (1 Peter 3:15).
Recently an article I read,2 and many like it, try to resolve the issue of which is the true cosmology (the study of the structure of the Universe) and hence the correct cosmogony (the study of the origin of the Universe) from man’s ‘scientific’ investigations and conclusions, which are always conducted within a secular worldview. There is a real danger there because the basis upon which the secular world carries out science is man’s own belief system, a secular worldview, which is mostly at odds with the truth.
He [the Creator] has made every thing beautiful in his time: also he has set the world [Hebrew עוֹלָם (`owlam), literally something concealed; past or future] in their heart [thus meaning “desire to find answers about the past or future”], so that no man can find out the work that God makes from the beginning to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 (KJVER)
God has made the ultimate understanding of much in the sciences very difficult and especially the origin of the Universe. So any question on origins cannot be answered by science alone. Science, defined in terms of scientific empiricism, looks only at testable experimentation in the natural world. The Creator has been excluded by definition. But cosmology is not really science. And I am not the only one saying that.
‘A basic tenet of science is that you can do repeatable experiments, and you can’t do that in cosmology.’
That barrier to knowledge, some argue, is cosmology’s Achilles’ heel.
‘Cosmology may look like a science, but it isn’t a science,’ says James Gunn of Princeton University, co-founder of the Sloan survey.3
Cosmology and cosmogony are belief systems
Neither cosmology nor cosmogony is science in the empirically testable sense. Cosmology does not allow us any real testable experiments on the Universe. The Universe is too large, and cosmology deals with the large-scale structure of the Universe as a whole. We cannot interact with the Universe nor can we know what a typical universe should look like, since we only have one. This is the problem of cosmic variance.4 And cosmology cannot be disconnected from cosmogony. They are both philosophies that try to reconstruct the past. They have a pretense of being scientific but actually they are belief systems.
Often the second law of thermodynamics is put forward as an irrefutable proof that the Universe had a beginning. The second law is experimentally established physics, and has been thoroughly tested in the lab on isolated systems. But the author wrote2 “science could now offer its support…that the universe had a beginning.” But this needs qualification, else it might be interpreted to imply that ‘science’ requires it to have a beginning. I put the word ‘science’ in quotes because the sentence equates cosmology with what we know as science, but it is not real science. And to make the leap from an isolated closed system to the Universe as a whole, is without experimental proof. Is the Universe finite or infinite, open or closed?5
Quite obviously if it is open and unbounded, it would be infinite in extension and it should be easy to see that one cannot make the same conclusion about how it might behave as one might about a finite bounded subregion. If it is closed (bounded or unbounded), can we validly argue that the whole Universe tends to equilibrium? I would have once answered in the affirmative, but now I am not so sure. To answer that question we would have to confirm it experimentally, but we have only one universe. Therefore we cannot make any statement about how universes should behave. And for the one we do observe, we have to contend with cosmic variance. We only assume that the rest of the Universe behaves like the part we can see.6 But there are several unanswered observational problems even in what we can see. So I now would say that it remains an open question.
The definitive result we can get from thermodynamics is the arrow of time. There definitely is a forward arrow of time, operating on macroscopic systems, that is, ensembles with many sub-states, where processes we observe tend to push the ensembles to equilibrium. We can say this is true of the observable universe. Thus we could say a universe that began in time is consistent with that, which is quite different to saying that the science requires or demands it.
Albert Einstein developed a mathematical model in an effort to describe the large-scale structure of the Universe. His model required that the Universe either be collapsing or expanding but not static. He thought at the time the Universe was static so he inserted into the model a mathematically valid constant—the cosmological constant—that would keep his universe stable. After Edwin Hubble published his results on galaxy distances verses redshifts, in 1929, which were interpreted to mean that the Universe was expanding, Einstein dropped his cosmological constant, exclaiming that its use was the ‘biggest blunder’ of this career.
Prior to Hubble’s discovery/publication Alexander Friedmann and Georges Lemaître had also published mathematical models, which were essentially the same model. But it would be false to say that either of these men “…reached the conclusion that the universe is expanding.” That statement implies that they definitely knew that as a fact. All they concluded was that their mathematics required either expansion or contraction of their model universes. The real universe may not even be described by their models.
An additional point to make is that these models are underpinned by several assumptions, the most important and most fundamental being the cosmological principle. It states that matter in the Universe is isotropic and on the large-scale uniformly distributed throughout the whole Universe. From that it follows that our place in the Universe is nothing special and therefore what we observe locally can be assumed to be the same everywhere else. That also applies to the laws of physics.
Theoretical physicist Richard Feynman once wrote about this cosmological principle:7
“The assumption that we have just mentioned implies a very strong uniformity in the universe. It is a completely arbitrary hypothesis, as far as I understand it.”
The Friedmann-Lemaître theory requires this assumption. That theory then predicts that all of space and time originated from a single point, called a singularity, but to state that this means “…science supported the reality that the universe had a beginning” is flawed logic. By this I mean that the extrapolation of the standard big bang model backwards, in the sense of reverse time, is flawed logic. What I am arguing is that it is not good science. In fact, as shown above, James Gunn, an astrophysicist, argues it is not really science at all.
Big bang apologetics
William Lane Craig and Hugh Ross both make this logical error. They assume the big bang to be true, which means the Universe definitely had a beginning. Then they use that to conclude a scientific proof of the biblical account. But their starting premise is not a fact, nor is it science.8 The reverse statement though is true. The Bible states the Universe began in time, therefore it is a fact. All that we observe, and can interpret using known facts—not made up stuff—supports that statement (and I am not talking about an expanding universe, but rather a decaying universe, which has nothing to do with the notion of the expansion of space.)
Cosmology is not science and in any case there is no cosmological quantum theory yet that describes the origin of the Universe from nothing. All modelling on the singularity simply begs the very question it is trying to understand. The laws of physics are assumed in order to even attempt to describe what went on and they only apply after the expansion has begun, when time already exists.9 The author wrote:2
There are Christians who feel the need to integrate the Big Bang theory into their theology because they believe that the weight of evidence requires them to do so and because they don’t want to be perceived as anti-science. This is understandable but there is the real danger that this approach could lead to promoting a physical process that God did not actually use in creation and adopting a scientific theory that will ultimately become obsolete.
I agree with his first sentence and even the conclusion as the science changes. But he writes only that “there is a real danger,” which suggests the conclusion is only a possibility. But it is not just a possibility, it is a fact. The big bang theory is anti-scriptural and cannot describe the process of God’s creation. So such an approach definitely means these misled Christians are promoting a process that God did not use. If He did use it, surely He would have at least hinted at it in the Genesis account. But the process He does describe is totally contrary to the big bang evolution story.10
I admit that the idea of an origin in time in the big bang is tempting, as it corresponds to a beginning, but that is based on the belief that the Universe is expanding. And by hypothetically ‘winding the clock backwards’ everything converges to a moment in the past when the mass/energy density of the Universe increased without bound. However the only similarity with biblical creation is the origin in time. Even the idea of an expanding universe is not scriptural.
Many, including myself, have used several Old Testament scriptures to justify the notion of cosmological expansion in cosmology. But there is not a single verse in the Bible11 that, when analysed carefully in the original Hebrew language, can be found to have the meaning of expansion of space like in the rubber sheet analogy often used in cosmology.
The Universe was created by God, spoken into existence at His word. There was no 13.8-billion-year expansion of all matter from a singularity, which, apart from a miracle of God, could not happen anyway. The Bible makes no mention of the big bang sequence of events, and when compared with those that can be found in the Bible, they are out of sequence.12 The timeline of the Genesis creation (about 6000 years) and the big bang are completely at odds. Jesus Christ and the Apostles were completely unaware of any such notion. Christ said man (male and female) was created at the beginning of the Universe (Mark 10:6, Matthew 19:4), but the big bang places their origin at the end of a series of billions of years of cosmic evolution. In his letter to Jude, the Apostle Paul notes Enoch as “the seventh from Adam” (Jude 1:14), speaking of it as literal history. Paul would have read the Genesis account as literal narrative history.
Big bang is pagan philosophy
Bible believing Christians should categorically reject the big bang Friedmann-Lemaître theory as a true cosmogony. Why? It has its basis in Greek and other pagan philosophy.
“Some pagan traditions teach that creation began with fire. When you relate to the scientific notion of the big bang it makes sense.”13
In respect of a very old universe, Plato and many Greek philosophers held to the view that this present Universe came about millions of years ago. Lactantius, writing in the fourth century AD, said:14
“Plato and many others of the philosophers, since they were ignorant of the origin of all things, and of that primal period at which the world was made, said that many thousands of ages had passed since this beautiful arrangement of the world was completed … “. (An ‘age’ here is 1,000 years.)
The modern idea of the big bang was conceived in Hell and promoted on this temporal plane by an atheist and a Jesuit priest. The latter was from an institution sworn to destroy the Reformation and the Word of God,15 an institution soaked in paganism.12
The author then states “… the Big Bang theory is not the only theory that can fit the data,” and cites a reference to John Lennox,16 who is a Christian who promotes the idea that God created via the big bang. The author yields the battlefield to the enemy, by stating that the big bang theory fits the data. The problem with that line of thinking is that it does not, or you could say it does, only if you insert many fudge factors, used to explain all the discrepancies between theory and observation. But that is really bad science.
The cosmologist George F.R. Ellis, is quoted saying:17
“People need to be aware that there is a range of models that could explain the observations . . . What I want to bring into the open is the fact that we are using philosophical criteria in choosing our models. A lot of cosmology tries to hide that.”
What Ellis says is true, but this does not imply that any of the models themselves are true descriptions of reality. Nevertheless the argument still falls short, because, Ellis, though apparently a ‘Christian,’ is a follower of the pagan big bang philosophy. He is the same as any cosmologist who believes man can independently arrive at the truth about origins outside of and contrary to Scripture. That means the scriptures get re-interpreted with long age beliefs. Such thinking is flawed from the beginning.
Those who reject God’s Word, with its concomitant historical meaning, have made the task of finding the true history and future of the Universe enormously more difficult (Ecclesiastes 3:11). The misotheist Stephen Hawking wrote,18
“One can imagine that God created the universe at literally any time in the past . . . One could still imagine that God created the universe at the instant of the Big Bang, or even afterwards in just such a way as to make it look as though there had been a Big Bang.”4
But this admission highlights the impossibility of testing any cosmology. Hawking and Ellis and many others have recognized this fact. This is because cosmology is not science, not in the testable laboratory sense. At best it is historical science, and there are many models that can be fitted to the observational data. In our current time one, the ΛCDM inflation cosmology, has gained the upper hand with a gaggle of fudge factors—dark matter, dark energy, dark flow, dark fluid, dark radiation, dark photons and inflation.19,20 To top that off, the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation in claimed as ‘proof’ of the big bang fireball, but any proof would require all other possible explanations to have been excluded.
Then there is the real substance—the expansion of the Universe. Even Edwin Hubble himself, the discoverer, was not sure if cosmological expansion was the correct explanation for the redshifts in the light from the galaxies he observed.
“…the possibility that red-shift may be due to some other cause, connected with the long time or distance involved in the passage of the light from the nebula to observer, should not be prematurely neglected.”21
If the universe is not expanding there was no big bang. The Universe may be static but that does not equate to it being eternal. God created it in the finite past, instantly, in a fiat creation process.
It would be far the true to state that the evidence (observations) alone could lead you to a correct cosmology or cosmogony. Evidence can be tested against a model, and be used to reject a model, but there is no defined method of reliably choosing a model in the first place. The history of science should tell us that man is flawed and subject to sin and self-promotion. His rejection of God’s Word means he is not even looking in the right place, because he has no proper foundation upon which to base his models.
The current secular idea is the Universe created itself. Thus the big bang is a pagan philosophy dressed up as science, introduced to the world through a pagan Jesuit.12 The Jesuit plan was and is to undermine the Word of God, and in so doing collapse the Protestant church and bring as many back to the fold of Rome as can be mustered. The evangelicals have largely fallen for this ploy. Pride and appearance (i.e. not to appear to be anti-science) has led many a once well-meaning churchman back into the world through an effort to appear to be scholarly. As a result the church has joined the world, despite the warnings:
Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? And what concord has Christ with Belial? or what part has he that believes with an infidel? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 (KJVER)
Deference to modern big bang cosmology is idol worship. It is placing the idol of man and his mind over the revelation of God.
References and Notes
- Apologetics əpɒləˈdʒɛtɪks/ (noun) meaning reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine. Apologetics (source: Wikipedia) (from Greek ἀπολογία, “speaking in defense”) is the discipline of defending a position (often religious) through the systematic use of information.
- Sven Östring, Bigger than the Big Bang, the Adventist Record, 18-19, July 18, 2015.
- Adrian Cho, A singular conundrum: How odd is our universe? Science 317:1848–1850, 28 Sept 2007
- Cosmic variance is the uncertainty that results from our inability to know what the Universe should look like in regions we cannot observe. This leads to the inability to know which physical model correctly represents the limited observations we do make where multiple possible models can describe those same observations.
- John G. Hartnett, The Universe: Finite or infinite, bounded or unbounded, 21 December 2013.
- Logically that may well be a very reasonable assumption, nevertheless it is an assumption.
- Richard P. Feynman, Fernando B. Morinigo and William G. Wagner, Feynman Lectures on Gravitation, ed. Brian Hatfield, Addison-Wesley, p. 166, 1995.
- This is not to imply I support the notion of an eternal universe. I don’t. But the false concept of the big bang (with all its ad hoc contrivances like dark matter, dark energy, etc) is no place to start your apologetics.
- John G. Hartnett, The singularity—a ‘dark’ beginning, July 15, 2014.
- John G. Hartnett, The big bang is not a reason to believe, May 20, 2014.
- John G. Hartnett, Does the Bible really describe expansion of the Universe? April 14, 2014.
- John G. Hartnett, Development of an “old” universe in science, July 30, 2015.
- Excerpted from Carl McColman, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Paganism, Alpha Books, Penguin Group (USA), 2002.
- Quoted in Paul James-Griffith, Evolution an ancient pagan idea, Creation 30(4):34–36
- The Vatican and the Jesuits
- John Lennox, God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design is it Anyway? Lion Books, p. 65, 2011.
- W.W. Gibbs, Profile: George F.R. Ellis, Scientific American 273(4):55, October 1995.
- Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes, Bantam Books, p. 10, 1988.
- John G. Hartnett, Why is dark matter everywhere in the cosmos, March 31, 2015.
- John G. Hartnett, ‘Dark photons’: another cosmic fudge factor, 18 August 2015.
- E. Hubble and R.C. Tolman, Two methods of investigating the nature of nebular red-shift, Astrophysical Journal, 82, 302-337, 1935
- DEVELOPMENT OF AN “OLD” UNIVERSE IN SCIENCE
- COSMIC MYTHOLOGY: EXPOSING THE BIG BANG AS PHILOSOPHY NOT SCIENCE
- SYNOPSIS: A BIBLICAL CREATIONIST COSMOGONY
- EXPANSION OF SPACE – A DARK SCIENCE
- A BIBLICAL CREATIONIST COSMOGONY
- SPECULATION ON REDSHIFT IN A CREATED UNIVERSE
- REDSHIFTS AND THE UNIVERSE
- IS THERE DEFINITIVE EVIDENCE FOR AN EXPANDING UNIVERSE?
- TENSION NOT EXTENSION IN CREATION COSMOLOGY
- THE LARGEST STRUCTURE IN THE OBSERVABLE UNIVERSE OR COSMIC VARIANCE?
- HALTON ARP—BIG-BANG-DEFYING GIANT PASSES AWAY
- BIG BANG FUDGE FACTORS
- AN ETERNAL BIG BANG UNIVERSE
- RAINBOW GRAVITY MEANS AN ETERNAL UNIVERSE
- THE BIG BANG IS NOT A REASON TO BELIEVE!
- Albert Einstein
- Alexander Friedmann
- Big Bang
- Big Bang Theory
- Book of Genesis
- cosmological principle
- cosmology as philosophy
- cosmology not science
- Dark Energy
- Dark Matter
- expanding universe
- Genesis creation narrative
- George F.R. Ellis
- Georges Lemaitre
- James Gunn
- John Hartnett
- origin of the Universe
- Physical cosmology
- Stephen Hawking