Big Bang Theory

When I teach my students the Genesis account of creation, I am often “challenged” with the question: “But, where did God come from?”  Many a student sees this question as the ultimate response to the Abrahamic creation account.

I generally respond with “He has always existed.” To which there is general acclamation that that is a cop out answer.  So, I respond with a question of my own: “What do you think is the cause of the universe?”  The answer with only minor variation is – “The Big Bang.” I proceed to ask why do they take such a view, and again the answer is usually “Because it is the way it happened.”

I enjoy this little exercise because it allows me to explore “The Big Bang Theory.” Well, to be honest the big bang theories.  There are at least three of them!

The first Big Bang Theory is a quirky sitcom based in a west coast university.  While I do find Sheldon an intriguing character, I must seriously doubt that this Big Bang Theory is the cause of our existence.

The second BBT is really straightforward.  There was nothing; and it exploded.  Wait a minute, let’s explore this by rephrasing it. Nothing exploded!  If, nothing exploded, then nothing happened.  Personally I feel compelled to discount this theory as well.

The third, and most popular Big Bang explanation is that there was a primordial mass of energy and matter that was pulled so tightly together by its own gravitational forces, that the ensuing pressure caused it to explode – hurling this matter outward.  As this began to cool and coalesce, it was again drawn together by gravity to form gasses, stars, and the material universe we now observe.  Here I must misquote my students: “Sir, where did [the primordial mass] come from?”

The Big Bang Theory at its core suffers from the same philosophical “weakness” as the Judaeo-Christian account.  “Where did it come from?”

Dear reader, I challenge you to now examine these two “theories” side by side.   On the one hand you have a theory that says clearly that a pre-existent “First Mover,” One, who with design set everything into being.  This argument is philosophically and theologically valid because it can be seen to logically follow from the cosmological and teleological arguments [I will approach these in a future post].  In short, philosophy follows logical argument and does not generally dismiss that which is possible as an explanation. Science on the other hand follows a process based in the “scientific method,” of test, observation, and repeat-ability. Science expects that an explanation be the most probable after having tested it, and relies on the limited toolbox of the senses, not of logical construction.  That said, is not the Big Bang Theory inconsistent with science’s own stated values- to postulate what you cannot test or prove?

Sorry for banging on.



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