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This past century has seen an explosion of scientific discoveries. Just when you think that you have grasped some understanding, another one comes along.
As a child, I was taught that God created the earth and everything in it within a period of 6 days (as in Genesis 1). Looking up at the night sky, I would wonder how all those stars and planets could be so created.
Then, I was told that earth was suspended within the galaxy for infinity … in a time capsule that was and would always be. I was told that this consistency enabled everything to come-together for Creation to occur. Was this true?
Einstein’s theory of general relativity describes how space is stretching and warping, according to the energy and matter dispersement in that space.[i] The astronomer Georges Lâmaitre said (in 1927) that he believed that the universe started as a single point and that it expanded to its present size, and that the stretching will continue. This is in keeping with the second law of thermodynamics which basically states that molecules in motion (such as heat) will only go in the one direction. Then, a few years later, Edwin Hubble observed that the universe was expanding, with the galaxies furthest away from earth moving away faster than those closer to earth (this is called the Hubble expansion). Thus, they must have been closer together in the past. From the earth, scientists can observe the universe back in history to 13.7 billion years ago.[ii] This is the point that they calculate that the universe’s matter was compressed into a dense hot mass that ‘exploded’ in what is termed as The Big Bang. In the 1960’s, scientists discovered cosmic microwave radiation. Mathematical calculations confirm these, along with the amounts of chemical elements in the universe, to be leftovers from the ‘explosion’. As scientific theory and observations confirm that there was a beginning, many scientists believe thatGod initiated these events,[iii] others refer to a force or a being.
Does the big bang theory contradict the Bible, and my Christian beliefs? No. Written thousands of years ago, the Bible states that God brought the heavens into existence,[iv] he stretched them out and is spreading them out.[v] The universe functions according to and is subject to fixed physical laws.[vi] Scripture also refers to the cooling and decay of the earth.[vii]
launched the optical Hubble Space Telescope (HST) into orbit from the Space
The computers on board Hubble have beamed hundreds of thousands of celestial
images back to Earth. The largest project, “CANDELS” (commenced in 2014) “aims to
explore galactic evolution in the early Universe, and the very first seeds of
cosmic structure at less than one billion years after the Big Bang.”[ix] Hubble–along with COBE, WMPA and Plank– have
greatly assisted research into the origins of the universe and, in turn, the
origins of the earth.
[i] The theory, published in 1915 (known as GR and GTR), is a geometric theory of gravitation that states that gravitational forces are equivalent to forces caused by acceleration–that the physical effects of gravity equal those of acceleration. As I am writing this as a general blog, suffice it to say that GTR equations are used by physicists and astronomers to accurately access (within time and space) physical phenomena such as the life and death of stars and black holes, the evolution of space and the dynamics of planets.
[ii] Distances are calculated using the speed of light, Einstein’s theories, etc.
[iii] Psalm. 90:2
[iv] Psalm. 148:5
[v] Examples: Isaiah. 42:5, 45:12; Psalm. 104:2; Jeremiah. 10:12; Job. 37:18.
[vi] Jeremiah 33:25; Romans. 8:20-22.
[vii] Romans 8:20.
[viii]Space orbit prevents the effects of atmospheric moisture, pollution and turbulence, and allow the telescope to ‘see’ infrared and ultraviolet light.
[ix] SpaceTelescope.org. August 15, 2013. Retrieved 1/30/2020. https://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic1315/#3