Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How did the Universe Begin?

One of the big theological questions is: "How did it all begin?"

Well, that much is still a mystery. It's entirely possible that some higher power created the universe with one click of his (or her) fingers.

What we DO know is that the universe was created about 14 billion years ago, in an event that most scientists describe as 'the Big Bang.'

Why do I believe this?

Until recently, scientists believed in a 'static' universe - that the current configuration of planets, stars and galaxies were fixed. In 1912, an American called Vesto Melvin Slipher discovered something revolutionary. Peering through his telescope, he realised that objects in space (in his example, a spiral galaxy) were actually moving further away from Earth.

Scientists and astronomers realised that the planets and galaxies weren't moving away from Earth, but rather away from a universal central point.

By calculating the speed and trajectory of the voyaging galaxies' outward journey, scientists worked out that fourteen billion years ago, all the moons, planets, suns and galaxies must have started out from one location, in the center of the 'radius' of the Big Bang. They've been expanding outwards in a 'ripple' ever since.

The Big Question:

This is where my ignorance of scientific matters reveals itself.

I don't know why the Big Bang happened. I've tried reading the theories of primordial nucleosynthesis and it all seems wildly complicated.

I get the impression the big brainiacs are saying that the mass of the universe was squished and scrunched into such a tiny, atom-sized scale that all that pressure and heat created a spontaneous nuclear reaction that 'exploded' the existence into creation.

I don't understand physics enough to know if that makes sense, it's just as easy for somebody like me to imagine that it was a higher power who lit a 'universe firework' that detonated reality as we know it.

Some conjecture that the universe started with a 'cosmic egg,' which was the prior universe, having expanded to its maximum reach, collapsing in on itself in something called the 'Big Crunch.' This makes sense as it's what scientists hypothesise will happen once our current universe has reached the limits of its expansion.

But at the risk of sounding ignorant, I don't pretend to know why or what caused the Big Bang. I only know that it happened - and that's the biggest window religious people have to argue the existence of God.

What else could explain the sudden 'detonation' of an entire universe?

I don't believe in God, so I don't believe he created the universe. However, I've got an open mind, so when it comes to the Big Bang, I'm not going to tell anybody that they're wrong for attributing the creation of the universe to a higher power.

The age of the Earth? Creationists are wrong.

Evolution vs. Creation Doctrine? Creationists are wrong again.

The existence of God? Nobody can know for sure.


Coffee Bean said...

Now wait a minute... You should say Young Earth Creationists (YEC for short). Old Earth Creationists are different but they still believe that it all was created by God, therefore still holding the title of Creationists.

My goodness Roland! You are on it over here! Take a breath! Have some coffee! Play with your baby! I'm going to have to come back later and read the book you've got going in all the posts above this one!

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