In the 20th century, when Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe was expanding, these same laws of gravity and motion led to the idea that in the past the galaxies must have all been together in one place, in which case gravity would have sucked everything into a state of infinitely dense and hot energy. To get out of that state, something incomprehensible must have happened. An eruption of unimaginable magnitude must have occurred—hence the name ‘big bang’.
But this ‘story’ is riddled with insoluble conundrums. For example, there is no known force in physics that could have caused the expansion of the universe out of such an initial state. Then many other things which likewise have no known cause (such as ‘inflation’) must follow later in the process. One event does not lead naturally to the next, so a multitude of incomprehensible causes have to be cobbled together to get the expansion going and to make it produce a universe.
My two cents
I sometimes wonder if people (especially Christians) assume that the Big Bang is as settled as it’s made out to be, as though it has solved every last piece of the cosmological and cosmogonical puzzle. I wonder how many Christians were like that until they learnt of concepts such as inflation, dark matter, and what John Hartnett has described as ‘fudge factors’ in the theory.
I think this is important to point when homeschooling.
Outside of the home, it would be interesting to walk into a liberal church and get a show of hands for how many parishioners regard the Big Bang as literally true. While their hands are still raised, I could ask them to explain to the rest of the parishioners of how they would explain inflation and dark matter to the priest. I’m curious to know how many would be able to do it.
I like how the quote refers to insoluble conundrums, and how elsewhere, creation.com labels believers in the Big Bang (regardless of their scientific knowledge) was ‘Big Bangers’.
Williams, A. & Wieland, C. (n.d) Dismantle the Big Bang and Rediscover God’s Universe. Available http://creation.com/dismantle-the-big-bang-and-rediscover-gods-universe. Last accessed 7th Jan 2014.