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Origins- 07/07

By Rich Trzupek
  There are a lot of things that are leading to the deterioration of society these days. In the top five is the notion that science and religion are at odds, so we must choose one or the other. This is simply not true. Properly understood, science leads us closer to our Creator.
  It has not always been so. Prior to the 18th century, almost all scientists were religious. A significant percentage of them would continue to be religious even after the Age of Enlightenment introduced secularism into science. Great names like Nicholas Copernicus, Isaac Newton, Gregor Mendel, Louis Pasteur and Max Planck were all deeply religious and all were responsible for great scientific advancement.
  There are many examples of how science inevitably leads us to God. Today, I’m going to share my favorite. The origins and consequences of the Big Bang Theory, the widely accepted model of the creation of the universe.
  The roots of the Big Bang Theory date back to 1915, when Albert Einstein posits his theory of general relativity. It was a remarkable moment in the history of mankind. Einstein peeled back the covers and explained not just why creation behaved the way it does, which was the focus of great discoverers like Newton, the Curies, Kepler, Davy, etc. No Einstein explored the nature of creation itself.
  What he found still boggles the imagination: That both time and space are fluid, not constants. He would later say: “Time and space are modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live,” and “the distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
  A Belgian priest and astronomer named Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître built upon Einstein’s theory, publishing a paper in 1927 in which he claimed the universe was expanding, not in eternal stasis. The popular scientific view at the time was the “steady state” universe: A universe that existed, had always existed and would always exist, neither expanding nor contracting.
  The problem with an expanding universe is that it has to expand from somewhere. Lemaitre theorized and Hubble would later prove that the universe is indeed expanding, which means if we trace its expansion backwards we must eventually arrive at what we call “the singularity” which contained the stuff of that would not only create stars and planets, but all of space and time.
  What astronomer Fred Hoyle derisively called the “Big Bang” did not occur in a particular point in space, because space did not yet exist. It did not occur at a particular date, because time did not yet exist either. The event we call the Big Bang happened on the day without a yesterday.
  Eventually most cosmologists would come to accept the Big Bang theory as an accurate model for the start of creation. The steady state crowd had one more card to play though. What if the rate of expansion were slowing down? If it were, then eventually the expansion would stop, all matter would collapse, probably leading to another singularity and subsequently to another Big Bang. This would go on forever, Big Bang, followed by Big Crunch, followed by Big Bang, etc., a model sometimes called “the Big Bounce.”
  Then, in 1998 two separate studies by University of California astronomers showed that the universe is not only expanding, the rate of expansion is increasing. Ergo, the Big Bang happened once and will never happen again. Ergo there was a day without a yesterday during which creation came into being at a place that did not occupy space.
  Perhaps someday someone will come up with a way that could happen without a Creator, but I rather doubt it. The more mysteries science is able to solve, the deeper the eternal mystery becomes. In science, as in life, all roads eventually lead to God.
  Email: richtrzupek@gmail.com

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