SEARCH BLOG: RELIGION and SCIENCE
Once in awhile, it is relaxing to free your mind from the mundane aspects of existence and think about bigger things. And what could be bigger than the Big Bang Theory. No, not the new television show... the original Big Bang Theory. Actually, the original theory may have originated from other than physicists or mathematicians, but we just don't recognize it as such.
From a presentation by Chris LaRocco and Blair Rothstein of the University of Michigan:
One of the most persistently asked questions has been: How was the universe created? Many once believed that the universe had no beginning or end and was truly infinite. Through the inception of the Big Bang theory, however, no longer could the universe be considered infinite. The universe was forced to take on the properties of a finite phenomenon, possessing a history and a beginning.
About 15 billion years ago a tremendous explosion started the expansion of the universe. This explosion is known as the Big Bang. At the point of this event all of the matter and energy of space was contained at one point. What existed prior to this event is completely unknown and is a matter of pure speculation. This occurrence was not a conventional explosion but rather an event filling all of space with all of the particles of the embryonic universe rushing away from each other. The Big Bang actually consisted of an explosion of space within itself unlike an explosion of a bomb where fragments are thrown outward. The galaxies were not all clumped together, but rather the Big Bang lay the foundations for the universe.
Read more... and this primer from NASA.From Genesis:
1 First God made heaven & earth 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. 3 And God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.Big Bang... God... creative force... something happened... we think now we know more than we did back 4,000 years ago. Well, how much do we know about the beginning? We have this model... this concept... of an enormous universe that sprang from a pin-point. We have this allegorical-biblical account of a creator that made a universe... the heavens and the earth... spring from a void.
While we know a lot about the observable universe through the fantastic machinery of the 20th and 21st centuries, what do we really know more about the absolute beginning now than was described in a poetic fashion 4,000 years ago? I'd suggest... very little.
It is possible to be an agnostic or an atheist and unwittingly have a scientific theory-belief about the creation event of this universe that is eerily similar to the poetic vision of the Old Testament writers. Now there is ample observational data that strongly supports the Big Bang theory. Yet, even working backward through the mathematics and the observations, we only know with extremely high probability that something triggered a creation event.
Our mathematics and observations lead us away from the Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni image of a white-bearded, powerful being toward a dizzy array of mathematical symbols and formulae. But in the end, we are left with...
This is definitely not an argument for Intelligent Design.
This is just an observation that at some point we are left only with, "I don't know... and will probably never know." And at that point it comes down to some form of belief. "And then a miracle happens" is what we say when we cannot observe or deduce or infer an explanation.
Our minds, through science, can make better sense of that which we can observe or deduce or infer, but there is always the limiting point. That is not an argument for religion or belief based on decidedly distorted reasoning or non-verifiable picture of the universe. It is also not an argument against science or a rational methodology. It is just that when we get to the limiting point, we simply cannot know... because we simply cannot go back beyond the first few moments to before the instant of creation.
But both the account in Genesis and the Big Bang Theory that says our universe is finite and had a beginning leads us to the same conclusion: there must be something more. Unfortunately, we simply cannot know what. But did you ever wonder how some guy in the Middle East ever came up with that story? Perhaps it is nothing more than having too much time one one's hands.
For more on this, click here... and here. Oh, yes, I did minor in philosophy... enough to be dangerous. And, yes, the cartoon above is quite appropriate.
Okay, you can go back to thinking about housing and health care and Obama and Iran.