Until the 1960's, scientists held to the Steady State theory that the universe has no beginning or end in time and that the earth has always existed in one form or another. They scoffed at the Bible for saying that the earth had a beginning.
The first use of the term 'big bang' was by astronomer Fred Hoyle on a BBC broadcast in 1949 when he said: 'These theories were based on the hypothesis that all matter in the universe was created in one big bang at a particular time in the remote past.'
He argued against the theory and said was 'irrational and outside science.'
But, as a result of better telescopes and observations of the universe's constant expansion, by the 1980's the 'big bang' was the predominant theory of astronomers and astrophysicists.
Today, the big bang theory is the predominant explanation of how the universe began and is now generally regarded as settled science. The theory says that the universe started with a 'singularity' (Christians say 'God'), then exploded, expanding and cooling over the next 13.8 billion years into the cosmos we know today – and it's still expanding!
In the first second after the universe began, the surrounding temperature reached about 10 billion degrees Fahrenheit according to NASA, heat so intense that light could not penetrate it.
The Bible says that in the beginning the earth was formless and empty (quotation at top of this page) – just gasses, everything vaporized.
There was darkness over the face of the deep – light could not penetrate the extreme heat, and the earth was a deep mass of swirling vapor.
The spirit of God was hovering over the waters (as steam was condensing) – God was giving special attention to planet earth because he planned to do something special here.
There are no natural explanations for the universe, either its existence or its purpose.
If the big bang is the beginning of nature, then some intelligence and power outside of nature, and above nature, had to trigger the big bang, to start everything out of nothing, and to establish those predetermined laws of nuclear energy, physics and chemistry that enabled it happen with orderly precision.
Christians believe that divine intelligence and power is the only REASON that can explain a universe of such magnitude, majesty and precision.
Apparently it took about 10 billion years – the time between Genesis 1:2 and Genesis 1:3 – for the earth to cool and form a solid crust. Then God began shaping the earth and putting life on it.
The six stages of transformation are summarized and examined in Origin 1.2.
The compiler/writer of Genesis (generally thought to be Moses) could not have had this amazing scientific insight more than three thousand years ago without special revelation from God.
The earth is still cooling, a whirling glob of molten rock, 8,000 miles in diameter, with a 25-mile crust that supports life, unknown anywhere else in the universe. The place we live is so awesome that it is almost incomprehensible.
We need numbers beyond comprehension to contemplate the incredible size, duration and complexity of God's creation.
EXAMPLE: On New Year's Day 2019, NASA's New Horizon piano-sized spacecraft, launched in 2006, sent back detailed digital photos taken of space object 2014MU69 (21 miles long and 9 miles wide) while flying by at 32,000 miles per hour. After 18 years of continuous flight at 40 times the speed of sound, this spacecraft sent back photos just taken while 4,000,000,000 (four billion) miles from earth!
Stories of amazing new scientific feats and discoveries like this are becoming so common that they don't even receive much news coverage, and numbers are now so astronomical that most people cannot comprehend them. All this only 115 years after the Wright brothers made the first flight of a powered aircraft!
Conscious mind-boggling effort is required to stretch our thinking to divine scale of space and time.
Genesis 1 and the scientific community are now in essential agreement about the beginning of our physical world, the world of atoms.
But there's also another part of our world – the non-physical part, even more complex – which is the human soul (mind, will and emotion) and spirit (connection to God). See 1.3 for those parts.
Science investigates only the physical world. Theology investigates the non-physical world. Theology continues where science ends.
There can be no difference between true science and true Christianity because both seek truth – and there is only one truth! Science inquires into the physical, and Christianity inquires into the spiritual. They make different inquiries but both are part of the same integrated whole.
Conflicts between science and the Bible have resulted from lack of understanding at particular times in history, like these examples:
Today Christians have no problem believing that the Bible language is symbolism and that the earth is actually round and rotates around the sun, but this acknowledgment has not diminished the Bible's central message.
Today scientists have no problem believing that the earth had a beginning, but this acknowledgment has not upset scientific principles.
In seeking truth, the Bible and science eventually come together in light of new information and analysis.
The Bible is still the most read book in the world. It tells the comprehensive story of life from God's perspective, from beginning to end, physical life and spiritual life.
It claims to be – and for billions of people has proven to be – the Word of God. It's message is life-changing and has shaped human history.
See 1.1a for quick facts about the Bible.
People who are empty and weary find meaning and purpose in life through new understanding gained from the Bible.
See 1.1b for positioning personal identity within God's majestic eternal plan. Life is essentially empty without an understanding of origin (Who am I?), purpose (Why am I here?) and destiny (Where am I going?).
It is difficult, if not impossible, to have a good sense of personal identity without understanding how one's individual life is part of something much greater than self and +-76 years.