My responses bear somewhat on Glenn Morton's point about Christians losing
their faith when they discover that the emperor of scientific creationism
ain't got no clothes. IMHO, this is one of the two or three most important
issues in religion and science: namely, the very poor education that most
Christians get about science from the drivel available to them at most
Christian book stores. It is a sad fact that books by Bube and the late
Bernie Ramm are out of print, while junk coming out of San Diego gets
reprinted again and again...
IG BANG VS. CREATION
1. What level of education have you completed?
Ph.D. -- history and philosophy of science
2. What was/is your major? Undergrad: physics; grad -- above.
3. Explain what your view is on how the universe was created:
I do not KNOW how the universe was created. God did it, I care very little
However, the big bang in my opinion is a good theory of how God MIGHT have
done it. For the moment, it looks like it might be true. But high level
scientific theories really can't be known to be true in an absolute sense;
evidence might turn up later on that counts decisively against any
4. What evidence do you know of that supports your belief?
The most powerful evidence in favor of the general type of theory (there are
various versions of it) called "big bang" is the very precise agreement
between theoretical predictions about the temperature of background
radiation and the actual measured temperature of 2.7 degrees Kelvin, seen in
all directions. The is the famous discovery of Penzias and Wilson, c. 1965,
which (as they later learned) had been predicted theoretically some years
before it was found.
5. What are your thoughts on the Big Bang Theory?
I've given several thoughts above; also see below.
6. What are your thoughts on the theory of Creation?
Creation is not a "theory," it is rather a theological belief -- and I take
beliefs to be more important than theories, because beliefs can/do structure
the ways in which we live, whereas theories usually don't (evolution for
some, however, does function as a type of religious belief). I strongly
affirm creatio ex nihilo -- the doctrine that all that exists came into
being, and is continued in being now, by a transcendent creator who is
immanent in creation. This doctrine, contrary to popular misconceptions,
does NOT favor any particular "theory" of origins over another. It DOES
favor monotheism over polytheism, pantheism, panentheism, and atheism.
As for Big Bang, it is not wise for Christians to claim that ANY particular
theory is the "biblical" theory of creation, for reasons that I have just
explained. Having said that, however, I would point to a strong consonance
between creatio ex nihilo and the big bang theory: according to scripture,
the world had a beginning, and according to big bang, it certainly looks as
though it did. Sometimes Christians see big bang cosmology as "atheistic,"
but this is ludicrous for three reasons. (1) see the above paragraph; (2)
see the previous sentence; (3) the history of the theory strongly suggests
just the opposite. I'll briefly elaborate on (3). Big bang was formulated
by a Belgian Jesuit priest, Georges Lemaitre, who realized that it seemed to
agree with the idea of creation (and cautioned Christians not to be too
eager to baptize a mere scientific theory). About 20 years later, three
other cosmologists, all self-described athetists (one was Fred Hoyle,
another Tom Gold), suggested an alternative theory of the cosmos called the
"steady state" theory. They did this explicitly because they did not like
the idea of a beginning that was implicit in big bang theory: they rejected
the possibility of a beginning of the world for theological and
philosophical reasons. It was this theory that seems to have been disproved
decisively by the Penzias/Wilson discovery. It is also this theory, not big
bang, that might legitimately be called an atheists' theory, given its
7. What differences and similarities do you see between science and
See what I've written above for a few of these. I could answer this more
fully, but not without attaching a book or 2 or 3.
Thank you for your interest in this important topic. Never stop thinking
about things that are important to you, and don't accept anyone's answers
uncritically as the pure truth. This goes for my answers also. Far too
often, young Christians are taught nonsense about religion and science.
When they discover this as adults, they sometimes give up the baby of their
faith with the bathwater of the nonsense they were taught as "biblical"
Edward B. Davis
Professor of the History of Science
Grantham, PA 17027
PS -- If you want answers from lots of Christian scientists, you might try
posting this to: firstname.lastname@example.org. You also might visit the following