Re: Big Bang as evidence of God

Don N Page (don@Phys.UAlberta.CA)
Wed, 17 Sep 97 15:21:40 -0600

Eduardo G. Moros makes the interesting point, which I did not deal
with, that "the B.B. is more biblically correct." I agree that if one wants a
concordance interpretation of Genesis, making it fit with the scientific
theory, it might be easier to do with a Big Bang model than with a universe of
infinite age. But since there are other problems with doing that, and since
I'm not convinced that the text is intended to be giving a scientific account,
I wouldn't regard the fact that the Big Bang fits easier with a concordance
interpretation of Genesis to be very convincing evidence for the Big Bang (or
for the Bible, assuming that the Big Bang is correct). Why couldn't "In the
beginning" have more to do with God's thought processes, or with the literary
sequence of the revelation, or with yet something else, than with some concept
of time within the universe that has been greatly refined scientifically since
then (and which may turn out to just be an approximate concept anyway, without
any truly fundamental status, when we find a good theory of quantum gravity)?

This last parenthetic remark is related to Eduardo's comment, "But many
have pointed out that time is, after all, *real*." Indeed, the approximate
concept of time that we use in the present universe is real. But time probably
does not have its usual properties `when' the universe is very small. Hawking
suggests that `there' it may be a better concept to say that time is imaginary.
But even that is likely to be just an approximation. It seems much more likely
to me that there is no complex variable at all, whether real, imaginary, or
somewhere else in the complex plane, that is a fundamental time variable or
coordinate in the real quantum universe. Nevertheless, it is very hard to
avoid temporal language, so one can hardly fault the Biblical writers for using
temporal language even if in fact there is no absolute time and no absolute
beginning to the universe that God created, or even if the no-boundary proposal
or something like it is correct.

Don Page