The Creation Explanation
|Design in the Universe|
The Origin of the Universe
Secularist astronomers are as prone to allowing their personal philosophy to draw them into evolutionary thinking as are their counterparts in the biological science. The most widely held view of the origin of the universe, based upon the evidence for an expanding universe, is that the universe originated in the explosion of a primordial concentration of matter-energy. Where this original nucleus came from they generally do not attempt to explain. Two proposed sources have titillated some but not attracted much real support: (1) the collapse of a previously existing universe, and (2) a random squiggle in a cosmic infinite-eternal vacuum, which produced a pair of universes, one composed of matter and the other of antimatter. In any event, in their view, the original explosion, called popularly the "Big Bang," produced an expanding universe, at first composed mostly of hydrogen gas. Supposedly portions of this cloud contracted under the influence of local gravity to form galaxies composed mainly of stars produced as discussed earlier in this chapter. The Big Bang theory is simply an evolutionary explanation for the origin of the universe and the earth upon which they believe life, species and man evolved from the dust of the earth. The secular thinkers see all of existence as one continuous materialistic process of transformation or evolutionfrom nothing to space-time-matter-energy, to galaxies, to solar system and earth, to life, to species to man.
There are many difficulties with all such big bang scenarios for the origin of the universe.58 For two decades or more numerous leading astronomers and cosmologists have been publishing their criticisms and dissatisfaction with every aspect of the Big Bang cosmology and its associated theories. Wendell Bird in his very useful book, The Origin of Species Revisited, provides a comprehensive summary of these problems.
A primary and obvious point of attack on the Big Bang is at the very beginning: Why should all of the matter and energy in our present universe ever have become compressed into a particle smaller than a grain of sand? What unknown force accomplished this? And would this cosmic speck not be the "black hole" to end all black holes? Analysis of the various proposed models for the original matter-energy fireball by the principles of classical(non-relativistic) physics suggests that the ball would collapse rather than expand. This is because the force of gravity around such a supercondensed mass (1014 to 1025 g/cm3) would be so great that even photons of light could not escape. The prediction based even on classical theory is that the ball containing all of the matter-energy of the present universe would collapse into a so-called black hole rather than expand.59 On the other hand, prominent secular scientists question whether the compressed universe would expand. One gets the impression that Big Bang theoreticians simply assume that the desired expansion did occur and, using relativity and sophisticated theories of physics, are able to adjust the assumed original conditions so as to persuade themselves that a successful Big Bang could occur.60 So their theoretical scenario for cosmic history is launched. As Dr. Fowler said about the theory of the production of the elements inside of stars, it's good, clean fun, even if there never is a useful application for it.
In the second place, it cannot be demonstrated that, if the fireball did succeed in exploding, the resulting homogeneous cloud of expanding gas would condense into galaxies. The laws of physics point merely to a continuing expansion of the hypothetical gas cloud. The Second Law of Thermodynamics predicts that with time the universe would tend to become even less organized than its beginning state. To get around this problem, Prof. James Gunn of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena proposed in a public lecture in 1972 that the original nucleus of matter-energy had to have "lumps." That is, it had to contain an original design structure, at least a simple one, to get the evolutionary scenario going. There had to some beginning seeds or bumps to get local gravitational collapses of hydrogen gas to form galaxies and stars. Twenty years later it was still being admitted that the theoretical big bang and various kinds of empirical evidence point to a big bang which was too homogeneous, too "smooth" to lead to the presently observed complex universe. The principle evidence for this smoothness or lack of lumps in the Big Bang was the smoothness (isotropic character) of the observed cosmic microwave background radiation mentioned earlier. However, new observations supplied something of what was so long desired.
In April, 1992, newspaper headlines reported that NASA's orbital microwave telescope, the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), had revolutionized cosmology by supposedly making the greatest discovery in the history of astronomy. The cosmic microwave radiation had been subjected to the most precise measurements yet achieved. Differences of one part in 30 million were measured, and thus the early Big Bang was said to have had the initial unevenness required to explain the formation of galaxies. Analysis of the new data by an assembly of scientists meeting at Princeton University in June led, however, to more sober conclusions.61 They saw the new data as reinforcing the concept of a Big Bang, but proceeded to interpret them to support numerous competing theories or models of the Big Bang. Other microwave detectors located at the South Pole can measure much finer detail in the cosmic background radiation than can COBE, and they thus far have measured only perfect evenness. Prof. Mastake Fukugita of the University of Kyoto commented, "We are in a very difficult stage, and we don't know where we are going," The journal, Nature, counseled restraint and reminded its readers that 90 percent of the mass required to produce galaxies by gravitational collapse was yet to be discovered.62
High level criticism of the Big Bang cosmology is persisting. The February, 1992, issue of Scientific American carries a strongly worded critique by physicist-astronomer Geoffrey Burbidge of the University of California at San Diego.63 Under the title "Why Only One Big Bang?" he takes the scientific community to task for making a theory into a dogma and an article of faith, ignoring its deficiencies and problems, and denying unbelievers access to research facilities, funding and the pages of professional journals. The big bang cosmology, he says, "rests, however, on many untested, and in some cases untestable, assumptions. Indeed, big bang cosmology has become a bandwagon of thought that reflects faith as much as objective truth." "Worst of all," he complains, "astronomical textbooks no longer treat cosmology as an open subject."
Burbidge points out that papers which propose alternatives to the standard "hot big bang" model are blocked by peer reviewers or editors from being published in scientific journals. Astronomer Halton C. Arp was denied continued access to the Mount Wilson and Palomar observatories because his research was regularly uncovering new data which was incompatible with the standard theories. "I would wager," Burbidge wrote, "that no young researcher would be willing to jeopardize his or her scientific career by writing an essay such as this."
Professor Burbidge goes on to point out that the favored big bang model gives the universe an age of between seven and 13 billion years. However current stellar evolution theory make the oldest known stars between 13 and 15 billion years(with an uncertainty of plus or minus 20 percent. The estimated age of the elements in the solar system is about 13 billion years. Burbidge comments, "If one accepts a high value of the Hubble constant, and hence a low age for the universe, the simplest big bang model clearly fails, because the universe cannot be younger than the objects it contains. If one chooses a low value for the Hubble constant, it is touch and go."
In 1994 two new independent observations of Cepheid variable stars in distant galaxies provided measurements of their distances from the earth. The observed red shifts of the light from these galaxies give values for their apparent speeds of recession of the from the earth. The value of the Hubble constant is calculated from the formula
Ho = speed of recession/distance
The result of this calculation is Ho = 80 km sec-1/megaparsec. A megaparsec is a distance equal to almost 3 million light years. The Hubble constant yields a value for the age of the supposedly expanding universe. Age = 1/Ho. If the value of Ho is 80, then the age of the universe comes out to be about 12 billion years. If the value of Ho is 50, the age of the universe is about 18 billion years. Thus the most recent estimates of Ho continue to embarrass Big Bang theorists, for they are too low to provide for the universe to evolve according to the theory, as Prof. Burbidge had pointed out.
John Maddox, retired editor of Nature, commented in mid-1995 that this problem of the Hubble constant will not likely soon be solved. He concludes, The pity is that while the discordance persists, cosmologists will not know which way to turn on questions like the reality of the Big Bang."64 Nevertheless, the vast majority of scientists embrace the Big Bang theory as fact and insist that ordinary citizens share their faith or be branded as ignoramuses.
Shortly after the COBE data was released, four scientists of international reputation, Halton Arp, Geoffrey Burbidge, Fred Hoyle and Jayant Narlikar, wrote to the journal, Nature, to criticize both the cosmic microwave background radiation and the red shift as evidence for Big Bang cosmologies. They cite the following failures of current theories: "failure to explain galaxy formation, the failure to find fingerprints of galaxy formation in the microwave background, the failure to identify 'missing mass', the age problem, the baryon-to-photon problem, the top quark mass problem, the Higgs boson mass problem, the inflationary switch-on problem and, ultimately, the origin problem."65 In their letter of rebuttal P.J.E. Peebles and three other scientists admitted "Arp et al. correctly note that in the standard relativistic hot expanding cosmological model there are many open problems: we cannot explain how the galaxies formed or even the nature of their dominant component, the massive dark halos[i.e., the missing mass supposed to exist in the galaxies in the form of "cold, dark matter" which has yet to show up in any observation]."66 They concluded, however, that the current standard has not been successfully challenged by its critics. Perhaps we ordinary mortals are at least justified in refusing to have faith in the Big Bang "theology" when many eminent scientists can have such striking disagreements. And, incidentally, the COBE data has been interpreted to offer serious problems for the standard cold-dark-matter model for the universe.67 Thus 90 percent(some say more) of the matter required to make the formation of galaxies possible and to make the standard Big Bang cosmology complete and acceptable has yet to be observed. There is no proof that it exists.
After discussing other inconsistencies and problems in big bang theories, Professor Burbidge concludes, "Hence, there are two immutables: the act of creation and the laws of physics, which spring forth fully fashioned from that act. The big bang ultimately reflects some cosmologists' search for creation and for a beginning. That search properly lies in the realm of metaphysics, not science." A little later in 1992 astrophysicist N.C. Wickramasinghe published another explanation of the COBE discovery of fluctuations in the intensity of the cosmic microwave background radiation, an explanation which does not rely on the Big Bang notion. He closed his communication to Nature magazine with the conclusion: that "[t]he Big Bang explanation of the latest COBE result is thus not unique, and alternative thermalization models cannot be excluded."68
On the other hand, creation scientists believe that God created the universe, and that not by a random big bang followed by the chance precipitation of gas and dust into galaxies, stars and planets. No, it was all precisely designed and executed by sovereign, divine providential control from the very beginning to the completion of the creation week. Christian scientists observe much marvelous evidence of intelligent, purposeful design wherever they search, from the heart of the atom out to the farthest galaxy. Every living thing--single cell, complex plant or animal, ecological community, biosphereis so replete with special design, interdependency and order as to be inexplicable in any scientifically satisfactory sense by natural, chance chemical and physical processes from non-living matter. To believe in such an origin of either the physical universe or the world of living creatures requires implicit faith in assumed processes and alleged events which cannot be duplicated or demonstrate in any laboratory.
In the evolutionary view of nature, the origin of life stems from the same physical laws which supposedly brought into being the universe of time, space, matter and energy from a primeval explosion. But the origin of the fantastically complex system represented by those physical laws is taken for granted. Even granting the evolutionary development theories, the question of ultimate origins is ignored and left unanswered. The well-known astronomer, Robert Jastrow, has chided his colleagues on this point in his popular book, God and the Astronomers, but not many of them seem to be listening.69 Jastrow, certainly not a Bible-believing Christian, accepts both cosmic and biological evolution, but he emphasizes that the Big Bang scenario accepted by practically all the secularists postulates a beginning. Since their science cannot explain this beginning of something from nothing, they are left with a question mark which Jastrow implies must be God. Nevertheless, Jastrow's Big Bang is purely secular, an evolutionary process which brought the universe to its present condition, and he includes biological evolution as a part of the cosmic evolutionary process.
Thus a complete explanation of the universe is only possible if one includes the concept of creation by a Creator. Science cannot explain everything after all. And one is not being "unscientific" to include this concept of a Creator in his view of the world, whether his particular area of interest be in astronomy, the earth sciences, or the life science. Indeed, most of the major traditional areas of scientific research were initiated by intelligent, inquisitive people who believed in the God of creation.70
In our Chapter-8 on the age of the earth we will describe a new theory based on Einstein's general theory of relativity and starting with assumptions that are drawn from the biblical record of creation in Genesis. This theory explains the three principle kinds of evidence used to support the Big Bang theory and the great-age chronology for the universe. It provides for a young universe and a young earth only thousands, rather than billions of years old. It is clear that the debate the secularists think they have won against the God of creation is far from concluded.
Sciencebeing only a temporal human enterprise that can find no cure for the issues of sin, righteousness, forgiveness, divine judgment and eternitywill pass away. In fact the natural order of the created universe, which is the only thing subject to scientific investigation, will itself pass away. The redeemed people of God will in the new creation have no need for science, even as God has no need for it. Then, "we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (1 John 3:2b). Then we shall be in perfect and eternal communion with the Great Designer and understand the marvelous plan of the ages which the Father created through His Son. (Hebrews 1:2)
But the day of the LORD will come as a
thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the
elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be
burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons
ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the
day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved being on fire, and the elements
will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new
heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
59. St. Peter, Roger L., Creation Research Soc. Quarterly, Vol. 11, Dec. 1974, pp. 143-155.
60. Narlikar, Jayant, (ref. 45).
61. Flam, Fay, Science, Vol. 257, 3 July 1992, pp28-30.
62. Anon., Nature, Vol. 356, 30 April 1992, p. 731.
63. Burbidge, Geoffrey, "Why Only One Big Bang?" Scientific American, Vol. 266, Feb. 1992, p. 120.
64. Maddox, John, "More muddle over the Hubble constant," Nature, Vol. 376, 27 July 1995, p. 291.
65. Arp, H.C. et al., Nature, Vol. 357, 28 May 1992, pp. 287-288.
66. Peebles, P.J.E. et al., ibid., p. 288.
67. Binney, James, Nature, Vol. 358, 9 July 1992, pp. 104-105.
68. Wickramasinghe, N.C., Nature, Vol. 358, 13 Aug. 1992, p. 547.
69. Jastrow, Robert, God and the Astronomers (Norton Pub. Co., New York, 1976).
70. Morris, Henry M., Men of Science Men of God (Master Books, Colorado Springs, CO, 1982).