Is it possible that God used the Big Bang to create the earth?

Requested and Answered by Billious-MicMek on 15-Jul-2005 23:46

Is it possible that God used the Big Bang to create the earth?

The Big Bang is a scientific theory that describes how the universe began. Put simply, it says that around 12 to 15 thousand million years ago, everything in this universe began as a little dot that suddenly exploded. The universe has been expanding or getting bigger ever since. The Big Bang is still just a theory, and theories are changing all the time as new information comes to light. An example of this is that until a few decades ago, scientists usually said the Big Bang happened 20 billion years ago. New evidence made them revise this down to 8 billion years, and recently, the estimate has gone back up to 12 to 15 billion years (one of the reasons for this is they discovered object that appeared to be older than the age of the universe itself!)

The Big Bang theory has an interesting history. The main theory before it was the Steady State Theory that said that the universe has no beginning at all. Those who did not believe in God loved this theory since it meant you didn’t need a Creator to start everything off. Then an astronomer called Edwin Hubble made the remarkable discovery that all the other galaxies seem to be flying away from ours at great speed! That couldn’t be true if the universe has just been there for ever – it forced scientists to admit that the universe must have had a beginning, which brought back the questions that science cannot answer – what, or rather, Who caused the beginning?

The Bible was never intended to be a science textbook – it aims at more important things like eternal salvation! Attempts to use it as a science book, and to read its words as if they were specific scientific terminology, are doomed to failure! For example, when the Book of Isaiah mentions “the circle of the world� (Isaiah 40:22) some people took it as proving that the earth is a flat disc, shaped much like a CD, rather than a ball shape. Of course, this is reading precise scientific terminology (circle = actual, flat circle) where it was never intended! The ‘circle’ here simply describes what you see if you go up to the top of a high mountain and look around. The horizon looks like it’s a circle as you turn around and around, and you can even see its curve if you look out over ocean. Another example is that for centuries, the Catholic Church taught the Bible makes it clear that the Earth is the centre of the universe and the sun and planets move around it. Men like Galileo and Copernicus suffered for daring to say otherwise. But in fact, the Bible teaches no such thing – it was only their interpretation, an interpretation that was based on the ancient (non-Christian) worldview of the Greek philosophers Aristotle, Plato and Ptolemy.

We must guard against making the same mistake about the description of the creation of the world in the Book of Genesis. For example, some have insisted that because Genesis says the world was created in six days, they must have been real, 24-hour days. However, as HH Pope Shenouda III has pointed out, the sun itself was not created until the fourth day. How could the first three days be measured when there was no sun? His Holiness goes on to say that the ‘days’ of creation could well be unspecified time periods that might be billions of years.

Did God create the universe with a Bang Bang and leave it to gradually form suns and galaxies, or did He just create galaxies and planets out of nothing in one go? Or perhaps He did it in a way that no one has even imagined yet? Unfortunately, some people will insist that this theory or that theory is definitely the correct one and give all sorts of arguments to support it. We have to be honest – the simple answer is that NOBODY knows except for the one Person who was actually there. And He isn’t telling us, yet. Perhaps we will find out if we are blessed with meeting Him in the Kingdom of Heaven. I know it’s one of the questions I’ll definitely be asking!

This Q&A was found on Archangel Michael & St Bishoy Coptic Orthodox Church :