2014 has been a rough year for supporters of the Big Bang model. In March the BICEP2 radio astronomy team announced purported direct evidence for inflation, which is an integral part of the Big Bang model.1 The media loudly trumpeted this as “smoking gun” evidence for the Big Bang, and some Christians eagerly, but uncritically, accepted the claim.2
Years ago, inflation was tacked on to the original Big Bang model in order to save it from serious difficulties. Secular cosmologists believed these problems could be solved by postulating that the universe went through a period of inflation—an extremely rapid growth spurt—early in its history. Over time, inflation theory became increasingly bizarre, leading to the idea of a vast multiverse composed of infinitely many pocket, or “bubble,” universes.
Many secular scientists loved the multiverse idea. If these predicted universes really did exist, then surely some of them, they argued, would have physical laws allowing the spontaneous generation of life from non-living chemicals. Hence, they claimed that a creator was not needed to explain our existence: We Earthlings simply got lucky and happen to live in a universe whose physical laws permitted spontaneous generation and “goo to you” evolution.
Of course, there is no evidence for the existence of these other supposed universes, and this argument conveniently ignores the fact that spontaneous generation appears to be physically impossible. So even if these other universes did exist, and even if they all had extraordinary laws of physics permitting spontaneous generation, this would still do nothing to explain the origin of life in our universe.3
At the time of the BICEP2 announcement, the Institute for Creation Research pointed out difficulties with the claim and reminded Christians that secular scientists have often made dramatic announcements of alleged proofs for evolution, proofs which were later quietly walked back by secular scientists themselves.4
This alleged “smoking gun” was no exception. A mere two months after the dramatic announcement, even secular scientists were expressing doubts about the claim.5 By early June, the discovery had been discredited by two independent studies.6 One prominent theoretical physicist even called it a “Big Bang blunder” and noted that the BICEP2 researchers made their dramatic announcement to the world before their paper had even been peer-reviewed by qualified scientists.7 This was a serious breach of scientific ethics and protocol.
Worse yet, researchers from King’s College London are now claiming that accepting the BICEP2 results as legitimate would imply that the universe should have collapsed back in on itself shortly after the Big Bang, so that our universe should not even exist!8,9
This debacle should remind Christians of the dangers of trusting pseudo-intellectual secular origins stories over the Bible’s inspired creation account. Rather, we need to go back to Genesis and return to “the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3), accepting the words of the all-powerful, all-knowing Creator Himself. He was present at the beginning and has given us a clear and perfect account of our universe’s origin.
- Overbye, D. Space Ripples Reveal Big Bang’s Smoking Gun. The New York Times. Posted on nytimes.com and accessed March 17, 2014.
- Zweerink, J. Inflation’s Smoking Gun. Reasons to Believe. Posted on reasons.org April 21, 2014, accessed June 30, 2014. (As of July 24, 2014, the Reasons to Believe ministry had yet to retract its article endorsing this now discredited “proof” of inflation.)
- Hebert, J. 2013. Hiding from God in the Multiverse. Acts & Facts. 42 (6): 9.
- Hebert, J. ‘Smoking Gun’ Evidence of Inflation? Creation Science Update. Posted on icr.org March 21, 2014, accessed June 30, 2014.
- Hebert, J. ‘Smoking Gun’ Proof of Big Bang Already in Doubt. Creation Science Update. Posted on icr.org June 6, 2014, accessed June 30, 2014.
- Cowan, R. 2014. Big Bang finding challenged. Nature. 510 (7503): 20.
- Steinhardt, P. 2014. Big Bang blunder bursts the multiverse bubble. Nature. 510 (7503): 9.
- Fairbairn, M. and R. Hogan. 2014. Electroweak Vacuum Stability in Light of BICEP2. Physical Review Letters. 112 (20): 1801-1805.
- Parnell, B. A. Higgs Boson Seems to Prove That the Universe Doesn’t Exist. Forbes.com. Posted on forbes.com June 24, 2014, accessed June 30, 2014.
* Dr. Hebert is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Dallas.