One main reason why most cosmologists accept the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe is that it fits so well into the theory of total evolution. It begins with nothing, then matter evolves out of that nothing with a horrendous bang, then stars and galaxies evolve more or less simultaneously with the higher elements, then planets evolve around their stars, then simple life evolves, then more and more complex life forms, and finally humans evolve.
But possibly an even more compelling reason for commitment to the Big Bang is that this is essentially the only cosmology which funding agencies are willing to support financially. There are, in fact, a goodly number of competent physicists and astronomers who reject the Big Bang theory in favor of some form of the Steady-State theory or the Plasma theory of origins. They argue that these theories can explain all the so-called "proofs" of the Big Bang without incurring its many problems. But—they complain—cosmic research requires much money, and they can't get any.
One of these is Eric J. Lerner, president of Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, author of a recent complaint published in the prestigious magazine, New Scientist, and co-signed by thirty-three other scientists from ten countries. Lerner opens with a telling indictment.
BIG BANG theory relies on a growing number of hypothetical entities—things that we have never observed. Inflation, dark matter and dark energy are the most prominent. Without them, there would be fatal contradictions between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory. In no other field of physics would this continual recourse to new hypothetical objects be accepted as a way of bridging the gap between theory and observation. It would, at the least, raise serious questions about the validity of the underlying theory. 1
A number of years ago, Lerner authored a large book setting forth in detail many of the more egregious fallacies of the Big Bang. 2 The intervening decade or so between his book and this recent statement by Lerner and his colleagues has been marked by much mathematical and metaphysical manipulation but there are still no definitive physical confirmations of the Big Bang.
Yet both the Plasma theory, developed mainly by the Nobel laureate, Hannes Alfven, and the modified Steady-State theory associated mainly with Sir Fred Hoyle, have been able to account for all the alleged physical evidences of the Big Bang and indeed have noted a number of other physical phenomena that can be explained by their models, but not the Big Bang.
Yet the Big Bang theory continues to reign, even though, as Lerner notes:
. . . the big bang theory can boast of no quantitative predictions that have subsequently been validated by observation. 3
Lerner contends that the bias of peer-review committees and the resultant lack of funding for these alternative theories is the main reason for the insistence of cosmologists that the Big Bang continue as cosmologic orthodoxy, despite its lack of evidence. He says that,
. . . in cosmology today doubt and dissent are not tolerated, and young scientists learn to remain silent if they have something negative to say about the standard big bang model.
. . . Funding comes from only a few sources, and all the peer-review committees that control them are dominated by supporters of the big bang. 4
Fred Hoyle and his associates have had the same problem. When they published in 1999 a very impressive book entitled, A Different Approach to Cosmology (Cambridge University Press), the science reviewer for the Sunday London Telegraph, acknowledged that Hoyle was " Britain's greatest living astrophysicist, and the Big Bang theory's greatest adversary." Yet he had to recognize another fact also.
I don't expect the vast majority of astronomers to pay the slightest attention to Hoyle and his colleagues: frankly, there are too many careers riding on the Big Bang being right. 5
Yet science is constantly proclaimed by scientists to be an open-minded search for truth, no matter where that search leads! Another world-class astronomer, Halton Arp, likewise found academic doors suddenly closed after he questioned the Big Bang.
As an interesting aside, some thirty years ago, a number of creationist scientists decided to seek government funding for creationist research which would be fair, they thought, since so much funding for evolutionary research had been provided by government agencies. Although I let the committee add my name to their list, I predicted that their request would be ignored. And, of course, it was.
With peer review committees all stacked with evolutionists, it is not surprising that we cannot get scientific creationism articles published in any of the standard technical journals. Nevertheless, with private funding, some highly significant research is being done, the research of the ICR-CRS RATE Committee being a case in point.
Although we have a certain amount of empathy with the anti-Big-Bang astronomers, they are not Biblical creationists. They do not believe in creation, or any kind of beginning at all.
Plasma cosmology and the steady-state model both hypothesize an evolving universe without beginning or end. 6
They have to recognize the entropy law, of course, which would indicate the whole universe—even the very structure of matter—to be decaying. Consequently—like the Big Bang theorists—they have to assume various kinds of "fudge factors" to keep the universe evolving.
Fred Hoyle, for example, postulated in his original Steady-State theory, that hydrogen atoms were being continually "created" out of nothing. Some of the plasma cosmologists think that Prigogine's "order-out-of-chaos" theory can provide the solution.
All such notions are devoid of experimental proof, of course. Yet the universe is definitely running down, and this fact surely points to some kind of beginning.
That is apparently why some Christians—theistic evolutionists such as Howard Van Till and progressive creationists such as Hugh Ross, and many others—who feel we simply have to accept the evolutionists' billions of years—have decided to accept the Big Bang theory. After all, the Big Bang does require a beginning, and they think this fits with the Bible.
It does not, of course. In fact, it turns the Creator, Jesus Christ, into a liar, for He said that Adam and Eve were there "from the beginning of the creation" (Mark 10:6), referring to the account in Genesis 1:26-27—not several billion years after the beginning of the creation.
As a matter-of-fact, very few (if any) of the leading Big Bang astronomers believe in Genesis, or even in God. They are total evolutionists, even believing that the first matter evolved by a quantum fluctuation in the primeval nothing.
And that is also one main reason, as indicated in the first paragraph of this article, why I believe most astronomers accept the Big Bang. It fits evolution so well, and thereby pushes God so far out in space and so far back in time that He is essentially eliminated altogether. Perhaps that is why it's so difficult to get "bucks" to research anything but the Big Bang.
At the end of the six days, we are told emphatically that, at the end of the week of creation, ". . . God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made" (Genesis 2:3).
God is no longer creating or making anything (except in miracles). Later whenever the Bible refers to the physical creation, it always uses the past tense, for "the works were finished from the foundation of the world" (Hebrews 4:3).
Since that time, the world is essentially in a steady state, because our Lord Jesus Christ, who created all things (Colossians 1:16; John 1:3), is now "upholding all things by the word of His power" (Hebrews 1:3). It is still scientifically and Biblically true, however, that "the whole creation" is now in "the bondage of corruption" (i.e., decay—Romans 8:21-22) because of sin and the Curse, and no wistful corrective suggested by Hoyle or Prigogine or Ross or any other scientist can work, for "the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word [that is, by the same Word which created them] are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men" (2 Peter 3:7).
And until that day, the prayer of the Israelites who had returned from captivity in Babylon to rebuild Jerusalem will still be appropriate for believers today.
"Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee" (Nehemiah 9:6).
- Eric J. Lerner, "Bucking the Big Bang," New Scientist (May 22, 2004), p. 20.
- Eric J. Lerner, The Big Bang Never Happened (New York: Random House, 1991), 466 pp.
- Lerner, "Bucking the Big Bang," p. 20.
- Robert Matthews: "Sir Fred Returns to Give Big Bang Another Kicking." Sunday Telegraph (February 13, 2000).
- Lerner, "Bucking the Big Bang," p. 20.