Our Bible-believing forefathers were very naïve. They had the simplistic notion that God was omnipotent and truthful. In their unsophisticated view of things they believed that the Bible was God's Word and that He was able to do what He said He did, and that He said what He meant to say about what He did! They believed what He wrote when He wrote the Ten Commandments on "two tables of stone written with the finger of God . . . according to all the words, which the LORD spake with (Moses) in the mount out of the midst of the fire" (Deuteronomy 9:10).
Among these words were the following: "Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work. . . . For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is. . ." (Exodus 20:9,11). Everything that was in the heavens was made in that primeval six-day period, or—more specifically—on the fourth day of that period when God had said that He "made two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made [note, not `is making'] the stars also. . . ."
That seems easy enough to understand. God was surely able to do that, and that's what He says He did! "By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast" (Psalm 33:6,9). "Thus the heavens . . . were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made. . ." (Genesis 2:1,2). Why are "finished" and "ended" so hard to understand?
One can understand why atheistic and pantheistic astronomers and cosmologists would reject this truth—the very premise of their profession requires them to try to understand the cosmos without invoking a Creator God. But Christian astronomers who say they believe in God and the Bible should find no problem with it.
Or so our naïve forefathers would have thought. Now, however, we have the phenomenon of Christian "apologists"—including at least one prominent communicator with a Ph.D. in astronomy—telling Christians they must abandon the Biblical literalism of their forefathers; and then try to explain the cosmos by some 15 billion years of stellar evolution, starting with the hypothetical Big Bang, followed by the evolution of the elements, then the stars, galaxies, and planets. We ourselves are said to be the eventual product of these aeons of stellar evolution, the elements of our very bodies being essentially "stardust" formed in ancient stellar processes.
Furthermore, they say, we can still see stellar evolution taking place in the heavens. We can see stars, galaxies, and planets in various stages of this cosmic evolutionary process.
No we can't! The heavens and the earth were "finished." All of God's heavenly "works were finished from the foundation of the world" (Hebrews 4:3). As long as people have been looking at the stars, they have never seen a single star evolve. We do occasionally see stars disintegrate, but that's not evolution! The tragedy is that so many leaders of Christian colleges, publications, churches, and para-church organizations are blindly following these latter-day apologists for modern scientism.
Perhaps the greatest anomaly in this situation is the incredibly weak scientific case for the whole scenario of cosmic evolution. There can be no "experiments" or "observations" of stars evolving, in the very nature of the case, so it cannot be scientific, though it may be naturalistic—all based on mathematical manipulations, computer simulations, and atheistic or pantheistic philosophies.
The British Astronomer Royal, Martin Rees, has warned about putting too much faith in these speculations.
In a recent lecture he warned the Association for Science Education that cosmologists are not to be taken seriously when they speculate about the universe in the first second after the Big Bang....Even the existence of the Big Bang itself depends on the extrapolation of physics back to the very beginning. In other words, the shaky place given to religious concepts in many of the popular cosmologies is not based on sound science.1
The author who was quoting Dr. Rees is herself a former professor of philosophy of science at the University of Cambridge. She concludes:
But perhaps it is unfair to judge the significance of science in general from cosmology, which is a special case in being as far removed from and sparsely supported by the here-and-now evidence as any theories can be.2
In spite of the great faith placed by certain Christian leaders in the Big Bang, there are many secular astronomers who reject it. Among the more obvious difficulties are its contradiction of the two universal laws of thermodynamics, but there are many others. The "inflation theory" was enthusiastically promoted for awhile in the 1980s as a means of resolving at least some of these problems. This was the notion that an incredibly small mini-universe "inflated" to the size of a grapefruit in an incredibly short time before it exploded into the Big Bang, which then proceeded to evolve into everything else.
But inflation itself has encountered numerous problems, with many modifications having to be appended to the theory.
Even so, there is no proof that inflation is correct; and, to add to the uncertainty, distinct versions of the theory have proliferated, as physicists grapple with the problem of finding an inflation that could have produced the universe but is also compatible with known laws of physics.3
As another astronomer has recently expostulated, after trying to sort through all the problems:
But then nobody knows whether inflation actually happened anyway.4
Since simple inflation turned out to be inadequate to generate the Big Bang and the cosmos, various cosmophysicists have tried to improve on inflation.
The theory now comes in varieties called old, new, chaotic, hybrid, and open inflation, with numerous subdivisions like supersymmetric, supernatural, and hyperextended inflation, each a vision of just how the inflation might have touched off the birth of the universe we see today.5
Then, of course, there is the problem of what started the inflation in the first place.
This question has led to an even more fantastic speculation. There has somehow been a "quantum fluctuation" from nothing into something, by virtue of the uncertainty principle.
One of the consequences of the uncertainty principle is that a region of seemingly empty space is not really empty, but is a seething froth in which every sort of fundamental particle pops out of empty space for a brief instant before annihilating with its antiparticle and disappearing—these are the so-called quantum fluctuations.6
After developing these thoughts at some length, the author says:
If this theory is correct, then seeds of structure are nothing more than patterns of quantum fluctuations from the inflationary era. In a very real sense, quantum fluctuations would be the origins of everything we see in the universe.7
Atheistic astronomers used to replace Genesis 1:1 with their version of origins as: "In the beginning, hydrogen." But that didn't really explain the hydrogen. Now, the new version has it as follows: "In the beginning, quantum fluctuations."
By no means, however, have we yet seen the end of these cosmic metaphysical speculations. As Coles says:
But perhaps none of the available family of models will fit all the new data. For many of us, that is the most exciting possibility of all, as we would have to move to stranger theories, perhaps not even based on General Relativity.8
Who knows? Perhaps they will someday even hit on the simplest of all—the true theory that, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
1 Mary Hesse, "Is Science the New Religion?" in Science Meets Faith, ed. by Fraser Watts (London, Eng: SPCK Holy Trinity Church, 1998), p. 124.
2 Ibid., p. 125.
3 James Ganz, "Which Way to the Big Bang?" Science (vol. 284, May 28, 1999), p. 1448.
4 Peter Coles, "The End of the Old Model Universe," Nature (vol. 393, June 25, 1998), p. 743.
5 James Ganz, op. cit., p. 1448.
6 Rocky Kolb, "Planting Primordial Seeds" Astronomy (vol. 26, February 1998), p. 42.
7 Ibid., p. 43
8 Peter Coles, op. cit., p. 744.
* Dr. Morris is Founder and President Emeritus of ICR.