Friday, September 29, 2006

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Bang?! (Part I)

It is interesting to me how negatively many folks view the Big Bang theory for the origin of the universe. There are two groups of people in particular who fiercely resist accepting it – but for completely different reasons. Today I will address the first group – Young Earth Creationists.

Many Christians are violently opposed to the idea of the Big Bang for one or both of the following reasons:

First, they believe that the Big Bang is a ploy, perpetuated by those who worship at the altar of scientific divinity, to promote the idea that the universe is old enough to allow time for Darwinian evolution to explain life on Earth. While many naturalistic scientists do promote this notion, the fact is that time is not what the evolutionists need. What they need is vastly more unattainable than a whole lot of time. They can have all the time they want. What they need is the ability to account for multiple reversals of, or the ability to completely dispense with, the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Darwinian evolution simply cannot account for the self-organization that would have to occur to allow life to “emerge” from non-life.

Complex biological life demands explicit instructions and information content that cannot be brought about by random, chance events. As Dean Overman points out in his excellent Case Against Accident and Self-Organization:

“Because there are thousands of different enzymes with different functions, to produce the simplest living cell [requires] that about 2000 enzymes were needed with each one performing a specific task to form a single bacterium like E. coli. Computing the probability of all these different enzymes forming in one place at one time to produce a single bacterium [it has been calculated] that the odds are 1 in 10 to 40,000th power … The total number of atoms in the observable universe are estimated to be only approximately 10 to the 80th power.”

It is not the case that the amount of time normally understood to have elapsed since the Big Bang (about 14 Billion years) is sufficient to overcome these odds. In fact, no amount of time is sufficient to turn an entropy-increasing universe like the one in which we exist into the kind of entropy-reversing universe needed allow for this kind of self-organization to occur.

Secondly, they believe that the Big Bang describes a catastrophic, chaotic, out-of-control “explosion” that could not have originated with a perfect God. But the idea that the Big Bang was chaotic is just plain false.

Rapid, yes. Chaotic, no.

The level of order and complexity that had to have existed within the Big Bang singularity is nearly (if not actually) infinite. All four forces of nature (gravity, electromagnetism, weak and strong nuclear forces) have been experimentally verified to be in place within 10 to the minus 11th seconds after the creation event. Quarks, the building block particles of protons and neutrons, showed up 0.00000000001 seconds later. The characteristics (strength, weight etc.) of each of these (and many more) had to have been exquisitely fine tuned to allow for life to ever be possible.

In short, the Big Bang was not a random explosion. It was the superbly ordered, delicately engineered product of the Divine Mind. If Christian Theists were to imagine the kind of event that that would result when “In the beginning, God created …” it is exactly the kind of thing they might picture.

To accept the pejorative description of the Creation Event as being otherwise is to buy into the atheistic sarcasm of the guy – Fred Hoyle – who gave the Big Bang its name. Next I’ll look at why he did so and hopefully give Young Earth Christians a reason to consider why they share a fear of the Big Bang with atheistic scientists. While I understand, and share, the motivation of Young Earthers to honor Scriptural authority and vehemently oppose any attempt to deny God’s hand in the creation, I believe they need to consider the concept of Dual Revelation more seriously where the origin of the universe is concerned.

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