The Science of Creation
The latest astronomical breakthrough relating to the origin of the universe rocked the world of science—and affirmed the traditional Judeo-Christian view of a Genesis 1:1 beginning. Announced March 17, 2014, scientists detected evidence for gravitational waves, ripples in the space-time fabric of the universe. Touted as evidence for inflation (the faster-than-the-speed-of-light, early expansion of the newborn universe), the discovery confirms the gravity waves predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity and lends credence to the idea of a grand unified theory.
While providing new evidence for the Big Bang theory, this news also offers strong support for the Christian worldview. The prevalent theory of cosmic origins prior to the Big Bang was the Steady State, which stated that the universe had always existed, and was therefore self-existent, without a beginning that necessitated a cause. However, this new evidence strongly suggests a beginning to the universe. If the universe had a beginning, the simple logic of cause and effect necessitates an agent, separate and apart from the effect, that caused it; as recorded in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
However, a faithful reading of Scripture requires more than just cracking open the Bible and reading from a 21st-century, American perspective. We must study the context, culture, genre, authorship, and original audience to discern its intent. When we look at these aspects together, we see that Genesis chapters 1 and 2 offer a theological rather than a scientific message. The creation message tells us that God created a special place for humans to live, thrive, and be in communion with Him; that God wants a relationship with us; and God makes provisions for us to have fellowship with Him, even after we turn away from Him.
"God reveals Himself both through Scripture and Creation; the key lies in seeing how these two sources of revelation fit together."
God never intended Genesis to serve as a detailed scientific handbook describing how He created. If Genesis had foreshadowed references to the Big Bang, gravity waves, dark matter, and dark energy, it would have sounded confusing at best, and maybe magical or even frightening at worst. If these concepts that challenge even modern-day scientists were detailed in Genesis, the text would have been completely incomprehensible to the original audience. Even with today’s sophisticated technology and vast knowledge base, we fall short of fully understanding God’s complex Creation. We must stop trying to constrain the infinite God with our limited, finite human understanding. As humans, we tend to be more comfortable keeping God in a box where we can pretend to comprehend Him, but He doesn’t always act the way we expect. As C. S. Lewis wrote about Aslan in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, “’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.”
God reveals Himself both through Scripture and Creation; the key lies in seeing how these two sources of revelation fit together. A better understanding of each informs our understanding of the other. As a scientist and a Christian, I stand in awe under the night sky and am reminded that “the heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1, NIV), and that He established His “covenant for day and night and the laws that govern the heavens and earth” (Jeremiah 33:25, ISV). Science and faith do not represent an either/or competition. If God is truly the Creator, then He will reveal Himself through what He has created, and science becomes a tool to uncover those wonders. Properly practiced, science can be an act of worship in looking at God’s revelation of Himself in nature.
This most recent scientific discovery serves as an example of that for me—a glimpse of God’s handiwork and an opportunity to learn more about how He creates. Throughout history, scientific discoveries have challenged us to adjust our understanding of how God interacts with the physical world. Several cases in point include Galileo’s empirical evidence refuting the geocentric view of the cosmos, Darwin’s proposition of random mutations and natural selection for biological evolution, and the work of Hubble, Gamow, Penzias, Wilson, and others revealing evidence for a cosmic Big Bang beginning. We must learn from this pattern and guard ourselves against a crisis of faith each time the science community discovers something. We need to let God be who He is—unsafe but good.
See Wickman's interview on Fox News where she addresses how the Big Bang affirms a Creator.
Posted: October 6, 2014