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Big Bang Evidence for God (Why I Donít Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist)
Townhall ^ | Jan 15, 2008 | Frank Turek

Posted on 01/15/2009 6:04:24 PM PST by SeekAndFind

When I debated atheist Christopher Hitchens recently, one of the eight arguments I offered for God’s existence was the creation of this supremely fine-tuned universe out of nothing. I spoke of the five main lines of scientific evidence—denoted by the acronym SURGE—that point to the definite beginning of the space-time continuum. They are: The Second Law of Thermodynamics, the Expanding Universe, the Radiation Afterglow from the Big Bang Explosion, the Great galaxy seeds in the Radiation Afterglow, and Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.

While I don’t have space to unpack this evidence here (see I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist), it all points to the fact that the universe began from literally nothing physical or temporal. Once there was no time, no space, and no matter and then it all banged into existence out of nothing with great precision.

The evidence led astronomer Dr. Robert Jastrow—who until his recent death was the director of the Mount Wilson observatory once led by Edwin Hubble—to author a book called God and the Astronomers. Despite revealing in the first line of chapter 1 that he was personally agnostic about ‘religious matters,” Jastrow reviewed some of the SURGE evidence and concluded, “Now we see how the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy.”

In an interview, Jastrow went even further, admitting that “Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover. . . . That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.”

Jastrow was not alone in evoking the supernatural to explain the beginning. Athough he found it personally “repugnant,” General Relativity expert Arthur Eddington admitted the same when he said, “The beginning seems to present insuperable difficulties unless we agree to look on it as frankly supernatural.”

Now why would scientists such as Jastrow and Eddington admit, despite their personal misgivings, that there are “supernatural” forces at work? Why couldn’t natural forces have produced the universe? Because there was no nature and there were no natural forces ontologically prior to the Big Bang—nature itself was created at the Big Bang. That means the cause of the universe must be something beyond nature—something we would call supernatural. It also means that the supernatural cause of the universe must at least be:

· spaceless because it created space

· timeless because it created time

· immaterial because it created matter

· powerful because it created out of nothing

· intelligent because the creation event and the universe was precisely designed

· personal because it made a choice to convert a state of nothing into something (impersonal forces don’t make choices).

Those are the same attributes of the God of the Bible (which is one reason I believe in a the God of the Bible and not a god of mythology like Zeus).

I mentioned in the debate that other scientists who made Big-Bang-related discoveries also conclude that the evidence is consistent with the Biblical account. Robert Wilson—co-discoverer of the Radiation Afterglow, which won him a Noble Prize in Physics— observed, “Certainly there was something that set it off. Certainly, if you’re religious, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match with Genesis.” George Smoot—co-discoverer of the Great Galaxy Seeds which won him a Nobel Prize as well—echoed Wilson’s assessment by saying, “There is no doubt that a parallel exists between the Big Bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing.”

How did Hitchens respond to this evidence? Predictably, he said that I was “speculating”—that no one can get behind the Big Bang event. I say “predictably” because that’s exactly the response Dr. Jastrow said is common for atheists who have their own religion—the religion of science.

Jastrow wrote, “There is a kind of religion in science . . . every effect must have its cause; there is no First Cause. . . . This religious faith of the scientist is violated by the discovery that the world had a beginning under conditions in which the known laws of physics are not valid, and as a product of forces or circumstances we cannot discover. When that happens, the scientist has lost control. If he really examined the implications, he would be traumatized. As usual when faced with trauma, the mind reacts by ignoring the implications—in science this is known as “refusing to speculate.”

Hitchens admits the evidence but ignores its implications in order to blindly maintain his own religious faith (watch the entire debate at CrossExamined.org here). How is it speculation to say that since all space, time, and matter were created that the cause must be spaceless, timeless and immaterial? That’s not speculation, but following the evidence where it leads.

Dr. Jastrow, despite his agnosticism, told us where the evidence leads. He ended his book this way: “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: bigbang; evidence; god; scientism
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1 posted on 01/15/2009 6:04:25 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
Satin is not an Atheist, Hitchens won't be one much longer either.
2 posted on 01/15/2009 6:15:10 PM PST by reefdiver (How do you keep the Conservative a Conservative, in Washington DC ?)
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To: SeekAndFind

I read Jastrow’s book years ago, and I never forgot that closing line.


3 posted on 01/15/2009 6:18:41 PM PST by redhead (Get ready to step into the Era of Hopey Changeness)
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To: SeekAndFind

Bumpage


4 posted on 01/15/2009 6:20:41 PM PST by randomhero97 ("First you want to kill me, now you want to kiss me. Blow!" - Ash)
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To: SeekAndFind
“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries"

The second edition was published in 2000. I read it when it first came out - about 30 years ago. I chuckled at that quote and have remembered it all these years.

5 posted on 01/15/2009 6:28:36 PM PST by maine-iac7 ("He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help" Lincoln)
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To: reefdiver
Satin is not an Atheist, Hitchens won't be one much longer either.

This is a VERY interesting point. Never thought of it that way.

Satan hates God but obviously acknowledges God since he has battled Him. So, ironically, the guy who hates God the most is actually also someone who most definitely believes in God

Quite an interesting thing if you ponder upon it.
6 posted on 01/15/2009 6:31:13 PM PST by SoftwareEngineer
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To: SeekAndFind
More clearly defined than my own understanding, but the red shift and knowing that everything we can comprehend has a temporal beginning and ending satisfies the doubts of this Thomas.
7 posted on 01/15/2009 6:35:57 PM PST by higgmeister (In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: SeekAndFind
Offhand this sounds a lot like my own belief. Cool.

But I disagree in two particulars with that otherwise fine closing statement.

First, it's not a "bad dream" to find an answer to a difficult question. It's a good dream come true.

Second, the theologians have not been sitting there for centuries. They've been stumbling around in the general vicinity, arguing with each other (and often killing each other) over minuscule details of their misinterpretations of the nature of Creation. They have less clue than than scientists, who (when they finally confront the necessity of a Prime Mover) recognize that the PM must have certain characteristics, and propose one that matches them. The theologians anthropomorphize their gods based on themselves, and then fantasize that they each were created in God's image. None of them have any idea what God's image is.

My God created the Universe from nothing at the time of the Big Bang, and then has watched The Experiment unfold for billions of years, with infinite patience. I am exceedingly pleased and proud to participate in this Great Experiment.

Your mileage may vary, of course. ;-)

8 posted on 01/15/2009 6:42:24 PM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: SeekAndFind

The Big Bang is not consistent with the Biblical account of creation!


9 posted on 01/15/2009 6:52:02 PM PST by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: dayglored
" My God created the Universe from nothing at the time of the Big Bang, and then has watched The Experiment unfold for billions of years, with infinite patience. I am exceedingly pleased and proud to participate in this Great Experiment. "
Actaully.... it was not really a experiment by God.


( Experiment )
1.
1. A test under controlled conditions that is made to demonstrate a known truth, examine the validity of a hypothesis, or determine the efficacy of something previously untried.
2. The process of conducting such a test; experimentation.
2. An innovative act or procedure: "Democracy is only an experiment in government"
3. The result of experimentation: "We are not [nature's] only experiment"

A better term to use would be " God's purpose " ... God's plan, or divine will.


10 posted on 01/15/2009 6:59:12 PM PST by Prophet in the wilderness (PSALM .53 : 1 The FOOL hath said in his heart, there is no GOD.)
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To: LiteKeeper

Did you read the article?

It points out even agnostic scientists such as Jastrow came to the conclusion that if the universe was created out of nothingness it must have a supernatural cause.

Why couldn’t God have created the universe from a Big Bang? Makes sense to me!


11 posted on 01/15/2009 7:02:36 PM PST by GatorGirl (Proud member of the Gator Nation!)
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To: dayglored

I believe it is a mistake to interpret God’s “image” as God’s material “likeness.” I do not believe God has a material being. Being created in his image, to me, can only mean that I am a creature of his “imagining,” a material projection of his “mental” image of his human creatures. That’s the best I can do, the product of a fallible human mind striving to describe a mystery. If that sounds confused and confounded, so be it.


12 posted on 01/15/2009 7:09:56 PM PST by Elsiejay
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To: LiteKeeper
The Big Bang is not consistent with the Biblical account of creation!

The Evangelical Apologetics organization headed by Astro-Physicist, Dr. Hugh Ross -- REASONS TO BELIEVE would disagree with this statement

See here : http://www.reasons.org/
13 posted on 01/15/2009 7:12:10 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Science as a proof of the existence of God ping.


14 posted on 01/15/2009 7:13:48 PM PST by Chinstrap61a
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To: SeekAndFind

Science may demonstrate a first cause but only faith can demonstrate in the mind of man that the first cause of science is one and the same as the eternal God of salvation, the God of religion whose love is so complete that He offers to share eternal life with his lowly and material creatures.


15 posted on 01/15/2009 7:21:59 PM PST by concentric circles
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To: LiteKeeper

Did you mean - The Big Bang isn’t consistent with my literal interpretation of Biblical creation?


16 posted on 01/15/2009 7:25:08 PM PST by DevNet (What's past is prologue)
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To: Prophet in the wilderness
> Actaully.... it was not really a experiment by God...

Well,...

> 1. A test under controlled conditions that is made to demonstrate a known truth, examine the validity of a hypothesis, or determine the efficacy of something previously untried.

That's the closest to my belief... as a believer in free will of living things, I believe that God created the initial conditions of the Universe, and the Rules (the laws of physics, etc.), but didn't pre-determine every event or outcome. In that sense, my concept of the "purpose" of the Universe could map loosely onto definition #1 of "experiment".

> A better term to use would be " God's purpose " ... God's plan, or divine will.

I have no issue or argument with that usage.

Incidentally, my view of "free will" does not in any way preclude seeking guidance through prayer, to better understand God's plan for the Universe and how I can best take part in it. At the end of the day, I still have a choice about what I do. But it's clear that some things work a heck of a lot better than others, and I generally interpret those outcomes as whether I'm following God's plan.

17 posted on 01/15/2009 7:25:48 PM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: SeekAndFind

bump


18 posted on 01/15/2009 7:28:46 PM PST by Captain Beyond (The Hammer of the gods! (Just a cool line from a Led Zep song))
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To: SeekAndFind
It is not rocket science. But people want to make it hard. Belief in the big bang alone with no God is still faith. Faith without hope. Belief in God (with or without the big bang) is faith with hope.

It is cool that Scientist can come to terms that there is a creator. But they don't give me hope. God gives me hope. And I took a short cut to the highest peak by just taking up faith in Yeshua. Now, we can just kick back on the highest peak and watch the scientist come to terms with the truth.

19 posted on 01/15/2009 7:29:41 PM PST by do the dhue (They've got us surrounded again. The poor bastards. - One of General Abram's men)
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To: Elsiejay
> I believe it is a mistake to interpret God’s “image” as God’s material “likeness.” I do not believe God has a material being. Being created in his image, to me, can only mean that I am a creature of his “imagining,” a material projection of his “mental” image of his human creatures. That’s the best I can do, the product of a fallible human mind striving to describe a mystery. If that sounds confused and confounded, so be it.

It's a tough thing to put in words, I agree. And to be honest, I was being a tad flippant in my comment.

The nature of God is indeed a mystery, and even were I as a human fortunate to stumble upon such knowledge, I'd probably have no way of knowing that I had done so!

Most religions identify God in terms of human form, language, habits, actions, emotions. Other religions prefer non-human animals, or an odd combination of the above. Protests that these aren't meant to be taken literally are mostly ineffective -- if you could get inside most Christians' minds, and tap their idea of God, he'd be a human male, speak English, walk magestically, and probably look a lot like Charleton Heston.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

But the article says:

... the supernatural cause of the universe must at least be: Those are the same attributes of the God of the Bible (which is one reason I believe in a the God of the Bible and not a god of mythology like Zeus).
I think the author is an exception. I would bet a month's rent that most Americans mental image of God is not that far from Zeus. Or at least, Zeus as played by Charleton Heston... ;-)

I liked your statement, and agree that this stuff sure is confusing.

20 posted on 01/15/2009 7:36:53 PM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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