By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. Hebrews 11:3
The Bible relates to religion, not to science.
That’s a pretty safe statement, overall. While I was raised to interpret Genesis chapter 1 as literal, and that other variations–like “Gap theory”–were simply attempts to compromise scripture.
The Big Bang, for instance, gets pitted against Special Creation, the two being exclusive.
Well, what if that’s not the case?
There are a few things I’ve learned recently that surprised me. First, what is called The Big Bang was developed by one of Einstein’s peers, a Jesuit priest and mathematician. It was a controversial equation that proposed a rapid expansion of the universe. Initially, Einstein opposed it. But once he saw all the equations he remarked that it was the most beautiful description of Creation he had ever seen.
I was astounded, and rightly humbled, that what I had been told was an evolutionists’ hypothesis, is actually a theory developed by physicists through complex equations and observational science.
The folks at Answers In Genesis will poo-poo that the Big Bang is observable. They will claim that, to be science, it needs to be observable and repeatable.
Interestingly, the universe’s expantion has been observed. We know that it expands. We also can see the radiation field that has left a fingerprint on space to support the hypothesis of the Big Bang.
In other words, it began as a hypothesis, the math worked and there have been observations to support the ideas … therefore, it is a theory.
Granted, it’s not proven through repeated events, or further observation, so it remains a theory, not a law.
But, it may in fact be that what we hear described as the Big Bang is our scientific attempt to describe what God spoke into existence.
When physicists wrestled with the expanding universe, Einstein had a concept called the Cosmological Constant. He added this in to account for the universe appearing to be static, or for it actually being static. That was discarded when they observed that the universe continues to expand. They thought that maybe it expanded and contracted. But this, too, got discarded after further research.
What we’ve found is that there is actually a force that pushes the universe outward. That force, which is unseen and hard to define, is called dark energy.
What’s really cool is that it is far less powerful than scientists anticipated. In fact, if it varied by a little too much or a little less, our galaxies, planets and so forth would not have formed and life would not exist.
Now, let’s go back to that verse in Hebrews. The Bible is certainly not meant as a science textbook. The books I read about quantum physics and string theory say “for dummies” on them, or are written with a lot of metaphore to bring the concepts down to my level.
Those books certainly contain a lot of science. And, they are even meant as science books.
The Bible, however, is meant to convey the character and person of God and our need for redemption.
The Bible contains science. I believe it is inspired and unerring.
But, we must be able to spot a metaphore where God is describing something that is too complex for us to understand. It’s still 100% true. But it’s written in a way that our minds can understand.