By Henry F. Schaeffer III
The Big Bang
Cosmology is the study of the universe as a whole – its structure, origin, and development. The subjects cosmology addresses are profound, both scientifically and theologically. Perhaps the best way to define cosmology is in terms of the questions that it asks. Hugh Ross does an excellent job of stating these questions in his important book The Fingerprint of God (Second Edition, Whitaker House, 1989):
- Is the universe finite or infinite in size and content?
- Has the universe been here forever or did it have a beginning?
- Was the universe created?
- If the universe was not created, how did it get here?
- If the universe was created, how was this creation accomplished, and what can we learn about the agent and events of creation?
- Who or what governs the laws and constants of physics?
- Are such laws the products of chance or have they been designed?
- How do the laws and constants of physics relate to the support and development of life?
- Is there any knowable existence beyond the apparently observed dimensions of the universe?
- Do we expect the universe to expand forever, or is a period of contraction to be followed by a big crunch?