Conservative Colloquium

An Intellectual Forum for All Things Conservative

Proof of God: The Big Bang

Posted by Tony Listi on March 2, 2008

“The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Bible as a whole.”
-Arno Penzias, winner of the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the cosmic background radiation that corroborated the Big Bang

In recent decades, the most spectacular developments in physics and astronomy provide evidence of a supernatural guiding force. In a stunning confirmation of the Book of Genesis, modern science has discovered that the universe began in a primordial explosion of energy and light. Not only did the universe have a beginning in space, but the origin of the universe was also a beginning for space and time. Space and time did not exist prior to the universe. If you accept that everything that has a beginning has a cause, then the material universe had a nonmaterial or spiritual cause.

Scientists call the starting moment of the universe a “singularity,” an original point at which neither space nor time nor scientific laws are in effect. Nothing can be known scientifically about what came before such a point. Indeed the term “before” has no meaning since time itself did not exist “prior to” the singularity. Once upon a time there was no time. So it would seem that the universe was produced outside the laws of physics and thus its origin satisfies the definition of “miracle.”

“In the beginning,” the Book of Genesis says, “God created the heavens and earth.” The Bible is unique among the documents of history in positing an absolute beginning (contra Buddhism, Hinduism, Greeks, Romans, etc.). The Bible also asserts that time is finite (see Daniel 12:4, the “end of time”). It seems strange that the authors of the book would venture into this territory, but they did. Thus Jews and Christians have always thought God made the universe out of nothing. For nearly 2000 years this made no rational sense. We experience time and space in such a way that it is hard to imagine them having a beginning and an end. Nature and observation do not suggest this notion. And yet now modern science tells us that the Bible is right. The universe was indeed formed out of nothing and the process by which it was formed was beyond anything observable in nature (supernatural). To top it off, Christians and Jews have always thought God created time and space as well. Thus God was not sitting around for awhile before creating the universe because there was no time before the creation! Such thoughts are literal nonsense.

The Big Bang also resolves an apparent contradiction within the Bible (yes, science can help us interpret and understand the Bible sometimes). Genesis says that God created light before the sun. But, as critics have pointed out, all light on earth comes from the sun! Thus Christians have struggled to understand this passage for centuries without much success. The author(s) of Genesis seems to have made an obvious mistake. However, we know now that the universe was created in a burst of light, which itself gave birth to our sun. Thus science has confirmed what seemed like a hard biblical assertion to accept. Genesis is no vague parable or story of figurative language but somehow a very accurate account of events written 2500 years ago, long before telescopes, satellites, and all the modern marvels of astronomy and physics. And the authors of the Old Testament claimed God told them what He did. If they were right about this, could they be right about everything else?

Proof of God: Everything that begins has a cause. The universe began to exist. Therefore the universe has a cause. That cause we call God. Before the Big Bang, atheists could deny that the universe had a beginning. Now they are reduced to denying the first proposition: everything that has a beginning doesn’t necessarily have a cause. But even David Hume, the skeptic par excellence, thought this denial was ridiculous: “I have never asserted so absurd a proposition as that anything might arise without cause.” If every effect in nature has a cause, what is the cause of nature itself? Is it even remotely reasonable to suggest that nature made itself?

Science has discovered a reality that it had previously consigned to the realm of faith. But today there is no need for faith to recognize that the origin of the universe is metaphysical. The universe was caused or created, and so there must be a creator.

Using reason, what other conclusions about the creator can we draw? Well, if all matter was created by the Big Bang, then the cause of the Big Bang had to be something that was not matter or material. Thus the cause must have been something akin to a Spirit or a Mind. What other non-material existence is there? As the creator used no natural laws or forces to create the universe (which gave rise to such laws and forces), the creator must be supernatural. All creators transcend their creation. As the universe is the totality of nature (time and space), the creator is beyond nature (time and space). As the universe was created out of nothing, this creator must be incomprehensibly powerful, if not omnipotent.

Most of this post is drawn from Dinesh D’Souza’s book “What’s So Great About Christianity.”

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