Christianity and Science
Introduction: Christianity believes in divine creation and that God was the facilitator of the universe, but what this means in relation to science is not always clear. People who believe in the Big Bang theory think that a “singularity,” which would have been scorching hot, expanded rapidly about 13.8 billion years ago. This topic is extremely important due to the fact that if there was one simple, factual way the universe was created, it would be flat-out ignorant to not believe it, but the world doesn’t have that solution. Whether the Big Bang actually happened, if God did create the universe, or if the beliefs are merged by God using the Big Bang to create the universe, has always perplexed me and made me ponder what happened in my own walk of faith in Christianity. In this paper I will discuss the basic underpinnings and beliefs of the Big Bang theory, contradictions that arise between the two beliefs, and how the two beliefs could intertwine and not be exclusive.
The Big Bang Theory Explained
Everything was created a very small thing. This section will narrate how proponents of the Big Bang believe one small singularity that was so small it could fit through the eye of the needle expanded to make the universe (Johnson, Okamoto, Russell).
This singularity expanded rapidly. This section will narrate how the singularity rapidly expanded, spreading matter throughout the universe (Okamoto, Russell).
How evolution is what brought humans to where we are now. This section will narrate how evolution is what turned the small pieces of matter found throughout the universe into complicated organisms (Okamoto, Rogers, Russell).
Contradictions between Big Bang and Christianity
The timeline in Bible is off compared to Big Bang. This section will narrate how the timeline of the Bible is not accurate compared to the scientific-proven 13.8 million year Earth (Noebel,De Felipe, Nünberger).
How natural laws disprove creation by a God. This section will narrate how there is no scientific proof in a God creating the universe and many concepts and theories, like evolution and Adam & Eve (Noebel).
Big bang is a secular theory created without reference to Christianity. This section will narrate how the Big Bang theory has missing pieces that can not be explained with science and are easily opposed by Christians, like the idea of monopoles. Monopoles are like magnets but with only one pole and particle physicists say that many monopoles should have been created in the Big Bang. Monopoles could last forever, theoretically, but there are no monopoles to be found today (Lisle, Philippidis).
Big Bang and Christianity Intertwined, Not Exclusive
Physics can prove and disprove a creation story. There is still speculation to what happened before the Big Bang that can not be scientifically proven, even by the physicists that support the Big Bang (Noebel, Gray, Haarsma, Lisle, Matthew, Rogers).
There was a small fireball of mass. In the Big Band theory, the belief is that it starts with a small singularity but a question a lot of Christian theologians ask is where did that come from based on the first law of thermodynamics (Johnson, Matthews, Noebel, Lisle).
The Big Crunch would happen if all natural laws were true. The law of gravity would end up having all matter be sucked back into the origin, but, for some unknown reason, the rate the universe is expanding and increasing rather than decreasing. This implies that there was never a huge explosion that started the universe, because if there was, the force of gravity would be slowing down the expansion (Matthews, Noebel, Lisle, Russell).
De Felipe, Pablo., et al. “Science and Christianity Conflicts: Real and Contrived.” Perspectives
on Science and Christian Faith, vol. 69 (September 2017): 131-147.
This source is up to date and helped me get an overall opinion about what conflicts between Christianity and Science. It onlines that there a 4 major parts of which Christianity and Science can be categorized. The author writes that it’s either, conflict (where they outright oppose each other), independence (where they have nothing to do with each other), dialogue (where they contribute to each other on a small scale), and integration (where they commingle and prove each other right). I used De Felipe’s insights in section 3A to get a overarching idea of why the ways Christianity and Science can prove and disprove each other. The article is definitely credible because the author is a lecturer on Science and Faith and has his PhD in Chemistry and the publisher is Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, which is very credible because it is peer reviewed.
Gray, Neil. “Should Christians Embrace Evolution?: Biblical and Scientific Responses.” The
Reformed Theological Review, vol. 72 (April 2013): 63-65.
This source is recent enough to still be extremely relevant on the topic at hand. The author centralizes his focus on 3 ideas that helped me provide evidence for section 4A. He talks about how there are people that believe that Adam and Eve weren’t the first humans, but among about 10 million others at the time and Adam was not specially made by God. This is obviously the Darwinistic view but he provides two main reasons that this wouldn’t be possible. The first reason is that there is a lack of fossils that doesn’t show basic transitions in evolution, like from reptile to bird and the one fossil that could have fit into both the reptile and bird categories has been identified by almost all paleontologists as just a species of bird that is now extinct. The second reason he gives is the basics of thermodynamics, mainly the First Law of Thermodynamics. That law states that no matter can be created or destroyed in a system and for the Big Bang and evolution to be true, the small bundle of mass would have had to create all the mass in the universe, which the First Law of Thermodynamics obviously disproves. This source is credible because it is an review for a journal that is constantly peer reviewed and the publisher has been around since 1942.
Haarsma, Deborah B. Christian and Atheist Responses to Big Bang Cosmology. Oxford, Malden,
Mass, Chichester, West Sussex, UK:Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.
Johnson, Beverly Howard. ‘In The Beginning . . .’ I Think There Was A Big Bang. Perspectives on
Science and Christian Faith, vol. 46, March 1994.
Lisle, Jason. Does the Big Bang Fit with the Bible? Answers in Genesis, Accessed October 24,
This source is a fairly new article and the author outlines a few things when comparing religion to the belief in the Big Bang Theory. Lisle first gives background on both beliefs, how Christians believe in the world being created in 6 days and how people who believe in the Big Bang think it was created by a “singularity” of mass (section 4B). After this, he shows how the Big Bang can be disproven, where he is a pretty biased writer towards Christianity, but the points are still valid. One reason for opposition is the fact that monopoles would have been created in the high temperatures of the Big Bang but there are no monopoles to be found in the universe now, which I used for section 3C and 4A. Monopoles are completely stable and particle physicists claim that the monopoles should still be around. Another opposition to the Big Bang is how the flatness problem can’t explain why the universe is expanding constantly and gravity should be slowing expansion down but it isn’t. I mostly used this source to learn more about opposition to the Big Bang, based on physics and looking at how science can support Christianity and disprove a scientific theory. This source is very credible, even though it’s not peer reviewed, because the author is Dr. Jason Lisle, who is an astrophysicist.
Matthews, Clifford N., et al. Cosmic Beginnings and Human Ends: Where Science and
Religion Meet. Chicago and LaSalle, IL:Open Court, 1995.
This book is a little dated but is still completely relevant to the topic. The overall theme of this book is basically how different laws of science prove that the Big Bang needed a catalyst to start the reaction. The one explanation that made the most sense to me was the law of conservation, which states that no mass can be created nor destroyed in a chemical reaction, like the Big Bang theory. The author basically explains that whatever energy is put into a reaction will also come out of it, but someone or something would have to put that energy into the system or nothing would happen, even if there was a small ball of mass. In this section, he talks about how it’s possible to get a universe out of a universe through transformational causation but there is no possible way to get it out of nothing, which obviously implies that there is a greater being behind the operations and creation of the universe. I used this source in pretty much all of section 4, in order to display the physics behind the belief of creation in Christianity, and how the Big Bang doesn’t make sense on the front of science as well.This book is extremely credible and is a compilation of essays from a conference, and Open Court is a well-established publisher that has proven itself to be credible.
Noebel, David. “Christianity and Science.” Summit Press, (2006)
This source is a little older but still completely relevant to the topic that I have been dealing with. This source gave beliefs of both theistic evolutionists, evolutionists, and Christians who oppose the evolutionary perspective. The author says that most Christians believe that God created Earth in 6 days and was the thing that made Adam and Eve, and all of humankind is their descendants. That would mean the Earth is only about 4 thousand years old, while scientists assume it is about 13-15 billion years old. Theistic evolutionists believe that God was who sparked that “singularity” in the Big Bang and oversaw everything else that happened to the universe, modifying if needed, throughout all of time. Evolutionists believe that there was no God to help catalyze the development of the universe. I personally, used this source to help my understanding of the views of theistic evolutionists, because most of my other sources don’t have this. This source also helped me develop my the section 3B and 4A, where I talk about how Christianity and Science can be intertwined. This source is credible, even though it’s a website because the publisher is Summit Press who is very reliable with their content.
Nünberger, Klaus. “Becoming a Scientist to the Scientists: Theses on the Relation Between
Natural Science and Christian Faith.” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa, vol. 136
(March 2010): 92-112.
This source is up to date for the topic at hand and deals with both sides of Christian and Scientific views, but in a slightly different way. The author first goes on about how there is 3 views of the transcendent, one being the belief that humankind doesn’t know much about energy and why humans were put on this planet, another is the fact that humans should always be trying to make ethical decisions, and the last view he pointed out was the idea of conviction, which can be with Christianity, science, and a lot of other things. As the article goes on it gets into the question of whether Christianity was created in order to calm the daily struggles of humans, which is a common theory in sociology, or if God didn’t make the Christian religion viewable until a few millennia ago. The author also states how the Bible is pre-scientific and the authors didn’t have the knowledge humans do now. In other words, that means it’s up for us to debate whether we think it still applies metaphorically, which most Christians do. I used this source mainly to show some of the flaws that can be seen in Christianity, which is in section 3A. This source is extremely credible because it is peer reviewed and has been around since 1972.
Okamoto, Joel P. “Modern Science, Contemporary Culture, and Christian Theology.” Concordia
Journal, vol. 43 (2017): 45-63.
This source is very up to date, considering it was written in 2017. The author states in the first part of the article that Christianity used to be extremely culturally symbolic in the middle ages, mostly in European countries. Now, it has flipped and science is the concept that is culturally symbolic among the world. The author explains how science responds to the world through reasoning, unlike Christianity. He then goes over how many Evolutionists believe in only things that are visible, while Christians also believe in the invisible. After, the author explains that people who believe in the Big Bang think that there can’t be a God because he would have created the world perfectly and wouldn’t have to intervene, but Christians believe that this is invalid because God gave us free choice. Okamoto is a Christian, so he depicts that there should ultimately be nothing instead of something at all if God isn’t real, which is a super basic statement on the surface but not if it is thought about over time. I used this in section 2C, which talks about different views of evolution, and it also helped me shape my thesis. This source is also very credible because it is peer reviewed, Okamoto is a chair of department at Concordia Seminary, and the publisher, Concordia Journal, is well-known and has been publishing since 1924, so they are very experienced in the field.
Philippidis, Alex. “Cosmic Controversy: The Big Bang and Genesis 1.” Perspectives on Science
and Christian Faith, vol. 47 (September 1995): 190-194.
Rogers, Eugene F Jr. “The Sociology and Theology of Creationist Objections to Evolution: How
Blood Marks the Bounds of the Christian Body.” Zygon, vol. 49 (September 2014): 540-553.
This article is very up to date, being written in September of 2014, so it is extremely relevant to the topic at hand. This article gives an in-depth perspective of what evolutionists believe and how they believe Christianity and science cannot coexist at the same time. The main point from the author is that if men evolved from apes, that means that sin was passed down as a naturalistic trait, and sin was because of the downfall of Adam’s choices. This ultimately leads to the fact that if these assumptions about evolution were true, that a Christ wouldn’t have to redeem human’s sins, resulting in disproving Christianity. I used this source in section 2A and 4C, which explain the beliefs of evolution and how it can disprove Christianity, and this source is unique because it shows how some evolutionists believe that Christianity and science can’t intertwine. This source is extremely credible because Zygon is a very well-known publisher that is know for credibility and the author has a doctorate from Yale University on the topic at hand.
Russell, Robert J., et al. “Quantum Cosmology and the Laws of Nature: Scientific
Perspectives on Divine Action.” Vatican Observatory and The Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, vol. 1 1993.
This book is also a little dated but the physics and logic behind the points in this book are still relevant today, even though it was written in 1993. The main point that I took from this book for my paper is the idea of the Big Crunch, which goes along with the Big Bang theory. The Big Crunch is outlined as the collapse of the universe back into the same single piece of mass the universe once was before the Big Bang. The author of this book uses the Big Crunch to disprove the Big Bang, because the only way for there to be a Big Crunch is if gravity kept slowing the expanse of the universe down. The fact is that the expansion of the universe is pretty consistent and isn’t slowing down, which implies that the Big Bang isn’t a natural happening but that God is the one who created the entire universe. I used this in section 4A of my paper in order to show, in a scientific way, how science can also be proven to show that God is real. This source is extremely credible because it has been posting peer reviewed articles since 1981 to develop the conversation between science and Christianity.