The Big Bang or the Big Cheese
The Christian says “Both/And” whenever he can. The Secularist says “Either/Or”. He delights in the fake alternative: “Do you believe in renewal or are you a traditionalist”, “Do you use flying bishops or are you a loyal Anglican”? Recently Steve Jones, talking about the scientific explanation of creation in the Daily Telegraph, committed the sin of the fake alternative with a vengeance.
JONES on the opening words of genesis: “The dispute over whether a Big Bang or a Big Cheese initiated the universe illustrates perfectly the uncertainty of science and the confidence of superstition.”
FACT: The revealed story of God’s creative love tells us why the universe was created. The Big Bang is a scientific theory attempting to describe how God created it. Neither has anything to do with superstition.
JONES: “If everything began through the whim of a creator whose deeds are written down in a big book the accuracy of which is beyond question, then science is irrelevant.”
FACT: God does nothing by whim, but everything by plan and purpose. He made the universe because He likes it; He made it to be like Him. Without God the Big Bang would be a mere whim, a meaningless accident.
JONES: “Conviction kills the search for truth because it does away with argument altogether.”
FACT: Argument is born of conviction; people who get into the most heated arguments are those who have the courage of their convictions.
Scientists depend upon conviction as much as everyone else. They could not perform a single experiment if they were not convinced that experimentation was a sure way of discovering the truth; they could not investigate the origins of the universe if they were not convinced that there was a universe to investigate.
Likewise, only those convinced of the importance of the Bible bother to argue about its meaning, and religious conviction can lead not only to argument but to physical violence.
Conviction and argument, belief and evidence, certainty and inquiry go hand in hand. They are not contradictory but complimentary. Christians who believe that the universe arose “by an act of creation by God, broadly as described in the book of Genesis.” are not superstitious. They simply want to know why things are the way they are. Scientists who think the Big Bang answers that one depend on superstition.