Should the Big Bang be Disdained?

by Dr. Michael G Strauss

When my children were young, I would often drive to the home of the person babysitting my kids, usually a young teenage girl, pick her up, then drive her back to my house.  In the car I would ask questions about her interests or her school. In addition, I would sometimes ask a question that intrigued me since I am a scientist and a Christian, “Do you think the Big Bang is a theistic theory or an atheistic theory?” Now that question is not on most people’s list of babysitter interview questions, but I was interested to know their answer even though it would not affect their monetary tip. Every time I asked this question I always got the same answer, that the Big Bang is an atheistic theory.  This is just one example of the fact that many kids growing up in an evangelical church environment have the perception that the Big Bang is an idea which removes God as the creator.  It seems that many Christians may disdain the Big Bang.

Subsequent conversations with people of all ages have shown me that many individuals (1) don’t really understand what the Big Bang is, (2) don’t know the scientific evidence for the Big Bang, and (3) don’t comprehend the theistic significance of the Big Bang.   So let’s explore these ideas a little bit.  The ultimate conclusion for me is that the Big Bang is among the very best objective evidence available for the existence of God, and is consistent with the biblical record.  Many of you readers probably already know much of what follows, but maybe you will find something of interest anyway.

About a hundred years ago, there was no scientific evidence suggesting anything about the origin of the universe.   Most scientists believed that the universe was eternal and infinite, it has always existed and spatially had no boundary.  But in 1929, Edwin Hubble discovered that all galaxies were moving away from each other, and galaxies farthest apart were moving away from each other at a faster rate.  This suggests that the universe is expanding, and if you were able to run the film of the history of the universe backward, you would find that at one point in time the entire visible universe must have been compressed into a very small size and must have started to expand.  That is, it must have had a beginning.  Most scientists were reluctant to accept that the universe had a beginning.  In fact the term “Big Bang” was initially a derogatory term, invented by the physicist Fred Hoyle in 1955 because he thought the universe had always existed.  He seemed to believe that if the name for the beginning of the universe was so ludicrous then maybe no one would accept either the name or the event.  It seems that Fred Hoyle was trying to say to fellow scientists that, to him, the Big Bang should be disdained.

But scientist eventually came to accept the Big Bang model for the origin of the universe. The reason that this repugnant idea was accepted is because the evidence is overwhelming and indisputable.  There are three primary observations that are best explained by the Big Bang…


Dr Michael G Strauss: Should the Big Bang be Disdained?