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Half of Americans skeptical of Big Bang

Published: Tuesday, April 22 2014 8:50 a.m. MDT

People aren't very confident in the big bang, according to a recent survey done by The Associated Press. What does this say about faith?

Neven Bijelic, Getty Images

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In recent days, the Big Bang isn’t getting heavy support.

For starters, there’s a new poll by AP/GFK that found more than half of Americans (51 percent) are not confident in the idea that “the universe began 13.8 billion years ago with a Big Bang,” The Atlantic reported.

“In fact, fewer Americans were confident in that statement than any other on the list, which covered topics like vaccines, evolution and the Earth’s age,” wrote Alexis C. Madrigal for The Atlantic.

There are some holes in the question — as it doesn’t ask if this is because of faith affiliation or if people are just generally confused — but it has “upset some of America’s top scientists,” according to The Associated Press.

“Americans both seem to find the Big Bang confusing — I mean, it's not intuitive science — and to have faith-based conflicts with the scientific conclusions of cosmology,” The Atlantic reported.

And the Epoch Times shared a video that explained why the Big Bang is an inaccurate term. The video also offered some humorous alternative names for the theory, including “The Everywhere Stretch Theory” and the “Horrendous Space Kablooey.”

This isn't an unique idea. In 1993, there was a contest to rename the Big Bang. “Suggestions included Jurassic Quark, The Grand Expansion, The Hubble Bubble, Portrait of the Universe as a Young Bam, and The Big Boot, according to an Associated Press article from that time,” the Epoch Times reported.

In case you were worried — you probably weren't — the Big Bang didn’t happen 50 years ago, Time magazine reported. Along with this new AP/GFK survey, Bell Labs released an email that mistakenly said the Big Bang happened 50 years ago, Time reported. This isn’t the case, but it does say something about how science discovers things. It’s good to make discoveries, but that doesn’t mean they’re accurate, wrote Jeffrey Kluger for Time.

“Human beings are undeniably an ingenious species,” he wrote. “The things we’ve built, created and sussed out are genuinely remarkable. But they’re pinholes in the curtain compared to all there is to know. There’s no harm in being proud that we’re allowing some light in — just not too proud.”

But the poll found something especially important for believers: Faith can’t be beaten.

“Confidence in evolution, the Big Bang, the age of the Earth and climate change decline sharply as faith in a supreme being rises, according to the poll,” NBC News reported. “Likewise, those who regularly attend religious services or are evangelical Christians express much greater doubts about scientific concepts they may see as contradictory to their faith.”

Email: hscribner@deseretdigital.com

Twitter: @herbscribner

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