I concur with the excellent comments above that there is nothing mutually
exclusive about belief in God and the Big Bang. I further concur that the Big
Bang, while possibly true, is just a theory based on incomplete knowledge -- we
are still learning. We see through a glass darkly, and in part ... (New
Testament somewhere)Further, I disagree with the idea that Faith is
blind. Faith is usually based on partial evidence.Finally -- all
truth can be circumscribed into one great whole.
This is really quite sad, and embarrassing, to be honest…but not at all
surprising. A proper understanding of the nature and method of Creation, as well
as of the Scriptures, gives no reason whatsoever why sound, firmly established
scientific principles such as evolution and the Big Bang can’t coexist
with—and indeed, even be incorporated into—religious truth.
Unfortunately, most of the Christian world tends to be anti-science and
anti-intellectual in general, in spite of the great scientific achievements that
have been wrought in the past by Christians. Evangelical Protestantism’s
insistence on a strict, blind, literal interpretation of scripture (while
interpreting some things that ought to be taken literally, such as the nature of
the Godhead), as metaphorical) has done a tremendous amount of damage to
Christianity’s reputation among the scientifically literate. Thankfully,
however, the LDS Church has always taught that scientific truth ought to be
embraced alongside religious truth, and its doctrines clarify certain points
that leave other Christians who confine their knowledge solely to the Bible (as
they have it) in darkness. Once again why I’m grateful to belong to this
Church and no other.
@candide... you said " I have to disagree, faith and science are mutually
exclusive." Really? In what way? Who said scientific "fact" is
absolute? I work in consulting to the oil and gas industry. There
is a lot of science that goes into finding the underground geological structures
that indicate the likelihood of reserve. There is all kinds of math and science
that go into the process. But in the end, we take that "knowledge" and
then drill with a certain amount of faith that what we mathematically deduced is
true. Our goal is produce models that reduce the amount of faith... but no
science has led to a 100% confidence level.If science were 100%
absolute or true, we would not see the evolving way we understand the world we
live in. Models over time have been adjusted by increased understanding, or new
factors we didn't model or know about. That is why it is
called scientific theory, not scientific fact. I do believe in
certain levels of micro evolution. We can see it even in humans over the last
1000 years. But nothing has been shown to me that Gods hand has not played a
Don't understand why the big bang in any way would undermine a
religious/creationist point of view. If anything is reinforces it in my mind.
To paraphrase. In the beginning there was nothingness. Then "let their be
light"........... And the interesting thing about science holding to the
big bang is that they readily admit that there is no way they can account for
what was going on or happened before the big bang. And that is where I am very
comfortable to conclude that something had to have been happening before.
Namely, the creation of matter itself. Very supernal and unprovable from a
scientific point of view. But undeniable that the matter did exist. Otherwise
there would have been nothing to "big bang" with.
The LDS Church a "realistic stance on evolution"?For Mormon
believers, Prophet and President of the LDS Church, Joseph Fielding Smith
resolved the question between scriptural creationism versus evolution by
insisting:"You must choose the one and reject the other, for
they are in direct conflict and there is a gulf separating them which is so
great that it cannot be bridged, no matter how much one may try to do
so."In the midst of his dispute with B.H. Roberts over this
issue, James E. Talmage declared unequivocally:"The Holy
Scriptures should not be discredited by theories of men; they cannot be
discredited by fact and truth."Elder Bruce R. McConkie
(sustained by believing Mormons as one of only a dozen or so men on the earth at
the time who are "prophets, seers, and revelators") emphatically
stated:"There is no harmony between the truths of revealed
religion and the theories of organic evolution."He also
condemned the intellect of all Latter-day Saints who believe in evolution as
"weak and puerile".I think he was right about that.
re: Craig Clark"For me, it’s not scientific at all. The
suggestion that life on Earth was due to seeding from an extraterrestrial source
sounds more like a sci-fi film than science. You decide if it’s scientific
enough for you."I agree that it wasn't E.T. But, if a
biochemical reaction occurred in space then landed on earth to get life going
that IMO would not be a shock.
re iron&clay**I use the three T's when describing
'scientific' thought.... "trendy, transitory theories".***And yet you are using the internet, probably drive a car, etc... all
products of you guessed it... Science
@Candide" Faith is belief without evidence. Science is based on
testable predictions that are peer reviewed and reproducible."Well, then you just defined both the Big Bang and molecules-to-man-evolution
as non-science since neither are based on testable/repeatable predictions. Both
are faith based concepts.
cjb,"Two or three times in earths history most all life has been
wiped off the earth. According to the fossil record, new life took its place
quite quickly. This is comparable with seeding. Not some random chemical process
that creates life and would take eons to occur. Is this scientific enough for
you?"______________________________For me, it’s not
scientific at all. The suggestion that life on Earth was due to seeding from an
extraterrestrial source sounds more like a sci-fi film than science. You decide
if it’s scientific enough for you.
donn,"....Theistic evolution is a contradiction in terms. One
should associate a wise, powerful loving God with such a monstrous
that do not persuade reasonable people to allow creationism to become part of
the curriculum in our public schools.
Religionists of the fundamentalist sort have a fundamental problem that they can
never solve. Their Bible can not be used to explain how something happened, but
only perhaps why it happened. The Bible is incapable of explaining algebra,
chemistry or medicine. Yet fundamentalists insist that science is wrong (and
persist in believing in such nonsense as the 6000 year old Earth), without
offering any proof, when science seems in conflict with their religion.Scientists explain how things happened, and let their faith take them where it
will. Some scientists are atheist/agnostic and others have some sort of
religious faith. Science takes no pretensions to explain why we exist, only how
we have come to exist. A scientist without religious belief, when presented
with a living God walking on the planet, would just say something like
"oops, I was wrong". A fundamentalist religionist would
continue to believe his/her faith (or parts thereof) even when confronted with
incontrovertible denying the existence of the God or elements of their faith.I prefer to live in a world wherein fact remains fact, and allows the
individual to choose his faith. The reverse has not worked in the past.
@Twin Lights, “I have no problem with the Big Bang or with science
generally. Don't know why this causes anyone heartburn”. True,The idea of creation ex-nihilo is supported by the evidence of the Big
Bang. The Big Bang shows that the universe had a beginning. There was a one time
a specific point where all things were born and put into motion. If it had a
beginning that means in had to have a “beginner”.(John 1:1).William Lane Craig’s “We know that in the laws of nature
(something Evangelicals would say was introduced in the creation) that something
can not come from nothing. So Mormons need to answer “where did the
pre-existing natural materials come from that God used to create?” And I
would follow that question with “if they were created, why aren’t
we worshiping their creator?”
People are confused about the relation of the Big Bang Theory to religion. When
it was first proposed, by astrophysicists who included a Catholic priest, it was
resisted by some atheist scientists because it sounded too much like Genesis:
"Let there be light." Catholics identify it with creatio ex nihilo,
creation from nothing by God. They are not advocates of Young Earth Creationism
and don't think Genesis is talking about seven 24 hour days. The fact is
that more recent refinements in the theory suggest that this was just one in an
infinite series of sudden expansions of space and time, budding off previous
universes, in an eternal multiverse, with new earths being created in an ongoing
process. Indeed, something like that is described in the revelation recorded as
Section 76 of the LDS scripture Doctrine & Covenants. Mormons belief in both
eternal spirit and eternal matter is congenial to this more expansive view of
@Candide You're confusing "faith that we have a Heavenly
Father" with faith as an adjective without context.@Sasha
PachevThat was awesome. Thank you for illustrating that.
I have no problem with the Big Bang or with science generally. Don't know
why this causes anyone heartburn.
This is what happens when conservatives get control of education; people
don't get a quality education. The Big Bang theory is much
more believable than "god made it".
RE: Brave Sir Robin I’m an active LDS and I believe in evolution and the
big bang. So what? Neither of those things prove or disprove the existence of
God.Evolution is in conflict with the teachings of Christ. He
should have not healed the lame and sick if progress is measured the
“survival of the fittest”. He taught self-sacrifice, but evolution
is necessarily based on self-preservation in the struggle for existence. The Bible says that death only entered the world as a results of one
man’s sin(Romans 5:12)., but evolution requires suffering in death as an
integral part of the process that brought man into the world.Theistic evolution is a contradiction in terms. One should associate a wise,
powerful loving God with such a monstrous system.Darwinism’s
concepts of “struggle” and survival of the fittest used them for
such systems as Nazism and racism. Evolution is the basic premise for atheistic
and humanistic religions, but also pantheistic religions.All essentially
based on accepting the space-time cosmos as the ultimate eternally reality and
denying any real transcendent Creator of the cosmos. The uncreated creator of
Re Craig ClarkTwo or three times in earths history most all life has
been wiped off the earth. According to the fossil record, new life took its
place quite quickly. This is comparable with seeding. Not some random chemical
process that creates life and would take eons to occur. Is this scientific
enough for you?
Sasha Pachev nailed it.Yes, the Big Bang absolutely requires faith.
It's based on the assumption that all red shift is due to relative motion
of stars. If that assumption isn't true, then the Big Bang becomes the Big
Mistake. And given that we don't know what 95% of the universe is made of,
I'd say there's a 95% chance there's something else going on
that's causing at least some of the red shift.
@ noncelebYou should receive the Nobel prize since you have worked
out all of the unproven and unexplained parts of the big bang THEORY. When I
have studied the THEORY there is much that just has to be taken on faith since
it is not explainable by quantum THEORY either.
Science tell us how, Religion tell us why.I no more turn to a
Science book for Salvation, than I turn to the Scriptures for Physics,
Chemistry, or Math.People who can't reconcile Science and
Religion like that, are left to suffer the either or, All-or-Nothing, silly arguements.BTW -- I find the faithful
lacking [hypocritical] when they rely of Science for heart surgery, cancer
treatment, birth and anti-biotics -- and when they are all better, go to
church and say Science is bogus.It's like a Scientist finally
praying on his death bed. It's not one or the other --
The original big bang theory was proposed by a practicing Belgian priest Georges
Lametrie. When he was criticized by the pope he advised the pope not to mix
science and religion. That advice in the 1920's still applies. Current Big
Bang theory has been so modified with the inflationary epoch, abandonment of
singularities and quantum mechanics that it is not what was originally proposed.
And, it is constantly changing. As Stephen Jay Gould, a Harvard biologist and
agnostic, noted faith and science are in separate non-competing magisteria.
Thanks Prof. Gould.
@Brave Sir Robin, as a fellow LDS member, I too have come to a conclusion that
evolution and the Big Bang can coexisist with LDS doctrine concerning creation.
It is also my humble opinion that those in the fields of biology, anthropology,
pyhiscs and such are on to mostly correct information. What I think though is
that because-and this is solely my opinion-most in science tend to believe in
forces other than the divine, they will always fall short of further
enlightenment in regards to the biginning of the universe, or life on earth.I believe that the big bang very possibly took place but in a sphere far
beyond our understanding and comprehension. Who's to say that God used this
phenomenon for the creation of this universe while He continued an existence in
a likewise similar shpere. The materials from the big bang, I again believe, can
quite possibly be the 'materials' that Jehova and Michael gathered as
explained by Abraham and Moses. These materials were brought together is
specific order and allowed to evolve during their respective creational periods.
I use the three T's when describing 'scientific' thought...."trendy, transitory theories".
Faith in the Big Bang? There is physical evidence of background microwave
radiation, the abundance of light elements, the discovery of super hot remnants,
dense areas of singularity, and a still expanding universe with galaxies
speeding away from each other. What evidence is there for an invisible creator
who made the universe in a brief period about 6,000 years ago?
If you lack the scientific background and equipment to critically and thoroughly
examine the evidence for a particular scientific theory, you are accepting it on
faith - faith that whoever has the established reputation of having that
knowledge is right. With things like electricity, magnetism, nuclear physics,
DNA, various chemical reactions, proof by reputation/intimidation does not work
so well because it is relatively easy to set up an experiment to debunk a theory
that is full of hot air. When it comes down to the history of the Earth, when
somebody with a reputation comes up with an idiotic theory, it is not easy to
disprove it because the experiment is not currently feasible. Since there are
not many people who would even understand the argument, if the stars align, it
will be accepted on faith, but unfortunately still be taught as science.
The idea that the big bang is proven science is far from the truth. Believing
in this theory takes more faith than believing in an an omnipotent God. The
idea that somehow a singularity that takes up no space exploded into everything
for an unknown reason, then abruptly changed it's expansion rate for an
unknown reason, then for some other unknown reason the anti-matter did not
annihilate the matter that is the universe ... Just so you can deny a creator.
This is not faith? Please. It takes more faith to believe this than to have
faith in a God. Dogma that says the earth is only 6000 years old is
also not likely, but there is a lot of room for beliefs between that idea, and
everything exploded from essentially nothing.
@Ed GradyI have to disagree, faith and science are mutually
exclusive. Faith is belief without evidence. Science is based on testable
predictions that are peer reviewed and reproducible."Faith is
the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate
evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of
cjb,"....My belief is that all life arrived here similarly.
Anamials were brought here and plant seeds were brought here...."______________________________Science says that all life, plant
and animal, developed from physical and chemical elements present on this
planet. Genesis says God created man from the dust of the Earth. Those two ideas
are not incompatible.
I'm active LDS and I believe in evolution and the big bang. So what?
Neither of those things prove or disprove the existence of God.
I've always found LDS people very open and realistic when it comes to
science, for the most part anyway. It's one of the things I love about our
religion. I personally don't think that the idea of a big bang contradicts
my religious beliefs, but that is something I have studied and thought about and
came to my own conclusions on.
Re BruceI've never heard the LDS church come out and say
evolution is responsible for the various species. I do know the early LDS church
aka Joseph Smith and Brigham Young said all life comes from parents and in the
case of people at least, (advanced) people who would become our parents came to
earth and spawned us. My belief is that all life arrived here similarly.
Anamials were brought here and plant seeds were brought here.Can
species evolve? The scriptures say yes. Life left to itself does evolve into
other kinds of life. This is why God had to 'command' (i.e. set
limits) life to reproduce after its own kind. Does God lift these limits at
times if he wants to create new species? I would imagine he does. But evolution
is not responsible for life being. All life came from parents meaning it has
The hypothetical big bang is just mechanics. The driving question is was it a
willful force that set it into motion. The idea that it was a haphazard
phenomenon of physics is an answer I don't find satisfying.
As a frequent critic of many of the policies of the LDS Church, I do have to
give them kudos for a more realistic stance on evolution and the big bang. My
understanding is that it is left to each individual to decide for themselves on
things like the "Big Bang" and evolution. It seems that most LDS look
to God as the architect that set things in motion using the laws of nature to
accomplish a specific goal. This is a more enlightened approach and is less
likely to produce conflict between religion and science.
How could Americans not believe in the big bang? Every particle of their being
was there when it happened, and its still happening.
Science and faith are not mutually exclusive. This is such an old, worn-out
“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.”Which makes no
sense what so ever. There are so many intersections faith and science that
support each other... there is no need for them to be mutually exclusive of each
other. Yes, there are areas where there are gaps... maybe even chasms.... but
there are many areas where science and faith can walk hand in hand.We believe in the divine creation of all that we know.... how that was
actually done..... we don't know. Science can shed some light on that
The title of this article is "Faith Untested". Shouldn't people
want to test their faith to make sure they are believing in the truth. Why
should a person never question or test their faith that they were born into?