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Faith

Half of Americans skeptical of Big Bang

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  • Sequoya Stafford, VA
    April 25, 2014 5:16 p.m.

    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.

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    April 24, 2014 12:56 p.m.

    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.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 24, 2014 11:34 a.m.

    @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 part.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    April 24, 2014 10:07 a.m.

    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.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    April 24, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    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.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    April 24, 2014 8:26 a.m.

    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.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2014 10:38 p.m.

    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

  • AZTrojan Tucson, AZ
    April 23, 2014 5:04 p.m.

    @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.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 23, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    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.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 23, 2014 8:58 a.m.

    donn,

    "....Theistic evolution is a contradiction in terms. One should associate a wise, powerful loving God with such a monstrous system...."
    ______________________________

    Reactions like that do not persuade reasonable people to allow creationism to become part of the curriculum in our public schools.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    April 23, 2014 8:45 a.m.

    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.

  • donn layton, UT
    April 23, 2014 8:17 a.m.

    @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?”

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    April 23, 2014 7:57 a.m.

    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 the universe.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    April 23, 2014 7:15 a.m.

    @Candide
    You're confusing "faith that we have a Heavenly Father" with faith as an adjective without context.

    @Sasha Pachev
    That was awesome. Thank you for illustrating that.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    April 23, 2014 6:49 a.m.

    I have no problem with the Big Bang or with science generally. Don't know why this causes anyone heartburn.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    April 23, 2014 6:26 a.m.

    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".

  • donn layton, UT
    April 22, 2014 9:00 p.m.

    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 all else.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 22, 2014 8:39 p.m.

    Re Craig Clark

    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?

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    April 22, 2014 7:45 p.m.

    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.

  • Nerd herder 12 Spanish Fork, UT
    April 22, 2014 4:24 p.m.

    @ nonceleb

    You 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.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    April 22, 2014 4:11 p.m.

    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 -- it's both.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2014 3:25 p.m.

    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.

  • CWJ Layton, UT
    April 22, 2014 3:20 p.m.

    @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.

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    April 22, 2014 2:58 p.m.

    I use the three T's when describing 'scientific' thought....

    "trendy, transitory theories".

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2014 2:33 p.m.

    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?

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    April 22, 2014 1:47 p.m.

    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.

  • Nerd herder 12 Spanish Fork, UT
    April 22, 2014 12:58 p.m.

    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.

  • Candide Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2014 12:01 p.m.

    @Ed Grady

    I 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 evidence."-Richard Dawkins

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 22, 2014 11:14 a.m.

    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.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    April 22, 2014 11:06 a.m.

    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.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    April 22, 2014 11:04 a.m.

    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.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 22, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    Re Bruce

    I'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 always existed.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 22, 2014 10:28 a.m.

    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.

  • Bruce Angleton, TX
    April 22, 2014 10:28 a.m.

    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.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 22, 2014 10:12 a.m.

    How could Americans not believe in the big bang? Every particle of their being was there when it happened, and its still happening.

  • Ed Grady Idaho Falls, ID
    April 22, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    Science and faith are not mutually exclusive. This is such an old, worn-out topic.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 22, 2014 9:30 a.m.

    “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 subject.

  • Church member North Salt Lake, UT
    April 22, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    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?