Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life. In the absence of an absurdly improbable accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, (one might say ‘supernatural’) plan.
—Nobel Prize Winner Arno Penzias
God and the Big Bang segment two is a succinct, simplified explanation of the main idea behind the big bang theory of cosmology. Basically, the theory posits that around 14 billion years ago, the universe exploded outward from an infinitely hot, dense, minuscule point of incredible energy. This point is known as the Singularity. The theory was based in part on the discovery of Edwin Hubble (1920’s) that everything in the universe is moving away from everything else, and the further away things get, the faster they move. Extrapolate backwards, and…you get the picture.
Some scientists detested this idea and worked hard to come up with a theory that could eliminate the need for an ultimate beginning of the universe. Unfortunately for them, this “Steady State” theory was debunked by the work of two radio astronomers at Bell Laboratories: Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson. (The video claims that their discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation happened in 1964. Other sources I’ve read, including NASA, say 1965.)
Near the end of the segment, Dr. Owen Gingerich remarks:
The Big Bang is one of the most awesome things we can think about or talk about…EVERYTHING came out from this very tiny, tiny ball of incredible energy. And with all this potentiality, it has unfolded into such an astonishing and beautiful and congenial place for human intelligence to operate. I’m not sure what’s the most awesome part–that it could all be in that small ball of energy, or that so much interesting material could unfold out of it.”
It is mind-boggling to think about isn’t it? Note that “EVERYTHING” includes all empty space and even TIME. Before this cosmic origin event, there was no matter, no empty space, and no progression of time! Wow.
I believe it’s important to note that the concept of the universe unfolding according to an insane level of potentiality is completely independent of questions related to biology. The events that astrophysicists are able to observe and document using the world’s highest-powered telescopes have to do with the laws and processes of astrophysics acting upon matter. Biology, on the other hand, operates on an entirely different plane, one that involves highly intricate informational coding. So, be careful not to automatically assume that someone who accepts Big Bang theory as correct cosmology also embraces the Neo-Darwinian explanation of biological origins and evolution.
The segment ends with the big question:
Many scientists now admit that this picture points to something beyond space and time. Could it even be a hint of a supernatural creator?