Throughout human history, man has gazed in awe at the stars, wondering what they are and how they got there. Although on a clear night we only see about 6,000 stars, trillions of them are spread out among billions of galaxies.
However, prior to the 20th century, most scientists believed our Milky Way galaxy was the entire universe, and that only about 100 million stars existed. The prevailing view even then was that our material universe had always existed.
But in the early 20th century, astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered the universe actually had a beginning. A beginning implies a “Beginner,” which the Bible had firmly revealed. Concerned materialists like Sir Fred Hoyle scoffed at the idea of a one-time beginning, sarcastically calling the explosion a “big bang.”
However, the evidence for a beginning kept mounting. Finally, in 1992, COBE satellite experiments proved that the universe really did have a one-time beginning.¹ Doubters were silenced by the overwhelming evidence. For lack of a better name, this beginning became known by Hoyle’s label of “the big bang.” (see “Back to the Beginning“)
Many scientists realized that this discovery coincided with the Genesis account of a beginning. Furthermore, they realized that prior to creation even matter and energy could not have existed. Therefore, after centuries of erroneous belief, science came around to agree with the Bible that everything came from nothing.
Some scientists had a major problem with this confirmation of the Bible, and sought other explanations. However, others like agnostic George Smoot, the Nobel Prize winning scientist in charge of the COBE experiment admits:
“There is no doubt that a parallel exists between the big bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing.”²
The COBE experiments and Einstein’s theorems both confirm a one time creation of the universe, a position the Bible has maintained for 3500 years.
When one looks objectively at the evidence regarding the origin of the universe and the intricate complexity of DNA, even many non-Christian scientists admit that the evidence of a Designer’s “fingerprints” are coming into focus.
Dr. Robert Jastrow is one such scientist. Jastrow is a theoretical physicist who joined NASA when it was formed in 1958. Jastrow helped establish the scientific goals for the exploration of the moon during the Apollo lunar landings. He set up and directed NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which conducts research in astronomy and planetary science. Jastrow, an agnostic, wrote these thoughts, reflecting the view of many scientists: “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”³
As an agnostic, Jastrow has no Christian agenda behind his conclusions. He simply notes that the biblical view of a one-time beginning of the universe has finally been confirmed by science. And this “beginning” was not some happenstance explosion, but rather a precisely engineered event that made human life possible. This conclusion perfectly coincides with the biblical statement, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
This post was excerpted from the Y-Jesus article “Are Science and Christianity Compatible?”
¹ George Smoot and Keay Davidson, Wrinkles in Time (New York: Avon, 1993), 241.
² Smoot and Davidson, 17.
³ Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers (London: W.W. Norton & Co. Inc., 1992), 107.