The Big Bang & Origin of the Universe

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    Bergman, Jerry

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    Arno A. Penzias: Astrophysicist, Nobel Laureate

    "Scienctists have gathered an enormous amount of empirical data in their quest for an understanding cosmology and the universe as a whole. Science, by its very nature and through replication, is able to produce empirical data that is widely accepted as valid, but, unfortunately, the interpretations of this data often vary. Because this scientific data is frequently used by many individuals in order to support their atheistic world views, the views of eminent scientists such as Arnold Penzias are useful in helping others to evaluate common interpretations of data. This review of one aspect of Penzias' work, although he has written only briefly about this subject, provides much insight into other possible conclusions in the admittedly rapidly evolving, and currently highly debated, field of cosmology."
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    Carroll, William E.

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    Aquinas and the Big Bang

    "The question of where we come from can be answered in many ways. We need to keep this fact in mind when we turn our attention to the account given by contemporary cosmology of the origins of the universe. The reigning theory among scientists today is that we live in the aftermath, or rather in the midst, of a giant explosion that began about fifteen billion years ago. Most cosmologists refer to the Big Bang as a 'singularity,' that is, an ultimate boundary or edge, a 'state of infinite density' where space-time has ceased. Thus it represents an outer limit of what we can know about the universe since it is not possible to speculate, at least in the natural sciences, about conditions before or beyond the categories of space and time."
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    Carroll, William E.

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    God and Physics: From Hawking to Avicenna

    "Contemporary cosmological theories, especially discourse about the origins of the universe, reveal the continuing encounter between physics and theology. It is a discourse which interests thinkers of our own age as much as it did those in the Middle Ages. I should like to sketch some of the current discussion in order to suggest how the contemporary world can learn a great deal from mediaeval analyses of the relationship among physics, metaphysics, and theology. In fact, to go from Stephen Hawking to Avicenna is, in an important sense, to go from confusion to clarity."
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    Craig, William L.

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    The Ultimate Question of Origins: God and the Beginning of the Universe

    "The absolute origin of the universe, of all matter and energy, even of physical space and time themselves, in the Big Bang singularity contradicts the perennial naturalistic assumption that the universe has always existed. One after another, models designed to avert the initial cosmological singularity--the Steady State model, the Oscillating model, Vacuum Fluctuation models--have come and gone. Current quantum gravity models, such as the Hartle-Hawking model and the Vilenkin model, must appeal to the physically unintelligible and metaphysically dubious device of 'imaginary time' to avoid the universe's beginning. The contingency implied by an absolute beginning ex nihilo points to a transcendent cause of the universe beyond space and time. Philosophical objections to a cause of the universe fail to carry conviction."
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    Hedman, Bruce A.

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    Mathematics, Cosmology and the Contingent Universe

    "To say that the universe is 'contingent' means that it need not be the way it is. A contingent universe does not contain within itself a sufficient explanation of itself. Although the doctrine of contingence is an article of faith which transcends scientific demonstration, modern cosmology is making new discoveries and is asking new questions which point to the contingent character of the universe. Does the universe have a "beginning?" Is the extent of the universe finite? Does mathematical undecidability preclude any system from containing within itself a sufficient explanation of itself? Classical physics thought of the universe as closed, necessitarian, and inincontingent. Thus, certain questions basic to Christian thought were dismissed out-of-hand as invalid. An incongent universe precludes any revelation from the outside itself. Modern scientific models of the universe offer a more hospitable arena for the discussion of Christian theology."
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    Phillips, Perry G.

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    The Thrice-Supported Big Bang

    "One cannot dismiss the Big Bang as “just a theory.” Various lines of evidence confirm the “hot Big Bang” as the best model for the origin of the universe. The most widely known piece of evidence is Hubble’s Law (galaxy redshifts), but the universal abundances of light elements and the cosmic microwave background radiation add convincing support to the hot Big Bang model. This paper discusses these three lines of evidence with emphasis on the last two. Theological implications of the Big Bang are also discussed. Among ancient Near Eastern cosmologies, only the Bible presents the universe as having a beginning ex nihilo. Two historic alternatives to the Big Bang that avoid a beginning are presented and rejected. Finally, Gentry and Humphreys have proposed young-earth creationist models contrary to the Big Bang. We find their galactocentric cosmologies fail scientific and theological scrutiny."
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    Pilbrow, John R. & Allan J. Day

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    Cosmology, Creation and the Biblical Record

    "Modern cosmology starts with the so-called Big Bang at what physicists call a singularity in space and time which represents the beginning of space and time - a creation -ex nihilo. The implication scientifically is that space and time were created at the singularity about 15 billion years ago. The physics of the very earliest times are not known however, but it is certainly true to say that science and theology find no contradictions. Even if the no boundary speculation of Hawking is true, as discussed above the theology of creation is concerned with why there is something rather than nothing. Theology and science concur, but are asking different questions."
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    Ross, Hugh

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    Cosmology Confronts the Creator

    "One of the most persistent traits of man is his belief in the reality of a Creator-God. Attacks on this belief have arisen from time to time and from place to place, none posing serious threat. None, that is, until the assault mustered in Europe during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Through those years scientific and philosophical forces allied to proclaim the universe infinite...In an infinite universe, depending on the nature of the infinity, almost anything is possible. It may be that everything simply is... Science did not stop, however. The twentieth century, in fact, brought a veritable explosion of inquiry and discovery, all of which began to blow holes in the models of infinitude. Reluctant to relinquish apotheosis, many scientists suppressed or wrestled against their findings. Ironically, by the 1980s, their struggle brought forth the most powerful evidence yet for God's existence and the accuracy of the Biblical account of creation. What follows is an account of this dramatic story."
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    Russell, Robert J.

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    The Doctrine of Creation out of Nothing in Relation to Big Bang and Quantum Cosmologies

    "...[T]he conditions for a sapiential horizon flow from the unity of truth, and this in turn is based on the central theological assertion that the God of creation is the God of salvation history. The claim requires that: 1) nature must be interpretable as 'the creation of God’, and 2) nature must be interpretable as the creation which, by God’s act, will become God’s 'new creation’. The first requirement leads us to fascinating, creative discussions which have been taking place internationally about Big Bang and quantum cosmology in relation to the doctrine of creation. Here we start with cosmology and ask in various ways about its theological relevance...The second, however, is much more challenging and relatively unexplored."
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    Schaefer, Henry F.

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    The Big Bang, Stephen Hawking, and God

    "Cosmology is the study of the universe as a whole - its structure, origin, and development. The subjects cosmology addresses are profound, both scientifically and theologically...The idea that the universe had a specific time of origin has been philosophically resisted by some very distinguished scientists."