GENESIS AND THE BIG BANG
GENESIS AND THE BIG BANG
Big Bang Theory
“A cosmological theory holding that the universe originated approximately 20 billion years ago from the violent explosion of a very small accumulation of matter of extremely high density and temperature. It has been estimated that the earth is about 3.5 to 5 billions years old.”
Genesis Hebrew Old Testament:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and void, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, ‘let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light ‘day,’ and the darkness he called ‘night.’ And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.”
We have been taught that the Big Bang theory and the creation story found in Genesis are two completely different accounts of how the Universe was created. In recent times, science and religion have represented two extreme polar opposites. However, this was not always the case. Only in recent history has there been the development of a schism between science and religion. Science used to be a way people studied God's creation; now, it's what some people use to try to disprove God.
The Big Bang Theory and the creation story are essentially two different accounts of the very SAME EVENT. They are ultimately the very same thing. They may represent different worldviews and perspectives, but they describe the same manifestation of Life.
This may sound strange to you, considering the way you have been conditioned to believe in one or the other. If you are a creationist, you “believe” solely in the Bible. If you're a scientific materialist, an atheist, etc., you believe solely in “science.” How can we reconcile these two seemingly opposite theories of creation ... particularly if they are essentially saying the same thing only in a different way?
If we look at the biblical creation story, we have to remember that it is essentially just a Hebrew rendition of older creation stories borrowed from the Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Greeks, etc. These civilizations existed long before the Hebrews, and they exerted a great amount of influence over the Hebrew culture, including their religion. Especially during the mix of Assyrian and Babylonian conquests of the Northern Territory know as Israel.
What this means is that Genesis is not really a new story. It is a story that was passed down from one civilization to the next. From many civilizations to many other civilizations. The idea of dark nothingness (the Void), a primordial "substance" of endless potentiality, is common amongst all creation stories. Essentially, a soup - void of anything - yet with the limitless and boundless potentiality for everything.
The modern Big Bang Theory, is basically our own modernized rendition of the same old ancient creation myths. To the ancients, their knowledge was sufficient enough to justify their metaphysical claims. To some of us, the ancients were superstitious and ignorant. That has not changed today. We believe our knowledge is sufficient enough to justify the Big Bang Theory. Thousands of years from now, we will be viewed as ignorant by the great minds of the future. This is just the way the cycle goes. We had Newton, then along came Einstein ... and then, Quantum Physics.
But in actuality, the ancients were far from the ignorant people most believe them to have been. They studied and understood the stars with their naked eyes. They observed nature's cycles and lived their lives in sync with these cycles. Their “superstitions” were merely stories and myths they used as allegories and metaphors to show how nature worked. They anthropomorphized celestial precessions and events. They created gods of thunder, gods of rain, gods of harvest, etc. but knew there was something else much bigger than they could know about, and this was Source/God. The very power behind the sun.
The idea that the world was once "without form and void" and was subsequently born in a flash of light has been passed down for aeons. The ancients might have used mythical stories to try to prove their assertions, but remove the myth, and you're left with a description of creation strikingly similar to the current modern “scientific” version.
The reason the conflict between science and religion exists is because people on both sides of the spectrum are unwilling to make any compromises in their thought. They are stuck in their closed-minded ways. They are also stuck in the literal historical translations rather than the myth and allegory ... which was the intent of the original writers of scripture.
The religious fail to see that the Bible is full of allegories not meant to be taken literally. They say things like, “I know the Bible is true because it says so in the Bible.”
The scientific communities fail to accept that the idea of a Big Bang was already established thousands of years ago by wise ancient sages and hierophants.
The scientific say things like, “The Big Bang and the Creation are completely different. One is backed by scientific fact, and one is just a fairy tale.” They fail to see that these “fairy tales” were backed by the science of their day. They fail to see that while the Creation may not have been verified by “science,” the basic outline of the story is not that much different from the Big Bang. The only real difference is in the vocabulary and language that we use.
Both the scientific and the religious fail to realize that the Bible’s intention is ALLEGORICAL. It uses STORIES/MYTHS to describe REAL EVENTS. It uses the Creation story as an ALLEGORY of how the Universe was created. It uses the story of Jesus as an ALLEGORY of how mankind is the Son of God and how as God's children we can become Christ, the perfect being. Etc. The religious take it too seriously, and the scientific don't take it seriously enough.
The intention here is to help you better understand the fact that science and religion do not have to be enemies. We don't have to settle for one, or the other. We can live with both. That would be the ideal state of things, because balance is always essential to harmony. If we continue to become rabid scientific materialists or fundamentalist creationist Christians who take the Bible only literally, the middle ground will be the most dangerous spot to be in as the two sides battle it out. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened.
Just a thought ...
Justin Taylor, ORDM.