“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.” 2 Pe 2:1 (NASB)
The Big Bang theory is not the only Materialist theory for the origin of the universe, but it is the most accepted. Since Einstein effectively destroyed the Steady State theory, most other Materialist theories, like the Multiverse Theory or Oscillating Universe Theory, still incorporate some form of the Big Bang theory. Before we can critique the theory, we must first understand it.
Big Bang theory is supported by many Christians because, based on the typical layman understanding of it, Big Bang theory seems to require a prime cause which implies God. Materialists are uncomfortable with the prospect of a supernatural prime cause, but those who understand the mathematical and philosophical underpinnings of Big Bang theory can smugly tout it because the real framework of Big Bang cosmology satisfies Materialism. There is quite a bit more to Big Bang theory than simply stuff going boom to produce the cosmos. Materialists, Creationists, and everyone in between needs to be educated about the theory before accepting or rejecting it.
The layman understanding of Big Bang theory is fairly straightforward. All matter and energy started out in a tightly compressed spot. The matter exploded outward to form the cosmos and the stuff we are made of. Hence, the Big Bang. If this were all there was to the theory it would at least resemble the biblical text. After all, scripture indicates God created the universe, expanded it, then put the mechanics of our planet and solar system into place. There are several well-kept secrets of Big Bang theory that are generally unknown to the typical layman. Even most scientists, aside from those with more than undergraduate degree in astrophysics, do not know these secrets.
Prior to Copernicus it was commonly believe that the earth was the center of the universe. Copernicus demonstrated conclusively that the earth orbits the sun just as the moon orbits the earth. Copernicus himself was a devout Christian who had no problem with a heliocentric solar system. Regardless of his personal beliefs, in the minds of later philosophers his idea of a heliocentric solar system reduced the “specialness” of earth’s placement in the universe. Even before the advent of Big Bang theory, the idea that earth is nowhere special in the universe was known as the Copernicus Principle. Rather than describing earth’s location as special, Materialists today promote the idea that we are a very mediocre planet orbiting an average star in an out of the way part of a huge galaxy which itself is nowhere special in an infinite pool of galaxies. Is our location truly unspectacular? Are we nothing more than beneficiaries of extraordinary luck in a game of cosmic chance?
One of the best kept secrets of Big Bang theory is that the universe has no boundary and no center. Thanks to the work of Hubble and those who have come after him, we have been able to see and catalogue galaxies nearly 14 billion light-years away. Thanks to our “galactic bumpkin” location at the outskirts of the Milky Way we have an excellent view of most of the rest of the universe. What we observe appears to be a roughly even scattering of galaxies in all directions. The regular amount of red shift we observe among the most distant galaxies indicates that on average, all distant galaxies are moving away from us. Logic says that if a roughly equal field of objects out to the same distance in all directions are all moving away from you at roughly the same rate, you must be at the center of that field. The technical term is “isotropic.” This intuitive idea drives the layman understanding of Big Bang theory, but there is more to it than this.
Einstein’s relativity includes several parts. One part says that space is expanding. The Creation model and Big Bang theory both predict the expansion of space. The Creation model demands expansion from earth outward, but the Big Bang model does not share this restriction. Einstein’s relativity allows for three basic shapes of expansion. One shape is spherical. A sphere has a center and a boundary. This is how most people visualize the universe. The second possible shape is flat. This shape lays out the universe on a flat plane, infinite in all directions with no center. While centerless infinity appeals to Materialism, the idea of a flat universe has been universally rejected because we observe the universe in three dimensions. The third possible shape is infinitely curved, sort of like saddle. The universe cannot have less than three dimensions, but it may have more than three.
The math gets a bit over our heads pretty quickly, but the basic premise of a universe laid out on an infinitely curl satisfies the implication of the Copernicus Principle. If the universe is curved, the limit of distance we can see may be the result of a horizon on the curve rather than simply the extent of travel outward like a sphere. A way to visualize this is to consider a fleet of ships at sea. A sailor on one ship can only spot another ship up to a certain distance away because the earth is curved. If you were in a fleet and all the other ships headed away from you, each increasing in speed as it got farther away, you would think you were in the center of the fleet when those originally closest to you became the only ones still visible on the horizon. It would not matter whether you were really at the center of the fleet or just at the center of those visible to you. The rationality for accepting more than three dimensions of space is based more on the need to deny being near the real center of bound universe than any real evidence that a fourth dimension actually exists.
By arbitrarily rejecting the spherical model, the center is rejected. Expansion is relative to whatever arbitrary location is chosen to observe from. With no center to the universe, there is no center of gravity in the universe. Without a center of gravity there is no gravitational time dilation in one part of the universe with respect to any other part. A bound spherical universe does have a center of gravity and does exhibit gravitational time dilation. Gravitational time dilation is real – it has been measured using atomic clocks. A clock at sea level will run slightly slower than a clock at high altitude. Although the effect is very small, if applied to the whole universe – assuming it was originally condensed to a small volume – the result would be vast elapsed time at the fringe of the universe compared with the center. The creation model predicts just such an original body with subsequent spherical expansion. Materialism is forced to reject the notion of a spherical universe with a center because the ultimate implication is that the universe may in fact be very young even though distant galaxies appear to be very old from our position.
Big Bang theory requires that the universe was never inside a black hole. Although Black holes can not be observed directly, there is plenty of evidence they do exist. Yet another problem with having a center to the universe is that when all the mass of the universe was closely packed, the gravitational forces would have resulted in a black hole. Space, energy, and matter could not expand under the gravitational force of a black hole. The problem of having a black hole at the center of a bound spherical universe is sufficient cause alone to reject the sphere. The ignition of a black hole effect at the beginning of the universe is actually a necessary part of the Creation model during the first day of Creation.
Most people, including scientists not trained in the mechanics of relativity applied to Big Bang cosmology, think the Big Bang was an explosion of matter that spread out to fill space. The Big Bang model actually requires that the universe has always had roughly homogeneous distribution of matter through space and that space itself has expanded to make the universe appear to be roughly isotropic with considerable distance between clumps of matter (galaxies, solar systems, etc). The expansion of space is integral to its centerless curvature and critical to denial of the black hole effect. The Creation model also predicts the expansion of space, but for entirely different reasons.
Red shift is not caused by the Doppler effect. In normal space light would not change frequency no matter how fast a star or galaxy may move away from us. The Doppler Effect is frequency shift of acoustic (air pressure) waves caused by relative motion of the sound source to the listener. Light is an electromagnetic wave and its frequency is unaffected by relative motion. The only mechanism that can cause the wavelength of light to expand (red shift) is to expand the space through which the light travels. While light has a fixed speed through space, space itself can (at least theoretically) expand faster than the speed of light. Red shift of the most distant galaxies indicates they are moving away from us at as much as five times the speed of light. Such a speed can only mean space itself is expanding.
Hubble calculated the approximate relationship between red shift and distance, known today as the “Hubble constant.” By observing the red shift of distant galaxies, we can calculate the distance to those galaxies. Distant starlight is perhaps the most convincing argument for assigning a vast age to the universe and, it would seem, the vast expanse of time needed for life to evolve. While there is a substantial margin of error in directly measuring great stellar distances, we now observe light arriving from galaxies at distances approaching 15 billion light-years away. Since we can see galaxies that far in both directions, the universe must therefore be at least 30 billion years old. Materialists certainly would like to see Creationists surrender to their superior logic. Distant starlight is predicted by the Materialist model and it does seem to be a huge problem for the Creation model. The simplistic response of some Creationists is to say, “the bible says it so I believe it – problem solved.” This line of thinking is blind and unnecessary. Distant starlight is one of the major problems tackled in the next chapter.
Cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation was discovered in 1965. CMB can be thought of as weak heat waves. Big Bang scientists claim that CMB is residual radiation left over from the great explosion that started it all. CMB was originally hailed as quite literally the smoking gun for the Big Bang.
CMB is uniform at 2.76°K (about 5°F above absolute zero) in every direction from Earth. The nearly perfect uniformity of the radiation presents problems to Big Bang cosmology. The Smoothness Problem for Big Bang cosmology is the formation of ordered cosmic structures – galaxies, galaxy clusters, and so forth. In 1992 a NASA satellite detected a tiny ripple, about one part in 100,000, in the cosmic background radiation. Big Bang cosmologists claim this ripple accounts for the organization of galaxies. The Flatness Problem is that density of the universe must have been exactly right at the start of the Big Bang. Too dense and the universe would collapse inward, not dense enough and the expansion would have approached infinity almost instantly. It is because of this problem that cosmologists postulate things like dark matter to account for what appears to be inadequate cosmic density. The Horizon Problem is that light coming from opposite directions is so uniform when the light horizon is about 30 billion light-years across. Either the universe has no center and thus must be unbounded or if bounded, we must be very near the center. Being centerless or infinite is a logical problem even if it can be demonstrated mathematically. Having a center is an ideological problem because it implies our location is special – a direct violation of the Copernican Principle which is the ideological guide for non-Creation cosmologies.
Big Bang cosmology predicts CMB radiation is the residual radiation reflected back from the farthest edges of the universe because it was at the leading edge of the universe as it expanded out from the moment of its beginning. Since this radiation comes from the outer edge of the universe it should cast shadows behind large galaxy clusters. Actual measurements show no shadow behind most galactic clusters. The shadows behind others fell within the range of range of normal variation in the background radiation in the entire sky. Perhaps the more profound problem is the idea that heat can be reflected when there is not surface to reflect from as would be the case in the unbound big bang model. The creation model does not require shadows.