Dismantling the Big Bang

Dismantling the Big Bang: God's Universe Rediscovered

Alex Williams and John Hartnett, Ph.D.

Keywords: Big Bang, cosmology, worldviews, age of the universe, limits of science

The Big Bang has long been a stumbling block for many Christians when it comes to their acceptance of the Bible as the inspired, inerrant Word of God, accurate from the very first verse. Even many who reject biological evolution believe that science has proved the Big Bang beyond doubt, so they try to fit it into the Bible, re-interpreting and distorting what God said He did in the process. This book takes the theory head on, demonstrating from both science and the Bible the utter inadequacy of Big Bang cosmology to explain the existence of our universe.

The authors start with a brief history of cosmology, then launch into a discussion of our worldviews, and how our starting assumptions determine our interpretation of evidence. They also point out the nature of science as a useful but limited tool in helping us to understand the world around us, and in this case the universe as a whole. Critical to the understanding of this issue is the fact that science is not some infallible absolute, but merely a process (and an often messy one at that) used by fallible humans in their search for explanations. This is especially true when it comes to so-called historical sciences, such as those dealing with the origin of the universe and of life. We were not there, and are not able to carry out objective experiments and observations in the past. As a result, our interpretations are heavily influenced by our pre-existing beliefs about where we came from.

The next section deals with the specifics of Big Bang theory, comparing what is taught about the origins of the universe, galaxies, stars, planets, etc. with what we know from actual science and observations. It quickly becomes apparent that the theory is woefully inadequate to explain our observations in the real world, despite numerous "fudge factors" and ad hoc explanations that attempt to make theory line up with reality. On almost every point examined, Big Bang theories either fail completely to produce the required result, or suffer from numerous serious problems. As the authors point out, "The universe consists of galaxies, stars, planets, and people, but even when given the credit of every possible doubt, the big bang theory only produces an expanding cloud of gas. Expanding clouds of gas do not spontaneously reverse their expansion and collapse into the kinds of objects that we observe in the real universe around us today."1

The authors next address the issues of the age of the universe and earth. They examine several creationist solutions to the problem of distant starlight in a young universe, as well as problems with radioisotope dating methods and various evidences for a young earth.

In the next section the Biblical model is presented, based on the "seven C's of history." The authors delve into many different topics in this one section, from explaining why compromise positions between young-earth creationism and the Big Bang theory are not biblically tenable to recounting God's plan of redemption from the creation to Christ's death to discussing what someone from outside our universe would expect to find if their only information came from the Bible, and how those expectations match up with what our universe is really like. They then tally up the "scores" of the two opposing models to determine which one best explains our universe. The final sections discuss the authors' view of the future of cosmology, and their choice of which model to accept.

Several appendices are included, the first of which briefly outlines less well-known competitors of the Big Bang model, pointing out their strengths and weaknesses. The second appendix deals more fully with several theological issues, mainly the adverse effects of compromise positions. Appendix C contains the "scoreboards." Appendix D reprints an open letter to the scientific community from 33 scientists who express their serious doubts about the Big Bang theory, and call for more funding for research on alternative theories.

While this book is written at a layman's level, and is for the most part understandable without advanced training in physics or cosmology, the authors are well qualified to speak on this subject. At least one that I know of (Dr. Hartnett) is involved in active research in his field, as a physicist and cosmologist. A lot of the math, especially in the first appendix, is way above my head, and some of the concepts are difficult to grasp (time dilation, extra dimensions, black holes, etc.), but the gist of their message is quite plain.

For anyone who has read this book, the idea that the Big Bang is unquestionable should be completely demolished, and confidence in the Word of God greatly strenghtened. I highly recommend this book for anyone struggling with reconciling Big Bang "science" with Genesis 1.

1. Williams, Alex and John Hartnett, Ph.D., Dismantling the Big Bang, (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2005.), 13. Return to text.

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