Skip to main content

Catholicism and the "Big Bang" Theory


No, this is not about the comedy television show.  I'm talking about the mathematical theory on the origin of the universe.  The so-called "Big Bang" theory was created by a Catholic priest named Father Georges Lemaître.  (Yes, it's true, Google it.)  Now Father Lemaître didn't call it that originally.  He called it the "hypothesis of the primaeval atom" and Albert Einstein gave him full credit for this, even though the press tried to give it to Edwin Hubble instead.

Now, any scientific theory is defined simply as this: "the best explanation we have for the scientific data... until a better one comes along."  That's why it seems like scientific theories are always changing.  Because they are changing!  They are not designed to be constants.  They are not intended to be dogma.  Rather, they are designed to be models.  These are mere models, which scientists use in an attempt to solve more problems.  They continue to use these models, until they stumble across data that would appear to contradict these models.  Then their scientific theories must be rethought.  Sometimes they are merely modified to accommodate the new data.  Sometimes they are scrapped all together in favour of newer and better theories.  That's science you see.  It is always in a state of fluctuation.  It is never absolutely solid.

The problem here is not so much science as it is Modernism.  Now Modernism is a social ideology with religious undertones.  It has many amorphous meanings and implications, but probably the best way to summarise it is to say that it promotes a break with historical Christian thought, understanding, religion and morality, in favour of a new world view based on science and human reason.

Unfortunately there is a problem with this.  People, by human nature, require dogma to base their lives on.  Modernism has obliterated classical Christian dogma, and replaced it with science.  Now science was never intended to serve as dogma.  That was never its function, and it is wholly inadequate for this purpose.  That's why the Catholic Church has encouraged science, yet at the same time, kept a strict separation between science and religion.  Science is the search for data.  Religion (particularly Catholic Christianity) is the revelation of absolute truth.  See the difference? 

There is nothing wrong with subscribing to scientific theories to solve scientific problems, but to substitute those theories for the dogma, upon which we build our lives, is a horrible mistake.  It is an abuse of science, dogma and humanity. 

Father Lemaître understood this all too well.  Which is why he convinced His Holiness, Pope Pius XII, to stop using his "Big Bang" theory as a scientific justification for creationism.  It was a bold but wise move for a lowly Catholic priest to council the Holy Father in such a way, but I think it was the right thing to do.  Today, modern science has moved on from the so-called "big bang," and modified the theory into what appears now to be a "Big Push."  This was to be expected because no scientific theory is dogma.  It can never be.  Father Lemaître would agree. 

What should Catholics take away from this?  We should remember that God has revealed that the universe had a definite beginning. Science for centuries asserted that the universe was eternal.  Father Lemaître used science to prove them wrong.  The universe did have a beginning and that is mathematically indisputable now. So on this one thing, science has now been forced to agree with religion, even though most scientists were dragged kicking and screaming into it.  As for HOW that beginning happened?  Well.... that's just a matter of theory.  The current scientific understanding will remain, until a better one comes along, but God's dogmatic truth is unchanged, and in this case, scientifically vindicated.  No, the universe is not eternal.  Yes, the universe did have a beginning.  Thank you Father Lemaître for putting science in its place on that one.  That's what we Catholics should take away from all of this.  Don't base your life or world view on something that is constantly changing.  That's what scientific theories are.  They are designed simply as temporary models to solve scientific problems.  You can't build your life on shifting sand like that.  When it comes to our lives, we must based them on the revealed truth of God.  This will make the only solid foundation.  If you want to flirt with scientific theories, that's fine, so long as you understand what they really are.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Highly recommended by priests and catechists, "Catholicism for Protestants" is a Biblical explanation of the Roman Catholic faith as told by Shane Schaetzel -- an Evangelical convert to the Catholic Church through Anglicanism.  The book is approximately 100 print pages, and formatted in an easy-to-read Question & Answer catechism style.  It addresses many of the common questions Evangelical Protestants have about Catholicism. It is ideal for Protestants seeking more knowledge about the Catholic Church, and for Catholics seeking a quick refresher course on fundamental Catholic teaching. It's an excellent book for Catholics and Protestants alike!  Order Your Copy Today

Comments

Miles Christi said…
http://youtu.be/-VfWJKVWitA great sermon on this

Popular posts from this blog

The Coming Storm and How to Prepare

A storm is approaching. We've been watching it build on the horizon for decades, and now it's here. The first sprinkles of rain have already hit us, and with the wind now whipping up, we know the torrent to follow cannot be far away. Flashes of lightning and claps of thunder now surround us. The full fury of this tempest cannot be far off now. I'm speaking metaphorically of course, but the illustration of a storm could not be more accurate. I'm speaking of the political, social and economic storm that is soon to hit the Catholic Church in the United States.

While a lot of hope is riding on this 2016 presidential election, I am here to tell you that no matter who wins, the storm is still going to hit us.

If Donald Trump wins the presidency, some of the ill effects of this storm can be postponed. The Church will be given some more precious time to prepare, perhaps four to eight years at the most, but the storm will still come. I want to make this perfectly clear so ther…

More Catholics Embrace the Anglican Patrimony

Something big is happening, and it really is the way of the future. It has to do with restoration, and by that I mean the restoration of something very big and very old. About 500 years ago, while Martin Luther was just beginning to start his Protestant Revolution in Germany, England was still a staunchly Catholic country. At that time it was known as "Mary's Dowry" and had King Henry VIII not embarked on a lust-filled schism to legitimatise his adultery and illegitimate offspring, England might still be Catholic today. Imagine that, if you will. What would it look like?

You don't need to imagine too hard, because you see, that image exists today, albeit in a much smaller form. It's called the Anglican Patrimony Ordinariates. These are the Personal Ordinariates, created by Pope Benedict XVI, initially as a juridic structure for former Anglicans and Methodists, who have left Protestantism behind and brought their English liturgical heritage into the Catholic Chur…

The Heresy of "Don't Judge -- Be Nice"

It's a popular narrative from the eighth chapter of John's gospel (John 8:1-11). A woman is caught in the very act of adultery. She is dragged before Jesus by the scribes and Pharisees, so as to put Jesus to a test. They wanted to see what he would do with her. The Torah (Law of the Jews) from the Old Testament dictated that she be stoned. (My question is: where was the man she committed adultery with? They're both guilty.) Contrite and broken, the woman lay prostrate before Jesus, obviously sorry and penitent for her sin. He told the scribes and Pharisees they were right. The Torah does command that she be stoned to death, for that is the lawful penalty of adultery, and that he who is without sin should cast the first stone. Jesus then began writing in the sand. The Scriptures don't tell us what he was writing, but many believe it was the Ten Commandments, which of course all of us have broken at some time in our lives. One by one, they all dropped their stones and w…