Last night, I watched a special on the History Channel (I think) called “Beyond the Big Bang” that I found not only fascinating, but vindicating.
I have long believed the BB theory to be true – I’m no cosmologist, but it seems to make perfect sense based on what we can observe about the universe. I have also long believed that the theory is not contrary to Catholic theology or interpretation of Scripture, since the Church has taught that such theories do not contradict revealed truth.
In fact, I learned that the theory originated with a Catholic priest/physicist, Fr. George Le Maitre, who first hypothesized the existence of a “primordial atom” based on observations that the universe is expanding and the fact that Einstein’s theories couldn’t account for the expansion. The show even said that Einstein and other physicists were reluctant to take the leap that Fr. Le Maitre made because it argued for a “moment of creation”.
The result was that Fred Hoyle’s “Steady State” theory became the vogue until cosmic background radiation – which Le Maitre had predicted but was unable to detect – was discovered in the 1960s.
The show continually characterized Le Maitre as a visionary. It even addressed the fact that his being a priest may have contributed to the reluctance of the scientific community to accept his theory at first, and as it did so, it cast Le Maitre’s contemporaries in a less-than-positive light. Pope Pius VII gave the theory his stamp of approval, which probably didn’t help on this front, either.
After taking the viewer through the entire history of the Big Bang theory, right up through current theories of what happened in the first few nanoseconds, minutes, and millenia of creation, the show finished with the words, “This is what we think we know.” I found that remarkably humble.
My point in starting this thread is to share my belief that a) modern science is not inherently godless, and b) that the Big Bang theory actually strengthens the argument that there is a God – and, in fact, allows us a glimpse of just how magnificent is His creation.