God,Creation and Big Bang
By Rev. Dr. Labib Kobti
1- The Origin of life and evolution:
a- The Church accepted what the science proved about evolution and adopted it. On October 23, 1996, speaking to the member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Pope John Paul II expressed delight on the plenary's theme on "the origin of life and evolution". A basic theme which greatly interests the Church, as Revelation contains, for its part, teachings concerning the nature and origin of man. Humani Generis, the Encyclical of Pope Pius XII's 1950, and the conciliar Constitution "Gaudium et Spes 1965, considered the doctrine of "evolution" as a serious hypothesis, worthy of a more deeply studied investigation and reflection. Today, more than half a century after this encyclical, says the Pope, new knowledge leads us to recognize in the theory of evolution. The convergence, neither sought nor induced, of results of work done independently one from the other constitutes in itself a significant argument in favor of this theory. The elaboration of a theory such as that of evolution, while obeying the exigency of homogeneity with data of observation, borrows certain ideas from the philosophy of nature. To tell the truth, more than the theory of evolution, one must speak about the theories of evolution. There thus materialistic and reductionist readings and spiritual readings."
b- If the human body is subject of evolution, the spiritual soul is directly created by God: The Pope made it clear that science cannot explain everything and that the spiritual dimension of man could not be the object of the scientific observation: "The magisterium of the Church, he continued, is directly interested in the question of evolution because this touches upon the concept of man, created in the image and likeness of God. Pius XII underlined this essential point: "if the origin of the human body is sought in living matter which existed before it, the spiritual soul is directly created by God." Consequently, the theories of evolution which, as a result of the philosophies which inspires them, consider the spirit as emerging from forces of living matter or as a simple epiphenomenon of this matter, are incompatible with the truth about man. They are moreover incapable of laying the foundation for the dignity of the person. Consideration of the method used in diverse orders of knowledge allows for the concordance of two points of view which seem irreconcilable. The sciences of observation describe and measures with ever greater precision the multiple manifestation of life and place them on a time line. The moment of passing over the spiritual is not object of an observation of this type, which can nevertheless reveal, on an experimental level, a series of very useful sighs about the specificity of the human being. But the experience of metaphysical knowledge, of the awareness of self and of its reflexive nature, that of the moral conscience, that of liberty, or still yet the aesthetic and religious experience, are within the competence of philosophical analysis and reflection, while theology extracts from it the final meaning according to the Creator's designs". The Church was interested in science, many priests and religious order friars where great scientists. The "father of the Big Bang Theory" today a fact, is a Catholic priest, Father George Lemaitre from Belgium, in 1933. Pope Pius XI restored an already existed academy of science in the Vatican in 1936. Truth cannot contradict truth, this is what the Vatican will always say. If science will prove us truth, that truth will never go against God, who is the TRUTH. In fact Pope, John Paul II said to the group of scholars who met him of that day of October 23, 1996 "If the scientifically-reached conclusions and those contained in Revelation on the origin of life seem to counter each other, in what direction should we seek their solution? We know in effect that truth cannot contradict truth."
2- Science leads us to God " Science, When it goes well, says Dr. Francis Collins, director of the national Center for Human Genome Research in USA, is actually an occasion of worship for the Christian. It presents an opportunity to learn something about God's creation which wasn't known before. It is truly a remarkable experience for someone of faith to have in that occasional flash of insight a sense of what God has created that humans had not realized before". In 1917 Albert Einstein was refusing the idea of God, when he discovered, after long research the fact that the world is expanding, he believed in God - a theory worked by Edwin Hubble, a very known astronomer on 1927 - and wrote to express his desire "to know how God created the world. "I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, he wrote, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details". He had to go to the Bible and discover the One God who created the world, loved and redeemed the world. All the great scientists between 1920-1950 like Eddington, Friedmann, de Sitter, Hubble, Braton Carter, Lemaitre and others found that the universe could not be infinitely old, but that it must have had a beginning. A universe with a beginning requires a Beginner, a clever person who started it, The God of the Bible. " The evolution of the universe, says a great scientist, Jesuit Father George Coyne, director of the Vatican Observatory in Tucson, AZ, towards living organisms and the human brain is a beautiful example that the image of God was in the universe from the very begginning. But it was in seed, it was growing, it was seminal. That means a lot more to me as a scientist, who has a very specific understanding of what I mean by this. That I needed three generations of stars before I get the chemical abundances to form human organs that enriches my faith. What a marvelous thing to have a God who made a universe with this tendency in it".
3- How Science leads us to God?
a- The most important discovery of all time: At the question "How science can lead us to God?" The scientists and scholars respond, just look around, observe the sky. Smoot George, the leader of the COBE Satellite team that was the first to detect the cosmic "seeds" of the origin of the universe wrote "Until the late 1910's, humans were as ignorant of cosmic origin as they had ever been. Those who didn't take the Genesis literally had no reason to believe there had been a beginning". With the Theory of the Big Bang, recognized today as a fact, the world will shift to believe in God the Creator of the Universe. The World had a start. This is what after the COBE satellite team discovered proving George Lemaitre and Edwin Hubble Theory about the Big Bang. Stephen Hawking will called it the "most important discovery of the century if not of all time".
b- The Big Bang: "The consensus of that time was that the universe was static and eternal. It was assumed that our Milky Way Galaxy was the universe, and so the movement of these stars both toward us and away from us was seen as the indiscriminate or swirling movement of the entire universe" (Show me God, by Fred Heeren,1995) But by observing that the galaxies were receding from us at high velocities, with first the American astronomers, Vesto Sliper, than with Edwin Hubble and by measuring that through a prism to separate light into its component colors with a spectroscopes and through this discovering that the world had started with a first seed that exploded - called the Big Bang - into billions of seeds that have the potential to become our actual universe. That first seed with its potential should be created by a Supreme Intelligence, God will say the scientists, the God of the Bible, that has a purpose in creating that seed and then in protecting it to reach the world of man, who will be the master of the world, the image of that Wonderful CREATOR, by his intelligence, will and freedom. That Big Bang happened 15 billion years ago, 10 billion years ago the solar system started to take form, 10 billion years ago the galaxies started to take shape an starts the very first life to bigin, the first intelligent creature started 3 billion years ago. "The Big bang could not have been a random explosion. Rather, all observations point to an incredibly finely-tuned, carefully orchestrated chain of events that could lead to the solar systems necessary for intelligent life" (Show me God, by Fred Heeren, 1995).
4- Science and the Bible
a- Questions need to be answered: In the book of Genesis, Chapter 1:3-5, we read that "God said "let there be light" and there was light. God saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from darkness. God called the light "day" and the darkness he called "night". Thus evening came, and morning followed, the first day. But if we read verses 14-19 we discover that as if God again creates the sun and the moon, verse 16 "God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day (the sun then), and the lesser one to govern the night (the moon); and he made the stars. Verse 17: "God set them in the dome of the sky to shed light upon the earth", verse 18 "to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw how good it was. Verse 19 "Evening came, and morning followed, the fourth day". What does all of thesemean? How did God created the light, as it says on verse 3 and separated it from darkness, and then on verse 16, he creates the sun and the moon? What is the meaning of the word day? It could not mean the day known by us today, the 24 hours, the turning of the earth around itself as the earth was not yet created on the first day, as earth will be created on the third day, see Genesis 1:9-13.
b- Answers: "Pre-modern believers such as Josephus, Philo, Augustine, Ireneus, Origen, Basil, and Thomas Aquinas held that the creation "days" were not necessarily meant to be taken as literal, solar days." (Show me God, Fred Heeren, 1995) On verse 1:3 "Then God said "Let there be light" is regarded today as the Big Bang. This is the first seed that God created and gave her a potential to become one day our wonderful universe. Just like a fetus or a baby who posses the potential to become, one day, that wonderful man or woman, that baby needs to grow up under the protection of his parents.
Verse 1:3 continues "God saw how good the light was". To see is not to look, because God knows what He created. To see is to protect: this is the protection that God gave to the seed to grow, to take shapes, to start a process of evolution, to become this and that star and this and become one day our earth. Note that on every stage of new things or new creations: Material, Plant, animal, man, we read that God was there to see "how good" those things were and be pleased of the evolution of his creatures. That evolution, the science says it took more than 15 billion years.
This the meaning of God's days, first day, second day, third day etc of creation: billion of years, with every day a new stage of creation, under the wonderful eye of God, and his almighty wisdom. The creation will finish with man, the image of God, to whom God will give the world. Verse 26 "God said Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground...".
Could you, please, praise then with me the name of God, His love, His wisdom, his wonderfulness, His eternity and close your eyes with personal prayers.
5- Conclusion Science and faith meet then with the new discoveries: "Truth cannot contradict truth". The wonderful Creator of the world will then start a new era with man, who will sin. He will send his son to redeem man and return him to the first image, the image of his holiness. Man cannot contradict truth. Jesus will tell man that he is the "the way, the truth and the life". If man wants to be happy, his only way is to go to God, He who made him, and with God he will find the source of his existence, joy and happiness - this is what we call heaven - being with God for ever.