Recently on twitter I replied to someone who posted an article regarding a theory involving an early rapid expansion of the universe after the ignition of the Big Bang.[1] The article, though toward the end it posits that all forms of theistic thought are absurd, fails to mention why or to give a valid argument concerning the invalidity of theistic thought. I asked the question simply, “does the inflation model actually prove a Biblical creation account to be false? And how?”

After posing this question, I received a slew of notifications from two people I assume are interested in having a deeper conversation on the subject. Here are some of the comments:

@dawkinsassange  Mar 30

@_andrewpaul Depends on how far that you believe that inflation theory encompasses. Certainly renders a creator unnecessary.”

 

@dawkinsassange  Mar 30

@_andrewpaul Science has failed to find a firmament, how Earth got heavier elements before stars, plants growing without photosynthesis…”

 

@AshleyMilligan2  Mar 30

@_andrewpaul @dawkinsassange There is no Biblical creation model. No supporting data. No model.”

 

@dawkinsassange  Mar 30

@AshleyMilligan2 Agreed. “God did it” lacks credibility. Hebrews did have a model of the universe… @_andrewpaul pic.twitter.com/xjDlysXhOy

 

AshleyMilligan2  Mar 30

@dawkinsassange @_andrewpaul I’ve never seen that before. That’s gold. That’s better than there being no model. Gold. Gold. Gold.”

 

@AshleyMilligan2  Mar 30

@dawkinsassange @_andrewpaul of course, back then it was reasonable. But to defend it today? Gold.”

 

@dawkinsassange  Mar 30

@AshleyMilligan2 I’m a big fan of the model. ‘So God made Earth, then the Sun, Moon, and (almost forgot) GAZILLIONS OF STARS’”

 

 

My concern

I list these comments not to in any way try to ridicule the atheistic perspective. I am under the impression that there is not a person on Earth who thinks or believes the way that they do without reason. Because of this, I will not be malicious toward any particular view of the world. I do, though, wish to enter into an actual rational conversation about those thoughts and beliefs that concern the world around us. Needless to say, this will take more than 140 characters.

While the first few comments seem to yield genuine concerns regarding belief in a Biblical God, I am concerned somewhat with the last four, which seem to first posit a Biblical model of the universe and then to ridicule that model with no inquiry as to whether or not it is actually a model of the universe supported in scripture. Perhaps these two parties have done their research and have actually found this actual model of the universe in scripture and, if so, I hope they will share their findings. This being said, I am not interested in the slightest in a conversation of witty and sarcastic exchanges, but instead in a rational conversation that will actually benefit all parties who are involved.

 

Answering some questions

As far as the thought that an inflation model of universal expansion rendering a creator unnecessary, I am just not sure this is the case. A material universe has emerged from what may not have been distinguishable as material. Both time and space came into existence and theories concerning the origination of such a universe concern themselves mostly with events and not mechanisms. Any good scientist will admit that the mechanisms behind those events, and even the mechanisms created by those events, are largely a mystery to us. There is much we do not know about the universe, let alone the mechanisms that enabled for the existence of such a universe. It seems foolish to think that an event that was enabled by some mechanism renders the existence of a creator unnecessary. Instead, what the inflation model seems to indicate is that there must have been some force at work that was able to cause expansion at speeds faster than light itself.

The creation accounts given to us in scripture do seem to present some challenges for modern thinkers and discoverers. The “firmament” or “expanse” in Genesis 1 was understood to ancient people (the same people who wrote scripture down for us) to be a dome like structure covering the earth. There is also evidence that those people believed the sun, moon and stars to be different forms of light within that dome. While I want to be very careful here, I do believe scripture to be infallible and inherent and to be God’s very own word. I also believe that it was written from the perspective of mankind (who had been separated from God according to the story within scripture). Even today, the sky looks as though it is covered by a dome surrounding the sun, moon and stars. If our eyes were the only instruments available to us for the viewing of the universe, perhaps we would still describe it the same way, but we have greater tools. It seems as though the Biblical writers were describing what they saw, and attributing its creation to the God of Abraham, who they believed to be the only God. There seems to be no rational argument suggesting that these ancient writers were lying about what they perceived or that this description is anything more than a portrayal of what ancient authors perceived. Perhaps we also perceive wrongly, and yet we do not discredit our own worldviews. Instead we look to learn and discover and discern and reason.

Furthermore, with the initial response to the question I posed, a thought was given directly concerning the existence of a creator, and only then perceived problems with an account of creation. We may, here, have an issue more common than the way a story is told. The problem may be the question of whether or not there is a creator, so perhaps we should discuss this more fundamental question before discussing the accounts of creation.

 

My question to the commenters

My question to @dawkinsassange and @AshleyMilligan2 then is this: What are the actual problems you have concerning the existence of a creator. This question regards a creator in general and does not lend itself to any account of creation. We will get there if you would like, but we must first establish a foundation for the rest of our conversation. Thus, I hope to begin with the existence of a creator. My hope is that you prove to be more rational and reasonable than most atheists I have a chance to talk with. I look forward to hearing from both of you.

For others who are reading along

          I encourage you to follow @dawkinsassange and @AshleyMilligan2 on twitter, but do not be malicious towards them or reply to them regarding this conversation unless they make a public invitation for you to do so in their replies. I do invite you to interact with me on some of the ideas and hope to hear from you.

 

[1] To read the article, click the following link: rosarubicondior.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/big-bang-bother-for-bible-bashers.html?m=1 …

 

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