The BBC are currently broadcasting Stargazing Live, their annual look at the night sky, and this year Professor Brian Cox and Dara O’Briain were surprisingly good at admitting the amout of guesswork involved in astronomy.
During the course of tonight’s show, Dara asked the very sensible question: “You’re dealing with such huge numbers, how do you know whether anything is right?” The word ‘billion’ certainly featured heavily. Many of the questions posed to them by viewers had no answer, such as “what is the universe expanding into?”, and of course there were plenty of references to the Big Bang.
Brian Cox said at one point, “scientists don’t guess”, and yet this is exactly what they do whenever they talk about theories which cannot be proven or observed – of which the Big Bang is a good example.
The Bible says that God created the universe, in Genesis chapter 1. It also contains many references to the night sky, especially in Job (“He alone stretched out the heavens… and made the Bear and Orion”, 9v9) and the Psalms. These do not conflict with what we observe in science around us. Even scientists marvel at the order and structure of the universe and ask, as Professor Ed Copeland from Nottingham University did on the programme, “How did the universe get into this ordered state at the start?”
He had no answer, but the Bible tells us that the stars themselves proclaim that they must have been created: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalm 19v1). Is that not the simplest way of explaining some of Cox and Copeland’s conundrums? Some of the biggest gaps in astronomers’ understanding could be filled by the concept of a Creator.
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