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Is the Big Bang Church Teaching?
Catholic Exchange ^ | May 6, 2013 | MICHAEL BARUZZINI

Posted on 05/06/2013 6:11:01 AM PDT by NYer

The universe is about 13.82 billion years old. Although it is well within the error range of earlier estimates, this new number means that the universe is slightly older than cosmologists previously thought. The new age comes as a result of data just released from the European Space Agency’s Planck space telescope, which for the past 15 months has been taking the most precise images of the oldest light in the universe, the “cosmic microwave background radiation.” This microwave-wavelength light is the remnant of the universe’s earliest days, and is a key piece of evidence for the event we now call the Big Bang.

Fr. Georges Lemaître and Albert Einstein

Fr. Georges Lemaître and Albert Einstein

The basic theory behind the Big Bang (although he didn’t call it that) was first proposed by Fr. Georges Lemaître, a Belgian priest and physicist who combined Einstein’s mathematical description of space and time with astronomer Edwin Hubble’s observations of galaxies, which showed that all of space was expanding. Fr. Lemaître proposed that the entire universe had once in the distant past been in a smaller, unimaginably compact state from which it had energetically expanded in something like an “explosion” of all of space itself. The cosmic microwave background itself, considered the first major empirical evidence for the theory, was first detected (inadvertently) in 1965.

The early universe was an energetic place—too energetic for normal matter to form into the relatively low-energy states we find it today. It was thus a bright and hot place, completely suffused with photons, the basic constituents of light, along with protons, and electrons. When the universe had finally expanded and settled down enough, at about 378,000 years of age, the protons and electrons were able to combine into the first atoms. This freed up the light, the photons, to race through space, filling the young universe with a general electromagnetic glow. As the universe continued to expand to the present day, this “first light” has been stretched out, so that it now appears in the microwave range of the electromagnetic spectrum—hence the name, the “cosmic microwave background.”

The microwave background itself is relatively uniform. It is only with the most advanced of instruments that tiny variations in the temperature of this microwave background radiation can be detected. The importance of the recent Planck mission is that it maps these subtle variations in the greatest detail ever yet obtained. From this data, a number of clues about the nature of the early—and by extension, the modern—universe can be uncovered.

creation 2For instance, the data has given us the new age for the universe. The number was previously reported as 13.7 billion years, give or take about 120 million years. The new number, 13.82 billion years, falls at the older end of that range. A second interesting bit that has emerged from the Planck data is that the cosmic microwave background is slightly asymmetric. The universe, it turns out, is slightly cooler on one side. Theory predicts that the background should be homogeneous. The reason it is just slightly skewed is unknown. One tentative and controversial proposal is that this asymmetry might be evidence of factors affecting the moment of the Big Bang—from the outside. In other words, it could be a sign that, as some proposals suggest, the Big Bang event might have occurred with a larger-scale universal framework of many inflating regions like our own.

Would such an idea threaten the Church’s belief in Creation? Interestingly, it was Fr. Lemaître himself who cautioned the Pope against too simply identifying the Big Bang, as a scientific theory, with the moment of creation ex nihilo. The cosmic microwave background represents the farthest back we can see scientifically. All of the evidence supports the story of the universe we know emerging from a point some 13.8 billion years ago. We can’t, however, see past that—at least yet. It may be that studies like the new data from Planck show that there is good reason to believe that the Big Bang was preceded by an even more ancient universal history; alternatively, the evidence may continue to support the idea that nothing beyond the Big Bang is detectible. Was the Big Bang really the Beginning? It certainly looks like it, but you never know what science might uncover in the future. But the doctrine of Creation is a theological doctrine, not a scientific one. It is a reality presupposed by the practice of science, not a conclusion reached within it. The Church is content to teach that the universe did have a beginning, and was created by God from nothing. The details are left to science.


TOPICS: Catholic; Religion & Science; Theology
KEYWORDS: einstein; hubble; universe

1 posted on 05/06/2013 6:11:01 AM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Need more coffee to process this, ping!


2 posted on 05/06/2013 6:11:31 AM PDT by NYer (Beware the man of a single book - St. Thomas Aquinas)
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To: NYer

Big bang comes at the end. Not at the beginning.


3 posted on 05/06/2013 6:11:38 AM PDT by Westbrook (Children do not divide your love, they multiply it.)
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To: NYer

“Let there be Light”


4 posted on 05/06/2013 6:17:17 AM PDT by AU72
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To: NYer; wideawake; KC_Lion

So, is how the “virgin birth” was accomplished also left to science? Or would the church tell science to keep its bazoo out of it?


5 posted on 05/06/2013 6:17:30 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Ki-hagoy vehamamlakhah 'asher lo'-ya`avdukh yove'du; vehagoyim charov yecheravu!)
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To: Westbrook

“...This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.” - TS Eliot


6 posted on 05/06/2013 6:21:59 AM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: NYer

In the beginning, God created.....nuff said.


7 posted on 05/06/2013 6:32:22 AM PDT by ealgeone (obama, border)
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To: NYer
Well nobody is going to accuse the leadership of this country of repeating their Galileo mistake. I keep reading that TOE is acceptable, when the whole of Scripture plainly and clearly states otherwise. I have yet to read the TOErs claim the soul/spirit intellect evolves. After all the claim is it cannot be tested let alone replicated. These do admit they have a missing link.

I have no clue IF there was a ‘big bang’ when God spoke and nothing became His creation. I do long for the time when all these God did not do it crowd gets their own personal face to face with Him.

8 posted on 05/06/2013 6:39:06 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: NYer

Makes me laugh all the hand wringing over having to explain every little detail....all I need to know:

New International Version (©2011)
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

We’ll get the whole story later! :)


9 posted on 05/06/2013 6:40:41 AM PDT by my small voice (A biased media and an uneducated populace is the biggest threat to our nation.)
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To: NYer
The universe is about 13.82 billion years old. Although it is well within the error range of earlier estimates, this new number means that the universe is slightly older than cosmologists previously thought.

Well, from our local perspective in spacetime, 13.82 billion, sure. But we also know time is relative, so this number is not absolutely true across the whole universe.

10 posted on 05/06/2013 6:41:17 AM PDT by Claud
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To: NYer
IIRC, the Pope said at the time that it [primeval atom/BBT] was not at odds with Church doctrine.

While it's true that the residual radiation was found by accident [by Bell Labs aka "the phone company", doing satcom research], a group from nearby Princeton was actually trying to find it.

11 posted on 05/06/2013 6:42:20 AM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: Zionist Conspirator

Or what about the burning bush, or manna from heaven, or water from a rock?


12 posted on 05/06/2013 6:52:39 AM PDT by rwa265
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To: my small voice

Exactly. We are not as wise/smart as God and if he wanted us to know all the details He knows he would tell us. 13 billion years is but a blink of an eye to Him.

I will find out the answer someday.


13 posted on 05/06/2013 6:55:25 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: NYer

I’d like to know from the Big-Bangers:

Where did the matter that ‘exploded’ into our universe come from in the first place?

Where did the ‘energy’ come from in the first place?

Where is the scientific evidence for that?


14 posted on 05/06/2013 6:56:28 AM PDT by joethedrummer
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To: joethedrummer
Where did the matter that ‘exploded’ into our universe come from in the first place?

Nowhere ...

Where did the ‘energy’ come from in the first place?

From nothing ...

Where is the scientific evidence for that?

"We don't need no stinking ..." ... evidence.

15 posted on 05/06/2013 7:16:47 AM PDT by dartuser
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To: NYer

The “big bang” is not a sufficient explanation for the origin of the universe.


16 posted on 05/06/2013 7:33:50 AM PDT by I want the USA back (Pi$$ed off yet?)
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To: NYer
There is another scientific theory of creation that does not have a Big Bang and has dimensions specifically identified to hold God's plan. The best paper I have found to date is Heim's Theory of Elementary Particle Structures

"Cosmology In Burkhard Heim's theory both the metronic size z and the largest diameter D depend on the age of the universe. The dependence is such that D is expanding and z is contracting, so that D was smaller in the past and z was larger. It stands to reason that at one time in the distant past the surface area of a sphere of diameter D in our 3-dimensional world was equal to the size of z.

This instant marks the origin of the universe and of time. The mathematical relation between D and z is not simple, so that 3 different values of D are found to satisfy the criterion that the area of a sphere of diameter D be equal to z at the beginning of time. Evidently, the universe started as a trinity of spheres, whose diameters turn out to be(in meters):
D1 = 0.90992 m, D2 = 1.06426 m, D3 = 3.70121 m.

This trinity of spheres has important bearings on the structure of elementary particles.

From the first moment on the univese begun to expand, though at a slower rate than is presently predicted on the basis of the red shift of distant galaxis (see the Appendix). Heim’s theory results in a present age of the universe approximately equal to 5.45 x 10^107 years, and a diameter D of about 6.37 x 10^109 light years. During most of its existence the universe consisted of an empty metronic lattice, whose metrons kept getting smaller as the universe grew larger. Eventually, metrons became small enough for matter to come into existence. This may have occurred some 15-40 billion (10^9) years ago, at which time matter was created throughout the volume of the universe. Hence, according to heim matter did not originate very soon after a “big bang” explosion but more uniformly in scattered “fire-cracker” like bursts, perhaps of galactic proportions. Spontaneous uniform creation of matter, coupled with the partly attractive and partly repulsive force of gravity mentioned in Section 3 resulted in the observed large-scale galactic structure of the universe. Creation of matter continues to this day, though on a very much reduced scale."

Note that Heim's theory is based on the calculus of finite differences. There are no infinities or singularities. Things get small and large, but everything is still countable.

17 posted on 05/06/2013 7:33:56 AM PDT by SubMareener (Save us from Quarterly Freepathons! Become a MONTHLY DONOR!)
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To: NYer

The Church teaches that God created the heavens and the earth. The Church does not propose a technical explanation of “ how” this happened... just that it did and that God was the prime mover.


18 posted on 05/06/2013 8:05:53 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: ealgeone

Though discerning by electric rather than candle light of how He did it means that we have studied and understand at least some of His mechanisms quite well.


19 posted on 05/06/2013 8:12:57 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: markomalley
"The Church does not propose a technical explanation of “ how” this happened"

It doesn't need to.... "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11)...That same word that went into Lazurus' tomb and brought him forth did also... "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth....For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast"(Psalm 33:6,9)

God spake, and it was done; God commanded, and it stood fast.

20 posted on 05/06/2013 8:20:00 AM PDT by mitch5501 ("make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fall")
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To: joethedrummer

Who says that there wasn’t something there before the big bang. As far as I know the idea that the universe sprang into existence from nothing is only found in the bible. The big bang theory just says that at one time all the matter and energy were compacted into a very small package or a singularity. There is no evidence that I am aware of that there was nothing there before. This premise of the universe coming from nothing is just assumed by most people but it is possible that the universe is eternal. It has existed forever and will exist forever. The law of conservation of energy would seem to support that idea.


21 posted on 05/06/2013 8:28:38 AM PDT by albionin
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To: NYer

I view the creation story as God’s way of explaining a complicated process to a primitive man.


22 posted on 05/06/2013 8:32:06 AM PDT by BubbaBasher ("Liberty will not long survive the total extinction of morals" - Sam Adams)
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To: BubbaBasher

Or it was just primitive man’s way of explaining what he could observe of the universe.


23 posted on 05/06/2013 8:56:27 AM PDT by albionin
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To: NYer

Most Christians, including even creationists like William Jennings Bryan and (apparently now) Pat Robertson, had absolutely no objection interpreting the 6 days of creation figuratively rather than literally. With this figurative reading, you would expect religious people to embrace the Big Bang, because its alternative is a universe with no beginning and no end.


24 posted on 05/06/2013 9:16:13 AM PDT by ek_hornbeck
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To: BubbaBasher
I view the creation story as God’s way of explaining a complicated process to a primitive man

Unfortunately, there are plenty of literalists who insist on maintaining primitive man's mindset at all costs.

25 posted on 05/06/2013 9:18:57 AM PDT by ek_hornbeck
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To: narses; neverdem; SunkenCiv; MHGinTN; albionin
Or it was just primitive man’s way of explaining what he could observe of the universe.

Reverse that; The Story of Creation lists every item of today's Big Bang theory, nuclear theory of the elements, our planet and its solar creation, the tectonic movement of the continents, growth of the plants, clearing of the air after development of the plants, growth of the fish, then dinosaurs (birds!), then animals and domesticated animals, then Man in exactly the right sequence - despite what they could “see” with their own eyes. (Even snakes, very late in evolutionary sequence, were properly put last in the Story.)

For example, the Story tells of forming one sea and one land, when everybody in the area knew there were multiple seas surrounding multiple land area in just their own small part of the world!

The Catholic tradition of the Bible being a record for the people of moral, spiritual, historical, inspirational songs, poems, stories, and parables - but not every story or parable being the literal Truth, not every story being religious or spiritually bound - is faithful to the Story of Creation being both completely and exactly True, but not literally precise.

26 posted on 05/06/2013 9:31:32 AM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE
If one starts with the premise that God gave us the Bible through his chosen means, then we may assume it has no lies on the main issues, because we may assume since God is not a liar and is omnipotent, He is more than able to keep the facts straight to what He intends.

I often point to John chapter fourteen and the Physics lesson Jesus gave to Philip, to illustrate how God will give use explanation within our understanding base, without overloading our capacities. Jesus was giving Philip a wonderful lesson on multi-dimensional Physics, but within Philip's knowledge level.

27 posted on 05/06/2013 9:42:54 AM PDT by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: NYer
Was the Big Bang really the Beginning? It certainly looks like it, but you never know what science might uncover in the future. But the doctrine of Creation is a theological doctrine, not a scientific one.

Of course it is scientific...If God said it, it's a fact...Maybe someday (but not likely) science will catch up to God...

28 posted on 05/06/2013 11:00:18 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: Iscool; NYer
http://www.geraldschroeder.com/AgeUniverse.aspx
29 posted on 05/06/2013 12:21:57 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: NYer

It’s certainly not bible teaching.


30 posted on 05/06/2013 12:24:41 PM PDT by DungeonMaster ( 1Cor 7:21Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it;)
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To: Calvin Locke

TS Eliot was a poet, not a prophet.

In 2nd Peter 3:10, the Bible says, “..the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat..”

See, “great noise” = “big bang”, and it comes at the end.
:)


31 posted on 05/06/2013 4:24:04 PM PDT by Westbrook (Children do not divide your love, they multiply it.)
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To: NYer
Well, "Louie Giglio" is not a Catholic, and I know that many people are not big fans of him, but I think he does have an interesting (and humorous) talk on "God" and the universe, where he talks briefly about the "Big Bang".

About the Big Bang, he basically says that he doesn't know if that represents an accurate understanding of that great mystery of the creation of the universe, but he does believe that it must have been a fairly large bang when God created the universe no matter how God did it.

(See clip of that part of his talk here, and try not to smile.)

   Indescribable by Louie Giglio - Part 1 of 5      

32 posted on 05/06/2013 6:43:20 PM PDT by Heart-Rest (Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Gal 6:7)
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To: Resolute Conservative

I really think we are possibly already under God’s judgement. Has he already given us over to ourselves and our evil desires? I cannot think of any other reason so many people are so blind to what’s going on. It’s as if hearts have been “hardened”.

So many examples of exactly this in the Bible.


33 posted on 05/06/2013 9:25:22 PM PDT by my small voice (A biased media and an uneducated populace is the biggest threat to our nation.)
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