Science and Cosmology
So far, we've learned some philosophical ideas about God. We'll now look at science to see if it supports what we've determined through reason. The branch of science that investigates the origin, development, and structure of the universe is called cosmology. Cosmology gives important clues to our search.
Let’s start with the Universe. According to cosmology, the Universe originated with the “Big Bang” about 14 billion years ago. At its origin, the Universe was inconceivably small. It was also unimaginably hot and dense. In less than a billionth of a second after its origin, the Universe was much smaller than an electron. It's inconceivable that something as vast as our solar system or galaxy could ever be that small. Yet, according to cosmology, everything in this massive universe once came from a point that was much smaller than an atom.
Within this infinitesimally small bubble, there wasn't any discernible matter as we know it, and the four known forces of nature didn’t exist on their own. Instead, they existed as a single force. As the universe continued to cool within its first second of existence, this single force decayed into the four known forces of the Universe: gravity, electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force, and the weak nuclear force.
After three minutes, the Universe had cooled to about one billion degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, atomic nuclei and, subsequently, hydrogen atoms were able to form. It took another billion years before the first stars were formed from the elements of hydrogen and helium.
Science discovered something else in 1998. The expansion of the Universe was found to be accelerating: not decelerating. This means that the expansion of the Universe is not likely to slow through gravity, then implode, and subsequently re-bang. Rather, the Big Bang was a singular event. This means that the Universe had its birth at the Big Bang.
So where did the Universe come from? Do you see the fingerprints of God in the Universe at its conception?
1. Information is from "The Universe" Season One, "Beyond the Big Bang," by the History Channel/A&E Network, 2007.
Banner photo is of the Andromeda galaxy from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Inset photo by Jaredd Craig from Unsplash.com (modified from original).