An article on Yahoo news claims that a contemporary cosmologist’s theory “shuts” the book of Genesis, and I wanted to write my response to this.
No, not really.
The article, at http://news.yahoo.com/science-someday-rule-possibility-god-115945479.html is misleading, because it operates on an erroneous understanding of Genesis and Christian theology. In the process, it is also unclear whether it is the reporter or theoretical cosmologist Sean Carroll or both whom contribute to that.
The article claims that if the origin of the universe can be described as a continual expansion with no linear beginning such as the Big Bang, and that, if there are multiple universes, then the Book of Genesis can be eliminated to nil.
Except that Genesis never makes such claims.
The misunderstanding might be centered around the phrase in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning.” But the verse refers to the beginning of the world as we know it; and science does hold that the Earth had a beginning. It should be pointed out that Genesis is not meant to be a commentary on the universe. Furthermore, C.S. Lewis, a leading Christian thinker, has written that God operates and sees outside of linear time. Orthodox Christian theology also holds that God Himself has always existed. If God has always existed, it is possible that He might have used up some of that time orchestrating and dancing around in multiple universes before creating our little planet.
Even if this theory or any other would “shut” a couple of chapters in the Bible, this could never be proof that the Bible is in error. The New Testament further teaches that God created everything out of nothing, that “All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created” (John 1:3). If there are multiple universes, the Christian would hold that they were all created by God.
The article and Steve Carroll seem to miss the point that Christians believe that God is a Spirit who acts with spiritual force when it comes to creating. Biology has told us exactly what happens in mitosis and how a single life is formed. Even doctors can “create” test tube babies now in a lab. But this doesn’t stop the Christian from affirming that the test tube baby has a soul, is in the image of God and that God is the spiritual force behind this life. And that spiritual component awards Him the title of being the creator of that life. At what point and how a soul enters is not known and is an act of faith for the Christian.
So if the origin of this universe or any other becomes apparent, it will not eliminate for the Christian the spiritual force of a Creator Spirit-God behind it.
The idea of science as a continual trial of expanding discovery is something that I as a Christian welcome and support. But the ideas (where science discovers everything to the extent that “shuts” any further inquiry or thought) seem to run counter to what science should be all about. Such an aim sounds much more parallel to the aim of the cult leader—to have the ideas of one human be the only correct, unquestioned thought in the universe.