Category Archives: Fascinating Facts of Life

God, Science and the Big Bang: An Explosive Debate

Two days ago, a dear sister from Serbia sent me a message asking my thoughts about antimatter. She had dialogued with a man who bombarded her with recent findings that, according to him, proved there was no need for a “divine being” to explain the origin of life, because antimatter can be created in a particle accelerator. It’s one of the newer, more exciting topics in science and the study of physics.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a rather colossal project in every sense, one that pushes the confines of what man thought possible just over a few decades ago. Twenty years in the making, the LHC is now a sprawling construction, a 27km-long circular underground tunnel that straddles the French-Swiss border, near Geneva. And it’s making quite a bang. In fact, that is exactly what it was designed to do, to recreate a mini-Big Bang. (see the above-ground simulated image below)

Inventions like the LHC underscore the brilliance of the human mind, the summit of all terrestrial life forms. Man has been endowed with the ability to observe through the five senses, process information, analyze it, discuss it, debate it, and draw conclusions from it. Especially wonderful is his ability to create! And with the invention of the LHC come new ways to explore old mysteries. It promises what many hope will be years of thrilling, ground-breaking research that will one day explain what really happened “In the beginning.” (See close-up shot of the LHC below)

Hydrogen atoms are fed into the source chamber of the LHC where their electrons are then stripped off, leaving only hydrogen nuclei, protons with a positive charge. They are then accelerated through the tunnel until they reach the speed of light, at which time these proton packets are redirected into a collision course with each other. This is the simulation of the BB’s effects, as they believe it happened.

From this, a team of a thousand-plus scientists from 33 countries hopes to learn more about the nature of our amazing universe, the way it was seconds after its birth at the first BIG BANG, presumed to be 13.7 billion years ago. One specific mystery they want to unveil is where all the antimatter went after the explosion, which left mostly matter, the ‘stuff’ we’re made from.

But from this research, the clearest lesson we have learned so far is the premise on which scientists are approaching the birth of the universe. It was accidental in nature, and God is not a factor in their equation. The common people who are observing from the sidelines have also leapt to conclusions that not only exceed their own understanding, but that violate the principles of the selfsame empirical science supposedly being cited.

The purpose of research is to examine a subject and arrive at a conclusion, in this case, the origin of life. But when we begin research with a premise that excludes certain possible explanations, such as a divine creator, we do nothing other than reveal our philosophical bias. The evidence, if they are fair, may just point to another source, one not so quickly welcomed by materialists. Case in point, the voices being heard in the LHC project speak of the EVOLUTION of the universe. Even though they have yet to determine what happened, they have already decided that it has, and I quote, “evolved.” Does this strike you as science by the book? How has this been concluded when their search is really just beginning? Well, it hasn’t been concluded. It has been assumed, such as other ideas I look forward to covering in future posts at uThinkology. And even once they are able to reproduce the ‘birth’ of the universe with the LHC, the question will still remain, “What caused it?”

In science every effect has a cause. And if protons, or ions, from which matter is comprised, were the first building blocks to matter, where do they come from? They are not eternal, so what got the whole process going? Science can answer many questions, and I applaud the remarkable achievements that have been made by men of great minds. But until biases are put aside we do not have true research taking place. Instead, we have a philosophy that men are promoting, and one that is being accepted because geniuses have said to, while in truth the verdict has not yet been reached.

The questions that most need answering shouldn’t be limited to what happened to antimatter, but also, “Can the origin of the universe be explained without intelligent guidance or design, and does the conclusion of these studies eradicate the God-factor?”  Indeed, researchers are far from finished. What we can conclude so far, is that there is no reason (other than a hatred for the idea of a divine being) to eliminate design and creation as the possible cause for life. And let’s not overlook the fact that:

  1. These scientists are trying hard to “RECREATE” the Big Bang, and I emphasize the word ‘recreate’
  2. They are conducting the experiments with special and precisely created-and-controlled conditions that allow for the manipulation of matter
  3. They are using preexisting matter, which had to come from somewhere, for something cannot come from nothing
  4. They are doing all this under INTELLIGENT guidance, which only shows that such a delicate and fragile operation must be carefully executed by intelligent beings.

The Big Bang doesn’t in the slightest way disprove God. At most, it tells of the nature of the creation of the universe, that it was explosive. It still does not explain why it happened, or what caused the process. And it may just be that God created matter (and antimatter) in this explosive way. The Scriptures do not specify how God created, other than “In the beginning the earth was void and without form.” Some Scriptures even indicate a connection between extreme heat and creation’s end, such as:

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.” (2Pet. 3:10-13 NAS95)

and

“…our God is a consuming fire” (Heb 12:29 NAS95).

I find it rather interesting that in the end, God will destroy space and matter by an explosive fire, such extreme heat that all matter will be consumed. Another Big Bang of the reverse order?

In another post, I’ll talk about “strong force” or “atomic glue” in particle physics. A scientific mystery to which the Bible appears to make reference. Empirical science will agree that every effect has a cause. We Christians maintain that God is the only uncaused cause of all matter. Because the universe is not eternal as all agree there was a beginning, we must ask what started it all? What do uThink?

Creation, Evolution or Both? A Visual Concept Map on the The Origin of Life

Origin of Life

A visual concept map on the three views for the origin of life

Today’s post is a mind-map entitled “Three Views on the Origin of Life.” I created this map to use as a visual guide for myself and for the congregation during Sunday morning’s message. Click on the image to enlarge it.

For the presentation, I broke the map into 15 sections, projected them as slides and walked the congregation through each main point. Visual presentations are proven to aid in learning and memory retention, so lately I’ve really made an effort to utilize them. On this map you will see dotted lines and arrows revealing the relationships and contrasts between the three views. It isn’t intended to be exhaustive, rather a brief overview that points to the soundness of Creationism’s view.

Easier said than done, however, with such massive subjects as creation and evolution. Choosing what to target and then fitting it into a 55 minute message (with translation from Italian into English) was nothing short of a miracle. It was a lot of work, but also a whole lot of fun. I hope you find it useful too.

I like employing mind-maps in my study preparation because they basically are a circular outline that read from the 1:00 o’clock position round clockwise. This provides a complete view of everything you need to cover, all on one page and in context, but (preferably) very succinctly. You get the whole “picture” if you will. It is freeing because one is not forced into a linear approach. I find that I don’t always think linearly, and, in fact, most people don’t.

At first, the apparent “busyness” of the map may seem overwhelming, but in reality it is very simple and logical to follow. Have a look and see if you can get the gist of it. To give credit where credit is due, I used a trial version of “Inspiration 9” by Inspiration Software ©.

 

Just what planet are you from, anyway?

When I was a child, I enjoyed laying down on the grass of our backyard to stare up into the deep blue sky. The smell of earth and the soothing breeze with clouds passing high above reminded me just how puny I was. It also gave me the feeling I was flying. When there were no visible clouds, it seemed like I was falling through a giant tunnel into the bottomless heavens. My imagination painted such a vivid picture that I could actually get the sensation of skydiving upwards. And it scared me.

Now that I’m older, my imagination has only intensified. With each new fascinating fact comes yet another childlike wonder. And with the advent of the internet, I can satisfy my curiosity’s deepest pondering. In fact, I often find myself going online and looking up scientific subjects because I absolutely love to discover how things work in our world and beyond. I did exactly that during a conversation I had with my wife the other day. As often happens with me, abstract subjects come to mind and I end up running with my thoughts as fast as they fire. This time, I blurted out to my wife about my amazement with the earth’s atmosphere, its rotation and its orbit.

It may seem silly that I was awestruck with the obvious and would mention it to her, but the obvious isn’t always as conspicuous as it deserves to be, and we take it for granted. Our planet basically thrives within a bubble (atmosphere) formed by gases that are retained by gravity. During the conversation with my wife I did some research to confirm my statements. She had challenged me, and I am glad she did. It resulted in some corrective discovery that yielded more facts I deemed worthy of posting. So here they are:

Our atmosphere alone performs several functions indispensable to our survival, not the least of which are:

  1. It absorbs and protects us from ultraviolet solar radiation
  2. It warms earth’s surface through heat retention, reducing temperature extremes between day and night
  3. It contains oxygen that we need to breathe
  4. Its mass is about five quintillion (5 × 10 to the 18th power or 5,000,000,000,000,000,000) kg.
  5. Its boundary with outer space, called the Kármán line, is about 100 km, or 62 miles above the earth’s surface

That is rather impressive, but did you know this terrestrial ball is spinning at over 1,000 mph, yet we don’t even notice it? It’s so smooth and silent it is as if the earth were standing still. We can’t see it or perceive it with our senses! Did you also know that…

  1. The earth is 25,000 miles in circumference at the equator
  2. It takes about 24 hours for earth to make a complete rotation at just over 1,000 mph (like a basketball spinning on a finger)
  3. The earth cycles the sun in a perfect circle with little difference between its closest and furthest point of distance to the sun
  4. The earth makes its orbit travelling at a whopping 67,000 miles per hour

These factors are huge, and yet harmonize in such a perfect balance that they furnish and protect life. There is just no chance this all could happen by chance. The only thing perhaps more amazing would be for anyone to remain unmoved by such colossal truths.

To put it in a different perspective, just imagine if gravity suddenly stopped. My childhood fears would come true with everyone and everything falling upwards into the sky.

Or what if the world stopped rotating? I mean, if it came to a screeching halt! Everything and everyone would be thrust upwards into the stratosphere like a cowboy off a mega bucking Bronco.

Or what if the earth, cruising at 67,000 miles per hour, broke off its course of orbit around the sun and just catapulted in a straight line into outer space?

The fact that this all holds together so seamlessly is simply and utterly amazing! How then could we take for granted such phenomena that are fundamental to our survival? Perhaps it is because it all happens so perfectly, so gently and gracefully that it draws no attention to itself. Yet at a closer look, we fall in awful adoration before our creator.

Indeed, the Psalmist says and we concur,

“I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Wonderful are Your works,

And my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:14 NASB)

In future posts we’ll look at some of the fascinating facts about the human body and its anatomy.