If so, when? How would this relate to creation as described in Genesis?
The big bang is one of a number of models cosmologists have for the
history of the universe. It happens to be by far the most widely accepted
model for the simple reason that it agrees so well with the data
scientists have been able to observe.
First, let us describe in fairly simple terms what the big bang
theory/model is. According to the big bang theory, at some time and place
in the distant past (about 12-14 billion years ago), all the matter and
energy in the universe were created suddenly out of nothing. In other
words, the universe itself had a beginning. It was created in a flash of
light at trillions of degrees. Since the initial creation, the “stuff” of
the universe has been expanding and cooling, allowing for galaxies and
stars to form. The rate of expansion and age have allowed the universe to
cool to the point that the background temperature is only about four
degrees Kelvin (-269 degrees centigrade).
There are several facts about the universe which are accurately predicted
using the big bang model. First, and probably most significantly, the big
bang model predicts that the universe should be expanding very rapidly.
The evidence agrees with this prediction. Very distant objects in the sky,
such as other galaxies are indeed moving away from us. This is shown from
what is known as the red shift. The so-called red shift is a change in the
frequency of light reaching the earth due to the motion of distant
objects. This is similar to the sound of a train or race car as it speeds
past. The sound of a rushing train or race car shifts to lower frequency
as it passes. Similarly, the light reaching the earth form distant
galaxies is shifted toward lower frequency. This is known as a red shift
because red light is lower in frequency than blue light. The evidence
shows that the more distant an object in the sky is, the larger the red
shift, implying that they are moving away from us faster. This is exactly
as would be predicted from the big bang theory.
The red shift is not the only correct prediction of the big bang theory.
In addition, the big bang model has been used to predict that
approximately four per cent of the original mass in the universe should be
helium and ninety-six percent should be hydrogen. This is exactly what is
observed. In addition, the big bang model has been able to predict a
background temperature of four degrees Kelvin, which has in fact been
observed in the form of a background microwave radiation which fills the
These are not the only successful predictions of the big bang model, but
they are a sample of why most physicists have accepted the big bang as by
far the most likely explanation of the history of the universe.
This brings one to the next question. Did the big bang happen? The answer
is that it cannot be proven in the absolute sense because obviously one
cannot go back and observe the event. All scientific theories are taken to
be tentative, or the best we have for now. This is especially true with
regard to a theory about the distant past. Nevertheless, one can say that
scientific evidence very strongly supports the big bang model.
Bear in mind that the big bang model describes the universe as having been
created. Before there was nothing, and suddenly the universe came into
being in a flash of light. God said let there be light, and there was….