I have a question about the Big Bang. Does the Big Bang state the the universe came from nothing? If so, would it support the idea of the genesis account? The reason I ask this is that I came across this on the internet and I wanted to get your thoughts on it:
"Considering that the universe is an incredibly large place with over a hundred billion galaxies each with their own hundreds of billions of stars that each could have a solar system like our own… Thus the odds are that there are many places in the universe that can support life that eventually evolves into intelligent beings. Wouldn’t you be surprised if they showed up here one day preaching their own version of a god, and that the universe was created specifically for them?"
Is the above thing scientifically accurate, and if so, how should I make of it?
The Big Bang model does predict that the universe came into existence literally from nothing. In other words, this cosmological model predicts that the universe was created in a "singularity"–a sudden creation out of nothing of a massive amount of energy. If the big bang model is correct, then space, time and all the matter and energy were created out of nothing. Yes, this is fantastic support for the biblical view of cosmology. Hebrews 11:3 says that, by faith we know that what is seen was created from what is unseen. Genesis 1:1 describes the begininning of the universe as God creating light where there was nothing. This is a wonderful description of what we believe to be true, as described by the big bang model.
As to your second question, of course the person you are quoting is correct that there are hundreds of billions of stars in the average galaxy and there are hundreds of billions of galaxies in the visible universe. Then he/she goes on to make the point that this almost certainly means that there is life elsewhere in the universe and that there is most likely other intelligent life in the universe. He then somewhat sarcastically takes a dig at Christianity by implying believers in Jesus are arrogant to think the universe was created for us.
Three points about this:
1. It is impossible to calculate the probability of life being created by random chemical events. I believe a nearly overwhelming case can be created, using known laws of nature, that life CANNOT be created by random forces–that life must be a supernatural creation of an intelligent designer. I have a lot to say about this in my book "Is There a God?" (www.ipibooks.com). No believable model has yet been created by scientists to predict how life might come about by random forces. People who confidently claim life exists in other galaxies are not basing this on any scientific model. This is an assumption. It may be correct, but for many it is based on the assumption that life on the earth began by a random chemical accident as well. This cannot be proved. Personally, I believe that life was created, both as a scientist and as a Christian.
2. Let us, for a moment, grant that the conditions exist elsewhere in the universe, not only to support life (quite believable, actually), but for life to be spontaneously created (quite unbelievable). Even if we grant this, is it reasonable to assume that life will spontaneously evolve by a natural process to the point that such life becomes self-conscious. On what basis is this person calculating that there is a good probability that self-conscious intelligence can "evolve" through random natural processes? I believe the only reason he assumes that this has happened elsewhere is that intelligent life which is self-conscious exists on the earth. I believe that self-aware intelligent life exists on the earth because God caused it to do so. If I am right, then this person’s assumption is just that, an unfounded assumption.
3. The Bible does imply that the universe was created for us. More specifically, it implies that the earth was created so that we could "walk" with God. The physical universe exists as a place for us to live and to experience a relationship with God, according to the Christian scripture. In that sense, I suppose your friend has a point. We, as Christians, do believe the universe was created for us. This does not preclude the possibility that God created life elsewhere–even intelligent life elsewhere. We simply cannot answer that question, either from science or from the Bible. Who knows? Perhaps there are other worlds somewhere in the galaxy with souls with whom God wants a relationship as well. If these people felt the universe was created for them, I suppose they would be right. What does this person prove by his sarcastic criticism of Christianity? Our belief that God loves us is not based on wishful thinking or on some sort of need to believe we are important. Our belief that God loves us is based on the evidence of Jesus Christ–his death and his resurrection.