Inspired by Faith and Science: Religous Science

So, we've look at an example of secular faith. Now let's look at religious science. When I was studying cosmology we were at the tail end of the Big Bang debate, so here's a few specifics so you can see where the science was going:

1. Different materials burn with different colored flames. You can make a sort of barcode with the light from a star, bright lines where gasses emit light, dark ones where light's absorbed, and use it to determine what elements are in the star.
2. Analysing the barcode of the sun works fine, but the barcodes of all the other starts seem to be shifted--all by the same amount--towards the red end of the spectrum. This would happen if the universe was made up of entirely different elements from the ones occurring on earth, with the odd property that every element emits and absorbs light in the same way as its earth counterpart, just a little way further into the red. Or the universe might be expanding and the stars are like currants in a loaf that rising on the shelf, all moving away from each other at the same speed. The second explanation's simpler. Simple explanations, those requiring fewest external assumptions, are always better.
3. If the universe is expanding like a currant loaf, it might once have been very very small. The point where the small universe exploded--i.e. started expanding--would be called the Big Bang.

Of course, the theory's probably moved on a lot since my day--science does that. But the idea then was that the universe began in a huge flash of light. Scientists asked what they could find to prove this today, and looked for light at a particular wavelength, which they found, and for dark matter of a particular density between stars, which they found, and so on.

Meanwhile, there was a small group of scientists who believed "religiously" that a universe with a beginning would have to have a beginner--sort of Big Bang implies God. I don't think they were right, but they thought they were so they came up with ever more complicated explanations for the evidence, and ever more complicated ways to avoid the possibility of a Big Bang.

Eventually one of their leaders became convinced of the Big Bang theory, and hence of God's existence, though as Christians we might not necessarily recognize his beliefs. Perhaps if he'd looked more closely at other sciences too, and compared their ideas with what's written in the Bible, he might have come to some different conclusions. But perhaps he knew, as so many Christians "religiously" claim to know today, that science and the Bible can never agree. Can they?

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