Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Cosmological Argument and the Big Bang Theory

Vatican City, Feb 4, 2012 / 06:09 pm (CNA).- The director of the Vatican Observatory said that the Church is open to the scientific theory that the world began from a cosmic explosion billions of years ago.

The Big Bang is not in contradiction with the faith,” Father Jose Gabriel Funes said during a Feb. 2 announcement of a Vatican exhibit that will feature photos, research tools and minerals from the Moon and Mars.[1]

Proof of God’s Existence:
The Cosmological Argument and the Big Bang Theory
By c.pio

Saint Tomas Aquinas
Seeking the First Causes/Mover
The Philosophical Argument

A Catholic theologian and Saint named Thomas Aquinas (1225-74 CE) proposed several most influential versions of the cosmological arguments to prove the existence of God. In his Five Ways I will quote only two: First the argument from first causes He argued that every event has a cause; whatever exists is here, because something else has caused it to be here (for example, children are here because of their parents). Things cannot cause themselves to exist (for example, children cannot give birth to themselves). There cannot be a never-ending (infinite) chain of causes and that this leads us to seek the first cause of everything. [2]

In another version he argued that things only move because they are moved by something else, which leads us to seek the first mover of everything. The argument from motion: Things move (or become something else), because something moves them to do so. It is impossible for motion in the universe to have always been happening, so it must have begun somewhere (and somehow). There cannot be a never-ending (infinite) chain of events.[3]

His cosmological arguments were basically intended to show the existence of a being that started everything. Someone that was itself uncaused or unmoved.

Fr. George Lemaitre & Albert Einstein
These philosophical arguments have received remarkable confirmation from discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics during this century.  
The Big Bang Theory: The universe had a start

Father Georges-Henri Lemaitre – a Catholic priest in 1927 explained that at the very beginning of our universe, prior to that moment there was nothing but during and after that moment there was something. This is what we called today as The Big Bang Theory.

This is the dominant and highly supported theory of the origin of the universe. In essence, this theory states that the universe began from an initial point or singularity which has expanded over billions of years to form the universe as we now know it.[4]

(a) Evidence for the Theory

Edwin Hubble - Hubble Telescope was named after him
In 1929 Edwin Hubble discovered that the galaxies are moving away from us at speeds proportional to their distance – this phenomenon known as ‘Hubble’s Law’ (which is named after him). This observation supports the expansion of the universe and suggests that the universe was once compacted. [5]

This theory also suggests that the universe was initially EXTREMELY hot, thus we should be able to find some remnant of this heat. In 1965, Radio-astronomers Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discovered a 2.725 degree Kelvin (-454.765 degree Fahrenheit, -270.425 degree Celsius) Cosmic Microwave Background radiation (CMB) which pervades the observable universe. This is thought to be the remnant which scientists were looking for. Penzias and Wilson shared in the 1978 Nobel Prize for Physics for their discovery. [6]

Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson
(behind them: CMB Detector)
Finally, the abundance of the "light elements" Hydrogen and Helium found in the observable universe are thought to support the Big Bang model of origins. [7]

Scientists are convinced that our universe began with one enormous explosion of energy and light. This was the singular start to everything that exists: the beginning of the universe, the start of space, and even the initial start of time itself.

“All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.” Cosmologist   Alexander Vilenkin, Tufts University, Boston (USA), January 2012

“several different models of the universe that dodge the need for a beginning while still requiring a big bang. But recent research has shot them full of holes (see page 6). It now seems certain that the universe did have a beginning.” Editorial: In the beginning , New Scientist 213(2847):3, 14 January 2012

**(see page 6) referred to Lisa Grossman: “Death of the eternal cosmos—From the cosmic egg to the infinite multiverse, every model of the universe has a beginning.”  Grossman, L., Death of the eternal cosmos, New Scientist 213(2847):6–7, 14 January 2012.

It does so based on the fact that the universe had a beginning. There must, the first cause argument says, be something that caused that beginning, a first cause of the universe.

The universe consists of a series of events stretched across time in a long causal chain. Each one of these events is the cause of the event that comes after it, and the effect of the event that comes before it. The world as it is came from the world as it was, which came from the world as it was before.

If we trace this series of events back in time, then what do we find?  Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow, a self-described agnostic, stated that:

"The seed of everything that has happened in the Universe was planted in that first instant; every star, every planet and every living creature in the Universe came into being as a result of events that were set in motion in the moment of the cosmic explosion...The Universe flashed into being, and we cannot find out what caused that to happen."[8]

What existed before the Big Bang? What caused the Big Bang? Why there is something rather than nothing? Scientists have no explanation for the sudden explosion of light and matter.

This tells us that the ultimate cause of the universe must never have come into existence; the ultimate Creator must be a being that exists outside of time, an eternal being with neither beginning nor end - God is the first cause of everything, the first mover of everything: the Uncaused-cause, the Unmoved-mover.


  1. There are several problems with this argument. First of all, it can be summarised as "We don't know what caused the Big Bang therefore God Did It!". Second, it rests on several big assumptions, such as the assumption that the universe must have had a beginning. Actually the big bang is the start of the current process of expansion but not necessarily the beginning of everything - though that is the view held by some physicists. At this stage, the only truly correct answer is "we don't know", and it's a risky business to use God to fill every hole in our knowledge - a "God of the Gaps" - because gaps tend to get filled in. Many people used to believe that God uses lightning to punish people from behind the clouds. Then we learned to fly, and reached those clouds and found out what causes lightning, and the idea that God was their cause was abandoned. We're now beginning to look past the clouds of the big bang. Thus far, there have been no signs of any deities anywhere.

    1. from:

      Question 1: But why should we call this cause "God"? Maybe there is something unknown that grounds the universe of change we live in.

      Reply: True. And this "unknown" is God. What we humans know directly is this sensible changing world. We also know that there must exist whatever it takes for something to exist. Therefore, we know that neither this changing universe as a whole nor any part of it can be itself what it takes for the universe to exist. But we have now such direct knowledge of the cause of changing things. We know that there must exist a cause; we know that this cause cannot be finite or material—that it must transcend such limitations. But what this ultimate cause is in itself remains, so far, a mystery.

      There is more to be said by reason; and there is very much more God has made known about himself through revelation. But the proofs have given us some real knowledge as well: knowledge that the universe is created; knowledge that right now it is kept in being by a cause unbounded by any material limit, that transcends the kind of being we humans directly know. And that is surely knowledge worth having. We might figure out that someone's death was murder and no accident, without figuring out exactly who did it and why, and this might leave us frustrated and unsatisfied. But at least we would know what path of questioning to pursue; at least we would know that someone did it.

      So it is with the proofs. They let us know that at every moment the being of the universe is the creative act of a Giver—A Giver transcending all material and spiritual limitations. Beyond that, they do not tell us much about what or who this Giver is—but they point in a very definite direction. We know that this Ultimate Reality—the Giver of being—cannot be material. And we know the gift which is given includes personal being: intelligence, will and spirit. The infinite transcendent cause of these things cannot be less than they are, but must be infinitely more. How and in what way we do not know. To some extent this Giver must always remain unknown to human reason. We should never expect otherwise. But reason can at least let us know that "someone did it." And that is of great value.

    2. I agree. Very well spoken! If we used god to fill in the gaps of all we don't currently know, then we would have never discovered the uses of electricity, or thermal energy, nor modern medicine. It seems the farther science goes, the farther religion has to reach. Of course it would be against science to say that an entity such as god is impossible. The theory of creationism is always a possibility, and as our knowledge of the universe grows so will our questions. Weather we believe in creationism or science is a perceptive issue.

  2. Our prelates are more concerned to be up to date with science. However, science fails to be up to date with its theories. No one in the scientific world is in agreements with the current theories about Black Holes, String theory, big bang theory; red shift (to measure stellar distances) it is so simple to explain the cosmos as to get the book called bible, and read the Creation Account written by Moses: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…our prelates shall put more attention to the Genesis account than science. In addition, since I am not a relativistic, I will not write “this is my opinion,” is the opinion of 90% of the Fathers of the Church. God bless

  3. well basically no one really knows, they are all theories with bad explanations.... eh lol :)

    1. nope. there's only one explanation - a rational explanation, all things that begin to exist needs a preceding cause.... because from nothing, nothing comes.... we're here, obviously not from 'nothing' ^_^

    2. Then where did god come from? Were is your rationality in your theory?

    3. don't misalign the argument. it is clear, "anything that BEGIN to exist needs a preceding cause" is God has a beginning for you to demand the preceding cause? Gee... You're looking for infinite regress, an untenable unreasonble logic


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