By Steve Rowe

In the beginning God created the universe, or did he? That is a question that scientists and religious dispute. In what follows, I will try to show that science and religion go hand in hand. there is still room for God in the light of our increasing knowledge of science. I believe God created the universe then ALLOWED IT TO EVOLVE to its present state. In the beginning there was space. There were no stars, no planets, just empty space. God then created matter/energy (matter is a form of energy) which was so dense and so unstable that it exploded into tiny fragments. These we now call protons and electrons and other elementary particles. The charges of these protons and electrons caused them to come together and form the first element hydrogen. This hydrogen was not evenly distributed, but somewhere larger amounts of gas collected. The gravity of these clumps then caused more and more gas to collect around them, forming larger clumps which increased their gravitational attraction, causing more collection, but also contraction of the individual clumps which in turn caused them to spin faster under the laws of physics (set up by God in the beginning), throwing off smaller clumps of spinning matter, which in turn followed the same procedure. This led to galaxies being formed. The core temperature in each in each of these clumps of gas eventually reached a level where nuclear reactions could take place. Thus the first stars were formed. At high temperatures atoms of hydrogen gradually joined together to form helium. This went on for about ten million years, hydrogen gradually changing into helium. When all the hydrogen was used up, helium was then converted to carbon in the same way. Eventually the stars stopped conversion and then became unstable, either by throwing off small amounts of matter into space or, depending on the mass of the star, exploded in what is known as a supernova, in each case spreading matter back into space, which then formed new stars. A major difference with these stars was the heavier elements. Not only was there hydrogen, now, but helium, carbon, and several other light elements. As this was going on, smaller clumps, too small for nuclear reactions to take place, also came into being. These we now call planets, those formed from the later stars, being composed of heavier elements. Having no heat of their own, the planets would soon cool to a temperature depending on the distance from the parent star. Those elements with high freezing points would form the solid core of the planet, those of intermediate, would liquefy and form seas and the rest would form the atmosphere. Those seas which contained suitable molecules, such as carbon dioxide, water, methane and ammonia would then foster chemical reactions with the aid of sunlight to form simple organic molecules. Further reactions would produce more complex ones eventually forming nucleic acids and hydrocarbons, the building blocks of life. Collection of these building blocks would form coacervate drops, which have the property of breaking up when they reach a certain size, the composition of which would be similar to the parent molecule. Thus primitive replication would have evolved, which would become more complex, until eventually they would form the first living creatures. From these unicellular creatures developed multicellular creatures, by cell division, and then by the process of evolution life as we see it today came into being. This account raises several questions the first of which is why the need for God to create the original matter? There are three possible ways matter could have originated, it could have always been there, it could have just appeared of its own accord, or it could have been made by someone. None of these possibilities is easy to believe, one of them is true. Science now thinks that the universe was created in either of two ways, big bang where a clump of matter exploded or steady state, where the universe has always existed much as it is today, with only individual stars dying and new ones being born out of the old matter. There is no way a clump of matter could have existed forever and then exploded of its own accord, because no matter how far back in time the forces started to build up, then there was an infinitely longer time when it was stable. Therefore matter being created at one point in time suggests the big bang and matter existing forever suggests the steady-state. "Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only changed from one form to another", a statement you will find in any elementary physics book. Matter can be created from energy, but does not appear from nowhere. Therefore we still need to explain what caused the energy to appear. The only explanation as far as I can see is that it was created by a supernatural being, who we call God. So we are left with two possibilities a God made the matter/energy which then exploded - Big bang b The universe has always existed - Steady state At present it is a matter of personal choice which possibility you believe. I have chosen (a) because belief in God helps explain the Bible and other accounts of miracles. This to me sounds more likely than explaining them as a set of coincidences. If you believe in God capable of creating the universe, it would be easy for him to bring someone back to life. Imagine a man who lived his whole life in the same room, having never left it. Out of the window he could see the street. Like any other street it had litter scattered about. From this position the man is unable to feel the wind outside, therefore having no way to detect it, he never considered there is any wind. One day he notices pieces of litter move along the ground and rise up to several feet. This set him thinking, trying to find a reason for it. He could assume the paper had some power of its own , in which case why didn't the paper in his own room do the same, or, more likely, there was a force causing it. Some force that was outside and not inside. We all know what the reason is, but the man has no way to prove it, all he can do is believe the most likely explanation. Similarly the fact that no-one can detect Heaven does not mead it does not exist. As I have said before believing in God does explain facts that would otherwise be difficult to explain. There is one way we can prove that God exists, although it is unlikely to be achieved in the lifetime of any one living at present. Despite the fact that it is possible , in fact highly likely, that there are many planets suitable for life as we know it to exist, it is extremely improbable that the building block of life will come together purely by chance. The possibility has been likened to the chance of dropping some bricks out of an aeroplane and expecting them to fall into the shape of a house! It is extremely unlikely to happen at all, but it certainly cannot happen more than once in the lifetime of the universe. so if there life is plentiful in the universe, there must be something to start it off, this we call God. So if life is found elsewhere there is very little doubt that God exists, if no life is found it does not prove anything. it just leaves the situation as it is at the moment.
I have previously mentioned the Bible and other miracles, I would now like to enlarge on this. The Bible contains thirty-seven performed by Christ and mentions many others e.g. Mk 7:56. It is very difficult to believe that these are all pure coincidence. It is possible, though unlikely, that in the case of the daughter of Jairus (MK 5, 36-43) to say that she is in a coma and as soon as Jesus says "Little Girl, get up",she immediately comes out of the coma. It is possible to explain the numerous accounts of driving out evil sprits (e.g. MK 1, 23-27), as there being no such thing as an evil sprit , just a state of mind, but a remarkable man is needed to change a state of mind simply by saying "Be quiet and come out of the Man!". Although, without believing in God, these miracles are difficult to explain, except as a remarkable set of coincidences, it is impossible to explain some other miracles such as the feeding of the five thousand ( LK 9, 13-17) or the curing of the ten lepers (LK 18,12-14) For reasons already stated it is easier to explain these miracles if you believe in God. It can be seen that on a purely scientific basis the existence is fifty-fifty, but from a broader viewpoint, it is slightly more possible that God exists. Although the evidence is tenuous it is the best that can be found and although I am biased in that I believe in God, I have tried to see all the evidence. If anyone has any evidence against God (I have been unable to find any), I would be pleased to hear it, so it could be added to the above account.

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