Big Bang? It’s kosher
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The scientific effort that led to the recent discovery of strong evidence for the Big Bang theory was miraculous in itself. A team from the Harvard-Smithsonian University Centre for Astrophysics, based at the South Pole, spotted “primordial gravitational waves”, long held to be an echo of the moment the universe exploded into being but never previously seen.
But this landmark discovery has further remarkable ramifications.
Where did the universe come from? An answer is given in the first verse of the Torah. “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” This Torah statement was long considered a scientific impossibility, because science states that something cannot come out of nothing. The South Pole discovery, which reinforces the Big Bang theory, indicates otherwise.
The most surprising assertion of the Big Bang theory is that the universe was literally created. This was reflected in the reaction to the discovery by some of the world’s leading authorities on particle physics.
Professor Paul Dirac, a Nobel laureate at the University of Cambridge, commented: “It seems certain that there was a definite time of creation”. And according to Professor Alan Guth, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the discovery left the “instant of creation … unexplained”.
When cosmologists use the term “creation”, to what are they referring? Scientists have discovered that the universe began with the sudden appearance of an enormous ball of light, which has the popular name of the Big Bang. Hence the name of the theory.
The discovery of the initial ball of light answers another puzzle. Genesis (1:3) states, “And there was light” on the first day of creation. But at that time, there existed neither stars, nor sun, nor moon, nor people, nor any other known source of light. Now scientists have discovered that there was light at the very beginning of time, exactly as is written in the Torah.
Thanks to discoveries such as these, the person of faith is not forced to choose between accepting the latest scientific discoveries or accepting the Genesis account of creation. Indeed, science has become an important tool in the strengthening of our ancient faith.
Nathan Aviezer is a Professor of Physics at Bar Ilan University