". . .the word of God is not bound." II Tim. 2:9b

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Universe From Nothing

One of the stickiest conversations you can ever get into centers on the origins of the universe. Among scientists there is no consensus. Among biblical literalists there is hardly agreement. Read an online article about the topic from any viewpoint and. . .well, be prepared to skip the comments posted at the end.

As a Christian who is curious and (on a good day) analytical, I enjoy reading about theories of how the universe began. Some cosmological theory jibes with what I believe God has recorded in the Bible for our hungry minds. Some does not. Many of the terms are puzzling and the ideas baffling. But I like to think about them. I'll listen.

Recently, my school librarian was culling old back issues of magazines from the shelves. I grabbed all the Discover and Smithsonian I could find (leaving Teen Vogue for another day). Over the last few weeks, I've used pictures and stories from the magazines to inspire classroom writing. Then one day I found an article that startled me.

"Starting Point" by Steve Nadis (Discover Sept. 2013) describes cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin's theory of a universe created from nothing. The idea reminded me immediately of the Latin phrase ex nihilo, or "from nothing." It's the wording used by Creationists to describe the way God spoke the world into existence when nothing as yet existed.

Most startling, though was the statement that "something [was] in place beforehand--namely the laws of physics." That reminded me of John 1,
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."

I know nothing of Vilenkin's religious views, if any, but I wondered how he is getting away with saying the universe was created from nothing. To many scientists, that's heresy. (I like this kind of heretic).

I'll be following Vilenkin and his journey to understand our cosmos. If you concur, check out this short video, "A Universe From Nothing."

You can read the Discover article online here.

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