Why I Don't Believe in a 6-Day Creation

February 27, 2024 00:53:44
Why I Don't Believe in a 6-Day Creation
Crisis Point
Why I Don't Believe in a 6-Day Creation

Feb 27 2024 | 00:53:44

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Hosted By

Eric Sammons

Show Notes

A small but growing number of Catholics are embracing "young earth creationism," which believes that the earth is only thousands of years old and was created in six 24-hour days. Why do I not join them?
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Episode Transcript

[00:00:18] A small but growing number of Catholics are embracing young earth creationism, which believes that the earth is only thousands of years old, was created in 624 hours days. [00:00:28] Why do I not join them? That's what we're going to talk about today on crisis Point. Hello, I'm Eric. Sam is your host and the editor chief of Crisis magazine. Before we get started, you know the drill. You know it, right? Smash that like button. Subscribe to the channel I assume you've already subscribed to the channel, but if you haven't, go ahead and subscribe to the channel. Also, you can follow Crisis magazine at Crisis Mag on all the various social media channels. Subscribe to our email newsletter. Get our article sent right to your inbox. You just go to crisismagazine.com, fill in your email address and that will happen. Also, before I really get going on today's podcast, last week I was in Detroit. I spoke at three different parishes on the topic of outside the church, there is no salvation. And the importance of that church dogma, it was great. I was so happy to meet so many people who follow crisis who were very interested in the subject. [00:01:22] The priests who hosted me were awesome. All three of them were just great. It just really was great to see. I admit I work from home. I'm online a lot for my work. You can get a little bit of a tunnel vision of the state of things when that happens. That's why I like to get out sometimes because I think that's dangerous. And sure enough, it was great to be in Detroit to speak to some great people. Also, when I was there, I got to go to the offices of the St. Paul street evangelization apostolate, which is just doing wonderful work. Big supporter of St. Paul street evangelization. So I want to encourage you to support them as well. Okay, so let's actually get started. I think this is going to be a long podcast, I suspect try to cover a lot, but we'll see what happens. So this topic of the creation of the world is the earth 6000 years old? Was it created in 624 hours days? Or is it billions of years old? And the universe is even 13 or more billion years old, which is the common consensus among scientists? What is it and what should Catholics believe? That's a topic that comes up a lot, and I'll be honest that for the longest time I didn't take that much interest in it. To go too deep into it. I kind of vaguely supported the science, so to speak. I kind of vaguely said, yeah, I think it's probably 13 billion years old. The universe earth is four and a half billion years old, whatever, without really looking into it very much, just kind of that's the way it was. Now, when I was young and a Protestant, there were definitely people who were young earth creationists. In fact, I just assumed it was a protestant thing for a long time, that was only Protestants who really were young earth creationists. Still, that, of course, is not true, I found. So anyway, it's just kind of vaguely, I had that podcast last week, of course, about evolution and universe, things like that. And I always get responses when I do this. So I wanted to kind of lay out my own views now because like I said for a long time, had this kind of vague, not really looking too deep into it. In fact, I often would joke my own views would be whatever I read last. And that shows somebody who hasn't really looked into something very carefully, hasn't researched it, they can be swayed by the latest argument that they hear. And that's basically what I was. And a year ago I hosted a debate here at crisis point between somebody who was a theistic evolutionist and somebody who was a young earth creationist, a representative of the Colby center, which is a catholic apostolate that supports young earth creationism. [00:04:04] After that podcast, there's a debate. I admit I felt like I need to look into this more. I need to study this more. I can't just keep on saying, whoever talks last. That's who I agree with. I can't just kind of wave it off. I wanted to look into it more. And so I decided to do basically a deep dive to look into this topic from all the different perspectives. One of the things you have to recognize in this discussion, in this debate is there are many different views. The media would make it out like all we have is a young earth creationist, biblical fundamentalist, something like that on one end and on the other, the enlightened atheist evolutionist. And those are the only two options. But there's a lot of different options, actually. There's the theistic evolutionist, there's the proponent of intelligent design, there's the old earth creationist, and the young earth creationist. Lots of different views to really look into. So I basically decided to read as much as I could on this. Started this about a year ago. So just to give you a sense, I tried to read everything. So I grabbed a few of the books on my shelf. Now some of these I own. I got a lot from the library. A lot of my research was going online, and reading articles or watching videos and things of that nature. So, like, for example, a brief history of time, Stephen Hawking, kind of the most popular view of how the universe came to be. Stephen Hawking, of course, famous, passed away a few years ago, I think. Now, okay, this next book, I will admit, I actually didn't read. I started to, I was like, this is just junk. And that's Richard Dawkins, the blind watchmaker. I got it. I mean, I got used for, I think, a couple bucks and that guy's a joke. Okay. [00:05:50] A scientist presents evidence for belief. The language of God by Francis Collins. He's kind of well known in the intelligent design. No. Theistic evolution committee community. Francis Collins, he's pretty well known. [00:06:03] The privileged planet. [00:06:06] Jay Richards, who's been on this podcast a few times, helped write this, how our place in the cosmos is designed for discovery, really. A intelligent design book, God's grandeur. I had a podcast where I interviewed about this. So God's grandeur, the catholic case for intelligent design. Okay. Theistic evolution, the talhardian heresy by Wolfgang Smith, basically saying how theistic evolution is wrong. Let me just go through a few of these other ones. The theory of evolution judged by reason of faith by Cardinal Raffini. The metaphysics of evolution by Father Rippinger. Refuting evolution by Jonathan Sarfati. I can't pronounce people's names, but I can read their know. Then also just recently, Hugh Owen, who is the director of the Kobe center, which, like I said, is a proponent of young earth creationism, a catholic proponent. He graciously sent me this book, the Doctrines of Genesis one through eleven, a compendium in defense of traditional catholic theology and origins by Father Victor Warkowitz. And I've gone through this book. I just got this a couple of weeks ago. He sent it to know. So I went through that one already in the beginning by Gerard Verashurin, who of course, that's what I talked about in the podcast last week. [00:07:33] Oh, this is my favorite, is modern physics and ancient faith by Stephen Barr. Modern physics and ancient faith by Stephen Barr. And also, of course, because I'm catholic, I read the, I have, you know, behind me, the compendium of church Fathers quotes. This is the one on Genesis. And I went through that as well, reading what the church fathers had to say about this. Now, why am I going through this? Not exactly exciting for a podcast to go through these books you've read. But it's for a reason. I'm not claiming to be the expert on this. I am not the expert on this, but I have read into it because what happens is whenever I mention anything about the age of the universe, evolution, anything like that, I always get, usually traditional Catholics come at me and say, oh, you just need to read this and then you will change your mind. I've done that. They say you just need to watch this video and then you're changing my mind. I've done that. I've read it, I've looked into it, I really have. Now I might come to a different conclusion, but ultimately I've read it and I haven't found it convincing. The young earth discussion, and that's what I'm going to talk about today. [00:08:37] But I will say that a lot of traditional Catholics are young earth creationists. And somebody who identifies as a traditional Catholic hangs out with a lot of traditional Catholics. My good friends are traditional Catholics, a lot of them are, and they would disagree with me on this. Why is it I don't go along with that? I mean, one of the things you'll often hear arguments on both sides is like, oh, you just want to go along with the crowd. I mean, that's what young earth creationists say about evolutionists, that you're going along with the crowd. And actually evolutionists will often say that about young earth creationists in their community. You're just going along with your fundamentalist or your traditional catholic crowd. [00:09:16] I'm not going along with my own kind of tribe on this one, I admit. I mean, I think it's a little more broad than people think. Like for example, there's a fraternity of St. Peter traditional priest. His name is blanking on me. I just was listening to a debate of his yesterday and this morning who is a proponent of big bang and old earth and things like that. So it's not like it's every single traditional Catholic is also a young earth creationist, although sometimes some young earth creationists try and make it like that's the case. Now in this podcast I want to go through a number of points and I just want to make clear, I don't think I'm going to change a young earth creationist's mind. I'm actually not trying to prove them wrong. I'm just saying where I think they go astray and why I don't subscribe to it. To be honest, in my own dealings with young earth creationists, I find them to be very intelligent. [00:10:12] They really do believe what they believe. They've looked into it, they're not ignorant. But I also find that they often conflate what they think is church teaching, or the only way you can interpret scripture with their way. And they want to make it like, if you're a traditional Catholic, if you're really catholic, you have to accept this interpretation of the Bible, this particular interpretation of the Bible, this particular way of looking at the universe. And that's simply not true. The Catholic Church does not declare that, and so therefore, we don't have to be like that. And I'm saying that's even true from before Vatican, too. And so, like I said, I just want to lay out my reasons why I'm not embracing young earth creationism after a lot of research. I mean, like I said in the past, I usually go through every last person I heard, which also include young earth creationism. I'm not doing that anymore. [00:11:04] Before I get into it, I just want to recommend people watch my podcast from a few weeks ago on science. Should Catholics follow the science? Because I think that's an important point, that there's a lot of reasons for people to reject what scientists today say they have not proven in the public square to be trustworthy about things like the COVID virus and things of that nature, transgenderism, whatever the case may be. So I know that. And so I lay out in that podcast where I think the important distinctions should be made for Catholics when they're looking at scientific claims. We don't just reject them out of hand. In fact, there wouldn't be science, the discipline of science, if it wasn't for Catholicism, because Catholicism teaches very clearly that God made an orderly universe that can be understood. And so therefore, science obviously is the discipline, the practice of trying to understand that orderly universe. And so I want to lay that out there, watch that podcast for kind of my views, and what I think are the catholic views of a proper understanding of science, that we don't reject it wholeheartedly, but we also don't just go along with whatever somebody in a white lab coat says we should believe. I think that's wrong as well. [00:12:28] So I want to cover two major points here. One is principles of scriptural biblical interpretation, and the other is specifically the big Bang theory, because that looks at from the perspective of faith and also then from the perspective of science. And so, again, I'm not a Scientist. I don't claim to be one. [00:12:49] I don't claim to be a theologian, even though I have a lot more training in theology than I do in science. [00:12:56] I think those are the two major points. [00:12:59] We have the principles of scriptural interpretation, and we also have the big Bang theory, which is the standard cosmological argument for model for how the universe began and got to where we are today. So first, the principles of scriptural interpretation. I will make it clear I have a very conservative way of interpretation. I think if you put me on a scale of all biblical interpreters today, I would be far on. I guess you'd call it the right far on the side of more conservative. I believe very strongly that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, meaning it is without error. [00:13:38] I fully support the church's teaching on this, that the Bible does not contain any errors when it's properly understood and properly interpreted. [00:13:48] I also think that the primary author of the Pentateuch was Moses. I don't go in for the JeDP hypothesis, the idea that there's the Yahwist and the priestly and all the other authors that were kind of combined later, much later than Moses. I actually think Moses was the primary compiler and writer of the Pentateuch. Now, obviously, there's many sections of the Pentateuch that he was not involved in. So obviously there were other people involved. Maybe he took traditions from people, whatever the case may be. And of course, he didn't record his own death. But the point is that Moses is the primary author of Genesis as well as of the Pentateuch. So you can see here that I'm not a modernist interpreter. I'm not a liberal or anything like that. I take a very kind of hardline conservative approach to interpretation, traditional approach to tradition, to the interpretation of the Bible. [00:14:49] Okay, so the first principle, I think, of biblical interpretation is that we have to understand, assume a passage should be accepted in its plain sense. [00:15:01] That should be assumed in every case. Start with that. But there's two things that that plain sense cannot contradict, because if they do, then we are not understanding it properly. The first one is, it can contradict church teaching. So if you're reading a passage from the Bible and you think the plain sense says that Mary, for example, sinned, I think everybody knows a verse I'm talking about where it says, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, many Protestants say, well, the plain sense of that says Mary is part of all, and so she sinned. Well, we know from church teaching that's not the case. So we can put that aside, that plain sense, and say, okay, what does Paul really mean? What is he talking about? And there's lots of passages like this where the plain sense might appear to contradict church teaching, but actually it doesn't. I mean also another passage is when Matthew says that Mary did not know Joseph until after the birth of Jesus. Well, until could be interpreted in the plain sense as, oh, then she did know him. But that's not the actual meaning. And we know that from church teaching, backing up the proper interpretation. So that's the first thing, it cannot contradict church teaching. The second thing, that our interpretation, our meaning of the Bible, it can't contradict our scientific knowledge, proven knowledge about things. [00:16:33] And so we can't have it contradict that because all truth is God's truth. So, for example, if somehow we read a passage that made us think that two plus two equals five, we can reject that out of hand because there's truth in mathematics. God is the author, so to speak, of mathematics. It cannot lie. If it says something about the way the earth moves or the sun moves or the structure of the universe that we know is not true, then we know our understanding of it, just like we know when Paul says all have sinned, it doesn't include Mary. We can know other passages based upon these scientific truths. Now, I admit that one's a little bit more sketchy, a little bit more wobbly. Know scientific truth sometimes isn't true. Things have been proven false that have been believed by scientists in the past. But I think in general, though, we do have to have a general sense that our reading of it can't contradict what we know to be true about the world around us. [00:17:39] Another kind of general principle of biblical interpretation is we don't want to stuff our modern debates into the biblical passage, into the biblical text. This is big in this issue and a lot of issues. [00:17:55] This is one of the big problems you have with, like, for example, Martin Luther. He tried to take his modern contemporary debates of the 16th century about faith and works and about justification, all that. And he tried to stuff it into St. Paul's writings. [00:18:11] So he tried to do, he tried to make it where St. Paul is supporting his views by basically making the Pharisees the law, represent the Catholic Church, and he is represented by St. Paul and the gospel and freedom. Well, that's terrible biblical interpretation, because you're trying to take the debates of Paul's day, which are very different than the debates of Luther's day, and trying to insert them into Luther's time. That's what Luther did. And I would argue that the same thing is happening here in the evolution creation age of the earth debate is we're inserting our debates based upon the findings of Charles Darwin, based upon the findings of various scientists in the 20th century, we're trying to now insert it into the biblical record, things that Moses had no conception of. Moses did not know of our findings or the big bang or the size of the universe or anything like that. And so we can't do that. [00:19:10] So if we find, though, based upon these principles, if we find that the evidence shows that the sense that we understand something in isn't accurate, then we have to look to other interpretations. And this could be something that a lot of Catholics have believed for a long time about a passage does not make it a church dogma. One thing to remember is the church has actually not declared, like, an official interpretation of almost any passage in the Bible. She has for a few, but not for most of them. She allows a variety, a spectrum of interpretations within these boundaries. I already said can't be against church teaching things like that. And so what that means is we have to accept the fact that our understanding of something might change over time. [00:20:05] We might have an interpretation that was too bound to our beliefs about the times we live in. And later, we find that we were inserting our beliefs into the biblical authors. [00:20:17] I mean, this happens. This is not some modernist idea. [00:20:21] In the great debates with Galileo, which, of course, tie into what we're talking about here, is that St. Robert Bellarman, he was a like. Like most Catholics at the time, and he battled against Galileo, in a sense, like he challenged him, because Galileo was making claims beyond what he could prove. And so Bellarmin, being a good scientist, actually, I mean, Bellarman wasn't a scientist per se, but he was actually applying science in the right way. He was like, okay, let's wait a second. But at the same time, he made it clear that if it is shown through scientific method, through really discovering something, that our interpretation, even when we've held for a long time, isn't accurate, then we do need to reinterpret the scriptures accordingly. Because, remember, the purpose of the Bible is our salvation. The purpose of the Bible is not to give the perfect history lesson, the perfect science manual or something like that. I'm not saying it's wrong in those areas. I'm just saying, though, that's not the purpose. And so if our interpretation latches on something human, like a scientific belief or a historical belief latches on to the text, something, and we find later that what we latched on is incorrect, then we have to give up that man made addition to the text. That's the key here. [00:21:47] And so what we need to do is we need to understand this as our biblical principles. Now, another point I want to make when it comes to biblical interpretation is the role of the church fathers. The Church fathers are immensely important for understanding all of church doctrine. I mean, they're kind of the foundation. I mean, scripture obviously is the foundation. The church herself, the magisterium, these are foundations. Tradition especially, is found in the church fathers is very important. [00:22:14] But we have to understand their limitations as well. [00:22:18] Even if many of the church fathers state something about something outside of the faith, that's not a dogma. And the church does not say, okay, that's the official belief we have to have. We do not have to go along with it. Here's an example. In reading the Church fathers, what I found was that most of them subscribe, maybe all of them, I don't know. I didn't read every single one subscribed to the idea of the scientific idea of the times, which was that the universe was made of four elements. You had earth and air and water and fire. Those are the four elements that made up everything. And sometimes they have a fifth element, ether. But the point is they have the four elements, and they talk about, for example, the comparing the four elements to the four gospels and things like that. [00:23:03] We don't have to accept the four elements as scientific truth because it's not. It's wrong. But that's not like a knock on the church fathers. They're just accepting the world as they know it and interpreting the scriptures for the people of that time. So people all kind of believed that there was four elements, so they would use that belief to explain the gospel more deeply. The same is true of this idea of the earth being created in six literal days and the earth only being a few thousand years old. That was generally accepted by many people, not. Maybe not the six days, because pagans and whatnot, but by the time everybody was christian, it was. And so the idea is they use this to make spiritual points about it. But the underlying scientific point isn't their point, for lack of a better way of putting it. Their point is our salvation and understanding our role in the world, in the universe, and our relationship to God. [00:24:06] So let's apply this now, this scriptural interpretation, to the book of Genesis, to Genesis one, to the creation account. What basically we have is there are ways to interpret Genesis one that are completely in keeping with catholic teaching, completely in keeping with catholic dogma, catholic doctrine, completely and completely in keeping with scientific truths. Now, the important thing to note is I am not saying that this interpretation I'm going to give of Genesis one is the scientific interpretation of it. In fact, that's one of my whole points, is that Genesis one does not give a scientific account of how the universe was created. [00:24:57] And so therefore, I'm not trying to stuff it into the big bang. I don't want to do that either. You don't want to stuff the big Bang into Genesis one. You don't want to stuff Genesis one into the big bang. And so what I would say is, I would argue that, and I take a lot of this from the various people, but there's a book by Scott Hahn, from one of his first books he ever wrote, I think, called a father who keeps his promises. And it's got a whole thing about salvation history. People who follow Scott Hahn know that he's very much into talking about salvation history. He talks about Genesis one, and he talks about this idea of not trying to put our debates into the biblical text. We shouldn't try to put our views on evolution or whatever and put it in the biblical author mind when they didn't even know things like that. So essentially what we see is at the beginning of Genesis, we see in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. [00:25:49] This one line is a radical departure from the ancient ideas of creation. And I don't think we realize how radical it is because we're so familiar with it. It's basically saying that God created everything out of nothing. This is contrary to every pagan religion, because in pagan religions you have multiple gods. So first of all, that's a problem. More than one God. But you have them creating matter. I'm sorry. Creating the world out of existing matter. They're forming it kind of out of. Maybe sometimes it might be battles between gods that end up. The earth comes out of it. The result, sometimes it's like the birth of a goddess will give birth to the earth, something like that. But it's always this preexisting matter that the gods eventually form into the earth. And that's what it is. Genesis one says very differently because remember, that's who Moses is writing to is the ancient world. He's saying, no, God created everything out of nothing. Nothing exists without God. So not only did God create everything out of nothing, but also we would all be nothing if God didn't keep us in existence. So that's just the first verse, but then it says the earth was without form and void. And this. Now we have a problem. We have, first we have that God created the heavens, the earth, great, but the earth is without form and void. So we have a problem here we have a world that does not have form and is void. [00:27:18] And then the rest of the day, the six days of creation, basically, they solve the problem that's introduced in verse two. It's without form and void. It solves the problem. It's called the framework hypothesis. And basically I put up here on the screen. And what it shows is that God is creating a household. He's like building a somebody. Moses is using kind of the analogy of house building, or more appropriately, temple building. And you see, you have. The formlessness is solved in the first three days. You have day and night. So we have time being created. You have sea and sky, you have space being created. And then finally you have land and vegetation. On day three, you have life being created. So the formlessness now has formed. We have time, we have the space, and we also have the life. Sorry, my thing cut out there on the screen. Okay. Having technical problems here. And then the problem of it being void, empty. The next three days solve this. And they correspond to the first three days. Day four, day and night. Now we have sun, moon and stars. Day five, the sea and the sky. Remember, on day two, now we have birds and fish to fill it out. Day six, which corresponds to day three, which was life, land and vegetation. Now we have man and animals to fill it out. So we have basically the rulers of those different the time, the space and the life. And then on day seven, God caps it all off with the Sabbath. And so what we see here, though, is we have a biblical interpretation that makes sense, that is completely in keeping with what the catholic teaching. And it's consistent with what Moses would have thought and what his readers would have. And in fact, if you see, it's a very. A beautiful passage because basically what it is, God is creating a cosmic temple. [00:29:18] Genesis one isn't describing the how of creation. It's describing the what and the why. What is created? Everything. God creates everything. [00:29:29] Why is it created? To worship him. [00:29:32] God created this cosmic temple. And in fact, that's not just something kind of made up. It corresponds to Moses creation making the tabernacle on Sinai in Exodus. I think it's 39 and 40. Did I write that down? I'm not sure if I wrote down the passages. But really what you see is there's a lot of parallels between those two. The construction of the universe, the world, and the construction of the tabernacle in Sinai. Why? Because God is creating this holy place to worship him. That's what the creation narrative is telling us. That's what Genesis one is. Telling us God creating this cosmic temple, it's not saying, okay, we have these specific days. It took 24 hours, days or anything like that. No, it makes much more sense to see it as God creating this cosmic temple. I think it's very much in keeping with what the scriptures are saying. The context, proper biblical interpretation and catholic teaching. It does not do violence to the text. In fact, I would argue it's actually a better interpretation than the modern, literal, 24 hours day creation. The universe is orderly. That's what we find out in Genesis one, and God wants us to understand it. Now, again, I want to be clear about something. Genesis one is not a description of the big Bang. I'm not claiming that. [00:30:48] What I am saying is that it is a description of the universe itself in theological terms, that the universe is orderly, that the universe is structured toward the worship of God. That's what it's saying. Now, how that comes about, how that universe comes about how we get to where we are today with an earth and with a sky and a sun and us and man and animals, all that stuff, that's not Moses'concern, that's not what Moses is talking about. That's for us to discover if we want to, because God did make it orderly. It's not like how things happen one day, will happen completely different the next day. Things act in an orderly fashion. And so that's what we see in this. Now, I'm not claiming this is a long, dissertation level interpretation of Genesis one, but it gives you a sense of a proper way to interpret Genesis one that does not make one accept things that are contrary to many scientific findings, but instead is consistent with catholic theology, catholic teaching, and consistent with the biblical text, with the literal. Remember, this is the literal interpretation, the literal meaning. We sometimes think of literal as literalistic. Like it has to mean exactly what it says in the most plain reading. That's not what the literal meaning means. This is not an allegorical interpretation of Genesis one either. It's saying, this is what Moses intended to be saying. That's the literal meaning. What the author intends to say is the literal meaning. You can make allegorical points with Genesis one as well. But more importantly, what we're saying is, what did Moses intend when he wrote Genesis one? And this is what I would claim he's intending is God created everything out of nothing, and he created an orally universe in which to worship him, which mirrors, which, I should say, the temple in the tabernacle in Sinai, and of course, Solomon's Temple, later mirror that cosmic temple, that God created first. [00:32:47] Okay, so now let me move on to the Big Bang theory. Like I said, I'm going to go long because I want to cover all this a little more in depth than I normally would. [00:32:56] So today, the modern consensus among scientists, going back about not even 100 years, maybe 60 years or more, is that the universe started with a big bang. You can look up online what the Big Bang is, and you'll find it everywhere. [00:33:13] But let me give a very brief sense. It is the idea that the universe started with this primeval atom. Like everything atom, everything was in this tiny, little infinite, tiny, little small, but head infinite. Everything inside of it, almost like a singularity. It's impossible to describe in human language. And then at one moment, it explodes. Big Bang. And all the mass, all the energy, everything in the universe, all the matter in the universe comes out of that basically instantaneously. And that is the idea of the Big Bang. And here's the key point. The Big Bang, all of space and all of time begins with the Big Bang. This is a radical conception, if you think about it. All of space and all of time. So there is no such thing as before the Big Bang. Something St. Augustine addressed back a long time ago is like when the pagans would laugh at him because he thought the universe had a beginning. They say, well, what was God doing before the universe started? Was created? He's like, well, there is no time you can't speak of before the universe was created. And that's what the Big Bang is saying, too. It's like, there is no way you can't speak about what happened before the Big Bang. There is no before time began with the Big Bang. Now, this is important because this was a huge deal in the scientific community, because the common consensus among scientists in the 19th century was that the universe was eternal and it was at a steady state. It basically just kind of was a steady state, and it was eternal. It always was and always would be. And, in fact, scientists used that to disprove the existence of God. [00:34:59] They were like, we don't need a God to create the universe because the universe has always been. This was the common belief among atheists, atheistic scientists in the 19th, early 20th century. In fact, when the big Bang was proposed by a catholic priest, by the way, Father George Lamatre, by the way. Okay, just an aside, real quick. I wanted to make sure I pronounced Father George Lamatre's last name correctly because I mispronounced everybody's name. I didn't want to get this one wrong. [00:35:27] I looked it up. I went to various places for people saying it out loud. I went to five different places, videos, heard five different ways to pronounce his last name. So I'm going to claim that my way is the perfect way, because obviously, people don't know how to pronounce it. So Lamatre, he was a catholic priest, belgian, and he's the one who came up first with this idea of the big bang, this idea that, okay, everything began in, he called a primeval atom that then exploded into. [00:36:03] So basically, the way he did this. I won't get into the scientific details of how he came up with this, but essentially, a number of different discoveries had come up before Lamatre's thesis on the big bang that showed that the universe was expanding. And so what he did, he made kind of a logical conclusion, like, well, if it's expanding, that means if you go back in time, it's shrinking, right? [00:36:26] If space is bigger today than it was yesterday, that means yesterday it was smaller than it was today. So he's like, okay, let's go back. It gets smaller and smaller and smaller until finally it ends up in this primeval atom, as he calls it. It shrinks into almost nothing, into this tiny little. Not even space is not the right word. That's why it's hard to describe. [00:36:48] And so he went backwards, and that's how he came with it. Well, here's the thing. Most scientists at the time rejected this idea. They rejected it wholeheartedly. Albert Einstein said something to Lamatri of like, your math is impeccable, but your Physics is abominable. Because he didn't want to accept the idea of a beginning. [00:37:10] Most scientists did not want to accept idea of beginning because they knew if there's a beginning, then there's a beginner, there's one who begins it. [00:37:18] And that, of course, is God. But they didn't want to accept this. So I've seen, for example, young earth creationists argue that the Big Bang was basically created in order to explain evolution, to explain a universe. Without God, you don't need God. The opposite is actually true. The Big Bang was not created. It was not thought up to prove God. Father Lamatre made that very clear. But the fact is that scientists, many scientists who were opposed to the Big Bang, it's exactly what they thought he was doing. And they thought anybody who accepted the big Bang, they were doing it for theistic reasons, to prove the existence that there is a beginner, that there is a God. And so the scientific community rejected it. In fact, it was so strongly rejected. Like, here's an example. In the Soviet Union, the atheistic Soviet Union, they had an observatory, and they basically killed all the scientists because the scientists were supporting the Big Bang. This is in the 1930s. They killed them. They executed them. Why? Because their views on science would undercut their atheism. This is kind of the irony of today's debate. When young earth creationists are going against the Big Bang because it's atheistic, is when the Big Bang was first proposed, the exact opposite was the case. The atheists were attacking it because it showed there had to be a beginner, a one who made the beginning, who created everything. [00:38:39] And in fact, there were atheist scientists who became theist, became believers in God because of the Big Bang theory, that their study of the Big Bang theory showed them that, oh, there is a beginning. They had believed that the universe always existed. Now all of a sudden, they find, no, there is a beginning. And so what they did was they realized there has to be one who began everything. Now, there's something about, I want to mention that's important from a catholic perspective. [00:39:07] You cannot prove by reason alone that the universe has a beginning in the sense of philosophically, scientifically, like we're trying to. The Big Bang theory is doing this. But philosophically, I should say, you can't prove by reason alone that the universe has a beginning. St. Thomas Aquinas says this. We know by revelation that the universe has a beginning, that there was a time before it existed. But St. Thomas Aquinas makes very clear that just on philosophical ideals alone, the universe could be eternal and there still would be a God. [00:39:42] But the fact is, in the 19th century, by the 19th century, the atheists had taken the eternal nature of the universe as they saw it, as a reason to reject the existence of God. [00:39:56] So what we see is we see the big Bang theory, and Big Bang theory then for about 30 years, from about the late 1920s to 1960s, was hotly debated in the astronomy world and the cosmological world, mostly rejected by a lot of scientists because, again, it pointed to theistic conclusions. However, at one point, Pope Pius Xi. No modernists there, right, guys? He actually had a talk where he said, the big Bang supports, it's compatible with christian doctrines of creation. Now, Fala Matri actually reached out to him and told him, hey, don't say that this theory is like me trying to prove God or prove the biblical concretion, because if this theory turns out to not be true, then his hypothesis turns out not to be true, then obviously it'll make us look bad. It'll seem to undercut christian doctrines of creation, because what Father Lamatre realized was the big Bang was a hypothesis of his. He said, here's how I think the universe began based upon this idea of the expanding universe and some other things. I'm not going to get into details, but of course it had to be proved. And what happened over the next. Starting in the 1960s particularly, there was lots and lots of evidence that came to support the Big Bang theory. Cosmic radiation around mean there's many different things. There's evidence from multiple disciplines that basically show the big Bang to be a theory that has a testable hypothesis that has been proven to be accurate in numerous occasions. [00:41:39] Does this mean that the big Bang theory is perfect? That we won't one day say, oh, no, the big Bang theory had these holes in it? No, that's not it. This is one of my biggest criticisms of young earth creationists. What they do is they cherry pick when scientists will say, well, actually, we found this now. And that kind of goes against what we thought about the beginnings of the universe. See, you're wrong. You don't know what you're talking about. Big Bang theory is wrong. That's not how this works. There are so many different moving parts that are backing up the big Bang theory that when one doesn't show exactly what we thought, it doesn't undermine the whole thing. [00:42:16] It's like if somebody bats 800, 800 batting averages for those who won't follow baseball has never been done. It would be an unheard of, astronomically high batting average. But you would say, oh, but he doesn't get a hit two out of ten times. So you just focus on this two times. He doesn't get a hit. [00:42:34] The fact is, the Big Bang has lots of different evidences that back it up from many different disciplines. And, yes, is it perfect? Does it say exactly every single thing? Does it answer every question we have? No, it doesn't. But it's the best one we have. The young earth creationists don't come up with an inclusive theory to explain all other than just God did it. When you say, how do you explain what appears to apparent age? This, oh, it's a miracle. How do you explain this? It's a miracle. God just did. That's not how God created the universe in the sense of, that's not how God wants us to understand the universe. He created orally. He gave us reason. He wants us to understand it. He's not going to do a head fake to be like, oh, this looks like it's a billion years old, but really it was just created 6000 years ago. He made it look that old. I don't think God would work like that. I think that's deceptive, frankly. Why would he give us reason to understand the universe and its early nature if he's not going to make it so that we can understand it, that he's going to kind of head fake us on all these important parts. [00:43:37] So I think therefore, what we see then is that the Big Bang theory is a very good theory that has lots of evidence behind it. Now, another thing, sometimes you'll see, young earth creationists will attack the big Bang theory, saying that basically it's created so we have a lot of time so we can support biological evolution. Now, you'll note I haven't been talking about biological evolution today on this podcast. I'm not addressing that. I'm talking about the age of the universe, the creation of the stars and the earth and things like that. I'm not talking about how life began on Earth. [00:44:12] But the fact is that according to the Big Bang theory and lots of other things, the earth is probably about four and a half billion years old. And so you'll see where all of a sudden, it's like young earth creationists say, well, the evolutionists just want it to be that old so they have time for evolution, the evolution of life on Earth. Here's the thing. Four and a half billion years isn't even near enough time for the likelihood of life evolving just through chance. [00:44:43] You get that argument. You'll get that argument from a lot of pop scientists, the Carl Sagan's or the Richard Dawkins or something like that. Like, basically like, oh, just give it enough time and eventually man comes out of it. That's ludicrous. It's like the old idea that if you get a billion monkeys typing on a billion typewriters over a billion years, that eventually one will come up with Hamlet. That's actually not true. [00:45:05] That wouldn't be enough time. There isn't enough time. And so the idea of the Big Bang, where I know some people who are very strict evolutionist about evolution of life on Earth, would claim it gives enough time over billions of years, it would happen. It's actually not true. There's not enough time for that. [00:45:24] So again, my point is the big Bang theory wasn't created, wasn't thought up as a way to defend evolution. It wasn't a way to defend atheism or anything like that. In fact, it undercuts atheism a lot. [00:45:38] So, again, it's not perfect, but now I want to talk about the idea that. How the big Bang theory has been used, and that is the idea of this. It's been abused, I should say abused by so many. There's no question in my mind that what you see is there's a difference between the pop. What I call kind of the pop scientists and actual scientists. When I've been researching this, I found when you read the Carl Sagans or the Steve Hawking's or Richard Dawkins, they make leaps far beyond what science tells us. [00:46:12] In fact, they go outside of science. There's a classic quote at the first line of the book, Cosmos by Carl Sagan, which I read not too long ago. It's actually a good book in a lot of ways, I will admit. The first line is just such a whopper. The first line says, and I hope I get this right, it says, the cosmos is everything that ever has been, ever will be, and ever was. [00:46:35] No, the cosmos is everything that is, ever will be, and ever was, meaning, the cosmos, the material cosmos, is everything in existence. Well, that's a completely unscientific statement. [00:46:47] You cannot support that by science. Yeah, he starts with that. That's an abuse of science. He's claiming because he believes atheism going into it. Somehow this idea of a big bang then supports it, but it doesn't. [00:47:04] The fact is, this is what's very interesting. If you read Stephen Barr's book, Modern Physics and ancient Faith, he goes into this in a lot of detail. [00:47:11] 20th century science has actually done a lot to support the theistic view of the universe, that God created everything, that there is a God. I won't go into all the details, but quantum mechanics, the big Bang, lots of different things, they all point to God. Again, the big bang is not proof of God. I'm not claiming that. What I'm saying is, does point to a creator. Things like quantum mechanics point to a creator, point to things like free will and things that Catholics have always believed. So we see is the truth is, as much as some Catholics today might be very uncomfortable with scientific discoveries of the last hundred years, they actually properly understood point to God. The problem is that they've been popularized by militant atheists, like a Carl Sagan or Stephen Hawking or a Richard Dawkins. I mean, Stephen Hawking made the doozy. What was that line? He said something about the fact that the law of gravity is enough to basically prove spontaneous creation, which is just a laughable statement. And theistic scientists all laughed at it. It's not even a scientific statement. But what you see is this popular idea that gets in the media a lot abuses this. This is not actual science. This is an abuse of science. It goes beyond the discipline. And this is where I might maybe anger offend some of my young earth creationist friends. [00:48:38] But I would say that the way these atheist pop scientists, what they do is they go beyond their discipline. They encroach on religious and philosophical ideas when they should stick to science. And I think young earth creationists are doing the same thing. They're taking religious and philosophy, and they're encroaching upon science. And I think that is not to be done. I'm not saying there's no connection between them. What I am saying, though, is they each have limitations. [00:49:08] They each have limitations, and we have to recognize that. We have to marry them together properly. [00:49:13] And so I understand why a lot of people want to just knee jerk react and reject all the findings of modern science. But I think that, like I said in a previous podcast, I don't think that's the way to go. The answer isn't to be reactionary. The answer is to recognize that true science really does point towards the existence of a creator, points to a creator who created the universe in an early fashion. And this is an important point, is that we're not saying that the big bang is what created things. It's not the creator. That's not what's being said here. What's saying is God started off the process of creation. He is the first cause. And this is the process that was used. There are secondary causes. Just like, for example, I would not exist if not for my parents. My parents caused me. Now, does that mean God wasn't involved? Does that mean God didn't create me? No, God created me. He's the first cause of my existence, but a secondary cause. My parents, if they had not gotten married and my mom had not gotten pregnant, then I would not be here today. [00:50:25] And likewise, God uses secondary causes all the time in nature, and so we shouldn't act like that's not possible. Okay, I'm going long here, but I just want to finish with just a few concluding thoughts. And that is, true science done right does not disprove God, and it can't disprove God. It leads people to God. And we've seen that in actually 20th century science and leading into the 21st century, a lot of the findings of the past century, the big Bang and other things, they actually point to God. And one thing I want to address my final thought here is that I see a lot of young earth creationists. They worry that acceptance of the big Bang, acceptance of a billions of years old universe, of a massive universe, all this stuff, that somehow this diminishes our views of God, that it leads people to atheism. I do not think that's the case. [00:51:20] When I see the massive universe, the massive age, and the massive size of the universe, and I see the incredible coincidences. [00:51:28] For those who are listening, I put that in quotes, coincidences that lead to this universe supporting man, supporting life. [00:51:39] I think it's just very compelling as an argument for the existence of God, an argument for the existence of a loving God, that he would go to all this trouble, we would think is all this trouble to create us, that all of this led up to our being here today, 13 billion plus billion years, four plus billion years of earth, all being formed for us. [00:52:08] To me, it's almost a religious experience. It really is, because it shows that when I look at the Eucharist, at adoration, that tiny little host that is the God that created this massive and ancient universe, I think it's a lot more compelling as a. I'm not saying this is the reason we should believe, but I'm saying it's much more compelling as a defense for a loving God who created us than an interpretation of scripture that contradicts countless discoveries. [00:52:43] Okay, last thing is, I just want to say, I want to recommend some authors, some people to read Stephen Barr. I've already mentioned modern physics and ancient faith. It's a great book. [00:52:53] Gerard Shurin. I apologize, Dr. Vere Shurin, for mispronouncing your last name. Who I had on last week. He's written a lot of books. I recommend them all. Karen Oberg is a astrophysicist. I believe she is a Catholic as well. The Magus Center, Father Robert Spitzer. They put out a lot of good stuff, too. I would just encourage you. I'm not saying I endorse every single thing they believe or they say. I'm just saying they're good people. Good Catholics, faithful catholic folks who have a lot to say about this and really show the compatibility of our findings about the universe with the universe's creator. Okay, I've gone long. [00:53:29] I'll finish here. And until next time, everybody. God, love.

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