Big Bang, Big Mystery

The discussion continues about whether the Big Bang poses a conundrum for science and for religion. For science, because of its commitment to “random selection” – viz. pure chance without any causes of anything. For religion, because of the Genesis narrative about how God created all things.

This struggle began centuries ago. G. K. Chesterton wrote that St. Thomas Aquinas learned that he had to face “…this clumsy collision of two very impatient forms of ignorance ...  known as the quarrel of science and religion.”

I am now reading Hans Kung’s The Beginning of All Things: Science and Religion, which is the latest wrestling with the question by theologians – who, in my uninformed opinion, are doing better than at least some vociferous scientists.

I am eager to see whether he will find his way to cite the second papal encyclical, St. Peter’s second letter: “There is no time with God: a thousand years, a single day: it is all one.” (2 Peter 3:8). So to God, the Big Bang and the birth of the latest child are the same: a share in divine being.

To us, they differ entirely. The one, a booming singularity that begins time; the other, an intime event, one among billions. Yet to God, each event is unique and a singularity, because God creates time as well as each and every single creature in time.

So the psalmist says to the Lord: “our eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.” (139:16). And whatever else science or theology discovers, we will cherish this wisdom. The eternal God is creating each day and reaching into it to touch each of the hearts He is creating as His own.