We are told in the beginning God created everything out of nothing. For thousands of years of the creation story being handed down, retold and finally written by Moses, the people accepted that God created everything. Then, people started questioning and studying the how everything was created. Science thought they had the more scientific answer of “The Big Bang”, which is there was nothing, something happened and boom, we’re here and totally evolved from the simplest of organisms (obviously oversimplified). In The Beginning, A Catholic Scientist Explains How God Made Earth Our Home, Gerard Verschuuren sets out to explain how one theory doesn’t contradict or disprove the other, but how they work together to explain the whole story of how our universe was created and how we came to be. Here are some of the amazing facts.
Scripture is not chronological, science is
The Book of Scripture is of course the Bible, but unfortunately many take what is written completely literal when it comes to Genesis. Just studying the story between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 should be able to prove the story can’t be literal. The flow of creation is out of order and seems to contradict itself. We need to study how stories were written at the time: the first three days are division, the next three days are the work of adornment, proclaiming nothing exists without the Creator. The Book of Nature instead explains the process of cause and effect, about nature, with the greatest certainty, experienced by everyone. The Catholic Church believes in both books.
The Bible and the Genesis story are not scientific
Cardinal Baronius remarked to Galileo, “The Bible teaches us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go.” If we get too wrapped up in the literal “six days”, we miss that they are not in chronological order. When we look at the Book of Nature, putting the entire creation of the universe into the time scale of a year, January 1 would be the Big Bang, “Earth would start to be formed at the beginning of September . . . dinosaurs would appear around December 24 . . . human beings would emerge around December 29.” That’s hard just to wrap your mind around!
Time and before time?
We can now map out and look back to the point of when time began at the Big Bang. But how can there be a “before” or “no” time? Time is measured in the physical world, but time cannot exist before time, therefore something existed before time, or outside of time. “Creation is about the origin of the universe; science is about the beginning of the universe. Creation creates chronology, but is not a part of chronology.”
… and creation?
Creation sets the stage of all of the physical “things” that exist and keeps them in existence. Using the analogy of a novel, the first words are the beginning of the book but the origin of the novel is its author. It doesn’t matter what was written, there always is an author.
Natural Science does not deny Theology
“Creating in science is producing, not creating out of nothing by the Creator.” Every question about science has two answers, a lower level answer than explains the physical science of what happened (the details) and the higher level answer, because of “creation out of nothing.” While that may sound oversimplified, science can explain “something” but it can’t explain “nothing”. The nothing has to be explained outside of science, which is “there has to be something or someone outside or beyond the universe.”
Because there is a Creator, we have the physical
We can’t exist without creation or the Creator keeping everything in perfect balance. From the expanse of space down to the smallest parts of the atom, it all needs to be balanced perfectly in order for it to continue to exist. Even Steven Hawking questioned, “Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?” Verschuuren writes in response, “I see no other solution than that the order of the universe is the result of a design that was implemented – actually conceived, invented, and decreed—by a Divine Designer who had a divine plan.”
The science of creation and balance of nature is so interesting and complex but learning about how everything was created does not prove that God doesn’t exist, rather proves how much greater and more divine our Creator really is. Gerard Verschuuren uses In The Beginning, A Catholic Scientist Explains How God Made Earth Our Home to clearly explain how the two theories do coexist and how believing in one doesn’t disprove the other, rather one can’t exist without the other. Our God is all powerful and knowing, and he who created it all for us shows us his love for us is greater than we can even imagine.