There are several theories revolving around the existence of the universe religion and Christianity. According to some scholars, the universe used to be a highly compressed mass and then there was a bang and that s how the Universe was born (Fox 9). Over the years, the universe has been expanding and is still expanding. This is just a single theory among the several theories explaining the formation of the universe. While some theories are based on scientific knowledge, there are some theories that are based on Christian values and believe. There exist conflicting ideas between religion and science. Scientific finding are based on factual values and facts that can be proven through the normal occurrences, “science in its attempt to know the material reality relies on some truth that fall beyond its scope” (Villajin 13). On the other hand, religious explanations revolve around virtual concepts such as existence of supernatural being, miracles, and visions. This essay is an analysis of the facts behind the formation and existence of the universe as discussed by a number of re-known scholars all over the globe.
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Although all the theories stipulated by different scholars, such as John Philoponus, Saadia Gaon, Al-Ghazali and Kant (Craig 165), among others are well defined and studied, Lemaitre’s theory is the most acceptable of all theories. According to the Big Bang theory, the universe existed as a state of infinitesimal density and temperature about fourteen billion years ago. This state was known as singularity (.Schroeder 24) As the universe expanded, it became vast and cooler to the universe we have today. Despite the fact that the universe is still gradually expanding, it is not infinitely large. It is spatially and, at the same time, temporally limited.
This theory is supported by substantial evidence, which include the Hubble’s discovery, abundance of helium, cosmic microwave background radiation and the existence of day and night. Looking at the big bang theory critically, we find that it is not an explosion but an expansion of space. This is contrary to some claims that the big bang theory was an explosion of solid matter because of intense heating. Just like any other theory, Lemaitre’s findings faced serious opposition with some scholars claiming that he intended to support his theory on religious grounds. Even so, he was able to prove that his theory was free of any metaphysical or religious questions.
Everything that exists in this world must have an origin or history behind its existence. Therefore, the universe also must have originated from somewhere. George cantor (1918) has contributed towards proving the finite nature of the universe. According to him, the universe is finite; in that, it has an origin and its extent is limited. The scholar uses finite numbers to explain the concept of finiteness. His mathematical explanation is highly acceptable since most scientists and scholars acknowledge mathematics as a field that uses facts.
Thomas Aquinas is famous for his attempt to prove the existence of God. In his study, he came up with five ways to prove the existence of a super natural being that controls the universe and the earth (God). He makes a comprehensive and thorough philosophical and theoretical explanation on the existence and nature of God. In his evidence, he pays particular attention to the argument from motion, causation, contingency, perfection, and design. Leibniz developed the Thomas’ findings on the existence of God. In advancing the theory, Leibniz came up with two types of truths; truth of reasoning and truth of facts. In this context, a truth can be analysed into simpler ideas in order to reach the core of the fact or reasoning. Still on the finiteness of the universe, Clair argues that the universe has a beginning, which makes its past finite.
The second lecture begins with Anselm’s argument considering the existence of the universe and his comments on other theories put across to explain the same. Anselm introduced several arguments in support of the fact that God existed. However, this did not satisfy his intent on coming up with one powerful theory to convince any rational person of the existence of God as a supernatural being. Anselm uses natural theology to develop a single theory that explains the existence of God. In his theory, he depicts God as that-than-which-non-greater-can-be-thought. This means that God is a supernatural being who is self-sufficient and does not depend on any other form of power to accomplish anything. The theory is formulated using simple language to make it understandable to everybody including people who have little academic knowledge.
According to some researchers (Craig 166), anything that can be proven has high chances of being in existence. Therefore, from the evidence on the existence of God, we can conclude that god really exists. In this theory, we move from possibility to actuality. An advanced development of the theory introduces a different perspective of analysing the existence of God. From this, explanation the concept of the existence of seizes to be a possibility and becomes a necessity. However, this is not enough to prove that God really exists. There is the need to move from the idea of God’s existence being a necessity to him being an actuality.
The third lecture establishes the conflict that exists between religion and science based theories and arguments. Science measures and uses findings from the real world by definition and practical events. ” Sometimes we are told that empirical sciences is a natural result of our observation and interpretation” (Artigas 185). It is therefore possible to rule out any theory or hypothesis by facts and logical explanations drawn from practical cases. Modern science uses time as a causal agent in the formation and existence of the universe. On the other hand, the use of chance is common in the mythological context to explain aspects concerning the formation of the universe.
The religious explanation concerning the formation of the universe appreciates the existence of a supreme being who was behind the formation of the world. Christians believe that everything; including the universe was created by God. This is controversial to the scientific definition. In the religious definition, there is no tangible evidence behind the formation of the universe. The theories are based on virtual aspects such as miracles and visions.
In conclusion, the existence of the universe can be viewed from different perspectives. Whether a scholar uses a religious or scientific approach, both have the potential to prove the existence of the universe. Through the three lectures, the concept of self-creation is evident with both the religious and scientific theories supporting the self-creation of the universe. In both versions, it is clear that the universe exists and has a finite origin and limit. Nevertheless, it is not possible to neglect the fact that there is a clear-cut difference in the scientific and religious explanation towards the existence of the universe.
Artigas, Mariano. The Mind of the Universe: Understanding Science and Religion. Templeton Foundation Press, 2001. Print.
Craig, William Lane (June 1979). “Whitrow and Popper on the Impossibility of an Infinite Past”. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 30 (2): 165–170.
Villajin, Noel MA. N. “The Universe as a Creation. The Ontological Presupposition of Science.” Annotation to the PhD Thesis presented in the Faculty of ecclesiastical Philosophy of the Navarra university. Pamplona, 1995.
Fox, Karen C. The Big Bang Theory: What It Is, Where It Came From, and Why It Works. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2002. Print.
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Schroeder, Gerald L. Genesis and the Big Bang: The Discovery of Harmony between Modern Science and the Bible. New York: Bantam Books, 1990. Print.