Tag: Stephen Hawking

Is it possible that God could have created the Universe? Higher Origins Essay Help

Is it possible that God could have created the Universe?

Higher Origins Essay Help

The VIEWS Structure

This guide will follow the VIEWS format; which is a good example of how to structure essay paragraphs.

Viewpoints

Interpretation

Example

Weaknesses

Strengths/ Rebuttal

Some may find it easier or more logical to switch the weaknesses and strengths around, finishing on the weakness. Or as I have done below started with a strength, given a weakness then given a rebuttal.  This will help you consider evaluation, analysis and knowledge points. Make sure you always answer the question and link back to the question.

Is it possible that God could have created the Universe? Discuss

There are many different approaches to this question and it is not as straightforward as it seems. This guide aims to look at four different responses to this argument.

  1. Yes, because the Bible says he did. (Creationists Christians)
  2. Yes, because the Bible says he did and this can be backed up with science. (Creation Scientists)
  3. Yes, because there are many scientific theories that are explained by God. (Liberal Christians)
  4. No, because there is scientific evidence to say God was not required to create the Universe. (Scientific Materialists)

Viewpoint 1 –  Creationists

Christians would look to the Bible for guidance and help in their life. However, it is up to personal faith and belief as to how you interpret the Bible. Many take a literal approach and believe every word of the Bible to be the truth. These people are called Creationists. They believe the bible is a Special Revelation from God and is his exact words and therefore the ultimate truth. This means that when they are looking at the Book of Genesis which details the creation stories they believe this to be a complete truth.

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.”

Creationists would take the seven-day creation story literally and so believe that because the Bible says that God created the heavens and the earth and everything in it, this is the only evidence that they need. Some may say that the Bible is not enough evidence to prove God created the Universe, especially because it was written thousands of years ago and there has been scientific research that claims otherwise. However, by only looking at the Bible and discrediting any other theories or evidence requires a lot of faith and belief and so this could be seen as a strength. Therefore Creationists Christians believe that God is the only answer for the creator of the Universe.

 

Viewpoint 2 – Creation Scientists

Creation Scientists hold a similar belief in that they believe the Bible to be a literal account of the creation of the Universe, but they would also back this up with scientific evidence. This means that they believe the Universe is only a few thousand years old and it was created in 6 days. The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) is a research group set up by Dr. Henry Morris, sets out to find Scientific Evidence to back up the Creation story as found in the Bible. For Example, the ICR claims that Fossils cannot date back millions of years old as there is still soft tissue present in it. They also have used Science to back up their theory that the Universe is only several thousands of years old because of the lack of sodium in the world’s oceans. By taking the story from the Bible and backing it up with scientific findings that follow the scientific method, Creation Scientists are able to prove the possibility of God creating the Universe. Their hypothesis has been taken from the Bible and they have used testing and verification to conclude that their theory was correct. Many would argue a weakness of this viewpoint is that Creation Scientists are only taking into account the parts of science that fit their theory and discrediting other scientific ideas. Creation Scientists would rebut this saying that Atheists who discredit the idea of God are ignoring evidence such as the Bible and other ways in which God has revealed himself. Therefore Creationists Scientists would believe that it is fully possible to believe that God created the Universe.

Viewpoint 3 – Liberal Christians

There are many that believe that scientific theories such as the Big Bang Theory can work with the Biblical Account of Creation. Christians who interpret the Bible in a metaphorical way, believing the Bible to be a story to help explain God’s power, would believe that the creation story of Genesis and the Big Bang Theory could work together. For example, in Genesis 1 it says that there was immense darkness before God said: “Let there be Light”. This can be compared to the Light that was emitted when the Big Bang started and so it could be argued that God was the cause of the Big Bang. The process of the Big Bang could fit in with the process of the Big Bang and the 6-day creation story could instead be interpreted as 6 stages or time periods. A strength of this argument is that allows Christians or theists to believe in God and have their faith backed up with scientific theories. Scientists do not know for example what started the Big Bang and so for many Christians, this something is God. Scientist E. O Wilson who is an atheist agrees that it is possible that religion and science can work together. A weakness of this approach, however, is it is not clear as to how much of the Bible should be taken metaphorically. This could cause people to pick and choose parts of their own religions. However, Liberal Christians would argue this is all part of the free will that God has given them, the ability to make reasoned judgments based on his guidance. Overall Liberal Christians believe that it is entirely possible that God created the Universe.

Viewpoint 4 – Scientific Materialists

There are many who do not believe it is possible for a God to have created the Universe, these people are referred to as Scientific Materialists. They look to scientific theories to explain the origins of the universe. Scientists such as Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins would argue that there is no need for a God. They would look at the Big Bang Theory and summarise that it does not require a God. There are many instances of spontaneous, unexplained actions that can happen in the Universe that can cause a chain of events. It is argued that one of these unexplained combustions could have caused the Big Bang and therefore requires no God. A strength of this is that it is using the evidence available to come to a conclusion and is not relying on faith or religious revelation, which cannot be verified. However, it could be argued that scientific theories such as the Big Bang Theory are only ever theories, based on the evidence available at that time. Science is continually changing and developing and so theories can change. However, for many atheists who do not believe in God, science seems to be the only logical approach to questions about the Origin of the Universe.  For Scientific Materialists, it is impossible for a God to have created the Universe.

Conclusion

In your Higher exam – it is recommended you bring together all of your ideas and summarise your arguments and answer the question. You can answer the question and add your personal opinion using phrases such as “in my opinion”,as an overall conclusion I would say that” or “I agree to a certain extent…”

When writing an essay, use the skills phrases to help you which are available on the https://www.sqa.org.uk/files_ccc/RMPSCourseSpecN5.pdf

Advertisements
Origin of the Universe – The Scientific Approach

Origin of the Universe – The Scientific Approach

For Scientific Materialists, it is unreasonable to believe that a God or Supernatural being created the Universe. Instead, they deduce through scientific reasoning and the scientific method that the origin of the Universe can be explained solely through science with no religious input.

Image result for richard dawkins

One believer of this approach is Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist who is firmly against the idea of God and has published several pieces discrediting religious responses to the origin of the universe. In contrary to this is Edward Osbourne (E. O.) Wilson, a scientist who was brought up as a Christian but became an atheist. He does, however, believe science and religion can work together to provide a better understanding of how the world works.

Stephen Hawking has dedicated his life’s work to the exploration of Black Holes and in turn the Big Bang Theory. He believes that all the evidence that is currently available points to the Big Bang is the beginning of the universe. Until other evidence disproves this theory he believes that this is the only plausible explanation for the origin of the universe. When looking at what is a reasonable

When looking at what is a reasonable explanation, scientists look to theories that can be proven or disproven with the Scientific method. This is why revelation is unacceptable to many as it cannot be tested, verified or falsified.

Scientific theories, regardless of what they are about, are theoretical. This means they are theoretically right until a new piece of evidence can prove or disprove the hypothesis. You can read more about the scientific reasoning behind the Big Bang Theory in a previous post The Big Bang Theory Explained

When discrediting religion, many would use the argument that a book written thousands of years ago cannot have all the answers. If God did create the universe and the Bible is God’s word, why does it not explain more about the origins of the universe?  However, the counter-argument of this is that the Bible should not be taken literally.

When you are asked about whether it is reasonable to believe a God created the universe you have to always remember what is reasonable to one person may not be reasonable to another. It is all down to personal interpretation.

SaveSave

The Big Bang Theory Explained

The Big Bang Theory is a term for a theory that is centuries old although is on record as being term the ‘Big Bang Theory’ by Fred Hoyle in the 1920s. There are many different parts to the Big Bang Theories and some disagreements within the scientific community as to the cause and effect of the Big Bang but it is widely agreed that:

  1. The Universe had a definite beginning.
  2. The Universe continues to expand and cool down.
  3. The Universe isn’t reliant on something or some being for it’s existence.

There is no universal agreement on what caused the Big Bang to begin or what will happen to the universe eventually.

Universe 03 Concept Isometric

Below is a quick guide to the Big Bang (Excuse me if anything is inaccurate, feel free to send any corrections to me!)

Stephen Hawking’s Into the Universe

In class, we have watched Stephen Hawking’s Universe in class to help us understand the Theory. From the video we have learned.

We have discovered more about the universe in the last 100 years than in the past 200,000 years. Everything in the Universe has been made by stars.

BriefHistoryTime

The Red Shift

We know that the Big Bang Happened and the Galaxies are moving away from us because of Red Shift. This is when Galaxies appear Red due to the fact that they are moving away from us. This is explained in this BBC Guide. http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/aqa/origins/redshiftrev1.shtml

red-shift-explained

The Big Bang

The Big Bang started at a single point when the universe burst into existence. Before this it was complete darkness as light did not exist neither did space. When the universe began there was an ultra hot fog of energy.

history_bigbang

Within a trillionth of a second the universe stretched from the size of an atom to and orange and began cooling down. Within 100 seconds the universe was the size of our solar system. As the universe was cooling down, matter and anti matter were created. When matter and anti matter collide they destroy each other. This was happening constantly and only 1 in 1 billion matter particles survived. It is from these particles that everything was formed.

86330-We-Are-Made-Of-Stars

“We are made of the smoke of the Big Bang”

The radiation from the Big Bang can still be seen and heard on earth. For example in television and radio waves.

6910656_orig

Gravity

Gravity is the cause of everything. The discovery of gravity is attributed to Sir Isaac Newton. Gravity is the pulling of everything together. Because some matter was denser and less effective when pulled by gravity it meant that there were imperfections in the universe. These imperfections were what created the universe.

gravity-definition-kids-physical-science

Hydrogen gas was the first element created. It is extremely powerful and it is what gives stars their power and energy. If hydrogen is compacted down it will heat up and cause nuclear fusion. This process is what caused helium to be created. This process is what took place in order to create more elements. This is a long process.

Black Holes

Gravity can also be dangerous and cause black holes. A black hole is created when a massive star begins to dies and becomes unstable. It shrinks and gets denser and denser until the core starts collapsing in on itself. Black Holes give off radiation and this is what galaxies rotate around.

p02rzf13

How were planets formed?

Our solar system is about 6 billion years old. A Star exploded and we can see evidence of this in the nebula in the solar system. Nebula is a thick fog full of different elements. Gravity pulls these elements together. The pressure of the hydrogen gas led to an explosion and a formation of a new star (our sun). This blast gave off a radioactive dust that pushed any excess dust. From these elements and dust planets began to form.

untitled

Did this all happen by accident?

All questions about the Big Bang ultimately lead to questions on whether this was a ‘perfect accident’. Christian Scientists who believe that the Universe was created by God. They use the examples of

  •  The earth being the exact positions away from the Sun that it is not too hot or too cold.
  • All the elements required for life are present on the earth.
  • The imbalance or imperfection that was required for life to begin was a 1 in a billion chance.

343DD3CC00000578-0-The_habitable_zone_shown_in_green_is_a_term_astronomers_use_when-a-82_1463406472440

Stephen Hawking refuted this explaining that for the size of the universe and the 1 in a billion chance it is inevitable that at least of the billions of planets would have life on them.

Further Reading

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/space/universe/questions_and_ideas/big_bang