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Creation of Universe

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Wow - where do we start, literally we don't know! Mankind has always speculated over origins, and instinctively we know that the 'why' question is more important that the 'how'. We want to know the intentions of a Creator or if there isn't one. This affects our sense of meaning and the context against which we live.

People tend to have an innate sense that God exists and would be behind creation. This has implications on how we conduct our lives. Such a powerful being is felt to be all-knowing, everywhere. As with their parents, children quickly learn how to test boundaries with this 'God', and although superstitions can run deep, particularly among people whose existence is more precarious, we soon come to effectively ignore 'God', and the sky does not fall on our heads - not right away anyway.

Creation stories always seem to have existed but most have the flavour of a rather gruesome comic-book - but satisfy a certain level of curiosity.

As we go to school we're mostly taught that this is all 'science' and though space can still be awesome there is nothing mystical about a creator. We also learn about Evolution which further confirms it. US Astonomer Carl Sagan said 'The cosmos is all that there is or ever was or ever will be', but the response is 'Prove it' - for this is just a philosophical assertion, passed off as science but not testable using the scientific method.

Astronomers and others are keen to get the wonder in, as it ensures a steady stream of money for space exploration, the value of which is not easy to see - beyond the relatively cheap GPS, comms and weather satellites.

But reading in the Bible:

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world. Ps 19:1-4

There is something serious and persistent here, all this creation and wonder really is meant to be telling us something.

We may turn to the beginning of the Bible, to Genesis, which turns out not to be another comic-book creation story but something deeper and stronger. Its scope covers everything we know about the Universe.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 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. Gen 1:1... Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. Gen 2:1

This is not meant to be 'scientific' but neither is it symbolic. It covers all the key elements and critically puts mankind in the centre. This is what we really want to know, what it has to do with us, and as quoted in the Climate article, 'Nature is mortal; we shall outlive her'. All this will pass away but we will not. So the physical Universe is incredible in its scope and complexity, but it is still created, the 'moral universe' is not. God chose to create us in his image with everything that means, being endowed with something of this other realm. So at the centre of all that is 'the fall', mankind's first fracture of that most precious way.

The science

But we still want to be sceptical, and scientific: what are the heavens declaring soundlessly? In the critical areas of Creation and Evolution, it turns out - quite a lot. The most telling is the way that if universal constants like Gravity, Electromagnetic force, and Nuclear forces, varied by the smallest amount it would mean no Universe. This is touched on in Fine tuning Universe with more here or . A well-known atheist said that for him this was the most compelling argument for theism.

universe is for mankind

More is also known about the structure of our solar system and the Earth - a Star Trek M class planet! One aspect - water - is so commonplace but so crucial in its chemical properties. H2O is a universal solvent allowing nutrition to circulate and waste to be removed in plants and animals and us. Our bodies are 60-75% water and losing 15% is deadly. It gives our cells structure, supports many chemical processes and protects against acids and alkalies. In plants (ie all food) it supports photosynthesis. It's a key to life but is so rare in liquid form that it has so far only been found on Earth.

Our atmosphere, another key component, needs exactly the right amount of gravity to keep its structure.

These things did not happen randomly. This does not prove God exists, and it's not meant to, as this can only be known through relationship, not intellect, but it does make basic a-theism more problematic.

With evolution, at the other end of the scale, research has shown a similar implausibility of anything being created via random chance, but instead the evidence points to intention and design. With DNA you have to have the whole code or nothing - it could not evolve from a simpler code. This is also true of the additional codes used to guide living tissue - how cells split to create the structure of a given plant or animal. The cell itself, the smallest building block, is enormously complex and it's hard to even calculate the number of 'random' events needed to get near it.

So why are these not more clearly taught in school? Just as moral man is at the heart of the Biblical account, so it's recognised that acceptance of this real science has ethical implications for us, and we're mostly ideologically opposed to that!  But from a Christian perspective, we are definitely not against science - it's 'thinking God's thoughts after him' (Kepler - German astronomer), we love that, and we don't have to be shackled to a human-centric ideology. We don't seek to impose our understanding of creation in a false way, what would be the point - but it can illuminate a way forward as it has in the past with that sense of God-given order over obscuring mysticism.

We can share the wonder of creation and express thanks and praise to our Creator, who we know seeks for us to be reconciled to him, and for us to walk together in the cool of the evening.

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