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Big Bang Theory, Galaxies, Expanding Universes, God & Theology Concepts – Part 1
by Donald Reinhardt, March 22, 2012

8th Anniversary Photos of Hubble Telescope Smash Hits, NASA

Science and scientists use the scientific method and rational, logical thinking. Philosophy and theology scholars use logical, rational thinking alone. The scientific method of observation, hypothesis and experiments can used to obtain physical data and information from the real, tangible, material and measurable world.

The Big Bang and the Expanding Universe are two of astronomy and physics biggest current working theories and the data obtained for these theories are analyzed by computers and scientific instruments in an attempt to understand and explain our planet, galaxies and the entire universe. For many this pursuit of the origin and nature of the universe is a fulltime, lifetime and complete scientific venture. Philosophers and theologians are concerned with the meanings, purposes and truths of life and these scholars employ reason and logic. However, philosophers and theologians can not use the scientific method which measures only physical realities. This review here will define some terms and explore the subjects of the big bang, expanding universes, aspects of quantum theory and relate these to theology. This first part covers some basic concepts and definitions. Parts 2 and 3 will delve into these same topics in expanded and deeper ways.

Definitions for Science Theories, Instrumentation and Philosophy and Theology

Here are some important definitions which relate to this topic and discussion:

Science Theory – usually is a useful hypothesis or proposed explanation for how something behaves or functions. A theory is often not a proven fact – it is an idea that is to be further studied and evaluated until it is proven as scientifically true or valid. The Big Bang and the Expanding Universe are examples of such theories or working hypotheses. In biology, evolution is a theory that is unproven but which scientists believe is correct and keep studying and experimenting to prove or disprove the theory.

Science Law – this is a theory that has been proven correct by multiple experiments and evaluations and now is considered totally valid and proven. The Theory of Gravity is the Law of Gravity, Boyle’s Law, Pascal’s Law, Coulomb’s Law each explain time and time again an absolutely accurate and precise measure of the behavior or performance of liquids, gasses, electricity and other physical or chemical scientific parameters. Proven hypothesis can thus become validated laws.
Scientific Method involves 4 steps with observation, hypothesis (proposed explanation of the observation), experiments and conclusions based on the data and the findings.
Scientific Tools - the instrumentation used by scientists to obtain and evaluate data. Thermometers, monitors, thermometers, scales and balances, telescopes, recording instruments and computers are a few. limited examples of scientific tools.
Universe – the entire, real, measurable, detectable world of matter and energy. Everything that there is to be seen and known and to be detected later. Our universe is believed to be 14.5 billion years old.
Galaxy - a portion of the universe that contains stars, matter and energy and which is held together by gravity. Based on calculations and estimates of the known structure of the universe there are at least 100 billion galaxies. Earth is in the Milky Way galaxy.
Stars - are suns that generate heat and light by nuclear reactions. There are different types of stars based on age, size, color and heat and light characteristics: younger, older and in-between stars.  
The Big Bang Theory – Is a theory that explains the origin of the universe back in time some 14.5 billion years ago when no human, plant or animal life existed. What existed before the Big Bang? Perhaps nothing existed it is proposed.  What existed at the moment of the Big Bang? The Big Bang is that moment in time when a super concentrated mass and energy suddenly exploded outward and into space and marked the beginning of time and the universe.

The Expanding Universe – the theory of the Expanding Universe is tied to the Big Bang Theory in the following way. If there was a Big Bang start to the universe there should be evidence that the universe is either expanding outward or slowing down and will soon be contracting. The information gathered by astronomers and physicists strongly indicates that the universe continues to expand with no evidence of a slow down or contraction. To date the Expanding Universe hypothesis stands and is valid. In part 2 we will evaluate how the expanding universe is studied.

Philosophy – a study of knowledge and the concepts of truth, understanding, meaning, mind, soul, spirit, reality, unreality and many other subjects. Philosophy deals with morality and life and its meanings.

Theology – the study of God and concepts related to God. The study of the roots and origins of religion and the history of religion and religions such as Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic and Christian theology.

Rational Thinking and Logic – involve principles which relate to reason and proper thinking to prove or disprove ideas and thoughts. In science, logic and reason are combined with a hypothesis or hypotheses and these reasoned explanations are subjected to experiments designed to prove or disprove the hypothesis or hypotheses.

Theist – a person who believes there is a God.

Atheist – a person who does not believe there is one god or any gods.

Agnostic – a person who does not know whether there is or is not a god or gods.

The above are essential definitions for understanding and dialogue that will be used throughout this brief article on the subject.

For those who are interested, the books listed below are excellent and thoughtful sources. Concepts related to these are further linked, developed and discussed in part 2 and part 3 at www.sciencesuperschool.com.

Sources

Barrow, J.D. 2011. "The Book of Universes", W.W. Norton & Co., New York. (ISBN 978-0-393-08121-3)

Hawking, S. and L. Mlodinow. 2010. "The Grand Design", Bantam Books, N.Y. (ISBN 978-0-353-80537-6)
Overman, D.L. A Case for the Existence of God. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group, 2010. 229 pp. ISBN 978-0-74256313-1.