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Religious Studies

Christianity: beliefs about creation and evolution

Scientific ideas

For many Christians there isn't a conflict between the religious ideas about creation expressed in Genesis and the findings of science. Professor John Polkinghorne is both a scientist and a priest in the Church of England; he says:

Genesis is not there to give short, technical answers about how the universe began. It gives us the big answer that things exist because of God's will. One can perfectly well believe in the Big Bang, but believe in it as the will of God the creator.

 

Cosmology

  • Cosmology is the study of the universe, and humanity's place in it.
  • One of the theories put forward by cosmologists is the Big Bang theory. This suggests that about 15 billion years ago there was a massive explosion. This was the point at which all matter in the universe began; space and time began then too. Over time the universe that we know, and human and animal life, emerged.
  • This theory is generally accepted by scientists as being the best theory they have to explain the origins of the universe.
  • If this theory is true, then it could mean that the universe 'just happened' and that it did not emerge as a result of the activity of a creator God.
  • Many Christians have no problem in accepting the Big Bang theory. They see the cosmologists helping them to understand how God brought the world into being - the Big Bang could have been the mechanism God used. And there is nothing in the theory itself which proves that there is no such being as God.

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