Bible vs. Big Bang?

A question was asked recently:

Which idea corresponds more to actual events, the account of creation found in Genesis (King James version), or the Big Bang theory (BBT) as postulated by Lemaitre?
The way the question is phrased here clearly favors the BBT in that the question refers to “events.” It’s a fact that the universe is expanding (and that the expansion is accelerating) which are events happening even now, and these events bode well for the BBT rather than the biblical account.  HOWEVER:

 However, this doesn’t mean BBT is correct and Genesis is incorrect. Not at all. Let’s remember that most theologians (Western and non-Western) agree that holy texts are metaphorical. So a balanced interpretation of various texts requires we we careful about granting historical status.  Yes, parts of the text do make those kinds of claims. But, when Genesis says, “And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear…” a balanced interpretation of this is that it isn’t a historical claim.  (Although literalists would disagree, a complete explanation should indicate where the heavens, water, etc. came from.) Most philosophers, theologians, even priests and ministers, etc., agree that Genesis Chapter 1, which explains the creation of the universe in six days, is a metaphore. (What is a metaphore?  Cows to graze in, of course.)

In “The Dragons of Eden” Carl Sagan maps Genesis onto an evolutionary perspective, and suggests (I think mainly for fun…it’s been 25 years since I read it) that the writers of Genesis accessed a kind of primitive “species genetic memory” going all the way back to the Bottom Turtle. This memory was condensed and interpreted in simple terms, and the result was written down in the form of Genesis 1 as we read it in the Bible.

Consider also that process theology says that God and universe have always existed.  The Big Bang is only one episode in an infinite universe.  The “extensive continuum” is more fundamental than the universe, and the “cosmic epoch” (from the Big Bang until now) is only one element in a wider reality.  We have, e.g., contingent laws which apply to our cosmic epoch, as opposed to metaphysical principles which apply to any possible world.

So, the answer to the above question is that the BBT corresponds better to actual events, but with the caveat that the question is already slanted toward the BBT, or worse, that it’s a loaded question to begin with.  It’s loaded to the extent that it’s a false dilemma.

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