At the "State of the Universe" meeting last week to honour Stephen Hawking's 70th birthday cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University in Boston showed that while the Big Bang started everything, his calculations suggest we still need a cosmic beginning.
This will be great news for creationist types who will now be using this as scientific proof of their particular god(s) or creator(s) and who up to this point have been denying any science, theory or hypothesis that said otherwise. But not anymore because they have found something that they can spin into what they want to hear.
If Vilenkin is correct shouldn’t I and others without religious beliefs be worried?
Scientists like Hawking probably shy away from the idea of a genesis as this could be a place where science loses its ability to explain and religion or philosophy may become appealing to some but this idea is fine by me. I may be OK with the idea of things simply starting with a Big Bang and that the universe most likely burst forth from an extremely dense, hot state about 13.7 billion years ago, but accepting there could be a cause is also OK.
This hypothesis is still a long way from a scientific consensus and even further away from agreement that the cause is an agent with intelligence and purpose. I quite like the idea that it might be but even that wouldn’t put me in fear of my mortal soul as there would still no evidence that this intelligence is a god whose whole purpose in creating a vast universe is to be concerned about a life form that evolved on a probably common planet type orbiting around a typical sun in and unremarkable backwater of one of 100 to 200 billion galaxies in the Universe.
If it did wouldn’t that be something? But that is still light-years away from that intelligence being one or more of the many gods in humanities history who in most religious belief systems has an unhealthy fascination in our sexual reproduction!