4.1.2 The Origins of the Universe

“This image of Abell 2744 is the first to come from Hubble’s Frontier Fields observing programme, which is using the magnifying power of enormous galaxy clusters to peer deep into the distant Universe.” Learn more: https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic1401a/

Big-bang model, [the most] widely held theory of the evolution of the universe. Its essential feature is the emergence of the universe from a state of extremely high temperature and density—the so-called big bang that occurred 13.8 billion years ago (Encyclopaedia Brittanica).

Read: The Big Bang Model // Encyclopaedia Brittanica

Guiding Questions:

  1. Could this theory have existed in a Newtonian worldview? Or does it depend on elements from the contemporary worldview?
  2. Belgian Catholic priest and polymath Georges Lemaître proposed the idea that the universe had a “beginning” based on evidence that galaxies were moving apart and the universe was expanding. But new research doesn’t rule out that the universe had previously collapsed, then stretched out. Would our theological origins story be affected if there is no “beginning”?


Thumbnail: Abell 2744 Cluster. Photo Credit: NASAESA, and J. Lotz, M. Mountain, A. Koekemoer, and the HFF Team (STScI). Image cropped. Public domain.