Pity the poor atheist who depends on science to justify his disbelief. It must seem like a faithless spouse who steals away to spend time with a former lover. Although science has declared its marriage to atheism (or agnosticism, if you prefer), at every turn it harkens back to Genesis 1.
Surely at the beginning of the last century the romance was still fresh and exciting. Darwinism was winning over even the theologians. Astronomy was looking deep into the night sky. Geology was speaking of millions of years rather than thousands. The universe was eternal and unchanging, and fewer and fewer people paid attention to the creation myth.
Then there was the discovery of the expanding universe and the resulting Big Bang theory. Suddenly there was evidence of an actual moment of creation to contend with. Today, most have forgotten that the first objectors to the theory were not the believers but the disbelievers. Every effort was made to refute the idea of creation (efforts that continue still), but to no avail. The heavens pour forth their witness to an incomprehensible moment of creation.
Ah, but how easily one can adapt. Science must still be separated from myth. Of course there had to be a beginning and of course it could be explained scientifically. Any resemblance to the great myth is mere coincidence and not to be taken seriously. Let there be light, indeed!
Later, it was realized that the Big Bang theory described a period that came to be called the Photon Epoch. From the first second of creation through the first 360,000 years of expansion, the early universe was dominated by photons. Surely it was provocative to realize that in the time it takes to say “Let there be light”, there was … light. Not only was there light, but it was a light that did not proceed from any object. No more could one point to the absurdity of light being formed before the sun and moon and stars were created. But once again, how could such an idea coming from an ancient group of nomadic goat-herders be anything but mere coincidence?
Then along comes string theory (M theory). This is very bad news indeed because it overturns the classic argument that nothing exists beyond that which we can directly experience. Now science is seriously proposing that there is more, much more, outside of our physical universe than there is inside it. In fact, it is proposing that an almost infinite number and variety of universes exist throughout a multi-dimensional reality that is completely beyond our examination. What is thought of as the natural world (our three-dimensional universe) is a mere subset of what can only be termed a super-natural (ten-dimensional) cosmos. Surely it is an interesting parallel to the Bible and its insistence that God exists in a place we can never reach and that our temporal existence is insignificant in comparison to the greater reality of the Almighty. Still, the Bible can only be viewed as a relic of a pre-scientific world and of no relevance to an intelligent person.
Finally comes the most recent rendition of scientific explanation. Whereas the Big Bang theory focuses on the origins of energy and matter, a team of physicists from Australia are looking at the origins of space and time itself. In explaining their findings, they could find no better analogy to use in describing how our familiar three dimensions and time emerged than that it crystallized out of a higher set of dimensions similar to a liquid. Therefore, as ice forms from water, so too did our universe form and separate from a greater body of something like water. Such is how the scientists themselves describe it. As the Bible describes it, the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters and God then separated the waters above (Heaven) from the waters below.
The late Carl Sagan mused that a reasonably competent God could have left clues in his holy writings that would be carried forward until such a time that men (presumably intelligent, educated men like himself) would recognize them as predicting their scientific discoveries and thereby come to believe. What he did not take into account was the stubborn heart of natural man who refuses to see what is plainly before him and prefers to suppress the truth. As Romans 1:19-20 says,” For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”
Yes, pity the poor atheist who depends on science to justify his disbelief. He is without excuse.