• Question: how was the world created? do you believe in adam and eve or the big bang? If it was the big bang how did dinosaurs and plants come about?

    Asked by finnlankester to Claire, Renata, Suzanne on 27 Jun 2013.
    • Photo: Renata Medeiros

      Renata Medeiros answered on 27 Jun 2013:

      What an interesting question! Nobody can be entirely sure how the world, and the entire universe, came into being (because none of us was there at the time!), but all of the scientific evidence points towards the universe being “born” in a “Big Bang” that happened 13 or 14 billion years ago. This was some sort of big explosion, in which everything that now exists came into being. A lot of research in physics is now focused on understanding how the Big Bang happened, and how the explosion led to the universe as we know it. Later (about 3.5 to 4 billion years ago), life arose and gradually evolved to eventually give rise to the biodiversity that we see today and that has been here in the past, including human beings, dinosaurs, plants, and even Simon Cowell.

      The book of Genesis (part of the Jewish Pentateuch and the Christian Old Testament) gives two separate accounts of how the world was created. The first account describes the creation of the universe and everything in it by God, in 6 days -followed by a seventh day on which God rested.

      The second account describes the creation of mankind (and womankind) , their relationship with God and with the world (their role as stewards of the natural world and their subsequent expulsion from the Garden of Eden).

      Some people (e.g. Richard Dawkins) think that you have to choose between the scientific story and the stories in the Book of Genesis. But many people (including me) think that you can believe both kinds of explanation at the same time. The Genesis accounts are stories, written in the Bronze Age to help us to understand our relationship with God and with the natural world; the modern scientific account describes the physical processes by which the universe arose, and the biological processes by which life, and humans, arose. In other words, these are very different types of explanation of the same thing -where we came from, and how we relate to the world.

      My own experience as a scientist and as a Christian, is that there need not be any conflict between these two important areas of my life. I hope that you can be open-minded about science and faith, and reach your own conclusions about what you want to believe.

    • Photo: Suzanne Harvey

      Suzanne Harvey answered on 28 Jun 2013:

      I don’t know how the world was created, I wish I did! I think it was the big bang, but I don’t know a lot about the physics behind that so I couldn’t be much help in explaining that theory.

      Life on earth is a different thing – we do have good evidence of where we, plants and dinosaurs all came from! Evolution is by definition a process, it is an explanation of how populations change over time, so it does not attempt to tell us how the world began. In that way it’s totally compatible with a lot of belief systems. Charles Darwin was a Christian, I’m not, but it doesn’t stop me studying the theory he first recognised… It’s open to me, you and everyone who is interested in where we came from 🙂

      Ultimately, we all evolved from simple organisms similar to modern prokaryotes, like bacteria. Dinosaurs existed millions of years before the first humans, but came from the same place! Even after studying evolution for almost 10 years I still find it hard to grasp the scale of the time this took…