Less than 100 years ago, science discovered that the universe is expanding. However, the men who wrote the Bible spoke of this concept when it was written almost 3,000 years ago. But many people believe the Bible and science contradict one another. Is this really so? Let’s examine some basic scientific concepts about the universe and see how they compare to what the Bible says.
First Law of Thermodynamics – E = mc2
The first law of thermodynamics states that energy can be transformed from one form to another, but can be neither created nor destroyed. Matter and energy are interchangeable (E=mc2).
Now, keeping these things in mind, let’s consider a few verses from the Bible:
“Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” (Isaiah 40:26 NIV)
“Our Lord and God, You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because You have created all things, and because of Your will they exist and were created.” (Revelation 4:11 CSB)
“By faith we understand that the universe was created by God’s command, so that what is seen has been made from things that are not visible.” (Hebrews 11:3 CSB)
This is exactly what God did when he transferred some of his energy into the matter making up the universe.
Second Law of Thermodynamics
The second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy for an isolated system can never decrease over time. “Entropy” is a measure of unusable energy within a closed or isolated system (the universe for example). As usable energy decreases and unusable energy increases, “entropy” increases. Entropy is also a gauge of randomness or chaos within a closed system. As usable energy is irretrievably lost, disorganization, randomness and chaos increase. This means that left to itself, the universe will become less organized or disorganized over time.
- Fact 1: The universe began in a highly ordered state.
- Fact 2: The universe remains highly ordered.
- Thus, we can infer: God created and maintains the universe.
The universe would have become somewhat less organized over time, had God not created it from the beginning and maintained it through its estimated 12 to 15 billion year existence. The following scriptures give Biblical testimony to the fact that God not only created the universe in the beginning, but he also continues to maintain it in a highly ordered state.
“Through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.” (Colossians 1:16-17 NLT)
“The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.” (Psalm 19:1-4 NLT)
“For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” (Romans 1:20 NLT)
“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord, or instruct the Lord as his counselor? Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding? Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust…. Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing. With whom, then, will you compare God? To what image will you liken him? … He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in…. ‘To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?’ says the Holy One…. Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.” (Isaiah 40:12-15, 17-18, 22, 25, 28 NIV)
“Do you know how the clouds hang poised, those wonders of him who has perfect knowledge? … The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.” (Job 37:16, 23 NIV)
“Have you grasped the celestial laws? Could you make their writ run on the earth?” (Job 38:33 NJB)
The Universe had a Beginning
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1 CSB)
The Universe is Expanding
Early in the twentieth century, astronomer Edwin Hubble found that galaxies are moving away from each other. This discovery led him to believe that the universe is expanding. Hubble’s discovery was upsetting to many scientists of his time, because if the universe is expanding, then – at some time in the distant past – the universe had a beginning. And if the universe had a beginning, it would confirm what the Bible had said all along. Albert Einstein said the whole idea “irritated” him, although later in life he accepted the idea that the universe had a beginning. Arthur Eddington, a British mathematician and astronomer said that he hoped a “loophole” could be found to avoid the implication that the universe had a Creator.
But the prophets of the Bible knew that God had “stretched out the heavens” long before the expanding universe theory was proposed by Hubble and other twentieth century scientists. The prophets of the Bible had already revealed this in the Scriptures:
“He alone stretches out the heavens.” (Job 9:8 NIV)
“He stretches out the heavens like a tent.” (Psalm 104:2 NIV)
“He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.” (Isaiah 40:22 NIV)
“The Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out.” (Isaiah 42:5 NIV)
“I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens.” (Isaiah 44:24 NIV)
“It is I who made the earth and created mankind on it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.” (Isaiah 45:12 NIV)
“My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together.” (Isaiah 48:13 NIV)
“You forget the Lord your Maker, who stretches out the heavens and who lays the foundations of the earth, that you live in constant terror every day because of the wrath of the oppressor, who is bent on destruction? For where is the wrath of the oppressor?” (Isaiah 51:13 NIV)
“But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.” (Jeremiah 10:12 NIV)
“He made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.” (Jeremiah 51:15 NIV)
“The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person.” (Zechariah 12:1 NIV)
As we can see, the Bible said all along what science has just recently discovered.