January 6, 2011

Pope Claims God Was Behind The Big Bang

Pope Benedict said on Thursday that God was behind complex scientific theories like the Big Bang, and Christians should reject the idea that the universe came into being by accident.

"The universe is not the result of chance, as some would want to make us believe," Benedict said on the day Christians mark the Epiphany, which is the day the Bible says the three kings reached the site where Jesus was born by following a star.

"Contemplating it (the universe) we are invited to read something profound into it: the wisdom of the creator, the inexhaustible creativity of God," he said in a sermon to some 10,000 people in St Peter's Basilica on the feast day.

The pope has rarely discussed specific topics like the Big Bang, which is what scientists believe led to the formation of the Universe about 13.7 billion years ago.

Researchers at the CERN nuclear research center have been smashing protons together at near the speed of light to simulate the conditions scientists believe brought the primordial universe into existence.

Atheists say that science can prove that God does not exist, but the pope said that some scientific theories were "mind limiting" because "they only arrive at a certain point and do not manage to explain the ultimate sense of reality."

He said scientific theories on the origin and development of the universe and humans left many questions unanswered.

"In the beauty of the world, in its mystery, in its greatness and in its rationality ... we can only let ourselves be guided toward God, creator of heaven and earth," he said in his sermon.

Pope Benedict and his predecessor John Paul have been trying to shed the Church's image of being anti-science, which is a label that stuck when it condemned Galileo for teaching the earth revolves around the sun.

The Catholic Church no longer teaches creationism and says that the account in the book of Genesis is an allegory for the way God created the world.

However, it also objects to using evolution to back an atheist philosophy that denies God's existence or any divine role in creation.  It also objects to using Genesis as a scientific text.


Image Caption: An artist's concept of the first stars forming after the Big Bang. Credit: NASA