Here’s my thought for the day from this morning’s breakfast show on BBC Radio Bristol.
It’s Big Bang Day. In less than an hour the physicists at CERN will turn on the Large Hadron Collider, and set in motion the most expensive science experiment of all time. Subatomic particles will whiz around a giant ring-shaped tunnel close to the speed of light, smashing into each other 600 million times per second, hoping to reveal hidden mysterious about the beginning of the Universe, attempting to cross the i’s and dot the t’s of what one scientist has described as a creation story.
Out of The Big Bang, came something from nothing, order from chaos, the expansion of the universe, evolution and diversity. And it will keep on expanding until – well what? What purpose does the universe have? What meaning will there be if scientists can find the elusive dark matter or the missing Higgs Particle? The scientific narrative is incomplete. Perhaps it always will be.
Another Creation story, found in the Bible, is not a comprehensive scientific account of the universe. It doesn’t claim to be. Yet it has similarities. God Spoke, and out this moment something came from nothing, order out of chaos, a world evolves and diversity occurs. But there is also more. To paraphrase the prophet Isaiah: The words God speaks, the creation, will not return empty, it will not end without accomplishing the purpose for which it exists. What’s more, human beings are called to be at the heart of that purpose.
Science and religion are often made to lock horns, especially over issues about creation. But whatever the scientists discover at CERN, perhaps we need both stories. One to give us scientific insight about the universe, the other to give it meaning.