LETTER:Where was the Big Bang?

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your series on astronomy demonstrated our smallness compared to the size of the universe in much the same way as an article on microbiology might convey our largeness, compared to the size of an atom. But to proceed from the relative sizes of chunks of matter to the existence of God is far from illuminating, relying as it does on emotion rather than reason. How big or small are big and small things permitted to be before size denotes whether or not they were designed and created in the first place?

I'm a theist because the idea of Nothing exploding with a bang (of whatever size) is unscientific. This notion of "First there was Nothing - then it exploded," imposes a greater strain on my credulity than anything found in the Book of Genesis. As does the absurd notion that human personality (mind, emotions, will) was once latent in a cloud or a puddle.

I suggest that a safer clue as to our place in the scheme of things may be found in the words of Samuel Johnson. Touching on the wisdom of Socrates, he commented: "The innovators [scientists] whom I oppose seem to think we are placed here to watch the growth of plants or the motions of stars. Socrates was rather of the opinion that what we had to learn was how to do good and avoid evil."

Norman Littler