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Book Review – Dismantling the Big Bang
Subtitle: God’s Universe Rediscovered
Authors: Alex Williams and John Hartnett, Ph.D.
Length: 346 pages, 8 chapters, 4 appendices, 1 index
Alex William holds a Master of Science (Honors) in Radioecology from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He is a Research Associate at the Western Australian Herbarium. He has written numerous articles on creationism.
John Hartnett received his Ph.D. with distinction, in Physics, from the University of Western Australia, where he is currently a tenured Research Professor. In 2010 he was the winner of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) W.G. Cady Award. He has written numerous articles on creationism.
This is a divided book. The first four chapters deal with the Big Bang, the last four with alternatives to the Big Bang Theory. The book begins with A Brief Overview: Four Reasons to Reject the Big- Bang Theory, 1/” It doesn’t work.” 2/”The theory lacks a credible and consistent mechanism.” 3/”Chemical evolution of life (eventually leading to intelligent life), an essential ingredient of any evolutionary cosmology) is clearly excluded by the evidence. 4/”Science cannot produce any final answers on the subject of origins.” Four Reasons to Accept Six-Day Creation, 1/”Genesis 1 clearly states that God created the universe in six ordinary length days.” 2/”Jesus was totally committed to the authority of the Scriptures, particularly the writings of Moses (which begin with Genesis), and He said that we must too.” 3/“The honor and glory of God are revealed in His work of creation.” 4/”The Atonement depends upon Genesis creation.” Four Reasons to Avoid Compromise, 1/”The number one reason for compromise-the time scale-is no longer a stumbling block.” 2/”Compromise destroys the internal consistency of the Bible.” 3/”Compromise positions do not earn respect among non-Christians.” 4/”Compromise positions are neither good science nor good theology.”
Chapter 1, From the Backyard to the Big Bang-A Brief History of Cosmology, is just what it claims to be. This is a look at what people over time have observed and how they have explained it. Chapter 2, Science, World Views, and Cosmological Models is more about the philosophy and methodology of science. Chapter 3, Tools for Explaining the Universe is focused on physics. This chapter looks at chance and necessity as tools, weighs their ability to explain the universe. “The Four Forces of Physics” (gravity, electromagnetic force, strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force) are explained and examined for their contributions to our understanding of the cosmos.
Chapter 4, The Big Bang Model is a polemic against the standard model. The model is explained through its six stages, and then each stage is examined in more detail. The evidence for each stage is examined and weighed for its value. It is shown that much of what passes for explanation is in fact, assumption. Consideration is given to the formation of galaxies, stars, and planets. It is demonstrated that little is in fact known about these subjects. From the evidence available, there is no satisfactory theory of the origin of any of these structures. While the Big Bang Theory provides ‘a model’ for cosmology, it is not a good model because it cannot explain what is observed.
The second half of the book is devoted to presenting the case for alternative cosmological theories, but primarily a Biblical one. The authors start the second half of the book with a consideration of Time Scales. They examine the question, “What is Age?” and how age is affected by worldview. There is a discussion of “Functional Creation and the Appearance of Age”, followed by a discussion of various creationist models that deal with time. Time dilation receives considerable attention, and “Humphreys’ White Hole Cosmology” and “Hartnett’s Young Solar System Model” are explained. Time indicators are discussed with consideration given to how they impact the differing models, and which model provides the best explanation for them. The conclusion is that the universe is young, its age being thousands of years, not billions.
The authors then move on to The Biblical Model, a consideration of the theology (philosophy) of creation. “The Seven Cs of Thelein History” (History where God’s will is the dominant force) are presented: 1/ Creation, 2/ Corruption, 3/ Catastrophe, 4/ Confusion, 5/ Christ, 6/ Cross, 7/ Consummation. Principles of interpretation are discussed with three principles brought to the fore, Biblical authority, cultural context, and Biblical context. All of these are discussed as to how they affect our scientific understanding of Genesis 1. The conclusion is “The God of the Bible created the universe in six ordinary-length days, just a few thousand years ago.”
The remaining chapters are short summaries, which are more fully developed in the appendices. Chapter 7, The Scoreboard, explains some of what goes into Appendix C, The Scoreboard Tables. This is a comparison of which theory best explains the evidence. Chapter 8, Future Cosmological Trends, very briefly looks at the ongoing research in cosmology. Appendix A, Other Cosmological Models is concerned specifically with non-creationist alternatives to the Big Bang. Four models are summarized, 1/ The Arpian Universe, 2/ The Quasi-Steady State Universe, a variation of the Arpian Universe, 3/ Carmeli’s Cosmological General Relativity, a theory on which John Hartnett has worked, 4/ Van Flandern’s Meta Model, where gravity is a repulsive rather than attractive force. Appendix B, Theological Issues, deals with the problems that arise from long-age creationism.
The book is written at a level that an informed layman can understand. The order in which the argument is developed provides for an understanding of the issues before the rebuttals are given. The focus of the book is such that I can only recommend this book for specialists in creation apologetics, although it would be a useful book for church libraries to have.