In my Faith and Science course, when we covered the scientific models for origins of the universe, we studied the "mainstream" model of the Big Bang. I remember making the comment that for many Christians who are scientists, the idea of a Big Bang at the beginning of the universe is completely consistent with the idea of God as Creator. "God spoke and BANG, it was". I also commented that we are unable to determine what happened, if anything, prior to the Big Bang. In fact, the current version of the model only goes back to when the age of the Universe was about 10^-43 seconds old. Admittedly this is very close to the beginning, but it was not possible to know what happened before that or, at least, it was impossible to know what happened before the Big Bang.
Well,scientists at Penn State have begun to try to look beyond the birth of the universe. Using quantum tools with general relativity, Abhay Ashtekar and two of his post-doctoral researchers have developed a model that looks before the Big Bang to see a shrinking universe with much the same physics as ours. "Using quantum modifications of Einstein's cosmological equations, we have shown that in place of a classical Big Bang there is in fact a quantum Bounce," says Asktekar.
Since I can't claim to have the expertise to critique their science, I am curious to watch how this model is accepted in the scientific community.
For more, you can read the article in Scientific Daily:
Penn State Researchers Look Beyond The Birth Of The Universe
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