Is the Christian description of the beginning of the universe consistent with the scientific description? This question can be answered “yes” with certainty. To answer it, examine the basic scientific and Biblical facts about the beginning.
The universe began at a definite point in time.
Verification of any type of existence prior the beginning of the universe is beyond the domain of science.
Since the beginning, the universe has developed in accordance with physical laws for 13.7 billion years. The current universe is only 4% ordinary matter, the stuff of stars and trees and people. 23% is dark matter comprising an undetected particle. The remaining 73% is dark energy, a mysterious force that counteracts the effects of gravity and causes the universe to expand at an accelerating rate.
The Bible says:
The universe began by “ex nihilo" creation (bara) at a definite point in time (Gen 1:1, Heb 11:3).
God existed prior to the beginning of the universe.
Since the beginning, indefinitely long periods of time (yom, plural yamim) have elapsed.
Although science and the Bible do not say exactly the same thing about the beginning of the universe, there is no inconsistency; therefore, the answer to the question is “yes.” Claims of inconsistency generally originate with those who advocate one of the following concepts:
(a) The “big-bang" theory cannot explain the bringing of the universe into existence from nothing (ex nihilo) because it requires the pre-existence of space, time and energy/matter.
(b) Biblical genealogies can be used to construct chronologies of personalities from Adam to Noah and Noah to Abraham. Also, each creation day (yom), described in Genesis, was 24 hours long. It follows that Adam was created no more than six to ten thousand years ago and the universe was created no more than 144 hours earlier.
Concept (a) is scientifically unsound; concept (b) is theologically unsound. At no time has either concept represented the thinking of mainline science or mainline Judeo-Christian theology. (2,3)