It would be interesting to know when our ancient ancestors first began telling creations stories. Did they look at the things they made and reason that nothing comes into existence without a maker? Did the raw energy, immense scale and exquisite beauty that surrounded them convince them the universe must be the handiwork of an intelligence and power far greater than their own?  If so, our ancestors were like scientists who draw conclusions after observing nature. But their observations also led to fear, and religion was born.

The earliest religions evolved as a way to explain and deal with natural phenomenon like fires, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and volcanic eruptions. If a powerful supernatural intelligence created these things, perhaps that intelligence could be appeased so natural phenomenon could be controlled and humans could prosper. Eventually communities found it expedient to support someone who would take on the job of appeasing the gods on their behalf. This person, or group of people, attempted to discern what the gods wanted and conducted sacrifices, rituals and celebrations to curry their favor. At this point scientific observation gave way to the mystical.

Science won its first victory over religion when it proved that the earth was not the center of the universe as Christian religionists had proposed. Since then, many scientists who scoff at religion have been busy trying to prove that the concept of an intelligent creator is little more than the uninformed musings of “primitive” minds. Instead, they’ve concluded the universe is the random result of the right chemicals coming together in the right order, at the right place, under the right conditions and at the right time.  Now, quantum discoveries are bringing many scientists back to the concept of creative intelligence.

What constitutes creation? Can religion let go of the image of an anthropomorphic creator living outside the universe? Can science let go its insistence that everything is an accident? Quantum physics tells us that consciousness must focus on energy to bring matter into existence. Since that is the case, everything we see is the product of consciousness, not accident.  However, that doesn’t mean that evolution is a total crock. Obviously living creatures contain the possibility of change within them, and we can observe those changes taking place. (But that’s another blog post.)

What does all this have to do with the Big Bang? If consciousness must focus on energy to bring matter into existence, the Big Bang would not even have sputtered without conscious intelligence behind it.  

Lee and Steven Hager are the authors of The Beginning of Fearlessness: Quantum Prodigal Son, a spiritual quest and scientific adventure.

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