Origin of the Universe
"In the beginning, there was nothing. Then God said, "Let there be light!" And there was light."
With these 17 words begins the Old Testament. If you bothered to read any farther, you should check into the local hospital and have your head scanned, because you clearly don't have a brain. In the beginning, was there nothing, or was there God? And who is he talking to? Does God talk to himself? What was there before the beginning? Where did God come from? These 17 words are so ludicrous as to clearly indicate that the book you're holding is worthless, might as well toss it on the fire and read something better like The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkein.
If the answer to that last question sounds anything like "God is eternal; he always was and always will be", why don't we just do away with the middleman here and apply that statement to the universe itself? "The universe is eternal; it has always existed and always will" makes a lot more sense!
"In the beginning, there was nothing. Then there was a Big Bang. Then there was matter, energy, space, and time."
i'm sorry, but this explanation is every bit as ludicrous as the first one! What was there before this Big Bang? And what caused this Big Bang? Needless to say, it doesn't help matters for atheists trying to explain science and reason to theists when the "scientific" notion of the origin of the universe is every bit as nonsensical as the biblical one!
Here's what happened in a nutshell: Scientists - Albert Einstein in particular - began with the preconceived notion that the universe was finite -- which was undoubtedly the result of growing up within a religious paradigm. A finite universe cannot be static, it would eventually collapse upon itself, so it must either be expanding or collapsing. It looks like it's expanding, so with a bit of careful observation and mathematics we should be able to calculate just exactly how long ago it was all at one point and this expanding began. So we'll know the age and the size of the universe! Won't we be smart! And so for the past century cosmologists have been writing articles of ever-increasing complexity that nobody ever reads because they don't make any sense and nobody believes them anyway.
It's plainly obvious that the universe is not finite. It's infinite in all spacial directions, as well as in time both forward and backward. The first concern, that the universe must be either expanding or contracting, evaporates -- an object in an infinite universe is surrounded by an infinite number of other objects in all directions, there is no net gravitational attraction that would cause an eventual collapse. If the objects within 20 billion light-years of our home planet appear to be flying away from each other, so what? It certainly is of little importance in the grand scheme of things, such as what's happening 20 quintillion light-years from our home planet!
In an infinite universe, the questions are ever so much more interesting. I'll point out a few:
Occam's Razor: The theory that, if the universe were infinite and there were an infinite number of stars out there and have been for an infinite amount of time, the night sky would be as bright as day. Mathematically, this would be true -- if one were to presume that light, once emitted by a star, travels indefinitely through space without degradation. Clearly, light does not travel indefinitely through space without degradation! Maybe we should be looking into exactly what happens to light as it travels for 15 billion years or so.
The "red shift": The basis for the theory that the entire observable universe is expanding, that the light from all visible stars is shifted towards the red end of the spectrum as though they are moving away from us, and the farther away the star is, the faster it appears to be moving away. Perhaps. However, perhaps -- considering the degradation of light that must be occurring as described under Occam's Razor -- these stars aren't moving away from us at all, the red shift is merely a consequence of light travelling for billions of years.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics: Clearly this cannot hold on a universal scale, because there has already been an infinite amount of time passing, everything would have fallen into utter disorder by now. Apparently there is some mechanism by which order is restored. I suspect order is gained whenever space dust aggregates into a planet or star.
Mass vs. Energy: Each star is burning hydrogen in a fusion reaction, converting mass into energy. Since that can't go on forever -- but has been going on forever -- clearly there is some mechanism in the universe by which energy is converted back into matter. Perhaps as light travels through space for billions of years, each photon gradually becomes a tiny particle of space dust. Or perhaps there's something going on in black holes.
The cyclical nature of everything: Everything that is happening now has happened an infinite number of times before. Everything is cyclical. Obviously, it'd be very interesting to study all the various cycles involved.
I would very much like to be reading articles discussing theories on these issues -- but all we get from the cosmologists is more garbage about the Big Bang. I'd like to slap them.