The ‘Big History’ of God’s Evolving Universe

Update: TED’s WordPress embed code actually links to the wrong video, so you’ll have to visit this link to watch it. Sorry for the inconvenience!

My wife and I like to wind down before bed by watching one or two TED Talks – partly because we’re that nerdy and partly because Netflix has begun streaming them in little 10-talk packages by subject. We’re working through the “Ancient Clues” packet, which has all sorts of fun talks about human origins and the like.

The talk above by David Christian, an Australian history professor, is perhaps the strongest argument I’ve ever seen for the nature of God’s work in the universe. He never mentions God – indeed, doesn’t give us any reason to think he believes in any god at all – but his treatment of “Big History” and the various “Goldlilocks moments” when conditions were just right for the universe to buck the law of entropy and produce greater complexity rather than greater disorder is an inspirational telling of just how intimately involved God is in his creation.

Perhaps it’s just me, but this video conclusively shatters the notion – proposed by conservative Christians and the New Atheists alike – that evolution leaves no room for God. Rather, we can see just how truly evolutionary our God is, and we can marvel at the patience and love he must have to construct this world and work through such slow, time-intensive processes just to get to us.

Why would he do this? I don’t know. But he did it.

After millennia of progressively revealing his true nature, God is using the study of his creation to reveal more of it. What we’re finding – that God is slow-working, intimately yet subtly involved in every facet of our world and therefore intimately yet subtly involved with every facet of us – should change our lives. It is certainly changing mine.

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2 comments on “The ‘Big History’ of God’s Evolving Universe

  1. Brandon says:

    “What we’re finding – that God is slow-working, intimately yet subtly involved in every facet of our world and therefore intimately yet subtly involved with every facet of us – should change our lives. It is certainly changing mine.”

    That is beautifully said. This is why evolution is so moving to me; because I see it in my own life. I see a God who doesn’t give up on me but slowly works with me through every difficulty so that the impossible may indeed become possible. It also reminds me of quote from my favorite Christian writer who was also a scientist:

    “Above all, trust in the slow work of God.” -Teilhard de Chardin

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