There remains today a great debate about the origin of the universe.
On one side of the debate, there is the current scientific “Big Bang” theory dating the origin of the universe to 13.8 billion years B.P. (Before Present), when the universe that is measureable at this moment originated, by chance, out of an immense explosion from a single infinitesimally small “singularity”—best defined as a point in the midst of nothingness. This theory requires delving into the highest forms of mathematical astrophysics and is comprehended by a very small group of these advanced mathematicians. Nonetheless, this theory has an enormous following , most of whom can fairly be described as mathematically and scientifically challenged, but who put an enormous faith in “science” and this theory proposed by the small number of theorists competent to do both evidence evaluation and the essential mathematics.
On the other side of the debate, there is the theory that the universe was created by an intelligent designer which can only be realistically characterized as omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. My use of the word “which” would be contested, and the word “who” substituted by most adherents of this side of the debate. The existence of this designer has not been scientifically proved, although, in fairness, some very compelling analyses in microbiology present evidence which challenges the dependence on “chance” which is central to the arguments by the other side. This side is not to be equated with religion, for many who consider themselves “religious” adhere to the Big Bang and other theories that exclude the role of an intelligent designer. Nonetheless, the “intelligent designer” theory has its own enormous following, and has had such since prehistoric times. These adherents possess something called “faith,” which is a belief that the cosmos and everything in it, and they themselves, are part of the designer’s plan.
There really isn’t any middle ground between these mutually exclusive theories, as generally defined by the vast majority of their adherents…unless, of course, the Big Bang was the act of creation by the intelligent designer. But, this seemingly simple reconciliation runs head-on into firmly held beliefs by large majorities on both sides. Most of those adhering to their own ideas about science, which is based upon the evidentiary method of proof, are not really interested in or even conversant about the scientific method, but seek justification for their personal inclinations to reject the concept of an intelligent designer as, ipso facto, conflicting with their personal independence. Most adhering to the intelligent designer theory have become constrained by religious or cultural assumptions about the nature of that designer, his methods of creation, and the timeline of his actions—and subjected to enormous pressure to accept dogma produced by their own cultural elites. Thus, both sides are intractable and held captive by their assumptions.
So, what do we know about the nature of this debate 5,203 years ago? We have no written records, for the world was becoming, but not yet literate. However, we do have written evidence of the nature of worship in Mesopotamia from the early writing of nascent literacy a few centuries later i.e. early 3rd millennium BC. These early writings speak to long-standing traditions dating much farther back in time. Moreover, archaeological artifacts dating to the 4th millennium BC, e.g. including our setting of 5,203 BP, reveal practices which might reveal the state of this eternal debate, and recognizing names from later documents, the names of their gods’ and governance. And that is where we will continue our investigation in the next post.