The Couch Cushion Fort
His stance (being the church-goer that he is), was that if the Big Bang is proven, that still doesn't prove how all the matter in the universe got there in the first place.
I refuted his claims by pointing out that Christianity has long since laughed and jeered at the possibility of a Big Bang. It's funny how now the religions will need to shuffle their views over a bit more to accommodate what we now know could be true. First it could never happen, and now that evidence is pointing to its possibility, everyone is strapping on the blinders and sticking fingers in their ears.
But that doesn't have anything to do with where the matter came from, he pointed out. True. I was just setting the stage. See, humans (myself included), make the awful mistake of setting down the "what makes sense" parts of an idea when we're hearing it. If someone is telling me that they drove to the store, I automatically think "they drove a car", not "they drove a horse and buggy"...even though it's a distinct possibility. In that way, we invest ourselves into one version of the idea until we believe in it so much that we can't accept a change to our own self-assigned variables, even when the reality says differently. I may hear the story a thousand times, and each time think, "They drove a car." But if the next time someone tells me the story they qualify it with, "We drove a horse and buggy," I'm likely to scoff at such an absurdity...even though it's the truth.
So what are the variables in this case? People assume that all the matter in the universe had to be created...or that at some point it wasn't there. Why? If "god" was always there, it stands to reason that matter could have always been there instead. 2,000 years of hearing the same story over and over has told everyone that god was always here. It comes as quite a shock to think something different; something that doesn't make sense on the first pass.
Too bad it's not a question of what makes sense. It's a question of how much can you wrap your mind around it. Imagine, for a moment, the universe. It has no bounds. It goes on forever in any direction. Even if there is no matter, there is still universe. Kind of like a city: the city (matter), stops at the city line, but that doesn't mean that the world ends. It continues on into the country, and in this case, the country goes on forever. So how did the universe...the container...come into being? Again, if "god" was always there, the universe could have also always been there. But instead of admitting that possibility of choice, people run and hide in the couch cushion fort that they've scribbled the word "faith" on the front of. Little beady eyes poke through the slats of their impregnable fort, just waiting for you to try and dash yourself against its stout walls. No answer for a tough question? Better rush back under that answer-all dome called "faith". Why couldn't matter have always been there? Because blind faith in god proves otherwise. Well I'm sorry, but some of us like to have the real answer, and that answer is never rooted in belief...it's rooted in experiments, research, and facts.