“In the Beginning…”


In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

-Genesis 1:1

For years, scientists believed the universe did not have a beginning. Albert Einstein applied his field equations of gravitation to the subject of the entire universe. These equations were the mathematical summary of the general theory of relativity, extending Newton’s theory of gravity.
His equations concluded the universe could not stay static. It either had to expand or contract. This wasn’t what he expected, and he chose to ignore this conclusion. From this, he invented the cosmological constant.
Around the same time, the 100-inch Hubble telescope was being produced at the Mount Wilson Observatory in California. This would be the most powerful telescope of the time.
Within the next decade, astrophysicist Edwin Hubble, from Wheaton, Ill., would discover Einstein’s theory to be incorrect.
Hubble’s greatest rival was Harlow Shapley, who had made his own reputation measuring the size of the Milky Way. He had used a method created by Henrietta Leavitt of the Harvard College Obervatory. which relied on the behavior of standardized light variations from Cepheid variables, a type of bright stars, to determine the distance of an object.
He discovered the universe was roughly ten times the previously accepted value. But, like most astronomers, he assumed the Milky Way was all there was to the universe.
Spending many nights researching, in 1923 he spotted what he thought was a nova star flaring up dramatically in the M31 nebula constellation of Andromeda. However, he soon realized it was a Cepheid star. Using Hubble’s method he discovered the star was far outside the Milky Way. It was not a star, but a galaxy in and of itself and had expanded greatly that very day.
Hubble continued to measure all of the known nebulae. He would eventually discover Hubble’s Law, which is that all galaxies were receding from us with velocities that increased in proportion to their distance from us.
Einstein would later meet with Hubble in the early 1930s and share research. Einstein discovered the massive amounts of data Hubble discovered, disappointed in himself that he forced his data to stay constant.
Because of this discovery, scientists’ relationship with the Bible changed. The very phrase “In the beginning” from Genesis was always in opposition to scientific research. However, because of these discoveries Hubble discovered there was a beginning, and a constant change in the universe.


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