Gentle readers are likely aware that the present state of knowledge in physics accords well with biblical cosmology: the Big Bang works out to something strongly reminiscent of Genesis 1:1.
But dissent is not just a religious phenomenon. It is even more a scientific one.
Enter Oxford's Roger Penrose, who posits that certain circles of uniformity in the cosmic background radiation are vestiges of black holes in the previous universe. That is to say, the universe cycles around: starts with a bang, ends with a collapse, and then starts again.
We, of course, are unqualified to discuss the physics of the hypothesis--hopelessly so. We'll simply note what any thoughtful person can note.
First, both Penrose's hypothesis and the prevailing one involve leaps of logic yet unproved experimentally. Everyone would do well to remember that science is always provisional, even if it tends over time to describe reality with increasing accuracy.
Second, apologists of the great Eastern religions and related worldviews are just as anxious to cite Penrose apologetically as Christians are to cite the Big Bang. Check out the comments on the Economist article linked above. The Marxists and Hindus have already declared intellectual victory on this one, novel hypothesis. For the public, science is only interesting if it makes for cool gadgets or revises our story of ourselves.
Third, we imagine that the outcome on this issue will not settle the religious and philosophical questions of cosmology. A pulsating universe need not pulsate eternally, for example, any more than a Big Bang universe need not be the only universe that exists. Behind every empirical observation and its explanation lie other possibilities than can alter its significance.
None of this is to say that Big Bang cosmology is irrelevant to Christian thinking. The fact that the universe seems once not to have existed and then to have begun to exist, culminating in the existence of bloggers, is still potentially significant as the hypothesis that best explains what we observe presently. But those of us who understand it in accord with the good news of Jesus do so because that good news also explains a host of other experiences, all of which contribute to the reason (a word deliberately chosen) for our belief. The Big Bang is not the keystone of our apologetics but a strand in the web.