The Big Bang is a model for the origins and structure of the universe. According to the theory, the universe was once a very small singularity that then expanded. In the time following the Big Bang, the elements that form the building blocks of the universe began to coalesce, giving...
The Big Bang is a model for the origins and structure of the universe. According to the theory, the universe was once a very small singularity that then expanded. In the time following the Big Bang, the elements that form the building blocks of the universe began to coalesce, giving rise to stars and galaxies. The remnants of this expansion can be observed today in the cosmic microwave background, and the universe is still expanding today.
Despite popular misconception, Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is an explanation of the diversity of life, not an explanation for how life arose in the first place (this is called abiogenesis). Basically, evolution by natural selection is driven by environment and mutations. Environmental pressures will favor certain individuals within a population and not others; as a result, those individuals with favorable traits (driven by mutations and variations that exist within a population) will survive and pass on the traits that allowed them to survive. Over time, a population will evolve to become better suited to its environment as its environment changes.
The argument from design is less specific than the Big Bang (model of the universe) or evolution by natural selection (explanation for the diversity of life). It instead attempts to justify a belief in a god by pointing to perceived design in the natural world. A famous example of this argument is the watchmaker analogy, which asks the listener to imagine stumbling upon a watch. The listener would not assume, the analogy argues, that the watch just appeared as a random coming together of parts. Rather, the listener would assume that the watch was designed by an intelligence. This can be applied to the rest of the natural world as well, as the world shows apparent design in its structure.
As the argument from design is specifically meant to prove the existence of a god, it is most certainly compatible with Catholic doctrine. Regarding the Big Bang, Catholic doctrine is explicit that God created the universe from nothing; however, it is open to the idea that the universe may have arisen gradually after this moment of creation (as the Big Bang suggests). Evolution (and specifically human evolution from previous species) is a little trickier to square with Catholicism. The reality of Adam and Eve is essential for the foundations of Catholic doctrine, specifically that the sin of Adam and Eve brought death into the world and the sacrifice of Christ brings salvation. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.
The concession that Genesis uses figurative language may allow for some wiggle room, but the Catholic Church is adamant that the events described did actually happen. A Catholic could argue that Adam and Eve were evolved from prior species before the events of Genesis took place, assuming that the language describing the creation of Adam from the Earth is this "figurative" language the Catechism speaks of.