|In the Beginning:
Genesis and Science
by Larry Leonard
say that there is no evidence that a god has or ever had anything to do
with the cosmos. The quantum mathematics of fundamental
thermodynamics aside (which they are ignoring when they make such
statements), my suggestion is that the next time they drive to the
store, they look under their auto's hood to see if the engineers who
designed the vehicle are sitting on the air cleaner. -- LL
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
We'll exclude the God part, initially. The astrophysics here are precisely correct. The heavens, cosmic space, existed before our planet did.
Now, to the God part.
Stephen Hawking holds the Lucasian chair at Cambridge University in England. In the end of his classic book, A Brief History of Time, Mr. Hawking states that based on the physical facts presently known by science, one may feel free to believe in a Creator or not, as one wishes. No scientist, he says, has the information necessary to prove a conclusion in this regard either way.
Most scientists today probably do not believe in God. They believe their disbelief is logical. The greatest scientist on earth, the man who sits in the chair first occupied by Isaac Newton, says, in effect, that they are fools to be sure.
Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
According to science all that is was once located in a single, small place. All the stars we can see and the ones that we can't. All the buildings we build, all the bears in Alaska, all the planets, sea bass, Chevrolets and oceans. This ball of matter is generally referred to as the "primordial ylem," or first particle. Because of its great mass, all known laws of physics broke down in the area under its influence. And, since Einstein we have known that "there" is only there if there is matter there. Space, the empty distance between planets, only exists because the planets exist. Take the matter (mass) out of the picture and the space would cease to be (or not to be) there.
(Science is great. Sometimes it resembles a religion, or, at least, a play by Shakespeare.)
Anyway, all the stuff there is, including the material that would later make up this planet, was void of form and meaning. (No laws of physics, nothing describable.) Since this particle was the most massive ever to exist, it was in essence a black hole. Black holes are infinitely deep, as any astrophysicist with a working brain will admit. They are gravity wells with no bottom. And, they emit no light. It is true that "normal" black holes these days are often spotted by the light in their vicinity, but that light is the result of the acceleration and compression of incoming matter. (Compress something and you get heat. Expand something and you get cold - the absence of heat. That's how heat pumps and refrigerators work.)
The first bottomless gravity well contained all the mass in the universe, so by definition there could not have been any incoming matter. That means that in the beginning darkness was upon the face of the deep.
Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
happened. The characteristics of the primordial ylem
changed. Specifically it began to expand at a very fast rate of
speed. It's volumn became larger, thus, less dense. The
gravity, or warping of space, took a different shape. The
intensity of that gravitic field warping declined -- changed --
remained strong near this lump of primordial mass and became less where
it was distant from lumps of primordial
that do that are usually said to have "exploded." There is no
such thing as the explosion of a classical mass (planet-sized or larger
object) without the emission of some frequency of EMR, or
electromagnetic radiation -- if the gravitic intensity (Einsteinian
space-time field/structure warping) is below a certain value.
Expansion of the ylem would "create" areas below that value. Some
frequencies of the EMR spectrum can be received and translated into
brain images by the ocular organs of living creatures. The class
of biological entity which can both perform this function and talk
about it refers to the phenomena as "light." Thus, light -- even
if it was of a frequency that the humans who didn't exist yet couldn't
have seen without special devices they couldn't have had because they
weren't there to invent them -- was the first thing that happened in
the cosmos. (Our apologies for the humor in that last sentence.
Science forces such abuses on a writer. Scientists -- a generally
humorless lot -- create an atmosphere that leaves one no other form of
expression. Their "method" defines them as gods.)
Gen 1:4 And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Careful telescopic observation by a million scientists for the last four or five hundred years has clearly proved that while there is nowhere in the cosmos that energy does not exist, the kind of energy we call "light" is very definitely divided from the darkness.
Gen 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
When the primordial ylem exploded, where all had been dark, now all was light. (Light and matter are equivalent, anyway. They're just different velocities or frequencies of the same thing, whatever it is.) After a while (what we call time began when the ylem exploded) the whole shebang expanded to the point to where it cooled off in places. Some of the energy slowed down and reformed into matter. Some of that became stars. The stars burned bright and hot, and after a while collapsed, as all stars eventually do, and exploded all over again.. While they were burning, and in these explosions, hydrogen and helium were turned into everything you see around you, including yourself. When the first solar system condensed out of the interstellar clouds generated by these explosions (like smoke after a bomb goes off), and the first planet revolved near its sun, night and day as we know them began.
Gen 1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
Water is everywhere in the universe. It's all over our planet. It used to run free on the surface of Mars. Jupiter's moon, Europa is a giant ice ball, although it may be like a tennis ball with a liquid interior. Hell, last year somebody found water on our own moon! That's right, you can drill a well on airless Luna and hit wet paydirt. As every scientist knows, water is a very unusual substance. And, as they also know, one of its characteristics is that it clings to itself. Dump rocks in a bucket and they will just sit there, looking like separate lumps. But dump ten cups of water in the bucket and they will form a unitized volume. If you can see both a puddle and a cloud, what separates them is called the sky. The waters are separated from the waters. "Firmament" is an ancient word for sky.
Gen 1:7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which [were] under the firmament from the waters which [were] above the firmament: and it was so.
Atmosphere. The sky of Venus is made of battery acid. Saturn's moon, Titan, has clouds that rain drops of lighter fluid. There is no sky on the moon because there is no atmosphere. Among the unusual qualities of water is that it can exist as a gas, a liquid and a solid on the same planet at the same time.. When heated it becomes an invisible gas called water vapor and rises into the firmament. . When cooled a little, it condenses into clouds. The firmament is then between the waters below and the waters floating above. More cooling and the cloud turns into raindrops and falls to the ground collecting in the nearest gravity well. When really cooled, it becomes a solid with a lower specific density than it used to have and floats in its own liquid. Water, scientifically speaking, really gets around the firmament. A poet might say that icebergs are clouds of the sea. They are, indeed, floating in an oceanic firmament.
Gen 1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Heaven is traditionally thought of as a nice place to go, particularly if the only other option is Hell. From the standpoint of science, viewed in the light of basic biology, planets with oxygen atmospheres are better places to visit. Compared to any other planet we know about, Earth's atmosphere is Heaven, and is a good reason to look up and give thanks.
Gen 1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry [land] appear: and it was so.
Earth condensed out of the eddy that is our solar system, was bombarded with water-laden comets. The liquid unitized (gathered together), and sought its own level, as water always does. That left some land (which doesn't unitize itself and seek its own level as easily as water does), for us to live on. This chunk of land, when it appeared on Earth, was known as the "super-continent." In time it split into giant puzzle pieces which drifted across the hot liquid planetary underlayment to where they are, today.
Gen 1:10 And God called the dry [land] Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that [it was] good.
"Good" is a value judgement. I happen to agree with God on this one. Some scientists may not. It is their Constitutional (God-given) right to do so.
Gen 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, [and] the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed [is] in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
Most scientists believe life began in the waters that had gathered themselves together under the firmament. All biological theories indicate that life evolved from less to more complex types. Single celled plants came first.
Gen 1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, [and] herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed [was] in itself, after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.
The evolution of trees after grass perfectly fits all known science.
Gen 1:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
It's okay with me. A day on Neptune takes up a chunk of an Earth century. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, has a "day" (period of full revolution) that is longer than the life of some suns. (Our sun, Sol, is about four billion years old, in Earth days. Since it's never dark on the sun, though it revolves it is still not in Earth terms a single day old.) Einstein said that time is not a fixed characteristic of the universe, but rather is related to mass and velocity. And, I appreciate the efficiency of the mode of Genesis. (Using the linguistic temporal mathematics of mythological descriptive. A day equals that which completes a period that has a beginning and an end. A beginning place, a revolution and a return to the beginning place.) Calling a hundred million years a "day" is so very right, because on the evolutionary scale of a planet, when compared to the life of a man or even life on Earth, that's exactly what it represents. The dinosaurs had their day, and now Man is having his day.
Gen 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
This may be the only technical flaw in Genesis. The implication here when you factor in the previous descriptive sequences, is that the stars appeared after the Earth was formed. That is incorrect, unless one accepts the premise that stars formed and died before the "creation" of our planet, and stars will be created and cease to exist after it is gone. Since that has happened, is happening and will happen, this is a "wrong" that from a philosophical standpoint can be called "right." Add in the first, second and later stages of universal star evolution, plus the various expansion stages of the universe, and you have a cosmic street riot. Only by duct-taping the individual members of the riot in place can you for a few seconds create a photograph which can be assigned a headline descriptive. (A single cosmic "event.")
Gen 1:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
That is exactly what stars do. They are lamposts that light the ways of the universe, and illuminate the surface of planets..
Gen 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also.
Although some scientists believe the planets were formed by the shock wave generated when the sun turned on, most likely the Earth, or its parts, was/were here before that event. It was definitely here before the moon. In fact, the latest hypothesis has it that the moon is not a small planet captured by Earth's gravity, but is actually a chunk of the Earth, itself, knocked loose from this planet by a collision with a large object of some kind.
Gen 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
That's exactly where they are and what they do.
Gen 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that [it was] good.
is another value judgement with which I happen to agree. Moonlight is
good for romance.
Gen 1:19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
There was the original cosmic explosion, the period of first generation suns, the period of second generation suns and the period of third generation suns, of which ours is one. That adds up to four cosmic days..
Gen 1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl [that] may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
This one always amazes me. It is ancient text that describes the role of the oceans in the process of life. And did you notice that this says that birds originated in the sea? Paleobiologists if nailed to a wall will admit that wings are frighteningly similar to fins. You will be hard pressed to find one who doesn't believe that fins turned into hands, feet and wings. The Bible! The children's fairy tale of Genesis! Birds that fly in the air originated in the sea. Life began in the sea? What do you know about that?
Gen 1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.
Reptiles evolved from fish and moved onto the land to avoid being eaten. Birds probably evolved from reptiles, and took to the firmament to keep from being eaten, as well. And, seaside cliffs have strong updrafts, which could support a big flying lizard long enough in a glide to divebomb a fish near the surface. The lizard could eat the fish, then climb the hill and look for more victims from its vantage point. Lizards weren't the first to fly, though. Bugs invented intentional flight destinations. They all, however, began exactly where Gen 1:21 says they did. In the waters.
Gen 1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
biological purity. From a Darwinian point of view, all animal
functions are subsidiary to reproduction. I, myself, am subsidiary
to reproduction, and have done my best to participate in the process.
Gen 1:23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
The explosion, first generation stars, second generation stars, third generation stars, the invention of life. That's five "days."
Gen 1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
next key biological invention. The mammal. And in the order
(sequence) all bioligists say it appeared. And it was done by the
"Earth." If that isn't evolution, what is?
Gen 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.
It was, but it wasn't quite finished. There was one thing more to do.
Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Ask Greenpeace, the Sierra Club and Al Gore who is the latest of nature's creations (the last one invented) , and who has dominion over all those critters. Do you understand?. This text from the Old Testament, literally thousands of years ago stated that man was the latest major evolutionary invention to appear on Earth.. Lives there an atheist scientist on the planet who would care to dispute that biology? Is there a lick of scientific evidence that indicates the creation of a single species since the creation of Man?
The answer is yes and no. Bacteria and viruses evolve a zillion times quicker than any other life form. But, to equate them with evolution's most powerful creation is multiculturalist fantasy. They are merely variations on an ancient theme, not an evolutionary step forward. The prime evolutionary achievement is the (geologically speaking) latest evolutionary achievement. The appearance and rise of creatures who can plan to create and destroy.
Gen 1:27 So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
As to the order of the creation of the sexes, the designation (name) of which came first, male or female, is a political one. The important factor here is that God took Adam's rib and from it made Eve. All biological science indicates that the first living things reproduced by division -- part of their body became another living thing. Following that process came sexual reproduction. Genesis describes this evolution perfectly.
Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Subdue the Earth. That's what man did. Wonk-headed scientists will tell you that bacteria, ants or fungus actually control the Earth, but that is balderdash. Hogwash. He controls a thing who has power to destroy a thing. Bacteria, ants and fungus do not have the power to destroy Earth. Only Man has the power to do that. (Ask an environmentalist which species represents the greatest danger to the planet. He won't say bacteria.)
Gen 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
Anybody doubt that we own the whole joint?
Gen 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein [there is] life, [I have given] every green herb for meat: and it was so.
It certainly was.
Gen 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, [it was] very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
So, we have established two basic facts, here. First, the greatest living astrophysical scientist, Stephen Hawking, says that anyone who chooses to believe in a Universal Creator is standing on ground as solid as any scientist who denies Creative Purpose as First Cause. Because of the laws these same scientists have discovered, there is absolutely no way to tell what made it all happen. Whichever one you choose, says Hawking, you are performing an act of pure faith.
Next, Genesis describes with one debateable exception the exact order of the evolution of the universe, and life on Earth. Regard the references to "days" as "coherent periods of time," or perhaps eras, and it's a scientific paper that even after thousands of years of oral transference and centuries of reworked printed editions, has one mistake (maybe) - the timing of the appearance of the stars as described in one clause releated to the creation of our planet.. With the exception of that one mistake (maybe), which could easily be a result of those millennia of translations and, as described above is correct or incorrect depending on how you assign definitions to the terms, Genesis perfectly describes the universe from the beginning to today..
This means that the massive crowd of doubting educators, liberal politicians and media types are supported by but one concept. Hawking allows God, and Genesis could be a training paper for basic astrophysics and evolutionary biology. All that is left to the idiot secular progressives is the biblical description of the time it took for all this to happen. And, this brings up the sweetest irony of them all.
To maintain their refusal to accept Genesis as a damn near perfect description of scientific fact, these anti-Christian fanatics must --, are you ready for this? -- take Genesis literally!
don't happen to be a Christian in the sense that I attend services or
identify myself with this or that sect, but I think that's funny as
Originally under the pen name, Eric Blair, this piece first appeared in
print years ago, along with: Science and Creation Myth.
That one irritates the secular science crowd even more than this
one. I've done a text
cleanup, here, and added an item at the bottom, written and posted on
(Added item in
October of 2011)
© 2011 Oregon Magazine