Perhaps Genesis is one of the most controversial books of the Bible because of its ‘scientific’ content. But in fact, it is the only “holy” book which describes the Creator existing outside of space and time; other religious writings contain a creator who is within the known universe – creating from existing matter in an ‘eternal’ space and time.
Consider a few Bible Scriptures which may correspond to recent scientific discovery; is it possible for a quantum mechanics physicist or an astrophysicist to recognize the language within the Bible as correlating with his own scholarly domain(s):
Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. (Isaiah 40: 21-23 – emphasis mine)
He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion. (Jeremiah 10:12 – emphasis mine)
The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. (Zechariah 12:1 – emphasis mine)
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Hebrews 11:3 – emphasis mine)
In Titus, Paul speaks of a “hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.” (Titus 1:2 – emphasis mine).
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 – emphasis mine)
Given the advent of the “Big Bang Theory” which posits the universe had a “beginning”, perhaps it is time for the scientific community to revisit the claims of Genesis, which in its first three words agree with our new scientific data: “In the beginning“.
There are several positions within Christendom which attempt to explain the Genesis account of creation and specifically the ‘days’ of Creation. None of the positions should divide Christians; at the end of the ‘day’ (no pun intended), we should allow the “how” of Genesis to be sought out by all who are interested.
That He would show you the secrets of wisdom! For they would double your prudence…. Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than heaven— what can you do? Deeper than Sheol— what can you know? (Job 11:7)
So we will attempt our search, with all humility. The first position is that of a ‘young-earth’ perspective, which holds that the six days of creation were six literal 24-hour earth-days. A second perspective suggests the “days” of Genesis were unspecified periods of time; it is argued that the Hebrew word for day, “yom” can mean a literal day, a partial day as in daytime, or a long period of time as in “…in Suzie’s day…”. I believe in a combination of these two arguments. A Jewish nuclear physicist named Gerald Schroeder has written several books on this subject, and I wholeheartedly agree with his findings. While being an avid scientist, Schroeder is also a devout scholar of the Hebrew Bible. This blog will be an attempt to summarize Schroeder’s views, so you the reader can make up your own mind — whether or not to “search out” his fascinating ideas any further.
Essentially Schroeder has postulated that the six days of creation are 24-hour days — but not from the perspective of earth. He bases his ideas on modern astronomy and cosmology, and the stretching of space/time, each of which has been accepted scientifically for many years.
Schroeder describes ‘the beginning’, at the instant God spoke the world into existence. All of time, energy and matter were as a mustard seed, which then radiated outward over time. At the beginning, time was condensed into a far smaller region of time/space, and from that perspective (within the smaller region), it took 24 literal hours to complete each day of creation. Since then however, the universe has been stretching (both science and Bible agree on this point) and the light of space has also been stretching — and by time-relativity definition, time has also been stretching or expanding. So while God experienced 24-hour days, humans from the perspective of earth looking backwards towards “the beginning”, see millions and millions of light years. Each perspective is right and accurate, relative to one another. So in the end, both sides are right.
But, you might ask, how could time be different for God than it is for mankind while on earth? Today astrophysics can measure and confirm that the sun is 7 seconds per year slower than the earth’s local time. “The sun sends us its timing information in every beam of sunlight…” (The Science of God: page 50). Time and Light are intrinsically connected and are relative depending upon the measurement location – specifically its gravity, velocity and its position relative to the expansion of the universe.
Schroeder coined a phrase “cosmic proper time” to indicate the moment of quark confinement which occurred shortly after the “Big Bang”. At that time, the universe was 1×10¹² or a “million million” times smaller. Science has proven that the universe was hotter by the same factor — a million million. The empirical proof rests with the “cosmic background radiation (CBR)” which is the same “light” all over the universe; scientists believe that its light was the original light of creation. Normally light varies from place to place in the universe, but the CBR is consistently the same temperature throughout the universe, and it is literally found everywhere as the “background light” of the universe. Prior to the discovery of CBR, scientists calculated what the heat of the background light of space should be using the value for quark confinement. Eventually scientists not only discovered the anticipated background light, but also that it is indeed very close to the temperature which scientists had predicted it would be.
So one day Schroeder was talking with his wife, and he had an idea — to divide the 15 billion years (perceived approximate age of the universe) by the “cosmic proper time” value of a million million (1×10¹²), and the calculation resulted in a value just shy of six days! He felt that inspiration was by divine leading.
Another amazing component of Schroeder’s theory is that by using physics and the understanding of the “cosmic proper time” juxtaposed against the earth’s local time, he developed a chart which reveals an amazing reconciliation between events asserted by the Bible, and events within the same “relative” time period accepted by modern science. (ie: What scientists believe occurred on the scientific “day 2” (using biology, chemistry, physics, quark confinement and the known rate of expansion etc.) corresponds exactly to the Biblical events of “Day 2” etc.). Here is Schroeder’s chart taken from page 67 of his book, Science of God:
The following .pdf can be used for further research on this subject. (I created this as a detailed Bible Study outline): Revisiting Genesis Study Outline.pdf