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From the Beginning - Creationist Cosmologies

Updated on May 2, 2013

From the Beginning

Biblical creationists are often confronted with the suggestion that we need to provide our own theories rather than simply criticizing the theories of evolutionists. What follows are four Biblical creationist cosmological theories.

All creationist cosmologies, including the Big Bang, start after the beginning. What God did in that first moment when there was nothing, to create the something, is beyond us. It is what happens afterward that science attempts to describe. The Big Bang Theory was among the first to attempt that description. Proposed by the Belgian monk Le Maitre as the Cosmic Egg, it was modified by the Russian mathematician Friedmann to remove the center and edge to become the Friedmann-Le Maitre (FL) model, now known as the standard model.

The Big Bang Theory was a welcome apologetic at the time it appeared. Rather than living in an eternally existing universe, we now lived in a universe that had a definite beginning, just as Genesis 1 declared. The problem with the FL version of the Big Bang Theory is that it contradicts both the time scale (6000 years vs. Billions) and the order of creation (stars on day 4 after the earth was created vs. stars coming into being, going nova and the earth being born in a third or fourth generation solar system). Some creationists, happy with the Big Bang Theory, simply followed an earlier pattern of conforming the Bible to science and allegorizing the first chapters of Genesis. Other creationists realized that there was a need for a better theory, not only one that accorded more closely with Genesis, but also with the data.

Variable Speed of Light

One of the first to re-examine the data was Barry Setterfield. He looked at the speed of light over time and suggested that c was not constant with relation to time. He saw the speed of light slowing down over time, which would account for the cosmological red shift. Evolutionists have also suggested that the speed of light has varied over time. If the speed of light is variable so is the rate of radioactive decay. For Mr. Setterfield this provided an explanation of the apparent radioactive age of the universe among other things. A variable speed of light also impacts other theories adversely. Other scientists looked at the data and saw errors in it.

White Hole Cosmology and Beyond

Dr. Russell Humphreys considered the problem and he came up with a different solution. He proposed a White Hole cosmology. A white hole is the opposite of a black hole, with energy and matter being spewed out rather sucked in. At the event horizon there was a time dilation effect, outside the event horizon time moved faster than inside. Two major differences in this cosmology are that it assumes a center and an edge to the universe. The earth being near the center of the White Hole it was late emerging, and therefore the passage of time on earth was slowed in comparison with the rest of the cosmos. Within the event horizon time moves more slowly than at the edge, therefore billions of years could elapse outside the event horizon while only days pass inside. This cosmology had the advantage of being easy to understand and explain, alas, Dr. Humphreys has abandoned the White Hole while retaining Time Dilation.

Time dilation is an effect predicted within the Theory of Relativity. Basically, time is affected both by velocity and gravity (and this has been confirmed by measurement). Dr. Humphrey’s cosmology uses gravity as the prime affecter for time dilation. In his model Genesis 1:6-7 need to be understood on a cosmological scale:

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters 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.

In the center of the cosmos God placed a small mass of water that became our solar system, around the edge of the cosmos God placed a large shell of water, in between is the firmament. It is the gravity from this mass of water at the outer edge that provides the time dilation. So far, Dr. Humphrey’s theory has explained the Pioneer anomaly and correctly predicted the strength of the magnetic fields of Uranus and Mercury, as well as the decay rate of Mercury’s field. Its success has not, however, prevented it from being challenged.

Cosmological General Relativity

Dr. John Hartnett is an expert on time dilation. He works on the affect of time dilation on GPS systems. His cosmology differs from Dr. Humphrey’s in that it uses velocity as the prime factor in time dilation. Dr. Hartnett also uses a variation of Relativity called Cosmological Relativity. With standard Relativity dark matter and dark energy are required to explain some of the observations made of the universe. Moshe Carmelli, an Israeli physicist gave some thought to this and decided that both dark matter and dark energy were shortcomings of Einstein’s Theory; he modified the theory with a 5-dimension universe that uses velocity as its fifth dimension, he called this modification Cosmological General Relativity. Calculating Relativity this way removes the need for dark matter and dark energy.

Cosmic Center Universe

The problem with all of the above theories is that they require expansion as an explanation of red shift. Some scientists challenge expansion itself, and if expansion is falsified, so are all three of the theories mentioned. Dr. Robert Gentry, made famous by his studies on radio halos, has proposed that galactic red shift is caused by the motion of the galaxies; this makes the red shift a Doppler effect rather than an expansion effect. There is no way to tell the difference between the two by observation, but mathematically (or the physics of the theory) it makes a big difference.

Dr. Gentry’s Cosmic Center Universe model accounts for many of the same phenomena that the Big Bang Theory does. His theory differs in that it maintains a 6,000-year-old universe with both a center and an edge. At the edge of the universe, the CCU model predicts a large hydrogen shell with Population III stars. No such stars have been observed and no such shell.

Mature Universe Cosmology

The final cosmology has two variations. It has been suggested that the universe was created mature, thus, the Mature Universe Cosmology. The first variation of this is purely miraculous. The universe was created as it is and the light was created in transit. To many people this means that the information contained in the light is fictional. Theologically this is a disturbing concept and therefore an alternative solution has been sought.

Dr. Jason Lisle, currently Director of Research for the Institute of Creation Research, has proposed the Anisotropic Synchrony Convention. By itself, this is not a cosmology. Dr. Lisle accepts that God has created a mature universe but that the light contains real information. That light arrives here at Earth instantaneously. It does so because the one-way speed of light is anisotropic, that is, it is different in all directions. This occurs because within Special Relativity it is possible to calculate the speed of light using either a position dependent variable (Einstein’s preference) or a velocity dependent variable (Dr. Lisle’s preference). Regardless of how the one-way speed is calculated, the two-way speed is not changed. When added to the Mature Universe Cosmology we get the ASC Model. This model explains the appearance of youth in the universe with maturity being an artifact of creation.


Biblical creationists have produced cosmologies expressed in scientific terms. Each of these cosmologies is testable and falsifiable. Indeed, it can be said that they are exclusive theories, if one is true the others are falsified. What these theories hold in common is that God is true and Genesis 1 is to be taken literally. Not only do these theories account for the universe as described in Genesis 1, they can explain the universe as it is observed by us now. Like all theories they are generalizations of what we know, and as we learn more the theories will have to be modified (as with Dr. Humphrey’s White Hole Cosmology), or discarded. Regardless of which theory meets with the greatest approval, it can be shown that theories exist which support the Biblical narrative.

Useful Resources

Starlight & Time
Starlight & Time

Dated because it is an explanation of White Hole Cosmology but still useful in its explanation of Time Dilation.



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    • barrydan profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Calgary, Alberta, Canada

      The term "sons of God" has a particular usage in the Old Testament. When read in a normal sense it refers to angels. You deny the normal use of this as you deny the normal use of the word day in Genesis 1. Your usage of the words in the Bible is determined by what you believe that naturalistic science believes. You denigrate the refutation of that science as hoop jumping while ignoring the ad hoc hypotheses and speculations raised to support your paradigm. At his point there is a great gulf between us, one that cannot be overcome if we cannot accept the normal usage of words.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 

      5 years ago from Texas

      barrydan, to be clear, it is not my argument that I am saying is irrefutable. It is the overall timeline of the formation of the earth that is irrefutable as it corresponds to numerous established facts from everything from biological to geological to climatological evidence and beyond. They all tell the same story and fit along the same basic explanation of earth's history. It's the established age of the earth and the timeline of events that is irrefutable. The basis over which I lay my argument.

      Also keep in mind that the church was very much on board with Ptolemy's view of our planetary system as it was believed at the time, that we and the earth were the center of the universe. And that's how the bible was interpreted then. In fact, it was Galileo re-interpreting the bible based on a heliocentric model that resulted in him spending the rest of his life under house arrest as a heretic. You say the bible is its own best interpreter. If that were the case then there wouldn't be numerous conflicting translations of the exact same text. I think the bible will ultimately prove to be accurate, but you have to keep in mind that human interpretation is also always involved. And unlike science, human interpretation has no methods to ensure accuracy or legitimacy. I want to make clear that my argument does not change the bible and does not contradict it. But it does contradict some long held human interpretations of the bible. That is all.

      For example, your statement about the 'sons of God' being angels. Many agree with you, though it conflicts with the rest of the bible. In the OT, only Israelites are referred to as God's sons (Exodus 4:22-23, 2 Samuel 7:11-14). Job does not specifically say the 'sons of God' it speaks of are angels. That is merely assumption. Then, in Luke 3 before Jesus' death/resurrection, everyone from Joseph to David to Abraham to Noah to Adam is said to be a 'son of God'. And after Jesus' death/resurrection believers are then included in the 'sons of God' club..

      John 1:12 – But as many as received him [Jesus Christ], to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

      Romans 8:14 – For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

      1 John 3:1 – Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.

      Then there's this ...

      Hebrews 1:5 – For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father”? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my son”?

      I know what I'm saying at first seems to conflict. At least initially. That's been the case for many because it is so different. But I promise you the fundamental message and story remains unchanged, except for that it becomes much more clear. For example, the verse you referred to in Acts ... "From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth". Before Adam, there were plenty of humans, but no nations. Humans before Adam were different. Like indigenous and tribal cultures today. They have no need to build nations. No need to own land. They simply live in harmony with nature, content. The introduction of Adam caused a dramatic change in human behavior that can be seen in our history, but has not yet been explained. Humans right there in that region and timeframe changed. They began to behave much differently and began to build cities and eventually civilizations. And like that verse says, from there they spread throughout the entire earth. I think it's estimated that less than 5% of the earth's current population is indigenous humans. The vast majority of earth's population actually descend from the people of those first civilizations. We are both descendants of naturally evolved humans AND Adam and Eve.

      The tower of Babel in my theory remains unchanged. I'm simply referring to an actual event where large human populations actually were dispersed as described. And they were dispersed due to a dramatic climate change. The region they lived in, and that they were forced to abandon, matches what Gen11 describes. There was a city, Eridu, and a tower, both made of mud-fired brick. And the tower is the oldest and largest known. The bible does not say 'how' the dispersion happened, only that it happened. I'm simply pointing to a known moment in history where something really did happen that matches what is described.

      Just look at how much speculation must be employed to explain the flood any other way. You're taking quite a bit of information from outside the bible to make it work. You have to jump through some major hoops to arrive at that explanation. Much like the hoops that have to be traversed to reconcile the creation account described in this hub. When actually, if you just take the formation of the earth as science has pieced it together, you'll see that what Gen1 describes is exactly what you would see according to science if you were standing on the surface. And its from the surface that Gen1 specifies as the point of view from which God first said, "Let there be light". According to science the oceans actually did form first, just as verse 2 says. And, according to science, the atmosphere was far too dense for light to get through. It was during the formation of the oceans that the atmosphere thinned enough to become translucent, allowing light onto the surface for the first time. That way there would be light and dark, day and night, yet no visible sun/moon/stars. It all matches right up with no hoop-jumping required.

    • barrydan profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Calgary, Alberta, Canada

      HeadlyvonNoggin, I appreciate that you want to see the Biblical side, but I must say, I have failed. If your argument is irrefutable, then I have failed. I do not, however, believe that your argument is irrefutable, and I will endeavor to do a better job of refuting it.

      Let’s be clear, Copernicus did not tweak Ptolemy’s system, he overthrew it. The picture did not simply become clearer, it was a different picture altogether. Nothing that Copernicus said contradicted what was in the Bible, but it did contradict Aristotle and his teachings were the paradigm of the time. It has not been unusual for the established church to follow the paradigm of academia. In Copernicus’ time that was the philosophy of Aristotle. Today the paradigm is the Big Bang Theory, the theory on which your interpretation of the Bible rests.

      Humans were sinful (a term I prefer to wicked) from the time Adam sinned in the garden, that is the teaching of Romans 5. The “sons of God” are normally regarded as angels; this is the way the phrase is used throughout the Old Testament. The humans you refer to in Genesis 1 are Adam and Eve. The “good” that God declares has to do with his creation, not their obedience. You have two sets of humans, the earthly, which came about by evolution, and the spiritual, which were created by God. This is contrary to a straightforward reading of the Bible. The theory of two sets of human beings also denies Acts 17:26 “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth”.

      Where does the tower of Babel fit in to your theory? You claim not to change the Bible yet the dispersion of Babel is replaced with the dispersion of Sahara. Within Biblical creationism, the oceans after the flood are still warm from the geological events of the flood. This results in increased evaporation, which further results in increased precipitation. This precipitation is seen in at least two ways, 1) the greening of the Sahara, 2) the Ice Age. As the precipitation in the far north is turned to ice, it is lost to the precipitation cycle. As the Ice Age progresses the lower latitudes lose precipitation, weather patterns change and the ocean levels fall. The loss of precipitation results in great deserts. As the Ice Age comes to an end, there are further regional and local floods. These floods become confused with Noah’s flood. It is in this time that the Tower of Babel is built and that people become dispersed around the globe.

      Fundamentally, you have changed everything. You have placed scripture within the context of science making science the master. With your apologetic, nothing in the Bible makes sense without science. That is not to say that we cannot use science to better inform us of what happened in the Bible, but the Bible is its own best interpreter. When science informs us, it should not overturn anything in the Bible, which the Big Bang Theory, Evolution, and long ages definitely do.

      When science informs of what is involved in the journey of water in a raindrop through the grape vine, we can marvel at the miracle of turning water into wine. The science adds to our understanding without changing the plain language of the text and without requiring modification to other texts. Science is here the servant of scripture not the master.

      When history informs us that the Persian King allowed conquered nations to rebuild cities to withstand the Greeks it adds to our knowledge of the times of Nehemiah. We can marvel how God uses human activities and nothing of the text is changed.

      When we learn that Tiberias Caesar faced a coup at the time of the crucifixion it gives new meaning to the statement of the High Priest to Pilate, “If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend:” John 19:12. Our understanding of scripture is informed without changing the plain meaning of the words or requiring a change in our understanding of any doctrine. This is how science and history inform us in the ministerial sense.

      Each of the points you raise would require a volume to fully refute, and those volumes have been written. The best that I can do is summarize them in hubs, which I hope to do in the months ahead. In the meantime, please refer to the following links: This is a very conservative site, treating primarily issues dealing with Biblical accuracy and creation. This is a much broader site dealing with a host of issues. Use the search feature.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 

      5 years ago from Texas

      I appreciate this reply. It's well studied and informed. I've had numerous conversations on this topic with theists and atheists alike, but not often do I find someone able to challenge what I'm speaking of through biblical knowledge, and I appreciate you sharing.

      Understand, I'm not taking the word of scientists over the bible, or in any way treating it superior. I separate the facts from the opinions of scientists, and I accept the theories for what they are. Science in itself is simply an accumulated knowledge base of established facts and informed theories to aid further investigation to establish more facts. The natural world is God's creation and the natural laws are as well. And it all behaves in predictable/testable ways. And learning these things informs as to how the whole thing came together. I don't use science to validate the bible. Or to change it. I'm simply establishing context. And this context is sound. It's a collection of established facts from every branch of natural science that all fit together to tell the same story along the same timeline. It's irrefutable, and way more than just the interpretation of fallible scientists. Science does change. It evolves. As new information comes to light the picture gets more clear. The dots start lining up. Like Copernicus tweaking Ptolemy's planetary system. The picture simply got clearer. Our perspective widened. So too with the big bang, which was, as you pointed out, first proposed by a Catholic priest. A believer. And our knowledge increased.

      Personally, I think it sounds exactly like God's style for all this scientific knowledge we humans are so proud of, and which many base their condemnations of God and religion on, for that very same learned information to ultimately show that what the bible said was exactly right all along and that God is just as the bible says He is. And that's exactly what I think is happening.

      You pointed out a couple of really interesting tidbits I'd like to discuss. The first being the ages of the Patriarchs. It's right here that this whole idea first came together for me. When everything snapped into place. You're right, Genesis 5 shows lifespans 8 and 9 hundred years long. Then, in the very next chapter it says this ...

      Gen6:1-3 - When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

      Right after it says Adam and his family live for centuries, there's this line about humans being 'mortal', and only living 120 years. It also makes a distinction between 'humans' and 'sons of God'. In fact, it's explaining the reason for the flood had to do with this. Then, in verse 6 it says God 'regretted' putting humans on the earth. They became wicked. So, the 'sons of God' had children with the 'daughters of humans', then humans became wicked and God regretted putting them there.

      Now, lets look at the bit you pointed out in Romans and Corinthians. First, in Romans, "by one man sin entered into the world". Sin/wickedness is not possible without free will. Keep in mind, the humans in Gen1 were told to populate the earth and establish dominance in the animal kingdom. Science shows us this is exactly what homo sapiens did. Us. Now, the whole theme of the bible centers around human behavior and how we simply can't behave as we should. Yet the humans in Gen1 apparently followed their commands to the letter because God later deemed all He made 'good'. And like Jesus said, in the beginning they were made male and female. Notice it's Gen1 that says that.

      Then, in Corinthians, listen to what it's saying... 1Cor15:45-49 - So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”[f]; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we[g] bear the image of the heavenly man."

      The first man was of the dust, the second is of heaven. The natural came first, then the spiritual. There's always that distinction made between flesh and spirit. This only makes that distinction that much more clear. Naturally evolved humans, like the tribal cultures that still exist today and never bred outside their ancestral roots, live in harmony with nature. Content. They don't fight ridiculous wars and destroy everything around them. They see everything in nature as connected and animated by a spirit force that ties them all together. The land doesn't belong to them to be owned. It belongs to all. But then came those humans who first originated in Sumer and Egypt and then Greece and Rome. Humans began living contrary to nature. They began to try to understand it logically, and began to manipulate it. And they began to war with one another, enslave one another. This was the world Abraham and Moses lived in.

      Now, this is where it gets really interesting. Everyone of those civilizations claimed superhuman gods existed in their ancient past. Immortal, human in form, male and female, gods, who were moody and unpredictable. And who interbred with humans, making demi-gods. Now, if Adam were created as described, and his family lived as long as Genesis says, would they not seem 'god-like' to humans who only lived 120 years? What if the evidence has been right under everyone's nose all along? The Sumerians, who actually did invent numerous things unlike any other group of humans before them, claim they were taught by these gods. They speak of cities that existed before a great flood, much like the city Genesis says Cain built, and at the center of these Sumerian cities were temples where they say their gods physically lived. Then came a flood, then came the city of Uruk. Both the Sumerians and Genesis say Uruk was built not long after the flood and ruled by a 'mighty hunter'. The real Uruk was built about 3800 BC. Before that, the culture that came before, the Ubaid culture who built the first human city-state, existed as long as pre-flood Genesis (about 1500 years) and ended abruptly. At least partially due to a flood as the evidence shows in Ur. Post-flood Ur is where Abraham's father was from. Then comes the kicker. The Sahara transformed into a desert due to a climatological event known as the 5.9 kiloyear event (3900 BC), which really did cause mass migrations of humans. They were scattered, literally. And in the wake of that event, you've got the dawn of civilizations in Sumer, in Egypt, the Indus Valley culture in India, and in Akkad in northern Mesopotamia. Each with their own language. Plus, Eridu, the first Sumerian city of southern Mesopotamia, has the remains of the oldest and largest known tower, or ziggeraut.

      I know this comes as a shock at first for many and it's difficult to even consider. It takes some getting used to because it's so different in some ways from how we've always understood it, yet fundamentally everything remains the same. I've had people come to me all wide eyed about it who just a few months before were certain I was totally off-base. But I promise you if you simply keep this in the back of your mind, and read back through the material while considering this context, then all kinds of really interesting things begin to come to light. Clarity where it used to be vague. Understand, nothing I'm saying here contradicts the texts that I've found. And I've studied it much more deeply than just a cursory read. I've poured over the material in multiple translations and even down to the original Hebrew.

      Again, I appreciate this discussion because it's not often that the biblical side of this gets challenged. The science side of it has been challenged time and again, but I want it challenged by someone who knows the bible well as you seem to.

    • barrydan profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Calgary, Alberta, Canada

      You say science isn’t suspect. Are scientists infallible? Science has changed remarkably over the last one hundred years, even more over the last 150, which means science is subject to change and fallibility. The eternal universe of the Greeks gave way to the steady state universe of the Materialists and that gave way to the Big Bang Theory of today. The Big Bang is still being challenged by steady state theorists and by Brane theory and other multi-verse theories. Science is fallible because the scientists who interpret the data are fallible. Results can be repeatable and still be wrong. Ptolemy’s geocentric solar system correctly predicted the position of the planets and the Antikthyrea mechanism is based on Ptolemy’s astronomy.

      You read scripture that you don’t understand and claim that there must be a fault with understanding it in a straight forward manner, it can’t have happened that way, you claim. When science has something that can’t be explained you say, don’t worry, it will become clear in time. Your faith should be the other way around.

      Genesis 2 is not simply a retelling of Genesis 1, it is a detailed account of what happened on day 6 when Adam was created. There is no new creation here; it fits into what happened in Genesis 1. That Adam and Eve were created with free will was good, it was their use of it that was evil. Therefore, you show that you have trouble believing what is in the Bible but not accepting what the fallible archaeologists proclaim. The life span is not 120 years; it is generally over 900, Adam living 930 years and Noah 950 years.

      You claim that you do not modify the material of the Bible but then immediately deny that Adam was the first human. Jesus said, “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female’. You claim this is not the beginning but some point in time long after the beginning when advanced hominids began to exhibit free will.

      Romans 5:12 reads “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men,” you claim that death existed for millions of years before this and this is referring only to a special death. This is reinforced by 1 Corinthians 15:21 “For since by man came death”, requiring that death could not have occurred before Adam. Later in the same chapter v. 45, “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul;”. The Bible therefore explicitly states that Adam was the first man.

      The Bible when it is read through the interpretation of unbelieving science is greatly modified. There is science which is believing. That is the science which I have sought to bring before you. The Bible as it is written, in the plain sense in which it can be read, is scientifically verifiable. Creation occurs in six literal days, as is intended by the usual meaning of the words written. Adam was the first man, as is the usual meaning of the word first. The flood was global before the founding of civilization in Egypt and Sumer.

      There are scientists who have put a great deal of effort into making sure we can understand how science explains what happened in the Bible. They make science the minister of the Bible rather than the magister, that is, science is the servant not the master. The question is not what does science say, for science says many things depending on who is doing the interpreting, for science is neither neutral nor objective. Science is a human endeavor full of the fallibilities of human activity, and that means that science is suspect. What we can do is to examine the science, where does it begin? If it begins without God it is suspect, if it begins with God we may be more comfortable with it but being science it is still suspect. Barry Setterfield began with a sure belief in the historicity of Genesis as understood by a plain sense reading. His work has been undermined by the work of other scientists who believe just as surely in Genesis. One of those scientists is Dr. D. Russell Humphreys who was required to modify his theory as he continued to work on it. All theories have required modification, therefore, it is no surprise that the work of modern creationists has also required modification, but the Bible in no way requires modification.

      If you start with the work of Godless science and attempt to interpret the word of God you will modify the word of God. If you wish to remain faithful to the word of God, start with the word of God in choosing your science.

      “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men: and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” 1 Corinthians 1:25

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 

      5 years ago from Texas

      Though Genesis is the word of God, being a text, there's no getting around the fact that it must first pass through the lens of human interpretation. Without understanding the setting and context, accurate interpretation is practically impossible. There are a lot of blanks being filled in by pure imagination and guess work, ultimately. Genesis is an ancient text of unknown origin. Nobody knows who wrote it or when it was written. It was ancient even in the days of post-exile Judiaism and much of it was a mystery even to them. Everything we've ever been told it says or means is colored by fallible human intepretation.

      Science isn't suspect. And it doesn't matter the personal leanings of the scientists, as the conclusions must be testable and repeatable. True, there are some who site the established facts and theories of science as their reasoning for their lack of belief or lack of 'proof' of God. There are those who claim the universe needs no creator based on science. But that is not science. Science establishes objective truth. But it cannot 'prove' or 'disprove' God. God, being the creator of the universe, exists apart from the universe. Before and outside of it. All the matter and the laws that can be detected by science originated with the big bang. As did time and space. God is beyond the scope of science. Science can only 'see' the result, everything from the big bang forward. And the bible makes clear the distinction between physical and spiritual. This is simply beyond the jurisdiction of the physical sciences.

      Science is the most in depth insight we have into God's creation. And it reveals an environment where the conditions are so exact, and the way matter behaves within the conditions of this environement are so right, that it creates existence as we know it. How else would God create existence? As Christian scientist and evolution advocate Ken Miller puts it, "He is one whose genius fashioned a fruitful world in which the process of continuing creation is woven into the fabric of matter itself."

      Genesis is very vague when it comes to details about the setting in which its set. But it does give very specific information as far as where it took place as well as a general timeline. For example, it says Abraham was born 1950 years after Adam. Because it says Abraham's father was from the Sumerian city of Ur, and because it says in Genesis 12 that Abraham interacted with the Egyptians, the creation of Adam could not have been any earlier than about 6000 BC. Using the context of modern science, a series of events that match up with Genesis can be seen. And it explains a lot.

      Think about this for a minute. Its always been assumed that the creation of the humans in Genesis 1 and the creation of Adam in Genesis 2 are two depictions of the same event. But there's a few problems with that. For one, the humans in Gen1 were given very specific commands that would take numerous generations to accomplish (be fruitful/multiply, fill the earth, establish dominance in the animal kingdom). Then it says God looked on all He made and deemed it 'good'. Then comes day 7, then Adam. And the story of Adam and Eve makes it clear that they are very much capable of behaving contrary to God's will. Another issue has to do with the list of creations being in a different order. Then you've got the 'others' that Cain feared would harm him in Gen4, as well as the city it says he built, then there's that whole bit about 'sons of God' having children with 'daughters of humans', a 120 year old life span, and beings referred to as the 'Nephilim'. Plus, the flood happened just 2-300 years before Abraham, yet there are already entire civilizations in Sumer and Egypt?

      However, simply place that template of Genesis events and time frames over actual history and you'll find it snaps right in place with real events. And you have a much more fleshed out story in that context that resolves all of the above vague bits of the story. Science has revealed that all matter in the universe behaves in predictable ways in relation to the laws of nature. Animals behave in predictable behavioral ways. If you look at the region and timeframe that Genesis is set in you'll see that this is where and when humans began behaving contrary to nature/God's will. This is when humans began to employ mathematics and astronomy and writing and this is when humans began to build civilizations. Adam being, not the first human, but the first human with a free will able to behave contrary to nature/God's will, makes a whole lot of sense.

      My reading of the bible does not modify the material. My reading uses science to fill in context to allow for a more accurate interpretation. Whatever science reveals, it will not contradict God. Science simply asks questions of the natural world, and the natural world answers....

      The parallel between nature and Scripture is so complete, we must necessarily believe that the person who is asking questions of nature and the person who is asking questions of scripture are bound to arrive at the same conclusions. - Origen

      Job 12:7-9 - But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this?

    • barrydan profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Calgary, Alberta, Canada

      Augustin believed that revelation through Gods's word took priority over revelation through God's creation. The so-called book of nature is currently interpreted primarily by unbelievers and antitheists. Their conclusions must be suspect.

      The point of my hub was to show that there exist scientific explanations for the cosmos as it is that do not contradict scripture. These explanations do interpret the scripture simply as it is while your reading modifies it by material from without.

      That the Bible show cause offense or not draw the wise is not a problem cf. 1 Cor. 1: 18-23. While it is true that "science is a tool that informs us as to God's methods" it is not science that provides the context for Genesis, but Genesis that provides the context for science.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 

      5 years ago from Texas

      I don't see it that way. I subscribe more to the St. Augustine perspective. I believe God reveals His nature to us through both the book of scripture and the book of nature. If at any time the two appear to conflict then it is human interpretation that is flawed.

      "Interpretation of biblical passages must be informed by the current state of demonstrable knowledge" - Augustine

      Science is the best method we've found for establishing objective truth about the natural world. The scientist must approach investigation from a natural/causal mindset due to necessity, simply because you can't account for divine intervention in a controlled experiment. Science and modern knowledge is not something contrary to God or Genesis. It only contradicts the age old interpretations of both God and Genesis formed throughout the centuries. Interpretations informed by lesser informed minds. Science is a tool that informs us as to God's methods where the physical world is concerned. The majority of the forefathers of science and its methods were themselves believers who saw science as the study of God's creation.

      I simply use science to provide proper context to Genesis. When you let go of those long-held preconceived interpretations, like Adam being the first human or the flood being global, and simply read it for what it says against the backdrop of history according to science, you'll find uncanny cohesion. I'm simply pointing it out.

      The following is one of my favorite Augustine quotes, as it is entirely appropriate in these modern times though it was written 1600 years ago ....

      "It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian.

      It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are."

      — De Genesi ad literam 1:19–20, Chapt. 19 [408]

    • barrydan profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Calgary, Alberta, Canada

      I wonder why you are trying to align the Bible with science rather than the other way around. If modern understanding is truly correct then the Bible is simply a human text, in which case we need not worry about the misalignment of the text with the science. But if the Bible is the word of God, then it is science that is fallible and that needs to be aligned with Genesis.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 

      5 years ago from Texas

      Not true. Day 2 or second age is one and the same. Besides, this was a description of the ancient past where the concept of billions of years would be lost on the intended audience and was of little consequence. And reading day 4 as the sun/moon/stars not existing until then does not work because light, and day/night, already existed. Death before sin is only a problem based on errant interpretation. It in no way conflicts with the texts.

      I have a hub on the topic I encourage you to check out. Creation aligns with the scientific explanation exactly, with way too many correlations to specific events to not have merit. You need only read it from a surface perspective and it all falls in line. I also have a hub regarding Adam not being the first human that reconciles the rest of genesis with modern understanding and that addresses your 'death before sin' comment.

    • barrydan profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Calgary, Alberta, Canada

      Actually, the word day does require it to be a 24 hr. day. The way in which the word is used determines whether it means an unspecified time or a 24 hr. period. In this case the word day is used with a number which indicates a 24 hr. day.

      Allowing for billions of years also creates severe theological problems, like death before sin. The best way to understand Genesis 1 is literally, with the sun, moon, stars and planets actually being created on day 4 rather than merely appearing.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 

      5 years ago from Texas

      This is a really interesting hub, but I don't think reconciliation between science and Genesis requires such complexity. Regarding 6000 years versus billions, the same word for day also translates to age and era. It doesn't have to mean a literal day. The sun, moon, and stars being 'created' on day 4 is resolved by the point of view specified in verse 2. God's spirit was over the 'surface' of the waters. The perspective of the creation account is from the surface. The atmosphere was translucent, but not yet transparent, until after plant life on land. The atmosphere becoming transparent would make the sun, moon, and stars visible from the surface. And their being positioned as described coincides with the movement of the continents from beneath the equator to between poles, which happened between the appearance of plant life on land and animal life on land. From the surface, if one were standing on the land, the sun/moon/stars would be positioned as described. Simply reading the creation account from a surface perspective resolves all apparent conflict.


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