5 – Genesis is Scientific
At present, the theories of naturalism in astronomical science have the upper hand. In the present Age, Creationism is having to play “catch-up” to the never-ending output from the science world of gradual-evolution theories. The deck is stacked, and although there is a vast body of scientific literature to explain Creationism, the Dark Forces, who dominate the information pathway, have made sure the public gets as little chance as possible to hear about it.
As a result many believers are stuck with thinking that the Book of Genesis got it partly wrong, especially when it comes to this issue of starlight and the age of the universe. As for other issues – biological evolution, the presence of fossils and rock strata, ape-men – these have all been thoroughly and scientifically resolved in the vast body of Creationist literature that is available nowadays in books, the internet, and documentaries. (For the interested reader, there are several Creationist sites that offer up-to-date, scientific, sound solutions to these mysteries about our origins. See Footnote 1 for list of major sites.)
And the Genesis account also is a source of scientific information. For example, no less than 10 times Genesis 1 states that God created the plants and animals “according to their kinds” (and 8 times in Genesis 6-8). Evolution theory has tried for years to upend this important scientific principle with ideas about apes evolving into humans and creatures transitioning from one kind to another – macro-evolution instead of micro-evolution. Scientists, who appreciate the supernatural origin of the natural world, have successfully disproved such ideas. This is a big subject, but a thorough treatment of it can be found in Posts 4D-4F or in many other Creationist websites, with much more scientific detail than this one.
And we should ask, if this aspect of Genesis is so scientific, why shouldn’t all of it be scientific? How is it that one aspect is scientific while another gets written off as fantasy? Maybe all that’s happening is that the Genesis account is stating something which the world of science has not been willing to accept, or simply doesn’t understand well enough yet.
We know that in this “according to their kinds” phrase, Genesis is making a profoundly accurate scientific observation and even repeats it ten times. Was this God’s foresight, knowing that in a distant future age humankind would try to erase the boundaries between the kinds and promote the idea of apes-to-human evolution? Surely also, it is offensive in the eyes of the Almighty that in modern times we have rejected belief in human beings as His special creation made in His image and have instead given that honor to the apes.
Now if Genesis was accurate about this issue of evolutionary development that is a major stumbling-block to believers nowadays, then why shouldn’t it be accurate about other stumbling-block issues, especially this one regarding the question of how starlight arrived on Earth in only one day?
There is an important caution to make here. It is easy to default unnecessarily to God’s “miraculous power” as explanation for puzzling aspects we find in the natural world. The following remark, attributed to Albert Einstein, offers a needed perspective here: “Your explanations should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.” Over- simplification does not help. Reserve the supernatural explanation for where it truly applies, as it must for the existence of DNA information, or the irreducible complexity of organisms. . . or the arrival of starlight to planet Earth in one day. The origin of none of these phenomena can ever make sense unless they are understood as having originated by the hand of that Supernatural Designer whom we call God.
When fossils and sedimentary rock strata were being discovered and used to disprove Genesis, believers often defaulted to explaining that the fossil bones were just a fictional reality, that God put them there to test our faith. This version defaulted to “God’s miraculous power”, perhaps because it seemed too difficult to believe that the Flood could have caused such colossal re-structuring of Earth’s landscape; or that in the pre-Flood world dinosaurs were roaming about. We have a similar problem nowadays: it’s difficult to believe that a universe so vast could have been created so quickly or that starlight could have arrived instantly to Earth.
A better response to the phenomena of fossils and sedimentary rock strata might have gone something like this, “We think they had something to do with the Genesis Flood. Right now we don’t fully understand it, but that doesn’t mean that Genesis is false; it only means we don’t have enough information yet.” The anti-creationists, with their millions-of-years of prior ages, certainly did not know what they were talking about; but the creationists did not yet have much of a handle on the issue, so at the time it was difficult to provide a clear-cut case or comprehensive analysis in support of the Genesis account. . . Until believing scientists got to work and published The Genesis Flood – a thorough scientific investigation of evolutionary doctrine that served to kick off the Creationist movement back in the 1950’s.
And as we shall see further ahead, in this issue about starlight and its companion Big Bang Theory, the cosmologists really don’t know what they’re talking about. They enjoy the search for logical explanations and all its complexities, but it’s a futile search, trying to explain the universe’s origin without God. And worst of all, it sows confusion, unbelief, purposelessness, and a vague sense of hopelessness in the collective mind of humanity.
Nowadays, regarding the starlight issue, it is tempting to default to the explanation that God created the light in transit – meaning that what we see now in the stars and galaxies didn’t really happen; in other words, God created a fictional reality. This is a bit like the fossils-put-there-to-test-our-faith explanation back in the early days of evolution theory.
A better response to the starlight issue might be, “We know, scientifically, the speed of light and the flow of time can change, so as an omnipotent Creator, it would not have been difficult for Him to cause starlight to arrive on the fourth day of Creation; right now, however, our scientific knowledge is too limited to give a more complete answer.” That the flow of time and speed of light can change is about as difficult a concept for us now as it was for people, in Galileo’s time, to understand that Earth was a sphere going around the sun.
These glimmers of evidence from theoretical physics are based, not just on theory, but also on some startling evidence from the realm of scientific observation. For example, it is well known that light slows down when it passes through substances. Gravity also causes the speed of light to slow down. Some experiments have even caused the speed of light to go faster than the speed of light. Another study suggests that the speed of light has been slowing down through the ages. (See Footnote 2: News Article.) We only know the speed of light as it is here on Earth in a vacuum. But we have never measured its speed in deep space where there are no gravitational forces to slow it down. So that is one way God could have caused starlight to be seen on Earth – by increasing the speed of light.
Then there is also Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, which revealed that time is relative and is slowed down by gravity and velocity. If God chose to suspend time, whatever that means, light could travel infinitely fast, arriving here instantaneously. Truly, this is something we may never be able to wrap our heads around, but certainly that infinite Being, our Creator, could comprehend something like that and make it happen.
We only know time moving at a steady, unchanging rate. But as Einstein’s Theory of Relativity revealed, the flow of time can change. Time is flexible, in other words, and in the hands of God may be a lot more flexible than we could imagine.
These new discoveries – that time can flow at different rates and that the speed of light is not a constant but can change – have come to be accepted in the scientific community. This shows, if nothing else, that starlight and the speed of light do not have to be seen as some kind of rock-solid, unquestionable proof for an incredibly vast age of the universe. And who knows? As creationists learn more about the nature of light and time, we may soon have a solid understanding of how light appeared on the fourth day of creation.
What actually happened at the time of Creation we don’t know, of course (and may never know). However, we do know that God was activating supernatural power. If the cosmos is young, as appears to be the case according to the evidences presented in Post 3, then there must be some way that God enabled light to arrive and shine on the Earth in a very brief amount of time.
The speed at which light travels through a vacuum, about 186,000 miles per second, is enshrined in physics lore as a universal speed limit. Nothing can travel faster than that speed, according to freshman textbooks and conversation at sophisticated wine bars; if anything could, Einstein’s theory of relativity would crumble, and theoretical physics would fall into disarray.
Two new experiments have demonstrated how flexible or misleading that comfortable wisdom can be in the right circumstances. Using a combination of atomic and electromagnetic effects, researchers have produced light beams in the laboratory that appear to travel much faster than the normal speed of light. Einstein’s theory survives, physicists say, but the results of the experiments, they agree, are mind-bending.
In the most striking of the new experiments a pulse of light that passes through a transparent chamber filled with specially prepared cesium gas appears to be pushed to speeds of 300 times the normal speed of light. That is so fast that, under these peculiar circumstances, the main part of the pulse exits the chamber even before it enters.
(From “Faster than Light, Maybe, but not Back to the Future” by James Glanz, The New York Times, 30 May 2000)