Part 6: CONCLUSION
6-B: What does it Mean to Have a Definite Starting Point for History?
All the evidence we have seen so far – in the fossils, in the geology of the earth, outer space, population estimates, and our own historical records – points to an Earth that is not billions, not even millions, but only a few thousand years old. Admittedly, this is a staggering thought for our minds to grapple with; we have been so accustomed and conditioned to thinking in terms of long ages of prehistory.
Here is an analogy that may help us to get a better grasp on this: When someone builds a house, it may take a year, which is a short time compared to how long he and his descendants will live in it. The natural world also is like a “house” – the environment that the Creator made for us to live in. Like our earthly houses, it did not take Him a long time to do it; His building methods and tools were not natural processes, but supernatural. So our “house” (the natural environment) was built, and now we live in this beautiful home of planet Earth that He created for us.
And speaking of supernatural processes, here is another helpful analogy: when a programmer designs some computer software, it takes considerable effort and time to prepare; once it is completed and installed, all that’s needed is to switch it on, and poof! There it is on the screen. The actual execution is instantaneous. The behind-the-scenes labor to create the program, however, takes a lot of effort and “time”. But in the case of the creation of the natural world, all that behind-the-scenes labor, the preparation, took place beyond our dimensions of time and space.
And isn’t this how God created us to be also? If we were created in His image, then we must possess some of His attributes, one of which is the desire and ability to create. (Genesis 1:26,27; 5:1; 9:6) So, our inclination towards creative activity – inventions, constructions, artistic works – reflects God’s own desire and capacity to create.
We don’t know what it took for God to plan the natural world; that is not revealed to us. It helps to remember, though, that in God’s dimension “time” is different, far beyond what our finite minds could ever grasp or imagine. As far as we need be concerned, according to Genesis 1, it took only a brief amount of our time to execute whatever plans had been made behind the scenes in the Celestial Realm.
We know it is a simple matter to instantly activate a computer program that took someone, or a bunch of someones, hours and hours to prepare. Why then should we be surprised that God and His angelic beings were able to activate Their carefully laid plans for the natural world in the time span of only a few days?
Anyway, whether one believes the Earth is a few thousand years old or millions of years old, what we have learned so far, if nothing else, has pointed to the realization that there had to be a definite starting point to history – not only geologic history, but human history especially. God created the first man and woman, fully formed. (And if God is who He is supposed to be, then that should not be a problem.) And from there the course of history began, and that not so long ago.
We may also conclude now that God, not Nature, is ultimately in control of things: the earth’s geological history, human history, and even your own personal history are all in His hands. Of course, there is lots of room for personal choice and preferences, but ultimately, God is the one in control. We are not just hapless creatures who accidentally came into being through a mechanical, chance process of evolution and therefore have no purpose in life other than to survive. We have the motivation, inspired by the knowledge of our Godly origins, to aim for higher goals… for we are ultimately responsible to the One who created us.
This awareness of our origins has faded considerably over the last 100 years or so because of (macro)evolutionary speculations – according to which we are supposed to have originated in some lost and forgotten age by a process that somehow excludes the Almighty from bringing into being the living and non-living realms.
But when we realize, from a scientific point of view, that history should have had a definite starting point, then we more easily understand that God created us. And if that is so, then there must be a purpose for our being here. God’s presence becomes more real to us.
We no longer need to think of ourselves as an accidental byproduct in a mechanical universe; we have instead the comforting knowledge that, no matter what happens to us in the earthly realm, we are His very special creation, and He will care for us no matter what. And while we dwell on this earth, we will naturally have more inclination to understand God’s ways and to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to Him.
If it is true that God created us (and even from a scientific point of view, it’s hard to believe how it could have happened otherwise) to populate the earth and begin the course of human history then why could He not have created the environment in which we humans were to live (the Earth and the solar system) also around the same time. After all, to create even one living creature or one intelligent human being is a much greater task than to create the vast outreaches of space and non-living entities of sun, moon, stars, etc.
The question will come to mind, what about the stars and so on that are so unimaginably numerous and, judging by the speed of light and distances involved, should be millions and billions of years old? In days gone by when man’s scientific knowledge about the universe was very limited, he did not have any trouble believing that Earth was the center of a universe created by God.
And from the spiritual point of view, that is true. One area of knowledge where this is evident is the discipline of astrology, which stations Earth at the center of the cosmos, while the stars and planets serve as “signs” and exert their particular influences on our personalities and activities. Anyone who has studied astrology can testify of the uncanny correlations that exist between zodiac/planetary positions and how we behave here on Earth.
Even though astrology has been around for thousands of years, modern science, because of its over-emphasis on naturalism, has rejected it – as it does with any branch of knowledge that tends towards the supernatural and might lead to an acknowledgment of a Higher Power or Creator.
But these evidences of supernatural reality should not seem strange to us. For if it is true that God created the universe, then surely we can understand that He would fashion it in such a way that there should be this cosmological unity. That is, the distant stars and planets are not divorced from the earthly realm but were interwoven with us and our planet Earth.
But because science has discovered so much about the size of the universe and Earth’s physical situation, we find it difficult to think of Earth as the center of God’s focus and concern. And consequently, disciplines like astrology, which give evidence of Earth as the center of God’s attention, are ignored.
Related to this is the question about the age of the universe, from Post 5-C “(Age Estimates Based on Evidence from Outer Space”), we learned that there are several features in the cosmos that point to its recent creation. In addition, some aspects of the universe appear very old. But this should not surprise us. If God created the cosmos for our use, then He would have created it mature, ready-made for us to dwell in.
But because God created it recently, then many aspects still appear young. If everything looked old, then we might have reason to think the universe really is billions of years old. But that is not the case. It is this peculiar, mixed-up, young/old appearance of age that is just what we’d expect in a natural realm that was created only a few thousand years ago.
What needs to be kept in mind here is that the time of Creation involved supernatural processes. We cannot assume that the natural processes that we see operating today were operating during those extraordinary days of Creation.
If, let us say, God revved up the time dimension during the Creation period, then the universe would have been created very quickly, but relative to our slower time and measuring instruments, the stars and galaxies would appear very old. We only know time moving at a steady, unchanging rate. But Einstein’s Theory of Relativity proved that time’s speed can change. Time is flexible, in other words, and in the hands of God maybe a lot more flexible than we could imagine.
Another possibility to consider: Recent scientific discoveries have revealed the startling fact that the speed of light is not constant. And even more startling: some researchers have noted that the speed of light appears to have been slowing down through the centuries. According to Alan Montgomery’s Cosecant Regression Curve, light could have been traveling 10 million times faster in 3000 B.C. than it is today. If this is true, then that would explain how the galaxies and stars can be seen by us on Earth even though they are so many millions or billions of light years away.
But whether these theories are true or not, the more important issue is this: We should not let our scientific knowledge cause us to lose sight of the fact that, as far as God is concerned, we, and our planet Earth, are very important and special to Him regardless of whether or not it is the center of the physical universe, as people used to think in ancient times. And these speculations about the universe and outer space should not be a matter of great concern for us.
We have enough difficulty trying to take care of our own planet and dwell on it peaceably and rule over it wisely, so why should we concern ourselves with what is going on in outer space, or with whether or not there are other worlds out there similar to ours? Even if indeed other worlds do exist somewhere in the vast outreaches of space, it doesn’t seem likely that God would allow mankind to discover or contact them in our present stage of spiritual growth and enlightenment. It’s interesting to speculate about such things, of course, but it shouldn’t distract us from the real purpose of our existence.
That is to say, we should not ignore the fact that our earthly lives are a sort of proving ground. Earth is like a battleground for the war between the forces of good and evil, the godly spirits and angels of Light versus the demons of Darkness. These are the “aliens” whom we must either cooperate with or contend against. They dwell in the spiritual realm, however, and are largely unseen by us. But this is where the focus of our attention should be: a spiritual seeking of contact with them – the good spirits of course – so that they can direct our minds and actions towards taking better care of the world we live in now.