Was the universe created and developed in just six days? Is it possible to reconcile a literal interpretation of Genesis 1 with a billions-year-old universe? We address these questions in the following presentation. The material presented is inspired by The Science of God by Dr. Gerald Schroeder, a book we highly recommend.
Cross-posted here. We discuss the 26 testable statements made in Genesis 1 here.
Love it! One thing though, it does not mention the likelihood that Adam’s genealogy was telescoped, and that Adam & Eve likely lived between 20,000-60,000 years ago.
I can’t remember if Schroeder addresses this in any of his books. In any case, Hugh Ross does, and explains the difficulty in trying to establish a chronology for the Earth based on the genealogy in the Old Testament. As you said, it’s almost certainly longer than 6,000-10,000 years after the events of Genesis.
I’m glad to hear of your journey to discovering not only the existence of “god” but that God is God, the One who has revealed Himself in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and most particularly in the person and work of the Lord Jesus. And that these things are confirmed in our own “hearts” by the Holy Spirit, who inspired the Scriptures.
Below the slideshow you asked for corrections. I can’t speak to the astrophysics parts, but I can concerning two standpoints — that of theology, and that of fossil evidence, particular in reference to humans, but also in reference to even dinosaurs, which have been found containing soft tissue, something that seems strange, but plausible for a world of only 6-10K years, but absolutely forbidden for a world millions, even billions, or trillions of years old. With that said:
Slide 79 “At the instant the big bang occurred, the entire universe was packed into a tiny speck of space.”
Not according to the Scriptures. While still allowing for such a thing as a “big bang”, the Word says that God created all things from of nothing – in Hebrew “tohu wa-bohu”, in Latin “ex nihilo”.
The universe came out of nothing when God spoke it into being.
Even philosphically speaking, “if ever nothing was, then ever nothing would be”.
But God is something.
But God, from nothing, called into being all things, or as you mentioned in one of your slides, the “prime matter”, and then from there everything else, was created.
Your citation of the quote from Moses Maimonides is incorrect. You have it as Part II, Chapter VII, when it should be Part I, Chapter VII. So again, it’s that the “part” is incorrect.
Beside that, I believe you’ve taken some serious liberties with what MM said in that chapter. The description given of some being “mere animals in human shape and form” was in reference to Adam’s other sons, as opposed to Seth, who was born in Adam’s “image” (zelem). In fact it’s on the topic of “zelem”, describing how God created mankind in His zelem, His image, which was not referring to God’s corporeal shape (for He has none, or had none at the time … this is only realized in the person of Jesus).
It would be helpful when giving what you say Nahamides was saying, rather than just saying it and leaving us to trust what you have to say. We might not be scientists, but we are theologians. And it is science that must answer to the Word, not the other way around.
But the biggest problem is that you keep speaking of hominids which were not human as if there were any evidence for such creatures at all. I know that no such evidence exists. Why is it that you think it does? You and I both know that there’ve been plenty of either outright frauds when it comes to “missing links” and there have been mistakes, but never, not even once, has there been a discovery of a humanoid-like fossil that was not discovered to be, afterall, human.
But you speak of them as if they exist, and again, provide not a single shred of evidence for them.
Your use of 1 Corinthians 15:42-49 to support your position simply doesn’t work. It’s not what the passage is about at all.
That’s about all I can put here without overwhelming you.
I hope that I don’t come off as mean-spirited, nor condescending.
I get told that from time to time, though it’s not my intention.
I just know that I can be long-winded, and so I try to practice, as much as I can the “ecomony of words”.
The Lord bless you and keep you,
Thank you for your comments.
Virtually all of the theological information in my presentation is the work of Gerald Schroeder, an Israeli physicist and applied theologian. He not only has a good grasp of the science, but has studied the Old Testament and the commentaries for more years than I have been alive, and translates directly from ancient Hebrew. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s correct, but it does make him a legitimate theological authority.
I have not familiarized myself with the soft tissue evidence on dinosaur remains, but whatever the case, there is no reason at all why that would rule out a very old universe. There is nothing in science that I am aware of that “forbids” young dinosaurs from existing in an old universe. If the evidence bears out the idea that some dinosaurs existed a lot more recently than scientists thought, that does absolutely nothing to undermine the multiple lines of astrophysical evidence for a very old universe.
Slide 79 does not contradict scripture. The interpretation is that first there was nothing, then the speck, then the speck suddenly expanded in an event we call the big bang.
In terms of evidence for pre-Adam hominids, you have misunderstood the point. There is good scientific evidence for various pre-Adam creatures who were morphologically similar to humans. I am not aware of any solid evidence for missing links, and that’s not relevant to the point Schroeder’s making. As Schroeder explains, the only thing that differentiates the modern pre-Adam hominids from humans is the neshama — the human soul, the part of us that is made in the image of God. Physiologically, these hominids and humans are the same. It is exactly as MM described.
I think you are being overly dismissive of science here. Both Jewish and Christian tradition hold that the record of nature, being a record of God’s creation of the universe and involvement in its development, should faithfully reveal the character of God. This is straight out of scripture (Psalm 50). How could it be otherwise? God is Truth. And this gets to something that troubles me greatly about the young-earth interpretation — the implication that God’s character is one of deception or at the very least obfuscation. For this reason, I think we ought to take care not to dismiss careful science simply because it apparently disagrees with one particular interpretation of what scripture says. I strongly believe that science — which, not coincidentally, is a direct product of the Christian faith — forces us to never become complacent in our understanding of God the Creator.
You bring up a valid point in that I may have misapplied 1 Corinthians 15:42-49 here. I will consult with my pastor and other trusted authorities about this. If I have indeed made an error, then when I post an updated version of this slideshow, I will revise that part.
I can only pack so much information into a slideshow. It’s already well past 100 pages, and any more than that I run the risk of overwhelming readers. The show was intended to be a brief recitation of the most vital points from Schroeder’s book, The Science of God. I recommend you read his book, and with as open a mind as possible, as it may answer some of your objections. Even if it doesn’t, you will at least have a better grasp of the science.
It’s interesting to note that I tend to get long-winded messages from both young-earthers and atheists. I have an agitated atheist who is pelting me with several questions and objections at the moment. It seems there is an equal amount of passion on both sides.
Forgive me if this is a too-basic question, but I am trying to distill this excellent information down to something brief and powerful that I can use with my non-scientific friends. I understand that the table on slide 108 demonstrates that a single 24 hour day seen from the edge of the universe (where God is presumed to be) would have “looked” like it took 7.1 billion years from beginning to end. Would it be correct to say that the conclusion of these calculations is that the earth is indeed 14 billion or so years old, but that man (complete with a spirit or soul) did not come along (was not created) until about 6,000 years ago? And could we add that since the 6000 years of man are seen from our earthly vantage point, while the time from the beginning to the creation of Adam is seen from God’s, that six literal days of creation could have actually taken 14 billion Earth years to transpire?
I’ve tried several times to relay this information to my friends, and always end up being unable to give a concise summary. Thanks in advance if you can help.
By the way, I discovered Schroeder’s book a number of years ago and concluded that his theories were ground-breaking. I was dismayed to learn, however, that almost no one else seemed willing to give him any credibility. I’m pleased that you are taking up the mantle!
This is not too basic of a question. These are difficult concepts, and most people struggle with them at first, including myself.
To clarify your first point, God is not observing the universe from any one place within the universe, but from “outside” the universe. He necessarily observes it in its entirety. It’s difficult to imagine, because there’s no way to picture this. As Schroeder points out in his book, the Genesis time relationship relates different moments in time in the history of the universe, not different places.
According to every reliable measurement we have, the Earth is indeed very old — about 4.5 billion years old — while the universe is 14 billion years old. The first human — the first hominid creature to be endowed with the neshama or soul — was Adam, and he appeared an estimated 6,000 – 10,000 years ago. Yes, the 14 billion years we observe from our vantage point for the universe really happened; but, we know from relativity, that someone else — in this case, God — could easily observe those billions of years to take only six days to happen.
I’m glad you’re already familiar with Schroeder’s works. It looks like his ideas are starting to gain a bit of traction. My goal is to promote them as much as possible.
In fact no matter if someone doesn’t understand afterward its up to other users that they will help,
sso here it occurs.
The slideshow seems not to be working.
Yes, it seems the buttons will not advance the show. Not sure why. It looks like it’s working on the Scribd website, so you can view it there. Also, if you type in the page number at the bottom, that works. Meanwhile, I’ll see if I can figure out how to fix it.
I can’t get it working on the Scrib’d website, but I will try again. I hope you can sort it out.
Thanks for your excellent Schroeder explanation and graphics, and some Lemaitre, etc. introduction!
Suggestions: Schroeder is not Einsteinian relativity. S used E in ‘Genesis and the Big Bang’ to explain his not yet completed idea, and it was confusing. Even more confusing was including E and the Lorentz formula in SOG. He should have made a clean break with E due to 1 – his dependent use of it in GBB to explain ‘relativity’ legitimacy, and 2 – the stretching is explained by U stretch alone and measured by the simple ratio of Ao to A, beginning to now, albeit an integral of Ao is due to a negative natural log of 2 [-ln2] under the divisor of A for integration. This is a ratio of light freq. at quark confinement to now, for stretch. Light freq stretch [or temp.] measures U stretch. That is it.
This is the Stefan–Boltzmann law of a constant proportionality for a power relationship, and Wein’ s displacement law that radiation that similarly acts at all temperatures. It can be simplified for people.
Schroeder’s use of the decay-growth formula is well applied, to allow time from point 1 to 2 to be divided into 6 slices of time based on the natural log tracing universal diameter doubling – stretch .
Confusion again comes when establishing the relation of the original frequency as a legitimate beginning. This is not delving into where is God at that time. This is the beginning of matter, at neutron [baryon – quark confinement] creation. Take the wave freq at earliest matter, neutron creation, allowing it to pass at that one beginning frequency [or 10.2 E12 deg K] for six 24 hour periods, and let each individual day period expand according to the formula continuum [the t in exponent] to its 8 – 4 – 2 – ect. bil. years for each consecutive day. That series results from diameter doubling [thus wave stretching] happing at an ever slowing rate as the universe expands at an assumed constant rate. ‘God outside or inside’ time is confusing. God is previous to baryons, and that ‘nothing’ of matter is something else prior. The creation story is not ex nihilo, but is ex matter.
Do not need the 5.5 days for the compounding formula! 6 days with adjustment for the accelerating universe moves the about 15.8 bya beginning to about 13.8 billion years. [if going back to the Planck era, time is trillions yr ago. This is a significant fact for the Bible, but not in S’s realm of inquiry]
There is much better thought about day 3. Ramban [Nahmanides], and Schroeder faithfully following him, claims that plant life mentioned on Day three did not necessarily appear on day three but that the Torah grouped them together as a single telling since the emphasis on the following days was toward animal life and humans. This is a day 3 – day 4 switch, compared to day 5 animals. This is a non-sequitur of convenience, resulting from incomplete Hebrew grammar and incomplete primal root values. Ramban is usually excellent in Hebrew primary roots, but trips. He also postulates ‘fruity bark’ and ‘rebellious’ trees in the out-of-progression story line. These assumptions are unfounded.
Gen. is fully progressive with consecutive [ conversive ] vav [ waw ] structure and many other consecutive progressive non-switchable linear days, among other progressive things. There is good proto-Sinaitic script [early Hebrew] that was likely unknown at the time of Ramban, and gives much more information about Genesis. Basic grammar in Gen 1:11 – 12 gives much better revelations.
The exploration of Genesis creation is not nearly over. The trail is mostly well set by Schroeder. It is a confusing General Relativity that often obscures the trail. S does well! Thanks to S for formula use and most Hebrew definitions, but not for his ‘not clearly distancing’ himself from GR. Blessings,
Steve Huffey: Do not need the 5.5 days for the compounding formula! 6 days with adjustment for the accelerating universe moves the about 15.8 bya beginning to about 13.8 billion years.
Schroeder stops the clock at 5.5 days, because that’s when Adam appears. He says that Genesis switches to an Earth-based narrative at that point, and that’s when the Genesis clock stops ticking.
I’ve got a more detailed mathematical treatment of Schroeder’s model, and will incorporate it in an updated version of the slideshow.
I enjoy your great site and explanations. You follow Schroeder very closely. My points are herein reviewed – and sometimes made more focused for you, especially about days to which you responded.
– 1. Focusing on 6 days used for t in the exponent of the growth-decay formula, the context is that Schroeder is not Einsteinian relativity. But S’s use of General Relativity to introduce the concept of change in perception of time has been confusing to people I meet, who are acquainted with his theory, whether they like the theory or not. They think it is GR. The change is due to stretched wavelengths to the same amount as the universe stretched, 1:1. That is a great tool to directly show U expansion.
I am displeased that S has not corrected perception from his GR use. It has wasted much time of readers’ trying to understand mechanics, and usually not accomplishing it. Also, it shows a how people can accept an idea without understanding enough mechanics to challenge its accountability.
– 2. The concern about S days, as he first put 6, later to 5.5 or perhaps back to 6, needs clarity. At geraldschroeder.com/AgeUniverse.aspx website, at its page bottom, “From the Bible’s perspective of time for those six evocative days of Genesis, the number of our years held compressed within each of those six 24 hour days of Genesis, starting with Day One, would be, in billions of years, respectively, 7.1; 3.6; 1.8; 0.89; 0.45; 0.23.” Therein he twice states six – days. His list is t=6 in the exponent.
His above list of six divisions of billions of years add to 14.07 b.y., having been somewhat arbitrarily adjusted for universal acceleration. Before this U acceleration change, day 6 began 251 mya which hit the Permian extinction well. Change, without reported formulation or method, is not accountable.
The formula is a ‘series’ function due to the exponent ½ ¼ … 1/64, for t = 1/2 ^6. This series has an unused 1/64 remainder, after the total 63/64ths for 6 days are accounted. That is significant because input numbers are greatly more significant. Distribute the remaining 1/64 over all 6 days in a like ½ ¼ etc fashion. This done, later day divisions correspond to very interesting natural phenomena, like the 251 mya, above. If the U acceleration rate after first matter was negative [decelerated], going to 0 about 6 bya ??, with acceleration predominating thereafter, then that needs accounting; especially in earlier longer days. The S list above seems linear in earlier days, not showing deceleration in them.
For acceleration, S adjusts the 2.725 K CMB to 3.03 K deg. That needs accounting. It is likely due to guessing acceleration compared to a NASA graph, and then some, but with linearity for every day.
In my opinion, there is a basic approach in science which must be well attended. Follow significant numbers! Do not claim a ‘LESS significant’ # in a final answer. Significant #’s allow error bars and/or the ability to see error and anomalies, and therein have ability to make discoveries. Use them.
The temperture of neutron creation at quark confinement is significant to 8 decimals, as per CODATA, and proton creation temp is not too different than neutrons. The CMB is 2.725 before it begins to vary at its last digit +- 0.004?, due to anisotropy. It is the limiting sig. #. But, S does not account for even these significant of numbers, claiming less significance. Rather than ‘conservative’, it seems not accountable. The Ao in the growth-decay formula in ‘Sc of God’ = a ratio of wave temp at first matter [choose neutrons], divided by the same stretched wave now at CMB temp. The integral of A is from dividing Ao by –ln2. Integration allows for all growth. Creation days 1 – 6 are discrete #’s. In all this, the ‘least significant’ data is good to at least 3 digits after the decimal, with +- error. In this, how does a person go from wave-temp data input at the Ao ratio, to the above list of new S numbers?
Please consider slides 97 – 103 to be slippery conjecture for math. When significant numbers exist, we should use them rather than allowing insignificance. For all science, try to create error bars of at least a Standard Deviation for random or statistical errors, and also systematic errors. And we should well examine possible instrumental problems and biases as well as all assumptions. And especially for astronomy and science with high significant #’s, try for 5 SDs in signal to noise ratios, for reality.
Error bars used for COBE and WMAP allowed #’s for the S theory at that time. And the S theory allowed them, too. Significance with error bars worked well. Now for accountability, this theory must get current to the Planck telescope and U acceleration, with accountable acceleration math. If there is error, use significance to define it, not obfuscating it. Then any anomalies might be defined.
It would be nice to see this theory put in terms of the Standard Model which is highly respected in the astrophysics community, perhaps using some FLRW equations which could make other associations.
– 3. God as positioned ‘outside or inside’ time is confusing. This S measurement is from first matter, baryons at E-5. Time can go back to the Planck Era at E-43 seconds. Much happened between E-43 and E-5 matter. Yes, let time ‘grab hold’ or ‘be recorded’ by wavelengths at first matter. But know that wavelengths record information prior to first matter. Bosonic light not only came through quark confinement at the ‘beginning’ of matter [thus creation is not ex nihilo, but ex matter [or ex quark]], but also through ‘last scattering’ at 3000 deg K. Light confinement from bouncing off free electrons does not invalidate the S theory any more than pre-matter invalidates time recorded in light. Light has been a good recorder all the way, stretching – red shifting, etc. So, this is more about measuring days from first matter, not God inside or outside of time which seems unhelpful conjecture in this setting, nor God near light speed as some people have wasted much time fantasizing due to this theory having been taught by explaining change in comparison to GR. Is the thought that Genesis language demands ‘days’ be 24 hr, even if also eras, too, more a kabalistic idea, and if so, should that be stated?
So, the first data point is at first matter. Many six 24 hour day segments have passed within the Univ. 13.8 G yr history. The ratio of one set of six 24 hour days patterning onto six unequal divisions of creation history, that relate physical and Biblical definitions, is good! Yet, it is very confused by GR.
– 4. Language for Ramban [Nachmanides] is incomplete for day three, causing concepts that do not fit context. Schroeder faithfully follows him about trees that bear fruity bark and rebelling plant life, far prior to Genesis, chapter 3. Ramban claims that plant life on Day 3 did not necessarily appear on day three, but that the Torah grouped them together as a single telling since the emphasis on the following days was toward animal life and humans. This is a day 3 – day 4 switch, compared to day 5 animals. This is a non-sequitur of convenience, resulting from incomplete Hebrew grammar and incomplete primal root values. Ramban is usually excellent in Hebrew primary roots, but trips here.
Proto-Sinaitic script [early Hebrew] used at the time of Moses is related to Egyptian hieroglyphs. I have been delving there, and much better answers are available for day 3 translation, as it is for most of the two Genesis accounts. If you wish, I can include language papers about bara ‘separation’ and the purpose of God in creation, resulting from a presentation I did at the ASA, though not about day 3.
Thanks again for your wonderful visuals and well-scripted presentation, including its ending credits.
The statement that when you tune your TV to an unused channel you are seeing the effect of background radiation is not accurate. In the days of analog broadcast this would have been true, but all broadcast is now digital, and digital systems just blank out when they are not capturing a decodable signal.
“I can’t remember if Schroeder addresses this in any of his books. In any case, Hugh Ross does, and explains the difficulty in trying to establish a chronology for the Earth based on the genealogy in the Old Testament. As you said, it’s almost certainly longer than 6,000-10,000 years after the events of Genesis.”
Indeed is a dificcult task, even for traditionalist to be sure because the Bible gives clues about a non-chronological linage from Adam to Christ as it seems some realtioships where ancestor-son not father-ancestor.
I was wondering if this ended up anywhere else besides Scribd?
Not yet. I am in the process of updating the slideshow, and when that is done, I’ll move it to another hosting service.
Thank you. :)