SECOND TREE

THE BIBLE AND CHRISTIANITY EXPLAINED



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SCIENCE AND THE BIBLE


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GOD'S NON-PERSONAL SIDE

In his letter to the Christians in Rome, Paul said that the created world reveals God so completely and perfectly that we are all without excuse. He wrote that everything that there is to know about God is seen through the things that He has made. This revelation includes:

    1) What God is (infinitely wise and eternally powerful).
    2) Who God is (a Family of three eternal Persons, represented by the word 'Godhead' below):

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them (mankind), for God has showed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.

Romans 1:19-20

This web page, along with my first page titled 'God is a Family Called the Trinity', are the 'bookends' of this site. This last page discusses the impersonal side of God; the revelation of what God is as seen in both the Bible and in the physical universe.

My first page discusses the personal aspects of who God is (an eternal Family). In that page I discuss how these attributes are revealed to us both in the Bible and in a human race created "in the image and likeness of God".


GOD'S WORD AND HIS WORLD

Christians believe in a concept called 'Dual Revelation'; that God has revealed Himself to mankind through two things:

    1) Through His word (the Bible).
    2) Through the created world that He has made.

In the Bible we are told that both of these revelations are complete and reliable:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

2 Timothy 3:16

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For prophecy did not come in past times by the will of man. But holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 1:20-21

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night shows knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.

David's Psalm 19:1-4

Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.

Isaiah 6:3

One of the challenges for Christians is to reconcile these two sources of information with each other in our own minds. Since these two revelations come from the same God, many Christians expect that if we rightly understand them we will find that there is agreement, harmony or 'concord' between them. This Christian approach to truth is called 'Concordism'.

The challenge for the Christian is to rightly understand both the Bible and genuine scientific discovery, so that he can recognize this 'concord' and explain it to others as well. This is what I attempt to do in this web page; to explain how God's word and His world both reveal the impersonal attributes of God to us.

OLD-EARTH vs. YOUNG-EARTH CREATIONISM

All conservative, bible-believing Christians are 'creationists'. That is, they believe that the universe, our planet and solar system, and all biological life on Earth were brought into existence supernaturally by an intelligent Designer and Creator. They reject Darwin's theory of evolution as an explanation for the origin of biological life. They believe that the Bible is a historically valid document, that Adam was a real man, and that the flood of Noah (Genesis chapters 6-9) was a genuine historical event. And most importantly, they believe that Jesus Christ is the only-begotten Son of God, and the only Savior of mankind.

But while conservative Christians are in agreement about these things, they are divided into two groups regarding how much time God took to achieve His creation. It is important for both Christians and non-Christians to understand this division, because Christian beliefs about the age of the earth and the universe are not unified or 'monolithic'. Christian views on the age of the earth and the universe can be divided into two general groups: YOUNG EARTH CREATIONISTS (YEC's) and OLD EARTH CREATIONISTS (OEC's). Listed below are the basic positions that these two groups hold:

    1) AGE OF THE EARTH:
    YEC's believe, as their name implies, that the earth and our solar system are relatively young; on the order of thousands of years.
    OEC's believe in an ancient earth and solar system, possibly as old as the 4 billion years proposed by scientists.
    2) AGE OF THE UNIVERSE:
    YEC's hold differing opinions on the age of the universe. Some are open to the idea of a 'Big Bang' beginning of the universe 14 billion years ago, while others are skeptical of the Big Bang and believe in a much younger universe.
    OEC's generally embrace the 'Big Bang' concept, and a 14 billion-year age for the universe.
    3) CREATION DAYS OF GENESIS:
    YEC's believe that the creation days of Genesis 1:3-2:3 were literal 24-hour days. They believe that all of the divine creative work described in Genesis chapter 1 was performed in six consecutive rotations of the planet earth upon its axis.
    OEC's do not believe that the creation 'days' of Genesis 1 were 24-hour days, but rather were periods, ages or 'epochs' of time.
    4) GEOLOGY OF THE EARTH:
    YEC's believe that most of the major geological formations of the earth (such as the great mountain ranges of the earth and the Grand Canyon of Arizona) are the result of Noah's flood (Genesis 6-9), occurring in the relatively recent past.
    OEC's believe that the major geological formations of the earth are the result of geological processes that have occurred over long periods of time. While OEC's believe in a literal Noahic flood, they believe that the major geological structures of the earth were formed before the flood occurred.
    5) THE INTELLIGENT DESIGN OF LIFE:
    YEC's embrace modern discoveries from both molecular biology and the fossil record, each of which point to a supernatural origin for biological life. But while YEC's embrace 'Intelligent Design', they do not believe that biological life has existed on earth for more than a few thousand years.
    While OEC's also recognize the death-blow that both molecular biology and the fossil record have delivered against Darwin's theory of evolution, OEC's believe that the fossil record reveals the existence of primitive biological life on earth dating back possibly 4 billion years; to the beginning of the solar system itself. In addition many OEC's believe in the Cambrian Explosion; the sudden appearance 500 million years ago of complex biological life representing most of the basic physical body styles present in the animal world today. Scientists tell us that this 'explosion' took place practically overnight from a geological perspective.

Throughout the history of the church there have been good, God-fearing people who have taken each of these positions regarding God's creation days, and the age of the world. This remains true today. It is possible to be a faithful Christian and servant of God while holding either one of these views. Our individual relationship with God is defined, primarily, by our moral perspective and the centrality of the cross of Christ in our hearts.

Do we believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and trust in His shed blood alone for the forgiveness of our sins? Do we love fellow Christians and our fellow man as God has commanded us, or are we breakers of His moral laws? Are we walking in humility, open to the possibility that we are mistaken in our understanding of the Bible (rather than slandering those who disagree with us)? Jesus warned that when we call another person worthless or foolish, we stand in danger of damnation (Matthew 5:22). To fear God is to humbly assume our proper place before Him, acknowledging our own limitations. It is with this attitude that disagreements over creation 'days' must be approached.

Humility, I believe, will count the most with the Lord Jesus when we stand before Him in judgment. If we have been kind to others, we shall receive mercy and kindness. I will be arguing (in the following sections) in support of old-earth creationism. But if I lack the love and humility that God requires of me, although I might have knowledge, it will amount to nothing (1 Corinthians 13). As the Bible says, 'Without holiness no man shall see the Lord' (Hebrews 12:14).

WHY I AM AN OLD-EARTH CREATIONIST

There is discussion and debate among OEC's about questions like 'How was earth's moon formed?' and 'Was Noah's flood a localized or worldwide event?' Old-earth Christians discuss these and many other subjects. But for me it is important to keep it simple; to take my stand on very basic and fundamental claims, and not to overreach. My search for 'concord' between science and the Bible relates to four basic areas; astronomy, geology, biology and physics. I believe that these four academic disciplines have revealed four important truths to us:

    1) ASTRONOMY - The universe has a starting point 14 billion years ago, when it suddenly sprang into existence from nothing ('ex nihilo'). Astronomers and physicists tell us that space, matter, energy and time itself suddenly began with an event that is commonly referred to as 'the Big Bang'. As far as I am concerned, this is a well-proven truth that is completely consistent with the Bible, which says that God created the heavens and the earth in the beginning (i.e. in the beginning of time itself, Genesis 1:1).

    2) GEOLOGY - The earth may be roughly 4 billion years old, and initially was completely covered by water. This is revealed by the fact that the majority of today's dry land is comprised of sedimentary rock, formed at the bottom of ancient seas. The fact that ancient marine fossils are found in sedimentary layers in the world's highest mountain peaks is in complete agreement with Genesis 1:1-8, which tells us that water completely covered the earth during God's first two creation 'days', until God commanded that dry land should rise up out of the water on the 'third day' (Genesis 1:9-10). Marine fossils are found at the top of mountain ranges because God caused the ancient sea floor to be pushed up out of the water by plate tectonics, forming today's continents with their various geological traits. There is a striking correspondence between the creation days of Genesis 1, and the order of events that geologists tell us occurred in the history of our planet (see 'The Order of Events' below).

    3) BIOLOGY - Modern-day discoveries of the incredible structural and operational information within DNA, and the cell's ability to execute this 'DNA-information' with amazing speed, precision and efficiency, represent evidence of supernatural (intelligent) design. Darwin's theory of evolution (macro-evolution) is without any support, either from within the fossil record or from within the living world as well.

    4) PHYSICS - Ever since Einstein announced his theories about how the universe operates on a large scale, followed by advances in Quantum physics which describe how the universe works on the smallest scale, all the evidence has pointed not to a materialistic explanation of things, but to the idea that an infinite 'mind' initiated the universe and has sustained everything in it, moment by moment, ever since.

    Our universe is 'pixelated' (reducible to small things that cannot be further divided), and is understandable and 'computable' mathematically. It bears many of the traits of a computer simulation that is run by a 'program' and a powerful 'central Processor'. 'Quantum Mechanics' points us toward a central 'intelligence' whose physical and computational power upholds our universe from one moment to the next. This is all perfectly consistent with the Bible's description of God:

Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill and said "You men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are too superstitious. For as I passed by and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription:

'TO THE UNKNOWN GOD'

Whom therefore you ignorantly worship, Him I declare to you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands. Neither is He worshipped with men's hands (through idols), as though He needed any thing, seeing He gives to all life, and breath, and all things. And has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation. That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us.

For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.

As certain also of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring'. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone; idols graven by art and man's device.

Acts 17:22-29

I believe that there is agreement between genuine science and the Bible. In addition I believe that God actually encourages me to consider the possibility that the universe is 14 billion years old, that our earth is 4 billion years old, and that biological life has existed on this planet for a long time. My belief is based upon the following Bible verses:

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. You turn man to destruction, and say 'Return, you children of men.' For a thousand years in Your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

Psalm 90:2-4 (written by Moses, the author of Genesis)

But you, O Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, even to the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

Daniel 12:4

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them (mankind), for God has showed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.

Romans 1:19-20

In Romans chapter 1, Paul tells me that not only is God's power revealed in creation, but His eternal power is revealed. In my opinion a 14 billion year-old universe, filled with millions of galaxies and billions of stars, does a good job of revealing that. Moses tells us that, from God's perspective, time is a relative thing; that He does not see, measure or experience time as we do. And Daniel tells me that in the last days mankind's knowledge will be increased. I believe that these verses, combined with the fact that the Bible nowhere insists upon belief in a 24-hour creation day, grant me liberty to consider the possibility that the creation days of Genesis 1 are not defined by single rotations of the planet earth.

LOOKING THROUGH GALILEO'S TELESCOPE

OECs and YECs are in general agreement about what they see through the microscope; living things that are too complex to have originated through evolution, and are obviously the handiwork of an Intelligent Designer. But they are in disagreement about what they see through the telescope. In the early 1600's an astronomer named Galileo, who had begun observing our solar system through one of the earliest telescopes, proposed that the sun did not revolve around the earth, but that the earth revolves around the sun. Galileo was threatened with excommunication by the Roman Catholic Church and forced to recant his views. Rome's leaders based their criticism of Galileo upon the following Bible verses:

The Lord reigns; He is clothed with majesty. The Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith He has girded Himself. The world also is established, that it cannot be moved.

Psalm 93:1

Say among the heathen that the Lord reigns. The world also shall be established that it shall not be moved. He shall judge the people righteously.

Psalm 96:10

Fear before Him, all the earth. The world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.

1 Chronicles 16:30

Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever.

Psalm 104:5

The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to his place where he arose.

Ecclesiastes 1:5

All of the above verses seem to contradict Galileo's claims. They seem to indicate that it is the sun that moves, and not the earth. But Rome's error was in not bothering to look through Galileo's telescope, letting their own eyes discover more truth from God. In fact, Rome did not acknowledge its mistake and officially pardon Galileo until 1992.

It is my opinion that today's YECs have also failed to look through 'Galileo's telescope'. Instead of remaining earth-centered, insisting that the creation 'days' of Genesis are defined by individual rotations of this planet, they need to step off of earth (in their imaginations) and take a look at our solar system from God's perspective. I believe that this is what God Himself was instructing us to do, as He spoke through the prophet Isaiah:

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways" says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts".

Isaiah 55:8-9

I would suggest that not only are God's thoughts and ways 'higher' than ours, but His 'days' are higher as well.

I recently read that if our sun was represented by a tennis ball, then the earth would be the size of the period at the end of this sentence, 20 feet away from the tennis ball. Pluto, which is much smaller than the earth but held in orbit by the sun's gravity, would be 300 yards (three football fields) away from the tennis ball. The sun's mass comprises 99.86% of the total mass of the solar system. All of the planets, including the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, comprise just 0.14% of the total mass of our solar system. Relatively speaking, our planet is just one of many specks of 'dust' revolving around the sun.

It takes sunlight 8 minutes, traveling at 186,000 miles per second, to travel from the sun to the surface of the earth. Light traveling from our 'next door neighbor' star, Proxima Centauri, takes four years to get here. It takes light 100,000 years to cross our galaxy.

When one is willing to take a look through Galileo's telescope, considering the magnitude of the universe, it seems obvious to me that describing God's work here in terms of six consecutive rotations of this planet (144 hours) is shortsighted. It represents a decision to define God in terms of the earth, rather than to define the earth in terms of God. To close one's eyes to these things, refusing to take God's total universe into consideration when thinking about Him, is to perpetuate Rome's error and join in its condemnation of innocent people who are justified in believing what their eyes tell them. When we consider the universe that God has made, then it becomes obvious that time for Him is totally different than it is for us.

The YEC claim is always that, if we are to take God's word literally, then we must understand the creation days of Genesis 1 to be 24-hour days. They insist that the 'evening and morning' phraseology associated with each of those days requires a '24-hour' understanding. Without getting into the precise translation of the original Hebrew text of Genesis 1, and the various ways that the word 'day' is used throughout the Bible, I would simply suggest this; that God might have described His creation labors in terms of earth days because He desired to establish a 7-day week for the people of Israel; a week that would continually remind them of His own 'week' of creative work.

In other words, God was using the literary device of 'allegory' to communicate with people that were not yet able to understand the finer points of astronomy and physics. He was providing them with the correct order of His creative efforts while accommodating Himself to their level of knowledge and understanding. This idea, that God might use simile, metaphor or allegory to communicate with us, should not surprise anyone; the Son of God used these literary devices constantly in His parables.

While both young-earth and old-earth Christians regard themselves as orthodox in their view of the Bible, young-earth Christians are the most shrill about it. But God Himself is not shrill about His creation days being 24-hour days. There is not a single verse, in either the Old or New Testament, that links belief in a 24-hour creation day with Christian orthodoxy. Surely if Jesus or any of His apostles thought it was important, they had ample opportunity to say so. Instead, the aspect of Genesis that is repeatedly stressed in God's word, as a point of orthodoxy, is the fact that when Adam disobeyed God in Eden, all of us disobeyed God. Both the apostle Paul and the apostle John put it very plainly:

...through one man (Adam) sin entered the world, and death through sin. And so death passed upon all men, because all sinned.

Romans 5:12

If we say that we have not sinned, we make God a liar, and His word is not in us.

I John 1:10

What strikes me is that, while both YEC's and OEC's claim that they interpret the book of Genesis literally, they contradict the most important message of Genesis: that we were all consciously and personally present in the Garden of Eden, joining Adam in his rebellion. Death comes upon every one of us because when Adam sinned, each one of us sinned.

Instead, they blame the plight of humanity upon God. They cripple the gospel message by teaching the Roman Catholic doctrine of hereditary depravity; that God created us in such a way that the power that Sin gained over Adam would be inherited by all of us. And worse yet, many Protestants go farther in their insult to God's character, teaching that God appointed Adam to be our representative in Eden, and then simply accused each of us of committing Adam's crime, imposing the penalty for Adam's sin upon all of us; unjustly bringing upon humanity all of the suffering, grief and death that has plagued us from the beginning (an idea called the 'imputation' of Adam's sin. See my web page titled The True Nature of Original Sin).

In short, while both YEC's and OEC's claim that theirs is the 'literal' approach to the Bible, the reality is that where literalism is most needed, both groups have failed miserably. The Genesis account of creation should be real to us, first and foremost, because we know that we ourselves were present in the Garden of Eden. That is how God defines 'orthodoxy' in terms of our handling of His creation account in Genesis. Everything else is secondary.

IT'S NOT ABOUT TIME

Another reason that YECs reject old-earth views is because they connect an old-earth perspective with Darwin's theory of evolution. Beginning with the book The Genesis Flood by Whitcomb and Morris, first published in the early 1960's, YECs have felt that a young-earth view of history represented the best counter-attack against evolutionary thought. They believed that by disproving an old earth, they could effectively refute evolution. Right up to the present day many YEC books, such as Coming to Grips with Genesis (edited by Mortenson and Ury), persistently link old-earth views with the theory of evolution. But the fact that evolutionists believe in an old earth does not mean that everyone who believes in an old earth is an evolutionist.

For Whitcomb, Morris and their followers, the battle for the Bible has partly been a reactionary one, centered around the issue of time. Because evolutionists have claimed that time did everything without God, YECs have felt obligated to insist that 'God did everything without time'.

EVOLUTIONISTS SAY THAT TIME MADE EVERYTHING WITHOUT GOD
YOUNG EARTH CREATIONISTS SAY GOD MADE EVERYTHING WITHOUT TIME

The simple fact is that modern-day biological science has disproven evolution, without any reference to the age of the earth or the universe. Anyone who has only begun to understand the complexity of biological life recognizes that Darwinian evolution could never construct such sophisticated living machines; not in millions, billions or trillions of years. But YECs continue to insist upon using time and the age of the earth as a weapon against evolution. By continuing to insist that the question of 'time' is the most important point of contention between creationism and evolution, YECs have in fact exposed themselves as 'closet evolutionists'. How? Because they are revealing their belief that, given enough time, evolution could really happen.

MANY YOUNG-EARTH CREATIONISTS ARE CLOSET EVOLUTIONISTS

By continuing to rely upon a young-earth argument to counter Darwin they expose their own fear that, given enough time, evolution could really take place. To remain intellectually valid and to properly support the refutation of Darwinism that the Intelligent Design movement has already achieved, they need to stop insisting that their views on time address the evolutionary challenge; they do not.

Actually, although they despise each other, materialistic evolutionists and YECs are in a symbiotic relationship with each other. By insisting that the creation vs. evolution argument must revolve around the question of time, they have each provided themselves with a 'boogeyman' through which they are able to maintain their 'relevance' in the discussion about life's origins. While the validity of Darwinism has already been disproven on the basis of the biological machinery itself, the two sides continue to prop each other up by moving the discussion away the from machinery, and rather toward the false issue of 'time'.

YEC leaders tell their followers that the only alternative to their views on the age of the earth are those of 'godless evolutionists'. They warn their followers that if they depart from Young-Earth Creationism, the entire Christian faith will come tumbling down and they will have denied the validity of the Bible. They constantly focus on the fact that evolutionists embrace an ancient earth and universe, and seek to link old-earth Christians with evolutionary thought through guilt by association. They keep their followers in line with warnings about heresy and apostasy.

The simple fact of the matter is that young-earth Christians are terrified by time. The entire time-oriented argument is a matter of survival for them. They believe that, if it were ever proven that the universe is 14 billion years old and the earth is 4 billion years old, that their Bible and their entire theological perspective would all come tumbling down. It's as though the devil himself had backed them into a corner, and told them that victory on the issue of time is their only hope.

Evolutionists, at the other extreme of the time-oriented debate, warn their followers that the only alternative to their view of 'evolution over time' is the narrow-minded 24-hour creationism of the YEC's. By constantly telling their followers that the only fundamentalist Christian perspective on biology is the Young-Earth perspective, the evolutionists are also able to maintain a following based not upon sound science, but upon a reaction to 'ignorant Christianity'.

One of the unfortunate side affects of this polarization is that OEC's, who have been liberated from this time-based thinking and possess a better understanding of the harmony between science and the Bible, are attacked by both sides and shouted down. YEC's accuse OEC's of being 'closet evolutionists' and underminers of the faith, while evolutionists accuse OEC's of being narrow-minded 'young-earthers' who want to impose their religious beliefs upon others.

In my hometown of Detroit there is a huge hotel/office complex on the edge of the Detroit River called the GM Center (originally named the Renaissance Center, or 'RenCen'). I watched it being built in the late 1970's. To anyone who looks at it, it is obvious that it was designed and built by people who are very intelligent.

The 'RenCen'

People in Detroit don't stand around debating whether or not it was created in 3 days, or evolved over 3 million years. Both arguments are clearly ridiculous. It is obvious that it was built, but that some time was spent in building it. It is also obvious that anyone smart enough to create such buildings was also probably smart enough to build them in an efficient and timely manner. If the evolutionists and YECs had their way, however, we would all have to choose between 3 days or 3 million years.

IN THE BEGINNING

Genesis 1:1-2 reads...

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Genesis 1:1-2

Where the Bible says 'in the beginning', I understand it to refer to the very beginning of time itself; to God's initiation of the 'Big Bang' 13.8 billion years ago when time, space, matter and energy first came into existence. Before that point, nothing existed but God Himself. The phrase 'Big Bang' was a derogatory term, first used by the physicist Fred Hoyle, who rejected the idea that the universe had a specific starting point, and thus a God who started it. The words 'big bang' do not accurately portray the beginning of the universe. It was not an explosion. It was a very precisely controlled event. Instead of calling it the big bang, people should call it the 'Big Plan'. It was a creative event in which all of the laws of physics governing space, matter, energy and time were established with extreme fine tuning.

It is my view that the first two verses of Genesis cover the period of time from God's first creation of the universe, until the point when God authorized the ignition of our sun; the "Let there be light" of Genesis 1:3. Where verse 2 tells us that the Holy Spirit was hovering over the waters, the original Hebrew word translated 'hovering' conveys the idea of a female bird brooding over a nest of chicks. It may convey the idea that the Holy Spirit was carefully preserving the water upon this planet, or it may even imply the Holy Spirit's creation of earth's very first life forms within that dark ancient water. These life forms might not have been dependent upon the sun for energy. They could have been like the life forms that have been discovered around deep sea volcanic vents in the ocean today; life forms that derive their energy from the heat of the earth and some of the energy-rich chemical compounds that such vents emit.

In some quarters my view of Genesis 1:1-2 is described as the 'Lag Theory'; that there was a time-lag between God's initial creation of the universe, and the beginning of His creation work on Earth in Genesis 1:3. I like to divide God's creative activities into two categories in my own mind:

    1) An ancient, purely material universe that provides a 'canvas' for God to work upon.
    2) Biological life instantaneously and ingeniously created by God upon that 'canvas'.

These two categories correspond, roughly, to what I can see through a telescope and what I can see through a microscope. The universe, instantaneously springing into existence, reveals God's existence. The complex biological machinery of life, completely incapable of self-assembly under any circumstances, also reveals God's existence. There is no other rational explanation for either of these things, other than an infinitely wise and eternally powerful Creator.

THE ORDER OF EVENTS

What is really striking, when one is liberated from the time-based arguments described above, is the strong agreement between the order of creation events in Genesis chapter 1, and the scientific perspective regarding the history of the earth. The sudden beginning of the universe is supernatural. This planet, with its many rare and unique life-supporting characteristics, is supernatural. And life in all its forms, from the most basic single-celled organisms to mankind, is supernatural. One does not have to get hung up over questions of time in order to recognize the glory of God in every phase of this planet's existence. Time is really, ultimately, secondary.

Beginning in Genesis 1:3, there is a series of six creation 'days'. Each of these days begins with the phrase "And God said..." (verses 3, 6, 9, 14, 20, 24), and each day ends with the phrase "And there was evening, and there was morning..." (verses 5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31). These references to an evening and a morning may simply be telling us that there was a 'divine' evening and morning in each of these days; a period of thoughtful, restful planning followed by a period of vigorous activity. Again, God may have been accommodating Himself to us, describing His own 'work days' in terms that we human beings can relate to; restful nights and busy days.

DAY 1 begins with the ignition of our sun, when God said "Let there be light". Precise intermittent periods of light and darkness, day and night, would be an integral part of this planet's makeup and development. It is my belief that there is much more entailed here than meets the eye. I believe that God very precisely chose the moment of the sun's ignition, the precise distance between the sun and earth, and many other aspects that would characterize the earth's relationship with the sun throughout the time ahead.

DAY 2 follows with the establishment of earth's atmosphere, separating water above (cloud cover) from water below (an ocean that covered the entire earth at the time). Earth's water-cycle began on this 'day'. Again, there is so much more that could be said here about the possible nature of a water-covered earth and the sedimentary processes that might have been preparing earth for things to come later.

DAY 3 commenced with the force of plate techtonics pushing the ocean floor out of the water, to become dry land above the surface of the oceans. Along with this rising of the dry land, God created plant life to cover the land. Again, much more is entailed in each of these creation 'days' than the simple narrative of Genesis relates. There is no reason to doubt, for instance, that God may very well have created insect life at this point in time. The book of Genesis does not address all of the fine points of what God may have done on each creation day. That He might have begun creating an insect world that would have a close symbiotic relationship with the plant world is entirely within the realm of possibility.

YECs understand DAY 4 to present God's creation of the sun, moon and stars. They believe that, when God said 'Let there be light' on creation day 1, God established some kind of divine, temporary, supernatural light to shine on the earth until the creation of the sun on day 4. But this is not what the passage says. It says that God allowed the sun, moon and stars to appear and become regularly visible from the surface of the earth. This is the sense in which God 'set' the sun, moon and stars in the heavens; He established their visibility in the sky as seen by someone on the Earth's surface. In this same passage God provides the additional information that it was He who had originally created (past tense, finished action) the sun, moon and stars in the first place.

What are we to make of DAY 4? I believe that it occurred at the point in time, described from a biologist's perspective, when the plant life on our planet had consumed enough carbon dioxide and emitted enough oxygen into the air so that our planet no longer needed to remain a cloud-enclosed greenhouse. On DAY 4 God allowed the earth's cloud canopy to dissipate and open up, initiating a pattern of time-keeping, weather, seasons, and directional navigation (by the sun, moon and stars) that would be indispensable for the higher animal life that would soon be placed upon the planet. The opening up of the cloud cover and the initiation of weather cycles would be necessary for the migration and breeding of land and marine animals throughout the skies, land and oceans of the world. This is the natural and expected order of events; exposure of the sun, moon and stars above, followed by the creation of life forms that would be regulated by the resulting seasonal rhythms below.

DAY 5 describes God's supernatural creation of birds and water-dwelling creatures, followed by God's creation of land animals and mankind on DAY 6 . One of the interesting aspects of this 6th day is that it is described for us again in the second chapter of Genesis. In Genesis 1:27 we are told that God created man, both male and female, on the sixth day of creation. But in Genesis 2 we are presented with a list of many things that happened between God's creation of Adam, and His later creation of Eve.

First of all we are told that God placed Adam in Eden, and gave him the fundamental moral command that would rule his life; not to learn right from wrong (vss. 15-17). Then God observed that Adam was alone, and that it was not good for him to be solitary. So God showed Adam all of the creatures of the earth, and had Adam name them all. It appears that as Adam assessed all of these various creatures, he observed their sexuality and that it was commonplace for them to live in pairs (vss. 18-20). Then, finally, God caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam so that He could form a wife for Adam (from Adam's own body) that was uniquely suited to him (vss.21-25).

DAY 6 represents something of a dilemma for YEC's, because these events of Genesis 2 represent a considerable amount of important activity that would have to have occurred during the 12-hour daylight period of the sixth creation day. Many OEC's point to this as a strong indication, from within the Genesis account itself, that these creation 'days' were more than 24 hours long. The complexity and breadth of what God did during each of His creation Days argues against insisting that He did it in 24-hour rotations of this planet. The 24-hour view conjures up a picture of God 'spray-painting' His changes upon the earth as it spins before Him, changing His 'spray can' for each individual rotation. Such a view, in my opinion, is forced and unreasonable.

GOD'S 7th DAY OF REST

One of the interesting things about God's seventh day is that there is no 'evening and morning' phrase indicating its completion. In fact the author of Hebrews tells us that this Day is still ongoing, and that it is possible for people to join God in His 'day' of rest:

Wherefore as the Holy Spirit says "Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness; when your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation and said 'They do always err in their hearts, and they have not known My ways'. So I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter into My rest".

Hebrews 3:7-11, quoting from Psalm 95:7-11 (see also Hebrews 3:12-4:11)

From these passages it would seem that God's seventh day of rest is ongoing, and not a 24-hour day. This is simply one more suggestion that the creation 'Days' of Genesis 1 are not to be understood as 24 hour days.

THE EVOLUTION OF EVOLUTION

(From Micro-evolution, to Macro-evolution, to the Religion of evolution.)

When considering the subject of evolution, it is necessary to recognize that there are two types of evolution, Micro-evolution and Macro-evolution, and to understand the difference between them.

MICRO-EVOLUTION:  Micro-evolution is the idea that small (micro) changes can occur within a species over relatively short periods of time. For instance, a female wolf might give birth to a litter of pups in the spring. Within that litter there will be variations in the different puppies. Some might have lighter fur, and some darker. Some might have thicker fur, and some thinner. There may be other slight variations in leg length, jaw shape or other characteristics. The idea is that these variations within the litter of puppies will help to insure that, no matter what changes might occur in the environment, some of the wolf puppies will be likely to survive those changes and insure the survival of the species. For instance, if there is a series of winters where there is little snow and relatively warm weather, the darker-colored puppies might be more likely to survive because they will blend in more with a relatively dark winter environment, enabling them to effectively stalk and kill prey without being seen.

This idea has come to be known as natural selection; that an interaction between nature and genetic variations within a species can lead to superficial changes within that species over time. Humanity itself is a notable example of this idea. The various races of the world have diverged from one another as the effects of various environments upon local human populations have favored some traits over others. This is why, for instance, Sub-Saharan African people have black skin; because over time darker-skinned people have fared better under the intense tropical sun. Increased melanin in their skin has prevented the harmful rays of tropical sunshine from passing through the skin and causing tissue damage deeper within the body. Thus the tropical environment has resulted in a higher survival rate for darker offspring. Many racial variations within humanity can be traced to such natural selection processes over time, and yet these various racial groups remain fully human, able to intermarry and provide blood transfusions for one another.

The concept of Micro-evolution has been known to mankind for centuries. Mankind itself has applied its own 'environmental' pressure to many plant and animal species. For thousands of years farmers have chosen various plant and animal offspring over others, promoting certain traits within a species while causing others to disappear. This is nowhere more evident than in the great variety of domesticated dogs that exist in our world. Most of the various dog breeds that we find today didn't exist 500 years ago. Almost every breed, from Chihuahua's to Great Danes, exists because human beings have 'promoted' these breeds for various purposes. Scientists tell us that if humanity were to disappear from the face of the planet, the dog population would quickly revert to a vary small number of body-types; breeds similar to the wolves, coyotes, foxes and Australian dingoes that we see in the wild.

What needs to be appreciated is that evolution within a species is evidence for Intelligent Design by a Creator. It is a reflection of the Creator's genius; that He was able to go beyond creating static (unchanging) species of plants and animals, and was even able to build repetitive variation into them, enabling species to adapt and survive many environmental changes over millions of years.

This ability of a species to adapt to environmental change might be likened to the 5 mile-per-hour bumper. In the 1970's, the United States Congress mandated that auto manufacturers install bumpers on their vehicles that could withstand a 5 mph collision. So if someone bumped into a light pole in a parking lot, for instance, there would be minimal damage and repair expense. One of the most common approaches that manufacturers used was to mount their bumpers on shock absorbers that allowed the bumper to be pushed in during a collision, and then spring back.

Rabbit Bumper
Beetle Bumper
Rabbit Bumper
VOLKSWAGEN 5 MPH BUMPERS

Micro-evolution is like this. God built superficial variation into the various plant and animal species of the world so that, if they ran into environmental changes, they would be able to 'bounce off' of these changes and continue surviving. The concept of Micro-evolution, and the possibility that its existence revealed an aspect of Intelligent Design, was widely held when Charles Darwin came upon the scene. But rather than attribute Micro-evolution to the genius of a Creator, Darwin used it to suggest the absence of a Creator.

MACRO-EVOLUTION:  As a trained naturalist and biologist, Charles Darwin was fully aware of Micro-evolution. He had seen changes introduced into various domestic species of plants and animals through the 'artificial selection' of human choice, and he suspected that nature itself could cause changes within a species through alterations in the environment.

On a journey to the Galapagos Islands in 1831 (in the Pacific ocean off the coast of South America), Darwin observed and recorded evidence of natural selection and Micro-evolution within various species found upon the islands. But rather than suggest that this evidence of Micro-evolution pointed to an ingenious Creator, Darwin proposed a new idea. In his book, On the Origin of Species, published in 1859, Darwin proposed that not only could the superficial changes of Micro-evolution occur within a species over short periods of time, but that these same small changes occurring over longer periods could eventually result in larger (macro) changes, resulting in the mutation of one species into a completely new species. Darwin's belief was that life on earth began as very simple primitive organisms, and through the interaction of genetic variation and environmental changes over vast periods of time, these primitive forms of life eventually mutated into the great variety of life forms that we see in our world today.

Although Darwin's book was widely read and praised throughout the world, as a scientific hypothesis or theory it had not yet been proven. Darwin himself acknowledged that if the fossils of the world did not reveal evidence of the various 'transitional forms' between species that he expected to see (as one species mutated into another), then his theory would be invalid. Not only did Darwin present his theory without a full knowledge of the fossil record, but like all of the scientists of his time he was completely ignorant regarding the complicated biological machinery existing within every living cell; machinery that serves as the foundational 'technology' for all life. Darwin proposed an idea, but it would require more than 100 years to determine its validity. In the meantime Darwin's theory would become more than a scientific hypothesis; it would become a religious worldview.

THE RELIGION OF EVOLUTION:  While Darwin's theory of Macro-evolution represented a scientific hypothesis deserving earnest consideration and testing, it immediately took on another role in human society. Before it was ever determined that Macro-evolution was scientifically valid, people embraced it and insisted upon its reality because it represented a new world view; a new 'truth' about who we are as human beings, about the nature of God, and about whether or not the Bible is reliable. In short, Macro-evolution became a new religion; a religion that directly contradicted Christianity at every point:

    1) Man is not created by God, but has evolved (without God's help) from the basic physical elements of the earth.
    2) Man is not a moral creature, but an amoral creature simply struggling to survive.
    3) Since these things are true, Biblical history and morality are not valid.

Darwinian evolution became the basis for a whole new approach to human interaction. No longer did people have to see human relationships in terms of Biblical morality; now relationships between nations, races and people were seen through the lens of 'Darwinian morality'; a morality whose basic rule was the survival of the fittest. Initially what was 'good' was seen as what was best for the survival of individual nations. Now, at the present time, 'good' is what people believe is conducive to the survival of the human race as a whole.

Hence Stalin, Hitler and Mao slaughtered millions of people based upon their godless view of what was best for humanity. Today millions and millions of unborn children have been aborted in the United States and throughout the world based upon the 'bigger picture' of what people have thought is best. And now, in these last days prior to the second coming of Jesus Christ, the human race is being told that it can evolve to its highest potential by rejecting the Judeo-Christian worldview and uniting to oppose Israel, Christianity and ultimately God Himself. This rebellion of the nations was foretold by King David. In my opinion Darwinian Evolution is almost certainly one of the 'vain things' referred to in David's first sentence:

Why do the nations rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Christ, saying "Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us." He that sits in the heavens shall laugh. The Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure: "Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion".

Psalm 2:1-6

Today human society is saturated with the concept of evolution. In 2014 a series called The Cosmos appeared on TV (a revival of an original series hosted by Carl Sagan). In the first episode reference was made to 'the evolution of the universe', as though change and evolution are the same thing. By describing the unfolding of the universe as 'evolution', the authors of the series were promoting the idea that evolution is interwoven into everything that exists. This is only one instance of how people today, in their 'political correctness', seek to promote the 'religion of evolution' whenever possible.

It is important to realize that the evolutionist sees no difference between Micro-evolution and Macro-evolution. For him the difference between the two is only a matter of time; Macro-evolution is simply Micro-evolution extended over much longer periods of time. He rejects the idea that Micro-evolution might be the result of Intelligent Design. Thus the evolutionist views every evidence of Micro-evolution as proof of Macro-evolution, and fails to inform the public about the distinction between these two ideas. Thus many laypersons, who are unfamiliar with Biology and the distinction between 'Micro' and 'Macro', are led to believe that Micro-evolution proves and validates all evolution. This is not true.

As a junior in college in the early 1970's, I took an introductory Biology class. I was not a Christian at the time, and I very much wanted to believe that the very first living things could have self-assembled in the ancient primordial swamps of earth, with evolution taking over from there and producing higher forms of life. But in my heart I knew that it wasn't true; that life in its most basic forms was too complex to self-construct by chance.

When I became a Christian in 1975, I was born again through a process of moral thinking. I came to realize that I was a sinner and that I needed a Savior. Questions about science, the universe and biology were not front and center for me at the time. At that point it was not what I knew, but Who I knew that mattered.

Many years later, in the early 90's, I happened upon a book titled Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, written by Dr. Michael Denton and first published in 1985. Dr. Denton was a non-Christian agnostic scientist who exposed the weakness of Darwinian Evolution based upon 1) a lack of transitional fossils, 2) the tremendous complexity and precision of life at the cellular level, and 3) the physiological impossibility of complex organisms gradually mutating into other complex organisms. This book was my first exposure to ideas that would soon come to define the 'Intelligent Design' movement.

Today's scientists know that there is a Creator behind the universe, our planet, and all biological life. They look through their telescopes and know that the universe suddenly sprang into existence 14 billion years ago; not as some 'big bang', but as a very precisely controlled and pre-planned event. They look through their microscopes and know that the simplest forms of biological life contain a sophistication and operational complexity that can only be the result of divine engineering and infinite genius. These things no longer have to be argued.

Some Christians see themselves in a culture war, where they must fight to see the Intelligent Design concept prevail in society. I don't believe this will ever happen, and I'm not sure that it should, if it means that Christians will be dominant in government. Christians have proven themselves corruptible and capable of tyranny often enough during the course of history. This in itself is a reason why some people oppose Intelligent Design theory; simply because they see it as a 'Trojan Horse' for religious intrusion into government and people's private lives.

My belief is that the truth of Intelligent Design has already been clearly shown. God has done His job, faithfully allowing mankind to come to a very full understanding of His world. Christians must continue to do their jobs; harmonizing valid scientific truth and the Bible while letting their light shine. But our original choice in Eden, when we declared war against God, was to deny everything that we knew about Him. Human nature has not changed, and some men will continue to deny the truth and oppose God regardless of what they are shown. Things will not be 'put right' until Jesus Himself comes back and makes it so. Jesus' basic description of evil is appropriate here:

And this is the condemnation; that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

John 3:19

And the apostle Paul described the concept of Darwinian Evolution perfectly, when he said that rather than glorifying God for creating us, we choose to attribute our existence to lower forms of life instead:

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.

Romans 1:22-23

What better description could there be of today's humanity, choosing to attribute our existence to something that chose to crawl out of water onto land, or some ape that chose to climb down out of a tree and walk on two feet. This is the fantasy, the foolishness, the 'vain thing' that is Macro-evolution. Satan enticed mankind in Eden with the promise of what 'knowledge' could do for us. But it's never been about what we know; it's about Who we know. And now great knowledge, without an acknowledgment of God, has brought us to the point of ultimate folly, and the judgment that is sure to follow.

NOAH'S FLOOD

I believe that the Genesis flood was a genuine, worldwide event, just as described in the Bible. I am intrigued by the possibility that a well-known geological occurrence, the 'Younger Dryas Event', was the Genesis Flood. If it was not the Genesis flood, it nevertheless provides us with a model of how the flood might have happened. There is information about the 'Younger Dryas Event' on the Internet, and I would encourage my reader to look at it. It may possibly coincide with the disappearance of the Sabretooth Cat, the Woolly Mammoth, the Giant Sloth, and other species.

Scientists tell us that the 'Younger Dryas Event' was a sudden, but temporary advance of snow and ice fields over the earth which occurred around 12,000 years ago. Some suggest that this sharp shift in worldwide climate may have been precipitated by a sudden influx of fresh water into the ocean, disrupting the ocean's salinity and deep sea currents that play such an important role in the stability of the earth's atmosphere. These sea currents are like 'conveyor belts' that transport the earth's heat and energy around the planet, moderating the earth's weather.

I believe that these 'conveyor belts' truly were disrupted. The Bible says that God broke up the great fountains of the deep in order to initiate the flood (Genesis 7:11). I suspect that these 'great fountains' were the undersea currents of the world's oceans. The 2004 movie titled The Day After Tomorrow provides a picture of what I believe Noah's flood may have been like. When the Bible says that all of the mountains were covered with water (Genesis 7:20), I simply understand the water at higher elevations to have been snow.

But while I believe that Noah's flood was a historical event, and that there is reason to look for its effects in the world today, I do not perceive the flood as YEC's do. YEC's believe that Noah's flood is responsible for almost every geological feature that we find today upon the earth. They attribute the mountain ranges of the world, and most sedimentary rocks, to the Noahic flood that came and went upon the earth in one year's time (Genesis 7:6, 8:13). They attribute the many layers found in the walls of the Grand Canyon (and in most other sedimentary structures throughout the world) to the flood. Their approach to geology and the flood's supposed impact upon the earth largely began with a book by John Whitcomb and Henry Morris titled The Genesis Flood, first published in 1961. But by attributing most of the world's geology to the flood, YEC's blatantly contradict the word of God itself.

The apostle Peter wrote about scoffers who would arise in the last days, wilfully ignoring the geological evidence confronting them:

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying 'Where is the promise of His (Christ's) coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation'. For this they willingly are ignorant of; that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water. Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water (Noah's flood) perished. But the heavens and the earth which are now, are kept in store by the same word, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing; that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

2 Peter 3:3-8

Peter told his Christian audience that there were five things that they would need to remember when confronting these scoffers:

    1) That the 'heavens' (earth's atmosphere) was created by God 'of old' (in the remote past).
    2) That the ancient earth had existed in two phases; Out of the water (beginning with creation day 3).
    3) In the water (creation days 1 & 2).
    4) That Noah's flood followed after the geological effects of creation days 1,2 and 3.
    5) That time and 'days' are different for God than they are for us.

Here, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Peter was telling Christians about the scoffing they should expect, and how they should perceive the issues involved. Peter's words stand as a stark rebuke to the Young Earth view of the age of the earth's atmosphere, the geological history of the earth, the impact of Noah's flood upon the earth, and the meaning of God's creation 'days'.

Peter said the 'heavens' (atmosphere) are ancient. He said that the dry lands which existed before the flood were already comprised of sedimentary layers which had been formed in ancient sea floors during creation days 1 and 2 ('in the water'). God had then caused those sedimentary sea floors to rise up 'out of the water' on creation day 3. Noah's flood did not create the sedimentary layers of the earth, but merely came down upon them. Finally Peter admonished Christians to remember one thing: that time and 'days' are different for God than they are for us.

I suspect that YEC's prefer to use the flood as an explanation for the earth's sedimentary layers because, although it is hard to explain those layers in terms of a flood that lasted only one year, it is much harder to explain them in terms of creation days that lasted only 24 hours. Ultimately however, in their explanation of the geological record, they directly contradict the word of God supplied by the apostle Peter, and reject Peter's reminder that God's 'days' are different than our own.

BIG AND SMALL

In his book titled Pale Blue Dot, written by Carl Sagan and first published in 1994, Sagan criticized the earth-centric and human-centric perspectives of religious people, pointing out that our planet earth is just a 'pale blue dot' in an incredibly large universe. The point of Sagan's book was to show us our insignificance, and hence the irrelevance of our various religious perspectives; to promote a little 'humility' within us.

Someone who shares Sagan's views might ask 'Don't you think that an infinitely large universe makes you and your God irrelevant?' My answer to that is 'No'. Actually, our physical size reflects our importance. God has placed mankind at the exact crossroads of physical size, and thus has enabled us to see, measure and understand both an infinitely big universe, and an infinitely small 'universe'.

Over the past 100 years scientists have discovered that not only is the universe incredibly large, but that it is also incredibly tiny. Our universe is comprised of extremely small individual units of matter, energy, space and time (Planck units) that cannot be subdivided any further. And mankind has been able to discover, analyze and manipulate this quantum world. From a size perspective, we are to the electron what the universe is to us; infinitely large. I would be willing to bet that mankind has spent the same amount of time and money, and has achieved the same degree of progress in investigating at the Quantum level of the very small, as we have achieved in studying 'the very big'.

Some scientists promote 'Multiverse theory', and talk about possible 'parallel' universes. They need not wonder about it. There are millions of universes within and around us. Every living cell is a universe unto itself. God is big and small. He can hop from galaxy to galaxy, as if they were stones in a river, and yet He puts His 'wrenches' on molecules, and knows what it's like to ride on the back of a hummingbird. I believe that an infinite number of universes did indeed exist in the past; WITHIN THE MIND OF GOD, and that He considered every possibility and contingency before He chose to create the one universe that exists.

In Romans 1:18-20 the apostle Paul wrote that God has completely revealed all of His attributes to us through the universe that we see. It is a full revelation to us of all that He is and all that He is capable of. Multiverse theory is a denial of that. It says that there might be infinitely more universes out there, and that we may not have even begun to know what is possible to know. It takes Sagan's attempt to 'humble' humanity and doubles down on it, while at the same time 'cheapening the currency' of the incredible universe that lies before our eyes; suggesting that it is only one among an infinite number of universes.

Multiverse theory is a reintroduction of the fundamental materialistic concept that underlies every denial of God's existence; that everything is the result of blind chance. Such folly flows from the minds of people who are desperate to say 'There is no God':

The fool has said in his heart "There is no God". They are corrupt. They have done abominable works. There is none that does good.

Psalm 14:1, 53:1

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?

Jeremiah 17:9

Physical size, for all its range, is ultimately insignificant. Who would be willing to trade his child for the sun, the moon, or any of the planets? That is why Jesus could ask "What shall it profit a person if he should gain the whole world, but lose his own soul? Or what shall a person give in exchange for his soul?" (Mark 8:36-37). God sees size in spiritual terms, and so should we. Physically we are very small, but spiritually we are huge. It is important that we not let ourselves be confused or misdirected about this. The materialist would have us think that we are unimportant because we are physically small, but it is the materialist who is 'small'; small because he chooses to be small by closing his eyes and ignoring the true nature of things. Do space and time dwarf us as human beings? Yes, absolutely. Do they dwarf God? No. They reveal God and His loving interest in us.

IS THE UNIVERSE A SIMULATION?

In recent months I have spent much time reading and watching YouTube videos on the subject of quantum physics. Mankind's discoveries in the realm of the 'infinitely small' are very interesting. One of the most useful videos that I have watched is titled The Computer Simulation Hypothesis, from Fair Wind Films. It was written and narrated by Kent Forbes. This documentary provides the non-scientific layman with a good introduction to the history and present discoveries of quantum physics, and I believe that its message corresponds in many ways with what the Bible tells us about the world.

In this section I am using Kent Forbes' own outline and approach to this subject in his video, presenting each area of discovery in physics as he explains it, and then commenting upon how these discoveries confirm what the Bible tells us about the nature of reality. I am grateful to Mr. Forbes for his labors. I do not necessarily agree with all of the suggestions or conclusions that he reaches, or with the viewpoints of the people who appear in his video. But I believe that the video is excellent, and provides useful information for the Christian to consider.

In his video Mr. Forbes presents information in three basic stages. He presents discoveries suggesting that...

    1) The universe is like a computer simulation.
    2) There are observable and unobservable sides to our universe.
    3) Our choice to observe things seems to cause them to come into physical existence.

1) OUR UNIVERSE IS LIKE A COMPUTER SIMULATION Our universe seems to operate like a computer simulation, with a 'central processor' that runs and sustains everything. Just like we humans use computers to create artificial worlds for video games, or for educational purposes like 'flight simulators' for training airline pilots, so the universe also bears many of the same traits of a simulation. This hypothesis is based upon six observations:


    A. The sudden 'Big Bang' beginning of the universe is similar to the sudden 'turning on' or 'booting-up' of a computer simulation.

    B. The universe is 'pixelated'. When we look at a TV or computer screen from a distance, its images appear whole. But when we look at them closely, we see individual pixels that are being controlled in order to come together and form the bigger picture. The universe is like this. Everything in the universe can be reduced to small units that cannot be divided any further. These infinitely small units are known as 'Planck' units, named after the famous German physicist Max Planck. The smallest units of matter are subatomic particles like electrons and quarks. The smallest units of light are called photons. Even space and time are divided into these individual and indivisible 'Planck units'.

    C. Because these 'pixels' put 'hard limits' on our world, and can be measured and defined, it means that our universe is computable; that it can be understood and run mathematically. In fact some scientists believe that they have discovered some of the 'software' underlying the universe.

    D. Certain set characteristics of the universe, such as the speed of light and the behavior of space and time in the presence of large masses (like black holes), suggest that the 'central processor' of the universe changes its speed in response to the 'loads' that are placed upon it in various situations. This is consistent with the way that computers sustain simulations.

    E. The entire universe consists of 'identical parts' everywhere. Quarks, photons and electrons are the same across the universe, in galaxies separated by billions of light years. This suggests that the universe originated from one 'mind' that began with fundamental interchangeable parts.

    F. The universe exhibits 'quantum entanglement' or 'non-locality'. This means that two particles can be directly linked with one another over vast distances. If one particle is moved or affected at one location, it's entangled particle will be simultaneously affected or changed at great distances away. Such instantaneous changes that occur at great distances, sidestepping any communication between them that must be limited to the speed of light, can best be explained by a central 'processing unit' that upholds both of these particles at the same time, and is able to cause their simultaneous movements from a point outside of the physical laws imposed within the simulation itself.

All of these ideas are completely consistent with the message of the Bible. The Bible states that the entire universe was created by God, and is sustained by Him moment by moment. As I have already quoted in this web page, the apostle Paul told the people of Athens...


For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.
Acts 17:22-29

The author of Hebrews wrote that the Son of God, even while He was dying upon the cross, was sustaining the universe:


God, who at various times and in diverse manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son. Whom He has appointed Heir of all things. By whom also He made the worlds. Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.

Hebrews 1:1-3

None of this talk, about a universe initially created and then sustained by an infinite 'intelligence', should surprise any Christian. The greatest minds in physics have only discovered what Christians have always known:

"As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter".     Max Planck



2) OUR UNIVERSE CONSISTS OF TWO PARTS: AN INVISIBLE REALM COMPRISED OF POTENTIAL POSSIBILITIES, AND THE VISIBLE REALM IN WHICH WE LIVE, AND WHERE POSSIBILITIES HAVE BECOME REALITIES Scientists have performed something called the 'Double Slit Experiment', which divides the world into the 'seen' and the 'unseen'. It shows us that electrons, photons and other 'building blocks' of our world exist as waves of 'possibility' or 'potential' until they come into our observable realm.



"Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real."  Nobel physicist Niels Bohr



This separation between the observed and the unobserved is also consistent with the Bible and Christianity. The Bible always describes God and His realm as being invisible to us, and tells us that faith is belief in Someone who is invisible to us:

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them (mankind), for God has showed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.

Romans 1:19-20

For now we see (God) through a glass, darkly; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as also I am known.

1 Corinthians 13:12

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: for we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:5-8

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Timothy 1:17

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, for by it the elders obtained a good report. 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

By faith he (Moses) forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.

Hebrews 11:27


3) IN OUR UNIVERSE IT SEEMS THAT MATTER COMES INTO EXISTENCE WHEN WE CHOOSE TO OBSERVE IT Strangely, in the double slit experiment mentioned above, our simple choice to observe waves of potential coming from the invisible realm seems to make them 'collapse' into definite things or particles in our visible world. But the quantum realm shows us stranger things than this. It would seem that a person's choice to observe a wave of potential not only instantly collapses that wave into a real physical thing, but that it can change that wave into a particle backward in time.


"When we measure something we are forcing an undetermined, undefined world to assume an experimental value. We are not measuring the world, we are creating it."   Niels Bohr

I would draw a different conclusion than the great Niels Bohr. To physicists it seems that our decision to 'open our eyes' and observe something causes waves of potential to collapse into concrete realities. But I would suggest that this phenomenon is really God showing us that He not only upholds all things from moment to moment, but that He also predestines whether or not we will choose to open our eyes and observe a thing, while He Himself simultaneously changes the wave into a particle. This view is called 'determinism', and many reject it. But I would suggest that if we are truly willing to consider the possibility that it is a 'Mind' that is operating in the invisible realm, than we must also be open to the possibility that that 'Mind' might be willing to communicate with us by demonstrating these responses to our probing of the barrier between us.

I am reminded of an SUV commercial that I saw on TV a few years ago. There was a new Buick SUV parked in a driveway in front of a house. And there was a little boy walking around the yard in a Darth Vader costume. He was pointing his hands at various things, hoping to exercise physical power over them just like Darth Vader does in the movies. When he pointed his hands at the family SUV, its lights came on and it started up. Needless to say he was stunned. Then the camera panned away to watch two parents giggling together in the kitchen. They had remote-started the SUV when the little boy pointed his hands at it.

To my mind this is what the double slit and quantum eraser experiments show us; that it seems like our choice to observe something makes a wave not only collapse into a particle before our eyes, but makes it collapse backward in time. But in reality what we are observing is the outcome of God's predetermined decision to not only make us choose to open our eyes, but to also collapse the waves into particles before we open our eyes, so that it appears that our choice has changed the waves into particles retroactively.

It seems to me that physicists are touching the barrier that separates the invisible realm of a sovereign, predestining God from our own visible world that is defined by the free choices of men. We can choose to believe that our choice to observe something can cause things to spring into existence and reverse linear time, or we can consider the possibility that there is 'Someone' who is predestining all of these events; interacting with us from the other side of the barrier in a way that is consistent with what He tells us in the Bible (for a further discussion of predestination, see my web page titled 'Navigating Predestination and Freedom of Choice').

OTHER LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE

Scientists tell us that the universe is vast, and that space travel for physical beings is so limited by the laws of physics, that any meaningful travel for mankind, even within our own solar system, is a practical impossibility. Star Wars and Star Trek are pure fantasy. However, this does not rule out the possibility that there are non-physical beings who travel quickly around the universe. I am referring to what the Bible calls 'angels'.

It makes perfect sense to me that any person capable of traversing the universe would have to be spiritual, and not bound by physical laws. I am inclined to think that angels were brought into existence shortly after the 'Big Bang', and that God has used them as His administrators over the universe ever since. This is why the Bible sometimes refers to them as 'principalities and powers' (Colossians 2:15, Ephesians 3:10, 6:12). Are there other physical beings out there? The Bible does not speak to that question. The variety of plants and animals on this planet demonstrates that anything is possible. Ultimately, however, the life on this planet should not move us to wonder about other places, but to seek the One who is behind the incredible complexity and diversity that we see right here on earth.

THE MIRACLE OF LIFE

This is a personal observation, regarding the complexity of life, that I would like to share with my reader. At one point I had thought of our human chromosomes as simply a blueprint for the human body. But then it occurred to me that it is much, much more than that.

Picture a person preparing to build a house. He might pour a concrete slab, take all the lumber and other building materials needed for the house and place them on the slab, and then place a blueprint for the house upon the slab. Would anything happen? Would the house self-construct? Of course not, because much more than a blueprint is needed. Yet when a male and female set of chromosomes combine in a woman's womb, a new 'building' does construct itself.

Chromosomes are not merely a blueprint for the body. They are an instruction set that directs that first human cell to selectively choose fuel and materials from the mother's bloodstream, and then take those materials and build a human being from the ground up. And not only do those chromosomes contain the information for the self-construction of a human life, but they also control the operation of that body throughout its life, from the cradle to the grave.

In that single first set of chromosomes exists all of the information for the construction and operation of the immune system, the brain, the eye, the heart, and the blood (with it's clotting mechanisms). In those chromosomes is everything that allows a human body to function, self-repair and transition from infancy to puberty to old age. Such technology is stunning. I believe that every time a human being is conceived in the womb, a 'big bang' as awesome as the beginning of the universe occurs. Such biological technology cries out 'Intelligent Designer at work!'. And the ability to appreciate these things is not limited to modern man; King David recognized them 3000 years ago:

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows right well.

Psalm 139:14

THE TRUTH IS AS CLOSE AS A BOOK

The Bible tells us that we are to love God with our minds as well as our hearts (Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30). I am so glad that this is true, and that God values our intellectual capacities. But although people learn more about our world every day, and it is ever more apparent that an 'Intelligent Designer' is behind it all, they continue to reject the possibility that this 'Designer' is the God of the Bible. This is partly due to human pride. The apostle Paul wrote that 'knowledge puffs people up' (1 Corinthians 8:1).

Personally, I am not discouraged by the fact that people continue to reject the Biblical creation message. This is as it has always been; people knowing the truth while persisting in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). I do not believe that God ever intended that Christians should win 'the culture war'. God has simply desired that, during these last days of immense scientific discovery, the real truth about His creation of everything be revealed. As far as I am concerned, this has already been largely accomplished. It has been accomplished through the labors of the scientific community itself, and by people who have insisted that the discoveries of that community be accurately and honestly presented. God will win 'the culture war', but not until Jesus sits down to judge the world regarding what it did with the light that was given to it.

God is not known through our wisdom, but through acknowledging our lack of wisdom. The first step in approaching God is to realize that we are mere children before Him. In the light of that truth, He has chosen to hide Himself from those who are 'wise in their own eyes', and to reveal Himself to 'babes'. It is only as we despair of our own intellectual power, and turn from our own books to His book (the Bible), that we can meet this Creator who humbled Himself and became a man, born in a stable in Bethlehem:

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent". Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world has not been able to know God through wisdom, it has pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

1 Corinthians 1:18-21

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(Bible quotations are from the old King James version, with modifications by the author.)