Earthage 101

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New Physical Laws

Bret- 
That is quite a inventive theory that you posted, I would like to go through this with you until it makes sense to me if you would indulge my questioning please. 
You stated: The eternal self-existent God created the empty vacuum of Space (Inflation)... and a "unformed" & "un-energized" elemental "Earth"
material suspended in a matrix of water (completely static) ...
OUT OF NOTHING!
God's Spirit literally "vibrated in the presence of the waters"!
Waves of gravitational energy & waves of electro-magnetic energy
began to pulse forth from the Spirit of God.
This gave birth to Space, Time, & tangible Matter!
God then created luminous Light to divide the darkness ...
as to establish the precedence of Day & Night.
And He called this the FIRST day!

Here are my questions:
1) Since light is a short range of wavelenghts of electro-magnetic energy, how can you say God created light after he already used electro-magnetic energy in bringing space-time and the earth into existance?  

2) Since the earth wasn't spinning relative to the sun (because it didn't exist yet), what separated light from darkness. What caused the dark and light periods to be exactly 24 hours?

3) Was the source of the luminous light God? Did God turn off His lights every 24 hours on days two and three until the sun appeared?

4) If the source of the energy was the Holy Spirit and all of the energy that made the universe emanated from Him, did He stretch throughout the cosmos in an instant and make all matter and energy appear simultaneous at every location across 13.7 billion light years of space time?  Or is the cosmos smaller and only 6000 years old?

5) Are the stars that look farther away than 6000 light years really there or are we just seeing photons created in space by the Holy Spirit?  

6) If the matrix of information was materialized from electromagnetic and gravitational energy by the Holy Spirit, are you claiming a new set of physics were used to do this or were the physical laws the same as we experience in our modern day?

I will have more questions since I'm a scientist after these are answered, but these are important to resolve before continuing. 

Lee

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902 *** The MOST important Verse in the Bible? *** on Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:25 am

Let's take a look at this Verse in context!

Jeremiah 33:20-26 (King James Version)

20Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season;

21Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers.

22As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me.

23Moreover the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying,

24Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the LORD hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them.

25Thus saith the LORD; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth;

26Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them.

This Verse has NOTHING to do with the Creation Event !!!
This is Divine hyperbole!
But WAIT! ...
Before you get upset with me being critical of your favorite Verse ...
I AGREE THAT GOD "DID" CREATE THE FIXED LAWS THAT
WE ARE ALL SUBJECT TO HERE ON EARTH & OUR UNIVERSE !!!
The REAL question is WHEN did he lock these puppies into action?
Also ... did God ever say that He would be handcuffed "Himself"
by these ... or ANY laws ???
Genesis does NOT begin with God saying that ...
in the Beginning God Created the Fixed Laws of which He will
be bound and limited to work within forever & ever ... Amen?
It would be logical to assume that God did set these Laws into
effect sometime before the end of Day-6 !!!
But even then ... I believe that God can & does work OUTSIDE
of these Fixed Laws!
God exists OUTSIDE of His Creation!
God exists OUTSIDE of Time!
God exists OUTSIDE of ANY known Limitations!
Isn't that what makes Him God ???
So ...
I agree with you that things like changing the speed of light ...
or miraculous Inflation rates do Violate "OUR" known Laws !!!
But ... these are little more than parlor tricks for God !!!
YES ... God could choose to limit Himself (just for Fun) ...
and then try create everything with little more than some
Fixed Laws ... and a Perfectly Created Cosmic Cherry-Bomb?
(The "Singularity")
But ... then why do we have so many PROBLEMS with trying
to explain our Universe using this Model ???
Here are just the Top-30:

http://www.metaresearch.org/cosmology/BB-top-30.asp

The most popular Scientific solutions to SOME of these problems
have both been "Rightfully" maligned by yourself.
(VSL & Inflation)
The ONLY answers to the unanswerable questions of the Universe
are extremely simple?
From our point of view ...
GOD CHEATED !!!
(He either broke the rules ... or He stacked the Deck?)
The only way the God maintains His Flawless Integrity is ...
for these Laws to ONLY apply to US ... and NOT Him !!!
God Creates the Code ...
We must live by it!
Praise Jesus!

Bret*

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OK Stu, I’ll get involved, partly because of your gentle prodding and partly just to clarify my own thinking on this interesting topic.

Unlike most of you who are participating in this debate, I do not come from a scientific background. Whereas I think I have a modicum of understanding the scientific positions being discussed, I am quite unqualified to “debate” such matters. So my contribution to this discussion will be more along the lines of a personal testimony indicating how my thinking has evolved over a considerable period of time.

I will close, however, with an attempt to specify what I think the “real” issue is when it comes to understanding Scripture, especially Genesis 1 and 2.

I was raised in a conservative Bible believing home and church. I accepted Christ as my Savior at an early age, for which I am thankful, but because of my youth my conversion experience did have not the dramatic, life changing experience that is often true for those who have “lived in the ways of the world” for several years before coming to faith in Christ.

Without giving much thought to how God created the universe, I simply passively accepted what is now called a Young Earth interpretation of the Genesis account. After all, the only other alternative was to believe in macro evolution, and that, I was convinced, was untenable and contrary to the Genesis creation account.

After attending the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (now Biola University, yeah, a really long time ago!), I obtained my teaching credential, became very involved with a strong conservative church, got married, raised a family, taught junior high for several years, became a principal, and ended my educational career as an administrator in the District Office.

As a YE believer, I was very dismissive of anyone, scientist or otherwise, who promoted an OE position. After all, if the Bible “said it,”—that the earth was created in six days—so no other interpretation was tolerable. However, when I could be really honest with myself, there was something unsatisfying with that as the final answer.

My very good friend, an IBM research physicist, talked about all the fine tuning that was necessary for earth to exist as we know it. He didn’t attempt to dissuade me from my YE position. In fact, he readily admitted that YE could be true but that the evidence seemed to point in the other direction. My uncritically held YE position became tenuous. In the course of our conversations, he mentioned he found a lot to appreciate in the views of Hugh Ross.

The name stuck with me so that when I was in a Bible Book Store browsing the apologetics section, I noticed a book authored by Ross, A Matter of Days. Whereas I was still pretty convinced of a YE interpretation of Genesis, I decided the book might be worth reading. It quickly became apparent to me that it is possible for one to believe in a “literal” interpretation of Genesis and not have to relegate true science to the scrap heap. It was an exhilarating revelation.

I soon added other Hugh Ross books to my library and attended two meetings with Ross, actually sharing lunch with him at the same table on one occasion. What impressed me, aside from his astounding intelligence and understanding of the universe, was his total commitment to the inerrancy of Scripture and the Sovereignty of God.

I became convinced that the OE position was the more compelling point of view. Could I be wrong? Of course! I don’t think either side, not even Hugh Ross, can “prove” its beliefs. But as I read both God’s inspired, inerrant Word and His “book of nature,” I’m convinced there is no conflict between them. In light of the many scripture references that strongly imply a lengthy creation process and the incredible things I see when observing what God has created, I am strongly inclined toward the OE position.

I don’t believe “science” is the real issue. As I have followed the script of this discussion group, both sides appeal largely to “science” to support either the YE or OE positions. Which group has the “best science” is perhaps debatable. But of prime importance to me, and this has been alluded to in the group’s previous discussions, is how one is to determine what were the original words that comprise the text and what did those words mean to those who recorded those original words.

What has helped clarify this for me is a 5-part series on www.reason.com/resources called History Age Debate written by Dr. John Millam. (Dr. Millam received his doctorate in theoretical chemistry from Rice University in 1997, and currently serves as a programmer for Semichem in Kansas City.) I would encourage all of you to take the time to read the entire series.
To whet your interest, I close my dissertation with a quote from Dr. Millam.
We tend to read Genesis in light of the questions we want answered. For example, if we approach Genesis 1 with the goal of resolving the nature of the creation days, we naturally gravitate toward those few secondary details that might address it. This puts the spotlight chiefly on three words-"evening," "morning," and "day." The danger is that Hebrew nouns are generally far broader and less specific than their English counterparts (part 2). In this way, our questions drive the interpretation of the text (by focusing our attention on certain details) rather than letting the text drive our interpretation. Instead, we should focus first on the primary point of Genesis 1, which is that God is Creator; the second point is the Sabbath principle. Moses highlights these points at the beginning, and conclusion of the chapter, respectively.

Finally, Millam closes his 5th article with these pertinent words: “The only way to make progress in the modern dispute over the age of the Earth is to treat it as healthy debate. Every side needs to remain open to dialogue with each other and to learn from other perspectives.”

I heartily concur.

--Don

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904 *** A Flawed Equation? *** on Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:37 am

After reading Lee's equation filled Post ...
I was reminded of a common mistake
that is made by most mathematicians!
We are ALL familiar with the equation:

Pi*R^2 (Pi - R - Squared)

But ... as we ALL know ...
Pie are NOT Square!
Pie are Round!

Cornbread are Square! lol!

Now that's funny!
I don't care who you are?

A "Serious" reply to Lee's Post is forthcoming!
Sorry! ... couldn't resist!


Bret*

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"Not sure I understood what you meant about the expanse of water over the earth, not being able to see through it & hiding the celestial bodies--you are talking about hiding the cosmic view from those on earth, correct?

I think the expanse was more a water vapor canopy, which you would be able to see through. Even if water is in a vapor form, the air can hold an incredible amount of water.

The stars were meant as markers for the seasons, so I'm not sure the firmament would be hiding the heavens from view on earth? Unless I misunderstood your post..."

Yes, I do believe the expanse wasn't just water vapor. I believe there was a water canopy above the earth. What this means isn't clear and either of us can speculate, so it is subject to honest interpretation (and honest disagreement) to characterize the expanse one way or another. I believe it is most likely (or at least possible) that the great lights and the stars were hidden from view until day 4. After day 4 they were visible from Earth.

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scratch I just wanted to provide some more technical justification in the cosmology area on why 24 hour creation days and the speculated variation in the speed of light would have catastrophic impacts on the universe we hold dear to us. I would love to get a good technical reply on this if anything I have stated in the cosmology area is incorrect.

study There is a lot of physics connected to the speed of light, so scientists get very nervous about changing it for one reason or another. Most of the understanding that mankind has built up during the past century has been built on the foundation that the speed of light in a vacuum does not change. This characteristic of the universe that has been extensively measured gives mankind the scientific theories that we depend on today for engineering, astronomical observations, cosmological theories, and performing high energy particle physics, so a change in this one parameter would produce a fatal flaw in much of theoretical edifice of modern science and our understanding of the universe. Consequently, many scientists believe that the speed of light in a vacuum is a fundamental natural constant in this universe. It has been measured many times in many labs and has shown great consistency among the measurements. As we look back through time by our astronomical observations of extremely distant objects, we see the same consistency by measuring the absorption lines of hydrogen and other elements and match them to the same elements that we can measure on earth in this day and age. Of course these absorption lines are red shifted based on the Hubble constant which has shown the entire universe is stretching out like a tent, but very slowly when compared against early inflation. This stretching has been measured to be around a factor of 1000 from hydrogen recombination when the earth was 300,000 years old to the modern era about 13.7 billion years later.

Relativity Laws
The theory of special relativity is based on this consistency in the speed of light and shows no variation as we travel one direction or another in space or back in time. General Relativity also is based upon this view in an accelerating frame of reference except that the general relativity equation allows for a cosmological constant (or in other words accelerating space time expansion) that permits separated points in space to eventually separate faster than the speed of light after an extremely long time. The Cosmological Constant is extremely small and has been measured to be 10^-120 which permits this anthropic compatible universe to exist. Otherwise it would have quickly collapsed or exploded into a vapor at the Big Bang if much bigger or smaller. Because the cosmological constant is this very small value and positive, it permitted our wonderful universe to come into existence and also permits us to view over 99.99% of the universe at this day and age. Relativity theories are based on the concept that the speed of light is a symmetry of Nature and is the same in all moving reference frames. The special and general relativity theories absolutely demand that the speed of light in a vacuum doesn't change, if it did vary in different reference frames that are traveling at different speeds relative to each other, then the physical processes or laws in each would be different causing a breakdown in relationships between chemistry, nuclear physics, and gravity. It is a wonderful thing that the law of general relativity exists otherwise we would decompose as we traveled at faster and faster rate relative to light speed or as light varied in speed relative to the other constants in nature.

Quantum Theory
The reason for this decomposition of matter is related to quantum effects and physical forces related to the electron's charge and mass. The electron is held in orbit by electrostatic attraction. The radius of an atomic electron shell is based on balancing centripetal force with the Coulomb force.
meυ ^2/r=ke e /r^2
where me is the electron mass, υ is the velocity of the electron, e is the charge of the electron and ke is Coulomb’s constant.
The energy of the n-th level is determined by the radius:
E= - ke e^2/2rn = - (ke e^2)^2 me/2(ħ^2)(n^2) = -13.6 eV/n^2
where:
• ħ is h/2π is the reduced Planck Constant;
• n is an integer
• ^2 indicates the preceding value is squared

The combination of natural constants in the energy formula is called the Rydberg energy (RE):
RE = ((keе^2)^2)me/2ħ^2
This expression is clarified by interpreting it in combinations which form more natural units:
mec^2 is the rest mass energy of the electron (511 keV/c)
((keе^2 /ħc = α ≈ 1/137 is the fine structure constant
RE = ½(mec^2)α^2
where:
• c is the speed of light in a vacuum;

Also, complete De Broglie wavelengths must be achieved as the electron orbits the nucleus; the energies of electron orbits are therefore quantized based on these wavelengths. The electron is described by a wave and a whole number of wavelengths must fit along the circumference of the electron's orbit:
nλ= 2πr
When the electron wavelength increases to the next integer value a new stable orbit is available. When a photon is absorbed by the electron at the exact energy value that permits the transition, the electron can move into the next allowed state in the atom. Each permitted orbit depends on the other fixed constants of nature such as Planck’s Constant, the charge of the electron, the electric constant, pi and the speed of light (c). If one of these constants change in value relative to the others, the geometry of the atom changes. The forces between atoms would also change and consequently the chemistry between atoms and molecular characteristics would also change.

The wavelength of the electron as it orbits is equal to the Planck constant (h) divided by its momentum. The de Broglie equations relate the wavelength λ and frequency f to the momentum p and energy E, respectively, as
λ = h/p and f = E/h
where h is Planck’s constant. The two equations are often written as
p = ħk
E = ħω
where ħ = h/2π is the reduced Planck’s constant, pronounced "h-bar"), k is the angular wavenumber, and ω is the angular frequency.
Using results from special relativity, the equations can be written as
λ = h/γmυ = h/mυ √(1-υ^2/c^2) and f = γmc^2/ħ = (mc^2/ h) / √(1-υ^2/c^2)∙
Energy is related to momentum by the Einstein Energy Momentum Equation: (E/c)^2 – p^ 2 = (mec)^2. Notice that if the speed of light changes, the relationship between momentum and energy also changes as the square root of (E/c)^2 – (mec)^2 where in this case for orbiting atoms, me is the rest mass of the electron in its reference frame. Therefore, me always measures the same in any reference frame and because me and c don’t change, neither does the physics of the atom. This is the fundamental local symmetry of the universe first explained by Einstein and proven many times by observing natural events.

Speed Change Impacts
Now if the speed of light changes, the only way to maintain the wavelength of the electron is for the mass of the electron to change reciprocally as well as the total energy. This of course would break another law of nature, conservation of energy. Since this cannot happen the geometry must change. If the speed of light increased by a factor of 1000 then the rest mass and the total energy must be reduced by a factor of 1000 for the wavelength to not change. However, a reduced total energy of 1000 for the electron and a reduced total mass for the electron would result in an increase of 1000 times in the radius of the atom to permit balance of the centripetal force and the Coulomb force. This would result in a complete geometry change for all atoms and impact molecular structures and energy levels. In summary, if we decrease the energy by a thousand and increase the radius by a thousand the atoms fly apart. All chemistry and physics as we know it would change if the speed of light differed by any significant amount.

Historical Evidence of Speed Changes
But there is no historical evidence that any significant change in the speed of light has ever occurred, and as shown by the measurements described below and the limits imposed by the measurement, large changes in the speed of light in the last few billion years have never occurred.
So the bottom line is that if you change the speed of light, energy or momentum or any of the physical constants, you are dreaming up a whole new set of physical relationships that have never been observed and likely cannot come close to matching existing processes used to create life, move continents, establish an atmosphere and produce a water cycle.
God has good reasons to make a covenant with the laws of Heaven and earth. I ask you, how is it conceivable that the 24 hour hyperinflation hypothesis allows the processes of nature to continue unaffected while simultaneously changing the speed of light. Light would have to travel nearly a trillion times faster to complete the stretching of the universe to make it look like the universe in 13.7 billion years old. We need to carefully look at any new physical equations postulated and determine if they are rational. In any case these changes would violate the Biblical statement in Je 33:25 that the laws are fixed.

The Relationships Among Forces of Nature
There are four fundamental force 'constants' in nature that 'hold all things together' according to fundamental scientific theories. If any of these change by an ever so slight amount the world becomes unglued (literally). Science has identified these fine tuning constants of nature that govern the relative force between each: electro-magnetic, strong, weak and gravity. All of chemistry is based on the electromagnetic force with a dimensionless value (alpha) of approximately 1/137. It represents the force between two electrically charged particles when compared to the strong force dimensionless number of 1. The electric fine structure constant is:
α = е^2 /ħc4πєo = е^2cμo/2h = keе^2 /ħc
where:
• e is the elementary charge;
• ħ is h/2π is the reduced Planck constant;
• c is the speed of light in a vacuum;
• є0 is the electric constant;
• μ0 is the magnetic constant or vacuum permeability, a defined conversion factor;
• kе is the constant of Coulomb's law.

You can see the value for the speed of light (c) in the denominator of the equation. This indicates that a change in the value of c will inversely impact the force relationship relative to the strong force as well as the weak force and gravitational force. All of the forces of nature are fined tuned on a razor's edge which permits life to exist. Vary any one by even a portion of a percent and significant impacts to processes, such as chemistry, begin to occur. If alpha changed by 4% no carbon would be produced in stellar reactions. As the variation increases larger impacts result. If alpha increased to .1 or larger (about a 10 times increase) no stellar fusion would be possible and stars would not exist with the universe dying a cold death.

Fortunately this has not occurred. Scientists have wondered if this parameter has changed over the life of the universe and performed measurements to see how much it has varied. They have now determined that if it is changing, it is a very small negative variation based on data collected from atomic clocks in the present era. Scientists have also made measurements of 128 quasars that occurred early in the universe. The data collected showed that the change over the past 10 to 12 billion years is limited to one part in 100,000:
Δα/α = (αthen – αnow)/ αnow = (-0.57 ±0.10) x 10^-5

For more details, please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine-structure_constant.

Conclusions
So then, what should we take from all of this detail? First we find that any variability of the speed of light would be harmful to any atomic structure or molecule and consequently all forms of matter in the universe as it begins to accelerate or slow down since it's atomic geometry changes with acceleration or over time due to the slowly changing cosmological constant. Therefore, God in his infinite wisdom, set physical laws in place that would not vary with space-time variation in order to create a stable universe.
Secondly, the physical laws that God made knowable to mankind, show us how processes would vary by changes in one or more of the fine tuned constants of nature. Information provided from certain types of historical events can be used to determine how much these constants could have changed over time. By observing similar processes occurring presently with those happening at great distances or the extreme past and comparing, we can determine the extent of the constant variation. These measurements have been made and show us that if there was any variation in the speed of light, it was extremely small or zero over the past 13 billion years.

Very Happy We can count our serendipitous stars for the thoughtfulness and planning our Creator used in designing our livable home with an invariant speed for light. You may have drawn the conclusion by now from the last few posts on the characteristics of the universe that long time periods are needed for 1) gravity to shape the heavens, and 2) to reverse the effects of early inflation that would on its own only blow up the universe. You hopefully have come to understand in this last segment that 3) the constants in nature cannot vary, especially the speed of light, without everything flying apart or collapsing into matter with new characteristics. If you have reached this conclusion, you would be also be correct and perfectly consistent with the Bible and Nature.

Warmest Regards Brothers and Sisters

Lee

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As a new Christian I was very surprised by what I read in the Christian literature regarding the creation day debate. With my science background I was thrilled that science was now acknowledging (even proving?) a beginning -- a creation event! With this amazing scientific evidence I could perhaps lead others with a similar background to Christ! I knew that many of my Christian friends and colleagues interpreted the days of creation as 6*24 hours, but they weren't scientists and I wouldn't have expected them to be concerned in reconciling this matter. But I also didn't expect to find so many close-minded defending their position.

What I was surprised at (actually shocked by) that Christian scientists at institutions such as the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) were calling for strict adherence to their YE interpretation as a matter of proper belief! Churches and Bible colleges were so influenced by this work that they many began including a belief in YE creationism in their statement of faith! John Morris of ICR went so far to say that, "No church should sanction a pastor, Sunday School teacher, deacon, elder or Bible Study leader who knowledgeably and purposefully erred on this crucial doctrine (YE creationism)." As a budding Bible teacher and church leader I was glad I wasn't attending one of those churches. In its extreme form I saw bigotry -- anyone who willfully believed in a billions-of-years-old universe was a heretic and must necessarily be evil as they can only be evolutionists (in the Darwinian sense). From that time on I have wanted to try to be a rational voice in the debate, hopefully pulling together my Christian brothers and sisters on the topic. We (and you!) are not the enemy.

I wanted to find out -- Was the Christian church always this hostile to those who believed in an old-earth chronology? Here's the record I discovered: from the 2nd century until the 17th century many of the church fathers believed that the days in Genesis could refer to periods of time longer than 24 hours (many also believed in 6*24). These were men who devoted their lives to refuting false teaching within the church and challenged secular society on any topic that didn't align with Scripture. Several of them were even martyred or tortured because of their faith. They were wholly devoted followers of Christ and the Bible and were not influenced by modern big bang cosmology or evolution. The list includes:

  • 2nd century -- Justin Martyr, Irenaeus (early Jewish writers Philo and Josephus apparently didn't see 6*24 days either)

  • 3rd century -- Hippolytus, Clement, Origen, Lactantius, Victorinus, Methodius, Ambrose (Ambrose is frequently quoted to support 6*24 hour days, however, he acknowledges that the use of yom in Genesis 2:4 refers to the entire creation period and not to a 24 hour day)

  • 4th century - Augustine, Eusebius, Basil

  • 5th through 17th century -- church scholars maintained a tolerant attitude toward those with differing views and interpretations of creation days


But things changed with the Bishop Ussher commentary on the Genesis days after the publication of the King James Bible. KJV Scripture and Ussher's commentary became intertwined and the YE view became viewed as collectively authoritative as the use of the KJV spread around the world.

With the scientific developments of the 19th century, the battle lines were clearly drawn. When Darwinism became the evolutionary paradigm of the 20th century, liturgical war broke out because of fear that OE chronology would provide a slippery slope to belief in evolution. In many evangelical circles you were either a YE creationist or a Darwinian evolutionist. I am neither, but there was no middle ground. It was viewed that one was either ruled by the infallible Word of God (as interpreted through the lens of YE creationism) or one's view was somehow demonized by secular science. Instead, shouldn't we be wanting to learn from both the Creator and his creation (science)? In Romans 1:20 God holds us accountable (in fact without excuse) if we don't clearly seek to understand the creation.

The fact is this is not an issue of biblical inspiration, it is one of biblical interpretation. Hebrew grammar does not require yom to refer to 24 hours , even when it is attached to an ordinal as YE creationism assumes. One just needs to read Church history and the scholarship of renowned Hebrew scholars, Christian theologians and apologists such as Gleason Archer, Charles Hodge, A. A. Hodge, B. B. Warfield, J. Greshem Machen, Wayne Grudem, Walter Kaiser, and Francis Schaeffer whose book The God Who Is There was significant in my conversion.

The Hebrew word ereb translated "evening" can also be interpreted "ending." The Hebrew word boqer translated "morning" can also be translated "beginning" or "dawning." Yom is the best, perhaps the only literal Hebrew word that Moses could have used for "a set period of time" (a creation period). The only other candidate is olam which is not a set period of time but rather one without beginning and ending. It refers to eternity or to a perpetual period of time not a set one.

The most literal translation of the of the Genesis account then is -- And there was/became evening (ending), and there was/became morning (beginning) - the Xth day (set time period). The most literal interpretation of Scripture unveils 6 distinct stages in the unfolding of God's creative work. This is how I saw it from the start. The language is not there to define 6*24 hour days.

Obviously before the 17th century many Christ followers interpreted the Scriptures with this understanding and without ever thinking they were compromising the integrity or authority of God's Word and certainly not that they would be branded heretical by their own people. It is a sad commentary on the Christian church when we can't respect one another who have different and defensible interpretations. The enemy is not my YE, OE or gap theorist brother. That kind of attitude only divides and allows the real enemy (the one who is blinding the minds of this world) to wreak havoc against the knowledge of the Creator.

I was still left with a huge challenge, however. What if my old earth views were based on my scientific presuppositions and were not thoroughly grounded in Scripture? Would I compromise my view of strict inerrancy to accommodate my "big bang" assumptions, or would I be willing to change? I was too committed to Christ not to be open to changing my view to YE. If the Scriptures were clear that the Genesis days were 6*24 I was ready to give up my OE views -- and I still am! In the next posting I will delve into the biblical evidence that led me to stay with OE interpretation. Stay tuned.

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908 And here is Days 5 and 6 on Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:12 am

Hi Dave,

Not sure I understood what you meant about the expanse of water over the earth, not being able to see through it & hiding the celestial bodies--you are talking about hiding the cosmic view from those on earth, correct?

I think the expanse was more a water vapor canopy, which you would be able to see through. Even if water is in a vapor form, the air can hold an incredible amount of water.
The stars were meant as markers for the seasons, so I'm not sure the firmament would be hiding the heavens from view on earth? Unless I misunderstood your post...

Keith

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909 Back in the Saddle! on Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:01 am

Welcome back DAVE !!!
Glad to see that you're back with the Blog!
Your take on the 6-days of Creation are
quite interesting ... to say the least.
I'm hoping that you'll make it to the
Starbucks Coffee Klatsch tomorrow?
Maybe we could go over some of these
points that you bring up with some
additional clarity?
I know that you're busy catching up
with work after your vacation ... so I'll
definitely understand if you can't make it!
I'm sure that Lee & Stu will keep me
back on my heels without the need of
any additional help anyways! Wink
Looking forward to it Guys!
Don't forget the Tapes?

Bret*

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910 And here is Days 5 and 6 on Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:54 am

Day 5 – Back to Bara

On Day 5, God created [bara] the birds, “great sea monsters and every living creature that moves” [NASB]. Seems pretty clear; God created them. How? Moses doesn’t say in detail. This obviously leaves open the potential for our own conclusions and biases to come into play. One thing is very likely; we can’t picture it.

Could this have happened over a long time or a short time? Once again, either one, but God had already made the lights to govern at this point, so it is logical to assume a 24 hour day. How did God do this in 24 hours? I have no idea. I plan to ask him (not Moses) when all of this is over and done with.

Day 6

On this day, God creates all the land dwelling animals and man and woman. This is interesting. For the animals, Moses uses asah; for man, he uses both, and in the place where he wanted it to be abundantly clear he did it [verse 27], he uses bara. For me, this doesn’t indicate evolution. However, God did it at that time. There is no use of the word immediately, and Moses does not elaborate, so we can’t know for sure, but I personally lean toward some kind of immediate event. The account of the creation of Eve supports that view as well.

One thing to think about here; if God paraded all of the animals before Adam to name them, how did this happen in one 24 hour day? It could have, by some kind of divine enablement, but Adam would have been quite different than we are to be able to do this. Since this was before the Fall, Adam may have been different, but once again, we are guessing. It may be that this was a longer period of time. I lean toward a different Adam (who was perhaps smarter and quicker? than us) but once again, not something to be dogmatic about because Moses doesn’t further elaborate and God was comfortable with that.

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911 My Genesis 1 Exegesis - Days 2 through 4 on Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:53 am

Hi All,

I wanted to post the next 2 days as I promised:

Day 2

Here God placed air (the Expanse, or sky) between the upper waters and the lower waters. At some point in the Earth’s early history (before the flood) there was water above the surface of the earth. How deep was this water? Can you see through water that is deep? Assuming even the purest of water, you can’t much through deeper than 50 feet of water or so. Could it be this shielded the celestial bodies from his view? I think it did.

Day 3

God then allowed dry land to show and gathered the waters into seas. Once again, Moses seems to be offering an account of what he saw. All by inspiration of God. He then had the land “produce” [dasha] or sprout vegetation. Interestingly, God doesn’t use either of his creation words in this portion of scripture, bara or asah. Could he already have created vegetation before then? Perhaps vegetation was already made before, and it is much older than this creation? Perhaps God just caused it to grow again once he revealed dry land? One thing for certain; the Sun wasn’t available yet for photosynthesis, so God’s light must have served that purpose.

Another thing; there is no implication here this was the first time there was vegetation on the Earth. It doesn’t say there was either. But it leaves open the possibility for there to have been vegetation on the Earth before then.

How long was this? The same presentation goes for this as for day one. Moses perceived it as a day, but if the Sun doesn’t exist yet, it doesn’t seem that it has to be a 24 hour day. It could be a 24 hour day though in my mind, accounting for God’s omnipotence.

Day 4

On this day, God revealed the lights in the expanse of the sky and states their purpose. I believe all of this is literal, but it is important to remember how God had inspired Moses to record this event.

The usage of “bara” and “asah”

There are two words used in Hebrew for made here, bara and asah. Bara is very clear; it usually means “created from nothing”. Asah is a much more flexible word, and can mean everything from do, make accomplish, achieve, acquire, etc.

Interestingly, the word bara does not occur in day 3 at all. The governing lights, the Sun and Moon, come with the word “asah”. Why such careful choice of words? If God meant to have it be perfectly clear that was the exact point in time he created these bodies, he would have Moses use the more definitive word. I personally believe he revealed these Governing Lights to Moses at this time, and Moses used the best word to describe his experience. He didn’t know for certain God created them then from nothing, but he knew they just arrived, and he knew their purpose going forward. That is certainly the focus of Moses’ account at that point.

One more thing; the reference to the stars [kokab] in verse 16 is a standalone and an aside it seems. The stars clearly weren’t made to separate darkness from light; verse 17 references the first half of verse 16, not the stars. So why did Moses leave the stars observation as a separate observation? Once again, the stars appeared to him at the same time as the governing lights, and only when the Moon was revealed. Once again, stronger words could have been used here if he meant it to be obvious, like Genesis 1:1, but he chose less definitive words.

At this point, it is more likely than before the days were 24 hour periods, because God said the new lights would be used to “govern” [mashal] or to reign over, have dominion. I think it is logical to think these could be 24 hour days from here on out, but once again, allowing for God’s omnipotence, it could mean longer periods of time.

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912 MUCH STUDYING IS A WEARINESS OF THE FLESH on Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:15 am

Lee, Nice to see your text again. Thanks for your thoughtful post.

I apologize if my last post was too critical, as I re-read it I shouldn't have been so hard on you. Sometimes my flesh gets the best of me as I am passionate about this issue.

Regarding bible translations, it is an easy task to check the concordance & go back to the original language to see what the author intended. I agree that there is some looseness that evolves in today's thought-for-thought translations. For this reason I prefer to use a Parallel Bible, on one side of the page its King James and on the other its New Living in my copy. I really love this set-up. The King James is closest to the original translation, which is why Strong's Concordance is meant to be used only with a King James bible allowing you to look up the original Greek or Hebrew word an its meaning.

Your grass example in Gen 1:11 I looked up in the book & this one is simple: the Hebrew word is "deshe" and it simply means grass, sprout, herb. Not much room for debate here. I think we all get the idea that God had grass & sprouting plants grow. Other verses might be more open, like any that use the greek words for 'love'...there are more than one but by use of a concordance, we can easily see if the author was talking about brotherly love for our fellow man, erotic or romantic love for a spouse, etc. Even though in English we only have one word for "love", the Greeks had many. I love you

So we can disregard all the modern translation argument by use of a simple concordance, which takes us back to the original translation. Again, presuming that our modern translations are somehow flawed, or worse yet that the original writers just didn't get it right all the time because they were human, opens the door to a whole host of problems, as I addressed in my other post about the Mormons & liberal theologians of today.

AN UNDERSTANDING OF SCRIPTURE IS BEST DONE THIS WAY: verses should be taken literally first, just as a conversation would be between you & I. If it is not possible to take it literally, then we should look into the issue of an alternate meaning. If I tell you "Lee, I'll meet you at Starbucks in two hours", we both know that means 2 literal hours. If I say "Dinner was great, I just ate enough for a small army" obviously this is probably not literal. We should take it literally first, and if not possible then look at figurative language.

Thankfully, the LORD defined "day" sunny as the morning & evening Sleep in the creation account. This is very clear on purpose. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO TAKE THIS!

I'm going to leave the Inflation arguments to Bret or whoever wants to take this on. This is not my area of expertise. I think Bret's point about God saying He "spake" and it was so...is really the best lesson. I don't need to have an astrophysics degree to read the bible & believe what I do. I do know enough about scripture, science, and the body of evidence on both sides to reinforce my viewpoint. Even if I can't spar with a PhD over the latest scientific uprising. I refuse to view the bible through the prism of secular science. Even if some of those scientists are Christians (and very few of those are YE). Most scientists are evolutionists. I know you would agree with me on that.

I will leave ALL of you with this point: the last verses of Ecclesiastes admonishes us that the 'making of many books has no end, AND MUCH STUDYING IS A WEARINESS OF THE FLESH.'

Bless you guys,
Keith
I love you

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Shortly after my conversion I started studying the Bible with a greater intensity than I had ever given my math and science classes. Being science trained I approached the Scriptures with Einstein, the big bang, and "old earth" pre-suppositions in mind. I was never schooled in the theory of evolution and like most Americans thought that descending from a monkey-like creature seemed silly.

I believed God existed but didn't know much about him. I was christened as a baby, did bedtime prayers as a child, and went to church for a season. My family acknowledged God but religion was not part of our life.

By the time I graduated college I thought God was some sort of an organizing principle; an equation perhaps. After all, something had to start off the universe. Even Einstein believed in that sort of God: "God does not play with universe." But I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to the "God thing."

Over the next 15 years I fell in love, got married, had children, and began a business career. In my 30's I found the real God (or He found me, however that works), and my Savior, Jesus Christ. That's a way more interesting story than this post, but that's another thread. I started reading the Bible and my challenge was to try to reconcile what I was reading with my scientific presuppositions.

Now under the power of the Holy Spirit, the opening sentence of the Bible captivated me, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" -- the creation of space-time, matter-energy out of nothing! I was thrilled. No other creation account in any other religions had a transcendent Creator doing such a thing. Other gods were limited by the eternal entities of time and space. Only the Bible tells of a God outside these limitations; a Supreme Being with a Will and Purpose in mind, and the Power to bring it about. I wasn't thinking about "days" or even microseconds, I was thinking an amazing instantaneous cosmic event took place when God, who exists eternally, starts time in motion and creates all the matter and energy contained in the universe! What I saw in Genesis 1:1 was, "In the beginning ..." BANG!

The most fundamental laws of physics are the first and second laws of thermodynamics. Both were now in evidence to me as I read the Scriptures. I was ecstatic. The first law is that matter/energy cannot be created nor destroyed -- yet, here they are, existing! This reconciled perfectly to the Genesis description. And, the second law (entropy) - that everything is decaying and will eventually die (which implies a beginning) was there too! Genesis 3: "cursed is the ground, " "you shall surely die." Romans 8: "the creation itself was subjected futility." 2 Peter 3: "the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up." God will even create a new universe with new laws of physics: "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth passed away." (Revelation 21). I didn't have to compartmentalize my new found Christian faith from what I had learned by studying nature. Reconciliation was possible. God's revelation about Himself in both His Word and His creation fit together perfectly. Of course they would; they were both products of His Word.

Until the 20th century it was thought that the universe was eternal -- an unprovable assumption with no scientific backing. With the formulation of the big bang theory, the observational power of astronomy, and Einstein's general theory of relativity, evidences in cosmology started aligning with the what was revealed in the Bible 3500 years ago. Scientists were just now accumulating mounds of observational evidence that the four dimensions of the universe, as well as the laws of physics that govern them, had a beginning and an end. That lined up perfectly with the biblical account. When I read verses such as below I automatically thought in terms of thousands, millions and billions of years without any concern.

... it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, .... But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. (2 Peter 3:5,8)

The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old. From everlasting I was established, from the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, When there were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills I was brought forth; While He had not yet made the earth and the fields, Nor the first dust of the world. When He established the heavens, I was there, When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep, When He made firm the skies above, When the springs of the deep became fixed, When He set for the sea its boundary So that the water would not transgress His command, When He marked out the foundations of the earth; Then I was beside Him, as a master workman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him, Rejoicing in the world, His earth, And having my delight in the sons of men (Proverbs 8:22-31).

He stood and surveyed the earth; He looked and startled the nations, Yes, the perpetual mountains were shattered. The ancient hills collapsed. His ways are everlasting. (Habakkuk 3:6).

Before the mountains were born, Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. You turn man back into dust. And say, "Return, O children of men." For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it passes by, or as a watch in the night. (Psalm 90:2-4).

I never thought that I had to "force" my reading of the Scripture into a 24-hour day, 6000 year chronology. Yet I was prepared to do so if that was what God would be pleased with after studying His Word (the next Chapter in my journey).

And then when I read all those verses about God stretching out the heavens it fit right into my understanding of what astronomers know about the heavens today: That from nothing, a tiny speck of unimaginable heat and light appears out of nothing and starts expanding.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men (John 1:1-4).

Within one second of time after the big bang there appears tiny temperature variations by which atoms form and eventually coalesce into all the galaxies in the universe. Under miraculous conditions of incredibly precise tuning (that is even "miraculous" to agnostic scientists), gravity starts clumping atoms together into galaxies as everything starts to cool down.

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible ... all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together (Colossians 1:16-17).

Unlike an ordinary explosion where atoms start decelerating after the "bang," the universe continues to expand and at a rate which is accelerating! (Actually it is the space between the galaxies that stretches as the universe expands.) Scientists were baffled by this mystery and today they attribute it to what they call "dark energy" (dark in the sense they can't see it and can only hypothesize its existence). Today they think dark energy and matter make up 95% of the universe! Indeed the "room for God" in their thinking is increasing faster than what they think they know by direct observation (i.e., the 5% they can see)! Of course, we as Christians know that what is dark (unknown) to them, is Light and known to us.

Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, I, the LORD, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself And spreading out the earth all alone, (Isaiah 44:24; also 40:22; 42:5; 48:13; 51:13)

Who alone stretches out the heavens ... Who makes the Bear, Orion and the Pleiades, And the chambers of the south (Job 9:8,9)

He who made the earth by His power, Who established the world by His wisdom; And by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens. (Jeremiah 10:12; also 51:15)

... Thus declares the LORD who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him. (Zechariah 12:1)

Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak, Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain. (Psalm 104:2)

Even though 95% of the universe is invisible to astronomers they hold by faith that it was created out of nothing by nothing. That is absurd. Christians know by God's revelation in the Bible that the universe was created out of nothing, but by God. Which "theory" makes more sense?

By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the Word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible (Hebrews 11:3).

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they (we) are without excuse (Romans 1:20).

I increasingly came to think that the data of Scripture and science favored an "old earth" interpretation. In my next post I will pick up the journey with the wall I hit with other Christians as I considered biblical interpretations other than the one God was giving me. Stay tuned.

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914 Not So Fast!  Where's the Beef! on Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:19 am

Keith and Bret et al,  thank you for your caring replies. You need not worry about any mistrust that I might have in translations of the Bible.  I don't have any lack of confidence in God' ability to get people to write down his messages in their own wording that conveys His message to a particular culture that speaks in a diverse number of ways to others within that culture at a given time.  But I'm also sure you are aware of the phrase 'words are inadequate to describe how I ...' Hebrews must have been especially impacted by this since there choice of words were so limited. As I also said, I have less confidence in the interpretation of the message being absorbed by flawed people interpreting and integrating His written message. The problem is with people, not God, in their interpretation of Biblical meaning from their very limited experience, biases, and knowledge.  
For example, the NET states Ge 1:11 as "God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: ".  and the KJV states Ge 1:11 as "And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass".  While the NAS version states "Then God said, Let the Earth sprout vegetation"  
On top of that, many people that have read any of these will come away with the view that God created the plants in one day (I'm not sure how this view can be derived from any of these statements), while the passages clearly state that earth or land bring them forth, sprout them, or produce them in some manner. 
It seems to me that a reader might come away with a significantly different meaning depending on his views and education after reading any one of them while God meant to convey one thought. I hope you understand what I am trying to convey from my short description.  Communication is quite a challenge between two or more beings. Our challenge as humans is to understand and practice God's inerrant message from his Word that was translated into more languages than I will ever know how to read. From the Bible's in English, writer's have written God's thoughts in different ways which convey different messages to the different readers. This is what Bible study with a group of other Christians is all about. Trying to get the right interpretation by getting other viewpoints on the passages read.  I think that it is dangerous to take the Bible literally in every translation and in every phrase without a true understanding of the overall message the Bible has to tell us.  Everyone should be cautious about claiming that they have the only valid understanding of what God meant to say. 
It seems that you might doubt that people could end up with different interpretations of His written Word in spite of all the various Christian faiths, Christian wars among it's various factions, and our on-going debate over the word 'day'.   You seem to have more confidence in the way a particular word or passage must be translated and interpreted to convey God's message accurately than I do. I guess we'll agree to disagree on this point or perhaps debate it in the future. All I ask is that you don't cast dispersion on my character because we disagree on the degree that the Bible should be read and translated literally vs symbolically. i.e. "then you are basically saying God lacks the ability to get His message to His people today & throughout the ages"..."In all do respect Lee, it seems that secular science has once again clouded your spiritual view on things. I mean that in the nicest possible way." 

Keith,  It seems to me that you are trying to speak on my views, which you don't understand that well.  Or twist what I am saying into a negative stereotype. This will not help our dialogue or improve our understanding of each others position.  Please just explain the YE stance and response to the issues that I surface on the YE positions. If you have no rational explanation please just say you think that God just did it that way and used new physical laws while doing it. 


Now back to the debate on inflation. I personally believe God controls and uses His physical laws to accomplish His wishes and these laws are logical and understandable.   

I was dismayed to receive no logical rebuttal that addressed the issues that I brought up about how rapid inflation only during a portion of a day cannot explain the universe as we see it. Long time periods are needed to develop various structures that we observe through telescopes; yet no one addressed this.   Surely someone in the YE camp can explain in a technically logical way how stars, nebula, and galaxies were formed in a microssecond under greatly expansive conditions.  If you can't, please just say so, and I will move on to other topics.  I hope you can, I would love to discuss these new physical laws with you. 
Bret,  the reason that I go to such lengths is to explain the rational and logical approach that scientists take to explain how the physical laws operated to produce that which can be observed. I am doing this for everyone's benefit so that they can see how the universe works through the physical laws that God created. There doesn't need to be magic in it. There was a logical and rational chain of events after the initial creation event that explains why the universe turned out the way it did. This is what good science has produced over time. I love this characteristic of God and His Creation. His Creation is understandable and rational with no magic needed. I'm absolutely convinced that I will go to my grave believing this since Nature makes so much sense to me now and it is also in sync with the Bible. Can you claim the same level of confidence?  
 If we transition to the new quick communication that you suggested:   "So ... I feel that I can just refer to these things by "Name"
without having to type 20 paragraphs to explain them?" very few of the readers will be able to follow along. I will continue to write my lengthy views for this reason. I also believe it would be helpful to everyone for you to explain in detail similar to my response, how rapid inflation alone can produce the universe that we see. If you can't I"ll understand, it is a complex area and new temporary laws of physics would have to be invented and used. Even if you would explain in some detail where the standard model went wrong in the development of the universe everyone could get something out of it to support  the YE position. So far I have seen nothing to refute the existing cosmic model. So if you want to convince me and others that we are wrong, we will need specifics of where the model is flawed. 

I think your use of VSL meant variable speed of light. I don't believe that the speed of light in free space  varied by more than an extremely small amount, if at all. There is also data to prove this point. My next post will be on this topic.   Similarly, I don't believe in a single phase of hyperinflation was all that was needed to create the universe. The hyperinflation may have occured but can explain only a couple of problems such as the Horizon Problem and Flatness Problem and produces new fine tuning problems of it's own.  It seems to me that another possibility to consider is that the initial conditions of the universe were perfect as God spoke it into existance. This means that all portions of the universe started with nearly identical temperatures and densities. There is also the possibility that some new laws relating to quantum gravity might someday explain these apparent fine tuned conditions. The jury is still out and may be eventually hung since known physics collapses at the singularity. The curvature of spacetime becomes to great for quantum mechanics or string theories to operate.  These theories are presently valid for endless flat spacetime,  not highly curved.   Only God will ever know for sure what happened in the earliest moments from the initial singularity to Planck Time. Mankind can only speculate in this domain of high energy and pressure because no tests are possible in this realm.  It is only after the universe existed for milliseconds that our ability to measure results in high energy physics experiments matches the energies of the Creation Event and where science has a credible standing.   For science to work properly, real data is needed, the remainder is speculation and imagination. It is important to keep this in mind these days as we read articles from Scientific American and Popular Science on the multiverse or bouncing universes. There is a lot of new age philosophy trying to take over 'science' and redefine it. A stronger competent Christian presence is needed to battle these forces trying to claim that science supports their views even though there is no real data.  The only real data available supports a Cosmic Event commonly called The Big Bang that occurred 13.7 billion years ago. I wish I could convince you that it really happened as science claims so that you would be joining in the battle with the scientists that are Christian instead of against us.  We need you in this fight for the Truth!

Lee

PS Stu, that was the best personal testiment so far. Congrats on an excellent write up. 

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915 *** Genesis DAY-1 *** on Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:25 pm

Who wrote the Book of Genesis?
I believe that Moses compiled these ancient documents
and added his own explanatory editorial comments where needed.
Genesis 5:1 mentions "the BOOK of the generations of Adam".
And the recurring phrase "These are the generations of ..."
are believed to be the "signatures" of the respective writers
as they concluded their accounts of the events experienced
during their lifetimes, by many Biblical Archaeologists.
Further evidence for this view is the fact that Genesis is cited
over 200 times in the New Testament ... but Moses is never
noted as the author of ANY of these citations!
But ... he is listed as the author of more than 40 other citations
from the other four Books of the Pentateuch!
There are also many references to Moses in the later Books of
the Old Testament ... but NEVER in relation to the Book of Genesis!
There is NO reason to believe that the Creation account was revealed
to Moses in some kind of dream or Divine film footage.
God spoke directly with Adam!
I believe part of his briefing package included a "Word for Word"
explanation of the 5-days that preceded his own Creation.
The rest of early Genesis was recorded by Adam as the world's
first Diary. These sacred documents were Divinely guarded as
they were pasted down from patriarch to patriarch until they
reached Moses for compilation.
*** DAY-1 ***
The eternal self-existent God created the empty vacuum of Space
(Inflation)... and a "unformed" & "un-energized" elemental "Earth"
material suspended in a matrix of water (completely static) ...
OUT OF NOTHING!
God's Spirit literally "vibrated in the presence of the waters"!
Waves of gravitational energy & waves of electro-magnetic energy
began to pulse forth from the Spirit of God.
This gave birth to Space, Time, & tangible Matter!
God then created luminous Light to divide the darkness ...
as to establish the precedence of Day & Night.
And He called this the FIRST day!
Psalm 33:9 "For He spake, and it was done; He commanded,
and it stood fast" !!!

Bret*

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916 *** I'll buy the Starbucks! *** on Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:06 pm

Stu ...
I would Love to listen to these guys go at it!
Even though the info is over 20-years old ...
I'm sure that more than 90% of what they said
is still valid and noteworthy?
Would you mind if I make copies for my collection?

Bret*

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917 Reply to Bret's question on Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:36 am

I think it was 1987. I still have the tapes from the 12 hours if you would like to borrow them. We did a one hour lecture with each scholar followed by a 1 hr Q&A. The last session was a 2 hour panel discussion amongst all of them. We called the series "Creation: Science and Genesis, Are They Compatible?"

I was attending Simon Greenleaf at the time and started an apologetics ministry at my church in Palos Verdes (Rolling Hills Covenant). We were blessed at both the School and the Church with access to these great men of God.

I am not writing a book but I know two of two of the subscribers to the forum who are or have.

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918 *** Quick Question for Stu? *** on Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:23 am

Stu ...
When ... (meaning what Year) did you Create this Conference?
Also ... how did YOU have enough influence (at that time) to
get these Very Busy men to adjust their schedules for a 6-week
gathering? (WOW!) Shocked
I can understand why you apparently have little time to get
involved with this Tiny Group of Random Knuckle-Heads! clown
Why are you doing this?
Are you writing a Book as well? study
Got any Publisher connections in your Bag of Tricks?
Just Curious!

Bret*

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919 Welcome Back! on Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:34 pm

Stu ...
It's nice to have you back at the helm.
I think I Knighted Lee too soon? Smile
Don't get me wrong Gentlemen ...
I enjoy your long Posts (personally)!
But ... we live in a Sound-Bite Generation!
I'm NOT saying that I like it ... but you
don't have to look any further than
"Twitter" to know this is Today's World!
I like that you're trying to keep us ALL
focused on the Topic of "Old vs. Young"
but this has to do with how each of us
interprets Scripture ... MORE than the
Scientific consensus on the Issue!
I only point this out because ... when
Christians have different fews about what
God means when He says something ... it
inevitably leads to some HEATED debates!
This is why we have so many different
Denominations. I wish this wasn't so ...
but again ... that's the way it is!
I'm sure that opposing sides of this Issue
will read much more Sarcasm & Condescension
into each others Posts than is actually intended.
I agree that we should avoid Personal Attacks
on each other ... but if we make too many
"Rules" about how each of us is allowed to
express ourselves ... I'm afraid this discussion
will go stale ... and reach nobody?
So ... let's keep it Clean!
But ... let's keep it FUN too!
Brothers Unite !!!

Bret*

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I was one of those math and science kids, fascinated by astronomy and pointing my telescope to the moons of Jupiter, the stars, and beyond to the galaxies. I remember telling my Nampa about Mars and how the light of some of the stars that we were that night from his porch was just hitting our eyeballs after traveling through space for millions of years. He got the biggest kick out of that. Now as a Granddad myself I get a kick out of taking my Grandson to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Museum and telling him the same thing.

I did not grow up in a Christian home but became an adult convert 30 years ago. I cling to three fundamentals of the Faith -- Jesus Christ is Creator, Lord and Savior (2nd Person of the Trinity); the Bible is God's inerrant Word; and, one must be born again in order to understand God and follow His commands. Most other things are debatable.

I am still awestruck by the fact that God created the heavens and the earth, what it contains, and how finely tuned it is for our existence. Observing and understanding nature is an act of worship for me. Reading the Scriptures which describe God's creation still brings chills down my spine -- like Psalm 19:1-4:
1The heavens are telling of the glory of God. And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. 2Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. 3There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard. 4Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a tent for the sun.

I know that which I clearly see in nature declares God's glory and that I can apprehend it since I am made in the image of God. As it says in Romans 1:20:
20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

In college (not yet a Christian) I earned B.S. in physics and a M.S. in systems engineering and gained an appreciation for the math and science that describes God's marvelous creation. I learned the scientific method -- how optics work; how we know that that the speed of light is a constant 186,282.397.... miles per second (in a vacuum); and how we can calculate with great precision the distance to those stars I showed my Nampa. It has always intrigued me that the starlight hitting my eye left our star, the Sun several minutes ago. But In the case of other stars it left millions of years ago. Astronomy is like a time machine allowing us to look back into our past.

When I became a Christian in my 30's I started studying the Bible with the same (actually more) intensity than I did my math and science. (I never did pursue a career in math and science and ended up going into business and information technology.) One of the subjects that interested me the most was the creation account in the Bible. Since I believed in the inerrant Word of God -- how would the observable creation square with that account? 1 Thess 5:21 was a great encouragement: that God's Word would challenge us to think and test; and that His creation account would square with His creation and would hold true under the most intense scientific scrutiny.

Romans 1 and 2 became core Scriptures -- that everyone can clearly see that God created all things so that we are without excuse for not acknowledging that fact.

As I started plowing through the Bible I became captured by the creation account from Scripture's point of view.
1O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth, Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens! When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; (Psalm 8:1)

I was captivated by Christian theology and apologetics and studied other religions and philosophies. I became more convinced than ever that they were illogical and fell far short of the biblical account. This not only strengthened my faith but gave me information to use in evangelism, engaging my non-Christian family, friends and co-workers with the truth of the Bible.

However, I was not enthralled with how fellow Christians would argue over their personal interpretations of the Bible and act unchristianly to one another in trying to reconcile their differences. After 30 years as a Christian I am still attempting discuss the truths of Scripture and nature with the grace that God intended. I try to keep 1 Peter 3:15 before me at all times, particularly the gentleness and reverence part.
15but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence

My initial investigation into what Christian scientists believed led me to the Institute for Creation Research (www.icr.org) , Reasons to Believe (www.reasons.org), and a study of Christian theologians and of Christian history. I started my reconciliation quest with God's Bible in one hand and man's writings and observations in the other.
The first bump in the road came as I was reading Genesis 1:
16God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also.
17God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,
18and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.
19There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.


According to ICR "yom" meant a 24 hour day and that the earth was 6000 years old. Here we find ourselves in the 4th yom with the sun being created. But the earth existed with vegetation on the 3rd day (v11-12), and "night and day" started on the first yom (v5) before there was any sun. There must be something else going on here, I reasoned.

Reasons to Believe interpreted yom as long periods of time with the sun being created by the Big Bang. RTB interpreted the frame of reference of the creation account from the point of view of the "the Spirit of God hovering over the waters, i.e., on the Earth" (Gen 1:2) -- not from a point of viewing the earth from outer space.

All good evidential explanations start with "initial conditions" and a "point of reference." This seeming little correction of viewpoint reconciled my problem, as well as many biblical critics who argued that there were two different creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2. In Genesis Moses writes out 11 creation events looking at them from the frame of reference of the surface of the earth (hovering over the waters), not looking at them from outer space. This little difference became key to my understanding the order of the 11 creation events which passes scientific scrutiny -- which is another topic altogether (possibly another thread).

My issue, and the issue currently before us, is the age of earth. ICR believed the earth to be 6000-10,000 years old. RTB believed the earth itself to be billions of years old. Both agreed that lining up of biblical genealogies determined how long man lived on the earth. They basically agreed that it was in the thousands of years range. So, the first thing I did was to lay out the genealogies for myself, accounting for gaps and their uncertainty. I studied biblical commentators from Augustine to modern, and of all stripes and persuasions. I studied the historical and archeological evidences. I ended up agreeing with both ICR and RTB that man was thousands of years old as both the Scriptures and the evidence shows.

ICR scientists went one step further, however, and said that the data also confirms their 6000 year old earth theory. RTB scientists said the data confirmed the billions of years old theory. ICR and RTB both claimed they had definitive answers based on Scripture and the scientific evidence. I was bound to find out for myself which was correct.

After being a Christian for several years and studying on my own, God led me to study at a Christian college to test my forming theological ideas against minds far greater than mine. I was awarded a doctor of laws degree by The Simon Greenleaf School of Law, now Trinity Law School (the apologetics program has since moved to Biola University). I had the privilege of studying under several great theological and apologetic minds including John Warwick Montgomery, Walter Martin, Harold Lindsell et. al. and was able to take courses and seminars in scientific apologetics with people like Ken Ham (then at ICR) and Hugh Ross (Reasons to Believe).

I enrolled in a class in scientific apologetics taught by Ken Ham. To my surprise he taught very little science. He began the course by lining up the chronologies in Genesis and worked the text backwards to arrive at a creation date. Being undecided at the time of YE vs. OE I was constantly asking questions like -- how do we know, what's the evidence, how do you reconcile, etc. To my chagrin I was stonewalled. The class was becoming an indoctrination in young earth theology. Finally I dropped the course. Simon Greenleaf was a place where you questioned, dialoged, studied various theories, and learned so you could say, " I've tested all things and can hold fast to that which is true." I talked one on one with Professor Ham and found him amazingly resistant to being open to anything which disrupted his theories. He lasted one semester at the School.

I attended several lectures by Hugh Ross. Even though he was equally convinced of his interpretation of Scripture and the science, he would engage my skeptical questions and give thoughtful responses. I was still unconvinced either way. I wanted to be intellectually honest before making a decision, but more importantly I wanted to take the time so that I wouldn't disappoint my God with my decision. I decided to put together a conference where we could listen and engage top speakers on the various theories. God blessed us with top people:
1. Duane Gish, ICR (young earth)
2. Hugh Ross, RTB (old earth)
3. Robert Saucy, Talbot Seminary (gap theory)
4. James Buswell, ASA (theistic evolution)
5. Dallas Willard, USC (philosophical foundations)

An incredible 6-week experience for the 100+ that attended. They lectured, took questions, debated with each other. I came away with a great appreciation for all the men and the views they represented. Also with the conclusion that all Christians agree that God created, but how He did it remained open to biblical interpretation and scientific observation.

In my next post I will start piecing together the Scriptures and the evidences that led me to my conclusion. Stay tuned.

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921 Darwinian Intervention on Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:28 am

Lee,

I enjoyed your post as well, albeit long as the other lord implied.

A couple things caught my eye. First, it seems you doubt the inerrancy of our current bible based on translation errors, etc. I would like to caution you that this is a very dangerous stance Twisted Evil

First, it basically casts doubt on God's ability to get us a legit copy of His word today. If our current bible is less than 100% accurate, then you are basically saying God lacks the ability to get His message to His people today & throughout the ages. Basically, that just doesn't wash, at all. Different translations may say things in a different way, but thought for thought they are the same. Also keep in mind this argument was made by many through the ages & should've been squelched by the discovery of the Qumrah Dead Sea scrolls (I think 1948?) when a nearly intact version of Isaiah was found, an nearly exact version to what we have today with the exception of some prepositions & other grammatical things that didn't affect the meaning.

Second, this is what the cults do (and liberal Christians), by doubting today's current translation, it opens the door for "interpret it yourself, what did God REALLY MEAN?"...and leads to a host of problems including "gay Christians", the need for another testament of Jesus Christ (LDS), totally new bible translations (JW's)....and this list is nearly endless.

Lastly, I was dismayed but not surprised at your theistic evolution stance. This is probably not quite your area of expertise when compared to cosmology. Keep in mind most if not all "mutations" are negative & life threatening, so if God was in charge of the mutations as you say, He didn't do a very good job.
Unlike our joyous topic of age of the earth, there is LOTS OF OBSERVABLE evidence, in the fossil record for example, that slams the coffin shut on human evolution, theistic or Darwinist.

In all do respect Lee, it seems that secular science has once again clouded your spiritual view on things. I mean that in the nicest possible way. affraid You can't possibly believe in a theistic evolution of man & animals on this planet, that has to be one of the weakest views ever, usually taken by people that have a very limited scientific background (not you) or brand new Christians that don't know what to think in spite of the apparent controversy of their new faith. I know this is not you!... because your knowledge of science surely vast exceeds mine.
I just can't believe that you really give this theory any weight at all & truly hope you have thought this one through.
The fossil record only shows kinds & forms, no transitional links to speak of, which eliminates ALL possibilities of a God-helped evolutionary path.

I will await your reply on this. Blessings to you.
Keith

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922 Sorry Keith! Since you mentioned my name... on Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:10 am

Dave,

I sincerely enjoyed reading your bio. Sounds like the LORD has blessed you with a great family & thriving business.

Regarding your posts and Moses' account of creation, I will admit that it is POSSIBLE that the formless & void had an earlier existence and might add to the age of the earth, but I still don't see this as a realistic option. Frankly your description, to me, doesn't add any new information about the topic. You've unpacked the opening part of Genesis & explained that Moses may have had a vision or dictation, but it is possible he was just given the words & wrote them down.

I don't like getting into avenues where we think scripture may be off or open to major interpretation/extrapolation because of the way it was inspired or written down. To me that takes the "inspired" out of God's "inspired Word". I think Lee was hinting at this as well in one of his last posts, that we may have problems in our current version of the bible because of translations. More on this later.

So, I see your view on the creation account but I still don't see any scripture or evidence that indicates we must extrapolate this back millions & billions of years.

However, now that I know you have a chemical engineering background, it is much easier for me to understand where you are coming from with the long earth ages. Because as a student of modern science, its what you've been taught all these years so I can't blame you for wanting to adopt a different view.

I'll be waiting on the continuation of your post...thanks.javascript:emoticonp'bounce'

Keith

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923 *** Theoretical Astrophysics *** on Sat Jul 18, 2009 4:23 pm

Lee ...
Being a lord myself ...
I Knight Thee "KING of the Long & Complex Post" !!! king
You indeed know your Cosmogony chops!
So ... I feel that I can just refer to these things by "Name"
without having to type 20 paragraphs to explain them?
If you're NOT in the Inflation Camp ...
then that leaves the VSL Camp as the only other
currently popular hypothetical resolution to the
Horizon Problem?
But ... I think you've already stated that you're NOT
taking the bait here either?
You can probably save ME a lot of time ... if you could just
tell me if you prefer your Astrophysics Quantized or Stringy ???
Einstein is yesterday's Hero ....... ???
The hunt for the elusive Graviton is what's Hip in today's
Scientific Uber Nerd Community !!! jocolor
This stuff is just a FUN hobby for me ...
Biological Evolution & Paleontology is where I lean back
& crack my knuckles !!! study
But ... we'll wrestle in that mud a little later down the road!
My thoughts on Genesis Day-1 are forthcoming!
Thanks for everyones kind Prayers!

Bret*

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924 Answers For Bret Dialogue #1 on Fri Jul 17, 2009 11:16 am

Bret

First I want to say that I am saddened to know you are having serious financial losses. I will pray that God makes things better for you. Hopefully something good will come out of your suffering. I try to think of Joseph when I go through hard times and how difficulties mature us and make us better. I hope you don't have to endure what Joseph did. 

I wanted to also respond to each of your [Bret]- comments and questions.   My response [Lee]- to your statements are below each. 

[Bret]-I would also like to congratulate Lee forhis excellent use of "Sarcasm" (Humor)!  Brother ... than last Post was Drip'n with it!

[Lee]-Thank you, I think, maybe my efforts at humor are having some impact and improving.  

 [Bret]-that Side-Stepping
the Age-of-the-Earth issue (in Book #1might be the Wise choice !!?

[Lee]-Only if we can't convince you that you're on the wrong side on this day age topic. I do believe in the infallibility of God's word. Everyone needs to realize that God used many techniques in conveying His message: symbolic meaning was used a lot as well as literal meaning. Obviously in this case we are still working out how to identify which one of the two methods he used in Genesis 1.  

[Bret]-The problem for me is ... that I'm not sure how (in all Honesty) ... that I can claim both Sides of this Issue can be Squared with the Infallibility of the Bible ... 

[Lee]-I think it is better if you claim that the Bible is vague on this issue regarding the actual human referenced length of a day.  In Genesis 1 God is doing the creating so it is clearly written in terms of God Days which may be like a thousand years. If you claim that either one could be true then no conflict arises with external scientific proof one way or the other. This position would also match with the results from three major Christian conferences convened to address the Day-Age controversy. It also matches the Catholic position on this subject as well as the position of many Protestant churches. Readers might find you more credible if you agreed with these previously determined positions on this topic.  
 
[Bret]- Lee ...You seem to be little more than a Deist?

[Lee]-That is because I am a Theist. 

[Bret]-You seem to know something about Science ...but your TRUST in God's Infallible Word seems wanting?   

[Lee]-I trust that God's original Word was flawless. I have less confidence in the the message conveyed in the translations to new languages and marginal confidence in the reader's understanding of what God meant.  Based on the flawed nature of humans and the many 'Christian' religions in the world today, I hope you can understand why I have this opinion. 

What I am 'wanting' is for Christians to not take positions against well established scientific understanding of how the universe operates especially when they don't know very much about science.  If they do know a lot about science, are experts in a particular area then they have earned the right to claim that science doesn't know what they are doing and need to also point out the reasons why, so that the problems are addressed and corrected.  Unfortunately, virtually all claims surfacing from science detractors are coming from people with a questionable background in science and who seem (based on my questioning) to lack a decent understanding of the area in science they are criticizing.  Case in point radiometric dating and geology.  

[Bret]-But I am interested in your views on "Cosmic Inflation" ???  Am I wrong? ... or doesn't this claim that the Universe expanded to nearly its present size in less than a Blind of an Eye!

[Lee]- Cosmic Inflation is basically an extreme form of antigravity that appeared in the first brief moments of our universe then dissipated into other forms of energy.  Not all scientists have accepted this early inflationary period at present. It is highly controversial and contentious. It helps to explain some of the finely tuned characteristics of the universe that the non-Christians can't accept such as uniformity of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), and the flatness of space (parallel lines crossing spacetime staying parallel). Cosmic Inflation is more like speculation than science since there is no direct cause for it based on our known physical laws that would produce it.   Extremely fine tuned initial conditions is the only alternative and non-believers can't accept this.    

What happened before the first blink of the comic eye is the controversial part. The non- believers are compelled to find natural or mathematical causes and they struggle to find credible causes. Rapid early inflation allows non-believers to be a bit more comfortable with the present state of the universe since two of the fine tuned parameters go away: flatness and uniformity.     
After inflation we get to an expansion stage from about 1millisecond forward that is not controversial and is based on measurable values obtained from experiments performed in nuclear test facilities as well as  a huge amount of astronomical observation and other types of testing.
    
The expansion after the Big Bang is not part of the early inflation but results from the kinectic energy of massive particles (hot plasma) and radiation expanding with space time at the speed of light at first with the massive particles slowing down over time under gravitational forces.  

Later at about 8 billion years, on a cosmic scale gravitation forces had become extremely reduced due to the growth in size and finally becoming smaller than the cosmological constant (an extremely low level of antigravity).   This is the time that the inflation that we observe today began to take over control of the size of the universe.  This low level of inflation continues to accelerate the expansion of the universe to the present age and has been measured. The biggest question remaining is whether the cosmological constant changes over time or is truly a constant of nature. I personally believe that the massive particle expansion under the influence of gravity followed by the low level of inflation later in cosmic history is the period referred to in the Bible as stretching out the Heavens like a tent.  Not the unproven hypothetical early inflation  concept. If the rapid early inflation somehow and someday turns out to be proven true, then it would also fit within the stretching description. In all three phases of expansion, the stretching verse applies. 

Hopefully, I've explained this complicated subject well enough to realize that inflation to its present size didn't happen in an instant according to accepted scientific theories. Instantaneous inflation to it's present size would lead to a lifeless vapor in the universe using the known laws of physics.  Of course God could have modified the physical laws during the first day but then he would be contradicting His own covenant with the laws of Heaven and Earth as stated in Je 33:25. So these laws could not be violated during Creation. To permit the structures that we see in space, time is needed to form them under the influence of gravity.  If either long time periods  are eliminated or the effects of gravity are made insignificant by another overpowering force such as Cosmic Inflation then none of the objects that fill our universe could form i. e. Stars, galaxies,  solar systems, planets, nebula, etc.    

 The controversial early inflation according to theory expanded rapidly for an extremely short time (planck time range) then tranferred it's inflationary energy  to vibration of space time dimensions as it stretched out.  At that time the universe is very small; let's say inches to feet range.  Eventually this energy turned into particles with high kinetic energy as space dimensions expanded and cooled.  This is highly speculative since there have been many versions postulated with no way to test, prove, or disprove them. New laws of physics and new fundamental constants are also needed to produce this perfect inflationary pulse that made our universe fit for habitation. It would be another example of fine tuning if it turned out to be real.    
 
[Bret]-Also ... I can't help but feeling that You believe life Evolved from Ameba to Man as well ???

[Lee]-Evolution is a very loaded word, so let me respond this way for now.    I believe in common descent but God was in full control of the mutation and selection.  Lets' address this in the next phase, you might be surprised at some of my views. One thing for certain, I'm constantly trying to deduce an infer how God has made it all work out. He gave me a mind and I believe he wants me and everyone to use it to the max. 

Lee

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925 Divine Intervention? on Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:54 am

Thanks Dave!
For the reassurance!
I think maybe I was the only one to
read your thoughts on Days 2-4 ???
Your Hybrid view of the Old Earth
positions is actually quite interesting!
We'll need to go through these one
at a time ... to help me build some
confidence ... before I can claim that
BOTH sides of this Issue hold sufficient
Water ... as to be able to Honestly
sidestep this Issue in my Book!
I still think we should ALL give our
take on each Creation Day ...
one at a time ... starting with Day-1
But ... like I said before ...
I will leave ALL of the RULE making
up to Stu! If Stu is still interested
in this Topic?
Just in case you missed it Stu?
Dave & I have patched things up &
have basically agreed to Fight like Friends !!?
I'm not sure if Lee will ever forgive me?
But ... one Brother at a time ... right? Very Happy

Bret*

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