I am a Christian. I believe in the God of the Bible, in God the Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit. I believe in Genesis 1:1 - "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (NIV)" I am a biochemist and a pharmacist by education. As such I have a desire to understand nature. I am writing this blog as my way to express the facts of true science as I understand them, from the perspective of one who believes that all things were created by God, for God and for His purposes.

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Chemistry of Matter & Vibration

A few weeks ago I was invited to talk at my church on a selection of verses from the Gospel of John. I chose the first three verses as my focus. I then expounded on them in relation to God - Jesus - as the Word or Logos, looking at it from a scientific point of view. I am taking part of that sermon and sharing it here with you, my blog followers. Hope you will find it interesting and thought provoking.


Today we will look at the Gospel of John. I want to focus on the just the first three verses of the Prologue, where John identifies Jesus as the Logos or the Word.

John calls Jesus the “Word” or in the Greek the “Logos”. So what is the Logos? It is more than a spoken word, or written word. The “Logos” is that part of God that spoke the world into existence - all and everything that sums up the Universe and everything in it - matter and energy, life and death, thought and reason.

John 1:1-3 (NIV) - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

In these first three verses John says that Jesus:

  • Was the Logos
    • As God He spoke us into existence and as a man spoke to us during His life (as we have recorded in the Gospels).
  • He was WITH God
    • He was with God in the beginning, that is, He always existed! – He was not created by God (He is the God-man not just a good man).
  • He WAS God
    • God and the Logos are not two beings, and yet they are also not simply identical. Jesus said: "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30 NIV) and also, "...the Father is greater than I." (John 14:28b NIV).
  • Through Him all things were made (created)
    • Reaffirms that Jesus was active (and probably took, and still takes, the lead role) in the creation.

So now let’s take a look at these three verses in connection with several other verses that speak to God’s creative power. Any of you that were here the last time I spoke, you know that I like Science and the Bible. So I can’t speak here without some connection between John’s opening verses and current scientific facts.

So let’s now look at Genesis, Colossians and Hebrews:

Genesis 1:1-3 (NIV) - In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Colossians 1:15-17 (NIV) - The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Hebrews 1:3a (NIV) - The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his (God’s) being, sustaining all things by his powerful Word.

So, what do these verses tell us?

  • God speaks creation into existence with His Word.
  • In John, Jesus is called “The Word” and in Genesis Jesus spoke the universe into existence.
  • God uses His “voice” to make the world. It is through His spoken word that the world was created.
  • It is through God’s Word (Jesus) all things were made and by His Word (Jesus) all things are held together.
  • Jesus sustains all things by his powerful word.

These words were spoken thousands of years ago. What do we know about the world today that relates to these ideas?

Science has told us that matter, everything in the physical world, is made up of smaller and smaller particles. When I was in school it was molecules, atoms, protons, neutrons, electrons and...?

As an example, an atom looks something like this (Helium):

Although shown as motionless on an orbit, in reality the electrons are moving rapidly (at the speed of light) around the nucleus (the protons & neutrons). An Atom is actually a blur, like a cloud, and is in reality 99.99999% empty space.

Source: Skulls in the Stars Blog

Now today, we can go even deeper.

An electron cannot be broken down but the protons and neutrons can. Almost all the matter or mass (think e=mc2 – everything is either mass or energy) of anything physical is in the protons & neutrons of its atoms.

Speaking at the sub-atomic level (smaller than an atom), matter - protons & neutrons - consists primarily of particles called quarks, anti-quarks and gluons and is regulated by the strong nuclear force (a form of energy). The strong nuclear force is the force that holds protons and neutrons together in the nucleus. At the sub-atomic level, matter and energy are in constant flux (changing back and forth between the different forms).

If we take one of the Protons or Neutrons (together called Nucleons) we see in an atom and look much closer, they look something like this:

An image of protons and neutrons as full of quarks, anti-quarks and gluons. A proton consists of two up quarks and one down quark plus many gluons (g) plus many quark/anti-quark pairs (u, d, s stand for up, down and strange quarks; anti-quarks are marked with a bar.)

Source: Professor Matt Strassler's Blog

The protons and neutrons are full of quarks, anti-quarks and gluons, moving around at high speed (basically the speed of light) inside the proton or neutron. Protons & neutrons are also somewhat like an electron cloud, without all the empty space.

The mass (or matter - think weight though not exactly the same thing) of a proton or a neutron - and thus the mass of an atom, a molecule, a substance and a being, comes from this chaos (the constant, crazy movement and changes happening to the quarks and gluons) going on inside a proton or neutron. The mass does not come from the nucleons themselves (think energy not substance).

OK.  I know it is confusing but it’s important to take a moment to let all this sink in.

The Mass of Everything
Comes from the Vibration Within
The Protons & Neutrons of Its Atoms

How amazing and awesome is this!  Almost all of the mass found in all the things around us (and in us!) is that of the protons and neutrons within its/our atoms... 

And most of that mass...

Comes from the vibrational-energy of a proton’s or neutron’s quarks and gluons, and from the interactional-energy (also a vibration) of the strong nuclear forces that hold those protons or neutrons together.

The whole creation around us, our physical being, our very breath are what they are as a result of an internal, imperceptible turbulence of constant energetic vibration, the vibration of the fundamental parts of an atom’s nucleus!

As we continue to drill deeper into the center of the atom, we have discovered that when you get to matter at the smallest level it is almost as if there is nothing there except vibrations. When we talked about the Big Bang we said “First there was nothing and then it exploded.” When talking about matter we can almost say “There’s nothing there and it’s vibrating!

So Scientists have spent millions of dollars to build a sub-atomic particle accelerator (Large Hadron Collider) where they accelerate nucleons at crazy high speeds and crash them into each other so that they can see what is left when they break apart. And what have they found? At the heart of it all is a vibration!

So hold that thought for a moment.

Now there is another way to think about vibration. Vibration is the essential foundation of sound. When a note is played on the piano it makes a sound because of the vibration of the strings. When you speak, you make a sound because of the vibration of your vocal cords. The sounds we hear are actually vibrations which cause our eardrums to vibrate which our brains then interpret and give meaning to. My voice is a vibration which your brain makes sense of. (I hope!!!)

Now sound as we know it does not travel through a vacuum, such as space, but there are electromagnetic waves, or vibrations, emitted by the sun and planets that have the same frequencies (rate of vibration) as the sounds that the human ear can hear.

And NASA captured these background electromagnetic vibrations with instruments on the Voyager spacecraft and has converted them into sounds of the same wavelength. Here is a sample of what the earth sounds like:

NASA Recording of Earth Sounds - YouTube

So picture this... in the beginning God’s voice spoke out and it reverberated into the nothingness that was there, and His voice, His Word, the vibration of the sound of His voice, actually took on physical characteristics. It became something visible, something more than simply a spoken word. It became matter, energy and light. And His voice continued to ring out, and continues to ring out still, holding all things together by His powerful Word!

The vibration at the base of all matter in the universe is the sound of God’s voice, His Word, continuing to ring through all creation!

So where do we go from here?

We must realize that Jesus (as man) is GOD in the flesh and how absolutely overwhelming it is that He would love us so much that he would create a world for us and then come into that world to save us. If He can do all this for us, we should desire to share Him with those that do not know Him. We cannot keep our faith a secret.

We know that all things are possible with God. The Logos (Jesus) spoke us into existence, He holds us together and redeems us by His Word, and ultimately calls us to be with Him (and the Father) in heaven.

He is faithful! His Word is True!

Hebrews 13:8 (NIV) - Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.