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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Monday, October 15, 2018

The Bible Scientific - Genesis 1:1

I am starting a new series of posts that I hope to be shorter, more focused and posted more frequently than I have in the past. Each one will take a verse or two directly from Scripture and try to explain that Biblical quote from a scientific perspective. I am calling these blog posts "The Bible Scientific" with a notation to the specific verse(s) that I am discussing.

It is often stated that the Bible and Science are not compatible, that the Bible is not a scientific text and that you can not believe the Bible and also believe science. I think this is short sighted as there are a number of places in Scripture where scientific facts were stated even before man understood them. The Bible is not a scientific text in that it is not meant to be the full explanation of scientific fact, but it does direct us to understand the nature of God scientifically as well as spiritually. It complements science. God uses His Word to help us understand Him and His creation with our mind, soul and spirit.

Galileo Galilei said:

"The prohibition of science would be contrary to the Bible, which in hundreds of places teaches us how the greatness and the glory of God shine forth marvelously in all His works, and is to be read above all in the open book of the heavens."

We will start our new series below in Genesis. If you have a favorite scientific verse or have a verse you would like reviewed, just send a comment in the section at the bottom of this blog post. I will try to include it in a future blog entry.


So for this first post of "The Bible Scientific," let's start at the beginning - Genesis 1:1

Genesis 1:1 (NIV) - In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The Hebrew word used for "create" here is "bara'" which means "to create absolutely," that is, to create from nothing. Scientifically, this verse declares something akin to the Big Bang, that in the beginning the universe was created from nothing.

CMB Timeline300 no WMAP.jpg

Up until about 90 years ago, science stated that the universe was eternal, had always existed (and thus had no cause). It wasn’t until the 1930’s that the concept of the explosion of a singularity blooming into the universe was first conceived, and with it the beginning of time, space and the physical laws of nature. It took until the late 1950’s for scientists even to agree on such a theory.

(By NASA/WMAP Science Team - Original version: NASA; modified by Cherkash, Public Domain, Link)

Moses, identified in the Bible as the author of Genesis, is estimated to have lived about 1500 BC. Secular sources identify Genesis as being written between the 10th and 5th century BC. In either case, if Genesis 1:1 labels the creation of the universe as something synonymous to a "Big Bang," it was certainly much earlier than it was defined by science.

[Big Bang theory] suggested that matter and motion originated
Rather as Genesis [in the Bible] suggests, ex nihilo, out of nothing,
In a stupendous explosion of light and energy. - Newsweek

And it appears that the Big Bang had to be fine tuned to such a degree that even the smallest of change would have resulted in no universe at all.

Steven Hawking said:

"If the rate of expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, it would have recollapsed before it reached its present size. On the other hand, if it had been greater by a part in a million, the universe would have expanded too rapidly for stars and planets to form."

Then there is the "cause" of the Big Bang. Science, at first, said it must be creation:

Newsweek, in 1998, said:

"[Big Bang theory] suggested that matter and motion originated rather as Genesis [in the Bible] suggests, ex nihilo, out of nothing, in a stupendous explosion of light and energy."

And Steven Hawking said:

"Many scientists did not like the idea that the universe had a beginning, a moment of creation."

Now some scientists are questioning the Big Bang again, it seems, because it speaks of something beyond the beginning of time. This is the "Cosmological Argument" - that everything that had a beginning had a cause - a transcendent cause outside of itself. Genesis 1:1 shows that there was existence before the creation - God (who by definition had no beginning) had to exist outside of, and before, the dimensions of time and physical space came to be - the universe has a transcendent cause, AND a Creator. Science does not like that (it can not be proven or tested scientifically). New theories are looking for a universe created by the Big Bang but without the need for God to be the transcendent cause.

Scientific American said in 1999:

"The big bang theory does not describe the birth of the universe … Another theory describing even earlier times will be needed to explain the original creation of the universe."

So is another theory needed? Can science develop a theory that will truly answer the question "What caused the Universe?" If the creation of the universe was the start of space and time, everything "physical" and the natural laws that govern it all, is it possible to find something else that could have created the universe from outside of those restraints when science cannot even see beyond them?

Science in the past explained that the universe, "just existed," and needed no explanation for its existence when it was thought that the universe was eternal. Why is it not possible to say the same for a God who created the universe. Could not an eternal God be that cause, even though we can not prove that or even prove that God exists, scientifically?

Psalm 102:25 – In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.

Next up: Genesis 1:2 – Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.