Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Science vs The Bible


With all the scientific evidence before us, why believe in God? Why believe in The Bible's account of creation? Surely our modern scientific discoveries prove that our origins are far more complex than the mythical stories of Genesis?

Let's take a closer look.

INTRODUCTION

The Bible is full of statements that may be seen as scientific. Their accuracy, as compared to our modern scientific understanding and evidence, is a matter of much debate. Dennis Gordon Lindsay in his book "Harmony of Science and Scripture", presents a wide range of Bible quotations and corresponding scientific facts. Anything from the Earth being a sphere, to radiation from stars, to the universe being stretched and expanding like a tent or curtain. Now it's all well and good to use hindsight to fit scientific discovery to ancient Biblical texts, especially vague sounding statements, but the true test of the accuracy and value of 'Bible Science' is to see if it can be used to predict something that modern science has not yet discovered. This is precisely what is presented in this post - an hypothesis of galaxy formation that future science may prove or disprove. Only time will tell.

IN THE BEGINNING...

Now for this discussion we'll focus on just the first 10 verses of The Bible, just on the physics of the creation of the universe. The biology of creation is beyond the scope of this short discussion.

Genesis 1

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

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

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

This is one side of the argument. Science presents its side in the form of a model called 'The Big Bang'. Backed up by some serious scientific observations we find a universe that started out at a single point some 14 billion years ago, and expanded into the well ordered universe we know today.

With the Big Bang model there's still quite a few gaps in our understanding. While we're slowly putting the pieces together it's still a lot of guesswork today as to how a chaotic mass of particles ended up in the form of elegant galaxies that run like Swiss watches.

WHAT ARE WE MADE OF?

Much scientific effort has gone into determining what we're made of and where we come from. What is the fundamental building block of matter and how does this fit into the Big Bang theory? Starting with ordinary matter, the stuff we can see and interact with, we discovered that matter can be broken down into molecules of over a hundred elements, which in turn are made up of a few standard subatomic particles like electrons, protons and neutrons. We go down even further into quarks and other strange particles. But where does it end?

In 1997 a team of 20 physicists from four institutions literally made something from nothing, creating particles of matter from ordinary light for the first time. The experiment was carried out at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Centre by scientists and students from the University of Rochester, Princeton University, the University of Tennessee, and Stanford. We've known how to get energy out of matter in nuclear bombs, but now for the first time we have an idea of how matter could have formed out of light. Interestingly that's exactly where The Bible says everything came from:

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

The fundamental building block of matter is light. Out of light we can get all the particles we need to make galaxies with stars and planets and gases.

But where do you put the light? The Big Bang theory talks about a finite universe, restricted to something called space. The Bible also describes a confined region for the universe.

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

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

So first God created a space that contained 'heaven and earth'. Not the heaven where God is, but a space separate from it, containing everything that would exist above earth (the heaven), and the space that would contain the earth itself. But at this point the space is void or empty. Then we find that there was darkness in this space, in this deep. Remember, this is before light was introduced. Compared with the Big Bang we note that it similarly predicts a period of darkness at the beginning, called 'The Dark Ages'.

So what was this 'darkness' upon the face of the deep? Until recently we would have just said it was an absence of light. But The Bible distinguishes between an empty space without light (the void) and darkness. Later it also talks about separating the light from the darkness. Fortunately for us science has just recently provided us with the information to answer this question.

THE INVISIBLE UNIVERSE

Dark matter is a type of matter that doesn’t emit or scatter light, so it cannot be seen with telescopes. Dark Energy is an unknown type of energy that is causing the universe to expand. Together they make up the ‘dark’ part of the universe.

Just as we saw earlier that light and matter are interchangeable, dark matter and dark energy also form two sides of the same coin. Together they make up more than 95% of the stuff in our universe. So if we consider the void (space) as a balloon, then dark matter would be the gas blown into the balloon, and dark energy would be the pressure of the gas causing the balloon to inflate. But we still can't see anything in the balloon until we add light, and the light starts changing into matter, creating galaxies in our balloon universe.

But there's still one big unanswered question - how do you get well ordered galaxies from a mass of dust? It's like taking a pile of sand, placing a fire-cracker inside and expecting a Swiss watch to result from the explosion. Science has no clear answers. What about The Bible?

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

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

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

The missing ingredient is in verse 3 - 'And God said'.

From Leonardo da Vinci's time we knew that sound waves can affect matter. But it was only in the 1960's as a result of work by Swiss scientist Dr Hans Jenny, that we realised what the extent of this interaction can be. Jenny pioneered a field of study of wave phenomena. In the attached videos you will see some of the results of his work, the intricate patterns caused by sound in fine dust particles.

So if, as The Bible shows, sound is the missing ingredient in bringing detailed order to the chaotic mass of particles then why hasn't science picked up on this? The reason is clear - sound has been dismissed as a possible candidate for creating the galaxies because sound can't travel in a vacuum, like that found in space. But with the emergence of the existence of dark matter all that changes. This is the reason there is the dark stuff in the universe - to provide a medium for sound to propagate through the universe to create the exact sound wave patterns for galaxies to form precisely where God intended. And The Bible presents us with the exact sequence of events require to create an elegant universe:

1. Create a space to put everything in.

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2 And the earth was without form, and void;

2. Add dark matter and energy to expand the space and create a medium for sound to pass.

2 and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of

the waters.

3. Add sound to create the complex wave patterns as a blueprint for the galaxies.

3 And God said,

4. Add light to create the dust.

3 Let there be light: and there was light.

EARTH - A UNIQUE PLACE

A nice way to visualize the structure of the Earth is to look at the inside of an egg. Firm core (like the iron core in the centre of the Earth), surrounded by a blobby liquid (the mantle), and closed by a thin fragile shell (the crust). And our shell is cracked, leading to all sorts of interesting effects.

In the 1970's plate tectonics was accepted fully by the scientific community as the way that processes on Earth are geared together, and how mountains are built over time. We take for granted the fact that we have separate Continents and Oceans, but no other planet or Moon in our Solar System is organised like this. No other planet has plate tectonics. Why are we different? Science has no clear answer. But The Bible does:

6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

Our atmosphere (the firmament) separated the gases and matter above (fluid in space) from the molten mass below (fluid rock and gas).

Plate tectonics gathered together the waters and corralled them in between continents - just as described by The Bible.

Job 38:8-11:

8 Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?

9 When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddling band for it,

10 And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,

11 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?

Today we understand plate tectonics and its role in the creation of oceans and mountains. Water broke forth out of molten rocks and escaped from the Earth's 'womb' in steam clouds before condensing to form our oceans. Simultaneously plate tectonics pushed the ground together to raise up mountains which stand as doors to contain the oceans.

CONCLUSION

The Bible clearly presents sound as a key ingredient in the formation of the galaxies. Where will our corresponding science take us - toward God or away?

From a void, with scaffoldings of dark stuff, mapped out by sound waves, built with light, to a small blue green planet - built by Him, for Him - a place to build His house.

Psalm 19:1-4:

1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

4 Their sound is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.