Since evolution can't account for it, where did music come from?
Viewpoint of Mark Cadwallader, Creation Moments Board Chairman
The guitarist plucked the big E string. Then, holding the string down with a finger 1/2-way along the string’s length, he played the same E note – an octave higher. Now the string was vibrating exactly 2/1 times faster than before. Next, he went up the guitar’s neck to 2/3 its length and played the harmonic fifth note, an A, which vibrated the string exactly 3/2 times the original note. He did this with multiple strings and fingers in quick succession as he proceeded to thrill the audience with the beautiful music of a Spanish guitar solo.
Philosophers and scientists have long been fascinated by the relationship of music to numbers and to the order in the universe. The relationship of sound and music to the creation is a truly wonderful thing.
The “music of the spheres” is, in fact, a concept which fascinated the great scientists Galileo, Newton and Kepler as they studied the laws of motion and of gravity in the planetary bodies. Kepler described the relationships of planets and their orbits through numbers and ratios using musical references. He stated that “the movements of the heavens are nothing except a certain everlasting polyphony.” He also had the desire to create a “symphony of the cosmos”.
The orbits of the planets around the sun have a certain harmony in a fashion similar to the strings of a musical instrument. Believing unswervingly that God set the planets in orderly motion, Kepler eventually discovered the elliptical shape of their orbits, showing that they revolved around the sun to sweep out sections of equal area in equal time intervals, traveling faster when they are closer to the sun and slower when further away. He published his three laws of planetary motion in 1609, still used today to calculate the orbits of newly discovered comets and asteroids and the paths of interplanetary spacecraft.
It is said that music is the language of the soul. And we are encouraged by Scripture to make much use of music in glorifying our Creator. For instance: “Praise the Lord with harp, sing unto Him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto Him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise,” Psalm 33:2-3. This admonition to sing and make music is then followed by the account of creation. “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. … For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast,” Psalm 33:6,9. And here again, as with making music to the Lord, the emphasis is on sound – the spoken sentiments of God. Did you know that the phrase “And God said ...” is mentioned nine times in Genesis Chapter 1 during the record of creation?
Or did you know that scientists have discovered that highly concentrated sound can produce fleeting flashes of light and heat? The phenomenon is called “sono-luminescence” and can be made to occur by beaming ultrasound into a liquid containing a tiny trapped air bubble. Sono-luminescence achieves such a huge “focusing of energy” from pulsating sound that temperatures as high as a million degrees Fahrenheit are reached inside the trapped bubble! If this energy was more intense, nuclear fusion of atoms could even become possible.
“Focused energy” is essentially what Creation is all about. After all, matter is fundamentally energy (E=mc2, or m=E/c2) with the speed of light squared acting as a proportionality constant between mass and energy. Thus, sound is an energy that can produce light and conceivably combine matter (mass) itself. So is it really so hard to believe that God’s spoken Word (“And God said...”) is the driving force behind the physical creation of energy and matter which we can observe?
Now consider that music is and has been special to human beings through all cultures for all time. People have a music “instinct” just as we have a language “instinct” – ingrained into our auditory, cognitive and motor functions. Very young children can enjoy music and tell if a tune or harmony is not quite right.
But music serves no obvious evolutionary purpose. In fact, this was noted by Charles Darwin who, in The Descent of Man, wrote that “neither the enjoyment nor the capacity of producing musical notes are faculties of the least direct use to man in reference to his ordinary habits of life.”
Yet music engages people’s attention more comprehensively than almost anything else – brain scans show that when people listen to music virtually every area of their brain becomes more active. Music not only has all the ingredients of beauty, harmony and scientific order that we find in creation, but it makes a powerful emotional and spiritual connection with us – and with the creation, as Kepler insisted.
We who know the love of Christ are able to experience music in a way that unbelievers can’t possibly know. While singers and musicians are able to make beautiful music, we know that it was God who created the notes and the harmonies that are the foundation of music. The time is growing short to Christ’s return. Let us work diligently to spread the gospel so that more people will put their trust in the One who created music, our solar system and the rest of the universe!
As always, we covet your prayers, and we depend on your gifts! The message of creation is more vital than ever. People need to know that biblical creation is the truth. With creation truth, the faith and pilgrimage of Christians is strengthened, and the faith of unbelievers is sparked! Thank you for your faithful support! God bless you for standing with us!