Science In Genesis One
Note: Creation Moments exists to provide biblically sound materials to the Church in the area of Bible and science relationships. This Bible study may be reproduced for group use.
We often hear that the Bible is "not a book of science." In the sense that one would not use Holy Scripture as a laboratory guide to dissect a frog, this is true. Yet the Bible is the necessary preface or introduction for any course on science (as well as every other area of life). We can see this illustrated as we examine the science in Genesis Chapter one.
The language of Genesis one shows the great wisdom and knowledge of its Author. Sensitivity to the text shows that this material could never be the product of ancient man - and it certainly could not be the product of a pagan society or religion. The Genesis creation account is written in a style that can easily be understood by any small child, and yet it is written with a scientific precision that is clearly evident, especially in the word choices of the original Hebrew.
Genesis 1:1 begins "In the beginning" In these three simple words we already have a basic principle of physics. "In the beginning " is a statement of time. In fact this is a statement of the beginning of time. God is outside of time, but in creating the original material out of which He formed the earth, God also created time. Modern physics describes time as a function of matter. In fact, the atomic structure of matter seems to hold the key to the movement of time itself. Scripture states this essential principle when it points out that time and matter were created simultaneously. It only took modern science 6,000 years to catch up with the Bible.
Genesis 1:1 continues with "God created the heavens and the Earth." This is the only logical scientific explanation for the origin of matter. There is no naturalistic explanation for the origin of matter! Some evolutionists theorize that matter has always existed. But if this were true, we would not be here today. If matter always existed, even evolutionists must admit that the universe would be nothing but a weak, homogeneous field of energy today, according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The Big Bang theory does not present a naturalistic explanation for the universe.
Physicists who accept the Big Bang theory admit that there are not even any good theoretical answers to crucial questions about the cause of the Big Bang or the forces at work within the original state of the universe. They call this initial period a singularity which, they explain, is when the accepted laws of physics did not operate. This really amounts to an admission that the present naturalistically-defined laws cannot explain the origin of matter. We have no place left to go but to the supernatural for the explanation of why there is matter. Genesis 1:1 gives us the only logical explanation. Naturalism offers no explanation for matter.
We should be careful not to say that the Big Bang explanation therefore agrees with Scripture. Those who try to add God to evolution often do this. The text of Scripture, as well as other scientific findings rule this out. Genesis 1 makes clear that this creation of the earth took place in one day. The Hebrew word for day here, yom, never means anything other than a 24-hour day when used in this context in Scripture. Genesis would lead us to believe that the period of time between the initial creation of matter and the formation of the earth was very short - definitely less than twenty-four hours, and certainly not the billions of years required by the Big Bang.
This conclusion is supported by the find of Polonium halos in certain types of rock. When radioactive materials decay in certain types of rock, they leave a decay pattern in the rock called a radiohalo. Each radioactive element leaves its own unique pattern in the rock. Many 218polonium halos have been found without a trace of any parent isotope in the basement rocks of the earth. This means that the 218polonium found in these rocks was not the product of another element. Since the decay-rate of 218polonium is so rapid, these halos are unique proof that the basement rocks of the earth were essentially in their present form within three hours of the creation of matter itself (Readers who would like a more technical explanation of this point should see the January, 1982, NEWSLETTER.)
Scientifically both evolution and creation are untestable stories about the past. Direct evidence is always superior to indirect or circumstantial evidence in science. The 218polonium halos are direct and testable scientific evidence for the astounding conclusion that the earth was in the same basic form as it is today within hours of the creation of matter. This totally rules out any sort of Big Bang explanation, but it does fit in nicely with what Genesis 1:1 says.
This entire study has been devoted to the ten words of the first verse of Scripture. The rest of the creation account could be dealt with in the same way. But we have seen that Scripture is a scientifically respectable Book, and that it is an excellent introduction for any study of science. We want to underline here that this study of Genesis 1:1 relates directly to the Gospel. It is God Himself as the Creator, and therefore the owner of all that is, who makes claims upon us and who demands obedience. He is the rightful judge when He condemns sin along with those who sin, which is everyone of us. But as our Creator He also cares very deeply about us, which is why He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to carry the condemnation which is ours.
Why would God save me? Because He created me, and He knows about me. He doesn't want me to be lost forever.
We glorify and praise God for His personal loving are for us in Christ, and we are thankful that we don't live in an impersonal creation which mercilessly leaves us to be victims of forces beyond our comprehension. Most of all, our praise for Him stems from our knowledge that in Christ we are in fellowship with our wonderful, loving Creator.
Painting: The First Day of Creation from the 1493 Nuremberg Chronicle.
Copyright © 1983 Bible Science Newsletter, Pastor Paul A. Bartz. Creation Moments, Inc. PO Box 839 Foley, MN 56329 800-422-4253 www.creationmoments.com