Category Archives: Bible

A Legal Proof for the Existence of God (Part VIII): Science in Genesis Chapter 2 – The Garden of Eden

Early man was like a house wired for light, but for a long time was in darkness; then a switch was thrown, and the house was full of light.

Humans became conscious beings; conscious of their own existence, their own mortality, and their own actions.

That sums up Chapter 2 of Genesis, which goes back to the time of the ‘awakening’ of the neurological moral network in the first of the species to experience it, and the dilemma that ‘awakening’ created for reason when it was confronted with the competing demands of the faculties of instinct and morality. The story of The Garden of Eden is the story of that ‘awakening’.

As we have seen in previous articles, especially in relation to Days Three and Six, Genesis 2, verses 1 to 5, tell us that by the end of the six “days” no life existed on Earth in the form we would recognize today. There was only DNA in primitive organisms. That was because there was not yet water on the Earth in liquid form.

When water did finally appear, the DNA that would develop into the variety of life on Earth, including human beings, had already been ‘programmed’; it was ready and waiting.

As physicist Freeman Dyson said, ‘It’s as if the universe knew we were coming.’[1]

But according to Genesis, it’s not so much that the universe knew we were coming, but that it had been prepared for our coming. Indeed, it even made our coming possible. It is the cosmic factory; and life is the cosmic product.

Then, when the Earth had cooled sufficiently, water appeared. As Genesis records, “there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.[2]

The machinery of the cosmic factory had been oiled, and production of life could begin in earnest.

The formation of the human brain

The description of the Garden of Eden can only refer to the human brain: “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.  And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.[3]

Philo says that these verses are “symbolical rather than strictly accurate. For no trees of life or of knowledge have ever at any previous time appeared upon the earth, nor is it likely that any will appear hereafter. But I rather conceive that Moses was speaking in an allegorical spirit, intending by his paradise to intimate the dominant character of the soul, which is full of innumerable opinions as this figurative paradise was of trees.[4]

I agree that the verses are symbolic, and if Philo meant by “the dominant character of the soul” the human brain, I would agree with that as well. But I cannot agree that the trees represent the “innumerable opinions” of the multitudes. The description of the kind of trees in the Garden perfectly fits the neurological faculties ‘programmed’ into human DNA in Day Six. http://wp.me/p5izWu-92

Those were the faculties of instinct, reason, and morality. And those instincts are activated by the prospect of pleasure, or the fear of pain, and the human capacity for reason responds accordingly.

But we also saw that reason in the service of instinct accounts for what we call evil, while reason in the service of morality accounts for good.

When we consider the description of the trees in that light, the description of the Garden quickly begins to resemble the human brain.

First, the words “out of the ground made the Lord God to grow …” reflect the words used relating to the forming of man – “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground ….”[5] So when the trees are made to “grow” out of “the ground”, it clearly implies the “the ground” that had been made “man”.

The “trees” that are “made to grow” perfectly correspond to the various neurological faculties: “pleasant to the sight” refers to instincts; “good for food” refers to the innate ‘knowledge’ of how the universe and life functions; “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” refers to the “morality module”; and the “tree of life” refers to the moral equation, which is why it is in “the midst of the garden.”   The interaction between the various neurological faculties must be properly balanced in order to keep the moral equation in equilibrium.

However, all these elements of the human brain needed some way to interact with the world. The human instinct for reproduction, for example, can only be activated when it perceives something that it recognizes as another of the species which causes an arousal of that instinct. The instinct needs to be ‘fed’ by sight. Likewise, the instinct for survival is activated when the senses perceive some danger to survival – an unfamiliar sound, an unusual sight, another of the species perceived as a threat.

The physical senses ‘feed’ the brain – only Genesis calls it ‘watering’ the brain: “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.”[6]

This verse very obviously refers to the nervous system which supplies the brain with the information it needs in order to function. That is clear because the river didn’t go INTO the garden to water the trees, it “WENT OUT of Eden to water the garden.” It would be rather pointless for the water which should be ‘watering’ the trees in the garden to flow in the wrong direction.

So when we conceive of the Garden of Eden as referring to the human brain, and the river which flows out of  “Eden to water the garden” as the human nervous system which ‘waters’ the brain by supplying it with the information it requires in order to function, then the verse makes sense. The information the brain needs would be provided through the senses on the extremities of the body – the “four heads” of the river.

The references to what may have been physical places, and understood by the people at the time to represent certain of the senses, are not particularly important. The important point is that the rivers and the Garden symbolize the senses and the nervous system which ‘water’ the brain with information.

The activation of the human brain

The next verse is curious, because God is said to put man into the garden for a second time: “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.[7] The crucial difference, of course, is that this time the man is put in the garden “to dress it and to keep it.” On the first occasion, he was just put there.

That is because the first reference is to the formation of the brain – “out of the ground made the Lord God to grow …”; whereas the second is to the activation of the faculties of the brain – “to dress it and to keep it”.

The latent ‘genes’ had been activated, or as the Encode Project would say, the necessary genetic “switches” had activated the genes, and the various neurological faculties began to function in the first of the species with a fully formed human brain.

The next verse is also crucial to understand why the “man” is put into the garden a second time: “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”[8]

Now, we should note that the original Hebrew did not say “thou shalt surely die”, but “in dying thou shalt die”. This distinction is crucial, and we shall return to it shortly.

First, we should note that God is said to speak to the “man”, or more properly, “commanded” him. But the word used is the same as was used in Genesis 1: 22 – “saying”.

God commanded the man, SAYING”. We should remember that the word “saying” symbolizes a limited comprehension on the part of those ‘hearing’ the words, or at least a limited comprehension of the words being spoken.

The symbolism of God commanding the “man”, in conjunction with the word “saying”, tells us that the “morality module,” which the “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” represents, had been activated, but that its messages were being subconsciously processed.

That is confirmed by the warning issued by God of the consequences of violating the message – “in dying thou shalt die.”

So the activation of these various faculties means that this first human being subconsciously knew that certain actions were wrong, and that there would be a consequence for committing those actions.

However, since there was no other human being to tell him that the actions were wrong, and no other human being to impose a consequence, or punishment, he would have reflected on why he felt that such actions could be wrong. Moreover, he would have noted that many of the actions of the very species from which he had emerged were wrong by his new understanding, yet there were no consequences to them indulging in such behavior.

So he would have wondered whether the consequences would be imposed at some time other than during his lifetime, and the only other time could be after his death. That would have made him aware of his own mortality, thus causing a consciousness of being alive.

The first of the human species had become a conscious being; conscious of his own mortality, and conscious of his own existence; and all because the neurological moral network had been activated.

Functioning of the neurological moral network

Verses 18 to 25 of Chapter 2 record how the now activated neurological moral network began to direct human behavior, and ultimately, human destiny. I shall only briefly address these verses in this article, although I do address them in detail in the book.

Here is a summary of those verses.

First, God is said to have wanted to find “an help meet for” Adam (the first human being with fully formed human DNA) because he should not “be alone.” So God made all the animals and brought them to Adam to be named. But still “there was not found an help meet for him.” So God put him into a deep sleep, removed one of his ribs, made a woman, and “brought her unto him.”

Adam is then said to have recognized the woman as “bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.”

As a consequence of this mutual recognition, “a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

Now the first thing we should note is that the “man” was alone, and that it was “not good” that he should be alone. This suggests that fully formed human DNA had appeared in only one (or at best a scattered few) of the first of the species. So he would have recognized that he was different to the species from whom he had emerged.

But this does not mean that he was physically alone. He must have been the offspring of a mother and father. And no doubt he would have been part of a group or tribe of people. That is because, as Philo says, “all the individuals of the race had not yet assumed their distinctive form; since the extreme species are contained in the genus.”[9] This first “man” was thus the first to assume the “distinctive [human] form.”

The reason that it was “not good that the man should be alone” is that his instinct was to reproduce, but there was no female of the species with fully ‘matured’ human DNA to reproduce with. To this first “man”, reproducing with what ostensibly would have been another ‘species’ would have been an unattractive prospect.

So he would have become frustrated. But in doing so, he appears to have activated other elements of his brain.

The words “I will make him an help meet for him” can only symbolize the activation of the ability to reason at a higher level, compelling this first human to examine the life around him in the hope of finding another living thing like him with whom he could reproduce.

However, by examining the various different species around him, this first human appeared to activate another latent characteristic of the brain – the language module. Adam started ascribing names to the animals.

But Adams’s search for a mate proved futile: “but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.”

So it seems that this first of the human species must have settled for a mate from one of the more primitive species from which he had emerged, even though she would have been a different ‘species’ in some major respects. As a consequence, his fully ‘programmed’ human DNA must have again become dormant: “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof.”[10]

The symbolism of “Adam” going into a deep sleep means that the fully formed human DNA he was carrying around probably passed through several generations while remaining dormant. So a number of the pre-human species may well have had this dormant DNA

Then, by a coincidence of probabilities, the dormant DNA was activated in both a male and female at the same time, and those two must have been in close physical proximity. And immediately they recognized each other as being different to the species around them, and virtual mirror-images of each other, except one was male and the other female. As Philo said, they would have “beheld” each other “as in a mirror.”[11]

The human species was ready to “go forth and multiply”.

Recognition of moral obligations

The effect of this mutual recognition was that some additional elements of the “morality module” were activated. That is symbolized by the words “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife.” They recognized that this new relationship between members of the new species was different to what went before. They recognized the importance of monogamy.

The joining together of a male and a female to create new life makes them “one flesh” in the new life they create. And the obligations which attach to that, both before and after they “cleave unto” each other, required that they forsake any and all other relationships. They recognized that their relationship should be unique, exclusive and special – for the benefit of the new life they create.

There we find the source of the positive obligations we referred to in the introductory article.

Subconscious recognition of obligations

However, these first human beings did not sit down and make a list of what they thought was right and wrong. As we have already seen, they just subconsciously knew how they should behave.

That is the message in verse 25: “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” The reason that “they were not ashamed” was that they did not look upon the physical body, and the act of procreation, as something to be exploited for the primary purpose of generating physical pleasure.

Their neurological moral networks subconsciously communicated the law to them – it “commanded” them, saying”. The neurological moral network automatically kept the moral equation in equilibrium, as long as they heeded what it told them.

So there would have been an innocence about them. They would have lived harmoniously with nature, and others like them. They would not have fenced off portions of the Earth to claim as their own. They would not have sought to quell their insecurities and fears by building walls around themselves. They would not have sought security in subjugating others to their control and power. They did not even need clothes to display their vanity. Neither did they need clothes to divert others from lusting after their bodies – they did not lust, because they knew it was wrong.

They would not have been in need of laws, because they knew the law. They would have known that making their own laws would simply be a ruse to violate the universal law which applied to everything and everybody.

That was the state of the human race before primitive human instincts got the better of some.

But there are alive today some of the descendants of those first human beings who inhabited the Earth at the time described in Genesis – the time when the first of the species emerged. And like their ancestors, they simply do what they know to be right and good. They are not consumed by the demands of their primitive instincts. They are not in relentless pursuit of pleasure, or the persistent fear of death and insecurity. They are an innocent, decent, and good people; or at least as innocent and good as anyone can be after being exposed to the ‘civilized world’.

They are the San people of Southern Africa, also known as the Bushmen. Anthropologists and geneticists identify some of these peoples as the ancestors of all human beings. Although I would say that the rest of us are the descendants of that part of the original family that went astray, and they are the descendants of those who did not go astray.

And as we shall see in the next article dealing with Chapters 3 and 4, science and Genesis supports that conclusion.

———————————————————–

This series of articles is based on the book A ‘Final Theory’ of God by Joseph BH McMillan

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2015 All Rights Reserved

Notes:

[1] Kaku, Parallel Worlds, page 248.

[2] Genesis 2: 6.

[3] Genesis 2: 8 – 9.

[4] Philo, On the Creation, LVI (154).

[5] Genesis 2: 7.

[6] Genesis 2: 10.

[7] Genesis 2: 15.

[8] Genesis 2: 16 – 17.

[9] Philo, On the Creation, XXIV (76).

[10] Genesis 2: 21.

[11] Philo, On the Creation, XXIV (76).

A Legal Proof for the Existence of God (Part VII): Science in Genesis – Day Six.

Day Six is an account of the ‘programming’ of human DNA to form the neurological structures in the brain that give us the ability to distinguish between right and wrong.

It explains why the human brain has three distinct faculties – morality, reason and instinct. The interaction between these neurological faculties is what accounts for human consciousness, the human quest for knowledge and justice, and why, as we saw in the introductory article, science, philosophy and religion all reveal the search for a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker.

Unfortunately, it also accounts for the human capacity for almost perpetual conflict, and our ability to visit upon our fellow human beings the most unspeakable atrocities and degradations. However, the human propensity for violence is an inevitable consequence of the interaction between these neurological faculties when the moral faculty is dysfunctional.

We should recall, however, that at the end of Day Six, human beings did not yet exist in physical form. That is clear from Genesis Chapter 2, verses 4 to 7, as explained in the articles relating to Days Three and Five.

But before we address those issues, we need to briefly deal with verses 24 and 25. For ease of reference, here they are:

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

To understand why the creation of land animals is in Day Six, rather than Day Five when the other creatures were created, we need to briefly review how Genesis accounts for the creation of life.

As we saw in Day Three, primitive DNA was created in supernovae which then “seeded nearby nebulae.”[1] This DNA had the basic attributes of life which provided for its survival and reproduction – “whose seed was in itself.”[2] However, the scientific evidence is now showing that atoms can form into living organisms when they encounter the right environment. And since DNA is simply a more complicated structure of atoms, it follows that DNA must also be susceptible to transforming into more complicated structures under the right conditions.

We saw in Day Five how research by Jeremy English, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), suggests that this process takes place when atoms, or in this case DNA, is exposed to the right environment.

In Day Four, we find such an environment being created here on Earth. But at that early stage, the Earth did not resemble the Earth as we see it today. There was no water. That is clear from Genesis 2, verse 5 – “For the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth.”

Nevertheless, the environment that existed at that time was conducive to the primitive DNA transforming into more complicated DNA, and that is what Day Five tells us happened. The primitive DNA transformed into the DNA that would create the creatures of the sea and the air.

In my article on Day Four we saw how this happens when we considered the delayed-choice experiments. Those experiments show that particles appear to ‘know’ what the future environment will look like and adapt accordingly. That happens if the future environment is communicated to them in some way, and according to Genesis, that is represented by the words “And God said …” followed by “And God saw …”

Finally, we also saw in Day Five that scientists now know that what was previously thought to be Junk DNA in fact consists of genes waiting to be activated when the right environment is encountered, and with ‘switches’ to make that happen.

Day Five told us that some of the DNA that had “seeded” the Earth was ‘programmed’ with primitive instincts for reproduction, survival and security, and a limited ability to reason in order to service those instincts. That is symbolized by the words “And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.[3]

However, when we get to land animals, there is no reference to God blessing them. The reason is that land animals are simply a further adaptation of the DNA from Day Five which applied to “every living creature that moveth.”[4] The only distinction is that the DNA in Day Five was adapting to a future environment symbolized by the words “Let the waters bring forth …”, while in Day Six the DNA was adapting to develop on a land environment – “Let the earth bring forth …”

So land animals would have the same neurological faculties as the other creatures – primitive instincts for reproduction, survival and security, and a limited ability to reason to service those instincts. And once the DNA was ‘programmed’ with those limited capacities, we find the observation element that ‘locks in’ that limited capacity – “And God saw …”

And so we come to the final element of creation according to Genesis – human beings. Verses 26 and 27 read like this:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

This account tells us how human beings acquired a capacity for moral judgment. It tells us that human DNA is programmed with an image of the laws that govern the universe, and that those laws reflect the Will of the Author of those laws – the Supreme Lawmaker we call God.

By portraying humans as being created “in the image of God”, Genesis is telling us that human DNA was being programmed to adapt not just to the environment, but to the laws and will of God Himself. “Man” was to have a purpose beyond simply an ability to “Be fruitful, and multiply”. They would assume responsibility for those matters over which God Himself would otherwise have exercised power – hence the reference to “man” having “dominion” over all the other life that had been created. And “man” would be endowed with the tools to exercise that power wisely, if he chose to do so.

The “Image of God” as the moral dimension of the laws of physics

To see how Genesis tells us this, we need to dissect verse 26 into its various parts. So let’s consider the opening words – “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”

This is what Philo says about those words: “the resemblance [between man and God] is spoken of with reference to the most important part of the soul, namely, the mind: for the mind which exists in each individual has been created after the likeness of that one mind which is in the universe.”[5]

But we should be careful not to consider the brain as a whole to be an “image of God,” because, as we shall see, parts of the brain are also used for other purposes – purposes, moreover, as far removed from anything resembling morality as we could get.

So we are really talking about a particular element of the make-up of the brain that reflects the “image of God” – its moral faculty. This moral faculty is the manifestation of the moral dimension of the laws that were established at each stage of the creation process.

Each stage of ‘creation’ starts with an expression of an intention – “And God said …

Then there follows the actual ‘doing’ or ‘carrying out’ of the intention – “And there was light,” … “And God made …,” … “and it was so;” … “And the Earth brought forth …;” and so on.

And finally, God observes what has been created, and gives it His seal of approval – “And God saw that it was good.”

It is this latter wording that brings the laws of physics and the laws of morality together. The final convergence of the various intentions, makings and observations, reflect the intention of the Creator who initiated and conducted the whole process.

In other words, the universe is an expression of God’s Will which reveals itself in the laws of physics. And the ultimate manifestation of that will, and those laws, is a human organism endowed with a capacity for moral judgment. That means that the “image of God” must be reflected in some physical structure within the human brain which is a “likeness” of God.

Many other Bible verses confirm the idea that God’s Law, or God’s Kingdom, is part of the human mind. Deuteronomy declares that the commandments are not “hidden” from us, but that “the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.[6]

Likewise, Christ said, “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is WITHIN YOU.[7] And when describing the Kingdom of God as being like a grain of mustard, or yeast, Christ incorporates into one parable a description of how the universe emerged from a tiny concentration of matter and space; how the moral dimension of the laws that govern the universe are imprinted into our brains and represent God’s laws and God’s Will; and how His own mission would unfold. [Luke 13: 19 – 21]

Creation of “man” as “male and female

The next words to consider are these: “male and female created he them.

At the very heart of any notion of morality lies the relationship between two people, a man and a woman, and their joining together to create new life – a new human being which is in their genetic ‘image and likeness’. As we saw in the first article, creating a new human life attaches onerous obligations to those two people who, by their own voluntary act, create that new human life.

In commenting on the Fifth Commandment (“Honour thy father and thy mother”), Philo says this about the relationship between a man and a woman when creating new life: “The nature of one’s parents appears to be something on the confines between immortal and mortal essences. Of mortal essence, on account of their relationship to men and also to other animals, and likewise of the perishable nature of the body. And of immortal essence, by reason of the similarity of the act of generation to God the Father of the universe.[8]

We also find Christ linking this relationship to “the beginning” when he said, “Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but FROM THE BEGINNING it was not so.[9]

So the concept of “male and female” has always had moral implications, and those moral implications also relate to the creation of the universe itself.

Why God is referred to in the plural

But why does verse 26 refer to God in the plural? It is the only place in the creation story where that is done.

The answer can only lie in the various means God is said to employ in the creation.

As we have seen, Genesis starts with “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Everything that was to be created thereafter was to come from these two things – in scientific terminology, matter and space.

But to transform the ‘material’ that was there at the beginning, God is said to have employed His spirit – “And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

The third element comes in God ‘speaking’ – “And God said …” We should note that this wording is different from the first words of Genesis which simply say “God created …

Psalm 33 puts it this way: “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.”[10]

So what we see is that when it comes to the creation of “man”, ALL the methods God employed in the creation of the universe are brought to bear – God Himself, the “spirit of God”, and the “word of God” as reflected in the words “And God said …”

In the Christian tradition this is called the Holy Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.

Philo has a slightly different interpretation. His argument is that since God can only create that which is “good”, and since certain elements of human nature are not “good”, God had to resort to “assistants” when it came to creating human beings.[11] But he doesn’t say who God’s “assistants” might be.

I don’t think Philo’s interpretation is correct, because, as we shall see, those elements of human nature that Philo says preclude God’s involvement are not in themselves wrong. In fact, they are essential for human survival: they are human instinct, and human reason. It is only when reason is applied to the primary or exclusive service of our primitive instincts that the actions become wrong, or evil. Furthermore, when it comes to ‘programming’ human DNA with reason and instincts, God is not said to have resorted to “assistants” – He does it Himself.

The “likeness” of God as a neurological moral network

So the “image and likeness” of God can only refer to human DNA being endowed with the capacity to perceive the moral dimension of the fundamental laws that govern the universe. The “image of God” is the moral dimension of the laws that govern the universe which are imprinted into our brains in mathematical form, and the “likeness” of God is the neurological network that enables us to convert that raw mathematical data into moral concepts.

Science also recognizes that the human brain is in fact endowed with just such a moral network. The British IVF pioneer, Sir Robert Winston, says that the human brain has “a sort of ‘morality module’ … that is activated at an early age. Evidence from neuroscience would back this up, to a degree.”[12]

Physicists go even further. Steven Weinberg, for example, says this about DNA: “no one doubts that with a large enough computer we could in principle explain all the properties of DNA by solving the equations of quantum mechanics for electrons and the nuclei of a few common elements.[13]

That tells us that if human DNA has a moral component, then that moral component can only be a consequence of the moral dimension of the “equations of quantum mechanics” which, as we saw in Day One, are the equations that establish freedom as the foundation of the laws that govern the universe. But it also establishes freedom as the fundamental principle of morality, which is modified by its reciprocal negative obligations, as well as those additional positive obligations that are imprinted into our brains and evidenced when we create new life in our own image.

That accounts for the moral faculty that is imprinted into the brain. The next verse accounts for reason and instinct. It is verse 28.

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every thing that moveth upon the earth.”

We need to separate this verse into that part that refers to reason, and those parts that refer to human instincts.

Reason

First, we should note the difference between how God is said to have spoken to animals compared to humans. In the case of animals, Genesis uses the word “saying[14], whereas in the case of humans the words used are “said unto them”. The words “unto them” clearly denote a greater level of understanding between the one doing the speaking (God) and those He is speaking to – the “male and female”.

These words symbolize human DNA being ‘programmed’ with a considerably greater ability to reason, as well as superior communication skills. Talking to someone is very different to simply saying something. As we saw in the example given in respect of Day Five, one version is like ‘saying’ something to your pet dog, whereas the other is like talking to your children.

At verse 29, we again find God speaking to the humans He had just created: “And God said, Behold, I have given you …”

Here the words are even more explicit. They depict an ability on the part of the humans to understand what is being explained to them. And that requires a capacity to reason.

There can be no other explanation for the different use of words depicting the communications God is said to have had with humans and with animals.

Instincts humans share with animals

Genesis symbolizes the ‘programming’ of human DNA with the same instincts as animals in verse 28, when God is said to say to “man” exactly what He said to animals: “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, …[15] We should recall that in the case of animals the words were “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters …[16]

As explained in respect of Day Five, these words relate to the instinct to reproduce, and the instincts for survival and security. These are the instincts we share with animals. And other, rather unattractive, instincts derive from these instincts, notably the instinct for vanity.

Human instinct to conquer

However, according to Genesis, God saw fit to endow humans with a number of additional instincts.

The first of these human-specific instincts are set out after the reproductive and survival instincts. Here is verse 28 again: “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every thing that moveth upon the earth.”

The key words said to have been spoken to “man” are “subdue” the earth, and “have dominion over” everything else.

These words symbolize human DNA being ‘programmed’ with the additional instinct to conquer.

This instinct leaves most human beings with a strong desire to impose their authority and control not just on their environment, but on other human beings, as a means of suppressing the fear of death and insecurity that fires the instincts for survival and security. That is because the ‘instruction’ to “subdue” the Earth did not include a prohibition against subduing other human beings, and mostly it is other human beings that are perceived as the greatest threat to survival and security, often with good reason.

Furthermore, the instruction to “have dominion” applies to “every living thing that moveth.” And human beings are such living things.

It is this instinct to conquer that Nietzsche called the “will to power”.[17]

However, not exempting other human beings from the consequences of these primitive instincts was not some ‘slip-up’ on God’s part. It was required in order to ensure that a fundamental element of God’s Law was preserved – freedom.

So we see that our instincts are not in themselves wrong or evil. They are necessary for our existence as a species. It is only when we employ reason to service those instincts, without reference to morality, that they do mischief.

Reason is susceptible to falling into power of our primitive instincts because our instincts are activated by pleasure and pain. For instincts to serve their purpose there must be some mechanism to activate them. And that mechanism is the fear of pain, and the expectation of pleasure. So reason devises ways to limit any expectations of pain, and to service the expectations of pleasure. And that is when things can get out of hand.

The human capacity for knowledge

Genesis does not end the ‘programming’ of human DNA with instinct. The next verses reveal that human DNA was also programmed with an innate knowledge of how the universe functions.

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree yielding seed; and to you it shall be for meat.”[18]

And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.”[19]

These verses are a continuation of God speaking to the humans He had just created and, as such, relate to instinct.

The portrayal of God explaining to the humans what they had been given, what they can eat, and what God had given to the animals etc, symbolizes human DNA being ‘programmed’ with an innate, but latent, knowledge of how plant and animal life functions, and the interrelationship between them. It symbolizes an innate knowledge of the laws of physics, chemistry and biology, and an ability to discover and understand those laws. It also gives human beings an instinct to do so.

But again, when reason is in the service of this instinct, rather than in service to morality, the consequences are inevitably disastrous. Worse still, when reason is in the service of another instinct, like the instinct to “subdue”, but with the benefit of the discoveries made by the instinct for knowledge, like lethal weapons, the consequences are horrific.

However, it is not just the instinct for knowledge that gives us the instruments for destruction and death that are dangerous. The instinct for knowledge that produces apparently beneficial technologies can be equally destructive when not regulated by morality.

So the instinct for knowledge is not inevitably beneficial and benevolent. Its worth is measured by the extent to which it is directed and controlled by reason in service to morality.

Likewise, reason is not an inherently beneficial and benevolent faculty. It is a neutral faculty. Reason in the service of instinct results in wrong and evil; reason in the service of morality results in good.

Nevertheless, it was this ‘programming’ of the brain with the instinct for knowledge that gave rise to Einstein’s amazement at the human ability to understand the universe. As he said, “The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.[20]

It is also one of the reasons that science, religion and philosophy all reveal the search for a Supreme Law, and a Supreme Lawmaker.

Conclusion

Having thus ‘programmed’ human DNA with morality, reason, and instinct, Day Six ends with an observation: “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.[21]

This observation is not just “good,” but “very good.” It was exactly what God had intended, it reflected His Will, and it was also His final observation.

The “day” ends with the familiar “And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”[22]

————————————————–

The next article will deal with the Garden of Eden, and Adam and Eve, to show how the activation of these various neurological faculties gave rise to human consciousness.

It will introduce the reader to the descendants of those relatives of Adam and Eve who did not eat of the forbidden fruit. They are alive, and relatively well, right here on Earth today.

————————————————–

This series of articles is based on the book A ‘Final Theory’ of God by Joseph BH McMillan.

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2015 All Rights Reserved

Notes:

[1] Kaku, Parallel Worlds, page 67.

[2] Genesis 1: 11.

[3] Genesis 1: 22.

[4] Genesis 1: 21.

[5] Philo, On the Creation, XXIII (69).

[6] Deuteronomy 30:10 – 14.

[7] Luke 17; 21 – my emphasis.

[8] Philo, Decalogue, XXII (107).

[9] Mathew 19: 4 – 8.

[10] Psalm 33: 6.

[11] Philo, On the Creation, XXIV (74).

[12] The Guardian, 13 October 2005.

[13] Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory, page 32.

[14] Genesis 1: 22.

[15] Genesis 1: 28.

[16] Genesis 1: 22.

[17] Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, para 36, page 48.

[18] Genesis 1: 29.

[19] Genesis 1: 30.

[20] Quoted by Martin Rees, Just Six Numbers, pages 11 – 12.

[21] Genesis 1: 31.

[22] Genesis 1: 31.

A Question of Faith?

Faith is a central pillar of most religions. But what does it really mean?

There are those who argue that faith is not a function of evidence or proof. For want of a better description, we could call this ‘blind faith’. There are proponents of this kind of faith in most religions.

‘Blind faith’ is a curious approach. It requires absolute belief that something is true, without any evidence to support that belief, then uses the thing believed in as ‘evidence’ of the claims it makes.

We find such an approach in Islam, for example. The starting point is the statement of faith, the ‘Shahada’, which must be recited by converts to Islam. It declares that there is no god but Allah, and that Mohammed is his prophet. From that follows a belief that the Koran is the word of God as revealed to Mohammed. The Koran then becomes the ‘evidence’ of the claim that Allah is the one true God, and that Mohammed is his prophet.

This kind of approach does not begin by examining the claim that the Koran is the word of God to determine whether there is any evidence to support that claim, and then forming a view on the evidence. It does it the other way round. It makes the claim, then uses the book as evidence to support the claim. In other words, you begin by believing, without any evidence, that the book is the word of God, then point to passages in the book as ‘evidence’ of the claim.

However, the approach is not unique to Islam. We find a similar thing in Christianity and Judaism.

Few people, I suspect, who convert to Christianity or Judaism, do so because they have examined the evidence and concluded that the evidence justifies their belief in the claims made by those religions.

Of course, there have been those in all these religions who have sought to provide evidential support for the claims made by their respective religions. But mostly, they have sought to identify the evidence to support their already held beliefs, not formed their beliefs following an examination of the evidence. Although there are exceptions.

That raises the question of whether faith can, or should, have any role in determining what we believe, and how we conduct our lives as a consequence of what we believe.

In recent times, people have been conditioned to believe that if something can’t be proved, then it is simply untrue, or not worthy of further consideration. That has one of two broad effects. Either, people simply reject religion entirely, or they resort to something closely resembling blind faith.

But the conviction that faith is incompatible with proof is an entirely false distinction. In fact, without faith, every system of justice on the planet would cease to function.

That statement may appear counter-intuitive, because most people associate justice and the courts with evidence and proof. But that is not the whole story.

As any litigation attorney would acknowledge, there is no such thing as an open and shut case. And that is in spite of the fact that no case has to be proved with absolute certainty.

There are two broad standards of legal proof in the Anglo-American legal tradition: ‘on a balance of probabilities’ for civil cases; and ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ for criminal cases.

As a consequence, in a civil trial, for example, a judge or jury has to decide whether it is more likely than not that the evidence supports one or other party to a dispute. To make that judgment, they have to weigh up the evidence, and that includes making assessments as to the truthfulness of witnesses. But making such assessments is a subjective process. One person may find a particular witness entirely credible, while another person will find that same witness entirely shifty and unreliable. In the end, it is for the judge or jury to make a decision. However, as convinced as they may be that the evidence supports one side or the other, their decision still comes down to a question of belief – whose case they believe is more persuasive. That means that their decision is really a matter of ‘faith’. They cannot know for certain that their decision is right.

In the criminal courts, the situation is the same. Although the standard of proof is the higher standard of beyond a reasonable doubt, that does not mean beyond a shadow of a doubt, or with one hundred percent certainty. Even where DNA evidence, for example, shows that the defendant must have been responsible for the crime, there are other questions. Were the DNA samples contaminated or inadvertently substituted with other samples? Was there deliberate tampering with the DNA evidence?

The same applies to what some would consider absolute proof. What if there is video evidence capturing the defendant shooting the victim dead? The problem with that evidence is that it only goes to one element of a crime, the act itself, which lawyers call the actus reus. The prosecution also has to prove that the defendant possessed the appropriate mental state (mens rea) to commit the crime. And there is an array of defenses in respect of the mental element, from lack of intention, insanity, self-defense, provocation etc.

The point being that however convincing a case may seem at first, any half-decent litigation lawyer can raise any number of doubts in the minds of the judge and jury. And it doesn’t matter how convinced one person may be, others may harbor substantial and well-founded doubts. So again, it comes down to belief. And the law recognizes that fact by setting standards of proof that do not require absolute certainty.

The final judgment of the judge or jury, which may cause another human being to be cast into prison for the rest of his life, or even terminate his life, is simply a matter of faith that they have made the right decision on the evidence. In fact, the whole judicial system rests on faith that ‘justice will be done’.

Faith is therefore the cornerstone of justice. Without it, the legal system would simply grind to a halt. And those who have to exercise this kind of faith carry a heavy burden. The consequences of exercising their faith can be extreme; a matter of freedom or incarceration, even of life and death.

So faith is not just some feeble excuse to believe something in spite of the evidence. It is an essential element of human behavior. It is integral to the human character. It reaches into every human activity, from who we choose to marry, to where we choose to live, to our careers, jobs, car, and to everything else we do in life.

The important thing is that we exercise faith after careful consideration of the evidence. But in the end, every decision is a matter of faith. And religion is no different. Faith should follow a careful consideration of the evidence.

That is why I employed a rigorous legal methodology to evaluate the evidence of God in my latest book, A ‘Final Theory’ of God. The legal method is tried and tested, and has endured the ravages of time and history. It is the only really workable approach when there are limits to human knowledge.

So faith and proof are not diametrically opposed concepts. They are inter-related and inter-dependent. Each depends on the other.

But in the end, after careful consideration of the evidence, we always have to apply a measure of faith.

——————————————————

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2015 All Rights Reserved

http://josephbhmcmillan.com

 

A Legal Proof for the Existence of God (Part VI): Science in Genesis – Day Five.

Day Five introduces instinct and reason to the universe, and thus establishes the basis for what will become evil, or sin, and eventually the entire concept of crime.

On a reading of Day Five, that may seem like a rather peculiar conclusion to draw, but I would urge the reader to bear with me. It will all become very clear.

But first, we need to address some preliminary issues.

As we have already seen, new scientific discoveries and theories are constantly confirming the Genesis account of the origins of the universe and life, and in that respect Day Five is no different.

It begins with these words:

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.”[Genesis 1: 20]

The first thing we need to address is what is meant by “the waters”.

Genesis tells us that at the end of the six days there was still no water on the Earth, at least not water in liquid form, because “God had not caused it to rain upon the earth ...” [Genesis 2: 5]

So “the waters” must be symbolic.

In the first three “days”, Genesis uses the word “waters” to describe the life-giving properties of matter during its various stages of transformation. Furthermore, Day Three is clearly an account of the creation of primitive DNA structures that act as a blueprint for life that was to follow. As Philo says, this primitive DNA reflected “incorporeal ideas perceptible only by the intellect, which have been appointed to be as seals of the perfected works, perceptible by the outward senses.[1]

Nothing happened in Day Four that altered the basic structure of matter and energy as at the end of Day Three.

So it would be entirely consistent with the use of the word “waters” throughout Genesis Chapter 1, that “the waters” in Day Five refer to the primitive DNA which had “seeded” the matter making up the early Earth and its atmosphere. In other words, “the waters” refer to all the elements that had formed together into the mass of matter that was becoming the Earth, as well as the primitive DNA structures that were created in whatever supernova was responsible for our galaxy.

The next thing to note in this verse is how God is said to have initiated the process of creating the more advanced life. It says this: “And God said, LET THE WATERS BRING FORTH …

That wording is the same as Day Three, except Day Three says “Let the earth bring forth …” [Genesis 1: 11]. Day Six uses the same wording as Day Three – “And God said, Let the earth bring forth …” [Genesis 1: 24]

This wording, in which an ‘instruction’ is given for something else (earth or waters) to take the next step in ‘creation’, applies only when life in some form is said to be created (the exception being the creation of “man”). That is different to the account of the ‘creation’ of other things where God is not said to use something already existing as a medium for the next step in creation. When the creation of life is not involved, we find the words “And God said, Let there be …

The distinction is clear. When the account relates to the transformation of the quantum laws to the Classical laws of physics, the wording implies a direct intervention. In contrast, when the account relates to a transformation of inanimate matter into life, and primitive life into more advanced life, the structure of matter itself is said to have done the ‘heavy lifting’.

This distinct description of the creation of life is entirely consistent with new scientific understanding of the origin of life.

In the Update to my article on Day Three I made reference to new research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The research is being done by the physicist Jeremy English, and was reported in Quanta Magazine. Essentially, English devised a “mathematical formula” which he believes shows that when “a group of atoms is driven by an external source of energy (like the sun or chemical fuel) and surrounded by a heat bath (like the ocean or atmosphere), it will often gradually restructure itself in order to dissipate increasingly more energy. This could mean that under certain conditions, matter inexorably acquires the key physical attribute associated with life.” Although it should not distract us here, the theory is based on the second law of thermodynamics.

The reason I referred to this research in my Update to Day Three is that it is most relevant to the initial creation of DNA described in my article on Day Three.

However, it is also relevant to Day Five, because the process of creating the initial basic structures of life also applies to the initial basic DNA restructuring itself into more advanced life. And as the reference makes clear, the “heat source” and the “heat bath” that initiate and propagate the process don’t have to be the Earth as we know it today. As long as the “source” and the “bath” are susceptible to the second law of thermodynamics operating, then the process must be able to take place. And as we saw in the article on Day Three, there is clear evidence that such processes take place right across the universe where the conditions are right.

Although English claims the process is inevitable as a “simple matter of probability”, it may not be as simple as that. The reason that particles and atoms behave in a certain way is that they have the necessary properties to do so. That is, they are ‘programmed’ to behave in certain ways in certain environments. But more remarkably, living structures in the form of DNA appear to ‘know’ in advance what sort of environment they will encounter in the future. And we find evidence of that in research on the human genome.

An article by Michael Hanlon in the Telegraph of London in 2012 reported that The Encode Project, a multinational 5 year study to analyze the 98% of human DNA that does not constitute a protein-creating gene (classified previously as Junk DNA), has now discovered that “this DNA is not junk at all … [and] … that as much as a fifth [of it] is instead made up of “switches” – bits of DNA that turn some genes on and others off.”[2] As Hanlon notes, human beings are “not much more well endowed genetically than a fruit fly or even a lump of yeast.”

However, he goes on to say that “… the more we learn about our genome, the more complex it becomes. We have genes that tell our bodies to make proteins, genes that affect other genes, genes that are influenced by the environment, segments of DNA that switch certain genes on and off, as well as RNA, the still-not-fully understood messenger molecule that conveys information from our DNA to protein factories in cells.” And furthermore, DNA also “consists of ‘pseudogenes’ – non-functioning copies of active genes that form the raw material for evolution’ – sort of ‘reserve genes’ waiting to be switched on.

Although the Encode Project was looking at human DNA, the same principles apply to animal DNA. This shows that DNA is somehow ‘programmed’ to ‘know’ what it will encounter in the future, and prepares the mechanisms to respond to those eventualities.

Whether the ‘reserve genes’ are ‘pre-programmed’ to develop certain characteristics as they encounter certain environments, or whether DNA somehow ‘knows’ how, and with what, those ‘reserve genes’ need to be programmed when certain environments are encountered, is not important. Either way, DNA seems to ‘know’ which switches to operate in order to activate (or ‘program’) the ‘reserve genes’ necessary to respond to the different environments it appears to ‘know’ it will encounter at some point in the future.

That accords perfectly with what we noted about the words “And God said …” in the article on Day Four. Those words have been consistently used to represent a manipulation of probabilities with the objective of creating a desired result.

Day Five is telling us that the primitive DNA structures that had “seeded” the early Earth underwent a modification that enabled them to respond to the future environment they were soon to encounter. And that environment would be planet Earth in a form more similar to the one we see today; a planet with liquid water, and a life-supporting atmosphere. The primitive DNA was being ‘programmed’ to respond to its intended future environment. Like the particles in the delayed-choice experiments, we could say that “it’s as though the [primitive DNA had] a ‘premonition’ of the [future Earth] they [would] encounter farther downstream, and [were adjusting] accordingly.[3] Genesis is telling us that the primitive DNA ‘knew’ what was coming, and adapted itself accordingly.

So “the waters” have a kind of double meaning: they refer to the properties of primitive DNA that were being ‘programmed’ to develop into more advanced life once they encountered liquid water; and it means that the first ‘advanced life’ on Earth was destined (or ‘programmed’) to emerge from water, which, of course, it did – so far as we know.

But even so, we should always bear in mind that these chemical reactions, which underlie the creation and functioning of DNA, are a consequence of the principles that determine the behavior of fundamental particles. As Steven Weinberg says, “We believe that atoms behave the way they do in chemical reactions because the physical PRINCIPLES that govern the electrons and electric forces inside atoms leave NO FREEDOM for the atoms to behave in any other way.[4]

Martin Rees puts it this way: “Mathematical laws underpin the fabric of our universe – not just atoms, but galaxies, stars and people. The properties of atoms … determine the chemistry of our everyday world. … And everything takes place in the arena of an expanding universe, whose properties were imprinted into it at the time of the initial Big Bang.”[5]

The next verse follows the familiar sequence by introducing the second stage of what we could call the quantum effect as seen in the delayed-choice experiments – the ‘intended’ result, as expressed in the ‘instructions’ following the words “And God said …”, are implemented. In this verse, God is said to do those things He previously said should be done.

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” [Genesis 1: 21]

 Following the usual pattern, the words “And God saw that it was good” lock in, so to speak, the ‘programming’ that had taken place. But in the case of the creation of more advanced life, we have a very significant addition to the normal sequence of events. God is now said to speak to what He had just created:

And God blessed them, SAYING, Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.” [Genesis 1:22 – my emphasis on saying]

This is a very significant verse in respect of the issue of evil, and will become even more significant when we contrast it to the words God is said to have spoken to human beings in Day Six. That is why I have emphasized the word “saying”.

The reason is that verse 21 refers to the physical composition of the creatures God is said to create – “whales, and every living creature that moveth  …”; whereas verse 22 clearly refers to the composition of the brain, and how it is ‘programmed’.

In verse 22, God is said to ‘speak’ when He blesses the creatures He has just created. And ‘speaking’ implies a neurological process or activity. But when God is said to bless the creatures, He does not ‘speak to’ them, instead he blesses them “SAYING, …”

By contrast, when God is said to create the “male and female,” we find these words: “And God blessed them, and God SAID UNTO THEM, …

That is an important distinction because there is a very big difference between simply “saying” something and speaking to someone in particular.

We experience this in every-day life. We often simply say something to no one in particular, or even to ourselves. Most people with pets will ‘speak’ to their pets. For example, if we take food out for the dog, we may say something like, ‘there you are, eat that, it will keep your fur shiny.” Of course, we don’t expect that the dog understands what we are ‘saying’, and we certainly do not expect to hold an intelligent conversation with the dog.

Contrast that with what happens when we speak to our children. Even from an early age we speak to our children because we know that they have the capacity to come to understand what we are saying to them. We speak to our children in a very different way to the way we ‘speak’ to our pets. And as the children acquire a capacity to understand and respond, we hold intelligent conversations with them.

In both cases, however, there is an element of ‘reason’ going on. And that is clearly what Genesis is referring to.

In the case of animals, they are being ‘programmed’ with a limited ability to ‘reason’. They learn that when we come out at certain times of the day they will eat. In the wild, that limited ability to ‘reason’ is applied to determine the most likely places to find food, and the most effective way to hunt.

So the use of the word “saying” clearly refers to a ‘programming’ of animals with a limited ability to ‘reason’. And we find that limitation in the next verse, which is key to properly understanding the human condition:

Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.” [Genesis 1: 22]

Animals are being ‘programmed’ with primitive INSTINCTS – reproductive and survival instincts. In order to “be fruitful and multiply” there must be some mechanism to attract one sex of the species to the other. And in order to sustain their existence, they need to survive; and for that they need to eat. Furthermore, for the species to “multiply”, they also have to ensure the survival of their offspring, so they need a strong instinct to protect their young.

So verse 22 refers to the ‘programming’ of DNA so that animals have basic reproductive and survival instincts, and a limited ability to ‘reason’; and the fact is that animals do have such instincts, and they do have a limited ability to ‘reason’ in order to work out how they can most effectively service those instincts.

That is the meaning of Day Five, and it just happens to be what Jeremy English believes his new theory demonstrates. As he says, “a great way of dissipating more [energy] is to make more copies of yourself.

Conclusion

So Day Five sees the ‘creation’ of DNA that will produce the initial animal life, but only once the Earth had stabilized to an environment containing water and the right atmosphere. Further, the act of God blessing and speaking to the life created symbolizes the ‘programming’ of DNA with primitive instincts, and a limited ability to ‘reason’. The limited ability to ‘reason’ also implies a limited capacity to communicate. And our everyday experience of animals confirms that fact.

As we shall see in the next article, it is this interaction between reason and primitive instinct that forms the basis of what we call evil. In essence, reason in the service of primitive instinct portends to evil.

At this point I should briefly address what is known as Satan. It would be remiss of me not to.

I make no judgment about the existence or otherwise of a malevolent being. The analysis I set out does not require such a being, but neither does it preclude one.

It does not require one because human beings, on the analysis of Genesis, are more than capable of inflicting unspeakable atrocities on each other when their reason is in service of their primitive instincts. And it doesn’t preclude one because, like unscrupulous hackers who make our technological lives hell, if there is such a malevolent being, he could easily tempt us to put our reason in the service of our primitive instincts with the promise of the pleasure, or elimination of fear, that would facilitate.

In the next article we will deal with Day Six – the culmination on the creation story; and the intended final cosmic product – human beings. And more important, it will fully explain the phenomenon good and evil.

————————————————————–

This series of articles is based on the book A ‘Final Theory’ of God by Joseph BH McMillan

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2015 All Rights Reserved

————————————————————–

Notes

[1] Philo, On the Heavens, XLIV – 129.

[2] Michael Hanlon, The Daily Telegraph (London), September 11, 2012.

[3] Adapted from Greene, The Fabric of the Cosmos, pages 188 – 189.

[4] Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory, pages 9 & 10.

[5] Rees, Just Six Numbers, page 1.

A Legal Proof for the Existence of God (Part V): Science in Genesis – Day Four

Day Four confirms that the process of transforming the quantum universe into the Classical universe was complete. And according to Genesis, central to the process was the observation element of quantum physics. However, we don’t need to resort to some clever interpretation of the words to find reference to the observation element; it is there in plain language – “And God saw …”

Given the importance of those words, this would be an opportune moment to consider in a little more detail the significance of the words “And God said …” followed by “And God saw …”

“And God said …” – “And God saw …”

For those with a detailed understanding of physics, let me apologize in advance for what may seem a rather basic summary of these two concepts.

When scientists refer to quantum physics in contrast to Classical physics, the term Classical physics is used to include special and general relativity; in other words, it comprises the laws that apply from the level of isolated atoms and molecules through to the cosmic world of planets, stars and galaxies. Thus Classical physics refers to the laws that determine the predictable, deterministic world we see all around us.

Quantum physics, on the other hand, relates to the behavior of sub-atomic particles like electrons, photons and quarks. These particles make up everything we know as ordinary matter and, as Weinberg says, scientists study these fundamental particles because they believe that by doing so they “will learn something about the PRINCIPLES that govern everything.”[1]

The first thing to note about fundamental particles is that they are not like tiny grains of sand. They are more like waves. Scientists call this property of a particle its wavefunction. The wavefunction determines that a particle is free to adopt any one of all probable states. As the physicist Brian Greene says, “a particle can hang in a state of limbo between having one or other particular property … and only when the particle is looked at (measured or observed) does it randomly commit to one definite property or another.”[2]

There is thus a two-stage process that determines the physical universe.

First, particles are free to choose from all probable states. Second, only when a particle is observed will it choose one specific state.

Many physicists believe that this is the basis for what we describe as “free will.” The popular television physicist, Michio Kaku, describes the effect of quantum physics by saying that in a “quantum play, the actors suddenly throw away the script and act on their own. The puppets cut their strings. Free will has been established.”[3] That establishes freedom as a fundamental principle of physics, or at least quantum physics.

However, Kaku also says that “physicists realize that if [they] could somehow control these probabilities, one could perform feats indistinguishable from magic.”[4]

That is an important remark which leads to another aspect of particle behavior that we ought to consider.

It relates to what are described as delayed-choice experiments. In these experiments, particles are fired through a beam splitter at a detector. When the detector is switched off, the particles show an interference pattern demonstrating that they are in a wave-like mode. However, when the detector is switched on, the particles pass through one or other slit on the splitter and appear as a dot. That means they are in a particle-like mode because they have assumed a specific state after being measured (observed) by the detector.

But when this experiment is modified, the behavior of particles becomes even more peculiar. If the detector is switched off after the particle has been emitted, the particle appears to predict that the detector will be switched off before it is fired, and adopts a wave-like state. If the detector is programmed to randomly switch on and off as particles are fired at it, the particles always correctly predict whether the detector will be switched on or off when they arrive. Brian Greene notes that the particles appear to “have a ‘premonition’ of the experimental situation they will encounter farther downstream, and act accordingly.”[5]

Greene goes on to say that these experiments suggest that “a consistent and definite history becomes manifest only after the future to which it leads has been fully settled.”[6]

Further modifications to the experiments make the behavior of particles even more bizarre. By placing a tagging device in front of the slits it is possible to determine through which slit a particle travelled. That is a form of manipulating the particle to behave in a certain way. However, if an erasing device is placed just in front of the detector, the tagging is undone and an interference pattern again appears of the detector screen. As Greene says, this has the effect of “undoing the past, even undoing the ancient past.[7] But it does not actually change what happened in the past, it means that “the future helps shape the story you tell of the past.”[8]

This may sound a little strange, but it is actually what happens in everyday life. Let’s take an example.

If you make a decision to go to university to get a degree, you give yourself a kind of instruction as to how you want the immediate future of your life to progress. You then apply, are offered a place, and start your course. At this stage, your objective of getting a degree is not at all ‘settled’. It is only “fully settled”, or achieved, when you sit your final exams, they are marked (‘measured’) and you pass, and are awarded the degree. The awarding of the degree creates “a consistent and definite history” because “the future to which [your initial decision] leads has been fully settled.” Conversely, at any time before you sit your final exams and pass, your objective of getting a degree is not “fully settled”; any number of things could intervene to prevent that happening. And if that happens, you revert to the original position of having to make a decision on what to do next. Your past decision to get a degree is “undone.” Like the particle in a wave-like mode, an “interference pattern[9] again appears in your life.

However, as Greene also points out, this does not change the fact that you originally made a decision to go to university, it only tells a different story of what happened in relation to that initial decision – “the future [that did not result in a degree] helps shape the story you tell of [your past decision to get a degree].”

Our lives are generally segmented into just such a set of objectives that we work to achieve. Each segment is like the “days” described in Genesis, including the “seventh day”, when God is said to have rested from all His work. We humans retire.

What this tells us is that ‘locking-in’ the future is important to create the deterministic universe of Classical physics. And that can only be done by an observation, the equivalent of your final examination being marked, and being awarded a degree.

Relationship between “the evening and the morning” and the words “And God said …” followed by “And God saw …”

The delayed-choice experiments reveal how the probabilities inherent in particles could be manipulated or controlled.

Particles appear able to ‘know’ what the future environment will look like when the detector is switched on. That tells us that the mere fact of the detector being in a position to observe somehow gives an ‘instruction’ to the particles about the future environment they will encounter, which compels them to adopt the necessary state to prepare for that environment. It’s exactly like making the decision to get a degree. We don’t go to university then wonder what we should do there. We go to university with the objective of establishing the future we envisage – a life with a degree.

So it seems that the observation element in Genesis, the words “And God saw …”, is what compels the particles to form the necessary structures to conform to the future environment the observation element communicates to them. It’s like the detector being switched on, or the decision to get a degree. The intention is what causes the preparation for the future environment.

The words to describe a “day” seem to confirm that. Placing “the evening” before “the morning” tells us that the future event (God saw) informs the preceding event (God said), just like the detector being switched on compels particles to adopt a specific state, or the decision to get a degree informs our actions today in order to achieve our intended objective in the future.

When we look at Genesis in that way, the peculiar wording seems entirely sensible.

The words “And God said …” indicate that there has been a manipulation of matter to adopt a particular path with a specific objective. Up to Day Four, the objective was to transform the quantum laws into Classical laws so as to create the ordered, predictable and deterministic world that is a prerequisite for what was to follow. And once that was achieved, the system was made definite with an observation – “And God saw …”

The first chapter of Genesis records a series of such stages to the creation of the universe and, as we shall see, life itself. It provides the kind of “quantum-mechanical model” Steven Weinberg says is required to explain how the universe came into being.

Weinberg suggests that physicists need to construct a “quantum-mechanical model” that shows how, “as a result of repeated interactions of a [conscious outside observer] with individual systems, the wave function of the combined system evolves with certainty to a final wave function, in which the [conscious outside observer] has become convinced that the probabilities of the individual measurements are what are prescribed by the Copenhagen interpretation.[10]

Now that may all sound like gobbledygook to non-scientists, but all it really means is that we need an explanation of how the uncertainty inherent in the quantum laws that apply to fundamental particles have brought about the predictable, deterministic physical world we see all around us. And that explanation has to include an explanation for the necessity for a conscious outside observer in order to ensure that particles adopt a particle-like state; but not just any particle-like state, but the state that brought about the universe and life as we know it.

It is hard to imagine a better model than the opening chapter of Genesis.

Day Four thus starts with a confirmation that what had taken place in the first three “days” provided a predictable and deterministic world which operated according to predictable and deterministic laws. That confirmation comes with the opening verse.

“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:” [Genesis 1: 14]

The reference to the “lights in the firmament” being for “signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” makes it clear that the workings of the universe were such that they provided the basis for predictable measurement. But the reference to the word “signs” is more intriguing. The word “signs” follows the words “to divide the day from the night.” The reference is clearly linking what happened in “day” one with “day” four, thus pointing the reader back to “day” one for an explanation of how the predictable universe came into being. And that is made even more explicit in verse 18 (day four) which repeats exactly the words in verse 4 (day one) – that the light was to divide “the light from the darkness.”

This verse tells us that the laws that operate on earth, and in our solar system, are the same laws that operate across the entire universe. In science it is called “translational symmetry”, which, Greene notes, enables us to “learn about fundamental laws at work in the entire universe without straying from home, since the laws we discover here are those laws.”[11]

Day four therefore confirms that “symmetries are the foundation from which laws spring.”[12] That means that everything in the universe is equally subject to the same laws, including human beings.

So Day Four gives us the second fundamental principle of morality, the principle that is the foundation of justiceequality under the law.

Up until now, therefore, Genesis has set out the first two fundamental principles of morality. Day One gave us the principle that is the objective of government, Freedom under the Law, and Day Four gives us the principle that is the objective of justice, Equality under the Law. The inscription on the Supreme Court building in Washington DC proclaims the principle as “Equal justice under law”, but the meaning is the same.

There is then only one further thing to note about Day Four.

“And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.” [Genesis 1: 15]

The lights were to “give light upon the earth.” Light was a necessary ingredient for the next stage of the unfolding universe – transforming the primitive DNA that had been produced in Day Three into higher life-forms.

After our solar system had thus been made ready, the system was ‘locked-in’ with an observation – “And God saw that it was good.”[13] What scientists call the Goldilocks zone had been set up.

Day Four ends with the familiar words that define a “day” – “And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”[14] By the most recent scientific calculations, that would have been around 4.5 billion years ago – almost ten billion years after “the beginning”.

And so Day Four was “fully settled.”

The next article will address Day Five.

—————————————————–

This series of articles is based on the book A ‘Final’ Theory’ of God by Joseph BH McMillan.

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2015 All Rights Reserved

——————————————————-

[1] Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory, Vintage, 1994 (paperback), page 61.

[2] Greene, Brian. The Fabric of the Cosmos, Penguin Books 2005 (paperback).

[3] Kaku, Michio. Parallel Worlds, Penguin Books 2006, page 149.

[4] Kaku, page 147.

[5] Greene, page 189.

[6] Greene, page 189.

[7] Greene, page 193.

[8] Greene, page 199.

[9] Greene, page 193.

[10] Weinberg, page 84.

[11] Greene, page 223 – (emphasis in bold is Greene’s)

[12] Greene, page 225

[13] Genesis 1: 18.

[14] Genesis 1: 19.

Government has become an Instrument to Legalize Sin

Now there are those who will scoff at the very mention of the word sin. But scoffing at sin is the same thing as scoffing at crime.

That is because crime is simply a human interpretation of sin. Crime has its origin in sin.

Judicial systems are an expression of our subconscious knowledge of right and wrong. Government is the mechanism we use to pass laws to give substance to that subconscious knowledge, and to prescribe appropriate consequences for violations. From earliest times, history testifies to the human quest for what we call justice – a more perfect set of laws that conforms to our inner knowledge of what is right and wrong, or good and evil.

That inner knowledge is based on certain fundamental underlying principles. Evidence of those principles can be found in the earliest legal codes from Hammurabi to the Ten Commandments, and the Edicts of Asoka, which demonstrate that the underlying principles have been entirely consistent throughout history.

Those who claim that our perceptions of right and wrong ‘evolve’ with social changes focus on the wrong issues. They focus on our interpretation of the fundamental underlying principles, and on the methods of proof and punishment, rather than on the principles themselves. In that respect, it should not be surprising that the methods of implementing the principles into systems of laws, and administering those laws and dispensing judgments, would reflect the times and the frailties of human beings.

So it is important to clearly distinguish between the underlying principles, and how human beings interpret those principles

The great Jewish philosopher, Philo Judaeus, made this distinction clear in respect of the Ten Commandments: “for it was suitable to [God’s] own nature to promulgate in his own person the heads and principles of all particular laws, but to send forth the particular and special laws by the most perfect of the prophets, whom he selected for his preeminent excellence, and filled with his divine spirit, and then appointed to be the interpreter of his holy oracles.”[1]

Philo recognized that the underlying principles are immutable and certain. It is the interpretation and implementation of those principles that are imperfect and corruptible.

That is the proper distinction between crime and sin. Sin is a violation of a fundamental principle, while crime is a violation of a human interpretation of an underlying principle. But there is a more destructive element to human law. Not only is the interpretation of the underlying principles susceptible to human mischief, human beings are also adept at circumventing the very principles on which the laws should be founded in order to serve their own particular interests, appetites, and ambitions.

The reason for this relates to the structure of the human brain. The brain comprises three principal faculties: instinct, reason and morality. These three faculties are clearly identified in Genesis 1: 26 – 31, as explained in the article Perspectives on the Scriptures: Genesis Day Six – Programming Human DNA: Morality, Reason and Instinct.

Instincts are indisputable; we are born with them. Human instincts are mostly indistinguishable from animal instincts – reproduction, survival and security. But humans have additional, peculiarly human, instincts, principally the instinct to conquer. Instincts are activated by the prospect of pleasure, or the fear of pain.

Morality is the counterbalance to instincts. It is our inner knowledge of right and wrong. Morality is a manifestation of our innate knowledge of the fundamental principles of right and wrong. The evidence for morality is everywhere – in our great legislative bodies, in our courts of law, in our religious institutions, the work of charities and philanthropists, and even in the writings of our great philosophers. That is because those principles are imprinted into our brains as a neurological moral network, or what the British IVF pioneer, Sir Robert Winston, calls a “morality module.” That network converts the raw mathematical data imprinted in our brains into moral principles, and enables us to judge our actions in accordance with those principles – if we choose to do so. When a fundamental principle of morality is violated, we experience a sense of guilt.

Finally there is reason. No one would dispute the human ability to reason, even if it is rather abstruse on occasion. But reason is a neutral faculty. More reason does not guarantee a better outcome, just as less reason doesn’t guarantee a worse outcome. Those who make the greatest sacrifice for others don’t generally rationalize their way to the sacrifice; they simply respond to what they know deep down is the right thing to do, even if it means sacrificing their own lives.

Reason in the service of morality is what makes an action right, or good, while reason in the service of instinct is what, on the whole, makes an action wrong, or evil. Reason in the service of instinct can justify anything. And more crucially, it will find justification for indulging certain primitive instincts in spite of the guilt. Reason is all too often employed to silence the guilt generated by morality in order to indulge the prospect of pleasure to be had by servicing some or other primitive instinct. Reason in the absolute service of instinct, without any reference to morality, is what we would call pure evil. It is most evident in psychopaths.

It is thus reason in the service of instinct, in varying degrees, that provides the basis of crime, and indeed other acts we consider unlawful.

There are two distinct aspects to crime. One is the physical act itself, and the other is the mental element that initiates the act. In law, this mental element is called the mens rea, or guilty mind. It relates directly to reason – intention, recklessness or negligence. It is not hard to identify most crimes and unlawful acts as being examples of reason in the service of instinct without regard to the guilt generated by morality. The action only becomes unlawful because someone commits an act knowing it to be wrong, or not caring whether it is wrong.

However, it would be delusional to think that human beings only become aware that certain actions are wrong when a law is passed to declare them so (the Thomas Hobbes view). If human beings don’t know that certain actions are wrong, then they wouldn’t know that there should be a law to prohibit them. That is how instinct operates in animals.

Our knowledge that certain actions are wrong precedes making the action a criminal offence. It is the presumption that everyone knows, or should know, that the action is wrong that forms the basis of the offence in the first place. We know that actions are wrong because they generate a sense of guilt if we even consider committing them, and we feel a sense of revulsion when such acts are committed by others.

The evidence is thus incontrovertible. This innate knowledge of wrong, that is made known to us by our “morality module” generating a sense of guilt, is what is more commonly described as sin. And how we translate that innate knowledge into rules of conduct for human interaction is what we call crime. The former is the more perfect version; the latter the more imperfect.

But it is the latter that provides the platform to attack the former. The perception today, and it is a perception those averse to any restraint on their actions are eager to promote, is that wrong is an entirely legislative prerogative. In this view, the only things that can be wrong are those things that the government tells us are wrong. And that is done through legislation.

Anything that is not prohibited by law must be permissible. Something not prohibited by law cannot therefore be wrong, even if it generates a sense of guilt. It is this rather warped and artificial conception of what is wrong that facilitates the legalization of sin. Adultery is a poignant example.

By predicating the whole concept of wrong on legislation, guilt is ridiculed as an emotional reaction of no real consequence. Guilt is portrayed as an artificial and self-inflicted condition because, it is asserted, it must be irrational to feel guilty about indulging in an act that is not specifically prohibited by law. And reason can easily be employed to justify this kind of self-deception.

Once the majority of people are persuaded that guilt is irrelevant unless it is a function of a legislative prohibition, then legislation becomes an instrument to suppress our innate sense of right and wrong. Sin is vanquished. And we become a Godless species of moral mutes in bondage to our primitive instincts. We thus lose our freedom to choose between right and wrong, and become slaves to the moral indifference of those with only the most tenuous connection to their own neurological moral networks, or indeed, totally disconnected from them.

However, this does not mean that morality will cease to exist. That is because the fundamental principles of morality are simply an expression of the moral dimension of the fundamental principles of physics. We can only delude ourselves for so long that we can somehow invent the laws of morality, just as we deluded ourselves about our knowledge of the laws of physics, and most likely continue to do.

Those who propagate this subjective distortion of right and wrong, and those who eagerly subscribe to the distortion, should be under no illusion that the consequences of ignoring the laws of morality will be the same as ignoring the laws of physics – disaster.

——————————————————-

This article is based on the book A ‘Final Theory’ of God by Joseph BH McMillan.

[1] Philo, Decalogue, XXXIII (175).

UPDATE to A Legal Proof for the Existence of God (Part IV): Science in Genesis – Day Three

I had barely posted this article when I became aware of an article that claims researchers at MIT had proved that atoms naturally produce life.

The article claims that the new theory … proposes that when a group of atoms is exposed for a long time to a source of energy, it will restructure itself to dissipate more energy. The emergence of life might not be the luck of atoms arranging themselves in the right way, it says, but an inevitable event if the conditions are correct.

The title of the article is this: New Theory could prove how life began and disprove God.

As I say in my article, that is precisely the concern I had for the “intelligent design” argument. They have based their argument on the wrong evidence. Now it is about to be demolished. That will set back belief in God for decades, if not millennia, to come.

The article has got it entirely wrong, of course. The author/s of Genesis set out precisely how and why atoms naturally produce life. The laws that determine the behavior of atoms were established well before atoms were ‘programmed’, or had the properties, to “restructure” anything.

Freedom is the principle that determines how particles and atoms behave. Freedom is the very basis of the laws that govern the universe. But when freedom is the foundation of the law, some other aspect or consequence of the law cannot compel particles, or atoms, to form structures that violate the very basis of the law.

As with any law that is the very foundation of all other laws, only the Lawmaker can compel otherwise free entities to adopt the structures that render them, to an extent, ‘unfree’.

That has been a dilemma that has taxed the minds of jurists since the beginning of time. How can we be free, yet be subject to a law?

That is what my series of articles explains. But to attempt to ‘construct’ a notion of God without reference to the only real source of evidence for a God, the Bible, is doomed to failure. And I fear that is exactly where the “intelligent design” argument is going.

Why will they resist finding the evidence in the Scriptures? They should remember this: “But whosoever should deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 10: 33)

For goodness sake, if there is some proof to be found of God, it will be found in the Scriptures, not in finding gaps in the scientific evidence in the hope that science will not be able to explain them.

That is what A ‘Final Theory’ of God does.

————————————————————

An UPDATE to the previous article – A Legal Proof for the Existence of God (Part IV)

Based on the book A ‘Final Theory’ of God.

 

A Legal Proof for the Existence of God (Part IV): Science in Genesis – Day Three

By the end of Day Two, the material in the universe had not changed from the beginning of Day Two. The universe was still composed of hydrogen, helium and traces of beryllium and lithium. And there were photons of light.

The only thing that had changed was the concentration of the material in certain places in space. At the end of Day Two, the hydrogen, helium, beryllium and lithium were swirling around in gigantic “protogalaxies”. And between them were “voids” of empty space.

So everything was in place to start the next stage of building the universe and life. An account of that stage is set out in Day Three.

Here is the King James Version. And as we shall see, it is perfectly in line with the latest scientific discoveries.

  1. 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.
  2. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
  3. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
  4. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
  5. And the evening and the morning were the third day.

As is our usual practice, we’ll take each verse in turn. But before we do so, we should note an obvious difference between Day Three and the previous two “days”. Day Three has two stages in the process, each beginning with the words “And God said …” and concluding with the words “And God saw …”

That is an important distinction.

“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.”

First, we must identify what is meant by “the waters under the heaven.” This can only refer to the swirling “protogalaxies” of hydrogen, helium, beryllium and lithium. In other words, everything that was not a “void”, or ‘empty’ space.

All these “protogalaxies” would have been “under the heaven” in exactly the same sense that every star and planet is ‘under space’ when viewed from that particular star or planet. So “the waters under the heaven” can only refer to ALL the concentrations of matter swirling around in specific areas of space – the billions of “protogalaxies” comprising only the lighter elements.

It was this material, the hydrogen, helium, beryllium and lithium (together with the associated dark matter), that was to “be gathered together unto ONE place” in each “protogalaxy”. I emphasize the word “one” because we know from Day Two that “the waters” had already been separated into specific concentrations that formed the “protogalaxies”. So the description of the “protogalaxies” being “gathered together unto one place” can only mean that the matter forming these “protogalaxies” was being condensed by gravity into “one place”. And that was essential for the next stage of building the universe.

To understand why, we need to examine the conditions necessary to produce the number of elements required to create and sustain life – the elements that constitute the Periodic Table.

As we have already seen, the Big Bang created the lightest elements of hydrogen, helium, deuterium and lithium. However, it did not produce sufficient heat to produce the heavier elements. Furthermore, “… elements with 5 and 8 neutrons and protons are extremely unstable and hence cannot act as a ‘bridge’ to create elements that have a greater number of protons and neutrons.[1]

In the 1950’s, Fred Hoyle, an English physicist at Cambridge University, had a moment of ‘insight’ which went a way to resolving how the heavier elements could have been created. As Kaku says, “[i]n a stroke of genius, Hoyle realized that IF there were a previously unnoticed unstable form of carbon, created out of three helium nuclei, it might last just long enough to act as a ‘bridge,’ allowing for the creation of higher elements. … When this unstable form of carbon was actually found, it brilliantly demonstrated that nucleosynthesis could take place in the stars, rather than the big bang.[2]

However, not all stars are heavy enough to produce the heat necessary to create the heavier elements. This requires heavier stars with greater gravity. According to Rees, such stars can reach a “billion degrees” and thus “release further energy via the build-up of carbon (six protons), and by a chain of transmutations into progressively heavier nuclei.[3] But once we get to iron, which has the most “tightly bound” nucleus, “energy must be added” to create the even heavier elements beyond iron. And so, as Rees says, “a star therefore faces an energy crisis when its core is transmuted into iron … [and] …the consequences are dramatic.[4]

The intense gravity causes the core of the star to implode which “releases enough energy to blow off the overlying material in a colossal explosion – creating a supernova.[5]

The supernova then ‘fertilizes’, so to speak, the universe by blasting its mix of elements into space. “The debris thrown back into space contains this mix of elements. Oxygen is the most common, followed by carbon, nitrogen, silicon and iron. The calculated proportions … [depend on the] … types of stars and the various evolutionary paths they take …[6]

This mix of elements was a pre-requisite for life. As Kaku says, “our true ‘mother’ sun was actually an unnamed star or collection of stars that died billions of years ago in a supernova, which then seeded nearby nebulae with the higher elements beyond iron that make up our body.”[7]

It is this mechanism for converting the lighter elements into all the heavier elements that make up the Periodic Table that Genesis is clearly referring to in this verse. When “the waters” (the lighter elements) are “gathered together unto one place”, the gravity becomes so intense that it creates a supernova; and in the process all the heavier elements are created and strewn across a specific area of the universe. This process would have been happening at different times and different places throughout the universe, and indeed is continuing to this day.

Genesis describes this change in the constitution of the matter into the heavier elements with the words “and let the dry land appear.”

The methodology is exactly in line with the methodology applied in Genesis up to this point. Likewise, the use of words to symbolize a change in the nature of a substance as it undergoes change is also entirely consistent with the linguistic technique. In this case, the contrast between “the waters” and “the dry land” is patently obvious – one is a more dense and heavy than the other.

But what we find when we get to the next verse is that not all “the waters” had been converted into “dry land”.

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

Here we see that both “the waters” and “the dry land” emerged from this process. And the change in the constitution of the material is again emphasized by God naming the material. In this case as “the Earth” and “Seas” – again in capitals.

This is the last instance when this naming takes place in Genesis. The message is therefore quite clear; all the material and forces necessary for a stable and predictable universe were in place. The naming, as we saw in Day One, indicates that the change in the structure and constitution of the universe was such that it had become certain. The quantum properties had been converted into the measurable and deterministic Classical laws. Another important point to note is that it is precisely this ‘conversion process’ that gave rise to our own planet Earth, as it did across the universe. So “the Earth” refers to the process in general, as well as telling us that our own planet was a consequence of precisely the same process. As Kaku says, our Sun, and the Earth, are the result of an “unnamed star or collection of stars that died billions of years ago in a supernova, which then seeded nearby nebulae with the higher elements beyond iron that make up our body.”

Once the correct balance had been achieved, Genesis then tells us that it was made “irreversible” by an observation: “And God saw that it was good.”

The universe was now ready to embark on its true purpose.

As an analogy, instead of building a house, as we imagined in Day One, let’s imagine that we are building a factory, in this case, a cosmic factory. In Day One, all the material was delivered to site. In Day Two, all the materials were divided up and moved to where they were to be used. In Day Three, the materials were mixed and applied to build the factory. Now the cosmic factory is ready to start ‘manufacturing’ the product, the cosmic product – life.

The next stage of the origin of the universe and life set out by Genesis reveals truly remarkable insight by its author/s. And science is only now beginning to discover what Genesis revealed thousands of years ago.

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.”

On the face of it, Genesis appears to have departed from the established methodology followed up to this point. Although Genesis tells us all the elements that constitute the Periodic Table had been created, it appears that we are now skipping a number of processes and jumping straight to a description of plants and trees growing on the Earth; the kind of plants and trees we see outside our windows every day.

To understand this apparent departure from the methodology, we have to refer to certain verses at the beginning of Chapter Two. These verses summarize what had happened in the six days referred to in Chapter One, and describe what the Earth, planet Earth, looked like at the end of the six stage process. The verses are as follows:

  1. These are the generations of the heaven and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,
  2. And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no man to till the ground.

Curiously, these two verses tell us that God had made “every plant of the field BEFORE it was in the earth, and every herb of the field BEFORE it grew

That can only mean that what is being described in Day Three are not plants, trees etc as we know them, because at the end of the six days, according to Genesis Chapter 2, no such things existed on Earth in the form we would recognize. God is said to have made them “before” they were in the earth, and “before” they grew. So what does all that mean?

For that we should revert again to the Best Evidence Rule – what did Jewish Scholars of old think it meant?

The great Jewish philosopher, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, who lived at about the same time as Jesus, says this about those verses:

Does he [Moses] not here manifestly set before us incorporeal ideas perceptible only by the intellect, which have been appointed to be as seals of the perfected works, perceptible by the outward senses. For before the earth was green, he says that this same thing, verdure, existed in the nature of things, and before the grass sprang up in the field, there was grass though it was not visible. And we must understand in the case of everything else which is decided on by the external senses, there were elder forms and motions previously existing, according to which the things which were created were fashioned and measured out.[8]

In short, as Philo says, it was not trees and grass and herbs as we know them that were created, but the basic structures that were to become those things when the basic structures were introduced into the right environment. And that right environment is symbolized by the words “for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth.

So what were these “elder forms and motions” that were created in Day Three? And the answer is clearly the basic DNA structures that would be the “seals of the perfected works.” There can be no other explanation.

But that would mean that Genesis is telling us that the basic structure of DNA that would be the model for all life was actually created at about the same time as supernovae were ‘fertilizing’ the universe with the heavier elements. But that would directly contradict the Theory of Evolution, leaving it irrelevant.

Well, that is perhaps exactly where the theory of Evolution is destined.

Here’s a selection of the latest science that confirms the Genesis account.

In 2013, a team from Sheffield University, led by Professor Milton Wainwright, discovered organisms from space after sending a balloon into the high stratosphere. Wainwright noted that “If life does continue to arrive from space then we will have to completely change our view of biology and evolution.”[9]

Wainwright went on to say, “we can only conclude that the biological entities originated from space. Our conclusion then is that life is continually arriving to Earth from space, life is not restricted to this planet and almost certainly did not originate here.[10]

In a feature on 8th August 2011, NASA reported that “researchers have evidence that some building blocks of DNA, the molecule that carries the genetic instructions for life, found in meteorites were likely created in space. The research gives support to the theory that a ‘kit’ of ready-made parts created in space and delivered to Earth by meteorite and comet impacts assisted the origin of life.[11]

But most important of all is an article in Science Daily on October 27, 2011, referring to work done by Professor Sun Kwok and Dr. Yong Zhang of the University of Hong Kong. As the article says, “Astronomers report in the journal Nature that organic compounds of unexpected complexity exist throughout the Universe. The results suggest that complex organic compounds are not the sole domain of life, but can be made naturally by stars.[12] The article goes on to note that, “by analyzing spectra of star dust formed in exploding stars called novae, [Kwok and Zhang] show that stars are making these complex organic compounds in extremely short time scales of weeks. Not only are stars producing this complex organic matter, they are also ejecting it into the general interstellar space, the region between stars.[13]

Kwok is quoted as saying, “our work has shown that stars have no problem making complex organic compounds under near vacuum conditions. Theoretically, this is impossible, but observationally we can see it happening.

These are only a few of the many findings of ‘life from space’. With missions to Mars and Saturn, it is likely that even more surprises may be in store for us. But what this evidence shows is that the Genesis account of when life was first ‘created’ is turning out to be very accurate. Even into the 1970’s, biologists were absolutely convinced that life could not exist without sunlight. That has been proved to be wrong. Until even more recently, the notion that life may not have evolved on Earth would have been met with ridicule. But it seems that the evidence is starting to point in precisely that direction. And if the evidence does keep building up, as Wainwright says, “we [will] have to completely change our view of biology and evolution.” And perhaps scientists will have to give at least a grudging acknowledgement to the author/s of Genesis for having ‘known’ all this many millennia ago.

We then come to the observation element of quantum physics.

“And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”

Here we have confirmation that the basic structures of life, the basic DNA, were created and made “irreversible” with an observation. The particles and atoms were compelled to form the basic structures of life, and those structures were made permanent with an observation. Life was made “irreversible” right across the universe.

So when we come to the end of Day Three we find that we have our cosmic factory and cosmic machines; we also have the cosmic ingredients and the cosmic recipe; and now we get the first stage in the creation of the intended cosmic ‘product’ – life.

Day Three then ends with the usual allocation of a time-slice of the process.

“And the evening and the morning were the third day.

The time-slice here encompassed two distinct, but almost simultaneous, stages; the creation of the heavier elements, almost immediately followed by the creation of basic DNA. Quite incredible!

This evidence, which supports the Genesis account, is another reason why I fear that the “intelligent design” argument may be setting itself up for a fall. Having devoted so much of their energy to disputing the theory of Evolution, science may soon agree that the theory doesn’t constitute scientific evidence for the creation of life. But at the same time, science will have shown that life was created in the stars, and then developed once it encountered the right environment. And, of course, the argument will then be that the “intelligent design” argument was wrong in ascribing the creation of life to God.

In the next article we will look at Day Four as Genesis focuses in on our own solar system. But we will start with a closer look at the relationship between quantum theory and the words “And God said …” followed by “And God saw …”

—————————————-

This series of articles is based on the book A ‘Final Theory’ of God by Joseph BH McMillan.

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2015 All Rights Reserved

———————————

[1] Kaku, Parallel Worlds (paperback), page 56.

[2] Kaku, page 62 – emphasis on IF is mine.

[3] Rees, Just Six Numbers (paperback), page 50.

[4] Rees, page 50.

[5] Rees, page 50.

[6] Rees, page 50.

[7] Kaku, page 67.

[8] Philo, On the Creation, XLIV, 129 – 130.

[9] Wainwright, Reported Press Association, 19 September, 2013.

[10] Wainwright, Ibid.

[11] http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/dna-meteorites_prt.htm.

[12] Science Daily, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111026143721.htm.

[13] Science Daily, Ibid.

A Legal Proof for the Existence of God (Part III): Science in Genesis – Day Two

The key to understanding the account of Day Two in Genesis is the word in verse 6 that has been translated as “the firmament.”

Again, for ease of reference, here is the full account of Day Two. References are to the King James Version.

  1. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
  2. 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.
  3. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

Methodology

In Day One we started with “the heaven and the earth”, which were described as being “without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” Then “the heaven and the earth” are re-described collectively as “the waters”. The “waters” were then ‘converted’ into “light” when matter and antimatter interacted to create photons of light. But because there was a slight excess of matter over antimatter, some matter was not converted into light. That excess matter was described as “the darkness”, which was separated from the “light”. This excess matter would form the building blocks of the physical universe.

But we now find no mention of “light” and “darkness.” Instead we have reference to “the waters” again.

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

Following the methodology, it is clear that “the waters” refer to what existed at the end of Day One – “light” and “darkness”. In other words, photons of light, and those excess particles that could not find an anti-particle to enable them to convert into photons.

But there is a further aspect of “the darkness”. Physicists now know that there is also dark matter. They have no idea what it is yet, but it is evident because of the amount of gravity that would be required to create stars and galaxies. There is simply insufficient ordinary matter to create the necessary gravity.

Furthermore, the heat of the Big Bang had caused the fundamental particles to form into the lighter elements. As Brian Greene says, physicists calculate that “by the time the universe was a couple of minutes old, it was filled with a nearly uniform hot gas composed of roughly 75 percent hydrogen, 23 percent helium, and small amounts of deuterium and lithium.[1]

So “the waters” can only refer to both ordinary and dark matter, as well as the photons of light. And as we saw in Day One, water has always been associated with life. Without it, life as we know it could not exist.

By the time we get to Day Two, all this matter and light would have been spread out across the huge but embryonic universe. Martin Rees describes this initial state of the universe as follows: “when the universe was a million years old, everything was still expanding almost uniformly.[2] It is into this “almost uniformly” expanding universe that God is said to have inserted “a firmament.

We now come to one of the many remarkable aspects of the origins of the universe according to Genesis. The original Hebrew for the word that is translated as “firmament” is actually “expansion.” The Hebrew is raqiya`, which loosely means to hammer out something small into something large.

It is not surprising that translators of the Bible would have sought to use other words instead of the original. So we find all sorts of alternative descriptions of the word “expansion” – a “vault”, an “expanse”, a “space”, a “canopy”, and even a “horizon.”

However, in the late 1970’s, the scientific concept of expansion was proposed by Alan Guth and Henry Tye. After that, Biblical scholars began to debate whether the word “expansion” in verse 6 could possibly relate to the scientific concept of expansion. And not surprisingly, the answers vary depending on the position being taken.

In law, however, we have what is known as the Best Evidence Rule. It requires that the best evidence should be adduced in support of a case. So if the dispute relates, for example, to the construction of a word in a contract, the best evidence would be contemporaneous evidence of what the parties understood the word to mean, not what subsequent parties may claim it means in hindsight.

Applying that rule to the meaning of “expansion”, the best evidence would be what early Jewish scholars thought it meant.

Some seven hundred years before Guth and Tye came up with the expansion theory, the great Jewish Scholar, Nahmanides (1194 – 1270 AD), said this in his commentary on Genesis Chapter One: “… At the briefest instant following creation all the matter of the universe was concentrated in a very small place, no larger than a grain of mustard. … From the initial concentration of this intangible substance in its minute location, the substance expanded, expanding the universe as it did so. As the expansion progressed, a change in the substance occurred. This initially thin noncorporeal substance took on the tangible aspects of matter as we know it. From this initial act of creation, from this etherieally thin pseudosubstance, everything that has existed, or will ever exist, was, is, and will be formed.[3]

Now that is quite unambiguous.

Genesis 1: 6 should thus read, “And God said, Let there be an expansion in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

Consequently we now have a very different reading of this verse. The “expansion” was to “divide the waters from the waters”. In other words, the “expansion” was to separate “the waters”, and concentrate the separated “waters” into different places.

And that is precisely what then happens.

“And God made the firmament (expansion), and divided the waters which were under the firmament (expansion) from the waters which were above the firmament (expansion): and it was so.”

This verse clearly suggests a pre-existing state in which certain parts of “the waters” were already in different places – “under” or “above”. That would have been a consequence of what happened in Day One. And Day One was about inflationary cosmology.

Greene identifies one specific consequence of inflationary cosmology which was crucial to the formation of the universe as we now see it.

According to Greene, “the initial nonuniformity that ultimately resulted in the formation of stars and galaxies came from quantum mechanics.”[4] As we saw in the previous article, fields, like particles, are also subject to quantum phenomena, so the “rate of change” of a field is not uniform but “will undulate up or down” at various speeds, or “assume a strange mixture of many different rates of change, and hence its value will undergo a frenzied, fuzzy, random jitter.”[5] This means that the “amount of energy in one location would have been a bit different to what it was in another.”[6]

These small differences in the quantum world of the pre-inflationary universe were then amplified by inflationary expansion, causing certain areas of the expanding universe to be more ‘dense’ in particles and energy than others. This has been confirmed by measurements of the temperature differences of microwave photons arriving from space. Greene says that “observations have shown that … tiny temperature differences fill out a particular pattern on the sky ..,[7] which confirms that there were slight differences in the density of matter and energy in different locations in the universe. And these variations were “set down nearly 14 billion years ago … [and arose] from quantum uncertainty.”[8]

Greene attributes this to the inflaton (Higgs) field, which scientists now believe was the engine for inflationary expansion in the earliest moments of the universe. According to Greene, the inflaton field “reached the value of lowest energy at different places at slightly different moments. In turn, inflationary expansion shut off at slightly different times at different locations in space, so that the amount of spatial expansion at different locations varied slightly …”[9]

The result was that there were different densities of matter and energy in different regions of space. Rees says that this meant that the “slightly overdense regions, expanding slower than average, were destined to become galaxies and clusters; others, slightly underdense, were destined to become voids.”[10]

So describing some of ‘the waters’ as being in different places – “under” or “above” – in relation to the “expansion,” perfectly corresponds to scientific theory. Without it, the universe as we know it, and life itself, could not exist.

However, in order for the expansion to have the effect of forming the denser areas of matter and energy into concentrations strong enough to create galaxies and stars, the expansion energy had to be finely balanced in relation to the concentrations of matter and radiation, and the gravity that pulled them together. If the expansion energy was too powerful, the matter would not have had the time or strength to form. It would simply have continued to expand outward leaving nothing. If the expansion force had been too weak, all the matter and energy would have condensed together again, collapsing the universe back into its initial state. As Rees says, in the former case, the “universe would be inert and structureless”; and in the latter case, “it would have been a violent place in which no stars or solar systems could survive …[11]

Greene describes this interaction between matter and energy as follows: “as the universe expands, matter and radiation lose energy to gravity while an inflaton field gains energy from gravity.”[12] This is because the “total energy carried by ordinary particles of matter and radiation drops because it is continually transferred to gravity as the universe expands. … gravity depletes the energy in fast moving particles of matter and radiation as space swells.[13] On the other hand, “a uniform inflaton field exerts a negative pressure within an expanding universe. … [thus] the total energy embodied in the inflaton field increases as the universe expands because it extracts energy from gravity.”[14]

But all these elements had to be finely balanced for this process to take place. And for that to happen, the timing had to be precise. The initial inflationary burst that caused the Big Bang had to end at the right moment for expansion to take over. As Rees’ says: “The fierce repulsion that drove inflation must have switched off, allowing the universe, having by then enlarged enough to encompass everything that we now see, to embark on its more leisurely expansion.[15]

It is at that point that Genesis says there was an intervention. It is quite remarkable that Genesis does separate the initial “inflation” we discussed in Day One, from the “expansion” which is said to start in Day Two. And Genesis describes this process quite simply, but entirely accurately, by saying that the expansion “divided the waters which were under the firmament (expansion) from the waters which were above the firmament (expansion): and it was so.

The account of Day Two could be summed up by this statement from Rees: “after half a million years of expansion, the temperature dropped to around 3,000 degrees … As the universe cooled further, it literally entered a dark age … [which] persisted until the first protogalaxies formed and lit it up again.”[16]

Genesis then brings the account of Day Two to an end, with God naming what He is said to have made.

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

An important point to note in this verse is that there is a crucial difference in the account of Day Two to that of Day One, and indeed all the other “days”. In Day Two there is no mention of the words “And God saw …”

There is good reason for that. At this stage the “protogalaxies” that had formed contained only the lighter elements of hydrogen, helium, and traces of beryllium and lithium. The Big Bang did not produce sufficient heat to produce the heavier elements. That would require supernovae.

However, since Genesis directly links the origin of life to supernovae, these two phenomena are dealt with together in Day Three. And remarkably, as we shall see in the next article, science is only now beginning to recognize this link.

It was thus important that there should not be an observation at this stage. The process had to continue to the formation of supernovae before the state of the universe was ‘locked-in’ with an observation.

But we do have the naming we had in Day One: “And God called the firmament Heaven.” As we have already noted, this naming (always with a capital letter) signifies a change from the state of the universe as at the start of the ‘day’. At the start of Day Two there were “the waters” into which was inserted an “expansion”. At the end of Day Two the “expansion” had divided “the waters”, resulting in what God is said to call “Heaven”. We should now recall what Rees said about the effect of the density differences in matter and energy in different parts of space: “slightly overdense regions, expanding slower than average, were destined to become galaxies and clusters; others, slightly underdense, were destined to become voids’.[17]

The “voids” are clearly what Genesis calls “Heaven” – those areas of space that were left ‘free’ of matter. And the naming suggests that this state of “protogalaxies” and “voids” constituted the next step in converting the quantum laws into the predictable and deterministic Classical laws. As Greene says, “according to inflation, the more than 100 billion galaxies, sparkling throughout space like heavenly diamonds, are nothing but quantum mechanics writ large across the sky.[18]

The account of Day Two then ends with a measure of the time this process took to play out: “the evening and the morning were the second day.

According to Rees’ depiction of the time-line of the universe, Day Two would have ended about one billion years after the Big Bang.[19] So the “the evening and the morning” of Day Two were approximately one billion years less the 300,000 years for Day One.

In the next article we will consider science in Day Three, and it may come as a surprise.

………………………………………………….

This series of articles is based on the book A ‘Final Theory’ of God by Joseph BH McMillan

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2015 All Rights Reserved

[1] Greene, Brian. The Fabric of the Cosmos, Penguin, London, 2005 (paperback), page 171 (emphasis in bold is Greene’s).

[2] Rees, Martin. Just Six Numbers, Pheonix, London, 1999 (paperback), page 121.

[3] Commentary on Torah, Genesis 1, Nahmanides, quoted in Gerald Schroeder Genesis and the Big Bang, Bantam Books, 1992 (paperback), page 65.

[4] Greene, page 305.

[5] Greene, page 306.

[6] Greene, page 306.

[7] Greene, page 309.

[8] Greene, page 309 – 310.

[9] Greene, page 307 – my emphasis in bold.

[10] Rees, page 119.

[11] Rees, page 3.

[12] Greene, page 312.

[13] Greene, page 311 – bold emphasis is Greene’s.

[14] Greene, pages 311 to 312 – bold emphasis is Greene’s.

[15] Rees, page 139 – emphasis in bold is mine.

[16] Rees, page 119.

[17] Rees, page 119 – emphasis in bold is mine.

[18] Greene, page 308.

[19] Rees, illustration at page 132.

A Legal Proof for the Existence of God (Part II) : Science in Genesis – Day One

We should be clear at the outset what we will be doing in this analysis.

We will not simply be substituting God for those things science cannot yet explain, although it is remarkable that Genesis does in fact make reference to the intervention of God at precisely those moments.

Neither will we claim that only an ‘intelligent designer’ could explain the complexity and improbability of life and the universe.

Such arguments risk a charge of ‘mistaken identity’. The counter-argument would be that Genesis simply uses God as a substitute for the laws that govern the universe. That would make God a symbolic description for what scientists call “The Theory of Everything,” or the “Final Theory”.

If the argument for the existence of God is to have enduring credibility, it must show that the fundamental laws themselves speak of a God, and they must speak of a specific and personal God. Otherwise we end up with a vague notion of God that is indistinguishable from some force of nature.

The physicist Steven Weinberg put it well. For God to have a compelling significance, says Weinberg, He has to be shown to be “an interested God”; a “creator and lawgiver who has established not only the laws of nature and the universe but also standards of good and evil”, and “is concerned with our actions”.[1]

As we shall see, that is in fact the message in Genesis. The fundamental laws that govern the universe are God’s Law, and they reveal God’s Will, and those laws are imprinted into the human brain in mathematical form. That was God’s chosen method of communicating with us.

To understand how that was done, we need to go to the beginning. Both science and Genesis recognize that the beginning is where we can discover the origin of the universe, and the origin of our own existence.

The Beginning

References are to the King James Version of the Bible because it is reputed to be the closest to the original translation.

For ease of reference, these are the verses we shall address in this article:

  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.

So let’s consider each of those verses in turn and compare them to the scientific explanations.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

First, we have to identify exactly what is meant by “the heaven and the earth.”

Clearly “the earth” does not refer to planet Earth, because the next verse says “the earth was without form, and void,” and planet Earth is not “without form and void.” And anyway, references to planet Earth only come later.

So “the earth” can only refer to matter, the stuff that was going to be used to create the universe.

Likewise, reference to “the heaven” cannot mean Heaven in the sense of the realm in which God is said to exist, because it would be most peculiar if God had to create the very domain in which He resides. The only reasonable explanation is that “the heaven” refers to space, the place in which the matter (“the earth”) exists.

So Genesis sets out right at the beginning the material that was going to be used to create the universe, and where it was – matter and space.

That is identical to the scientific explanation. Scientists calculate that all matter that exists in the universe was at one time concentrated into one dense point, variously described as the size of a grain of sand or a football. But since this matter had to exist in something, space itself was condensed into this tiny confined mass as well. And Genesis confirms that. The statement that “darkness was upon the face of the deep” can only refer to the fact that there was no space into which light could be emitted. This concentration of matter and space was so dense that even light could not escape, like a black hole, but with an immensely greater gravity.

However, although science and Genesis agree on where the material that makes up the universe came from, they don’t agree on how it got there. Genesis says it was God, and scientists admit that they have no idea. And that should not surprise us because, as Max Planck said, “Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of Nature. And it is because in the last analysis we ourselves are part of the mystery we are trying to solve.”[2]

So there we have the material that will be used to create the universe and, ultimately, life.

Next we have to consider what this material looked like.

“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.”

Genesis thus gives a very precise description of what this dense mass of matter and space looked like.

But what of science?

Here are some descriptions from a number of scientists.

According to the ex-Royal Astronomer of Britain, Martin Rees, it was an “ultra-dense primal medium that was almost structureless.” [3]

Brian Greene says that it was “a highly disordered state of primeval chaos.”[4] He goes on to describe it as “… a wild and energetic realm of primordial chaos; [with] extremes of heat and colossal density,”[5] in which “gravity was by far the dominant force.”[6]

And in respect of “heaven”, Greene says this about “space” in the “preexisting” universe: “But if the universe is spatially infinite, there was already an infinite spatial expanse at the moment of the big bang.[7]

These scientific descriptions are virtually identical to the description in Genesis – “the heaven and the earth” were “without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

However, the next verse of Genesis then appears to refer to something that has not been mentioned before.

“And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

The obvious question is, ‘where did “the waters” suddenly come from’? Critics of Genesis love scoffing at this verse, arguing that water did not appear on the Earth until relatively recently.

But that ignores the methodology used in Genesis. As we shall see, this re-description of what just went before is a common literary technique applied in Genesis to convey meaning. In this case, matter and space, previously referred to as “the heaven and the earth,” are simply re-described as “the waters.” And that is a very astute way of explaining the inherent ability of matter and space to create life. Water is perceived as life-giving and life-sustaining.

Genesis is telling us that matter and space, although clearly inorganic, had the built-in properties to create life. The fact that matter and space are concentrated into a “primordial chaos” does not mean that they are incapable of producing life. As Martin Rees says, Einstein showed that matter and space, “Even if shrunk to a ‘point’, … is LATENT with particles and forces.”[8] Rees thus cautions scientists (and Stephen Hawking comes to mind) against claiming that the “universe can arise ‘from nothing’”.[9]

So re-describing matter and space as “the waters” was obviously deliberate.

But why then the reference to “the Spirit of God” moving across “the waters”?

This is a very important verse because it tells us that this dense concentration of matter and space was inert. It could not transform itself into a different state. It needed something to initiate the process.

So here we encounter the first significant distinction between simply substituting God for some unexplained phenomenon of physics, and instead looking to the fundamental principles to identify the requirement for God. And the necessity for God relates to the Principle of Freedom referred to in the previous article.

Most physicists today subscribe to the theory of “inflation” to explain how the initial matter and space was transformed into the universe as we know it. According to this theory, within the dense matter and space was an anti-gravity force physicists call an “inflaton field” – inflation without the “i”. This field ‘wriggled’ around in the dense chaos until at some point it reached a “value” that caused it to exert an enormous outward force that expanded the initial matter and space at a phenomenal rate, causing the Big Bang.

Greene says that the inflaton field exerted a repulsive force which overwhelmed gravity. If we think of gravity as the positive force, the inflaton field would be the negative force. The effect was that the “negative pressure” of the inflaton field caused a “gigantic gravitational repulsion that drove every region of space to rush away from every other.”[10]

However, physicists can’t agree on what caused the inflaton field to be activated. According to Michio Kaku, “there are over fifty proposals explaining what turned on inflation and what eventually terminated it.”[11]

Greene acknowledges science’s “ignorance of why there is an inflaton field, why its potential energy bowl has the right shape for inflation to have occurred, why there are space and time within which the whole discussion can take place, and … why there is something rather than nothing.[12]

With an acknowledgement like that, it is tempting to fill the gaps with God. But that is the danger in the “intelligent design” argument. If we simply ascribe to God those things Greene acknowledges science doesn’t yet understand, the argument runs the risk of science coming up with an explanation. Then the whole “intelligent design” argument will lie in tatters because it would appear as though science had disproved the existence God. But it would only appear that way because the argument had been based on the wrong evidence. That is a common occurrence in the law when a case is built on the wrong evidence which is then used to disprove the case it was intended to prove.

Instead, we need to consider the fundamental principles that determine the behavior of the inflaton field itself.

Fields are subject to the same quantum mechanical principles as particles. As Greene says, “the uncertainty principle also applies to fields.”[13] And Greene notes that the “quantum processes will inject random jumps into a Higgs Field’s value …[14]

So both particles and fields in this pre-existing universe were governed by quantum principles, and as we saw in the previous article, there are two distinct aspects to quantum behavior.

The first relates to probabilities. Particles and fields are free to choose from an infinite number of probabilities. As Kaku says, this establishes “free will.”[15] Greene explains this correlation between the quantum behavior of particles and fields like this: “the particle is free to take on this or that velocity …or … a mixture of many different velocities … For fields, the situation is similar.[16]

So not only is freedom the fundamental principle of the laws that govern the universe, it was also the fundamental principle of the quantum laws that governed what Genesis describes as “the heaven and the earth”, and science calls a “primordial chaos.”

But we should also recall that physicists realize that the probabilities could be manipulated or controlled. However, in order to adopt a specific position, they still require the second aspect of quantum law – an observation. Only then will they adopt a fixed position. And that is what would be required in order for the “fundamental laws of quantum physics [to] morph into the classical laws[17] that created the universe we have today; a universe capable of creating and sustaining life.

A pre-requisite for this transformation was that the particles and inflaton field had to be compelled by something outside the law, but able to control the law, to adopt the specific positions and properties that created the necessary structures to build the universe. The law itself could not do that. And Genesis tells us that this required “the spirit of God.”

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

According to Genesis, the “the spirit of God” was the mechanism through which free particles and fields were compelled to adopt the positions and properties that would initiate the inflationary burst and Big Bang.

Genesis symbolizes this with the words “And God said, let there be light.” What had been “the heaven and the earth” was being commanded to transform into something entirely different – “light.” And when the command was given, “there was light”.

But how does that fit with the science? Well, as it happens, it fits exactly.

According to science, the Big Bang spewed billions upon billions of particles and anti-particles into the universe. However, when particles collide with anti-particles, they destroy each other creating a photon of light. So at the very earliest moments after the Big Bang the universe would have been filled with light, just as Genesis says.

But here is the problem. If there were an equal number of particles and anti-particles they would all have destroyed each other, leaving a universe full of light with no particles to create stars, planets and people. As the British physicists Brain Cox and Jeff Forshaw say in their book Why does E = mc2?, “The question ‘why is the universe not just filled with light and nothing else?’ is still open-ended, …[18]

That is where the next verse of Genesis is relevant.

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

As we know, because they constitute our bodies and everything we see in the universe, some particles did survive. There must have been a slight excess of particles over anti-particles. But not just any amount of particles, but the precise amount to ensure that the universe as we know it survived.

If there had been too many particles, gravity would have condensed them quickly, and the universe would have folded in on itself. If there had been too few particles, gravity would not have been strong enough to bring them together to create stars and planets, and ultimately life.

But not only were the number of particles exactly right, the number was so precise that they perfectly balanced the gravity pulling them together with the anti-gravity force that pushes the universe to expand.

Scientist simply do not know why this happened. Some have suggested that the cooling of the universe after the Big Bang created the excess, while others argue that in the case of some particles the anti-particle decomposes at a faster rate than the particle.

Whatever the cause, what is certain is that the timing of the initial expansion was perfect to ensure that there would be an excess of particles that would form together to create the universe.

But there is an even more important element to this. That fine balance between light and particles, and the various forces at work, had to be maintained so that the universe didn’t simply descend into chaos again. Martin Rees cites Sakharov to emphasize the point: “As Sakharov points out, our very existence depends on an irreversible effect that established an excess of matter over antimatter … Had that not occurred, all the matter would have been annihilated with an equal amount of antimatter, leaving a universe containing no atoms at all.”[19]

Although science has no idea why this should be, Genesis provides an explanation; and again it relates to the other fundamental principle of quantum physics – an observation.

In order to create the “irreversible effect” that would  ensure that there was enough matter in the universe, Genesis tells us that at a crucial moment after the creation of light, God made an observation, thus making the amount of matter and balance of forces in the universe permanent. But we don’t have to read anything into the description to find reference to an observation, it is in plain language – “And God saw the light.”

Furthermore, when God is said to have observed the light, He saw “that it was good.” That introduces a moral element into creation, and more importantly, into the properties of the fundamental principles of physics. And that moral element can only relate to the fact that order had been created from chaos, and the building blocks for life had been established.

The fact that Genesis reveals that this observation by God was made at precisely the moment required to leave enough matter from which to build the universe comes in the next words: “and God divided the light from the darkness.”

The reference to “darkness” as a contrast to “light” perfectly portrays the fact that not all the material that we started with, “the heaven and the earth,” had been converted to “light”. There was something left over that could be separated from the “light” – “darkness.” This description can only refer to those particles that had not been converted to photons by colliding with anti-particles. These excess particles were not particles of “light.

We can only read these verses in Genesis in utter amazement. To so precisely describe, thousands of years ago, what science is only now discovering, is remarkable to say the least. How that could be will be the subject of a subsequent article on insight.

And so we come to the final verse of “the first day.”

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

This is an important verse which is dealt with in detail in the book. But for this article, we will only briefly mention its significance.

It has two aspects.

The first relates to the naming of what God is said to have created – “Day” and “Night”. And this naming is emphasized with the use of capital letters.

Such naming only occurs three times in Genesis – this verse, and verses 8 and 10 in days two and three respectively. And it occurs at precisely those moments when certain fundamental quantum laws are transformed into the Classical, Newtonian laws which give us the predictable, deterministic universe that is required to facilitate the emergence of life.

Use of the words “Day” and “Night” signifies that certain of the “fundamental laws of quantum physics [had] morphed into the classical laws”. However, at this stage, only one aspect of the freedom of particles and fields had been limited by being subjected to law. And that was a law that created the basic material and forces in the right quantities that were required to start building the universe. But more importantly, those materials and forces were not only in precisely the right quantities, they were also perfectly balanced, and had been made permanent with an observation. That created the “irreversible effect that established an excess of matter over antimatter”.

It’s like building a house. The necessary materials in the right quantities are calculated from a plan and delivered to the construction site. Only then can the building begin.

But even here, right at the beginning, we find an important coincidence between the creation of the universe, and what would much later become the human quest for a principle of government. The fundamental principle that we seek to establish in government is freedom under the law. And Genesis tells us that this is where it came from; it is a fundamental principle that informs the workings of the whole universe.

Otherwise free particles and fields, while remaining inherently free, operate in accordance with law. The particles and fields cooperate together under the law in order to bring about the intended will of the Lawmaker.

The second aspect of this verse is “And the evening and the morning were the first day.”

A whole chapter is devoted to this verse in the book, but for now we need only note that this verse clearly relates to what we call time. And by linking time to “Day” and “Night”, this verse reinforces the message that the first requirement for an ordered and predictable basis for the universe had been established. The amount of material and forces in the universe was certain and irreversible. We could be as certain of that as we are certain that ‘night follows day’.

Finally, by putting “the evening” before “the morning”, Genesis also tells us how time is calculated. It is done by reference to motion relative to a fixed event. In the case of the universe, that event is the Big Bang. And that is how time in space, a spacetime interval, is calculated. Time here on Earth is likewise determined by reference to a fixed point – the Sun. It is the motions of the Earth in relation to the Sun, its rotation and orbit, that are the basis for calculating Earth-time.

Conclusion

So at the end of “the first day” we have all the material and forces in exactly the right quantities and balance to start building the universe, and ultimately life. We also have time. But there was more to be done before the universe would be ready for life. There were still aspects of the quantum principle of freedom that had to be subjected to law.

We will address those in the next article when we examine Day Two.

——————————

This series of articles is based on the book A ‘Final Theory’ of God by Joseph BH McMillan. These articles are intended as a guide to reading the more detailed evidence and arguments set out in the book.

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan All Rights Reserved

[1] Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory (paperback), page 244.

[2] Kaku, Parallel Worlds, (paperback)page 158.

[3] Rees, Just Six Numbers (paperback), page 126 – capitals my emphasis.

[4] Greene, The Fabric of the Cosmos (paperback), page 320.

[5] Green pages 322 and 323 respectively.

[6] Greene, page 272.

[7] Greene, page 249 – emphasis is his.

[8] Rees, page 145.

[9] Rees, page 145.

[10] Greene, page 284.

[11] Kaku, page 14.

[12] Greene, page 286.

[13] Greene, page 306

[14] Greene, page 283.

[15] Kaku, page 149.

[16] Greene, page 306.

[17] Greene, page 199.

[18] Cox and Forshaw, Why does E=mc2? (paperback), page 200.

[19] Rees, page 154 – my emphasis on irreversible.