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”.
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.
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:
- In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
- 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.
- And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
- And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
- 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.”
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.” 
Brian Greene says that it was “a highly disordered state of primeval chaos.” He goes on to describe it as “… a wild and energetic realm of primordial chaos; [with] extremes of heat and colossal density,” in which “gravity was by far the dominant force.”
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.”
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.” Rees thus cautions scientists (and Stephen Hawking comes to mind) against claiming that the “universe can arise ‘from nothing’”.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.” And Greene notes that the “quantum processes will inject random jumps into a Higgs Field’s value …”
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.” 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.”
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” 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, …”
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.”
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.
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
 Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory (paperback), page 244.
 Kaku, Parallel Worlds, (paperback)page 158.
 Rees, Just Six Numbers (paperback), page 126 – capitals my emphasis.
 Greene, The Fabric of the Cosmos (paperback), page 320.
 Green pages 322 and 323 respectively.
 Greene, page 272.
 Greene, page 249 – emphasis is his.
 Rees, page 145.
 Rees, page 145.
 Greene, page 284.
 Kaku, page 14.
 Greene, page 286.
 Greene, page 306
 Greene, page 283.
 Kaku, page 149.
 Greene, page 306.
 Greene, page 199.
 Cox and Forshaw, Why does E=mc2? (paperback), page 200.
 Rees, page 154 – my emphasis on irreversible.