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Small Revision to my latest book A ‘Final Theory’ of God

I am currently working on an Updated Edition of my last book, A ‘Final Theory’ of God. The update will primarily focus on scientific developments/discoveries since the book was published in 2014, and especially developments in neuroscience. However, these scientific developments require some consequential revisions to other arguments in the book. For the benefit of those who have already read the book, I would like to share one small revision I shall be making.

It relates to the interaction between the neurological networks of instinct, reason and morality, and specifically how the activation of the neurological moral network (morality module) in the first of the human species is portrayed in the Biblical story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden.

The revision relates to Chapter 7 of the book (The Manifestation of the Laws of Physics as the Human Brain – The Meaning of the Garden of Eden), at pages 131 – 133. For those who have not read the book, abridged articles on Genesis chapters 2 and 3 can be found here  http://wp.me/p5izWu-7r and here http://wp.me/p5izWu-7C.

I should stress, however, that these and other revisions do not detract from the overall arguments in the book; they reinforce and clarify those arguments.

Brief Background Summary

Chapter 7 of the book is an analysis of the culmination of the unfolding of the fundamental laws of physics as a human organism with a capacity for moral judgement.

Preceding chapters explain how the brain developed the distinct neurological faculties (neurological networks) of instincts and reason. Initially the capacity to reason was limited to servicing those instincts. The primary human instincts are survival, security and reproduction, which are instincts we share with animals. Instincts are activated by the prospect of pleasure or the fear of pain. However, the human capacity to reason (think, scheme, evaluate, plan etc) at a higher level than animals causes humans to devise ways to indulge (or over-indulge) the pleasure to be had by servicing their primitive instincts and react (or over-react) to the fear of pain. To counter this propensity to over-indulge or over-react to the prospect of pleasure or fear of pain, the human brain is endowed with what neuroscience now recognises as a neurological moral network, or morality module (McMillan, 2017). The neurological moral network was somehow activated at some point during the development of the human brain.

Chapter 7 of the book explains that the description of the Garden of Eden and the story of Adam and Eve are metaphors for the formation and functioning of the human brain, and the process by which the neurological moral network was activated in the first of the human species to experience it. The book describes the metaphor of the Garden of Eden as follows.

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 and the human compulsion to consciously acquire that ‘knowledge’; and “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” refers to the neurological moral network (page 120).

But the “tree of life” is more problematic. If the “Garden of Eden” refers to the human brain, and the “trees” to the various faculties (neurological networks) that constitute the brain, then the “tree of life” should correspond to a neurological network. And it should be noted that “the man” was not prohibited from eating of the “tree of life” (Genesis 2:16 & 17).

The Revision

The revision that I will be making to the book resolves that problem, and it is found in a proper understanding of the symbolism of “the serpent” (Genesis 3:1-5). In the book, I explain these verses as follows:

The story of Eve’s (the woman’s) temptation, therefore, clearly illustrates the interaction between morality, instinct and reason. The serpent represents the instinct for reproduction. The symbolism of the serpent ‘speaking’ relates to the allure of pleasure to be had by indulging the instinct for reproduction. And Eve ‘seeing’ “that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, …” symbolises the human ability to ‘reason’ to justify taking actions that we ‘know’ are wrong. The prohibition against eating of the tree represents morality – the neurological moral network within the brain that ‘speaks’ to us of the morality of certain actions, and acts as a restraint to actions which offend against it, if we listen to it (pages 131 – 132).

In adopting that interpretation of these verses (ie Genesis 3:1 – 7) I was swayed, to an extent, by the interpretation of Philo Judaeus (also called Philo of Alexandria, the great Jewish philosopher who lived at about the same time as Jesus) who described the symbolism of “the serpent” like this:

Anyone who follows a reasonable train of conjecture, will say with great propriety, that the … serpent is the symbol of pleasure.  … The serpent is said to have uttered a human voice, because pleasure employs innumerable champions and defenders who take care to advocate its interests, and who dare to assert that the power over everything, both small and great, does of right belong to it without any exception whatever (Philo, 2015, p. p. LVI (157) and (160) respectively).

However, after considerable reflection, and specifically in attempting to explain the “tree of life” in the context of the Garden of Eden being a metaphor for the human brain, it became increasingly obvious that “the serpent” represents the human capacity to reason (think, reflect, scheme, devise, evaluate, plan, investigate etc). I will be setting out the argument for that conclusion in full in the Updated Edition of the book but set out here the argument in outline.

The Outline Argument

The serpent” symbolises reason advocating for the pleasure that could be had by succumbing to the demands of some or other primitive instinct (and the phallic imagery of “the serpent” suggests the instinct for reproduction) to indulge in some physical act or acts which the neurological moral network cautions is ‘wrong’. The reply to “the serpent” by “the woman” that God had prohibited them from eating of the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” (the “fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden”) is the response from the neurological moral network cautioning that the behaviour contemplated is wrong. The response from “the serpent” symbolises reason then challenging that warning from the neurological moral network against indulging in the contemplated behaviour by proclaiming that “Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4 & 5).

That final response from “the serpent” (reason) induces “the woman” to find ‘justification’ for ignoring the ‘voice’ of the neurological moral network by citing the perceived ‘benefits’ that she thinks (reasons) may be derived by indulging her primitive instincts:

The woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was PLEASANT to the eyes, and a tree to be DESIRED to make one wise, and took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave to her husband with her: and he did eat (Genesis 3:6).

The words “pleasant” and “desired” pointedly refer to pleasure; the pleasure reason perceives is to be had by indulging in some or other type of physical behaviour (and the imagery of “the serpent” suggests sexual behaviour of some kind) that the neurological moral network cautions is wrong.

That “the woman” perceived the tree to be “good for food” refers to the primitive human instinct to find the means to satisfy the demands of our primary primitive instincts of survival, security and reproduction. The word “food” refers to the desire to provide ‘sustenance’ for primitive instincts, and “good” refers to those things which can most effectively provide such ‘sustenance’. But in this case, ‘sustenance’ was not an issue because there was an abundance of other fruit in the Garden that they were free to ‘eat’. The reference to “the woman” justifying ‘eating’ the fruit on the basis of it being “good for food” thus symbolises reason invoking an otherwise ‘natural’ human action (simply responding to our instincts) to justify an action that the neurological moral network was strongly warning was wrong. It wasn’t for basic ‘sustenance’ that she was justifying eating of the fruit, but over-indulgence of some primitive instinct because of the perceived additional pleasure it may generate.

Finally, the words “to make one wise” refer to the human instinct to acquire ‘knowledge’ of the world and how it functions as a means to better cater to the demands of our primitive instincts. However, in this case, “the woman” applies reason to justify indulging an action that offends against the neurological moral network on the pretext that it would provide additional ‘knowledge’ (“make one wise”) even although it had nothing to do with servicing the basic needs for survival, security or reproduction, but only for the perceived pleasure it may generate.

Once that moral boundary had been crossed, the descendants of these human beings would pursue pleasure for the sake of pleasure itself, not just to satisfy a particular instinctive need such as hunger or reproduction. Philo put the distinction well:

For other animals pursue pleasure only in taste and in the acts of generation; but man aims at it by means of his other senses also, devoting himself to whatever sights or sounds can impart pleasure to his eyes or ears (Philo, 2015, p. p. LVIII (163)) – and I would add, not just his “eyes and ears”.

Why acquiring knowledge of good and evil was wrong

The reason it was wrong to ‘acquire’ the “knowledge of good and evil” is that an act had to be taken which offended against the neurological moral network for it to be consciously activated. That opened the way for human beings, who up until then had simply conformed to the subconscious constraints of the neurological moral network, to ‘rationalise’ setting aside any sense of guilt or conscience caused by indulging the demands of their primitive instincts and seek to maximise pleasure and eliminate at any cost any perceived threat that may cause ‘pain’. From then on, human beings would no longer be satisfied with simply sustaining their lives in harmony with nature. They began to desire in excess. They proclaimed ‘ownership’ of more land than they needed for their own survival, even if that meant depriving others of the basic necessities. They sought to conquer, plunder and destroy to allay their fears and insecurities. It meant building castles, building kingdoms, building empires. The human species had fallen into bondage of their primitive instincts. They became slaves to the pursuit of pleasure and the fear of pain. But as Philo says, “And those who have previously become the slaves of pleasure immediately receive the wages of this miserable and incurable passion” (Philo, 2015, p. p. LX (167)). A condition, says Philo, “more miserable than death” (Philo, 2015, p. p. LVIII (164)).

A further consequence arises from “the serpent’s” initial claim that eating of the Tree would make them “as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). They would not then need to pay any attention to the ‘voice’ of the neurological moral network, they could do as they please, and would be accountable to nobody. There would be no need to believe in God. They could decide for themselves what was right and wrong, and they would not feel any guilt for their actions.

Reason and The Tree of Life

Recognising that “the serpent” symbolises the human capacity to ‘reason’ leads to the supposition that the “tree of life” is a metaphor for ‘reason’ as well. But there is a difference. And that relates to the application of reason. I shall set out the argument in outline only.

The “tree of life” and the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” that were in the “midst of the garden” (Genesis 2:9 & 3:3) refer to the initial harmony between reason (“the tree of life”) and the neurological moral network (“the tree of knowledge of good and evil”). At this early stage of human development reason subconsciously complied with the restraint of the ‘voice’ of the neurological moral network when responding to the demands of primitive instinct. That is not idle speculation. It is supported by anthropological evidence, as can be seen in the earliest of the human species, whose descendants survive to this day, most notably the San people of southern Africa (and I would include also perhaps other indigenous peoples like the Aboriginal people of Australia and the Inuit). Those who have not yet been ‘civilised’ respond subconsciously to the ‘voice’ of the neurological moral network.

This state of harmony between reason and the moral demands of the neurological moral network is symbolised by the words “and they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25).

But the human capacity for reason was not and is not genetically limited to subconsciously complying with the restraint cautioned by the neurological moral network. The human capacity for reason was and is capable of contemplating and entertaining actions which would violate the neurological moral network. And human beings were and are capable of ‘rationalising’ disobedience to the restraint urged by the neurological moral network by citing the need and benefits of servicing their primitive instincts. That is symbolised in the exchanges between “the serpent” and “the woman”. The “serpent” symbolises this malevolent aspect of the human capacity to reason, but it also demonstrates that the human will is free to choose whether to serve the moral demands of the neurological moral network or the demands of primitive instinct, although it does know which choice is right.

So when the first human beings took some action that violated the neurological moral network it caused a sense of guilt; it pricked their conscience, and they sought to ‘cover up’ their indiscretion by blanking it out, so to speak – that is, they sought to suppress the sense of guilt and conscience they felt. That is symbolised by the words “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (Genesis 3:26).

But they could not escape the sense of guilt and conscience. Notwithstanding their attempts to justify their actions in terms of a natural response to the demands of their primitive instincts, the sense of guilt and conscience persisted, especially when they were no longer in a state of heightened passion that had originally provoked their disobedience to the ‘voice’ of the neurological moral network. That is symbolised in Genesis 3:8 with these words: “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the Garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the Garden.”

The “voice of the Lord God” symbolises the persistence of their guilty conscience.

The “cool of the day” symbolises reflection on their actions when they were no longer in the state of excited passion about the pleasure they anticipated by indulging in the contemplated action.

That they “hid themselves … amongst the trees of the Garden” symbolises them seeking to avoid the guilt they were feeling by justifying their action as a natural response to their primitive instincts.

Consequences of violating the neurological moral network

Of course, no matter how much they sought to suppress the sense of guilt they were unable to do so. And the consequences were dramatic, for the first of the human race to succumb to the temptation to defy the ‘voice’ of the neurological moral network, and to their descendants, right up to the present day. Once the neurological moral network had been consciously activated it could not be de-activated. From that moment on, the human capacity to reason would be in constant tension with itself in discerning and choosing between the demands of their primitive instincts and the moral prescriptions of the neurological moral network.

This consequence is symbolised in this verse: “And I will put enmity between thee [the serpent/reason] and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).

The word “enmity” refers to the state of tension or opposition that had arisen between the demands of primitive instincts and the neurological moral network on the human capacity to reason.

The “serpent” represents the capacity to reason, and “the woman” represents the human will which is compelled to choose between the conflicting demands on reason to act in accordance with primitive instinct or the neurological moral network.

That the “enmity” will continue “between thy seed and her seed” symbolises the fact that this tension (“enmity”) would afflict the human capacity to reason in all the descendants of the first human beings who consciously activated the neurological moral network.

That “enmity” shall “bruise” the head of “the serpent”, and that “the serpent” shall “bruise” the heel of “enmity”, symbolises the conflict between the competing demands on reason. On most occasions, the demands of primitive instincts will prevail in this conflict and reason shall succumb (“it shall bruise thy head”); at other times, reason will resist and make the right decision (“thou shalt bruise his heel”).

But the consequence for the human condition is that they would be ruled thereafter by the pleasures and fears aroused by their primitive instincts. They would have to strenuously and consciously strive to hear the ‘voice’ of neurological moral network above the clamour of demands from their primitive instincts. The ‘voice’ of the neurological moral network had been silenced, unless they strove assiduously to discern it. Human beings would only hear dim rumblings. They had become morally deaf, blind and mute.

That is the symbolism of Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden of Eden.[i] “Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken” (Genesis 3:23).

And the next verse is particularly apt in respect of the ability of reason to conform itself to the demands of the neurological moral network once that network had been consciously activated: “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life” (Genesis 3:24). Human beings would no longer enjoy the mental tranquillity of automatically and subconsciously living in conformity with the prescriptions of the neurological moral network. For reason to re-discover that tranquillity it would face considerable and almost insurmountable obstacles (“Cherubims and a flaming sword”) due to the overwhelming need for reason to devise ways to service the demands of primitive instinct. The “way of” naturally conforming to the moral law had been lost. That is symbolised by the words “to keep the WAY OF the tree of life”; that is, the way of reason in conformity with the neurological moral network.

Why compliance with the prescriptions of the neurological moral network is significant is dealt with under the sub-headings “Mind/Body Debate” and “Mind/Soul Debate” in the article titled “Addressing some contemporary issues between science, philosophy and religion.”

This interpretation is also important in understanding the intricate connection between the origins of religion and justice. I shall be addressing that issue in the next article.

——————————————————————-

Bibliography

McMillan, J. B., 2016. Science in Genesis Chapter 2. [Online]
Available at: http://wp.me/p5izWu-95

McMillan, J. B., 2017. Addressing some contemporary issues between science, philosophy and religion.. [Online]
Available at: http://wp.me/p5izWu-bC

Philo, 2015. On the Creation. [Online]
Available at: http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/text/philo/book1.html

 

[i] Adam had by then called “the woman Eve, because “she was the mother of all living” – Genesis 3:20

Scientific Perspectives on the Scriptures: Genesis Day Three – The Elements, and the Building Blocks of Life

Summary: The methodology employed in Genesis points unequivocally to Day Three being an account of the formation of heavier elements in the stars and supernovae, and the almost simultaneous emergence of the first primitive life forms, the organic building blocks of life.

………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Day Three of Genesis continues the methodology applied in the first two ‘days’.

The methodology sets out a series of transformations of the state of the universe from the initial matter and space described in Day One, to the final cosmic ‘product’ in Day Six – the human organism.[1]

Nahmanides (1194 – 1270 AD) explained this process of cosmic transformation as follows:

the heavens and all that is in them are one material, and the earth and all that is within it is [another] material; and the Holy One, blessed be He, created both of them from nothing – and the two of them alone were created, and everything was made from them.”[2]

Maimonides (1135 – 1204 AD), another great Jewish Scholar, adopted an explanation for the methodology applied in Genesis that mirrors what scientists today call a “Final Theory” or “Theory of Everything.”  Maimonides maintained that “The true explanation of the first verse of Genesis is as follows: ‘In [creating] a principle God created the beings above and the things below.’[3]

Steven Weinberg explained the scientific conception of a “Final Theory” by noting that the principles which govern different aspects of science “are all connected, and if followed backward they all seem to flow from a common starting point. This starting point, to which all explanations may be traced, is what I mean by a final theory.[4] And Weinberg states further that physicists study fundamental particles, like quarks and electrons, because they believe that by doing so they will “learn something about the principles that govern everything.”[5]

Nahmanides also recognized that what was created “in the beginning” constituted energy, which had the latent properties to create everything we see in the universe today: “[God] brought out a very fine element from complete nothingness; it has no substance, but it is the energy that can create, that is able to accept a form and to go from the potential to the actual.”[6]

Martin Rees likewise notes that ‘empty space’, “Even if shrunk to a ‘point’, … is LATENT with particles and forces.”[7]

From this “beginning”, Genesis applies a methodology of transformation to explain the universe and life as we know it today.

Summary of Methodology in Day One

  • The heaven and the earth” refer to the original, and only, material that was created which would be used to create the universe and life; “earth” symbolizes matter, and “heaven” symbolizes space (where the matter was).
  • Matter (the earth) is described as being “without form, and void”; and space (the heaven) is described with the words “darkness was upon the face of the deep.” In scientific terms, Martin Rees describes this initial state as “an ultra-dense primal medium that was almost structureless.”[8]
  • Everything else in the universe, including life, would be created from this original matter and space through a series of transformations. That is why they are then collectively re-described as “the waters,” symbolizing their latent life-creating properties.
  • The waters” are then transformed into “light”, which is “divided” from “the darkness.” The “light” and the “darkness” symbolize the matter and energy created by the transformation of the original (exotic) matter following the initial inflationary expansion and Big Bang. “Light” was created when matter (particles) and anti-matter (anti-particles) collided to create photons of light. But since there was a slight excess of matter over anti-matter, some matter remained; Genesis calls this excess matter “the darkness”, which comprised both visible and dark matter. Visible matter, at this early stage of the universe, comprised mainly hydrogen and helium, with traces of deuterium and lithium – the lighter elements.
  • The words “And God saw the light, that it was good” refer to what physicists now know to be a crucial element in quantum physics – an An observation was crucial at this early stage in the universe, because “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.”[9] Although Maimonides would not have understood quantum physics, he did understand the significance of these words: “When the creation of any part of the Universe is described that is permanent, regular, and in a settled order, the phrase “that it is good” is used.”[10] And for that to happen, an observation was necessary, hence the words “And God saw …”
  • To emphasize that the initial transformation of matter had been made “permanent, regular, and in a settled order”, God is said to name the transformed matter, always with a capital letter: “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.Day refers to the photons of light, and Night refers to the dark and visible matter. At this stage, it means that a number of crucial cosmic numbers had been “finely tuned” (as Rees describes it) to ensure that the next step in the process can proceed on a fixed and firm foundation. In particular, the number Ω (omega), which measures the amount of matter in the universe. If the amount of matter had been more, the universe would have collapsed in on itself; if less, it could never have formed into stars and planets. A significant part of the quantum world had been transformed into the Classical (Newtonian) world.
  • The process of inflationary expansion had also forced the initial matter into motion, thus starting the cosmic clock. Time had begun, signified by the words “And the evening and the morning were the first day.” Maimonides suspected that time related to motion. He said, “God created the Universe from nothing; that time did not exist previously, but was created: for it depends on the motion of the sphere, and the sphere has been created.”[11] Of course, at this stage, time didn’t depend on the motion of a sphere; it was a consequence of the motion of matter expanding through space as a result of the initial inflationary burst and Big Bang. Cosmic time is measured from that moment.

Summary of Methodology in Day Two

  • Day Two begins by again re-describing “light and darkness” collectively as “the waters,” signifying their life-creating properties, even though, at this stage, they comprised only photons of light, and visible and dark matter. And visible matter still only comprised hydrogen, helium and traces of deuterium and lithium, the lighter elements.
  • God is then said to insert a “firmament” into the “midst of the waters, to divide the waters from the waters.” Firmament means, literally, expansion. An expansion was thus to “divide the waters from the waters”.
  • However, some of “the waters” were clearly in different places, because when the expansion divided “the waters” it divided “the waters which were UNDER the firmament (expansion) from the waters which were ABOVE the firmament (expansion).” This refers to the density differences in the matter and energy that had been produced by the initial inflationary burst and Big Bang. Greene notes that these density differences which “ultimately resulted in the formation of stars and galaxies came from quantum mechanics.”[12]
  • The interaction of gravity attracting particles in the denser regions of space, and Expansion pushing the denser regions of space apart, caused matter to ‘cluster’ into enormous protogalaxies, leaving large areas of space between them.
  • Rees explains that “slightly overdense regions, expanding slower than average, were destined to become galaxies and clusters; others, slightly underdense, were destined to become voids.”
  • The density differences in different parts of the expanding universe were precisely calibrated in relation to the forces of gravity and expansion to ensure the formation of galaxies. Rees notes that “these complexities are the outcome of a chain of events that cosmologists can trace back to an ultra-dense primal medium that was almost structureless.”[13]
  • What was left between the newly forming protogalaxies was called “Heaven”, or what Rees calls “voids,[14] commonly described as the sky, or space.
  • Therefore, at the close of Day Two, Rees’ six numbers had all been finely tuned. In particular, the cosmic numbers Ω (omega – the measure of the amount of matter in the universe), λ (lambda – the expansion force), and Ǫ (the measure of density variations in the expanding universe in relation to gravity and expansion), had been ‘imprinted’ into the very fabric of the expanding universe. As Rees notes, “the outcome (of the universe) depends sensitively on these three key numbers, imprinted (we are not sure how) in the very early universe.”[15]
  • However, “the waters” had not finished their work. But they had, by the close of Day Two, perfectly configured the universe to begin the task of creating the heavier elements and the building blocks of life. That is done in Day Three.

Day Three

There are two distinct but interrelated parts to Day Three, separated by an observation – by the words “And God saw …”

The first part starts with this.

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. Genesis 1:9

There appears to be a curious omission right at the start of Day Three. When God is said to command that “the waters” be “gathered together unto one place,” it is only “the waters that are under the heaven” that are gathered together. So what happened to the rest of “the waters,” those that wereabove the firmament” (verse 7)?

The answer is found in what science calls rotational symmetry. Brian Green explains it like this: “every spatial direction is on equal footing with every other.” Therefore, looking up from anywhere in space “there is nothing that distinguishes one particular direction in the black void from any other.”[16]

Once the expanding matter had formed into clusters (protogalaxies), leaving vast “voids” between them (what Genesis calls “Heaven”), all the clusters are under the voids in the sense that they are surrounded by ‘empty’ space. In other words, “the waters” that were previously described as being “under” or “above” the expansion, all ended up surrounded by empty space once expansion and gravity had done their work on the density differences of matter. Looking up at the heavens from any cluster in the early universe would have felt like being under the void of space, just as it does today when we look up at the sky from planet Earth.

Therefore, none of what had previously constituted “the waters” had changed; it had simply formed into clusters scattered across the expanding universe, separated by voids of space. All “the waters” still constituted the lighter elements of hydrogen, helium and traces of deuterium and lithium.

It is from these “waters” that “dry land” is to appear. Part of “the waters” is to undergo a transformation; a transformation from being “water” into being “dry land;” and that is to be brought about by “the waters” being “gathered together unto one place.”

Unfortunately, neither Nahmanides nor Maimonides can help us understand what these verses mean. That is because they both assumed that all the elements were created on Day One. They adopted the consensus of the time that the elements comprised air, earth, fire and water.[17] As a result, they assumed that reference to “the waters” in Day Three must have meant water in the sense of liquid water.

However, Maimonides did recognize that the methodology of Genesis used “the waters” symbolically to denote a series of transformations of the material in Day One into different ‘substances’. He noted, “It is therefore clear that there has been one common element called water, which has been afterwards distinguished by three different forms; one part forms the seas, another the firmament, and a third part is over the firmament, and all this is separate from the earth. The Scriptural text follows here a peculiar method in order to indicate some extraordinary mysteries.”[18]

The arguments put forward in this series of articles adopts the “method” referred to by Maimonides of the original elements undergoing a series of transformations resulting in the universe and life as we know it. The only difference is that, with modern atomic theory, science has a better understanding of what elements were created by the Big Bang, and how subsequent elements were created.

This analysis evaluates Day Three in light of these scientific discoveries. However, in doing so, it still conforms to Maimonides’ ‘philosophy’ that Genesis should be construed in accordance with ‘proven’ science, and when ‘proven’ science differs from any current interpretation of Genesis, that interpretation must to be revisited and, if necessary, revised. He says, “those passages in the Bible, which in their literal sense contain statements that can be refuted by [scientific] proof, must and can be interpreted otherwise.”[19]

By applying that approach in the context of the methodology adopted in Genesis, Day Three exactly reflects the modern scientific understanding of the cosmic processes that created the heavier elements, and the building blocks of life.

Atomic theory was first proposed by John Dalton in the 1800’s and subsequently developed by others such as Ernest Rutherford and Niels Bohrs.

In the 1940s, the Russian physicist (turned cosmologists), George Gamow, discovered ‘nucleosynthesis’, which explained how nuclear reactions created the lighter elements like hydrogen and helium. Gamow believed that all the elements were created by the intense heat of the Big Bang. However, the calculations didn’t add up. His calculations worked for the lighter elements of hydrogen, helium, deuterium etc, but not for heavier elements. The Big Bang didn’t produce sufficient heat.

The English astronomer Fred Hoyle resolved the problem when he discovered “how the nuclear reactions inside the core of a star, not the big bang, could add more and more protons and neutrons to the nuclei of hydrogen and helium, until they could create all the heavier elements, at least up to iron.”[20] (see analysis of Hoyle’s discovery in Day Two) And for even heavier elements beyond iron, “one needs an even larger oven – the explosion of massive stars, or supernovae.[21]

Day Two concluded after the lighter elements of hydrogen, helium, lithium and deuterium had formed the “first protogalaxies”, but before the formation of stars and supernovae.

Therefore, if the methodology employed in Genesis is adhered to, the first part of Day Three can only be referring to the consequence of the “protogalaxies” forming the heavier stars and supernovae.

That is done, according to Rees, because “the first gaseous condensations to form … are … a million times heavier than stars. … [And] if [the gaseous condensations are] spinning, the gas settles into a disk, and condenses into stars, thereby initiating the recycling process that synthesizes and disperses all the elements of the periodic table.[22]

The symbolism of Day Three exactly reflects that process.

  • The “waters under the heaven” symbolize the “first gaseous condensations” that had formed across the universe as a result of gravity and expansion acting on the density variations in the expanding universe. At this stage, “the waters” consist only of the lighter elements of hydrogen, helium, deuterium and lithium.
  • All “the waters” were “under the heaven” in the sense that all the protogalaxies were surrounded by ‘empty’ space, or what Rees calls “voids.”
  • The “waters” being “gathered together unto one place” refer to the “gaseous condensations” forming “into disks, and condensing into stars.
  • And let the dry land appear” symbolizes the transformation of a portion of the lighter elements into the heavier elements due to the nuclear reactions (fusion) caused by the immense heat of the stars, and subsequent supernovae. The “dry land” symbolizes the heavier elements. It is clear from the text that the “dry land” is not something that is created in addition to, or apart from, “the waters;” it is to “appearfromthe waters” that had been “gathered together unto one place.”

The first part of Day Three is an account of the “gaseous condensations” that had formed in Day Two being condensed into stars and supernovae “that synthesize and disperse all the elements of the periodic table.” 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.”[23]

The methodology employed in Genesis doesn’t permit any other reasonable interpretation of the first part of Day Three.

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters he called Seas.” Genesis 1:10

This is the last time in the creation story that the naming of what had been created takes place. The names given here are “Earth” and “Seas” – and, as usual, this naming is with capital letters.

As already noted, this signifies another stage in the transformation of the state of the universe that Genesis started with – “the heaven and the earth.” And there is good reason that this is the last occasion that the naming takes place.

This verse tells us that not all the lighter elements were converted into heavier elements; most remained, and they were called “Seas.” The “the waters” do not disappear. Only part of “the waters” are converted into the heavier elements, symbolized by the words “dry land”, which are then called “Earth”; and the remaining lighter elements, constituting the rest of “the waters”, are called “Seas.”

Day Three clearly refers to a generic situation across the universe, in which many areas were experiencing the same thing, even if at different times, and the process was repeating itself forging all the natural elements. The elements were being created across the universe, not just in our galaxy, or even our solar system. In fact, according to Genesis, our solar system only starts taking shape in Day Four. However, its origins are in Day Three. And just as the original “heaven and earth” clearly did not refer to the sky and planet Earth, likewise it is clear that neither do “Seas” and “Earth” refer to planet Earth and its oceans.

The naming here highlights the fact that all the necessary cosmic ‘structures’ and ‘ingredients’ had formed into the required configurations to begin the process of creating the intended cosmic product – life. The quantum world had been transformed into the Classical (Newtonian) world.

It was therefore time to make it “permanent, regular, and in a settled order.

And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:10

With everything in place, it was time to make these transformations “irreversible”, which is why we only now find the reference to “And God saw that it was good.” The observation (measurement) establishes a “fully settled” future from the initial intentions expressed in Day Two, and the first part of Day Three, by the words “And God said …

The observation establishes an “irreversible effect” in respect of everything that had been created up to that time, and would be created in the future by the same processes. And that “irreversible effect” establishes what we recognize today as Classical physics. It explains “how the fundamental laws of quantum physics morph[ed] into the classic laws,[24] thus enabling us to predict with such certainty how inanimate objects behave.

It provides a stable and predictable macro-world of planets and stars which operate according to laws – laws that are symmetric across the universe.[25]

The universe becomes a cosmic factory; the stars and planets become cosmic machines; the elements are the cosmic ingredients; and the laws of physics and chemistry provide the cosmic instructions on how everything operates.

The initial ingredients from which the universe was to be constructed have now been transformed, in accordance with the laws of quantum mechanics, into planets, stars and elements which operate under an apparently different set of laws to those that created them. As Weinberg says, in “modern quantum mechanics as well as in Newtonian mechanics there is a clear separation between the conditions that tell us the initial state of a system (whether the system is the whole universe, or just a part of it), and the laws that govern its subsequent evolution.[26] However, this does not mean that the laws of quantum mechanics have disappeared, or are no longer relevant. Weinberg notes that “even in quantum mechanics there is still a sense in which the behavior of any physical system is completely determined by its initial conditions and the laws of nature.[27]

Thus, the process of creating the intended cosmic product was ready to begin. And there is good reason that this initial process was included in the same ‘day’ that the heavier elements were created.

 “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.

And the earth brought forth grass, and the 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.” Genesis 1: 11 – 12

The first thing to note in these verses is that nothing is named – there is no mention of the words “And God called …” We have already seen why that should be – all the structures and materials necessary to create life were in the required forms and quantities, and the laws that determine how they behave (their fundamental chemical and physical properties) had been imprinted into the universe.

Let the earth bring forth …”

God is not said to create what is to be made Himself; instead, He ‘delegates’, so to speak, “the earth” to produce the grass etc. But what exactly constitutes “the earth”?

The methodology employed in Genesis re-describes the state of the universe immediately preceding the next stage of transformation with a word that encompasses the totality of the material at that time, but which also conveys a sense of the intended future purpose of the transformation that is about to take place.

Up until this stage, “the waters” symbolized the various states of transformation to signify the latent life-creating properties of the material that was being processed. But now the process of making the intended product itself is to begin – life. And it is for all the material that existed at that time, with its newly acquired properties, to initiate the process.

The meticulous methodology can only mean that the words “Let the earth bring forth” refer to the whole state of the universe as it existed at that time. That is, the stars and supernovae which were producing the heavier elements and dispersing them throughout space, symbolized by “the earth,” would also now initiate the process to creating life.

But why call it “the earth” rather than “the waters”?

First, because “the earth”, in the sense of planet Earth, would be composed of all the elements that were being forged in the stars and supernovae, and would thus have both liquid water and dry land. The word “earth” more effectively conveys the message that what was to “bring forth” life included what had previously been symbolized by both the “Seas” (the lighter elements) and the “Earth” (the heavier elements). The building blocks of life would require a perfectly balanced mixture of elements to transform into the intended final ‘products’ once it encountered a conducive environment; and that environment would be planet Earth, and other such ‘goldilocks’ planets that may form throughout the universe.

Secondly, the word “earth” relates not just to the state of the universe that was to initiate the process of creating life; it also reveals what kind of environment the precursors for life will encounter in the future, thus enabling it to configure accordingly. That is made clear by the repetition of the word “earth.” The “earth” is to “bring forth” grass etc, “whose seed is in itself, upon the earth.” The “earth” that is to “bring forth” life refers to the state of the universe at that time (stars and supernovae); and the life it is to bring forth is destined to be “upon the earth” (planet earth), and is configured accordingly.

The description of this process conforms with the principles of quantum mechanics, and the implications of the ‘delayed-choice’ experiments explained in the article on Day One.

Brian Greene explains the significance of these experiments as follows: “it’s as if the photons adjust their behaviour in the past according to the future choice of whether the … detector is switched on; it’s as though the photons have a ‘premonition’ of the experimental situation they will encounter farther downstream, and act accordingly.[28]

These experiments into the quantum behavior of particles show that particles adjust their configuration in anticipation of the future environment they will encounter. They can even ‘know’ what that future environment will be before it exists, and prepare accordingly.

These verses in Genesis, in which the word “earth” conveys a dual meaning, perfectly reflect the quantum mechanical model. The ‘destination’ “earth” (planet earth) is the environment (situation) the precursors to life will “encounter farther downstream”; that is ‘communicated’ to the material that will configure itself into the required life, symbolized by the words “And God said …”; then the “earth” (the state of the universe at that time) configures the elements to form (“bring forth”) the chemical structures (organic precursors) that will form the intended products (grass, herb yielding seed and the tree yielding fruit).

That interpretation must be correct, because when the things that “the earth” (stars and supernovae) was to “bring forth,” which would be “upon the earth” (ie planet earth – verse 11), are in fact “brought forth” (verse 12), there is no mention of them being “upon the earth.” The reason for that is clear – the planet earth (their ultimate destination) had not yet been formed.

(I do appreciate that there are those who will charge that I am reading a great deal into Genesis to make it ‘conform’ to current science, and I must confess that I harbored similar reservations in the early stages of my investigations into the relationship between science, religion and philosophy. However, as my investigations progressed, I found it increasingly difficult to sustain such misgivings in the face of the evidence. The closer the methodology of Genesis is followed, the more it converges with science. The big question for me was how anyone many millennia ago could possibly have known, in such detail, how the universe and life came about. That enquiry itself revealed remarkable neuroscientific phenomena. These issues will be addressed in a subsequent article relating to the authorship of Genesis, although they are touched upon in this article concerning insight.)

What was brought forth?

The next thing to consider is what exactly is meant by “grass, the herb-yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself”?

It would be an uncharacteristic departure from the meticulous methodology applied by Genesis if it suddenly jumped from stars and supernovae creating elements, to grass and plants as we see them outside our windows today. But if these references to grass, plants and trees are meant to be symbolic, like “the heaven and the earth” and “the waters”, then what are they supposed to symbolize?

To understand the meaning of these words we need to go to Genesis Chapter 2, which begins with a summary of what had taken place throughout the six days of creation. It then says this:

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,

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.Genesis 2: 4 – 5

These verses are clear – at the end of the six days of creation, as recorded in Chapter 1, Genesis tells us in Chapter 2 that nothing that was said to have been created in Chapter 1, in respect of living things, yet existed; no plants, no herbs, and no human beings, at least not in a form we would recognize as plants, herbs, or human beings. However, peculiar as that may seem at first, it does entirely conform with the methodology applied in the first chapter of Genesis. (I am aware that the weight of theological opinion today is that there are two creation stories. However, I don’t find the arguments and evidence convincing. As mentioned above, that issue will be addressed in a subsequent article relating to the authorship of Genesis.)

It should be noted that verse 5 (of Chapter 2) does not say that nothing had been made, only that whatever had been made could not yet be identified as to what it was to become. God is said to have “made … every plant … and every herb,” but that He had made them before they had developed into what we would recognize today as plants and herbs. And the reason they were apparently still in a sort of state of limbo, according to Genesis, is that “God had not [yet] caused it to rain upon the earth.” (Genesis 2:5)

Genesis is telling us that the basic structures of elementary life had been created, but that they had not yet developed into any identifiable type of life. It needed something to enable it to ‘grow’ into what it was ‘programmed’ to be. And verse 5 tells us that what was lacking was the right environment.

The Jewish philosopher Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, who lived at about the same time as Jesus, explained these verses as follows:

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.[29]

Clearly, Philo believed that these verses qualified the account of creation set out in Genesis 1.

Day Three suggests, therefore, that only primitive DNA (or its chemical precursor) had been created, and that it was created at about the same time as the heavier elements were created in the stars and supernovae.

DNA comprises five main elements – carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, phosphorus, and nitrogen. And apart from hydrogen, all these elements were created in the heavier stars and dispersed throughout the universe in supernovae explosions. According to Rees, “the debris thrown back into the space [following a supernova] contains a mix of elements. Oxygen is the most common, followed by carbon, nitrogen, silicon and iron.[30] And, of course, that “debris” would also include phosphorus, and other elements. This means that the elements necessary to construct DNA were being produced by such processes across the universe.

Of course, even primitive DNA is much more complicated than simply a combination of its elements, although it is still essentially just that. Most scientists would probably agree that DNA is a very improbable result of throwing its constituent elements together. But they would also acknowledge that they “still don’t know how or where life got started.”[31]

However, we should remember what Kaku said about quantum mechanics, and probabilities: “The quantum theory is based on the idea that there is a probability that all possible events … might occur… [and] … physicists realize that if we could somehow control these probabilities, one could perform feats that would be indistinguishable from magic.”[32]

It is possible, therefore, that when all these elements were created they could have accidently formed into the right combinations to create the first primitive DNA, or precursors to DNA. But there is also the alternative possibility; that there was an unseen force controlling the process. That raises the question of whether “these laws [of nature] are arranged by some greater design or by accident …[33] Clearly both are ‘possibilities’. But in either case, quantum mechanics requires that there be an observation if any consequential amalgamation of particles is to become “fully settled”. And only Genesis provides such an explanation with the words “And God saw that it was good.”

There is certainly a great deal of evidence that life-forms exist throughout the universe, and were created in the stars. And the evidence is growing stronger by the year.

  • On 8th August 2011, it was reported that “NASA-funded 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.
  • On October 27, 2011, Science Daily, referring to work done by Professor Sun Kwok and Dr. Yong Zhang of the University of Hong Kong, said that “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.” 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.” 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.”
  • 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.” 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.”
  • In 2015, it was reported that “alien life” had been discovered on the Philae comet: “The experts say the most likely explanation for certain features of the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet, such as its organic-rich black crust, is the presence of living organisms beneath an icy surface.” Furthermore, “Rosetta, the European spacecraft orbiting the comet, is also said to have picked up strange ‘clusters’ of organic material that resemble viral particles.”[34]
  • In 2017, the Royal Astronomical Society reported that researchers from Queen Mary University of London and University College London had detected organic compounds “in the swirling material which is forming new stars 400 light years away in the constellation Ophiuchus, The Serpent Bearer,” suggesting that prebiotic compounds, the precursors of life, “may form in the melting pot of new stars.”[35]
  • In 2014, Quanta Magazine reported the Jeremy English, a physicist at MIT, proposed that life was a natural consequence of the second law of thermodynamics. 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.” Although English doesn’t suggest that this process takes place in the stars, if his theory is correct, stars would seem to present the ideal conditions for atoms to restructure to form organic compounds.[36]

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.

As Rees notes, life can spring up in the most unlikely places, and it does not need sunlight: “The ecosystems near hot sulphurous outwellings in the deep ocean bed tell us that not even sunlight is essential [to the creation of life].”[37]

Until even more recently, the notion that life may not have evolved on Earth met with ridicule. But the evidence is starting to point in precisely that direction. 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.

Accordingly, at the end of Day Three, the universe has been transformed into a cosmic factory, with cosmic machines; it has an abundance of cosmic ingredients together with a cosmic recipe; and we get the first glimpse of the intended cosmic ‘product’ – life.

And God saw that it was good.”

Having ranked up the cosmic machinery to begin the process of ‘engineering’ the intended cosmic products, the cosmic structures and materials necessary to maintain the process are made “permanent, regular, and in a settled order” with an observation – “And God saw that it was good.”

The first three ‘days’ of Genesis has established the kind of “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.[38]

And the evening and the morning were the third day.” Genesis 1:13

Day Three takes the universe to a time shortly before the formation of our solar system, which is about 4.6 billion years old in earth time. That means that by the end of Day Three the universe must have been about 9.2 billion years old. Deducting the time for the first two ‘days’ (about 1 billion years), Day Three would have covered a time span of about 8.2 billion years.

From Day Four, Genesis focuses in on our solar system, although the processes that take place are just as likely to have occurred (and perhaps continue to occur) in other solar systems scattered across the universe.

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

http://wp.me/P5izWu-5T

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2017 All Rights Reserved

[1] Although, as we shall see, not the human organism in its physical form, but as DNA with the necessary properties to form the physical being when it encounters the right environment.

[2] Nahmanides, Commentary on Genesis 1:1 at Para 3 . Retrieved from http://www.sefaria.org/Ramban_on_Genesis.1.1.3?lang=en

[3] Maimonides, Moses. Guide for the Perplexed, II: XXX, p 212 (and see 213). Retrieved from http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/gfp/gfp117.htm

[4] Weinberg, Steven. Dreams of a Final Theory, Vintage, New York, 1994 (paperback), page 6.

[5] Weinberg, page 61. Emphasis on principles is his.

[6] Nahmanides, 1:1 at Para 3.

[7] Rees, Martin. Just Six Numbers, Phoenix, London, 1999 (paperback), page 145.

[8] Rees, page 126.

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

[10] Maimonides, II: 30. Retrieved from http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/gfp/gfp117.htm

[11] Maimonides, II: 30.

[12] Greene, Brian. The Fabric of the Cosmos, Penguin, London, 2005 (paperback), page 305.

[13] Rees, page 126.

[14] Rees, page 119.

[15] Rees, page 127.

[16] Greene, page 223.

[17] Nahmanides 1:1:3 & Maimonides II:30.

[18] Maimonides II:30.

[19] Maimonides II:25.

[20] Kaku, Michio. Parallel Worlds, Penguin, London, 2006 (paperback), page 62.

[21] Kaku, page 63.

[22] Rees, pages 122 – 123.

[23] Kaku, page 67.

[24] Greene, page 199.

[25] See Greene, page 22, for an explanation of translational symmetry.

[26] Weinberg, page 34.

[27] Weinberg, page 37.

[28] Greene, page 189.

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

[30] Rees, page 50.

[31] Rees, page 20.

[32] Kaku, page 147.

[33] Kaku, page 242.

[34] https://uk.news.yahoo.com/alien-life-philae-comet-scientists-105432674.html#2lZ4i3r

[35] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/06/08/really-made-stardust-building-blocks-life-found-birth-new/

[36] https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-new-thermodynamics-theory-of-the-origin-of-life-20140122

[37] Rees, page 20.

[38] Weinberg, page 84.

Scientific Perspectives on the Scriptures: Genesis Day Two – Expansion

Summary: The first chapter of Genesis reveals remarkable insights into the origins of the universe. Scientific discoveries are only today beginning to reveal the extent of those insights. The key to understanding Genesis is to recognize the methodology employed by its author/s. Applying that methodology, early Jewish scholars like Nahmanides (1194 – 1270 AD) accurately described cosmic phenomena which scientists now theorize were crucial for the creation of the universe. Day Two addresses two such phenomena – expansion, and the density variations of matter and energy in the early universe. Like modern cosmologists, Genesis recognized that these two cosmic phenomena were a prerequisite for the creation of heavier elements in the stars, and ultimately life itself. The analysis in these articles may not accord with current scientific, theological or philosophical interpretations of science and the Scriptures, but to ignore or dismiss it, without further investigation or reflection, would be a disservice to our understanding of our cosmic origins and our cosmic destiny.

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Before addressing Day Two, we should recall the methodology employed by the author/s of Genesis in Day One.[1]

Day One starts with “the heaven and the earth”, which are then re-described collectively as “the waters”. The “waters” are then ‘converted’ into “light”. According to science, this transformation occurred following the Big Bang, 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 accounts for the universe we see all around us. Genesis refers to this excess matter as “the darkness”, which was separated from the “light”.[2]

The same methodology is applied in Day Two.

At the start of Day Two, “light and darkness” are collectively re-described as “the waters” again. And as in Day One, water symbolizes life-giving properties; in this case, the life-giving properties of “light and darkness”.

Accordingly, Day Two starts with this:

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Genesis 1: 6

The first thing to establish in this verse is what is meant by the word “firmament”. It is a new concept that does not feature in Day One. In my King James Version of the Bible, the reference relating to the word “firmament” says “Heb. [Hebrew] expansion”. I never paid much attention to it until I started researching the science in more detail for my latest book, A ‘Final Theory’ of God. The reference to “expansion” then began to make a lot more sense.

With that more accurate translation, verse 6 reads, “And God said, Let there be an EXPANSION in the midst of the waters …” This verse then takes on a very different meaning.

But what did ‘expansion’ mean in the original Hebrew? The Hebrew word is raqiya`, which loosely translated, means to hammer out something small into something large. But it still seemed highly improbable that it could mean expansion in the scientific sense, although it did seem to be an unusual word to use. There has been a lot of debate about whether the word refers to the scientific concept of expansion and, of course, the answer depends on the objective of those making the argument.

But there is a more reliable way to determine what it means. And that is to see what Jewish scholars of the Torah thought it meant before there was any inkling in the scientific community about the importance of expansion in the ‘creation’ of the universe and life. And for that we need to return to Nahmanides (1194 – 1270 AD), to whom we referred in Day One.

We should remind ourselves of what Nahmanides said in his commentary on Day One:

And know that the heavens and all that is in them are one material, and the earth and all that is within it is [another] material; and the Holy One, blessed be He, created both of them from nothing – and the two of them alone were created, and everything was made from them.[3]

This is what Nahmanides then says about “the firmament” in Day Two:

He [God] said about the material that existed at the beginning when He created it from nothing, that it should be stretched out like a tent in the midst of the water and separate the waters from the waters.”[4]

Since Nahmanides lived some 700 years before the scientific concept of expansion was proposed by Alan Guth and Henry Tye in the late 1970’s, he could hardly have been trying to fit his translation of Genesis to science. For all the debate about what the word means, this evidence is by far the most reliable and compelling.

What are “the waters”?

With that in mind, we can now consider what constituted “the waters”. As we have already seen, the word is used as a collective description of “light and darkness”, which includes visible matter and energy, as well as dark matter. Of visible energy, it includes energy in the form of photons; and of visible matter, it comprises fundamental particles like electrons, protons and neutrons, the latter two of which are composed of 3 quarks each. Although scientists still know little about dark matter, they do know that it has an effect on visible matter and energy.

Of the visible matter that was ‘created’ by the Big Bang, the electrons, protons and neutrons combined to form the first basic elements (atoms). Greene says this: “Our most refined theories of the origin of the universe – our most refined cosmological theories – tell us 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.[5]

Weinberg says that the Big Bang theory enables scientists to calculate that “the matter formed in the first few minutes of the universe was about three-quarters hydrogen and one-quarter helium, with only a trace of other elements, chiefly very light ones like lithium. This is the raw material out of which heavier elements were later formed in stars.[6]

Martin Rees adds that, at this stage, the universe would have been “dense and opaque, like the glowing gas inside a star.[7]

Michio Kaku explains why that should be. He says that “for years after the big bang, the temperature of the universe was so hot that anytime an atom formed, it would be ripped apart; hence there were many free electrons that could scatter light. Thus, the universe was opaque, not transparent. Any light beam moving in this super-hot universe would be absorbed after travelling a short distance, so the universe looked cloudy.”[8]

This was the state of the universe at the end of Day One, and the start of Day Two. There were “the waters” – “light and darkness” – which were called “Day” and “Night”. As we have already noted, this naming is to highlight permanent changes to the state of the universe as the original matter and energy are ‘processed’ through the first three ‘days’ (this naming only appears in the first three days).

Day Two tells us that it is into this state of the early universe, described as “the waters”, that God is said to have inserted an “expansion” to separate some parts of “the waters” from other parts of “the waters” – “to divide the waters from the waters.”

When God is said to put this plan into effect, this is what 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.” Genesis 1:7

The underlined emphasis of the words “were” are the original, suggesting a pre-existing state in which certain parts of “the waters” were 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 see it today.

Why some of “the waters” were “under”, and others “above”, the “Firmament”

According to Greene, “the initial nonuniformity that ultimately resulted in the formation of stars and galaxies came from quantum mechanics.”[9] Like particles, fields 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.”[10] This means that the “amount of energy in one location would have been a bit different to what it was in another.[11]

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 …,[12] confirming 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.”[13]

Greene attributes these variations to the inflaton (Higgs) field, to which we referred in Day One. Scientists believe that this field 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 …”[14]

This resulted in different densities of matter and energy in different regions of space, or more accurately, the expanding universe. According to Rees, “slightly overdense regions, expanding slower than average, were destined to become galaxies and clusters; others, slightly underdense, were destined to become voids.”[15]

It seems then, that describing some of ‘the waters’ as being in different places – “under” or “above” – in relation to the “expansion”, is quite accurate, according to inflationary cosmology. Without it, the universe as we know it, and life itself, would not exist.

Why no mention in Day Two of the words “And God saw …”?

We should recall that there is a subtle but crucial difference between the explanation of what takes place on Day Two, and what takes place on all the other ‘days’. After God is said to have ‘instructed’ that there be an “expansion”, He then “made the expansion”; but there is no ‘observation’; that is, the words “And God saw …” are absent from Day Two.

However, if Greene is right about how expansion works in scientific terms, then it seems that the author/s of Genesis must have had some understanding of the need and effect of expansion in creating the universe as we know it.

Nahmanides certainly recognized the omission, and identified a reason for it.

He asks the question, “Why does it not say, ‘And God saw that it was good,’ on the second [day]?” And he answers, “Since the work of the water was not finished – therefore, it is written twice on the third [day]; once for the work of the water and once for the work of the day.”[16]

The question then is, what “work” did “the waters” still have to do, and why was expansion important to that work?

As we have already seen, by the beginning of Day Two, the Big Bang had only created the lighter elements of hydrogen, helium, deuterium and lithium. The Big Bang did not generate sufficient heat to produce the heavier elements needed to create the universe and life as we know it. That is because “… 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.[17]

That required a different cosmic phenomenon.

In the 1950’s, Fred Hoyle, an English physicist at Cambridge University, had a moment of ‘insight’ which went some way to resolving how the heavier elements could have been created. As Kaku says, “in 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.[18]

However, not all stars are heavy enough to produce the heat necessary to create the heavier elements. That would require 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.[19] 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, says Rees, “a star therefore faces an energy crisis when its core is transmuted into iron … [and] …the consequences are dramatic.[20]

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.[21]

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 …[22]

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.”[23]

Calibrating Cosmic Forces for the Creation of Life

However, all this chemistry in the stars depends on a precise balance between the expansion force and the density variations of matter and energy in space, which Genesis symbolizes by referring to some of “the waters” being “under the expansion” and others being “over the expansion”.

But for this balance to be effective in creating a universe capable of spawning and sustaining life, certain cosmic forces and factors also had to be calibrated to very precise values. In his book Just Six Numbers, Martin Rees identifies six numbers whose values had to be “finely tuned” for our universe to exist in its present form. And according to Rees, these numbers were “imprinted into [the universe] at the time of the initial Big Bang.”[24]

In Nahmanides’ terminology, the “work” that “the waters” still had to do required that the quantities and properties of the matter and energy created in Day One had to be precisely calibrated for the “expansion” force to finish the “work”.

  • First, the ‘creation’ of “light and darkness” in Day One resulted in the creation of fundamental particles with the ability to bind together to form atoms (elements). For that to happen, the number ε had to be tuned to the correct value. This number, “whose value is 0.007, defines how firmly atomic nuclei bind together and how all the atoms on earth were made. … If ε were 0.006 or 0.008, we could not exist.”[25]

The number ε is important in relation to expansion, because it is the effect of expansion, in conjunction with the ‘balancing’ of the other numbers, that enables the first atoms (elements) to build more complex and heavier atoms. But again, for expansion to bring that about, “the waters” needed different densities in different locations in the expanding universe, otherwise the ‘fine tuning’ of the number ε would have been powerless to create heavier elements.

  • The ‘creation’ of “light and darkness” also resulted in the ‘fine tuning’ of another of Rees’ numbers. That number is N, which “measures the strength of the electrical forces that hold atoms together, divided by the force of gravitybetween them.”[26] However, it is only when the density discrepancies in different parts of the expanding universe are subjected to the effects of expansion that the ‘fine tuning’ of N can finish its “work” by creating heavier elements.
  • Thirdly, the transformation of initial matter and space, which were “without form, and void,” into “light and darkness,” also produced three dimensions, and the expansion (motion) of matter and energy through space as a consequence of that transformation, created the concept of time, which Genesis refers to as “the evening and the morning.” That satisfies another of Rees’ six numbers, the number D, which “… is the number of spatial dimensions in our world, D, and equals three. Life couldn’t exist if D were two or four. Time is a fourth dimension … [which] … has a built in arrow: we move only towards the future.[27] Expansion is crucial to ensure that time continues to move towards the future.

The next three of Rees’ numbers are particularly relevant to Day Two. They relate to the effect of expansion on the density variations of matter and energy. Rees explains it this way: “The starting point is an expanding universe, described by Ω, λ and Q. The outcome depends sensitively on these three key numbers, imprinted (we are not sure how) in the very early universe.”

  • The first is Ω (omega). This number relates to the density of matter in the universe (both visible matter and dark matter). If the density was too great in relation to the expansion force and gravity, the early universe would have collapsed in on itself. If the density in relation to expansion and gravity was too sparse, the universe would have expanded at such a quick rate that no galaxies and stars could have formed, and the universe would have become a dark, empty place. Given the counterforces of expansion and gravity, scientists have calculated a critical density within which the actual density should fall for the universe to have emerged in the form we see it. Rees explains that “the ratio of the actual density to the critical density is a crucial number. Cosmologists denote it by the Greek letter Ω (omega). The fate of the universe depends on whether or not Ω exceeds one.[28] But Rees also notes that Ω must have been “tuned amazingly close to unity in the early universe.”[29] This means that at the start of Day Two “the waters” contained exactly the right density of matter necessary to create the universe, and thus life. But in order to do so, a precisely calibrated rate of expansion was required to finish the “work”. As Rees says, “only a ‘finely tuned’ expansion rate can provide the arena for these processes to unfold.[30]
  • The rate of expansion is denoted by λ (lambda). It is the weakest force in the universe, and the most mysterious. But it is a crucial force. It acts as a counter-force to gravity, thus ensuring that gravity doesn’t cause all the matter and energy in the universe to collapse in on itself. However, for expansion to ensure that “the waters” could finish their “work”, it had to be “finely tuned”. But it also required one further cosmic phenomenon to be precisely calibrated – the density variations of matter and energy.
  • And that brings us to the last of Rees’ six numbers, the number Q. This number is a measure of the density differences which are the “initial irregularities [that] ‘seed’ the growth of structure[s][31] like stars and galaxies. According to Rees, “the number Q measures the amplitude of these irregularities or ‘ripples’. Why Q is about 10­-5 is still a mystery.[32] Genesis symbolizes these density variations by describing some of “the waters” as being “under the expansion” and others being “above the expansion.” These density differences in “the waters” were crucial for expansion to finish the “work”. And that “work” was to prepare the early universe for the creation of heavier elements in stars. As Rees says, “slightly overdense regions, expanding slower than average, were destined to become galaxies and clusters; others, slightly underdense, were destined to become voids.”[33]

How Expansion enables “the waters” to do its “work

Greene explains the process as follows: “as the universe expands, matter and radiation lose energy to gravity while an inflaton field gains energy from gravity.”[34] 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.[35] 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.”[36]

However, this ‘exchange’ of energy away from gravity, and to expansion, is dependent on very precise variations of the matter density in the expanding universe. If the density of energy and matter were absolutely uniform, this exchange would be uniform, and no stars and galaxies could form. If the densities of matter and energy in certain regions of space were too great, expansion would cause a greater transfer of energy to gravity than in less dense regions, and that increased gravity would attract other nearby matter, thus preventing the formation of galaxies and stars with the right density to be the engines for creating heavier elements.

As Rees says, “the dominant gravitational stuff is … ‘dark matter’ … [which is] … influenced by gravity. … Swarms of dark matter on subgalactic scales condense out first; these merge into galactic-mass objects, which then form clusters.”[37]

But this clustering of dark matter also needs atoms. According to Rees, the atoms “ride along passively [on the dark matter], constituting a dilute gas that ‘feels’ the dark matter’s gravity.[38] And this ‘gas’ of atoms “exerts a pressure as well … [which] … prevents the gas from being pulled by gravity into very small ‘clumps’ of dark matter.[39]

This process of matter ‘clustering’ into galaxies and stars was playing out across the universe; and it was a consequence of expansion amplifying the density variations in matter and energy. It was the process that would create the conditions for the ‘manufacture’ of heavier elements, the elements needed to create life.

That was the “work” that “the waters” had to finish. And that is why there is no observation in Day Two, hence the omission of the words “And God saw …”.

Manipulating probabilities – “And God made the firmament” Genesis 1:7

For our consideration of the lack of an ‘observation’ in Day Two, it is important to understand, as Rees says, that “[w]hen the universe was a million years old, everything was still expanding almost uniformly.[40]

However, “if our universe had started off completely smooth and uniform, it would have remained so throughout its expansion It would [have been] cold and dull: no galaxies, therefore no stars, no periodic table, no complexity, certainly no people.”[41]

The expansion force needed something to bring together all the other forces (numbers) that had been ‘imprinted’ on Day One. And that something was the slight density differences of matter and energy in space. As we have seen, Genesis describes these density differences as some of “the waters” being “under the expansion”, and others being “above the expansion”.

Scientists calculate the length of the events recorded in Day One as about 300,000 years of Earth time. That would have meant there was a near uniform density of matter, energy and forces throughout the universe at the start of Day Two.

However, at about this time, the universe began to cool from the extreme temperatures following the Big Bang. Kaku explains it this way: “After 380,000 years … the temperature dropped to 3,000 degrees. Below that temperature, atoms were no longer ripped apart … [and] … stable atoms could form, and light beams could now travel for light-years without being absorbed.”[42]

Rees says that “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.”[43]

According to Greene, in the “early history of the universe, matter was spread uniformly throughout space.[44] Furthermore, “although attractive gravity causes clumps of matter and creases of space to grow, repulsive gravity (expansion) does the opposite: it causes them to diminish, leading to an ever smoother, ever more uniform outcome.[45]

At this point, we should remind ourselves of what Kaku said regarding quantum theory: “The quantum theory is based on the idea that there is a probability that all possible events … might occur. This, in turn, lies at the heart of inflationary universe theory …”[46]

However, Kaku also acknowledges that “physicists realize that if we could somehow control these probabilities” then anything “is possible.”[47]

The description of Day Two then starts to make sense. The scientific consensus is that the matter and energy density in the early universe was almost perfectly uniform. Gravity and expansion were evenly balanced, thus tending to “an ever smoother, ever more uniform outcome.”

However, since there is a probability that all “possible events … might occur”, at this early stage of the universe there must have been a probability that the almost perfect uniformity could have become perfectly uniform, in terms of both matter and energy density, as well as the balance of the gravitational and expansionary forces. That would have meant that no universe as we know it would have formed, and thus no life.

The use of the words “And God said, Let there be an expansion …” suggests a manipulation of probabilities. It suggests the exclusion of the probability of perfect uniformity, or the probability of under-density or over-density. And that is important, because otherwise, as Rees says, either the “universe would be inert and structureless”, or “it would have been a violent place in which no stars or solar systems could survive …[48]

Day Two was a bridge to Day Three. Therefore, no reference to “And God saw …” was necessary. The slight density variations which existed at the start of Day Two, symbolized by “the waters” being in different locations – “under” or “above”, needed only to be amplified by the effects of a precisely calibrated rate of expansion to prepare the early universe for the next intended steps in constructing a universe capable of spawning and sustaining life. The important thing was to ensure that other probabilities did not intervene to disturb that ‘fine-tuning’.

The omission of the words “And God saw that it was good” suggests that the author/s of Genesis understood that, as did Nahmanides.

And God called the firmament Heaven.” Genesis 1:8

Day Two concludes its account of the division of “the waters” with this: “And God called the firmament Heaven.[49] As we have already noted, this naming at the end of the “day” (always with a capital letter), signifies a permanent change from the state of the universe 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’.[50]

Genesis calls these voidsHeaven” – those areas of space that were left ‘free’ of matter. When we look up at the night sky, it is those areas that are not lit up by stars. 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.[51]

And the evening and the morning were the second day.” Genesis 1:8

Day Two ends at just about the time Rees says the “first protogalaxies formed” which lit up the universe again following the “dark age”.[52] According to Rees’ depiction of the time-line of the universe, that would have been about 1 billion years after the Big Bang.[53] Thus “the evening and the morning” of Day Two were approximately one billion years, less the 300,000 years for Day One.

However, as already noted, it was important that the effect of the “expansion” up to this time should not yet be made “irreversible”, hence there is no reference to “And God saw …” in Day Two. That only comes halfway through Day Three. In the language of the delayed-choice experiments, the effect of the density differences should not be “fully settled” by an observation (measurement) until all the elements had been created, ‘fertilizing’ the universe with their life-creating, and life-sustaining, properties.

Conclusion

That leaves just one final point to make regarding Day Two. What makes the Genesis account of “expansion” so remarkable is that it does separate, so to speak, the initial “inflation” in Day One, from the “expansion” which is said to start in Day Two. And that perfectly corresponds to Rees’ description of the process up to this point: “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.[54]

The expansion which divides “the waters” causes matter and energy to concentrate into dense clusters, ready to form stars, from which the heavier elements necessary for the creation of life can be ‘manufactured’.

The expanding universe is thus ready for its next major transformation.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

The next article will address the even more remarkable insights in Day Three.

Joseph BH McMillan. This article is an abridged extract from A ‘Final Theory’ of God.

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2017 All Rights Reserved

Footnotes

 [1] I make no judgment on the author or authors of Genesis.

[2] The Big Bang also created dark matter, but for the sake of simplicity, I have not addressed it here, although it is addressed in the book.

[3] Nahmanides, Commentary on Genesis 1:1 at Para 3 . Retrieved from http://www.sefaria.org/Ramban_on_Genesis.1.1.3?lang=en

[4] Nahmanides, Commentary of Genesis 1:6, Retrieved from http://www.sefaria.org/Ramban_on_Genesis.1.6.1?lang=en

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

[6] Weinberg, Steven. Dreams of a Final Theory, Vintage, New York, 1994 (paperback), pages 33 – 34.

[7] Rees, Martin. Just Six Numbers, Phoenix, London, 1999 (paperback), page 119.

[8] Kaku, Michio. Parallel Worlds, Penguin, London, 2006 (paperback), pages 57 – 58.

[9] Greene, page 305.

[10] Greene, page 306.

[11] Greene, page 306.

[12] Greene, page 311.

[13] Greene, page 311 – 312.

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

[15] Rees, page 119.

[16] Nahmanides, Commentary on Genesis 1:11. Retrieved from http://www.sefaria.org/Ramban_on_Genesis.1.11.1?lang=en

[17] Kaku, page 56.

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

[19] Rees, page 50.

[20] Rees, page 50.

[21] Rees, page 50.

[22] Rees, page 50.

[23] Kaku, page 67.

[24] Rees, page 1.

[25] Rees, page 2.

[26] Rees, page 2.

[27] Rees, page 3.

[28] Rees, page 82.

[29] Rees, page 100

[30] Rees, page 99.

[31] Rees, page 127.

[32] Rees, page 128.

[33] Rees, page 119.

[34] Greene, page 312.

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

[36] Greene, pages 311 to 322 – bold emphasis is Greene’s.

[37] Rees, page 119 – 120.

[38] Rees, page 122.

[39] Rees, page 122.

[40] Rees, page 121.

[41] Rees, page 117.

[42] Kaku, page 58.

[43] Rees, page 119.

[44] Greene, page 314.

[45] Greene, page 315.

[46] Kaku, page 147.

[47] Kaku, pages 147 and 146 respectively.

[48] Rees, page 3.

[49] Genesis 1: 7.

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

[51] Greene, page 308.

[52] Rees, page 119.

[53] Rees, illustration at page 132.

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

Scientific Perspectives on the Scriptures: Genesis Day One – Inflationary Cosmology

In the Jewish “Old Testament”, the book of divine justice, there are human beings, things, and speeches in so grand style that Greek and Indian literature have nothing to compare with it. With terror and reverence one stands before these tremendous remnants of what man once was …” Friedrich Nietzsche.[1]

Nowhere in the Scriptures is that observation more true than the book of Genesis. In just three chapters, Genesis provides a detailed scientific explanation of the origins of the universe and life, a detailed account of the formation and functioning of the human brain, and a concise exposition of the neurological mechanisms that give rise to human consciousness and human conscience. In just three short chapters, Genesis explains our cosmic origins and our cosmic destiny.

Furthermore, these three chapters inform everything else in the Scriptures. In my humble view, a flawed understanding of these few chapters necessarily undermines our understanding of the rest of the Scriptures.

For those of an open mind, whether believer or unbeliever, the insights revealed by Genesis can only instill a sense of awe. Verse by verse, even word by word, Genesis unveils the mysteries of the universe.

And that is how we will approach the task – line by line, and word by word.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

The first task is to determine what is meant by “the earth” and “the heaven”.

Verse 2 describes “the earth” as being “without form, and void;” and “the heaven” is depicted by the words “and darkness was upon the face of the deep.”

Clearly, therefore, “the earth” in verse 1 does not mean planet Earth, because planet Earth is not “without form and void”; and describing “heaven” with the words “darkness was on the face of the deep”, can’t be a reference to the stars, moon and planets we see in the night sky.

These descriptions of “the heaven and the earth” better fit with the current scientific understanding of what matter and space must have looked like before the Big Bang.

Scientists, or more properly cosmologists, attribute the ‘beginning’ of the universe to what is called inflation, which they believe led to the Big Bang.

However, the initial “inflationary burst” that set the universe in motion did not actually create the universe. According to the physicist Brian Greene, it occurred in an already “PREEXISTING universe.[2]

Martin Rees, previously Royal Astronomer in Britain, says that the world we see about us, and life itself, is “the outcome of a chain of events that cosmologists can trace back to an ultra-dense primal medium that was almost STRUCTURELESS.”[3] According to Rees, scientific measurements prove that all the matter and energy in the universe “was once a compressed gas, hotter than the sun’s core.[4]

The popular television physicist, Michio Kaku, describing the initial sudden inflationary burst, says that “a mysterious antigravity force caused the universe to expand.” [5] It should be noted that Kaku does not say that inflation ‘created the universe’, but that it “caused the universe to expand.” The universe already existed.

On “the heaven”, Brain 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.”[6]

What we see from these references is that the universe as we now know it ‘existed’ in a different form before something happened which caused it to ‘transform’ into the present universe.

Genesis ascribes the existence of this matter in a preexisting universe to God. Scientists acknowledge that they can at best speculate as to where it came from.

Greene admits to the scientific establishment’s “continuing ignorance of fundamental origin: specifically, … why there are space and time within which the whole discussion can take place, and … why there is something rather than nothing.[7]

Rees warns scientists against claiming that the “universe can arise ‘from nothing’”. He says that Einstein showed that even what we think of as empty space has “a structure such that it can be warped and distorted. Even if shrunk to a ‘point’, it is LATENT with particles and forces.”[8]

So, until scientists can come up with some explanation as to where the ‘ingredients’ that gave rise to the universe came from, we can at best leave the issue where it is. Either we don’t know, or it has always been there, or God created it “in the beginning”. And we should remember what 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.”[9]

The next step is to consider what this dense matter, “the earth”, in the preexisting universe looked like.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. Genesis 1:2

We get a clue of the scientific perspective of what the pre-inflationary universe looked like from some of the above references – “a compressed gas” or “ultra-dense primal medium that was almost structureless.”

Brian Greene describes it as “… a wild and energetic realm of primordial chaos; [with] extremes of heat and colossal density,”[10] in which “gravity was by far the dominant force.”[11]

Referring to theories of the physicist Boltzmann, Greene also says this: “Everything we see may have resulted from a chance fluctuation out of a highly DISORDERED state of primeval CHAOS.”[12]

These scientific descriptions of what the pre-inflationary universe must have looked like are remarkably similar to the description in Genesis of “the earth” being “without form” and “void”, and that “darkness was upon the face of the deep.”

There was matter, but it was “highly disordered”, “structureless”, and a “primordial chaos” – which is almost identical to saying that it was “without form” and “void”. And since it was “ultra-dense”, and of “colossal density”, even light could not escape its immense “gravity” – “darkness was upon the face of the deep.”

It’s a beautiful and perceptive description of what scientists today imagine the pre-inflationary universe must have looked like.

At this point, verse 2 introduces a literary technique that is repeated throughout the first chapter of Genesis.

And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:2

The condensed pre-inflationary universe of matter and space, referred to in verses 1 as “the heaven and the earth”, are re-described collectively as “the waters”. Water has long been associated with life – life giving and life supporting. In that respect, we should recall what Rees said: “Even if shrunk to a ‘point’, it [matter in the pre-inflationary universe] is LATENT with particles and forces.[13] What may appear to be empty space, or a primordial plasma, has the “latent” potential to build the universe as we know it, and thus life.

According to Genesis, this “latent” potential of the pre-inflationary matter, symbolized by the “the waters”, was released when “the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

So far as physicists are concerned, the general belief is that a sort of anti-gravity force, referred to as an inflaton field (also called a Higgs field), exerted a powerful repulsive force which overwhelmed gravity causing a “gigantic gravitational repulsion that drove every region of space to rush away from every other.”[14]

However, as noted above, Greene admits to science’s “continuing ignorance of fundamental origin: specifically, if inflationary cosmology is right, our 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.[15]

Likewise, Michio Kaku asks, “What set off this antigravity force that inflated the universe?” And his answer is that “there are over fifty proposals explaining what turned on inflation and what eventually terminated it.” But, he says, although all physicists don’t agree on how it all happened, most now subscribe to the “core idea of a rapid inflationary period.”[16] (We shall return to the words “turned on” and “terminated” shortly. They are particularly relevant to Day 2).

Physicists therefore agree, for the most part, that inflation set the process in motion, leading to the Big Bang and the creation of the universe as we know it; a universe that has spawned life.

So describing the pre-inflationary universe as “the waters” is apt. And the description of “the spirit of God [moving] across the face of the waters” uncannily describes what physicists now believe happened – “latentparticles and forces” submerged, so to speak, in a dense primordial chaos, strangled by gravity, were released when an inflaton field, or some other force, was somehow ‘activated’, causing an enormous repulsive gravitational force which released the ‘life creating’ potential of those “latent … particles and forces.”

Greene describes the immediate aftermath of the inflationary burst like this: “[As] the burst of expansion drew to a close … the inflaton released its pent-up energy to the production of ordinary matter and radiation.”[17]

Genesis ascribes this initial ‘activation’ of “latent” matter that “was without form, and void”, to the “spirit of God”, whereas physicists have no idea how or why it happened. So again, the only difference is in the explanation of how the event happened, not that it did.

Even these few verses of Genesis suggest that its author/s must have been aware, to some significant extent, of what scientists today describe as Inflationary Cosmology, which led to what we call expansion.

The commentary on Genesis by the Jewish Scholar Nahmanides (1194 – 1270) tends to confirm this. Nahmanides explained these verses of Genesis as follows:

And now, listen to a correct and clear explanation of the text according to its simple understanding (peshuto). The Holy One, blessed be He, created all of the creations from absolute nothingness. And we have no other expression in the Holy Tongue for bringing out something from nothing than “bara” (which is found almost exclusively in this verse). And none of all that which was made – ‘under the sun’ or above – existed [directly] from nothing. Rather, He brought out a very fine element from complete nothingness; it has no substance, but it is the energy that can create, that is able to accept a form and to go from the potential to the actual. And this is the first material [and] is called hyle by the Greeks. And after hyle, He didn’t create anything, but [rather] formed and made [the creations]; since it is from it that He brought everything forth and clothed the forms and refined them. And know that the heavens and all that is in them are one material, and the earth and all that is within it is [another] material; and the Holy One, blessed be He, created both of them from nothing – and the two of them alone were created, and everything was made from them.[18]

Nearly one thousand years before modern science proposed the theory of cosmic expansion, a Jewish Scholar studying the Torah described a very similar phenomenon. And as we shall see when we look at Day Two, there is a very good reason for that.

On that point, we should mention again the methodology applied in Genesis. As the statement by Nahmanides suggests, Genesis records a consistent pattern of transition of the ‘material’ it starts with, “the heaven and the earth”, through various stages. At each stage, the ‘material’ of the previous stage is invariably re-described before it undergoes its next transition, until the process is complete. And the completed process gives us insight into the purpose of the undertaking.

With that in mind, we can move on to the next stage of the process.

The next events described by Genesis are so profound in terms of physics and quantum mechanics that it is best to take the next two verses together.

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.” Genesis 1:3 & 4

We’ll start with the easy part of these verses – “light” and “darkness” – before moving on to the quantum aspects (although they do overlap).

The first thing to note is that what was previously described as “the waters”, which was itself a collective description of “the heaven and the earth”, now undergoes a transition to become “light”. But then there is the curious mention of “the darkness”. It hasn’t been mentioned before, and neither is it said to have been ‘created’. God is only recorded as creating “light”. But there is good reason for that omission.

In scientific terms, much of what happened “in the beginning” is speculative, but certain assumptions can be drawn by working ‘backwards’, so to speak, and deducing what must have happened to create what we see around us.

Rees says that the universe “evolved from a primordial fireball, uniformly hot, into a structured state containing very hot stars radiating into very cold space … [which] … set the stage for increasingly intricate cosmic evolution, and the emergence of life.”[19]

And that “fireball” created, or released, ‘light’. But ‘light’ in what sense?

Well, that is where antimatter comes in. Light is made up of photons which have no mass. They ended up that way because of antimatter. When an electron and an antielectron (called a positron, which is antimatter) collide with each other, they release two photons. Two sub-atomic particles with mass ‘destroy’ each other and in the process convert their joint mass into energy in the form of two photons (mass-less particles of pure energy).

According to physicists Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw, “Processes like this played a very important role in the early history of the universe when matter and antimatter almost completely cancelled themselves out by just such interactions. Today we see the remnant of that cancellation.”[20]

But Cox and Forshaw note that astronomical observations show that “for every 100 billion matter particles made just after the big bang, only one survived. The rest took the opportunity available to them … to divest themselves of their mass and become photons.[21]

So, just after the Big Bang, only one of approximately every 100 billion particles ‘chose’ not to transform into light.

Cox and Forshaw say this as to what was left of the particles: “In a very real sense, the stuff of the universe that makes up stars planets and people is only a tiny residue, left over after the grand annihilation that took place early on in the universe’s history. It is very fortunate and almost miraculous that anything was left at all. To this day we are not sure why that happened. The question ‘why is the universe not just filled with light and nothing else?’ is still open-ended, …[22]

Martin Rees suggests a reason for this. Citing work by the Russian physicist Andrei Sakharov, he suggests that there was a slight asymmetry between particles and antiparticles “during the cooling immediately after the big bang.” Accordingly “this would create a slight excess of quarks over antiquarks (which would later translate into an excess of protons over antiprotons).[23]

And, explains Rees, studies by American physicists James Cronin and Val Finch into the rate of decay of “an unstable particle called K˚,” provides evidence for this. “They found that this particle and its antiparticle weren’t perfect mirror images of each other, but decayed at slightly different rates; some slight asymmetry was built into the laws governing the decays.”[24]

But for every billion quarks that were annihilated with antiquarks, one would survive because it couldn’t find a partner to annihilate with… So all the atoms in the universe could result from a tiny bias in favour of matter over antimatter.[25]

However, the most important point in respect of this excess of matter over antimatter is that it created the material from which life would be built. “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.”[26]

The establishment of an “irreversible effect” at certain points in the ‘creation’ process is crucially important to both the Scriptural and scientific accounts of the origins of the universe.

As these scientific explanations demonstrate, the direct consequence of the initial inflationary burst, and subsequent Big Bang, was the creation of ‘light’. The fact that other matter, important as it may be to our very existence, was left-over from the creation of ‘light’ appears to scientists to have been entirely coincidental. But it also perfectly explains why there is no mention in Genesis of God creating “the darkness”. That is because “the darkness” refers to the matter that was left over after all the antimatter had been annihilated with matter, of which there was a very slight excess.

But it was crucial to our very existence that the ‘creation’ of ‘light’ took place at the precise moment when there was a very slight excess of matter over antimatter; an excess that created the perfect proportion of matter to energy in the universe to facilitate and sustain life. Dark matter and dark energy are also relevant to the reference to “darkness”, but for the sake of brevity, I will not deal with them here (although they are dealt with in the book).

It is therefore not surprising that it is at precisely this crucial moment, the creation of light, that we find the curious words “And God said” followed by “And God saw.”

Quantum Physics

With the exception of Day 2, which only has “And God said …,” all the other Days have the two-stage process of ‘creation’ involving “And God said …,” followed by “And God saw …”

We should also note that following each “And God saw …” appear the words “that it was good.” The only exception is verse 31, where they are followed by the words “… it was very good.”[27]

So why all this detail about the words “And God said …” and “And God saw …”?

Well, let’s start with a quote from the Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Steven Weinberg: “We really do need to understand quantum mechanics better in quantum cosmology, the application of quantum mechanics to the whole universe, WHERE NO OUTSIDE OBSERVER is even imaginable.”[28]

The reference to an “outside observer” is crucial because it brings together quantum mechanics (physics) with those curious words in Genesis which refer to God ‘speaking’ and ‘seeing’.

To better comprehend the importance of this connection, we need to briefly consider this aspect of quantum physics.

Quantum physics relates to the behavior of sub-atomic particles like electrons, photons and quarks. These particles make up everything we know as ordinary matter and energy. 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.”[29] That is, scientists believe that the behavior of fundamental particles may lead them to a ‘final theory of everything.’

However, quantum physics tells us that fundamental particles are not like tiny grains of sand. They are more like waves. Scientists call this property of a particle its wavefunction. The wavefunction means that a particle can adopt any one of all probable states. But, as Brian Greene says, “only when the particle is looked at (measured or observed) does it randomly commit to one definite property or another.”[30]

There is a two-stage process that determines how fundamental particles transform from a quantum state to a state capable of establishing 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.” Michio Kaku describes the effect of quantum physics like this: “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.”[31]

However, Kaku says that “physicists realize that if [they] could somehow control these probabilities, one could perform feats indistinguishable from magic.”[32] And this is an important element of the Genesis account of creation.

There are also two other aspects of particle behavior we ought to note.

Delayed-Choice Experiments

The first 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 if the detector is switched off after the particle has been emitted, the particle appears to ‘know’ 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 ‘guess’ correctly whether the detector will be switched on or off when they arrive.

Brian Greene notes that “it’s as if the photons adjust their behaviour in the past according to the future choice of whether the … detector is switched on; it’s as though the photons have a “premonition” of the experimental situation they will encounter farther downstream, and act accordingly. It’s as if a consistent and definite history becomes manifest only after the future to which it leads has been fully settled.[33]

That conclusion is reinforced by further modifications to the experiments in which an erasing device is placed just in front of the detector which causes the particles to revert to a different mode. But it also suggests that whatever state a particle adopts, by perceiving what the future environment may be, can be undone at any time before the actual observation is made. And that is an important aspect of these experiments, as we shall see.

The second aspect of particle behavior we should note relates to what are called Feynman’s “sum over paths” equations. Richard Feynman, another Nobel Prize-winning physicist, demonstrated that although particles are free to choose from all probable paths, the path that leads to the Classical laws of physics is the most probable path. But as Kaku notes, “Feynman showed that the Newtonian (Classical) path is simply the most probable path, not the only path.”[34] Particles are still free to adopt any of the other paths.

Quantum Physics to Classical (Newtonian) Physics

There remains only one further thing to note about quantum physics – and that is the question of how the quantum laws morph into the Classical laws. Scientists still don’t know the answer to that question, which prompted Weinberg to suggest that what is needed is 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.[35]

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 quantum physics brought about the predictable, deterministic physical world we see all around us. And such an explanation needs to identify what (or who?) played the role of a conscious outside observer which brought about the transformation from the quantum universe to the Classical universe.

Quantum Physics and Genesis

We can now consider the relationship between quantum physics and Genesis.

The first relates to the words “And God said …” followed by “And God saw …” The former wording (“And God said”) is like the laser, or electron gun, which fires the particles towards the detector. The particles are ‘programmed’, so to speak, by the ‘intention’ expressed in the words which follow the words “And God said …”; that is, “let there be light.” That ‘programming’ enables the particles to ‘predict’ which state they should assume in the expectation of a ‘measurement’. The ‘measurement’, or ‘observation’, is explicitly signified by the words “And God saw …”.

The transformed state of the particles is ‘locked in’ once the ‘observation’ is made. That is why we see, at each stage of the process, the intended outcome being repeated. First, in stage one, God is said to ‘direct’ what action is to take place (“And God said, let there be light”); second, the action then takes place (“and there was light”); and finally, in stage two, the action is ‘locked in’ by a ‘measurement’ (“And God saw the light”).

This second stage creates the “irreversible effect” referred to by Rees.[36] The reason for the need to ensure the process causes an “irreversible effect” is because other variations of the experiments show that where an “erasure device is inserted just in front of the detection screen …. [it has the effect of] … undoing the past, even undoing the ancient past.”[37]

But it should be noted that future measurements don’t in fact change what happened in the past. They only determine whether or not the initial ‘instruction’ has been realised, or “fully settled”. Greene says this: “The future measurements do not change anything at all about things that took place in your experiment [in the past] … [but] … they do influence the kinds of details you can invoke when you subsequently describe what happened in [the past].”[38]

He goes on to explain that “we thus see that the future helps shape the story you tell of the past.[39]

And that brings us to verse 5.

And the evening and the morning were the first day.Genesis 1:5

It seems odd that a ‘day’ would not be described as ‘morning to evening’, but rather that both the “evening” and the “morning” constitute a period of time. But it begins to make sense in the light of Greene’s assessment of the results of the delayed-choice experiments, and particularly the further modification in which an “erasure device” is inserted in front of the detector thus “undoing the past”.

Genesis emphasizes the importance of the measurement element of the two-stage process, which creates the “irreversible effect”, by defining the whole process as “the evening and the morning were the first day.” These words signify that the measurement made at the end of the process (“And God saw …”), created “a consistent and definite history” which manifested itself “only after the future to which [the initial instruction led had] been fully settled.”

The initial instruction, or intention, signified by the words “And God said …”, could have been ‘undone’ at any time before the measurement was made. That is what the modified delayed-choice experiments demonstrate when an “erasure device” is inserted in front of the detector. As Greene says, it has the effect of “undoing the past, even undoing the ancient past.

The words “And God saw …” are therefore crucial to create an “irreversible effect”, otherwise the initial intention could be undone at any time thereafter. It has the effect of “settlinga consistent and definite history” which is signified by defining the process as “the evening and the morning were the first day.” The final measurement sets the whole process in stone, so to speak.

Although this may all seem a little perplexing at first, it is in fact what we do on a regular basis in our own lives. For example, when you decide (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 decide (make a decision) on what to do next. Your past (decision) is “undone.” Like the particle in a wave-like mode, an “interference pattern[40] 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. As Greene says, “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 sets 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 – if we live long enough.

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.” Genesis 1: 5

This ‘naming’ of what God is said to have created clearly symbolizes “how the fundamental laws of quantum physics morph into the classical laws that are so successful at explaining common experience – in essence, [it demonstrates] … how the atomic and subatomic shed their magical weirdness when they combine to form macroscopic objects.[41] It demonstrates how the phenomena of the micro-world combine to form the objects that make up our every-day reality.

It should be noted that this ‘naming’ uses capital letters – “Day” and “Night”. And this ‘naming’ only occurs on two other occasions in the Genesis’ account of creation, at verses 8 and 10. As we shall see in subsequent articles, these instances also relate to the transition of matter from one form to another.

This ‘naming’ is clearly to emphasize that a transition has occurred from the quantum state of affairs to a Classical state of affairs, which gives the foundation for the deterministic, predictable universe which was a pre-requisite for the emergence of life.

These verses of Genesis thus give us Weinberg’s “quantum mechanical modelthat describes not only various systems under study but also something representing a CONSCIOUS OBSERVER.” It is a model which shows how “the wave function of the combined system evolves with certainty to a final wave function” because of “repeated interactions of the OBSERVER with INDIVIDUAL SYSTEMS.[42]

This ‘naming’ of the new state of matter and space indicates that the transition from the original matter and space had been completed. And that speaks to us of order, which brings us to the final verse for consideration in respect of “the first day” – the words “that it was good.”

And God saw the light, that it was good.” Genesis 1: 4

We have already seen that the words “And God saw the light” was the first step in ‘creating’ the kind of universe that “our very existence depends on” by ensuring “an irreversible effect that established an excess of matter over antimatter.” It established the predictable physical basis on which to build a universe that could spawn and sustain life. It transformed the ‘chaotic’ pre-inflationary world of quantum physics into the predictable, ordered world of Classical physics.

Locking in the “light” at just the right moment to ensure that there would be enough matter left over to create a life-sustaining universe was “good”. Imposing order on chaos was “good”. The ‘freedom’ enjoyed by particles in the quantum world was subjected to a system of law.

But Day One was only the first step in establishing a universal system of law; a system of law that, in the end, manifests itself as a human organism endowed with a capacity for moral judgment, yet free to choose whether to exercise that judgment.

…………………………………………………………….

The next article addresses Genesis Day Two, and the concept of Expansion.

Joseph BH McMillan. This article is an abridged extract from A ‘Final Theory’ of God.

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2017 All Rights Reserved

Footnotes

[1] Nietzsche, Friedrich. Beyond Good and Evil, Vintage, New York, 1989, para 52.

[2] Green, Brian. The Fabric of the Universe, Penguin, London, 2005 (paperback), page 318.

[3] Rees, Martin. Just Six Numbers, Phoenix, London, 1999 (paperback), page 126 – capitals my emphasis.

[4] Rees, page 73.

[5] Kaku, Michio. Parallel Worlds, Penguin, London, 2006 (paperback), page 13.

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

[7] Greene, page 286.

[8] Rees, page 145.

[9] Kaku, p 158.

[10] Green pages 322 and 323 respectively.

[11] Greene, page 272.

[12] Greene, page 320.

[13] Rees, page 145.

[14] Greene, page 284.

[15] Greene, page 286.

[16] Kaku, page 14.

[17] Greene, page 301.

[18] Nahmanides, Commentary on Genesis 1:1 at Para 3 . Retrieved from http://www.sefaria.org/Ramban_on_Genesis.1.1.3?lang=en

[19] Rees, page 126.

[20] Cox and Forshaw, Why does E = mc2?, De Capo Press, Cambridge, Mass. 2001 (paperback),  page 200.

[21] Cox and Forshaw, page 200.

[22] Cox and Forshaw, page 200.

[23] Rees, page 95.

[24] Rees, page 95.

[25] Rees, page 96.

[26] Rees, page 154 – my emphasis on ‘irreversible’.

[27] Underling is original emphasis.

[28] Weinberg, Steven. Dreams of a Final Theory, Vintage, New York, 1994 (paperback), page 85 – my emphasis.

[29] Weinberg, page 61.

[30] Greene, pages 82 – 83.

[31] Kaku, page 149.

[32] Kaku, page 147.

[33] Greene, page 189.

[34] Kaku, page 164.

[35] Weinberg, page 84.

[36] Rees, page 154.

[37] Greene, page 193.

[38] Greene, page 198.

[39] Greene, page 199.

[40] Greene, page 193.

[41] Greene, page 199.

[42] Weinberg, page 84.

 

 

A Legal Proof for the Existence of God (Part XI-B): The Garden of Eden as an account of the formation of the human brain

When I first realized that the story of the Garden of Eden, and Adam and Eve, was an account of the formation and functioning of the human brain, the rest of the Scriptures made a whole lot more sense – everything from the creation and revelation, to the Kingdom of God.

The apparent inconsistencies and contradictions inherent in current Christian theology evaporated, especially the problem of the eschatological notion of the Kingdom of God (Schweitzer 1914).

This article shows how the allegorical explanation of the human brain in the story of the Garden of Eden conforms perfectly with the neuroscientific understanding of the functioning of the human brain outlined in the previous article (Part XI-A).

Genesis 1 as a reductionist account of the origins of the universe and life

Parts II to IX of these articles demonstrated how the interpretations of the creation story, primarily from two Jewish scholars, Nahmanides (1194 – 1270 AD) and Philo Judaeus of Alexandria (who lived at about the time of Jesus), accurately reflected the current scientific understanding of the origin of the universe and life.

In respect of Genesis chapter 1, Parts II to VII adopted the reductionist interpretation advanced by Nahmanides, best exemplified by his description of the creation of man:

The correct simple meaning of the word, ‘let us make,’ is that which you have already been shown, to know (above, verse 1) that God created something from nothing on the first day alone, and afterwards He formed and made [everything] from the fundamental elements.” (Nahmanides 2015, on 1:26).

However, we departed from Nahmanides’ interpretation with regard to what actually existed after the six ‘days’ of creation. In that respect, Part VIII adopted Philo’s explanation that Genesis 2:4-5 should be interpreted to mean that nothing existed in the form we would recognize as life, such as plants, trees, animals or humans, after the six ‘days’ (Philo 2015, XLIV (129 – 130)). The methodology of Genesis 1 precludes it.

Applying the strict methodology of the first chapter of Genesis, we adopted an interpretation of the account of the ‘creation’ of “man” (Genesis 1:26-30) as a physicalist and reductive explanation of the three principal faculties of the human brain.

  • The “image of God” symbolizes the ‘programming’ of primitive human DNA with a neurological moral network.
  • The ‘programming’ of primitive human DNA with a capacity to reason is symbolized by God ‘speaking’ to the male and female He had just created.
  • ‘Programming’ primitive human DNA with instincts is symbolized by what God says to the newly created human beings. “Be fruitful and multiply” represents the instinct to reproduce; “replenish the earth” symbolizes the instinct for survival and security, and the instinct to nurture and protect our offspring in order to perpetuate the species; “subdue the earth and have dominion” symbolizes the human instinct to subdue and control our environment, but regrettably, not excluding others of the species, which translates into an instinct to conquer; God explaining what He had given to the human beings for their survival and benefit, and what He had given to the “beasts of the earth,” symbolizes primitive human DNA being ‘programmed’ with a knowledge of how the physical world functions, and an instinct to pursue that knowledge.

This ‘programming’ of human DNA with instinct is central to the question of good and evil. Since ‘evil’ is reason in the service of primitive human instinct, yet primitive instinct is a necessary requirement for survival, and not in itself ‘evil’, God does not create ‘evil’.

The previous articles demonstrated that these various faculties of the human brain are a product of the physical laws that created and sustain the universe (both the quantum and Classical (Newtonian) laws), but also an “image” of those laws. In that respect, we adopted Philo’s interpretation of the “image of God”:

The mind which exists in each individual has been created after the likeness of that one mind which is in the universe as its primitive model” (Philo 2015, XXIII (69)).

But as we saw in Part VIII, if the human mind, as an ‘image’ of the “mind of the universe,” is conscious, then the “mind of the universe” must also be conscious. That would resolve the scientific dilemma of how the “fundamental laws of quantum physics morph into the Classical (Newtonian) laws” (see Greene 2005,199, and Weinberg 1994,84). The observation necessary to effect the transformation is made by a conscious universe. The words “And God saw” at each crucial stage of the creation of the universe refer to the conscious universe effecting the observation. However, as mentioned in the previous article, that does not mean that God is redundant. The question remains as to how the initial matter in the universe, from which everything else was to be created, was itself transformed from being subject to quantum laws to being governed by the Classical laws that give the universe consciousness. It seems that the “spirit of God” (Genesis 1:2) moving across the waters must symbolize an initial observation, or action, by God, which created and ‘programmed’ the original matter and space (subject to quantum laws) with the laws that created the conscious “mind of the universe.”

However, the evidence suggests that all the faculties of the human brain constitute an ‘image’ of the laws that govern the universe, whereas the “image of God” specifically symbolizes the neurological moral network only.

The previous articles cited the scientific evidence that supports this reductive explanation of the ‘creation ’of primitive DNA, which has the necessary properties to transform into the various life-forms we see all around us, including the primitive DNA that created the human brain with these three distinct faculties. Part A adduced the neurological evidence of those neurological faculties.

The evidence thus supports Philo’s version of Genesis, which argues that nothing existed after the six ‘days’ in the form that we would recognize as life. All that existed was the primitive DNA that was ‘programmed’ to develop into the various life-forms that would inhabit the Earth. Research showing that what geneticists previously thought of as “junk DNA” actually consists of genetic “switches” that activate dormant genes, or ‘program’ spare genes, lends further support for Philo’s interpretation (Zimmer 2014).

Philo described Genesis 2:4-5 as follows:

Does [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” (Philo 2015, XLIV (129-130)).

One, or Two, Creation stories?

Previous articles thus adopted the position that Genesis 2 and 3 are a continuation of Genesis 1.

Genesis 1 is an account of the creation of the physical laws that determined how the universe and life would function in order to achieve the intended purpose, while Genesis 2 and 3 are an anthropological account of the development of man from the initial primitive DNA into modern human beings.

In Genesis 1, God’s actions (the words “And God said/saw”) refer to the conscious “mind of the universe” implementing the laws that would govern and sustain the universe and life by way of observation, while references to God taking actions in Genesis 2 and 3 refer to the laws that had been established by the conscious “mind of the universe” beginning to operate in order to give effect to the intended purpose and destiny of the creation.

On that basis, at the end of the six ‘days’ (or seven if we count the ‘resting day’), the Earth existed only in a pre-liquid water form, although all the primitive DNA necessary to create a large variety of life was present but dormant. That is confirmed by the words that follow the statement that grass etc had been created, but was not present – “for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth” (Genesis 2:5).

Then, when the Earth had cooled sufficiently, water appeared: “there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground” (Genesis 2:6).

Liquid water provided the right environment for the dormant DNA to begin to develop. Over time, the DNA that was ‘programmed’ to become human began to form, going through various stages. The symbolism of God breathing life into man to make him a “living soul” suggests that the soul is a function of the physical brain (see below).

The Garden of Eden as the formation of the human brain

In Part VIII, we saw that the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:8-14) symbolizes the formation of the human brain.

The “trees” that are “made to grow” perfectly correspond to the various neurological faculties. Those that are “pleasant to the sight, and good for food” refer to the network of instincts in the brain. Referring to these trees as being “pleasant” and “good for food” relate to the way these instincts are activated – the prospect of pleasure or the fear of pain.

The “tree of knowledge of good and evil” refers to the neurological moral network.

The “tree of life” refers to the reason network, which is the network that creates the mind and soul. The “man” was not prohibited from eating of this tree because, while the neurological moral network is only subconsciously activated, the mind is automatically structured for survival; the “man” automatically ‘obeys’ the impulses received from it. Only once the neurological moral network is consciously activated does a positive and conscious effort become necessary to structure the reason network in such a way as to ensure the survival of the mind as a conscious ‘living’ soul after physical death.

The river that flows out of Eden “to water the garden” (Genesis 2:10) clearly refers to the nervous system which supplies the brain with the information it needs in order to function. In A River out of Eden, obviously a ridicule of this verse, Richard Dawkins charts a “river of DNA” that eventually resulted in human DNA through a series of mutations (Dawkins 2014). Dawkins’ “river of DNA” is an account of the development of human DNA from the initial primitive DNA to modern man, whereas The Garden of Eden is actually describing the initial primitive DNA after it had formed into human DNA but which, at this point, was still dormant. That is symbolized by God putting the man into the garden the first time (Genesis 2:8).

The second time the man is put into the Garden, he is put there to “to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:15). The first time he was just put there. The reason is that the first time symbolizes human DNA having appeared in the first of what would become the human species, but which was still dormant. These human beings would have had fully formed brains that would be recognizable as human, but would still have acted entirely on their primitive instincts, much as their primate ‘relatives’ would have done.

The second time man is put into the Garden symbolizes the first human being in whom the neurological moral network became subconsciously active. That is symbolized by the verse which immediately follows “man” having been put into the Garden the 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” (Genesis 2:16-17).

In the original Hebrew, the words translated as “thou mayest freely eat,” and “thou shalt surely die,” are actually “eating thou shalt eat,” and “dying thou shalt die,” respectively. And that is important in respect of the symbolism in Genesis 2 and 3.

The symbolism of God commanding the man relates to the subconscious activation of the neurological moral network in the first human being/s who experienced it, and the effect it had on them. The recent discovery of Naledi man in South Africa may well be the remains of these first human beings with fully functioning neurological moral networks (Barras 2015). As Lee Berger, the head of the team that discovered Naledi man said, the fact that they buried their dead indicates “that naledi individuals recognised their own mortality and the other self that comes with death.” If that is the case, it would support the argument that the activation of the neurological moral network, even subconsciously, has the effect of causing a consciousness of mortality, and thus a consciousness of existing.

The original wording in Genesis 2:16-17 symbolizes that neurological event. Until that moment, human beings with still dormant neurological moral networks would have hunted, gathered and consumed on a day to day basis for survival. They would not have had the capacity or inclination to do otherwise. But once the neurological moral network was subconsciously activated, along with the other peculiarly human instincts (to conquer and seek knowledge), it also caused an enhanced capacity to reason in order to service those instincts. That means that these first human beings would have been tempted to cater to the demands from their instincts, for example, to seek greater security by appropriating to themselves more than they required for day to day survival. Their enhanced capacity for reason would also have been susceptible to the temptation to indulge their primitive instincts in excess, solely for the purpose of enjoying the pleasure of doing so.

However, the neurological moral network would have subconsciously caused them to refrain from doing so because they knew it was wrong. The words “eating thou shalt eat” symbolizes the moral imperative, dictated by the neurological moral network, that they should not appropriate to themselves in excess of what they could consume, especially not to the detriment of other life, or their environment. Neither should they kill other life unless it was absolutely necessary for their survival, and never in excess, or for the purpose of indulging their appetite for pleasure beyond the requirements of survival, or to allay their fear of pain.

The command that the man should not eat of “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” or in “dying [he would] die,” symbolizes the effect caused by the subconscious activation of the neurological moral network. These first human beings became aware that certain actions were wrong even though no other human being had declared such actions to be wrong, and there was no authority to impose a consequence for committing such acts. Moreover, with this newly acquired knowledge, they would have noted that many of the actions of the very species from which they had emerged were wrong, yet there were no consequences to them for indulging in such behavior.

The effect of the subconscious activation of the neurological moral network was to compel them to recognize that the consequences would be imposed at some time other than during their lifetime, and the only other time could be after death. That would have caused an awareness of their own mortality, thus also causing a consciousness of being alive.

Genesis 2:18 to 25 records how the newly activated neurological moral network began to direct human behavior, and ultimately, human destiny.

Verses 18-20 imply that the activation of the neurological moral network occurred in one, or a number of individuals, who were isolated from one another, hence the reference to “the man” being alone. But this does not mean that each of them was physically alone. They would have been the offspring of members of the group or tribe from which they emerged. 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” (Philo 2015, XXIV (76)). This first “man” was thus the first to assume the “distinctive [human] form.”

These first human beings would have recognized that they were different to the species from which they had emerged.

The reason that it was “not good that the man should be alone” is that his instinct was to reproduce, but there wouldn’t have been a female of the species with fully ‘matured’ human DNA to reproduce with. Genesis suggests that this search for a mate activated other elements of his brain. The words “I will make him an help meet for him” symbolizes 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 activated another latent characteristic of the brain – the language module. Adam started ascribing names to the animals.

But Adam’s search for a mate proved futile: “but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:20). 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” (Genesis 2:21).

The symbolism of “Adam” going into a deep sleep suggests 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 the dormant DNA must have been activated in both a male and female at the same time, and 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 may have said, they would have “beheld” each other “as in a mirror” (Philo 2015, XXIV (76)).

However, at this stage, these early humans had not consciously activated the neurological moral network, 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 or to prevent lusting after each other’s bodies – they did not lust, because they knew it was wrong: “They were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25).

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, suggests Genesis, was the state of the human race before primitive human instincts got the better of some.

The San people of Southern Africa, also known as Bushmen, who are the direct descendants of these first human beings who never consciously activated their neurological moral network, are living testimony to this interpretation of Genesis 2.

Anthropologists and geneticists identify some of these peoples as the ancestors of all human beings, although perhaps the rest of us are the descendants of that part of the species that went astray, and they are the descendants of those who did not. A recent extensive study supports that position (Choi 2012). Other research into the San people’s culture and beliefs provides evidence that they respond automatically to the impulses of the neurological moral network, so they don’t need courts of law and systems of justice (See Brody 2000 and Lewis-Williams 2004 & 2015). Reason is not in the service of their primitive instincts, so their minds, and thus their souls, are automatically structured on the neurological moral network (Lewis-Williams 2010).

The San should be contrasted with that branch of the species that did activate their neurological moral networks. That is addressed in Genesis 3.

Activation of the neurological moral network – ‘original sin’

As we saw in Part IX, the reason it was wrong to acquire “the knowledge of good and evil” is that to awaken the neurological moral network, some action had to be taken which offended against it. According to Genesis, that action related to pleasure – “the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise …” (Genesis 3:6). All the emphasized words relate to pleasure, and pleasure relates to instinct (Philo 2015, LVI (160)).

The story of “the woman’s” temptation clearly refers to the interaction between the morality, instinct and reason networks. The serpent represents the instinct for reproduction. The symbolism of the serpent ‘speaking’ relates to the allure of pleasure to be had by indulging the instinct for reproduction. And “the woman” seeing the attractions of the tree symbolizes the application of reason to justify taking actions that she ‘knew’ were wrong.

The prohibition against eating of the tree symbolizes the neurological moral network within the brain that ‘speaks’ to us of the morality of our actions, and acts as a restraint to actions which offend against it.

When the first humans succumbed to the allure of the pleasure to be had by indulging their primitive instinct for reproduction, the neurological moral network was fully activated. This is symbolized by the words “and the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked” (Genesis 3:7). Genesis then tells us that once the neurological moral network had been consciously activated, it gave rise to a sense of guilt. Adam and “the woman” are then said to have done what people do to this day in order to justify their actions; they “hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the Garden” (Genesis 3:8). They attempted to escape the guilt aroused by their actions by seeking justification in their primitive instincts; in “the trees of the garden.” They ‘reason’ their way to a justification by attempting to convince themselves that they should not feel guilty because what they did was perfectly natural – just like the animals around them.

But the guilt could not be easily assuaged, so reason seeks to divert the blame – Adam blamed “the woman,” and “the woman” blamed the serpent. In ‘excusing’ her behavior by claiming that “the serpent beguiled” her, “the woman” defends her actions by ‘reasoning’ that the attractions of the pleasures she imagined could be had by indulging her primitive instincts were simply a ‘natural’ response to a ‘natural’ desire. But attempting to excuse their actions failed to silence their consciences.

Once they had crossed the moral threshold, no longer did they simply respond to an intuitive restraint to their actions from the neurological moral network. They had acquired an ability to identify specific actions as right or wrong. Yet, they were seduced by the allure of the pleasure to be had by indulging their primitive instincts, and could apply reason to justify doing so.

The ‘punishment’ said to have been inflicted on Adam clearly relates to human beings falling into bondage to their primitive instincts. From then on, human beings would be driven to provide for their survival and security by relentless toil. The instincts for survival and security generate a fear of being unable to provide for themselves, and a fear of anything and anyone perceived to be a threat.

The previous mental tranquility of intuitively refraining from actions because they knew they were wrong, was replaced with an obsessive preoccupation with the pleasures and fears aroused by those instincts.

The expulsion from the Garden of Eden to prevent “man” from eating of the “tree of life” symbolizes the effect of the neurological moral network being consciously activated. No longer is the faculty of reason, and thus the mind, automatically structured as an ‘image’ of the neurological moral network. In order to structure the mind to reflect the structure of the neurological moral network, we have to actively and consciously seek to do so.

Re-connecting to the neurological moral network – seeking the Kingdom of God

Other parts of the Scriptures perfectly support this interpretation, as does the way in which the Scriptures advocate providing for the ‘survival’ of the soul.

Many passages in the Scriptures lend support to the argument that the neurological moral network is the ‘vehicle’ through which human beings come to know God, and can provide for the survival of the mind as a conscious, ‘living’ soul after physical death.

Jesus said that “the Kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or, lo there! For, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17: 20 & 21).

Deuteronomy says a similar thing regarding the Law: For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?  Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it” (Deuteronomy 30: 11 – 14).

The parable of the mustard seed likens the Kingdom of God (or heaven) to a tree, which closely resembles neurological networks: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof” (see Mat 13: 31, 32; Mark 4: 30; Luke 13: 18).

That verse, and others (Mat 13: 33; Luke 13: 20), portray the Kingdom of God as something that starts out tiny and has to be nurtured in order to grow into a vehicle to survive physical death. But we need to seek it to find it:  “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to thee” (Mat 6: 33; Luke 12: 31). Furthermore, Kingdom of God is something we discover during our lifetimes (Mat 7:13 & 14; 13: 39), and if we ask for it and seek it, we can find it (Mat 7: 7; Luke 11: 9), but we should be aware of the dangers of servicing our primitive human instincts: “the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful” (Mat 13:22).

The references to being “born again” at John 3:3-13 relate to the activation of the neurological moral network, especially verses 6 and 8. The description at verse 8 refers to the “voice” of the demands of the morality network. These verses suggest that even if reason is in ‘bondage’ to the demands of human instincts (the instinct networks), it can still be activated (“born again”) in order to ensure that the mind is structured so as to survive physical death (to “enter into the kingdom of God”).

Jesus warns of the consequences of servicing our instincts, even if it is ‘profitable.’ He asks, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mat 16: 26). Proverbs issues the same warning: “For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.  But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death” (Proverbs 8: 35 & 36).

The Bible closes with the same theme of providing for the survival of soul following physical death: “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Revelations 22: 14). We “do his commandments” when reason is in service of the neurological moral network, which has the effect of structuring the mind to survive physical death as a ‘living’ soul.

However, although servicing the neurological moral network has implications for each person in respect to the soul, if there is a God, then it is also likely to be the mechanism through which God chose to reveal to us His purpose for the universe and humanity. Servicing the neurological moral network is how human beings can collectively realize that purpose. That is the objective of the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” (Mat 6: 10).

Conclusion

The story of the Garden of Eden only makes any sense when it is understood to relate to the formation of the human brain. But more compelling is that such an understanding of the story conforms in every respect to the current neuroscientific understanding of the functioning of the brain.

However, this does present some problems for current Christian theology. Current theology will find it increasingly difficult to find accommodation with science if it insists on holding to current doctrines. Unless it can bring itself to re-asses those doctrines, it will render itself increasingly irrelevant.

Unfortunately, there are many vested interests at stake. But that cannot stand in the way of each person deciding for him or herself what the Scriptures mean. Such ‘rebellion’ against the institutionalization of God was in fact the initial cause for the Scriptures, going back to Abraham. The prophets condemned the rituals of their times (see Isaiah 1:10-15 and Jeremiah 2:8-13). And Jesus condemned the scribes and Pharisees for “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mat 15:9).

Perhaps we should ask ourselves whether we may just be doing the same?

———————————————————

Joseph BH McMillan     http://josephbhmcmillan.com

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

Bibliography

Barras, Colin. 2015. “New species of extinct human found in cave may rewrite history.” New Scientist. https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22730383-700-new-species-extinct-human-found-in-cave-may-rewrite-history/.

Brody, H. 2000. The Other Side of Eden: Hunter-gatherers, farmers and the shaping of the world. London: Faber and Faber.

Choi, Charles Q. 2012. “African Hunter-Gatherers Are Offshoots of Earliest Human Split.” Live Science. September 12. http://www.livescience.com/23378-african-hunter-gatherers-human-origins.html.

Dawkins, Richard. 2014. A River out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (SCIENCE MASTERS). Weidenfeld & Nicolson; Reissued 2001 edition .

Greene, Brian. 2005. The fabric of the cosmos. Penguin.

Lewis-Williams, David and Sam Challis. 2011. Deciphering Ancient Minds: The Mystery of San Bushman Rock Art. Thames and Hudson Ltd.

Lewis-Williams, David. 2010. Conceiving God: The Cognitive Origin and Evolution of Religion. Thames & Hudson.

—. 2004. San Spirituality: Roots, Expression, and Social Consequences. AltaMira Press.

Lewis-Williams, JD. 2015. Myth and Meaning: San-Bushman Folklore in Global Context. Left Coast Press.

Nahmanides. 2015. “Ramban on Genesis.” Seferia.org. http://www.sefaria.org/Ramban_on_Genesis.1.26?lang=en&layout=lines&sidebarLang=all.

Philo. 2015. “On the Creation.” EarlyJewishWritings.com. http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/text/philo/book1.html.

Schweitzer, Albert. 1914. The Mystery of the Kingdom of God. New York: prometheus Books (1985).

Weinberg, Steven. 1994. Dreams of a Final Theory. 1. New York: Vintage Books.

Zimmer, Carl. 2014. “The Case for Junk DNA.” National Geographic. September 5. http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2014/05/09/the-case-for-junk-dna/.

 

 

The Kingdom of God

Much has been written about the Kingdom of God, ranging from ridicule to the ‘Hollywood spectacular’ of chariots and trumpets.

I can’t claim to be familiar with all interpretations and criticisms, but I am unconvinced by those I have encountered. And the reason is simple – I can’t find much Scriptural support for them.

Jesus was a Jew, and he was teaching Jews. He was clearly well versed in Jewish Scripture.[1] And he made his stand firmly on the Law: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”[2]

In determining what Jesus meant by the Kingdom of God, or the Kingdom of Heaven (which are used interchangeably in the Gospels), I would expect to find confirmation in the Old Testament – in the Law and the prophets. I would expect the Kingdom of God to be a description of a fundamental tenet of Jewish Scripture that had been lost to “the house of Israel.”[3]

But let’s start with what Jesus said about it.

First, Jesus said that there were people alive at the time who would “see” the Kingdom of God coming in their lifetimes.[4] Jesus also told the twelve disciples that they would not have visited all the cities of Israel before “the son of man be come” (ie the Kingdom of God).

The Kingdom of God was something that people could expect to “see” in their lifetimes. And Jesus specifically urges them to do so: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to thee.”[5] The things that would “be added” are those things necessary for life. So the Kingdom of God is something to discover during our lifetimes. It is not eschatological (relating to the end times), except as it relates to our individual lives after death.[6]

To find the Kingdom of God, Jesus tells us to “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.[7] This is an important verse. I shall return to it.

But how and where do we “seek … the Kingdom of God”?

Well, Jesus is clear on that: “The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or, lo there! For, behold, the Kingdom of God is WITHIN YOU.”[8]

Here, then, we find the first reference that ties up the Kingdom of God to the Old Testament.

 “For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?  Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the WORD is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.[9]

The “word” is the Law, the Ten Commandments – “These words the Lord spake … and He added no more. And He wrote them in two tables of stone.”[10]

It is abundantly clear, therefore, that the Kingdom of God that Jesus says is “within” us is precisely the same thing as the “word” which, according to Deuteronomy, is also within us, in our heart and in our mouth, that we may do it.

But when Jesus describes the Kingdom of God, we find it starts as something tiny.

The Kingdom of Heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.”[11]

Also, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.”[12]

So the Kingdom of God grows from something resembling a tiny seed into a mighty kingdom; a kingdom governed by the Law, the word of God.

That suggests that the Law, the Ten Commandments, started from something tiny before it ‘grew’ into the Kingdom of God. And that is indeed the message of the Scriptures.

Not only was Jesus said to preach the word, he is said to have been the Word, which was “in the beginning with God,” and through whom all things were created.[13]

That is identical to the description of Wisdom in Proverbs: “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.[14]

So to understand how the Kingdom of God came about, and how it came to be “within us”, the Scriptures point us to The Beginning. And we find that in the first book of the Bible – Genesis.

The best starting point in considering the first chapter of Genesis is the literal interpretation. And that interpretation is itself quite remarkable.

It is the view adopted by the Jewish scholar Nahmanides (1194 – 1270 AD). His Commentary on Genesis chapter 1 says this: – “And now, listen to a correct and clear explanation of the text according to its simple understanding (peshuto). … Behold, with this creation, which was like a small [and] fine dot, and without substance, were created all of the creations in the heavens and the earth.”[15]

Now that sounds very much like the “grain of mustard seed” or “leaven” referred to by Jesus, and happens to be precisely the current understanding of science regarding the origin of the universe. I’ll be addressing this further in my forthcoming video presentation of A Legal Proof for the Existence of God (Part III).

But Nahmanides takes this interpretation further. In relation to the creation of human beings, his Commentary on Genesis 1: 24 says this: “the correct simple meaning of the word, ‘let us make,’ is that which you have already been shown, … that God created something from nothing on the first day alone, and afterwards He formed and made [everything] from the fundamental elements.”

So human beings are descended from the same “small [and] fine dot”, or “grain of mustard seed,” just like everything else in the universe.

The universe is an integrated system governed by law, just like a mustard tree. Everything is related and connected to everything else. And that includes the human brain.

The great Jewish philosopher, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, who lived at about the same time as Jesus, says this about the connection between the human brain and the integrated system that is the universe: “the resemblance [between God and man] 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 as its primitive model.[16]

Human beings are then a manifestation of the laws that govern the universe. But not only are we a manifestation of those laws, they are also imprinted into the human brain, which has the necessary mechanisms to convert them into words, images and concepts. One of those mechanisms converts the universal laws into moral principles. The British IVF pioneer, Sir Robert Winston, calls this mechanism a “morality module,” which he says is activated at an early stage; I call it a neurological moral network. It is this mechanism that gives us the capacity for moral judgment.

But if the human brain as a “primitive model” of the universal mind has a moral dimension, then the universal mind must also have a moral dimension. The laws that govern the universe must be moral laws.

It is this remarkable aspect of the brain that speaks to us of God as our Creator, and reveals to us His Law and His Will. It is like an ‘instruction manual’ installed in the human brain that identifies its manufacturer and the proper use of its abilities to realise the purpose of its creation, should we choose to consult it. Jesus called it the Kingdom of God.

That can be the only reasonable understanding of the Kingdom of God being “within us”. [see A Legal Proof for the Existence of God (Part I) and (Part X)].

If we seek it, says Jesus, we can find it. But there is a complication. As I show in A Legal Proof for the Existence of God (Part VII), Genesis tells us that the human brain is also programmed with instinct and reason. These faculties are required to ensure the survival of the species. But when reason falls into bondage to our primitive instincts we are blinded to the Kingdom of God “within us.”

That is the meaning of the other parables of the Kingdom of God in which the “seed” of the word of the Kingdom of God does not take root, or is choked: “the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.”[17] We chase after the allure of the pleasures to be had by indulging our primitive instincts, and the human capacity for reason will devise many a justification for doing so, not least our insatiable appetite for vanity. Jesus himself had to resist the temptation to service his instincts as reason sought to persuade him of the personal benefits of doing so.[18]

The brain is like a search engine. It is ‘programmed’ with the ‘knowledge’ of the universe. But it is up to us what we search for. Search for information that will enlighten us and we can find it, rare as it may be on the internet. Search for those things that appeal to our primitive instincts, and we are inundated with advice on getting rich, on obscenities, violence, celebrities, and every other useless piece of information that can be devised by the human mind in service of its primitive instincts. But Jesus tells us that the only important thing is to search for the Kingdom of God, and that if we search with resolution and faith, if we ask the right questions, we will find what we are looking for. And the seed of the Kingdom of God “within us” will begin to grow into a mighty mustard tree.

Make the right search, and we will get the right results, and it will be worthwhile: “For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.  But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.[19]

The things to search for are those things that constitute the fundamental principles of the Kingdom of God, the Ten Commandments: “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”[20]

But that search demands that we resist the temptations to indulge our primitive instincts: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?[21]

However, the Kingdom of God is not something relevant only to each person individually. It was not God’s purpose to simply set a test to see who could get across the line to everlasting life, and to fry the losers.

His purpose was to establish His Kingdom among the human species as a whole. It was to establish the Kingdom of God on Earth. That is the objective of the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”[22]

It was the mission of Jesus to spread the Kingdom of God to all the world, just as God covenanted to Abraham: “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.”[23]

But that can only happen when there is an awakening of the human spirit to its true moral purpose and its true moral destiny. And that requires that we recognize that we are here to fulfil the purpose of God; God is not there to fulfil whatever purpose we may choose for our own lives. As Jesus said, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”[24]

Only when we begin to do the same will the Kingdom of God be established on Earth.

Regrettably, it seems that is unlikely to happen any time soon. And we may just commit collective suicide before we even get a chance to try.

So although the Kingdom of God will not be ushered in at the end of the world, failure to live by its principles may just have the effect of causing the end of the world. That is the message of the Law and the prophets.

Joseph BH McMillan

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2015 All Rights Reserved

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

Notes:

[1] Luke 2: 47.

[2] Mat 5: 17 & 18.

[3] Mat 10: 6.

[4] Luke 9: 27; Mat 16: 28; Mark 9: 1.

[5] Mat 6: 33; Luke 12: 31.

[6] Mat 7:13 & 14; 13: 39.

[7] Mat 7: 7; Luke 11: 9.

[8] Luke 17: 20 & 21 (my emphasis).

[9] Deuteronomy 30: 11 – 14 (my emphasis).

[10] Deuteronomy 5: 22.

[11] Mat 13: 31, 32; Mark 4: 30; Luke 13: 18.

[12] Mat 13: 33; Luke 13: 20.

[13] John 1: 1 & 2.

[14] Proverbs 8: 22 & 23; and see 3: 19 ff.

[15] Nahmanides Commentary on Genesis 1:1 paras 3 & 4 – http://www.sefaria.org/Ramban_on_Genesis.1.1.3-4?lang=en&layout=lines&sidebarLang=all .

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

[17] Mat 13:22.

[18] Mat 4:1 – 11.

[19] Proverbs 8: 35 & 36.

[20] Revelations 22: 14.

[21] Mat 16: 26.

[22] Mat 6: 10.

[23] Genesis 22: 18.

[24] John 6: 30.

A Legal Proof for the Existence of God (Part IX): Science in Genesis Chapter 3 – Adam and Eve

The first question to address is whether the story of Adam and Eve refers to two particular individuals, or is a generic reference to the first of the species to acquire specifically human characteristics. And Genesis tells us that it is both.

That is found at Genesis 5, verses 1 and 2:

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him;

Male and female created He them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day they were created.”

The references to “the generations of Adam”, and “the day God created man”, clearly refer to a period of time, and a generic description of the first human beings.

The wording is the same as Genesis 2, verse 4 – “These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.” As we saw in respect of The Garden of Eden, this verse clearly refers to a period of time as well. Conflating the words “generations” and “day” can have no other reasonable explanation.

We then see in verse 2 that the “male and the female” are collectively called “Adam”. There is no mention of Eve.

Adam clearly thus refers to the first human beings endowed with human DNA. However, as we saw in the article on the Garden of Eden, there would have been a number of human beings with this DNA who would have joined up to create new human life in their own genetic image.

So at this stage of the development of the human race there would likely have been several small groups of people with human DNA who were the ancestors of all other human beings.

The San people of southern Africa are the descendants of that branch of the human species that did not succumb to the temptation of eating of the ‘forbidden fruit’.

The story of Adam and Eve relates to that branch of the early species that did take of the fruit, and produced so-called ‘civilized’ human beings.

Temptation

Chapter 3 records what happened when the primitive instinct to reproduce was aroused by the allure of the pleasure to be had by indulging in the act of reproduction, not for the main purpose of reproduction, but with the principal aim of deriving physical pleasure from the act.

It is appropriate here to quote again from the great Jewish philosopher, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria: “For other animals pursue pleasure only in taste and in the acts of generation; but man aims at it by means of his other senses also, devoting himself to whatever sights or sounds can impart pleasure to his eyes or ears.[1]

Chapter 3 deals with the transformation of the former to the latter.

We should set out the whole account of this transformation:

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.[2]

Before considering these verses, it is important to remember that we are looking at the symbolism of what is being said. But there can be little doubt that the symbolism relates to real events.

These verses symbolize the conflict between primitive human instincts and the promptings of the neurological moral network as it arose in the first of the species. A picture is painted of a woman wrestling with the allure of pleasure by indulging in an act which her conscience is telling her is wrong. She is fantasizing; but about what?

Well, it is impossible to ignore the phallic imagery of the speaking serpent, so the most plausible explanation is that she is fantasizing about sex.

We should also remember that it was very likely that these early humans would have been living with, or at least in close proximity to, the species from which they had emerged, and even other species of primates that were genetically very similar to them. And these other species would also have been “naked.” And more tellingly, these other primates would have indulged in sex quite openly and casually, as they do today.

But at this stage, a number of characteristics had developed in the early human species which distinguished them from other primates. First, they had developed a higher level of communication, as well as a more advanced capacity to reason. But they also had a partially activated neurological moral network which acted as a restraint on their actions by arousing a sense of conscience.

However, the woman would have enjoyed the pleasure of intimacy with Adam. And this would have acted as a spark to ignite her imagination to consider ways to enhance the pleasure derived from sexual intimacy. And her capacity to reason would have been eager to tender suggestions and justifications.

There would have been plenty of examples in the behavior of the more primitive primates living in close proximity. Thus the imagery of the account of the woman being tempted by the serpent is not hard to translate into a real picture. Although constrained by her moral impulses to refrain from sexual encounters other than with Adam, by observing the casual sexual interplay of primates around her, the woman began to fantasize about what it would be like to do the same. She started to imagine what ‘forbidden pleasures’ could be had if she just suppressed the feelings of guilt aroused by such fantasies.

No doubt she would have questioned why it would be wrong for her to do what the other primates were doing. There was no consequence to them for doing it, so what could happen to her? Her reasoning appears to have gone into overdrive to justify doing what she knew would be wrong by suppressing the restraint and guilt demanded by her newly acquired moral aptitude.

Succumbing to Temptation activates the Neurological Moral Network

In the end, the woman succumbed to the allure of the pleasures to be had by indulging her sexual fantasies – “she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat.” And by employing the newly acquired ability to combine reason with an ability to communicate, the woman persuaded “her husband” to do the same.

What they did, it can only be concluded, is indulge in sexual encounters with members of the other species around them, and no doubt with other newly formed humans if and when they encountered them.

Now many reading all this about a woman fantasizing about imitating the sexual practices of apes, and engaging in sexual encounters with them, will no doubt ridicule the whole interpretation. So what evidence is there that human beings could act in such a manner, either back then, or now?

Well plenty, actually.

Let’s start with the fantasy part, and humans looking to apes for ‘moral inspiration’. And for that we need look no further than a professor of philosophy, no less – AC Grayling.

In his book The God Argument – The Case against religion and for Humanism, Grayling claims that the arts (books, music, films and so on) demonstrate the importance of intimate physical relationships to human beings, but laments that the traditional moral consensus that sex should be limited to one other person in a bonding for life somehow inhibits what he calls human “flourishing.”[3]

So Grayling cites the behavior of bonobo chimpanzees as a model for a better approach. Being the primates most like humans, Grayling says that the bonobo’s equivalent of shaking hands is to engage in sex casually and often.[4]

Grayling thus claims that “pleasure is good – and sexual pleasure is very good.”[5]

According to him, this all means that sex only becomes a problem when it is “rationed and starved.”[6] So his solution is sexual experimentation. And with a lot of practice, Grayling claims that humans can better learn to ‘love’ and be ‘loved’.[7]

But if anyone inhibits your sexual self-indulgence, such as a wife or children, then they need to be made to understand that some human beings have certain “needs and interests,” which the victims simply have to “accept and tolerate … and be open-minded” about.[8]

And it is belief in God (religion) that Grayling claims inhibits this kind of sexual indulgence in the pursuit of human “flourishing”.

Grayling’s ‘philosophy’ is really based on a simple premise – why shouldn’t we behave like animals?

So we see that what is said to have aroused the first woman, and the ‘reasoning’ employed to justify indulging that arousal, is something that has stayed with many of the species up to this very day. And Grayling is not unique in that regard; it is not an uncommon phenomenon.

Marketing companies exploit the human obsession with sex to sell everything from ice-cream to motor cars.

But is there any evidence that the first humans did interbreed with other primates? Again, the answer is yes.

In an article in the online journal Public Library of Science (PLoS), Dr Paola Villa of the University of Colorado Museum, and Professor Wil Roebroeks of Lieden University, say that “current genetic data suggest that complex processes of interbreeding and assimilation may have been responsible for the disappearance of the specific Neandertal morphology from the fossil record.”

In their conclusion, they say that “The momentous cultural changes that followed the arrival of AMH (anatomically modern humans) in Western Eurasia were not uniquely due to the residents’ cognitive or technological inferiority causing rapid and total replacement. The Neandertal demise appears to have resulted from a complex and protracted process including multiple dynamic factors such as low population density, interbreeding with some cultural contact, possible male hybrid sterility and contraction in geographic distribution followed by genetic swamping and assimilation by the increasing numbers of modern immigrants.”

And Villa and Roebroeks cite evidence of this interbreeding in modern human beings: “In 2010 a draft sequence of the Neandertal nuclear DNA provided clear evidence of interbreeding between Neandertals and modern humans, estimating that Neandertal inheritance makes up 1–4% of the genomes of people outside of Africa. A revised estimate based on a high-coverage sequence of a Neandertal from the Altai Mountains now suggests 1.5–2.1%.[9]

However, clearly Genesis is not referring to this interbreeding between humans and Neandertals. The story of Adam and Eve relates to a much earlier time when humans were only just emerging as the species. The example of the interbreeding with Neandertals was simply a continuation of something that had started much earlier.

The real significance of the story, however, lies in its explanation of how the neurological moral network in the human brain was initially fully activated, and the central part played in that process by the human capacity to reason. The story demonstrates that reason can be applied to justify anything.

Why was acquiring the “knowledge of good and evil” wrong?

But if the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” symbolizes the neurological moral network, why, some will ask, would it be wrong to acquire “the knowledge of good and evil’?

The answer is that to awaken the neurological moral network the first human beings had to take some action which offended it. That produced a sense of guilt in the form of a conscience. And as we have seen, according to Genesis, the action that initially activated the neurological moral network  related to pleasure – “the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was PLEASANT to the eyes, and a tree to be DESIRED to make one wise …”[10]

As Philo says, “anyone who follows a reasonable train of conjecture, will say with great propriety, that the … serpent is the symbol of pleasure.”  And he goes on to say that the “serpent is said to have uttered a human voice, because pleasure employs innumerable champions and defenders who take care to advocate its interests, and who dare to assert that the power over everything, both small and great, does of right belong to it without any exception whatever.”[11]

So the story of Eve’s (“the woman’s[12]) temptation clearly refers to the interaction between morality, instinct and reason.

The serpent represents the instinct for reproduction. The symbolism of the serpent ‘speaking’ relates to the allure of pleasure to be had by indulging the instinct for reproduction. And Eve ‘seeing’ “that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, …” symbolizes the application of reason to justify taking actions that we ‘know’ are wrong.

The prohibition against eating of the tree represents morality. It is the neurological moral network within the brain that ‘speaks’ to us of the morality of certain actions, and acts as a restraint to actions which offend against it, if we listen. However, until this moment, the neurological moral network was subconscious.

Consequences of activating the neurological moral network

Once the first humans succumbed to the allure of the pleasure to be had by indulging their primitive instinct for reproduction, the neurological moral network was fully activated. This is symbolized by the words “and the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.”[13] They realized then that they were different to the other species around them, even those most like them, and that it was not appropriate to simply imitate animal behavior.

However, Genesis tells us that once the neurological moral network had been offended, it gave rise to a sense of guilt, and Adam and Eve are said to do what people do to this day in order to justify their actions; they “hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the Garden.” They attempted to escape the guilt aroused by their actions by seeking justification in their primitive instincts; in “the trees of the garden.”

As we have already seen, the trees in the garden symbolize human instincts, amongst which is the instinct to reproduce. So when they are plagued by a sense of guilt, they seek to justify their actions by reference to their instincts. They ‘reason’ their way to a justification by attempting to convince themselves that they should not feel guilty because what they did was perfectly natural – just like the animals around them.

But clearly the guilt could not be easily silenced. And so, like today, they started the blame-game – Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent. In ‘excusing’ her behavior by claiming that “the serpent beguiled” her, the woman is essentially seeking to defend her actions by saying that the attractions of the pleasures she imagined could be had by indulging her primitive instincts were so strong as to be ‘irresistible’. So she should not be to blame. It was simply a ‘natural’ response to a ‘natural’ desire – much like AC Grayling.

But, of course, it was all to no avail.

Once they had crossed the moral threshold, no longer did they simply respond to an intuitive restraint to their actions from the neurological moral network. They had acquired an ability to identify specific actions as right or wrong. Yet, they were seduced by the allure of the pleasure to be had by indulging their primitive instincts, as humans are today. So they mobilized their enhanced capacity to reason to seek justification for doing that which their neurological moral network told them was wrong.

The Legacy

The ‘punishment’ that God is said to inflict on them clearly symbolizes the conflict that has plagued the descendants of Adam and Eve from that moment on – a conflict between servicing their primitive instincts, or servicing the promptings of their neurological moral network.

We can see that the ‘punishment’ puts “enmity” between the attractions of pleasure to be had by indulging primitive instincts, like those of reproduction, and the consequences of doing so.

The ‘punishment’ said to have been inflicted on Adam clearly relates to human beings falling into bondage to their primitive instincts. From that moment on, human beings would be driven to provide for their survival and security by relentless toil. The instincts for survival and security generate a fear of being unable to provide for themselves, and a fear of anything and anyone perceived to be a threat.

The words “in sorrow shalt thou eat of [the ground] all the days of thy life[14] clearly refers to the instinct for security; “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground[15] clearly refers to the fear of death, and the survival instinct.

But there was a far more unpleasant consequence of this awakening of the “morality module”. The previous mental tranquility of intuitively refraining from actions because they knew they were wrong, and responding to the promptings of their instincts “only in taste and in the acts of generation”, had been replaced with an obsessive preoccupation with the pleasures and fears aroused by those instincts. No longer were these first humans content to live day by day without the constant fear of want and death – now they were consumed by a passion to indulge the demands of their instincts so as to alleviate their fears, or feed their appetite for pleasure.

As Philo said, they had condemned themselves to “an existence more miserable than death.”

From this point on, Genesis, and the Bible as a whole, records the conflict between human instinct and morality as it plays out in historical context. And how human beings employ reason to justify doing wrong.

Cain and Abel

So we see in the account of Cain and Abel that Abel’s endeavors were proving successful whereas Cain’s were modest. This fired insecurity in Cain, and wounded his vanity. Abel was seen as a threat who had to be neutralized. The symbolism of God speaking to Cain to ask why he is angry, relates to Cain’s neurological moral network intervening in an attempt to quell the anger. God says to Cain, “If thou does’t well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou does’t not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”[16]

The Hebrew for the last sentence actually says this: “And subject unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

The message is quite clear – Cain has a choice about how to act. One choice is acceptable, or moral, the other is wrong, and will have consequences. The “desire” to satisfy his instincts is under his control – “subject unto thee.” And morality must rule over the desires of the instincts – “thou shalt rule over him.”

But, like Eve, Cain could not or would not listen to the moral ‘voice’ within him, and planned to slay Abel. We see that Cain “talked with Abel” before he implemented his plan. This indicates that Cain was using ‘reason’, and the ability to communicate, in service of his primitive instincts, and not in service of the “moral law.” And even once he had killed Abel, his ability to reason seeks ways to deny responsibility, saying he does not know where Abel is. Furthermore, he also asks, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” – an instance of reason seeking to excuse accountability for the wellbeing of our fellow human beings.

Cain’s reaction to the guilt that arises from his actions is first to lie, then to ‘justify’ the lie by ‘reasoning’ that he is not responsible.

We see in Cain a regrettable model for those who believe that satisfying their own “needs and interests” at any cost is their primary ‘duty’ in life, and they ‘reason’ their way to justifying whatever actions they take in pursuit of their ‘goals’. And their goals are always the same – indulging their appetite for pleasure, and relieving the fear of their insecurities; in short, being in the service of their primitive instincts, and silencing the voice of morality whenever it ‘speaks’.

However, Cain realizes that he cannot completely silence the voice of morality, and finally acknowledges that “Mine iniquity is greater than can be forgiven.”[17]

And the only way he can live with the guilt of his conscience is to deny God – “And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord.”[18]

That, it seems, is the “mark” which God is said to have put on Cain; the propensity to apply ‘reason’ to justify the servicing of our primitive instincts in defiance of the “moral law” which created us, and which is within us. And humans accomplish that self-deception through the denial of a Supreme Law, and thus a denial of God.

In that way, those who seek to impose their own authority and will on others are free to ‘make’ such ‘laws’ as best serve their own interests, and to implement such measures as are necessary to compel others to submit to those ‘laws’.

That is the meaning of Cain building a city which he names after his son Enoch.[19] God is replaced with the pursuit of power and wealth to feed vanity and allay insecurity.

However, at the end of Chapter 4, the story reverts again to Adam and Eve. Eve conceives and gives birth to Seth, and he has a son called Enos. And it is this strand of the genealogy of Adam and Eve that came to the realization that God is indispensable to human existence. That is because, after the birth of Enos, “then men began to call on the name of the Lord.” [20]

And it is this strand of genealogy that leads to Abraham and on to Moses, and the Ten Commandments. They were the ‘keepers’ of the moral law that reveals God’s Will.

It was through Abraham that “all families of the earth shall be blessed.”[21]

And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”[22]

The crucial words in that last verse are “because thou hast obeyed my voice.” It was this strand of the human species that stayed most obedient to the principles of the “moral law”; and, it seems, most easily able to decipher it over the clatter of demands from our primitive instincts.

Through Abraham’s descendents God’s moral law would be revealed not just to the Israelites, but to all humanity.

Conclusion

Genesis Chapter 3 reveals a remarkable degree of insight by the author/s of Genesis into the workings of the human brain. However, the most remarkable aspect of the story of Adam and Eve is the light it casts on the human capacity to reason. As the account shows, reason can be applied equally for good or evil. More reason does not guarantee more benevolent and good outcomes; less reason doesn’t automatically lead to malevolent or evil outcomes. Often it is the reverse, as history reveals.

The current consensus that reason can give us objective principles of morality is delusional. Reason is a neutral faculty. Its worth rests entirely on whether it is in the service of morality, or in the service of primitive human instinct.

That is the real message behind the story of Adam and Eve. And it is a message we should heed!

In the next article we will discover how the author/s of Genesis could have had such a profound understanding of the working of the universe, and of the human mind.

———————————————————–

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 Creation, LVIII (163).

[2] Genesis 3: 1 – 7.

[3] Grayling, ACX. The God Argument, page 192 and 199. A full Review of The God Argument can be read under Book Reviews on this website jbhmcmillan.com.

[4] Grayling, page 205.

[5] Grayling, page 206.

[6] Grayling, page 201.

[7] Grayling, page 202.

[8] Grayling, page 193.

[9] Villa P, Roebroeks W (2014) Neandertal Demise: An Archaeological Analysis of the Modern Human Superiority Complex. PLoS ONE 9(4): e96424. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096424.

[10] Genesis 3: 6.

[11] Philo, On the Creation, LVI (157) and (160) respectively.

[12] The name Eve is not used in Genesis 3 until verse 20 – “and Adam called his wife’s  name Eve …”

[13] Genesis 3: 7.

[14] Genesis 3: 17.

[15] Genesis 3: 19.

[16] Genesis 4: 7.

[17] Genesis 4: 13 – also translated “My punishment is more than I can bear.”

[18] Genesis 4: 16.

[19] Genesis 4: 17.

[20] Genesis 4: 20.

[21] Genesis 12: 3.

[22] Genesis 22:18.

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]

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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.

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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 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 I)

The most compelling evidence for the existence of a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker is not our places of worship, but the human quest for justice. From the earliest legal codes of Ur-Nammu (2050 BC) and Hammurabi (1754 BC), through the Ten Commandments and the Edicts of Asoka (250 BC), to our modern day charters and declarations of human rights and freedoms, the quest for justice reveals a search for a Supreme law and a Supreme Lawmaker.

The principles underlying these various endeavours to establish justice are consistent throughout history, even though the consequences for transgression reflect the historical times.

This series of articles will adduce the evidence to show that the reason for the remarkable universal consistency in the underlying principles of justice is to be found in the way God chose to reveal Himself to us, and how that enables us to know His Law and His Will. Later articles will also address the questions of good and evil, the origin of human consciousness, and the inevitability of a judgment for our actions.

The aim of this first article is to outline the arguments to provide a general reference point for subsequent articles.

What we are

Human beings are in every respect a manifestation of the fundamental laws that govern the universe. But those laws are also imprinted into our brains in mathematical form, and our brains have mechanisms to convert the mathematical raw data into words, images and concepts.

One of those mechanisms converts the raw mathematical data into moral principles. We will refer to this mechanism as the ‘neurological moral network’.

It is this network that tells us that freedom is the Fundamental Principle of Morality and Justice. And it is this Principle that speaks to us of a Supreme Lawmaker that we call God.

In other words, if there is a God, then He must have chosen to reveal Himself to us through mathematical principles which we have an ability to comprehend. Most of us act on this mathematical data subconsciously. There are some, however, like the Prophets, who could consciously convert this raw data into an accurate account of the origin of the universe and life, and God’s omnipotent hand in that creation.

A good analogy would be a digital TV. The digital code is fed into the TV where it is converted into words and images. Very few of us would be able to make any sense of the digital code itself – we just hear the words and see the pictures.

In order to understand how the Principle of Freedom speaks to us of God, we first need to consider what that Principle is, and what obligations operate to limit it.

 The Principle of Freedom and the limiting obligations

The Principle of Freedom is that no one person, or group of people, has any natural authority over any other person.

But that principle has a reciprocal obligation – ‘if no other human being has any natural authority over me, then I can’t have any natural authority over any other human being either’. That reflects the reciprocity found in a mathematical equation, and it is Newton’s Third Law – for every action there must be an equal and opposite reaction.

That then gives us the negative moral obligation that tells us that we must refrain from interfering with the freedom of others. And if we reflect on that for a second, the world would be a much better place if we all lived by that simple principle.

However, the evidence shows that we also recognize positive obligations – obligations to help others. But we do not recognize these obligations because some other person tells us that we should. We simply know that we have these obligations. And the evidence for these positive obligations comes from the creation of new life.

The only time in life that we freely and voluntarily assume onerous obligations, not out of fear of punishment, or the prospect of some advantage, or because we are told by some ‘authority’ to assume them, but out of unconditional love, is when we create new human life in our own image.

But that is only the case if we are not so totally in bondage to our primitive instincts that we cannot recognize those obligations. We will consider that point more fully when we deal with the principles of morality.

When we recognize the obligations we have towards the life we create, we also recognize that all human life must be deserving of the same obligations, especially the life that is least able to fend for itself.

However, as later articles will show, that does not mean that we can only recognize these positive obligations when we create new life. It simply means that the one time in life when we automatically recognize these obligations is when we create new life. That is because the obligations are imprinted into our brains as raw mathematical data, and are accessible to all of us if we choose to look for them.

How Freedom speaks to us of God and His Law

Freedom cannot recognize as law the commands, doctrines and opinions of other human beings.

Yet we still recognize that we do have certain fundamental obligations, not because someone tells us that we have those obligations, but because they are imprinted into our brains as a moral law.

So the only way freedom and law can coexist is under the authority of a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker. Anything else would render some of us slaves, and the others masters.

We find the same thing in physics.

Fundamental particles, like electrons and quarks, are free to choose from an infinite number of probabilities. Scientists call this property a particle’s wavefunction.

In his book Parallel Worlds, the popular TV physicist, Michio Kaku, describes this property of particles as follows: “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.”

That puts freedom as the fundamental principle of the laws that govern the universe.

However, if freedom is the foundation of the law, some other aspect of the law cannot compel particles to form the structures that create the world we see all around us. That would violate the symmetry that underlies the whole concept of a law.

Only something above the law can do that.

But can the probabilities of fundamental particles be manipulated or controlled to form the structures required to create the universe and life? According to Michio Kaku, that is almost certainly the case. He notes that physicists realize that if they could manipulate the probabilities of fundamental particles, then anything would be possible. Although that is still beyond the technical capabilities of science, it does suggest that the probabilities can be controlled.

However, if the probabilities can be controlled to ensure that particles form the structures necessary to create the universe and life, how could they be compelled to maintain those structures so that the order in the universe does not disintegrate into chaos?

That is where the second aspect to particle behavior comes into play. Particles can only assume a particular position when they are observed; literally, when they are looked at. That creates what the physicist Andrei Sakharov described as the “irreversible effect” which was crucial in the early stages of the universe.

It is this two-fold aspect of particle behavior that speaks of a Supreme Lawmaker. Only a Supreme Lawmaker can compel free particles to form the structures necessary to create an ordered and stable universe capable of creating and sustaining life, and that ordered state is made permanent with an observation.

That brings us to the first instance of convergence between science and religion.

The very first verses of Genesis exactly mirror this process with the words “And God said …” followed by “And God saw …”

We should imagine for a minute the author or authors of Genesis sitting down to write an account of the origins of the universe several thousand years ago. To come up with the idea that it all happened when God spoke to matter (“the earth”) that was “without form, and void” and told it to become “light”, and then “saw” the light and decided “that it was good”, would be a rather peculiar way to convince people of a God. In fact, that description didn’t even make any sense just a couple of hundred years ago. It has only been since the advent of quantum physics that the Genesis account does not seem that ridiculous any longer. And as we shall see in the next articles that look at the first few chapters of Genesis, not just verse by verse, but word by word, Genesis has pre-empted science in every respect, and continues to do so.

How the author/s of Genesis could have known all this will be the subject of a subsequent article on insight.

But first, we need to consider how science, philosophy and religion all reveal the search for a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker.

Science, philosophy and religion all reveal the search for a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker

In religion the search for a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker is quite obvious.

In science we find exactly the same thing, except scientists don’t express it in that way.

Today we hear much from scientists about what they call “The Theory of Everything”, or “The Final Theory”.  They believe that such a theory could provide a comprehensive explanation of how the universe and life came about by reference to certain, as yet undiscovered, fundamental principles. So the ‘Supreme Law’ in science is the elusive “Final Theory”.

However, the issue of probabilities causes a problem. What scientists find is that if there is only this one universe, the probability that it would have ended up this way is just too remote.

So they get round that problem by simply multiplying the number of universes, and then claim that a universe like ours was bound to emerge somewhere, and it just happens to be here.

This is what scientists today call the multiverse theory. The multiverse is science’s ‘Supreme Lawmaker’. A ‘Supreme Lawmaker’ that really comes down to probabilities.

An analogy would be a Multi-Lottery. Instead of multiplying the number of entries into one lottery, we multiply the number of lotteries, and then argue that our numbers must come up in one of those lotteries.

They won’t, of course, unless a draw is made, and we can check our numbers. That relates to the problem of the observation element of the properties of fundamental particles.

When we get to philosophy, we find that on the whole, especially in ‘modern’ philosophy, the arguments are so impenetrable that they are really quite incomprehensible to ordinary people. Much of this ‘modern’ philosophy is little less than an extravagant academic indulgence. Interesting, perhaps, to fellow philosophers, but quite irrelevant to anyone else in their daily lives.

Yet earlier philosophical theories do impact our lives to a considerable extent. Most governments today operate on a version of the Social Contract theory set out by John Locke and others.

The Social Contract theory finds a ‘Supreme Lawmaker’ in the majority electing the government, and the government then making the ‘Supreme Law’.

The existence of an actual Supreme Law and Supreme Lawmaker is therefore important to the way we govern ourselves.

The Relevance of the Existence of a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker

It was the French philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, another proponent of the Social Contract theory, who said that anyone can scribble his opinions on stone, or in some book or declaration, then claim that God told him to do it and that we all have an obligation to do as he says.

That is a valid point, although making the majority the ‘Supreme Lawmaker’ has exactly the same effect, unless there are specific and strict limitations to what government can do as a lawmaker. But if there are such limitations, then the government cannot properly be considered a Supreme Lawmaker, and we are back to square one.

The problem is not with the majority electing the government. The problem arises when the government then imposes obligations on the people that violate the fundamental principles of the Universal Law.

That is the critical issue that the Founding Fathers so clearly recognized.

This series of articles will demonstrate that the Founding Fathers were exactly right when they proclaimed that there are certain fundamental and inviolable principles that were handed down to us by our Creator. These articles set out the evidence that proves them right, while also putting meat on the bones of those principles. The evidence and arguments set out in these articles aims to be a guide to the more detailed evidence and arguments set out in my book, A ‘Final Theory’ of God.

However, the evidence for a Supreme Lawmaker as the author of a Supreme Law is not simply a matter of curiosity. It has profound implications for government. It means that if government passes laws that violate the fundamental principles of the Supreme Law, those laws are by definition invalid. They are unjust laws that lead by natural tendency to oppression and tyranny, and we have an obligation, and a duty, as human beings, to oppose and resist those laws, within the bounds of the moral law, in order to preserve our freedom, and uphold the Supreme Law.

That is an obligation imposed on us by the Supreme Law itself. And it is a duty we have to the Supreme Lawmaker in order that His “will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”

The Next Article

The next article examines the convergence of science and Genesis with an analysis of the “first day”.

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

Read Part II.

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2015 All Rights Reserved