Tag Archives: creation.

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.

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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.

……………………………………………………………………………………

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.

Introduction to a Video Presentation of the Science in Genesis Day Two – Expansion: A Legal Proof for the Existence of God (Part III)

There is a curious but crucial omission in Day Two of Genesis that appears in each of the other Days; only in Day Two are the words “And God saw …” missing.

But as this video explains, that is not a clumsy oversight, it is very deliberate; and it reveals a profound understanding of the scientific origins of the universe.

To understand why, we need to examine two important elements of the story: the methodology employed in Genesis, and the original meaning of the word that is translated “firmament” in the English version[1].

Methodology

Day One started with “the heaven and the earth”, which were described as being “without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” The “earth” clearly refers to matter, while “the heavens” refer to space. Matter is perfectly described as being “without form, and void,” and space is accurately described with the words “darkness was upon the face of the deep.” That is a description of what physicists today call a gravitational singularity.

The “heaven and the earth” are then re-described collectively as “the waters, symbolizing the latent life-creating properties of matter and space. And that fits perfectly with what the physicist Martin Rees says about matter and space: “Even if shrunk to a ‘point’, … it is LATENT with particles and forces.[2]

The “waters” are then ‘converted’ into “light when matter and antimatter interacted to create photons of light. But because there was a slight excess of matter over antimatter, some matter was not converted into light. That excess matter was described as “the darkness”, which was separated from the “light”. This excess matter would form the building blocks of the universe. Everything that exists in the universe, or will ever exist, is made up of this initial matter and energy (light).

But it was essential that the amount of matter had to be exactly right and could not subsequently be converted into light. “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.”[3]

It is precisely at that point of Day One that Genesis says there was an intervention: “And God saw …” An observation was made that created the “irreversible effect” that guaranteed that there would be enough matter in the universe to build everything we see around us today.

A Literal Interpretation?

Now some people may claim that this is a rather ‘creative’ interpretation of Day One of Genesis, but it is in fact based on a literal reading of the words in the original Hebrew. And that is confirmed by the great Jewish scholar Nahmanides (1194 – 1270 AD), also known as Ramban. And we should remember that he was commenting on Genesis some 700 years before scientists had any real idea of the origins of the universe.

First, Nahmanides[4] makes clear he is adopting a literal interpretation: –“And now, listen to a correct and clear explanation of the text according to its simple understanding.”

This is what Nahmanides then says about Day One: “He [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 … And 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 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.

That description perfectly conforms to modern cosmology.

Furthermore, as we saw in the video on Day One, that is the basis of the mathematical equation – how a substance can change into something else while maintaining its intrinsic value, like the most famous equation of all, E = mc2.

It is also the basis of the principle ‘freedom under law.’

So at the end of Day One, Genesis tells us that the universe was composed of light and darkness, which means photons of light and the excess matter that was not converted into light because there were no antiparticles to pair-up with. And we know today that these particles formed the first lighter elements.

Accordingly, at the start of Day Two, the embryonic universe would have contained about 75 percent hydrogen, 23 percent helium, and traces of deuterium and lithium. The Big Bang did not generate enough heat to create the heavier elements needed for life.

Genesis then again re-describes this mix of lighter elements and photons of light as “the waters.”[5]

Firmament

It is into these “waters” that God is said to insert “a firmament,” and it was to “divide the waters from the waters.[6] But the next verse suggests that “the waters” were already in different places: “And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament.”[7]

But if “the waters” were already in different places, that must have been a consequence of Day One, and Day One was about quantum physics.

This is what Brian Greene says about the effect of quantum physics on the unfolding universe: “the initial nonuniformity that ultimately resulted in the formation of stars and galaxies came from quantum mechanics.”[8] And as Rees says, that is because the “slightly OVERdense regions [of space], expanding slower than average, were destined to become galaxies and clusters; others, slightly UNDERdense, were destined to become VOIDS.”[9]

This was a result of the interaction of gravity and what physicists call today expansion.

The effects of quantum physics meant that the distribution of matter (the lighter elements) in the early universe was not completely uniform. Some areas of space were more dense with atoms than others, which meant that over time gravity pulled these atoms together into enormous ‘clumps’ of matter. At the same time, the expansion force was pushing the ‘clumps’ apart leaving ‘empty’ space, or what Rees calls “voids.”

Expansion was and still is crucial to maintain the universe in the way we see it now, and for the creation of life. And Genesis recognized that.

The word that is translated “firmament” in Day Two is actually raqiya in the original Hebrew, which means expansion.

So suddenly Genesis reads exactly like the modern day scientific understanding of the forces that created the universe, and especially this crucial expansion force that was the cause of the formation of galaxies, stars, and ultimately life. Without it, the universe would not exist.

But did the reference to expansion in Genesis actually refer to what science calls expansion today?

On the ‘best evidence rule’, the answer is yes. And that is again confirmed by Nahmanides.

This is what he says about Genesis 1: 6:  “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.”

And this is how a physicist describes it today: “The tremendous outward swelling [of inflationary expansion] resulted in space being STRETCHED enormously large and extremely smooth …[10]

Also, “Calculations show that [a] nugget of space need only to have been tiny – on the order of 10-26 centimeters across – for the ensuing cosmological expansion … to have STRETCHED it larger than the universe we see today.”[11]

But why no reference to the words “And God saw …”?

Rees describes the universe at this stage as follows: “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.[12]

At this early stage, the universe consisted of giant protogalaxies composed only of the lighter elements, so it was essential that the state of the universe should not yet be made “irreversible,” and as we saw in the previous video, the words “And God saw …” does precisely that.

The protogalaxies had to continue to condense, forming giant stars whose incredible density would create supernovae, because it is this process that creates the heavier elements necessary for life.

Omitting any reference to “And God saw …” shows that Genesis understands the importance of the universe taking its course before being ‘locked-in’ with an observation. The observation comes in Day Three; in fact, there are two observations in Day Three, and for good scientific reasons.

So by the end of Day Two, everything was in place for the next step towards the ultimate purpose behind the universe – the creation of heavier elements, and ultimately human life.

These are the issues addressed in this video.

Previous videos in the series can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7fbq0r39xQXDVs-qOnIeKQ

For the article on which this video is based, click here: http://wp.me/p5izWu-8y

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

Joseph BH McMillan

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan All Rights Reserved 2015

[1] References are to the King James Version.

[2] Rees, Martin. Just Six Numbers. Phoenix, London 2000, page 145.

[3] Rees, page 155.

[4] http://www.sefaria.org/Ramban_on_Genesis.1.1.3?lang=en&layout=lines&sidebarLang=all

[5] Genesis 1:6.

[6] Genesis 1:6.

[7] Genesis 1:7.

[8] Green, Brian. The Fabric of the Cosmos. Penguin, London 2005, page 305.

[9] Rees, page 119, emphasis is mine.

[10] Greene, page 321, emphasis is mine.

[11] Greene, page 318, emphasis is mine.

[12] Rees, page 119.

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.

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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] 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 VI): Science in Genesis – Day Five.

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

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

But first, we need to address some preliminary issues.

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

It begins with these words:

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

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

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

So “the waters” must be symbolic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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] Philo, On the Heavens, XLIV – 129.

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

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

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

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

A Legal Proof for the Existence of God (Part 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 …”

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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

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

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

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

[4] Rees, page 50.

[5] Rees, page 50.

[6] Rees, page 50.

[7] Kaku, page 67.

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

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

[10] Wainwright, Ibid.

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

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

[13] Science Daily, Ibid.

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

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

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

  1. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
  2. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
  3. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

Methodology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now that is quite unambiguous.

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

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

And that is precisely what then happens.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

………………………………………………….

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

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2015 All Rights Reserved

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

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

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

[4] Greene, page 305.

[5] Greene, page 306.

[6] Greene, page 306.

[7] Greene, page 309.

[8] Greene, page 309 – 310.

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

[10] Rees, page 119.

[11] Rees, page 3.

[12] Greene, page 312.

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

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

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

[16] Rees, page 119.

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

[18] Greene, page 308.

[19] Rees, illustration at page 132.