Tag Archives: existence of God

Scientific Perspectives on the Scriptures: Genesis Day Two – Expansion

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

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

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

Day One starts with “the heaven and the earth”, which are then re-described collectively as “the waters”. The “waters” are then ‘converted’ into “light”. According to science, this transformation occurred following the Big Bang, when matter and antimatter interacted to create photons of light. But because there was a slight excess of matter over antimatter, some matter was not converted into light. That excess matter accounts for the universe we see all around us. Genesis refers to this excess matter as “the darkness”, which was separated from the “light”.[2]

The same methodology is applied in Day Two.

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

Accordingly, Day Two starts with this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are “the waters”?

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

Of the visible matter that was ‘created’ by the Big Bang, the electrons, protons and neutrons combined to form the first basic elements (atoms). Greene says this: “Our most refined theories of the origin of the universe – our most refined cosmological theories – tell us that by the time the universe was a couple of minutes old, it was filled with a nearly uniform hot gas composed of roughly 75 percent hydrogen, 23 percent helium, and small amounts of deuterium and lithium.[5]

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

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

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

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

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

When God is said to put this plan into effect, this is what happens:

And God made the firmament (expansion,) and divided the waters which were under the firmament (expansion) from the waters which were above the firmament (expansion): and it was so.” Genesis 1:7

The underlined emphasis of the words “were” are the original, suggesting a pre-existing state in which certain parts of “the waters” were in different places – “under” or “above”. That would have been a consequence of what happened in Day One. And Day One was about inflationary cosmology.

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

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

According to Greene, “the initial nonuniformity that ultimately resulted in the formation of stars and galaxies came from quantum mechanics.”[9] Like particles, fields are also subject to quantum phenomena, so the “rate of change” of a field is not uniform but “will undulate up or down” at various speeds, or “assume a strange mixture of many different rates of change, and hence its value will undergo a frenzied, fuzzy, random jitter.”[10] This means that the “amount of energy in one location would have been a bit different to what it was in another.[11]

These small differences in the quantum world of the pre-inflationary universe were then amplified by inflationary expansion, causing certain areas of the expanding universe to be more ‘dense’ in particles and energy than others. This has been confirmed by measurements of the temperature differences of microwave photons arriving from space. Greene says that “observations have shown that … tiny temperature differences fill out a particular pattern on the sky …,[12] confirming slight differences in the density of matter and energy in different locations in the universe. And these variations were “set down nearly 14 billion years ago … [and arose] from quantum uncertainty.”[13]

Greene attributes these variations to the inflaton (Higgs) field, to which we referred in Day One. Scientists believe that this field was the engine for inflationary expansion in the earliest moments of the universe. According to Greene, the inflaton field “reached the value of lowest energy at different places at slightly different moments. In turn, inflationary expansion shut off at slightly different times at different locations in space, so that the amount of spatial expansion at different locations varied slightly …”[14]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As we have already seen, by the beginning of Day Two, the Big Bang had only created the lighter elements of hydrogen, helium, deuterium and lithium. The Big Bang did not generate sufficient heat to produce the heavier elements needed to create the universe and life as we know it. That is because “… elements with 5 and 8 neutrons and protons are extremely unstable and hence cannot act as a ‘bridge’ to create elements that have a greater number of protons and neutrons.[17]

That required a different cosmic phenomenon.

In the 1950’s, Fred Hoyle, an English physicist at Cambridge University, had a moment of ‘insight’ which went some way to resolving how the heavier elements could have been created. As Kaku says, “in a stroke of genius, Hoyle realized that IF there were a previously unnoticed unstable form of carbon, created out of three helium nuclei, it might last just long enough to act as a ‘bridge,’ allowing for the creation of higher elements. … When this unstable form of carbon was actually found, it brilliantly demonstrated that nucleosynthesis could take place in the stars, rather than the big bang.[18]

However, not all stars are heavy enough to produce the heat necessary to create the heavier elements. That would require heavier stars with greater gravity. According to Rees, such stars can reach a “billion degrees” and thus “release further energy via the build-up of carbon (six protons), and by a chain of transmutations into progressively heavier nuclei.[19] But once we get to iron, which has the most “tightly bound” nucleus, “energy must be added” to create the even heavier elements beyond iron. And so, says Rees, “a star therefore faces an energy crisis when its core is transmuted into iron … [and] …the consequences are dramatic.[20]

The intense gravity causes the core of the star to implode which “releases enough energy to blow off the overlying material in a colossal explosion – creating a supernova.[21]

The supernova then ‘fertilizes’, so to speak, the universe by blasting its mix of elements into space. “The debris thrown back into space contains this mix of elements. Oxygen is the most common, followed by carbon, nitrogen, silicon and iron. The calculated proportions … [depend on the] … types of stars and the various evolutionary paths they take …[22]

This mix of elements was a pre-requisite for life. As Kaku says, “our true ‘mother’ sun was actually an unnamed star or collection of stars that died billions of years ago in a supernova, which then seeded nearby nebulae with the higher elements beyond iron that make up our body.”[23]

Calibrating Cosmic Forces for the Creation of Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Greene explains the process as follows: “as the universe expands, matter and radiation lose energy to gravity while an inflaton field gains energy from gravity.”[34] The “total energy carried by ordinary particles of matter and radiation drops because it is continually transferred to gravity as the universe expands. … gravity depletes the energy in fast moving particles of matter and radiation as space swells.[35] On the other hand, “a uniform inflaton field exerts a negative pressure within an expanding universe. … [thus] the total energy embodied in the inflaton field increases as the universe expands because it extracts energy from gravity.”[36]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rees says that “after half a million years of expansion, the temperature dropped to around 3,000 degrees … As the universe cooled further, it literally entered a dark age … [which] persisted until the first protogalaxies formed and lit it up again.”[43]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day Two concludes its account of the division of “the waters” with this: “And God called the firmament Heaven.[49] As we have already noted, this naming at the end of the “day” (always with a capital letter), signifies a permanent change from the state of the universe at the start of the ‘day’. At the start of Day Two there were “the waters” into which was inserted an “expansion”. At the end of Day Two the “expansion” had divided “the waters”, resulting in what God is said to call “Heaven”.

We should now recall what Rees said about the effect of the density differences in matter and energy in different parts of space: “slightly overdense regions, expanding slower than average, were destined to become galaxies and clusters; others, slightly underdense, were destined to become voids’.[50]

Genesis calls these voidsHeaven” – those areas of space that were left ‘free’ of matter. When we look up at the night sky, it is those areas that are not lit up by stars. As Greene says, “according to inflation, the more than 100 billion galaxies, sparkling throughout space like heavenly diamonds, are nothing but quantum mechanics writ large across the sky.[51]

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

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

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

Conclusion

That leaves just one final point to make regarding Day Two. What makes the Genesis account of “expansion” so remarkable is that it does separate, so to speak, the initial “inflation” in Day One, from the “expansion” which is said to start in Day Two. And that perfectly corresponds to Rees’ description of the process up to this point: “The fierce repulsion that drove inflation must have switched off, allowing the universe, having by then enlarged enough to encompass everything that we now see, to embark on its more leisurely expansion.[54]

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2017 All Rights Reserved

Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[9] Greene, page 305.

[10] Greene, page 306.

[11] Greene, page 306.

[12] Greene, page 311.

[13] Greene, page 311 – 312.

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

[15] Rees, page 119.

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

[17] Kaku, page 56.

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

[19] Rees, page 50.

[20] Rees, page 50.

[21] Rees, page 50.

[22] Rees, page 50.

[23] Kaku, page 67.

[24] Rees, page 1.

[25] Rees, page 2.

[26] Rees, page 2.

[27] Rees, page 3.

[28] Rees, page 82.

[29] Rees, page 100

[30] Rees, page 99.

[31] Rees, page 127.

[32] Rees, page 128.

[33] Rees, page 119.

[34] Greene, page 312.

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

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

[37] Rees, page 119 – 120.

[38] Rees, page 122.

[39] Rees, page 122.

[40] Rees, page 121.

[41] Rees, page 117.

[42] Kaku, page 58.

[43] Rees, page 119.

[44] Greene, page 314.

[45] Greene, page 315.

[46] Kaku, page 147.

[47] Kaku, pages 147 and 146 respectively.

[48] Rees, page 3.

[49] Genesis 1: 7.

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

[51] Greene, page 308.

[52] Rees, page 119.

[53] Rees, illustration at page 132.

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

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.

———————————————————–

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

————————————————————

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Methodology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now that is quite unambiguous.

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

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

And that is precisely what then happens.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

………………………………………………….

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

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2015 All Rights Reserved

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

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

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

[4] Greene, page 305.

[5] Greene, page 306.

[6] Greene, page 306.

[7] Greene, page 309.

[8] Greene, page 309 – 310.

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

[10] Rees, page 119.

[11] Rees, page 3.

[12] Greene, page 312.

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

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

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

[16] Rees, page 119.

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

[18] Greene, page 308.

[19] Rees, illustration at page 132.

A Legal Proof for the Existence of God (Part I)

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

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

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

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

What we are

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

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

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

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

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

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

 The Principle of Freedom and the limiting obligations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Freedom speaks to us of God and His Law

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

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

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

We find the same thing in physics.

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

In his book Parallel Worlds, the popular TV physicist, Michio Kaku, describes this property of particles as follows: “In a quantum play, the actors suddenly throw away the script and act on their own. The puppets cut their strings. Free will has been established.”

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

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

Only something above the law can do that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Next Article

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

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

Read Part II.

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2015 All Rights Reserved