For the article on which this video is based, click here.
For the article on which this video is based, click here.
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.
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.”
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.”
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 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.”
It is into these “waters” that God is said to insert “a firmament,” and it was to “divide the waters from the waters.” 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.”
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.” 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.”
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 …”
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.”
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.”
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
 References are to the King James Version.
 Rees, Martin. Just Six Numbers. Phoenix, London 2000, page 145.
 Rees, page 155.
 Genesis 1:6.
 Genesis 1:6.
 Genesis 1:7.
 Green, Brian. The Fabric of the Cosmos. Penguin, London 2005, page 305.
 Rees, page 119, emphasis is mine.
 Greene, page 321, emphasis is mine.
 Greene, page 318, emphasis is mine.
 Rees, page 119.
In my latest book, “A ‘Final Theory’ of God”, I made these comments in the final chapter regarding my purpose for the book:
“The task of A ‘Final Theory’ of God is to awaken the human spirit to its true moral purpose, and its true moral destiny.
“It aspires to awaken in humanity, and especially in those who hold in their hands the power and resources to influence the course of government, science, philosophy, and religion, the moral purpose and destiny that is ‘written’ in our hearts, and in our minds, so that humanity can shake off the shackles of bondage to our primitive instincts and work towards a new vision. A vision true to humanity’s moral purpose and destiny: a model of government and justice that reflects the Universal Moral Law.
“It urges science to re-tool its energies and investigations to the discovery and explanation of the link between the laws of physics, chemistry and biology, and the moral aptitude of the human organism to recognize the laws of morality that are embedded in our minds. Sir Robert Winston has made a start with his recognition of a “morality module” in man, but the task is immense. The focus must be re-orientated to make the connection between the fundamental laws of physics, and the fundamental principles of the “moral law”, and the curious human ability to ‘see’ those laws.
“Instead of tearing apart the very notion of a moral purpose to the human species, science should set itself to explaining why that moral purpose won’t be silenced.
“A ‘Final Theory’ of God provides a ‘brief’ to philosophers, jurists, politicians and political scientists, theologians, and economists, to apply themselves to the task of interpreting and implementing humanity’s moral destiny in cooperation with scientists. Each must inform and learn from the other. Vanity must be overcome, and discipline-centric research set aside. The goal must be clear – reinvigorate the human spirit in its true moral purpose, and set humanity on course to fulfill its cosmic destiny.
“Nothing could be more important.
“Before we venture out into the far reaches of the cosmos, let us prepare a gift for whomever and whatever we may find out there; a gift we set by example right here on Earth. Let us not be a cosmic Columbus, visiting upon the universe death and destruction, oppression and hate, strife and discord, greed and indulgence. We must be a beacon of light, not a harbinger of death.”
But after publishing the book, I feared that science would lead us down the road to a ‘Final Theory’ of Despair.
Then I awoke this morning to an article that gave me hope. Of all places, I found it on my Twitter page. A Follower had posted this link: http://phys.org/news/2015-01-explores-universe-morality.html#jCp
It referenced Dr Kelly Smith of Clemson University, a Philosopher and Evolutionary Biologist, who has suggested that the tendency of the universe to naturally produce complexity has distinctly religious overtones and may even establish a truly universal basis for morality.
Now that is essentially the argument of my book.
However, there are some areas in which Dr Smith and I may disagree at present, especially as to whether a moral dimension to the laws of physics suggests a Supreme Lawmaker, but at least there is a glimmer of light from the scientific community. We may also disagree on the role and significance of ‘reason’ – I consider it to be a highly over-rated commodity. For those who claim it, it is like “banging on the table” (Alf Ross, in respect of Justice).
But what I found very encouraging about Dr Smith’s hypothesis is his understanding of how the moral dimension to the laws of the universe may relate to other life in the universe – if there be such a thing.
According to the article,
“[Dr] Smith feels another similarity to religion is the potential moral implications of this idea. If evolution tends to favor the development of sociality, reason, and culture as a kind of “package deal”, then it’s a good bet that any smart extraterrestrials we encounter will have similar evolved attitudes about their basic moral commitments.
“In particular, they will likely agree with us that there is something morally special about rational, social creatures. And such universal agreement, argues Smith, could be the foundation for a truly universal system of ethics.”
Now, I may disagree with certain elements of what has been ascribed to Dr Smith, but I can agree with the effect a universal moral law would have. This is what I say in the very first chapter of my book regarding extraterrestrial intelligence:
“If the Laws of Physics and the Laws of Morality are the same thing, and as we shall see that is exactly what the evidence suggests, then Stephen Hawking will have nothing to fear from aliens. If the Principles constituting a Final Theory of the universe also turn out to be the Principles of a ‘Final Theory’ of morality, the one thing we could be fairly sure of is that if aliens had mastered the physical Principles so as to be able to traverse the universe, they would also have mastered the moral Principles – because they would be one and the same. So rather than embarking on a Columbus-style subjugation and extermination of the human race, as Hawking fears, the aliens would more likely school us in the error of our ways and divert our ability to reason away from a frantic and fanatical servicing of our primitive carnal instincts and bring it into the service of the Principles of morality.”
Where scientists, philosophers and theologians will go with this is yet to be seen. But I find Dr Smith’s direction of research most encouraging.
Hopefully others will take up the challenge.
Joseph BH McMillan is the author of “A ‘Final Theory’ of God” and “Freedom v A Tyranny of Rights”
Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2015 All Rights Reserved