GENESIS ONE TO ELEVEN – CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?
Barry and Helen Setterfield
Christianity has fought, still fights, and will will fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly, and finally the very reason Jesus' earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble, you'll find the sorry remains of the son of god. Take away the meaning of his death. If Jesus was not the Redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing!
G. Richard Bozarth, "the Meaning of Evolution" in American Atheist, vol 20. no.2, Feb. 1978, pp 19, 30
If evolution happened, then a tremendous amount of death occurred before man evolved. But if death preceded man, and was not the result of Adam's sin, then sin is a fiction. If sin is a fiction, then we have no need of a Savior.
Walter T. Brown, In the Beginning, CSC, Arizona, 1986, p. 42
We have presented this as a series of 6 lectures to groups for several years now, and a number of people have asked if it would be available here on our website. It’s probably time…
It is in these eleven chapters where science and the Bible meet, either to clash head-on, or to agree. There are a rather large number of people, both scholars and lay, who try to combine some sort of allegorical or mythical ‘spiritual’ meaning they assign to these eleven chapters with scientific interpretations as they are accepted today. When they force-fit these two together the Bible is invariably the loser, with significant sections ignored, deleted, or excused for one reason or another.
Is there actually a meshing between the data itself, found in nature, and what the Bible tells us happened? We believe there is, and that our research and the research of many others combine to show us how this happens. Nothing has to be ‘force-fit’ and nothing has to be ignored, left out, or excused. We have found that in a great number of areas, the Bible has been ahead of science for thousands of years and that we are just now catching up to some of what it has been trying to tell us all along. For instance, there is indication in Genesis 1 of a single super continent at the beginning, which then broke up. It took science thousands of years to come to that conclusion. In the book of Job, two star groups are mentioned: Orion and the Pleiades. The former is indicated as breaking up and the latter as being held together. It was not until our generation that we found this was so.
With this in mind, we are quite certain that there is still much more to be recognized regarding the truth of and in the Bible. But the incredible thing is that the Bible was written in such a way that the words might have slightly different meanings in different cultures, but they would remain true, nevertheless. A good example of this can be found in Genesis 1, which will be explained in that section. Knowing that we cannot know everything which the Bible is telling us, and probably won’t in this creation, we cannot claim here to have the final and definitive answer. But we can show you where the data we have found in the scientific literature actually leads, and how it truly does show us the Bible can be trusted implicitly to be telling us the truth about Creation, Noah’s Flood, the Tower of Babel, and the division of the earth’s crust at the time of Peleg.
Take your time. Sit back. Enjoy. Feel free to email us with questions or comments.
Barry and Helen Setterfield
The following series will be posted week by week as our Bible study group covers each section. We meet on Thursday evenings and I have promised to post the material the Friday or Saturday after. The last Bible study group continued for almost three years as we went past Genesis 1-11, going through the entire book of Genesis and about half-way through Exodus. We’ll see how far this one goes! However long it lasts, I am hoping to post the material within a day or two after each Bible study.
October 23, 2008
Different ways of looking at Genesis; the Tablet theory
October 30, 2008 -- no Bible study
November 6, 2008, The vocabulary in the first two verses of Genesis
November 13, 2008, Introduction to the Plasma model
November 20, 2008 Plasma Model, second half
November 27, 2008 -- no Bible study -- A Blessed Thanksgiving!
December 4, 2008 -- Creation Week, part 1
December 11, 2008 -- Creation Week, part 2 -- the Sixth Day
break until January 8
January 8, 2009 -- Beginning Adam's Tablet; Genesis 2:4b - 14
January 15, 2009 -- Genesis 2:15 to introduction to Chapter 3
January 22 cancelled due to our son's illness
January 29, 2009 -- Genesis 3, part 1
Feibruary 5, 2009 -- special evening
February 13, 2009 -- watched Fireproof (see review)
August 28, Sept. 4 -- Genesis 4:1-5:1a
September 11, 2009 -- Genesis 6:1-9a
September 25, 2009 -- Genesis 9b-22
October 2, 2009 -- The Geology Connected to Noah's Flood
October 9, 2009 -- Genesis 7
October 16, 2009 -- no Bible study
October 23, 2009 -- Genesis 8:1-7
November 6, 2009 -- Genesis 8:8-22
December 4, 2009 -- Genesis 9:1-17
December 18, 2009 -- Genesis 9:18-29
Part 4 -- all of January, 2010 -- The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9)
Part 5 -- Peleg and the Genealogies
October 23, 2008
The different translations, or texts, of the Bible have probably caused as many arguments as anything IN the Bible. First of all, however, with rare exceptions (such as the New World Bible, translated by Watchtower in order to support the Jehovah Witness doctrines) none of the translations change God’s basic message of creation, sin, salvation through Christ, or any of the other basic doctrines. So why do we have different texts?
One reason is simple: we speak different languages. There were hundreds of years when the Roman Catholic church refused to allow the Scriptures to be translated from Latin into any spoken language. When this stranglehold was finally broken, a number of translations were established by various groups and people. Since then, the Bible has been translated into hundreds of languages for people all around the world.
There are ALWAYS difficulties translating from one language to another. There is an excellent short article on some of the problems of translating from Hebrew to Greek which we highly recommend.
In addition, all of the modern translations, from before the King James on, and including the King James, are from some version of something called the Masoretic text. There is an interesting story behind this.
The Jewish people who lived under Roman domination were aware of two very important things: their time was the time of the promised Messiah, and one of the promises about the Messiah was that He would rule as a conquering King. This is what they expected. This is why they turned with such anger on Jesus only a few days after declaring Him King and Messiah on Palm Sunday – He had made no move to throw off the shackles of Rome. So while many Jews did accept Jesus as the promised Messiah, the majority refused to believe that. They had, in essence, ignored the fact that the Messiah would first come as the suffering servant of Isaiah 53.
By 100 A.D., Christianity had a strong foothold in the Mediterranean area. Those who were believers were using the ancient Jewish Scriptures to show that Jesus had indeed fulfilled the prophecies and was truly the Son of God, the Messiah, the Christ. That year, Rabbi Akiba called the Council of Jamnia. There was a Jewish man, bar Kokhba, who was leading a rebellion against Rome. This man, Rabbi Akiba was sure, was the true Messiah. Bar Kokhba received much financial and theological support from the Jewish community.
But there was a remaining problem. The Scriptures were being used by the Christians to try to show that Jesus was the Messiah. What to do? The decision at the Council of Jamnia was to change the Scriptures. Prophecies were changed, some whole sentences eliminated. Interestingly, probably because they could not believe the ancients had children when they were several hundred years old, the cipher for 100 was dropped from a number of genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11.
When the Scriptures were changed enough to suit them without disturbing the majority of the Jewish population or the leaders, other copies of the Scriptures were collected and burned.
This new version became called the Masoretic text.
And this is why many of the quotes used by the New Testament authors, and Jesus Himself, which referenced Old Testament material simply do not match what we see in our Old Testaments. The changes were deliberately done by the Council of Jamnia. This very much includes the King James version.
So is there any way we can have access to the Scriptures which DO match the Old Testament quotes? Is there any reference around in our time which was not changed by this council?
Yes, there is. About 300 B.C. Egypt controlled most of the Middle East. At that time classical Greek was the language of the common man throughout most of the area. At the request of the ruler of Egypt, Ptolemy, seventy (this is the traditional number) Hebrew scholars were assembled in Alexandria and they translated the ancient Hebrew Scriptures into classical Greek. This became what we know today as the Alexandrian Septuagint, or LXX.
Since that time, there have been many translations called “Septuagint,” in which Hebrew has been translated to Greek, but the ONLY one done before the time of Christ, or even before 100 A.D. and the Council of Jamnia, is the Alexandrian Septuagint. We no longer have the original Alexandrian, or Alexandrine as it is also called, Septuagint. We do have versions which show us where the ancient Alexandrian LXX differs from the more recent texts, however. It is in these references we find exact matches for all the quotes our Lord and the Apostles used when referring to the Hebrew Scriptures, which we call the Old Testament. The other Septuagints are all based on the Masoretic text.
There is one example in particular which illustrates the quote problem. In Hebrews 1:6 we find “And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, ‘Let all God’s angels worship him.’” That is from the NIV there, but all the versions contain this quote. What is being quoted? Deuteronomy 32:43. But if you go to that verse in the Old Testament the quote is simply not there. Not in any form at all. Unless you go to the Alexandrian LXX. And there it is. It is also in the Dead Sea Scrolls.
A word about the Dead Sea Scrolls. There are two groups of them: those written and hidden before 70 A.D. (when the Romans conquered Jerusalem) and those written and hidden after 100 A.D. Those written before 70 A.D. contain the exact wording we find in the Alexandrian LXX. Those written after 100 A.D. contain a different wording: that chosen by the Council of Jamnia and in accord with the Masoretic text, which was the result of their work.
There was another problem introduced by the Council of Jamnia. Ancient, or paleo Hebrew is a type of script writing. Compared to modern Hebrew, its appearance is a bit like comparing writing vs. printing in English. There is an even more profound difference between the two types of Hebrew, however. In paleo Hebrew, the vowels were part of the letters and included in the script itself. However in modern, square type Hebrew, the vowels are not letters, but dots, or points, under the words. And when the men at the Council of Jamnia came out with their new translation, they used the more modern square Hebrew characters which we have today…..and they left out the vowel points.
For eight hundred years, until 900 A.D., the words in the Hebrew Masoretic text were passed down via oral tradition. Think about it. Consider the letters HLL. They could be ‘hill,’ ‘hall,’ ‘hell,’ ‘hull,’…or a number of other words. Thus, while we have very reliable sources for our New Testament material, there are two major sources of possible corruption in our current versions of the Old Testament: the Masoretic changes and the 800 year gap before the vowel points were put back in.
And yet, God being God, the basic message has remained uncorrupted by man. A few verses here, numbers there, phrases another place got messed with a bit, but essentially we can still count on the Old Testament in most places to be telling us what happened.
There is one other point that needs to be made about ALL translations. It is very difficult translating from one language to another. Israelite culture and the Hebrew language itself are full of puns, double entendres, and idioms. What is a translator to do? Go with the words? Go with the meaning? Add to the text by explaining the idiom (if known)? So we are NOT about to criticize the various translations. We do know that many of the more modern translations have the benefit of some older texts than some of the earlier translations (including the King James), but, on the other hand, they seem to depend a lot more on modern scientific understandings in some areas and thus change the meaning of what the older text was saying. The older translations tend to be more literal in their translations in that area. So there are positives and negatives with all translations. This is why, in our home Bible studies, we encourage our friends to bring any translation they choose. Then we can not only compare, but also compare with a Hebrew interlinear which we have as well as our copy of Alexandrian Septuagint, which contains not only the English translation, but the original Greek translation as well (which is available on the net, by the way).
This is also why you will find us cross-referencing many word translations and passages with the Alexandrian LXX as we go through this study.
reference for Bar Kokhba's rebellion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bar_Kokhba_revolt
reference regarding the Council of Jamnia and the LXX: Siegfried H. Horn (Professor emeritus of archeology at Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan), "the Old Testament text in antiquity," Ministry, November 1987
more on this website, see Hebrew Chronology
Different Ways of Viewing Genesis; the Tablet Hypothesis
The book of Genesis and modern science are at intense odds with each other. There are a number of folk who want to believe in the Bible and also want to believe what modern science says and so try to deal with Genesis in a number of ways. Here are the main ones:
The Gap theory.
Actually, there are two current gap theories. Each posits a significant ‘gap’ in time at some point during Genesis 1. The most common one is the ‘gap’ between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. By putting a gap here of millions or billions of years, it seems to accommodate the ancient ages declared by radiometric dating and seems to give time for evolution. The Gap theory as it is usually known says there was a creation which was destroyed either by Satan or because of Satan and was then recreated at Genesis 1:2. There are several problems with this theory: 1) if all or most the strata came before the Deluge then there is no evidence for anything from Noah’s flood; 2) at the end of creation week, God declares the entire creation ‘very good,’ which means Lucifer/Satan had not yet rebelled/sinned; and 3) the Hebrew grammatical structure does not allow for a time gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.
The second gap theory is not recognized as a gap theory, but inserts billions of years ‘out there’ in space anyway. Russ Humphreys is a creation physicist. His white hole cosmology says the entire creation was spewed forth from a ‘white hole’ but that the earth was held at the event horizon while billions of years passed in the processes of the stars and the galaxies which had already passed the event horizon. This effectively inserts an enormous type of gap in day 4 of creation week. The problems with this are several: 1) although there is no real evidence for a horizon event with a black hole and no evidence for a white hole at all (even a ‘black hole’ has no real evidence, just the interpretation of some things that are seen), and therefore there is no evidence of anything pausing, let alone halting for billions of years at any horizon event; 2) even in the mathematical models dealing with black and white holes, any pause at the horizon is simply that – a pause. It is not a halting for any length of time; 3) the white hole cosmology clearly contradicts the declarations in Exodus 20 and 31 that the entire creation was made in six literal days.
The Day-Age theory
The Day-Age theory states that each of the ‘days’ of Genesis 1 is really an era of indeterminate length. This idea accommodates the ancient ages indicated by radiometric dates as well as, again, allowing time for evolution. There are, however, significant problems with this idea, too: 1) the order of creation in Genesis 1 does not allow for eras between events. For instance, plants are formed on day three, but the sun is not lit until day 4. Day 5 sees the creation of the great animals in the sea and the animals that fly. This disagrees strongly with the evolutionary order of land animals before flying animals. 2) There is also a problem with the clear, straightforward reading of the text of Genesis 1, where each day is defined by an evening and a morning. Eras do not have evenings and mornings.
There are many who have relegated Genesis, especially the first eleven chapters, to the category of allegory. This means that there is a core truth presented, but the story around it is false. In other words, God is responsible for creation, but the ideas of creation week, antediluvian ages, Noah’s flood, Babel, and the splitting of the continents at the time of Peleg are simply fictitious and only meant to demonstrate the truth that God is responsible for creation. There is a significant problem for any Christians who try to take this approach, for they are then faced with the fact that the other writers in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, as well as Jesus Himself, all referred to the events in early Genesis as true historical events. There is also the difficulty that every major doctrine in the Bible has its origins in these chapters. If the material presented therein is not true, then there is no reason to accept the rest of the Bible as true either.
Those who consider Genesis myth consider it to have been simply copied from other creation myths of the Middle East. This approach discounts any validity it may have at all. A major problem with this approach is that Genesis does not present itself as a myth, but as history. Literary honesty demands it be accepted or rejected on its own terms.
Because there are some interesting anomalies in Genesis, scholars recognized about 150 years ago that it appears to be the work of more than one author. There was also evidence of some Egyptian borrowed words and phrasing in Genesis in some places, so these scholars felt sure that Genesis was written much later in time than originally supposed and by at least four authors, whom they titled “J, E, P, and D.” This approach answered the problem of Genesis referring to God in different ways. It appeared to answer the problem of the inserted borrowed Egyptian words as well. There were some problems with this approach immediately, however: 1) Genesis itself purports to be the original history and 2) it contained exact conversations and details which later writers would not have known or had to make up. In addition, in the years that followed, this hypothesis was discounted and then disproved both historically and theologically.
Genesis as True History
Thus, with all the other problems in the other approaches, this one must be considered. Within this area, though, there are two distinct possibilities
1. The most accepted by those who consider it true history is that Moses wrote it under divine inspiration. Genesis has historically been considered one of the five books of Moses, along with Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Because he (or his scribe under his direction) is considered the author of the other four, his authorship of the first book is often not questioned. This would certainly account for any borrowed Egyptian words, but it still leaves the different writing styles evident in the book as a question.
2. The Tablet Hypothesis. This puts forward the idea that Genesis is a series of eyewitness accounts with some editorial comments and names inserted later by Moses as points of explanation. This attributes the collation of the books to Moses and considers Moses as editor, thus also explaining why Genesis is considered the first book of Moses, even if he was not one of the original authors.
We hold to the Tablet Hypothesis and we would like to explain why.
In the 1930’s, P.J. Wiseman, a scholar, was examining some of the most ancient clay tablets in Ur, one of the most ancient cities in the country now known as Iraq. He noticed something interesting about the oldest ones there. Whereas most of the later tablets were like our ‘essays’ today, with the title and author at the top, the most ancient were different: the ‘title’ and author were at the bottom, somewhat like signing a letter. In other words, the written material preceded the author’s name.
He looked at Genesis. There, eleven times, was the same phrase he was seeing as the ‘sign off’ of the most ancient tablets, the phrase often translated as “these are the generations of…..” or “this is the history of”, depending on the translation you are reading. If these phrases were the CLOSING lines of tablets, how would Genesis read?
Here are the first six times this happens, as a point of reference:
Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth
Genesis 2:4a – This is the history of the origin of the heavens and the earth when they were created.
Genesis 2:4b – When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens….
Genesis 5:1a – this is the written account [sepher] of the history of the origin of Adam.
Genesis 5:1b – When God created man, He made him in the likeness of God
Genesis 6:9a – This is the history of Noah
Genesis 6:9b – Noah was a righteous man….
Genesis 10:1 – This is the history of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, Noah’s sons, who themselves had sons after the flood.
Genesis 10:2 – The sons of Japheth….
Genesis 11:10a – This is the history of Shem
Genesis 11:10b – Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old…
Genesis 11:27a – This is the history of Terah.
What needs to be noticed first is that men later combined verses so that the ‘this is the history of’ was used at the beginning of a passage when, actually, it may have been the ending of a tablet instead. This is why so many verses are divided as indicated by the “a” and “b” following the verse number.
Another thing that should be noted is the interesting opening of each tablet: it refers directly to the tablet immediately preceding it. There is no doubt about the order the tablets were to be read in.
So, could Adam write? If these are the tablets they seem to be, then yes. He, himself mentioned that when he used the Hebrew word ‘sepher’ in his closing line, as noted above. The word indicates something written, not something passed down as a story or oral tradition.
So , if these are eyewitness accounts, what about Genesis 1:1-2:4a? Who wrote that? The only eyewitness to that entire process would have been God Himself. There is recorded in Exodus that God wrote the Ten Commandments Himself on tablets of stone. He was certainly capable of recording the first week of creation for us the same way.
If Genesis is truly a series of eyewitness accounts, written by those who signed off on each of the tablets, we have the answer for the different styles of writing noticed in the book. We have an answer for the different name of God from Genesis 2:4b on (it is actually not a different name, but an added name). We have an answer for the recording of exact conversations and details.
But we do not have the answer, immediately, for the borrowed Egyptian words and phrasing in a few areas. The answer lies in what happened to the tablets. Only one existed before Noah: Adam’s. Because Noah is recorded by his son’s as being a righteous man, and by the Apostle Peter as a ‘preacher of righteousness’ (2 Peter 2:5), it would have been logical for Noah to have been given the tablet for safekeeping. He also wrote his own tablet and his sons added theirs. As the tablets of eyewitness history accumulated over time, they remained in the hands of the leader(s), finally ending up in the royal library in Egypt, as Joseph, whose family would have been in possession of them, was very highly regarded by the Pharoah. Over four hundred years those tablets then would have been kept safely there until there was another Jewish prince in Egypt: Moses. Moses had access to them, but he had been raised in an Egyptian household. Thus Egyptian words and phrasing came naturally to him. When he collated the tablets and had them copied onto a scroll, possibly even before the Exodus, he inserted a few modern names and some quick explanations in a few areas, which have given us some valuable information.
The Tablet Hypothesis makes sense; it fits the known data; it fits the acceptance of Genesis by other Scripture writers; it explains the differences in writing styles; it explains the borrowed Egyptian terms; and it matches what we see in the most ancient of tablets in Sumeria. It also explains why Genesis is considered one of the books of Moses: he was not only responsible for converting the tablets to scrolls (we do not know where the tablets are now, if they still exist), but he did the collating and editing. Thus, like any editor of a book which includes the words of different authors, the book is associated with the name of the editor.
references for more material on the Tablet Hypothesis
The Tablet Theory of Genesis Authorship
Oswald T. Allis (of Princeton and later of Westminster Theological Seminary), The Five Books of Moses, Presbyterian & Reformed, 1964
R.K. Harrison (Professor of Old Testament, Wycliffe college, University of Toronto), Introduction to the Old Testament, Eerdsmans, 1969
There was no Bible study October 30.
November 6, 2008: The vocabulary in Genesis 1:1-1:2
We reviewed the material from two weeks ago, as there was no Bible Study last week. The point was made that knowing about the changes Rabbi Akiba and the Council of Jamnia made which resulted in our Masoretic texts in no way invalidates the basic truthfulness of the Bible. The changes were made in two basic areas: prophecies about the coming Messiah and the ages of the ancients in Genesis 5 and 11 when each became the father of the next in the written line. These things can be very easily seen when comparing with the ancient Alexandrian LXX, translated 300 years before Christ. There are a few more interesting changes, which we will point out as we go through the Genesis study, but with the exception of one in particular, having to do with Cain, there are none which affect doctrine in any way. Christians, and anyone else, can trust the Bible to be telling the truth.
However, as this week’s study pointed out, sometimes what the Bible is saying is not what we traditionally think of it as saying. Often this is because of the translators’ choices where the words chosen in another language are concerned. This week we went through the vocabulary used in the first two verses of Genesis 1.
Here is the basic list:
Resiyt – beginning. Used 51 times in the Old Testament. Other meanings: “first, firstfruits, beginning, best, early, beginnings, choice, choice parts, early, finest…” Indication is that what was first was best.
This ties in with Romans 8:20 – “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in the hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay.”
We were emailed a question about the word 'resiyt' as compared to the other word for 'beginning' -- bereshith. Here is Barry's response:
Resiyt is also spelled reshiyth
Bereshith is also spelled bereshiyth
They are the same word, but one has the ‘be’ in front of it. The ‘be’ is the preposition translated ‘in’ – so bereshiyth (bereshith) is “In the beginning” – the whole phrase. It is the word reshiyth (resiyt) which is the actual word ‘beginning.’
Bereshith, however you want to spell it, is also the word used to define the entire book we call Genesis.
Elohim – authority, god, God – a plural word meaning more than two
“el” is the basic designation for God or a god in the singular. We find it is such names as Daniel ( “God is my judge”), Samuel (“name of God”), Jehezkel (“may God strengthen”), Jathniel (“God-given”), Haziel (“vision of God”), etc.
“eloh” is the simple plural, meaning two
But when the ‘im’ ending is added, it means three or more. We see the meaning in words we can recognize such as ‘cherubim’ and ‘seraphim.’
Did the ancient Israelites recognize this meaning? The strong evidence is that yes, they did. Look at Deut. 6:4 – Hear O Israel, the Lord our God (elohim), the Lord is One.
“One” – echad – meaning united as one. The same word is used to describe the union between husband and wife in Gen. 2.
There is a grammatical problem as well that does not translate into the English. For those of you who have taken a foreign language, you may know that in many languages, and Hebrew is one of them, the subject and verb are often combined into one word. For instance, in Latin, the verb ‘to hide’ is conjugated in the present tense as follows:
celo: I hide
celamus: we hide
celas: you (singular) hide
celatis: you (plural) hide
celat: he/she/it hides
celant: they hide
“In Hebrew, verbs are conjugated to reflect their tense and mood, as well as to agree with their subjects in gender, number, and person.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_verb_conjugation
This leads to the problem we don’t see in the English which is very clear in the Hebrew: there is a subject/verb disagreement many times when God is being referred to. For instance Genesis 1:1 it is the same problem we see in Genesis 1:26-27. Here God is saying in the English, “Let us make man in our image.” That seems fine until you understand that “God” is the plural “elohim,” while the verb (which includes the understood subject) is in the singular. In effect, the reading is “elohim, he-said…” or “Gods, he said…”
This combination is used repeatedly throughout the Old Testament. This is not the ‘majestic plural’ which it has sometimes been referred to as. The majestic plural is what you might hear a king or queen say in referring to him or herself as a plural: “We are in discussion about that now…” When this is used, the verb is always in agreement with the plural subject. However the rough approximation of what is happening in the Hebrew when the references to God are used would be something like “We is in discussion….” It is grammatically terrible, but indicated the Trinity throughout the Bible.
Other examples can be seen in Genesis 11:7, Ecclesiastes 12:1,14, Malachi 1:6, etc.
Are there any other indications in the Old Testament that a Trinity, or some kind of ‘plurality’ was present in what we refer to as God? Yes, there are. Some are clear and some require going back to the Hebrew.
Isaiah 48:12-13, 16-17. In the New King James, we read: “Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel my called. I am he. I am the first. I am also the last. Indeed, my hand has laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand has stretched out the heavens. When I call to them they stand up together…Come near to me, hear this. I have not spoken in secret from the beginning. From the time that it was, I was there. And now the Lord God and his Spirit have sent me. Thus says the LORD your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way you should go.
The speaker here is the First and the Last, who laid the foundations of the earth and stretched out the heavens. The speaker says the LORD God and his Spirit have sent him. Thus three are being spoken of: the LORD God, the speaker, who says he is the Holy One and Redeemer of Israel, and the Spirit. In other passages we know that the Redeemer is God.
For instance, in Isaiah 44:6, we read:
This is what the LORD says – Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.
Thus, letting Bible explain Bible, and especially with reference to the grammar in the original language, it cannot be avoided that the Trinity was known and implicitly understood, at least to some degree, throughout Israel’s history.
A friend of Barry’s was once confronted by a rabbi who challenged him as to the reality of Jesus being the Messiah. Understand, first, that the name Jesus is the Greek form of the name Joshua which is spelled grammatically in the Hebrew as either Y’shua or Yeshua. The rabbi said that surely if Jesus was the Messiah, it would have been mentioned somewhere in the Tenach, or our Old Testament.
With that, Barry’s friend directed the rabbi to open his scriptures to Habakkuk 3:13. In the New King James it reads: “You went forth for the salvation of your people, for salvation with your anointed."
In the NIV we read, “You came out to deliver your people, to save your anointed one.”
In the Alexandrian LXX this is how it reads: “You went forth for the salvation of your people, to save your anointed.”
The word ‘anointed’ is, in Hebrew, the word “Mashiach” which means “Messiah.” And the word which has been translation as ‘salvation,’ or ‘delivered,’ is “Y’shua!” So the passage literally reads, in Hebrew, “You went forth with the Y’shua of your people, with Y’shua ha (your) Mashiach.”
Another passage declaring Y’shua as the Messiah is in Isaiah 62:11.
In the New King James it reads, “Indeed the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the world: “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Surely your salvation is coming; behold his reward is with him and his work before him.’”
NIV: The LORD has made a proclamation to the ends of the earth: “Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.’”
Alexandrian LXX: For behold, the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the earth, Say you to the daughter of Zion, Behold, your Savior has come to you, having his reward and his work before his face.
The word ‘salvation’ or ‘Savior’ here is a proper name, not simply a noun. This can be seen from the fact that it says “behold HIS reward is with HIM” etc. The word translated “salvation” is, in the Hebrew, “Y’shua.”
Bara – there are two verbs used in Genesis 1 which refer to making something. The first is ‘bara.’ This verb is used on only three occasions in Genesis 1. The other, more commonly used verb, is ‘asah.’ Both can mean to make something out of a pre-existing substance, as when a potter makes a vase out of clay. ‘Asah’ has that meaning exclusively. But ‘bara’ has another meaning – its primary meaning: ‘to make something from nothing.’ When juxtaposed to ‘asah,’ as it is in Genesis 1, its primary meaning is emphasized: to create, or make something out of nothing.
Shamayim – translated in English, and most other languages, as “heaven or heavens.” However, the meaning is actually ‘to be lofty’ or ‘that which is lofty/lifted up.’ It is a plural word from an unused singular root (sort of like the words ‘sheep’ and ‘trout.’)
Eres – earth. This always means a ‘substance,’ or ‘stuff.’ It is from a primary root meaning ‘firm’ or ‘to be firm.’ In other words, not necessarily confined to ‘earth’ as a meaning. After creation week, however, we see it used almost exclusively as referring to either land masses or a people associated with a particular land mass or area. It NEVER means ‘people’ in general. It ALWAYS means, or refers to, some kind of physical stuff.
So let’s look at verse 1 of Genesis 1 in its widest possible meaning:
IN THE BEGINNING, WHICH WAS THE BEST, THE TRINITY GOD CREATED FROM NOTHING THAT WHICH IS LOFTY AND LIFTED UP AND THAT WHICH IS FIRM.
On to verse 2
Tehom – This word is translated ‘deep.’ However, this translation is much too limited when considering its actual meaning. The word itself means ‘a surging mass, as of water.’ In other words, it is not necessarily water, but the concept of something like a tsunami is as close as it could come in years past. It is our guess that because surging ocean waves were as close as they knew to ‘tehom,’ the translation of ‘deep’ meaning, at least, a lot of water, became traditional.
Choshek – darkness -- from ‘chashak’ meaning ‘dark, to hide, to be dim; figuratively meaning misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness.’ There is an interesting note to add here. In every culture, the concept of seeing the light is synonymous with understanding. “Do you see?” This question, in any language, means, “Do you understand?” If we consider that this double meaning has been there since the beginning, it helps us understand the meaning of Christ being the light of the world, and of men loving darkness.
Rahap – the traditional interpretations of this word are ‘hovering,’ or ‘brooding.’ This, however, is not the way this word is used in other places in the Bible. When the Alexandrian Septuagint was translated three hundred years before Christ, the word chosen by the Hebrew scholars in the Greek for this word is the exact same word we find in the Greek in Acts 27:
Verse 17: “When they had taken it on board, they used cables to undergird the ship; and fearing lest they should run aground on Syrtis Sands, they struck sail and so were driven."
Verse 27: “But when the fourteenth night had come, as we were driven up and down in the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors sense that they were drawing near some land.”
In other words, the indication is of the Holy Spirit acting as a driving force.
Paneh – surface, face of the waters. But this may be putting a constriction on the use of the word not originally intended. It is used 2127 times in the Old Testament and only ten times is translated as ‘surface’. Some of the other common translations are ‘before’ (542 times when used with another word), ‘face’ (211 times), ‘presence’ (108 times), etc.
Mayim is ‘waters.’ The ‘im’ ending indicates multiple, or a plural of more than two. The root word is ‘ma’ and we can see this in a variety of places today. The ‘seas’ on the moon are called ‘mares.’ The “mo” in Moses” is simply a variation of the “ma” root. The name Moses means “out from the water.”
There is something else that is an interesting possibility: near the end of Genesis 4, mention is made of a sister of Tubal-Cain named Naamah. Nothing more is ever said about her, so why is she mentioned? Hebrew legends say she was the wife of Noah. Look at her name and that may well be true. Her name may not be a name at all, but a title: one of the old spellings of Noah is Naa (pronounced Na’a). The ‘mah’ or ‘ma’ ending on the end would indicate she is connected to Noah of the water.
This word mayim used here is also a reason ‘tehom’ was translated ‘deep.’ However water itself has form, and is not empty or void, so what is being talked about here?
Another interesting point is that the word for heavens is shamayim – the word for ‘water’ is incorporated into it. The heavens themselves evidently had something to do with water in some form at the beginning. What the Bible may be telling us here is something that has to do with a recent field of research. We will be going into it next time.
But so far, let’s look at the widest meanings possible of the first two verses of Genesis.
IN THE BEGINNING, WHICH WAS THE BEST, THE TRINITY GOD CREATED FROM NOTHING THAT WHICH IS LOFTY AND LIFTED UP AND THAT WHICH IS FIRM.
THAT WHICH WAS FIRM HAD NO FORM, AND WAS EMPTY (OR VOID); AND DARKNESS WAS OVER THE SURGING MASS. THE SPIRIT OF GOD WAS DRIVING THE WATERS.
November 13, 2008 Introduction to the Plasma model
History of plasma research Plasma-without form and void Side discussion on global warming Plasma spheres Plasma filaments Plasma pinches What kind of plasma?
We first read the full Open Letter to the Scientific Community
The questions started right away. Questions from members of the Bible study group are in italics and Barry is in regular type.
The history of plasma research
How long has plasma been around? [meaning the study of it, not plasma itself]
One man held up developments in plasma for fifty or sixty years. Plasma was first discovered around the late 1800s through the work of Kristian Birkeland. Using a magnetized ball immersed in a plasma, he showed that auroras were due to electric currents in the plasma. The auroras were forming around the magnetic poles of the ball when the current was flowing. They didn’t call it plasma then, but he was the one who recognized that electric currents made the auroras.
You need to know a little about electric currents and plasma: Plasma has three modes: dark, glow, and arc. In the dark mode you cannot see it. In the glow mode it is like our neon lights, and in the arc mode it is like lightning. Auroras are the plasma in glow mode.
When Birkeland published his results, a British physicist, Chapman, argued strongly against Birkeland’s ideas on a purely theoretical basis. Because Chapman was a highly respected theoretical physicist at the time, Birkeland was ignored.
Hannes Alfvén was a renowned phycist who, among other accomplishments, work with plasma. “Alfvén's lifetime achievements earned him worldwide recognition- including the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1967), the Nobel Prize in physics (1970), the Gold Medal of the Franklin Institute (1971), and the Lomonosov Medal of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1971).” Alfvén‘s Nobel prize was applying his work in plasma physics to space phenomena, but Chapman criticized his work with plasma so effectively that this work was ignored for most of Alfvén ‘s lifetime. In 1963, Alfvén predicted the whole structure of universe would be filamentary, and they laughed at him. He was proved right in 1991, to the amazement of many astronomers.
About this time, spacecraft found out that Birkland and Alfvén had been right and Chapman was wrong. But generations of physicists have been brought up on Chapman’s theoretical approach, and it is a very difficult process to change paradigms. So it was not until 1990s that plasma physics took off. By this time Chapman was dead.
Anthony Peratt was one of the first to get things going again.
Since then plasma physics has developed significantly despite the fact that the majority of the scientific hierarchy is still against it.
Plasma – without form and void
The second verse in Genesis tells us that the initially created matter with without form, and void (or vacuous). It had no intrinsic shape or internal organization. The three states of matter we are most familiar with do not fit this description. Solids certainly have shape and internal organization. Liquids and gases may or may not have shape, depending on their container, but both have internal organization within their atomic and molecular structures.
There is a fourth state of matter, however. When an atom is stripped of one or more of its electrons, for whatever reason, it becomes ‘ionized.’ The electron is off someplace with its negative charge, leaving the rest of the atom with a positive charge. When this happens in a gas, the gas becomes ionized. Movement of the ions or electrons within that gas produces an electric current, and that electric current will ALWAYS be surrounded by a magnetic field. Electricity and magnetism go together. The circling magnetic fields force the plasma gases into filaments, often with two or more interacting with each other.
We see these plasma filaments everywhere we look. They are in glow mode in the auroras.
Our sun is a plasma
We see plasma filaments in space wherever we look:
Plasma, especially in a super-hot state, has no form or organization to it. It is simply electrons not connected to any nucleus, leaving vast currents of negative and positive electricity surrounded by vast magnetic fields.
Plasma would fit the definition given in Genesis 1:2
Why does electric current from sun fluctuate…aurora?
The current comes in to the earth’s poles. Why does the strength vary? Because of sunspots. There is an eleven year cycle for sunspots. A sunspot is, literally, a hole in the surface of the sun and streams of particles are ejected from it. This is in addition to the normal solar wind. Interestingly, the further out in the solar system you go, the faster the solar wind travels.
Effectively each planet has its own plasma sphere. The sun has its heliosphere. The heliosphere extends beyond the known solar system. The sun itself is positively charged, but the outer reaches of the heliosphere are negatively charged, and when you go beyond the heliosphere there is a further negative charge in interstellar space. So the closer the positively charged solar wind gets to the outer reaches, the closer it gets to the stronger negative charge. This is why it speeds up as it goes outward
Side discussion on global warming
Is global warming connected to sun spots?
There is a connection. When you have more sun spots, you have more global warming happening. This happens because you have more particles coming from the sun and the influx of particles affects our upper atmosphere. Our upper atmosphere then warms up and expands. This warms the oceans and they release more carbon dioxide as have more of their water evaporating. This means more rain is connected with cyclical global warming. There was an interesting article in today’s New Scientist (Nov. 8-14, 2008 p. 10). It reported that the Parana River in South America has a flow rate governed by sun spots. How? Because sun spots affect the amount of rain. More spots, more precipitation. This is connected to at least one type of global warming, the one we see cyclically.
However it should also be noted that there have been about 100 years of measurements showing that the sun itself is increasing its output. Not only the earth is warming, but other planets are, too. We know for a fact that Mars is heating up. The intensity of light reflected from Uranus has increased. So this is an increase apart from sun spot activity and something much more general in its effect.
As the sun heats up, equatorial waters heat more. However the polar air masses remain at approximately the same temperature because of the ice at the poles. So the temperature gradient between the air masses from the equator and the air masses from the poles increases – there is a greater differential. Thus the wind current patterns become more strongly driven and this results in more violent weather systems. We have noticed something interesting about the waves in the Atlantic. The heights of storm waves in the Atlantic have increased by 10% since the 1960s, and the height of ordinary waves in the North Sea have increased over 20%. This has been measured by the height of the waves on the legs of the oil drilling platforms. There are other measurements, too, but the main idea is that yes, the sun is causing the global warming.
Another effect of the sun heating the waters is the increased release of carbon dioxide. Just like a warm soda pop will explode out of an opened can, the sea itself gives up more carbon dioxide when it is warmed. It’s part of a natural feedback cycle and not the fault of humans.
Is this the Lord’s way of accomplishing the future end of the age?
Yes, I believe it may be. In Revelation we find men blaspheme God because of the heat. This is probably the ‘run up’ to that. In Isaiah 30:25-26
There will be on every high mountain and on every high hill rivers and streams of waters, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. Moreover the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD binds up the bruise of his people, and heals the stroke of their wound.
That is at close of Tribulation. It is important to note that light and heat output from sun are two different things. The sun’s light output is centered near the ultraviolet boundary. The heat output is down toward the red end of the spectrum. So the heat output much less in comparison. Seven times brighter is not seven times hotter. But the heat output will increase.
Around each planet is a plasma envelope. Ours is often referred to as the ionosphere. It is quite large compared to the earth, and looks a bit like this:
A bit more impressive idea of how large our plasma sphere is can be seen in this picture:
What can be inferred from this picture is the fact of the ‘plasma tail’ that is blown out away from the sun. Every planet is like this, so that planets can and do pass through each other’s plasma tails. Today the plasma envelopes are in dark current mode and we cannot see them. However in the earlier life of the universe, the Zero Point Energy (see Bible study #2) was much less and this meant that electric currents in plasma were stronger and the voltage differences between any two bodies in the solar system would have been greater.
At that time the plasma envelopes would have been in glow mode. This helps us understand what Jupiter, the planet, was considered the king of the gods. The size of its plasma envelope is 3-7 million miles in diameter. The sun’s diameter, by comparison, is less than a million miles. So when Jupiter could be seen in the sky, it looked bigger than the sun, although not brighter.
Additionally, when planets passed through each other’s plasma tails, giant electric discharges occurred. This could be seen in the sky by our ancestors and the sight must have been terrifying. Here we have one of the cores of truth in the ancient mythologies about the wars of the gods. That must have been what it looked like from earth.
There is also the fact that if the earth passed through Venus’ tail or Mars passed through ours, we could be on the receiving end of one of those discharges.
There is the distinct possibility that the destruction in Tunguska in 1908 was an electric discharge, though. Despite years of searching, no meteorite materials have been found. However the description of what happened does fit with what would happen during an interplanetary electric discharge. Interestingly, we were within a couple of days of Venus being directly between us and the sun. Since the plasma tails can wave back and forth a bit like a wind sock, there is at least the possibility that the last electric discharge between two planets happened to us at that time. For a description of the event, here is a website
And although they describe the event as a meteorite impact event, the evidence for a meteorite has never been found.
Today the plasma spheres are in dark current mode and no longer causing the giant discharges seen long ago which were so frightening. But there is a holdover in the perversion of astrology: the idea there persists that when the planets line up bad things will happen. They don’t know why, nor do they remember the ancient stories as anything more than mythologies, but that bit of the myth remains in the astrology ‘forecasts’ of today.
What is cold plasma? How does it work?
An electric current energizes the atoms and strips the electrons off, creating electric and magnetic fields.
With a plasma, the movement of ions generates electric field and magnetic field surrounds it, constricting it. This results in a filamentary structure.
Current in plasma clouds in space is about ten thousand billion amps. By contrast, our auroras are only 650 thousand amps.
Near the center of our galaxy, there is a plasma filament 300,000 light years long.
Further evidence of the size and strength of these plasma filaments in space can be seen in the visual explanation of what has been seen in the constellation of Orion
If you go to the associated link, you can see more of the problem plasma physicists are having with standard cosmology. Refusing to acknowledge what they are actually seeing, the explanations can get strange, as the author of the short article points out.
OK, now we have looked at what a plasma is and the filaments it produces. These filaments do not remain straight or static, however. Instabilities in magnetic field happen constantly. Almost anything can trigger them: temperature changes, a change in the rate of movement of the ions, and many other things. What happens then is the plasma filament or filaments (if two or more are interacting together) begin to pinch. This is called a z-pinch or a Bennet pinch.
Here are some pictures of what can be seen through our telescopes:
That one is called the Ant Nebula.
Or consider this dramatic example, the Bug Nebula:
It has become very clear that it is at these pinches where the stars form. That is why they often appear like strings of stars along the filaments in galaxies. The galaxy known as M81 is a good example:
Keep in mind, now, that the standard cosmological model is based on the action of gravity. But gravity is a very weak force. You overcome it yourself every time you pick up something. The electromagnetism we see in plasma fields, however, is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (or 1039) times stronger than gravity. The only way gravitational models can deal with the spiral galaxies and the way they behave is to insist that there must be some kind of dark matter making up the vast majority of the universe. They need something to exert the gravitational force. Plasma, however, behaves exactly the way we are seeing things behave in outer space without any imaginary dark matter, dark energy, or dark forces.
What kind of plasma?
The Big Bang model says the first element, and the only element was hydrogen. They can get helium from hydrogen in the original hot mix. But after that they have a problem: how to get the other elements. The only way they have theorized it possible to get other elements from hydrogen is to have it happen via fusion in stars, so that when these first stars burst, or became novas, they spread these newly formed elements throughout space.
But there is a major problem with trying to theorize star formation from just hydrogen and helium. This is because as the theoretical gas cloud of these elements condenses, the heat of the condensation would cause the cloud to re-expand, forbidding star formation. It is not until you have the heavier elements you need to make in the first place that you can get heat transferred out of this theoretical condensing cloud to form the other elements themselves.
Thus gravitational collapse with just hydrogen and helium is impossible.
We have already shown how the z pinch forms the stars, but what about the elements themselves. Is there anything in Genesis 1 which gives us any clue as to the element formation?
Yes, there is. We read that the Holy Spirit was driving the mayim, or waters. Now if the entire early creation was a surging plasma, why the reference to waters? We think of water as liquid. But if we think of it, rather, as H20, or two hydrogen for every oxygen, then we have the clue that we need. The first creation was not simply of hydrogen nuclei, but of oxygen as well. They would have been creation in a two to one ratio to be called water.
How do we get the other elements out of a water plasma? Dr. Ed Boudreaux, Professor emeritus in chemistry has worked with this concept and mathematically shown that all the elements in their known abundances can be produced from a very hot water plasma in a short amount of time – something like half an hour! So what we were seeing in the Bible has probably not been a reference to a nice round little blue ball in the beginning, but to a violent surging water plasma from which the entire universe was formed.
It is important to note that we KNOW the elements were there from the beginning. We can see it! When we look out to the frontiers of the cosmos and look at the light signatures of the various elements in the farthest objects we can find, what is showing up? A lot of iron! It seems to be swamping out everything else! But, according to the Big Bang/gravitational model, iron shouldn’t be there at all. It should only have been formed much, much later, and therefore closer in when we are looking out (back in time).
In contrast, the plasma model, even without the biblical help, can account for heavy element formation in the Bennett or z pinches. Fusion occurs there, building up elements. The Bible gives an enormous help in identifying the first created elements, and when that is added to the action of plasma and the plasma pinches, there is no problem with extraordinarily rapid heavy element formation.
[although the Bible study discussed a few more things, we are going to be reviewing them in the next session and so they will be included there for the sake of clarity]
November 20, 2008 -- Plasma Model, second half
Twelve times in the Bible, we read that God claims HE stretched the heavens:
Psalm 104:2 – He wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent.
Isaiah 40:22 – He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
Isaiah 42:5 – This is what God the LORD says – he who created the heavens and stretch them out,…
Isaiah 44:24 – I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself.
Isaiah 45:12 – It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.
Isaiah 48:13 – My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens;…
Isaiah 51:13 -- …you forget the LORD your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth.
Jeremiah 10:12 – But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
Jeremiah 51:15 – He made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
Zechariah 12:1 – this is the world of the LORD concerning Israel. The LORD, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him…
Job 9:8 – He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.
Job 37:18 – Can you join him in spreading out the skies….
In the cases where God Himself is speaking, the stretching is always in the past, completed tense. In most of the other cases the setting is referenced to Creation Week. For a more thorough explanation of these quotes and what they mean, please see Is the Universe Static or Expanding?
The Big Bang model says the universe is still expanding, but there is no evidence for that, as we will show.
The initial evidence used for a currently expanding universe was the red shift. The red shift is something that is seen from light in the distant reaches of space. It’s not really hard to explain. First of all, every element is capable of producing light. What is required is that the electron of an atom is forced out of position relative to the nucleus. That forcing means energy was put into the electron. When the electron snaps back into position, it releases that energy as a photon of light.
That’s the first thing. The second thing is that each element has what amounts to a ‘bar code’ in its light signature, identifying what element it is. Here are a few:
The ‘bar codes’ above show what we find in terms of the signature of each element here on earth. This is the ‘laboratory standard’ for each of these elements. However, as we go out in space, past our local group of galaxies, the signature ‘bar codes’ for each element are shifted a little to the red end of the spectrum. As we go out even further, they are shifted more. The illustrations below demonstrate this:
The initial thought, in the 1920’s was that this red shifting of light was a Doppler shift. You have been aware of a Doppler effect when a siren passes you. As the police or fire vehicle passes you, the sound of the siren drops suddenly. That is because the sound waves, as the vehicle recedes from you, are being stretched and so sound lower. It was thought that the light waves from the distant galaxies were doing the same thing, and thus indicating a currently expanding universe.
There was a major problem with this, however. Suppose you saw a car on the freeway going first five miles per hour, and then, suddenly, ten miles per hour. But it never went through the stages of 6, 7, 8, or 9 miles per hour. Then it jumped to 15 miles per hour without any 11, 12, 13, or 14 miles per hour. This would defy physics as we know it. Yet that is essentially what we are seeing with the red shift measurements as we look out into space. They come in ‘clumps’ and then, as you go out further, there is a sudden change to another group, with no measurements in between. This is not simply a matter of space being in between the groups being measured, for this jump can be seen to take place in the middle of a galaxy! So unless the universe is expanding in sudden jumps, the red shift is not a sign of current expansion. This is still, however, what is being taught in physics and astronomy classes as well as being the presumption behind all current explanations of the red shift. More information regarding this can be found in the Basic Summary here on this website.
There was another possible bit of evidence for the Big Bang. In the 1940’s, George Gamow – who was one of the main proponents of the Big Bang model – said the universe should show signs of some background radiation from the Big Bang event if the universe had stretched out. And yes, there is evidence of an initial expansion in something called the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR). This is not evidence of current expansion, but it is good evidence of initial expansion.
When God stretched the heavens, He put a vast amount of energy into what we call the ‘fabric of space.’ If you blow up a balloon or stretch a rubber band, you have put your energy into the fabric of that balloon or rubber band. But while the balloon or rubber band returns to its normal size when let go and the potential energy coverts to active, kinetic energy, that is not what happened with the heavens. They stayed stretched, and the potential energy which went into the stretching was converted extremely rapidly at first, and then a little more slowly into something called Planck Particle Pairs (PPP). Planck particles are the smallest possible bits of ‘stuff’ or matter that can exist. If an electron were the size of the Golden Gate Bridge, a Planck Particle would be the size of a bit of dust on it. They are called Planck Particle Pairs, however, because they came into existence as pairs, one positively charged and one negatively charged.
You can demonstrate for yourself what happened next. Fill a large basin or bathtub about half full or a little more with water. Put your open hands, palms together, in the water and, keeping your hands stiff, pull your palms apart from each other as fast as you can. You will create small whirlpools or vortices in the water. They will keep going for awhile and then die down. The PPP did the same thing. They started whirling about each other. The turbulence created more PPP. There is a mathematical formula for this building up due to the turbulence itself.
And when you have movement with charged particles, you have an electric current. When you have an electric current you will always have an accompanying magnetic field. These new electric currents and magnetic fields were the beginning of something called the Zero Point Energy – energy which pervades all of space and all matter even when the temperature is absolute zero.
Just like in the tub of water and the whirlpools you create with your hands, the initial turbulence had three stages: initiation, maintenance, and dying down. As the initial turbulence started to die down, the positive and negative PPPs started to slam together. This recombination released more energy into the fabric of space, thus further increasing the strength of the Zero Point Energy.
One important thing to mention here is that the tiny Planck Particle Pairs had varying degrees of energy in their movements. Thus, when they recombined, the energy released resulted in different wavelengths and different energies. For this reason, the Zero Point Energy is jammed full of a variety of wavelengths of different energies.
And then the Planck Particle Pairs had finished recombining. The ZPE finished building. Did it then start to decrease with time? No. That is because it has maintained its own feedback system. Because the Zero Point Energy waves are of different strengths and lengths, and going in all different directions, they are constantly intersecting with one another. At every intersection, the intensity of the sudden addition of energy causes something called a virtual particle pair to form. They are called virtual particles because they flash into and out of existence so rapidly. But the energy that goes into their formation is released back into the general ZPE field when these positive and negative pairs snap back together. Thus, the strength of the Zero Point Energy in space is maintained.
The Zero Point Energy which resulted from the initial creation of the Plank Particle Pairs was absolutely necessary for atoms themselves to form, and remains just as necessary for atoms to keep their structure. In the original plasma, with the electrons and the nuclei separated, there would have been no problem with an electron being attracted to a nucleus – that would simply be a matter of a negative and positive charge attracting each other. The problem would have been with capturing the electron(s) and keeping it/them in stable positions relative to the nucleus. Because the electrons themselves expend energy in their movements, they would either spiral into or out of the nuclei, causing both to self-annnihilate. It is the Zero Point Energy, as a man named Puthoff pointed out, which keeps the whole thing together, not only allowing the original elements to form, but to remain. Without the Zero Point Energy, all atomic structures would undergo instantaneous collapse.
And so, “In the beginning” – and there WAS a beginning – God created that which is lofty, stretching out the heavens, and that which is firm, creating ex-nihilo the original atomic parts, starting with the oxygen and hydrogen nuclei and electrons in the form of a plasma. The stretching put enormous potential energy into the fabric of space which quickly became the kinetic energy of the Planck Particle Pairs. The motion of the stretching, also referred to in the Bible as the driving of the Holy Spirit, initiated the whirling vortices of the PPP, resulting in the rapid build-up of the Zero Point Energy. It is this ZPE which, in combination with the cooling effect of stretching, resulted in the formation of the actual elements themselves in the plasma.
As the Bible says in the letter to the Hebrews, He sustains all things through His powerful word. That mention of His “Word” occurs a number of times in the Bible, and we have probably missed something interesting because of our traditional explanations that Christ is the Word of God. He certainly is, but there may well be more the Bible is telling us. We’ll deal with that in a moment.
As the Zero Point Energy built up, the number of positive and negative virtual particle pairs in any given volume of space also built up. Remember, these are caused by the intersecting of ZPE waves and they only last for the briefest moment before they slap back together and disappear as energy. Virtual particles are the size of standard subatomic particles like electrons or protons. How dense is space with these virtual particles? In the volume of something the size of a human body, there would be about 1020 virtual particles at any given instant in time. That’s this many: 100,000,000,000,000,000,000
…which is one reason ‘empty space’ has been otherwise referred to as the ‘seething vacuum’ of space!
Now, when a photon of light hits a virtual particle, it is absorbed, just like it would be by a wall, or a plant, or anything else. But when that virtual particle pair snaps back together and flashes out of existence, the photon of light is then released to continue on its way. It stands to reason, then, that the fewer virtual particles, the shorter the time it will take light to reach its final point of absorption, or its destination. This is the reason the speed of light was so enormously fast in the early universe. But as the Zero Point Energy built up with time, the number of virtual particles also increased, and thus the effective speed of light was forced to slow. The light was not becoming ‘tired’ in its travels, but rather was being impeded more and more often. It was something like a runner going over hurdles. The runner does not stop running, but the more hurdles there are, the longer it takes him to get to the finish line.
We can see the same thing happen very easily by sticking a straw into a glass of water. It looks like the straw is disconnected at the surface of the water, but we know it isn’t. What we are seeing is the effect of light being slowed down by the thicker medium of water, thus giving the appearance of a disconnect at the water’s surface.
The speed of light is just one of the atomic processes affected by the changing Zero Point Energy. Another is the actual measured mass of subatomic particles. We cannot put subatomic particles on a scale to weigh them, or use a tape measure to measure them. The way we measure subatomic particles is, briefly, by how much they splatter and where the splatter is! A stream of, say, electrons will be shot down a tube and through a magnetic field. That magnetic field will deflect the stream of electrons a certain amount. On the end of the tube is a phosphorescent coating (with a scale marked on it) and when the electrons hit, they leave a mark. The size and placement of the mark tells us about the mass of the electron – how big a mark did it leave and how much did the magnetic field deflect it?
In the past hundred years, we have found the amount of deflection increased until about 1970 and then it started decreasing a bit. At that same time, the speed of light appeared to stop slowing and started to increase a tiny bit. That year, also, several other ‘atomic constants’ whose measurements had been shown as changing were appearing to reverse their trends. The key to this is in the fact that the universe is, in fact, not expanding at all, let alone at a faster rate toward the edges. What we are seeing is a gentle, small oscillation in a ‘static universe.’ Narliker and Arp, two astronomers showed mathematically that this ‘static universe’ would be stable against collapse assuming it had matter in it (which it does) and that it was oscillating a bit. This oscillation appears to be what we are picking up in the slight reversal of measurement trends in 1970. Why the reversal? As the oscillation was slightly decreasing the size of the universe, the ZPE was more constricted and therefore denser. Therefore its action was more severe and the virtual particles more dense as well. This slowed light speed a bit, increased the size of subatomic particles a bit, and affected the other things as well. It appears that about 1970, the universe finished its slight inward movement and began a slight outward movement. This allowed more space for the ZPE, and thus fewer virtual particles in any give volume of space, a slightly lower mass in subatomic particles, etc.
This mass in subatomic particles is very important. First of all, how can the mass change? The key is again the ZPE. It batters the subatomic particles rather fiercely, causing a jitter motion that is referred to by the German word “zitterbewegung.” This jitter motion causes the particle to vibrate back and forth. That means that it is effectively taking up more room. The amount of room it takes up is what we measure. So the more fiercely it is being battered, the more it vibrates, and that means the more room it takes up. So it appears to be larger, or have more mass.
One rough picture of what is happening would be a boy swinging a rope above his head. As he plays out the rope, the circle around him becomes larger and you had better stand back a little further! The boy himself has not changed size, but his ‘sphere of influence’ certainly has. Now, with the boy, the circle is being enlarged because of what the boy does, but with the electron or other subatomic particle, the area taken up is being enlarged because of increased battering from the ZPE.
This change in atomic mass is extremely important because it influences the rate of atomic processes. The energy in the system stays the same, so when the mass is increased, the speed must decrease. It is something like using the same amount of energy to push a glass of water versus a car. What might push the car an inch will send the glass of water sailing for a very long way. So the bigger the particles, the more energy it takes to move them, and thus the more slowly they move.
And something called ‘atomic time’ is measured by the rate of atomic processes. Atomic time can be very precise, and when the assumption is made that it has never changed, we get the idea of ‘atomic constants,’ or measurements which ‘have never changed.’ The problem is that they have been measured as changing! And that means that atomic time is NOT the same as orbital, or calendar time. Orbital time is governed by gravity – the amount of time the moon takes to circle the earth, or the earth to circle the sun. This is constant. And, in Genesis 1:14, this is what God told us to use as our time keepers.
But because the Zero Point Energy has changed, so have atomic processes, and thus atomic time. This includes radioactivity. When subatomic masses were smaller, they had much higher velocity in their movements and could much more easily escape from the large nuclei of the heavier elements. The rate of radiometric decay in the very early universe was enormously higher than it is now. In fact, in the first four days of creation, six billion atomic years were ticking off. As the ZPE built up, however, increasing atomic masses, the rate of radio decay decreased proportionately until it is almost steady today. But when the scientists take today’s rate of radio decay and presume it has always been this speed, then we get the fourteen billion or so years of age attributed to the universe, and the four or five billion years attributed to the earth. But when the mathematical correction is made, we are exactly as old as the Bible says we are – or exactly as young.
Where does the math correction come from? Remember the red shift? Once we realize its cause is the Zero Point Energy affecting the atomis, then we can look at the measurements of the red shift as we go further out in space and see what the pattern of change was like. This is why the very high red shift at the edges of the known universe is so important. It shows us how low the ZPE was in the beginning and how fast the change occurred. So we can look at the curve produced by the red shift measurements and apply that mathematical curve as a correction factor to atomic dates to get a synchronization with orbital dates.
This mathematical correction ended up shocking Barry in more ways than one. First of all, it resulted in a time line which corresponded to the Bible’s. Secondly, however, when he applied the correction to the geological column, the three worldwide catastrophes indicated in that column matched exactly with the timing of Noah’s Flood, the Babel incident, and the division of the continents in Peleg’s time. In other words, the Bible is giving us a very accurate historical record.
Going back to the early moments of creation and the first plasma. It should be mentioned that light could not get through the plasma very well because any photons being formed were being scattered and reflected back and forth. For light to actually exist as we know it, atoms had to be formed. And that is what the ZPE did.
And so, in Genesis 1:3, the first words we have recorded from God are “Let there be light.” That indicates that the atomic structures had formed at that point, early on day one.
Question: What about black holes?
Barry: There’s a lot of discussion about black holes in scientific circles. Plasma theory does not need gravitational black holes. Gravitation theory says they must exist. But if a black hole sucks everything into it, how is it that it can churn out such enormous amounts of energy in the jets? If gravitation is the cause, and black holes are real, why the jets? These ‘black holes’ with the jets of super bright material are called quasars:
this is an artist’s rendition, of course!
But here is the same sort of thing as a photograph with the Crab Pulsar
In these quasars, we can detect the rate of spin of the disc. The discs are spinning so rapidly that gravitational astronomers say there must be an immense mass inside of them to cause such a fast spin. They say the mass is so great light itself cannot get out. Then why is so much matter being ejected in the jets?
In the plasma model, we expect to see a spinning disc with the jets being shot out. The spinning discs and the jets are part of what plasma does.
Let’s go back to the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, or the CMBR. Here is a ‘map’ of the universe showing it:
Temperature differences (red hotter, blue cooler) are minor. What we are seeing in the above photograph (in microwaves) is looking far enough out that we are seeing pretty far back in time – far enough so that the temperatures we are photographing here are much hotter than what we are aware of in our own time and space. This is an echo of the big expansion. At the time the expansion was occurring, temperatures were billions of degrees. By the time it cooled to what this photograph is showing, atoms could form and light could get out, but it is still a bit like a bank of fog we are looking back at.
At this time, as expressed in this photograph, the universe had not finished expanding. The further expansion after this also further cooled the temperatures. So today, what we have in our own vicinity, which means our own time, is a background radiation temperature of 2.73 degrees Kelvin. That’s pretty cold! But still we can look out to a time when the universe was young, and see the heat that had been there. What we see in the photograph above is essentially an echo of the heat that was there, which has cooled off so much because of the last part of the expansion.
As we look at the pictures of the CMBR, as we have above, we can link the heat patterns with the structures we have in space now. As you have a look at space, you see a series of string structures, of filaments and voids.
The CMBR was first picked up by Penzias and Wilson. It was considered proof of the Big Bang – that the universe started hot and cooled off later. We have no argument with that!
What is interesting is what Penzias said about this discovery:
My argument…is that the best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole.
(World of Science, 1979, manual supplement put out by the Illustrated World Encyclopedia. “Scientists Expect New Clues for the Origin of the Universe,” by Malcolm W. Browne)
As you analyze the patterns of the hot and cold spots in the CMBR, it has the same structure as sound waves. “The early universe is full of sound waves compressing and rarifying matter and light, much like sound waves compress and rarify air inside a flute or trumpet. For the first time, the new data show clearly the harmonics of these waves." (Paolo di Barnardis of the university of Rome La Sapienza, one of the members of the Balloon Observations of Millimetric Extragalactic Radiation and Geophysics [BOOMERanG] team.)
“Using a music analogy, last year we could tell what note we were seeing – if it was C sharp or F flat….Now, we see not just one, but three of these peaks and can tell not only which note is being played, but also what instrument is playing it – we can begin to hear in detail the music of creation.” (Andrew Lange of Caltech, same conference referenced above.)
As universe expanded, the chord was dropping. It maintained at 110 decibels throughout Creation Week, but the frequency was dropping. The whole universe was vibrating from God’s chord at creation. As the Bible says, God spoke and it was done. The notes seen are A, F# and Db
The universe is huge. The sound that we are ‘seeing’ registered fifty octaves below what we can do on our a piano today.
We want to show you something interesting about sound. With the CMBR we can see the resonance of musical notes, but we can also form patterns in material with sound waves. If you were to put something like cream of wheat bits on a drum head and then tapped the drum, the cream of wheat would start to form itself into patterns. These patterns are called chladni figures. Here are some examples:
So here we have evidence of God’s voice not only producing the first music but the patterns themselves that we see in the universe.
note: An interesting article about noise in the early cosmos can be found here: http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/39783/title/Tuned_in_to_new_noise_from_the_cosmos
One final note on the timing of all this. Plasma filaments behave the same way on any scale, whether it’s the tiny filaments in the lab or the giant filaments in space. Because of this, we can predict what will happen and the timing involved.
In the lab, what we have found, looking DOWN on the interacting plasma filaments, is this progression:
For instance, when two filaments have currents moving in the same direction, they will attract each other. When they are traveling in opposite directions, they will repel each other. This action gives us the reason we see the galaxies forming the way they have. As the filaments attract each other, they will begin to spiral around each other, creating first the radio galaxies
Radio Galaxy Fornax A
Radio Galaxy 3C296
Radio Galaxy NVSS 2146+82
We can see these now, but at the time they were forming, they were not ‘lit up.’
Then the quasars form
This is the first light that escapes, and it is bright indeed!
After the quasars, came the elliptical galaxies:
Here are three views of M87
This is a radio wave picture of M87, where the lobes, or evidence of the two filaments, can be clearly seen. The small orange bit in the center is where the quasar jet can still be found.
This is what it looks like from the telescope.
In the Chandra photo above, you can see the quasar jet still shooting out from the center.
And, just like in the lab, when the two filaments continue their interaction, various types of spiral galaxies form.
First, the barred spirals:
Then the more rounded spiral galaxies.
Look very carefully at these pictures for a moment. Look at where the stars are in the spiral galaxies:
Plasma filaments, which can be clearly seen in these photographs, are very unstable and can pinch easily. We see the same thing with lightning as it forks. Any kind of movement or temperature difference can do it. When a plasma filament in space pinches, it forms a star. This is why the stars line up like strings of beads along so many plasma filaments.
Here are two very dramatic pictures of a plasma pinch in space
The Ant Nebula
And the Bug Nebula
In the normal time frame, when we upscale the actions of plasma filaments in the lab to what happens in outer space, we indeed need billions of years for these formations to occur.
HOWEVER, when the Zero Point Energy was lower, as we know it was in the beginning, then the interactions of plasma filaments as well as the processes of everything else were incredibly faster than now. When the math correction is done, not only was the entire universe formed in six literal days, but the first light, from the quasars, was there about half-way through day one. Exactly as the Bible tells us.
It might be noted as well that the galaxies themselves are lines up like giant beads on a string due to the effects of even more giant plasma filaments in space.
OK, that’s it. We want to apologize, in a way, for ‘cramming’ all this science down you in a Bible study! We know there is no way you can remember all of it. But what we want you to come away with is that there is strong evidence out there that the Bible is absolutely correct in its statement about all creation in six literal days. There will be a little more, later, and we promise it will be little, OK? The Bible also states that the earth was around before the sun. That, too, is correct when one looks at the action of plasma. We’ll get to that later.
December 4, 2008 -- Creation Week, part 1
Day Three (day three part two)
Day Five (includes evolution and the National Geographic list)
NIV – And God said, “Let there be light” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day” and the darkness he called “Night.” And there was evening and there was morning – the first day.
King James – Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that [it was] good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
Alexandrian LXX – And God said, Let there be light, and there was light. And God saw the light tht it was good, and God divided between the light and between the the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night, and there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
There is an interesting implication in the Greek in verse 4. The word for light is singular, but the word used for darkness is a form which can be singular or plural. The Greek itself uses the word ‘between’ both before ‘the light’ and before ‘the darkness.’ It appears we have a double meaning here. In the next verse the reference is obviously to the earth, as there is evening and morning, the first day. A day is established by a directional light source and the rotating earth. So by this point the earth has been formed and is rotating.
Where is the light coming from? Many people think this is a spiritual light, as Christ is described as the light of the world in the New Testament. But Genesis is talking about a physical creation, and so this is a physical light. When plasma filaments are studied in their interactions with one another we can see what happens. First the radio galaxies form, and then the ultra-brilliant quasars are formed and light up. When the math correction is done via the red shift curve, the result is the lighting of the quasars in the middle of day one. This would include the quasar in the middle of the Milky Way Galaxy. With the Zero Point Energy quite low at this point, the light from our quasar would reach us in a few seconds, not the thousands of years it would take at the current ‘thickness’ of space.
So what about the light and darkness separation? Clearly, in terms of the following verse, there is a reference to a spinning earth. But the Greek also allows another, additional interpretation: the separations of light and dark throughout the universe. When we look at the grammar, we read “between the light and between the darkness,” not, as our modern translators have phrased it “between the light and the darkness.” While both are true, the implication in the Greek is more than one light and more than one darkness. Thus we have the stretching of the universe causing the plasma filaments to sort themselves out in to the large ‘strands’ and patterns we see today, with vast spaces of darkness between them. The patterns, as we mentioned last week, were the result of God’s voice. The evidence we have of sound producing patterns can be seen in the chladni patterns which can be produced today.
God made it possible, in other words, for the earliest writers to understand in their own terms as well as scientists much later to be able to look at the phrasing and see another implication – one which definitely supports the concept of a plasma universe.
Now there is another interesting ‘problem’ which people bring up. The Bible indicates the earth was formed and rotating before the sun was possibly formed, or at least lit up. Is this possible?
This is not only possible, it is to be expected with plasma filaments. Plasma filaments themselves can and do fragment into what would remind one of a cable with a lot of wires in it. The magnetic field will keep these fragmented filaments somewhat together, as we can see in spiral galaxies.
In this galaxy there are two main filaments which have interacted. Each, however, has fragmented itself so that you see the splaying out at the outer ends. On a smaller scale, such as our solar system, essentially the same thing happens. Then, as the ‘cable’ pinches, the outer filament reacts first, forming a ‘ball’ of some sort at the pinch. The pinching effect progresses inward, with a series of ‘balls’ beginning to rotate about the center. The last part to be affected is the central core, which, under the pressure of the pinch, then lights up. The earth, as well as the other planets, are these ‘balls’ which formed. And they formed, all of them, before the sun lit up.
Plasma does something else fascinating. It sorts elements. The elements with the highest ionization potential are collected in the middle, with decreasing ionization potentials layering outside of that. This not only happened with the formation of the planets themselves, individually, but with the planets in relation to each other. Each planet has its heaviest elements in the middle with the lighter, and less easily ionized elements, layering as you go toward the surface. So Mercury has a very large iron core. It’s about 75% of its diameter! But as we progress out from the sun, the heavy cores decrease in their relative sizes to the planets involved and the lighter, less easily ionized elements are more abundant. This is why the rocky planets are closer to the sun with the gas giants much further out.
Here is Mercury:
Now, compare it to some of the other planets:
The easiest elements to ionize are the heavy radioactive elements. They are at the cores of the planets, in varying amounts depending on the position of the planets. The heavy metals are next, and, as you move outward from the core, after the heavy metals come the silicates. Then magnesium, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen.
Biblically, then, as well as in the plasma model, the planets started off cool and then heated from the inside. This solves many of the geological problems presented by the mainstream idea of a hot, molten earth at the beginning. For example, geologists have found oxygen in some of the earliest rocks. For oxygen to be in the rocks, it would have been in the form of water, and this means cooled rocks! The plasma model agrees with the evidence and with the Bible, both.
This is a good time to discuss the meaning of ‘day.’ The word used in the Hebrew is ‘yom.’ ‘Yom’ is used exactly the way our word ‘day’ is used – it can have several meanings.
- In Hebrew and in English, if we say “in that day there will be an economic disaster,” the meaning is “at that time,” and there is no reference to any specific day or length of day.
- In Hebrew and English, if we say, “in the day of King David,…” the reference is to a specific time, but not a specific length of time, except for the lifetime of the man mentioned.
- In Hebrew and English, it can be used euphemistically. “I’ve told you a thousand times….” does not mean you have counted the number of times you have said this thing. In the same manner, “a thousand years is as a day” to the Lord does not mean one day in His sight equals 1000 years. It simply means He does not see time as we do.
- However, when the word ‘yom’ or ‘day’ is used without any qualifiers, the assumption is either from sunup to sundown or a 24 hour day.
In Genesis 1, two qualifiers are used, however, which guarantee the meaning intended is a 24 hour day. Ordinal numbers are used: first day, second day, third day, etc. This is indicating something specific and not a generalized time frame. In addition, the qualifiers of ‘evening’ and ‘morning’ are used. This absolutely identifies the meaning of ‘yom’ in Genesis 1 as one 24 hour day. There is no other real possibility which does not do violence to the text and the way the word is used.
If an indefinite amount of time, such as an era, were meant, then the word used would most probably have been ‘olam,’ not ‘yom.’
Here is a challenge for you: please define a full day/night without using the words ‘hours,’ ‘minutes,’ or ‘seconds.’ Those three words are related specifically to the way we, now, measure time. They do not apply to creation. So what else would you use except exactly what was used? -- morning and evening and ordinal numbers.
NIV – And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse, “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning – the second day.
King James – Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus 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. And God called the firmament “heaven.” So the evening and the morning were the second day.
Alexandrian LXX – And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the water, and let it be a division between water and water, and it was so. And God made the firmament and God divided between the water which was under the firmament and the water which was above the firmament. And God called the firmament “heaven,” and God saw that it was good, and there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
The traditional understanding of this verse involves either the clouds being separated from the sea water on earth, or the formation of some kind of vapor canopy above the earth, whether lower or higher than the stratosphere. Evidence has indicated that any kind of vapor canopy below the stratosphere, in the area of our regular clouds now, would have made the earth inhospitable to life. This does not eliminate the possibility of a vapor canopy above the stratosphere in an area referred to as the thermosphere.
As we go higher into the thermosphere than this picture shows, the temperature climbs to about 3600 degrees F at an altitude of about 180 miles. In can also plunge to -225 degrees F. in other areas of the thermosphere. So there is a real possibility of a stable vapor canopy that high above the earth. It is not there now, if it ever was there. But it COULD have been there.
All that being said, when we examine the words used in these three verses very carefully, there is another possible option as to their meaning.
The Hebrew word which translates ‘firmament’ or ‘expanse’ is ‘raqia.’ The Greek word the translators of the Alexandrian LXX used was ‘stereoma.’ The Hebrew word involves the implication of something stretched out, or hammered thin. The Greek word indicates something strongly established and stable.
One quick note here: one of the standard mocking criticisms of Genesis 1 involves the word ‘raqia’ and the claim that the Hebrews thought the sky was a solid, stretched material. This has nothing to do with their historical belief, as they were as able as anyone to see birds flying through it. It is interesting that this concept of some kind of solid substance was not considered to be part of the meaning when the Hebrew scholars translated the text into Greek.
Let’s look at some of the other words. We were particularly interested in the words ‘under’ and ‘above’ in relation to whatever this raqia, or stereoma, was/is.
Both words are compound words, and both begin with the Hebrew ‘min,’ a preposition used over 7500 times in the Old Testament. It is translated ‘from’ about half of those times, ‘of’ over 590 times, and various other words other times, including ‘in,’ ‘on,’ ‘than,’ and ‘some.’
To get the ‘under,’ interpretation, the ‘min’ is followed by ‘tahat.’ This word is used over 500 times in the Old Testament. It is translated ‘under’ (as in depressed, or pushed down) about 150 times, ‘succeeded’ about 65 times, ‘for’ about 35 times, ‘in place of’ about 25 times, ‘instead of’ about 20 times, etc.
To get ‘above,’ the word following ‘min’ is ‘al.’ It is used almost 5800 times in the Old Testament. It is translated ‘on’ about 1150 times, ‘against’ about 400 times, ‘over’ about 375 times, ‘to’ about 320 times, etc.
The word “sky” or “heaven” is, again “shamayim.” And, again, we find it interesting that the word for waters (plural), “mayim” is the largest part of that word. Curious, as I (Helen/Penny) was typing this, I asked Barry what the ‘sha’ meant. It means “that which…etc.” If the word ‘shamayim’ is a contraction of ‘sham’ and ‘mayim’, then looking at ‘sham’ we find it means “in it,” “there,” “therein,” thither,” “thence,” etc. So we have the meaning as either “that which is water,” or “water in it.”
Thus, what we have is necessarily subject to the translators’ interpretation of the possible meanings. We are NOT criticizing any interpreters. We all do the best we can with what we know when it comes to this sort of thing! But our question is this: is the traditional interpretation correct? Could these verses be indicating, instead, what was actually happening in outer space? As the heavens were continuing to be stretched out by God Himself, the water plasmas were indeed separating out into galaxies, leaving vast voids between them.
In the same way, then, that there was a division between the light as well as between the darknesses on the first day, the Greek grammar, and the Hebrew as well, leave open the idea of a division between the waters, plural, which are not necessarily ‘above’ or ‘under’ anything in particular. Rather, the indication is that the spaces between the separations had the name of ‘shamayim.’
Thus ends day two of creation week.
NIV – And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered into one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
King James – Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry [land] appear”; and it was so. And God called the dry [land] Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that [it was] good.
Alexandrian LXX – And God said, Let the water which is under the heaven be collected into one meeting, and let the dry land appear, and it was so. And the water which was under the heaven was collected into their meetings, and the dry land appeared. And God called the dry land Earth, and the systems of the waters he called Seas, and God saw that it was good.
Looking up the words used, there is no doubt at all that the earth itself is being referred to now. And it is partly for this reason that the traditional interpretation of what happened on day two involves the possible formation of a vapor canopy above the earth.
There is something in the ancient Greek which indicates this, although it only comes through in the King James in the English. The word translated ‘heaven’ in the Greek is singular in verse 9, not plural. In the Hebrew the word ‘shamayim’ is still used, which is plural, but when the Hebrew translators over 250 years before Christ picked a Greek word to use in this verse, the word they used was the singular form of ‘heaven.’ This, then, could well be separating the terminology used for day 2 with that used for day 3. However it works, day three is definitely zeroing in on our earth.
The ‘dry land’ is, in the Hebrew, ‘yabbashah,’ not ‘eretz.’ The word comes from the root meaning ‘dried up, withered.’ The word in the Greek is ‘xeros,’ which means the same. However when the Hebrew scholars translated Genesis into classical Greek, they added the word ‘ge’ to ‘xeros,’ so that the reference to ‘land’ would not be missed. ‘Ge’ is the root of words like geology, which is a study of the land. What God called this dry area was eretz, which is the same word used in Genesis 1:1, meaning “that which is firm.”
The fact that the waters were gathered into one ‘meeting,’ or place, indicates that the dry land was in the OTHER place. In other words, there was one great bit of dry land, or one supercontinent. Here, again, the Bible shows itself to be thousands of years ahead of science. The concept of one supercontinent is not that old in science. It became accepted in the last generation.
One last note here. The word for ‘seas’ is ‘yam.’ The word comes from an unused root, meaning ‘to roar,’ or ‘a large body of water.’ The reference to the surf and/or storms is evident here. However another meaning of the word ‘yam’ is ‘west’ or ‘southwest.’ So is it possible the first population was on or near the western coast of the newly-formed land mass?
NIV – Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds. And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning – the third day.
King James – Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb [that] yields seed, [and] the fruit tree [that] yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed [is] in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb [that] yields seed according to its kind, and the tree [that] yields fruit, whose seed [is] in itself according to its kind. And God saw that [it was] good. So the evening and the morning were the third day.
Alexandrian LXX – And God said, Let the earth bring forth the herb of grass bearing seed according to its kind and according to its likeness, and the fruit-tree bearing fruit whose seed is in it, according to its kind on the earth, and it was so. And the earth brought forth the herb of grass bearing seed according to its kind and according to its likeness, and the fruit tree bearing fruit whose seed is in it, according to its kind on the earth, and God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
“bring forth” is “dasha,” a primary root meaning to sprout. So the land sprouted vegetation, both grasses and fruit trees. Interestingly, although there are many other kinds of vegetation, it is these two which are primary food sources.
We have here, nothing new in terms of creation ex nihilo, or out of nothing. The land sprouts the vegetation. Why is this not a ‘creation?’ Because it is only a formation. Plants are made of the same elements the rocks and stars are. In a sense they are only chemically replicating systems made out of these elements. And although we take for granted today that everything physical is made up of the same elements, this would not have been the normal way of thinking just a few hundred years ago. So here, again, the Bible is way ahead of science, declaring that plants themselves are not, physically, made of anything different than anything else.
One other thing to note regarding the verses pertaining to day three is the emphasis on ‘according to their kind.’ From the very beginning, God established quite firmly that the concepts of evolution, or even of reincarnation, were directly contrary to His Word in the Bible. It is important, however, to note that the term ‘kind’ is NOT the same as our current taxonomic ‘species.’ More about this on day five.
NIV – And God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights – the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning – the fourth day.
King James – Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. [He made] the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that [it was] good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
Alexandrian LXX – And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light [literally, ‘shining’] upon the earth, to divide between day and night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and for years. And let them be for light in the firmament of the heaven, so as to shine upon the earth, and it was so. And God made the two great lights, the greater light for regulating the day and the lesser light for regulating the night, the stars also. And God placed them in the firmament of the heaven, so as to shine upon the earth, and to regulate the day and night, and to divide between the light and the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
‘Expanse,’ or ‘firmament,’ is again, raqia. This refers back to day 2, and indicates that the raqia is not simply our sky, but can involve all of outer space. What is interesting here is that although the English translations use the plural, ‘heavens,’ the word chosen by the Hebrew scholars for the Alexandrian LXX is not plural, but singular. The Hebrews recognized ‘three heavens,’ (as do we, actually). The ‘first heaven’ is where the birds fly, or our atmosphere. The ‘second heaven’ is where the stars are, or outer space. The ‘third heaven’ (which Paul refers to in 2 Corinthians, when he is translated into the presence of God) is, in the Old Testament, “God’s Throne.” So by using the singular of heaven in this passage, the Hebrew scholars were eliminating either the sky or God’s throne as places where the sun, moon, and stars are.
There is something the NIV does in the above passage with sublimates a meaning which is much more clearly stated in both the King James and the Alexandrian LXX: the lights in the heavens are to serve as signs, not just as time keepers. This is something very important which will be the entire lesson in two weeks.
About the stars. Many Bible believers say the mention of the stars on day four indicates that all the stars were formed on that day. But, when we allow Bible to explain Bible, this is not the case. In Job 38, we find God finally responding to Job’s misery and questions. The first thing God mentions is creation, and in verses 4 and 7 He responds to Job saying, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell [Me], if you have understanding… To what were its foundations fastened: Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” That is the King James. The King James refers to these stars as ‘the morning stars,’ and makes a clear distinction between the stars and the angels/sons of God (although many current expositors seem to feel they are the same).
Here is the full passage in the Alexandrian, which will make it very clear why the King James and other translations identify the stars as ‘morning stars.’ “Where wast thou when I founded the earth? Tell me now, if thou has knowledge, who set the measures of it, if thou knowest? Or who stretched a line upon it? On what are its rings [or pillars] fastened? And who is he that laid the corner-stone upon it? When the stars were made, all my angels praised me with a loud voice.” The next verse, verse 8 refers to the sea being confined to a particular space and not being allowed to overrun that space. This is clear reference to day three of creation week, when the dry land appeared. So the stars being spoken of in verse 7 appeared before day three, although our sun and moon and, as it turns out, all the stars in the spiral arms of galaxies lit on day 4.
To explain this, we need a little astronomy. Astronomers recognize two main groups of stars. These groups are referred to as Population 1 and Population 2 stars. Population 2 stars are the oldest when astronomers look at the material in them, as well as their size. They are found in the hubs and cores of galaxies. It is these that lit on day 1, shortly after the lighting of the quasars. Population 2 stars include the red giants (which are relatively cool) we see today. They are quite prominent in this population. The Population 1 stars are much younger, astronomically, and are found in the spiral arms of the galaxies. They contain the blue giants (which are relatively hot). Our solar system is in one of the spiral arms of the Milky Way Galaxy, and thus our sun is a Population 1 star. It lit later.
This is the Andromeda Galaxy, and is an excellent example of the different populations of stars
When the math is done, correcting atomic time to orbital time, the quasars and Population 2 stars lit on day 1. According to uranium/thorium dating, the best atomic age places these stars at about 13.7 billion years old. Similar dating techniques, using thorium/neodymium dating, places the best average age for Population 1 stars, such as our sun, at about 8.2 billion years old. The different in age between the two populations, in atomic dating, is about 5.5. billion years.
Now, biblically, the Population 2 stars, lit about half-way through day 1, and the population 1 stars, sometime on day 4. In Genesis, the age difference is about 3.4 days. When the mathematic conversion is done using the speed of light during that time, which averaged 6.0 x 1011 times faster than now, the 3.4 day age difference equals 5.5 billion atomic years.
And this may well be why the mention of the stars on day four is done in such a passing, almost nonchalant manner. The only other point which should be emphasized here is that God instructed us, in verse 14 to use the sun, moon, and stars as our time-keepers. The movement of the moon around the earth and the earth around the sun are gravitationally governed, and it is because of our movement around the sun that we see the stars in different places at different times. So God was telling us to use these movements as our time keepers.
October, 2009 -- we were asked a question about the use of the word 'seasons' in reference to the sun, moon, and stars being for seasons and days and years. Did this refer to summer, autumn, winter, and spring? The word translated 'seasons' is 'mowadah,' and means, 'an appointment, a fixed time, a festival, a year, an assembly.' It is not a reference to the four seasons of the year but, rather, a reference to the command that festvals and appointed times are to be determined by the movement of the moon around the earth and the earth around the sun.
NIV – And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning – the fifth day.
King James – Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the water abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that [it was] good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
Alexandrian LXX – And God said, Let the waters bring forth reptiles having life, and winged creatures flying above the earth in the firmament of heaven, and it was so. And God made great whales, and every living reptile which the waters brought forth according to their kinds, and every creature that flies with wings according to its kind, and God saw that they were good. And God blessed them, saying, Increase and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let the creatures that fly be multiplied on the earth. And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
The Hebrew word which the Alexandrian scholars translated ‘bring forth’ is actually a word meaning ‘swarm.’ In this case, then, it appears the NIV and King James are closer to the original meaning.
However it is interesting that it is specifically reptiles in the older version and ‘living creatures,’ in the King James and NIV! One must wonder whether or not the translators simply could not deal with the concept of reptiles in the water which had nephesh, or the breath of life. This word is also translated in the Bible as heart, soul, mind, and will. It is also interesting that the winged creatures of the original is limited to birds in our versions today. It should be mentioned here that the Hebrews, and, in fact, many older cultures, defined animal types by their locomotion. If it flew, it was a bird, be it bat, pterodactyl or sparrow. If it swam, it was a fish, be it octopus, minnow, or whale. It is important to keep in mind that our current method of classifying animals is simply that – our current method. It works for the way we want to use it, but it is not the only way to classify them and is, in fact, relatively new in the history of man. Ours is not better; theirs is not better – they are simply different, and we need to understand and respect that.
It is here that we find the second time the verb ‘bara’ is used. This is the word that means something has been created from nothing. So what is it referring to with these larger of the animals? Their bodies are made of the same elements as the rest of creation, so it is not their bodies. Think about it. What is the difference between, say, a horse or dog or falcon, and a pine tree or fern? It seems so obvious, but how do you explain it? What is brand new about these animals?
The Bible refers to it as ‘nephesh,’ or the breath of life. This may imply lungs, for all the animals referred to in this passage have them. They have something else, too: individuality. Anyone who has ever had a pet dog, cat, horse, or even pot-bellied pig knows they each have individual personalities. They can be trained. They can each establish relationships with animals of other kinds and with humans. They can choose to obey or disobey. No guppy fits that definition. No fly fits that definition. But the animals with complex nervous systems do fit this definition. It is possible that the complex nervous system is, then, how personality is expressed.
It should also be noted here that ‘nephesh’ does translate into ‘soul’ a number of times in the Bible. We will deal a little more with this next time, but that is something to keep in mind.
Here, once again, we have the strict limiting of propagating according to kind. This is as good a time as any to talk about the problems with evolution. First it needs to be said that evolution and Genesis are diametrically opposed to each other. Those who consider themselves ‘theistic evolutionists’ and believe that evolution is simply ‘the way God did it,’ are making mash out of Genesis. This is not uncommon, by the way. Whenever there is some kind of perceived conflict between man’s wisdom and God’s Word, it appears to be God’s Word that gets the short end of the deal. This is probably not the wise way to go…
Evolution. It attempts to stand on four legs, none of which can hold it up, singly or together. They are time, chance, mutations, and natural selection. Let’s look at them one at a time, but without spending too much time on any one of them.
Time: evolution demands an enormous amount of time, for it is claiming that all life we know on earth descended from a common ancestor. That common ancestor is usually identified as being some kind of one-celled organism. The earth is said to be about 4.5 billion years old – and right now we are going to go with that idea in terms of orbital, regular years as you and I know them. The first single-celled organisms were not around until about 3.5 billion years ago. It took them, from what we read, about another billion years to become multi-celled organisms with cells that had differentiation. Let’s look at just that for a moment.
First, a definition. Generation time is the time it takes the adult of one type of organism to propagate and the progeny to mature enough to propagate themselves. A generation time for humans would be about thirteen years minimum, but we sure hope our kids wait longer than that! Apes are between ten and fifteen years. A lot of animals are about one year. Rodents are a matter of weeks or months.
The little E.coli bacteria is twenty minutes. That’s how we can get so sick so fast, by the way. Bacteria can replicate at an enormous speed. For the sake of the argument, and to give every possible advantage to evolution, let’s give our first single-celled organism a generation time of one hour. And maybe only during daylight hours. That’s approximately twelve generations in a day. That’s 4,380 generations in a year.
Multiply that by a billion years. That is 4,380,000,000,000 generations. If a fish were to change to an amphibian, and then to a mammal, and then to us, how many generations would that take? Now think of the generation times of the larger animals. Even if we averaged out generation times to one year for all, that means we would need over a thousand times the amount of years the evolutionists say the earth has been in existence to get even the simplest evolutionary changes made. But we only have 2.5 billion years to get it all done after the first multicelled organisms appeared. Evolution does not have enough time if you think about generation times instead of simply years.
Chance: Evolution depends on beneficial mutations being selected for in a breeding population and also building on one another to produce new forms and functions. We have not discussed mutations yet, but let’s presume we can get definitely beneficial mutations at this point. They have two hurdles to cross.
First, a beneficial mutation must be selected for. It helps a lot if this mutation, then, is dominant and not recessive. The only way a recessive mutation can exert its influence is when both parents have it, thus guaranteeing the progeny will also have it. This can and does happen, but for a mutation to be selected for, it does help if it is dominant. Then only one parent need have it. But that is a minor hurdle compared to what must happen next.
Most mutations are called ‘unexpressed,’ meaning they do not show any effect in the body of the organism – or at least anything we are aware of as yet! Mutations whose effect can be seen are called expressed mutations. Expressed mutations run, conservatively, a thousand to one deleterious to beneficial. There is something else important to understand. The only mutations we can consider in this argument are called heritable mutations, or those which are passed down from parent to progeny. These mutations are carried, in humans for example, in the sperm and egg cells. We have a lot of other mutations in our bodies, but they aren’t passed down to our children.
Now, if, in any given population, there is one or more than one new negative heritable mutation in each generation, that population is on the way to extinction. There’s no way around that.
So we have to have less than one negative mutation showing up per generation. This means you need at least two thousand generations to get that beneficial mutation. Can’t you have more than one positive mutation show up in any generation or every few generations? There are, after all, probably thousands of animals in one gene pool. Yes, there are, but if you have two beneficial mutations show up in one generation, then what happened in terms of the multitude of negative mutations which complete the picture?
And despite the rarity of these beneficial mutations, one must build on another, and then on another, and so on to turn a fish into a frog. How many generations would it take for the several hundred, or thousand mutations necessary for this to happen? And what are the chances of that second mutation being just the right sort to not only be selected for but to be in the right place in the genetic package to build on to the first one?
Mathematically, the chances of it happening are zero. There is no chance at all that beneficial mutations could accumulate in any population in such a way. There is a lot more to this argument which absolutely destroys the concept of evolution, but that is enough to try to deal with at first.
So what about mutations? Mutations are little changes in the genes or other parts of the chromosomes. Mutations can happen in what appears to be spontaneous ways. That is just our way of saying, however, that we have not identified all the causes. We have identified some: radiation and some chemicals, for example. When something is known to cause a mutation, it is called a mutagent.
One of the favorite creation arguments against mutations doing anything beneficial is to say they decrease information. That is not a good argument unless you take the time to define ‘information.’ There are two distinct types: stochastic and meaningful. If I write “aa aba aa” that contains seven bits of information using the stochastic definition. If I add some ‘c’s so it becomes “aaa ccc baa aa,” then I have added information. But it means nothing. However, if I say “do hit me,” there are seven bits of stochastic information that carry meaning. So that is meaningful information. If I add three more bits: “do not hit me,” I have added exactly the same number of bits I did before, but I have change the meaning entirely. So if you want to talk about mutations changing information, or deleting it, be prepared to define your terms carefully.
What we can say about mutations, though, is that all of them appear to decrease specificity. Consider a protein. Here is a rendition of one:
In a protein, chains of amino acids fold into specific shapes, according to which amino acids are used, the timing of the folding, the temperature involved, and some other variables. Each protein’s shape determines its use – how it locks on to other parts of the cell to do what it is supposed to do. When a mutation happens, the protein affected then folds a little bit less specifically. This usually means something cannot lock on to it effectively or it cannot lock on where it is supposed to. What a cell usually does with defective proteins is simply take them apart and use the amino acids all over again. However if the instructions regarding the building of that protein are where the mutation has occurred, then a defective protein will continue being the result.
It is this decrease in specificity which allows some bacteria, for example, to become antibiotic resistant. Bacteria can easily mutate back and forth in ‘hot spot’ areas. These mutations are “A/non-A” mutations. They simply go back and forth, not on and on and on into different new mutations. In any bacteria population, then, there will be a variety of ‘types’ – and some of them will have a less specific folding in the area where antibacterial agents are designed to lock on to in order to disable the bacterial. If the agents cannot lock on, the bacteria survives. This is how the ‘super bugs’ happen in hospitals which can make people so sick – all the normal bacteria have been wiped out and the super bugs are left to propagate. The mutations which made them ‘super’ have decreased the specificity of their protein folding and so the antibacterial agents are ineffective with them. What is interesting, though, is that when these ‘super bugs’ are put back into a wild population of bacteria of their own type, they are quickly wiped out. That is because, in reality, they are not as robust as the normal bacterial.
That is a long explanation, but that is what mutations do. They decrease specificity in one way or another, be it with proteins or something else.
So what would a beneficial mutation be? It would be something where a loss of specificity of one kind or another yielded some kind of benefit to the organism. For the bacteria, it means being anti-biotic resistant. Yet these are not as robust as the general population. In humans a famous example of a ‘benefical’ mutation is the one which provides resistance to malaria. This mutation is not as terrific as evolutionists want us to suppose, though, for not only is it recessive, but when both the mother and the father have it, their children are at high risk for sickle cell anemia, which is lethal. This lack of specificity in making the red blood cell does provide some malarial resistance. It also brings death to the children when both parents have this recessive gene.
Beneficial mutations, evolutionarily, are supposed to not only confer advantage, but be able to build upon one another to provide new form and function, so that first cell could, given enough mutations through enough years, become the fern, the hippopotamus, the butterfly. This is not what we see mutations do, however. It is far more along the lines of wishful thinking on the part of the evolutionists.
Natural selection: this is the ‘big gun’ of evolution. This is what the theory absolutely depends on. According to evolution ideas, natural selection is what happens when some part of any population is at a disadvantage when the population is under pressure and that disadvantaged section is either killed or simply not able to breed. This leaves the more advantages section of the population to continue. The evolutionary idea is that this then leads to a strongly adapted population which has also been helped along by various beneficial mutations which have been naturally selected through time.
Let’s take a look at what actually happens in natural selection – what we have seen happen. First of all, every population has a variety in its members. This will be easiest to see using mammals. Whether it is cats, dogs, horses, or whatever, we see quite a variety in any given population, whether wild or domestic. Let’s take a hypothetical population of wild horses in Asia. Some are a little shorter, some a little taller. Some a little more muscled, some a little less. Some a little smarter, some a little less. You get the idea. Now, let’s put this population under pressure. Some speedy predators have moved into the territory and the horses with the longer, faster legs are much more likely to survive, right? Sure. The horses that don’t survive so well are the ones with the shorter legs.
But the shorter legs are also the legs which are, biologically, usually a little thicker-boned. Those thick bones don’t break as easily as thinner, longer bones do. However, if enough of those shorter-legged horses are killed by our new predators, that particular horse population has just lost a little of their ability to produce the variation of short legged members. This is natural selection. It deletes. It does not add. Nor can mutations make up the difference. Even if there were some truly beneficial mutations available to this horse population, they could not build up fast enough to make up for the losses that happen with natural selection.
So what is the final, real result of natural selection? Endangered species. Species which are so specialized in the environment in which they live that they are unable to produce enough variety in their members to allow any portion of their population to survive outside of that specific ecological niche. You simply cannot keep deleting sections of a population due to natural selection and have a population remain robust, able to diversify. It is that precise genetic diversification which is reduced in natural selection.
We can see what happens on a much faster time scale when we consider breeding our domesticated animals. When we wanted Thoroughbred race horses, we bred OUT the shorter legs. When we wanted St. Bernard dogs, we bred OUT the smaller dogs with the lighter coats. No breeding program can invent something not present in the population being worked with. We can only breed away from the traits we don’t want. The result? The same, in its own way, as endangered species. The inbreeding in German shepherds, for example, leads to hip dysplasia. The inbreeding of Dalmations has led to a high incidence of deafness. In speeding up selection on a domestic basis, we have shown that deleting the ability to vary in a species produces some very undesirable results. So whether it is natural selection or breeding selection, we get individuals and populations which are not as robust and varied as the originals.
And this takes us straight back to the truth of Genesis 1. The truth of what we know in genetics points out that, first, older populations were more robust, with greater variation available to any group. Second, variation becomes limited through time due to natural selection. Thus, logically, variation potential must have been greatest in the earliest populations. Genesis says God created these original populations with the built-in instructions that all propagation was to be by kind. Think of kind along the lines of what we would call family or sub-family in our taxonomic system today: feline, canine, bovine, equine, etc. The fact that we can breed donkeys and zebras together, for example, is a strong indication that they were originally from a single parent population. But that is as far as we can go genetically. There is no known way for any feline to develop from a non-feline or to become a non-feline. God said “according to kind” and He meant it.
Just as an addendum which we forgot to make available to the Bible Study group, here is an interesting list which appeared in National Geographic of October 1999. On page 51 was the following list of problems associated with mutations in the human genome. If any evolutionist has some similar list of beneficial mutations, we would really appreciate knowing about it. Please keep in mind, as you read this list, that one of the evolutionary claims is that natural selection weeds out bad mutations….
- Malignant melanoma
- Prostate cancer
- Congenital hypothyroidism
- Colorectal cancer
- Susceptibility to HIV infection
- Small-cell lung cancer
- Huntington’s Disease
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Spinal muscular atrophy
- Endometrial carcinoma
- Myoclonus epilepsy
- Estrogen resistance
- Growth hormone deficient dwarfism
- Pregnancy-induced hypertension
- Cystic fibrosis
- Severe obesity
- Hemolytic anemia
- Burkitt’s lymphoma
- Dilated cardiomyopathy
- Fructose intolerance
- Congenital cataracts
- Late onset cockayne syndrome
- Sickle cell anemia
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Breast cancer, early onset
- Pancreatic cancer
- Leukemia/T-cell lymphoma
- Marfan’s syndrome
- Juvenile epilepsy
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Familial gastric cancer
- Tuberous sclerosis-2
Chromosome 17 (NG did this in detail as an example)
- RP13 – retinitis pigmentosa
- CTAA2 – cataract
- SLC2A4 – diabetes susceptibility
- TP53 – cancer
- MYO15 – deafness
- PMP22 – Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy
- COL1A1 – osteogenesis imperfecta; osteoporosis
- SLC6A4 – anxiety-related personality traits
- BLMH – Alzheimer’s disease susceptibility
- NF1 – neurofibromatosis
- RARA – leukemia
- MAPT – dementia
- SGCA – muscular dystrophy
- BRCA1 – breast cancer; ovarian cancer
- PRKCA – pituitary tumor
- MPO – yeast infection susceptibility
- GH1 – growth hormone deficiency
- DCP1 – myocardian infarction susceptibility
- SSTR2 – small-lung cell cancer
- Diabetes mellitus
- Familial carpal tunnel syndrome
- Myotonic dystrophy
- Malignant hyperthermia
- Isolated growth hormone deficiency
- Fatal familial insomnia
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob’s disease
- Autoimmune polyglandular disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Ewing’s sarcoma
- Giant-cell fibroblastoma
- Color blindness
- Mental retardation
- Male pseudohemaphroditism
- Gonadal dysgenesis
- Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy
- Diabetes and deafness
- Myopathy and cardomyopathy
The beginning was the best – before mutations, and when so much variety was built into each original population that diversification would be the norm. This is what the Bible tells us was the true origin of the species.
December 11, Creation Week part 2, the Sixth Day
NIV -- And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground -- everything that has the breath of life in it -- I give every green plant for food." And it was so.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. and there was evening, and there was morning -- the sixth day.
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.
New King James -- Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, [each] according to its kind. and God saw that [it was] good.
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
So God created man in His [own] image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
And God said, "See, I have given you every herb [that] yields seed which [is] on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yeilds seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth in which [there is] life, [I have given] every green herb for food"; and it was so.
Then God saw everything tht He had made, and indeed [it was] very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the hose of them, were finished.
And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
then God blessed the seventh day and scntified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created.
Alexandrian LXX -- And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature [Greek: the living soul] according to its kind, quadrupeds and reptiles and wild beasts of the earth according to their kind, and it was so.
And God made the wild beasts of the earth according to their kind, and cattle according to their kind, and all the reptiles of the earth according to their kind, and God saw that they were good.
And God said, Let us make man according to our image and likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the flying creatures of heaven, and over the cattle and all the earth, and over all the reptiles that creep on the earth.
And God made man, according to the image of God he made him, male and female he made them.
And God blessed them, saying, Increase and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the seas and flying creatures of heaven, and all the cattle and all the earth, and all the reptiles that creep on the earth.
And God said, Behold I have given you every seed-bearing herb sowing seed which is upon all the earth, and every tree which has in itself the fruit of seed that is sown, to you it shall be for food.
And to all the wild beasts of the earth, and to all the flying creatures of heaven, and to every reptile creeping on the earth, which has in itself the breath of life [Greek: soul], even every green plant for food; and it was so.
And God saw all the things that he had made, and, behold, they were very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
And the heavens and the earth were finished, and the whole world [Greek: order] of them.
And God finished on the sixth day his works which he made, and he ceased on the seventh day from all his works which he made.
And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it, because in it he ceased from all his works which God began to do [Greek: made in the beginning].
This is the book of the generation of heaven and earth when it took place.
Again, animals are made of the same basic materials as all creation. "Land" in these passages is "eretz," meaning "that which is firm." This does NOT mean the animals 'sprang up' from the ground (with all due apologies to C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia) but that the same materials which made everything else also made the physical bodies of the animals.
It is interesting that the most ancient text, the Alexandrian LXX, is specific about cattle, four-footed beasts (quadrupeds), and reptiles. It is also much more general about 'flying things.' Flying things would have included bats and any flying reptiles.
And again, the Bible is extremely specific about animals as well as plants propagating according to their own kind. This phrase "according to kind" is repeated TEN times in Genesis 1. This leaves no doubt whatsoever that the Bible explicitely denies evolution.
The word for 'living things' or 'with life' in the Greek is 'soul,' or, using the Hebrew word, "nephesh." So how are humans in the image of God? In John 4:24, Jesus plainly tells the woman at the well, "God is spirit." Thus, we are essentially tripartate beings, having body, soul, and spirit, unlike any other part of the creation. So here we have the third, and last, "bara" of creation week. The spirit of man is a new creation and not a formation
Here are the three 'bara's of creation week:
In the beginning, God BARA the heavens and the earth.
So God BARA the great creatures of the sea and everything living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kind, and every winged bird, according to its kind.
God BARA man in his own image, in the image of God he BARA him; male and female he BARA them.
Man is to have dominion over the earth and the living creatures. the word used is "kabas," meaning 'to bring under control, enslave, or force.' Whatever translation is chosen, two things are evident: first, that we have had dominion over the earth and the living creatures and, second, that we have not done very well with it.
Now, what about the vegetation being given to humans and all animals with nephesh to eat? Two points need to be made here in particular:
1) This order is only applicable to the creatures with nephesh and humans. Insects, small fish, bacteria, spiders -- these are not creatures with nephesh. So for a spider to catch a fly before the fall of man is a very reasonable possibility. So is the concept of little fish being eaten by big fish, or other sea life being eaten by fish, etc.
2) What about today's carnivores? First of all, the only true carnivores are members of the feline family. Bears, dogs, and all kinds of other land animals with nephesh, or the breath of life, which we often think of as carnivorous are actually omniverous and more than happy to eat all sorts of things which are not meat. Some animals, such as polar bears, are confined in an environment which does not allow them to eat anything but meat, but in zoos, polar bears enjoy berries and such just as the other bears do.
Which leads us to the question of what did they eat before the Flood? Their digestive tracts are designed to deal with concentrated proteins and amino acids. If a plant was to offer these, meat would not be necessary. We know sharp teeth are not indicative of meat-eating. Ask any squirrel! But if those sharp teeth which are used to tear open flesh today were needed to rip bark or crack nuts before, in order to get the proteins antediluvian plants may have had, then we have a situation in which nothing needed to be changed in these animals in terms of their teeth or digestive tracts. Please understand we are not stating this as fact, but simply as something to think about.
Finally, was God tired after six days of creation and formation? Did He NEED to rest on the seventh day? Not at all! He did it as an example to us. This is repeated twice, quite explicitely in Exodus, in chapters 20 and 31. We do not need to be tired to benefit from a day of rest. Choose your day. Any day. But one day a week of real rest is obedience to God and a great benefit to you. The concept of the Saturday Sabbath being commanded is not for the world at large, but is part of a covenant between the Israelites and God. Exodus 31 explains this. But the Ten Commandments are for us all -- and in them we are told to work six days and rest one. Why? Because that is what God did.
And so ends the first Tablet, the Tablet that God either wrote Himself or dictated to Adam.
When we finished Creation Week that evening, Barry gave a brief summary of another area of his research: is there really a message in the stars? Did God really write the Gospel itself in the stars? Instead of presenting here what he covered, please follow this link: Is There a Gospel in the Stars?
continue to Weekly Studies, part 2