The Books of Moses

Fact or Fiction?

 

Session 1

 

 

Origin of our Earth and the Universe

 

 

Bruce Armstrong

 

 

Origin of Our Earth and the Universe

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Origin of Our Universe: Intelligent Design or a Big Bang?

Special Creation

Day One: Earth Formed

Day Two: Waters Divided

Day Three: Land, Oceans and Plants

Day Four: Outer Space

Magic, Miracles and God

The Big Bang

Nothing Explodes

Matter and Anti-Matter

Dark Matter

Dark Energy

The Multiverse

Heavy Metals

Planets

Earth

Earth’s Moon

Can Earth be 4.54 Billion Years Old?

Moon Recession and Killer Tides

Moon Dust and Debris

Coral Growth

Stalagmites and Stalactites

Volcanic Eruptions

River Sediments

Dissolved Metals in Oceans

Helium in Zircons

Human Footprint on Squashed Trilobite

Proteins and Soft Tissue in Dinosaurs

Earth and Venus

Cosmic Microwave Background

An Open Letter to the Scientific Community

Conclusion

Summary-Consistent With Special Creation or the Big Bang?

 

 

 

 

Our concept of where earthand our universecame from, where we came from and why we are alive affects every decision we make.  This makes it critical that we clearly understand what these underlying beliefs are based on and how they modify our behaviour.

 

 

 

Introduction

The Books of Moses are the first five books of the Bible, named Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.  They are called Moses’ Books as he was credited with compiling the earlier material leading up to his time into the Book of Genesis, which means Beginnings in Greek, and then writing the next four books about events that mostly occurred during his lifetime.

 

In these nine sessions, we will concentrate on some of the major miracles of these books, looking at evidence for and against the Biblical origins of Earth, our solar system and our universe, the origin of life and complex organisms, the entrance of sin and the Fall, leading to death, the Great Flood and its consequences, the division of languages and peoples, the Exodus from Egypt and Israel’s encounter with Jehovah at Mount Sinai.

 

We will have a fifteen minute afternoon tea break about halfway through the two hours, and 15 to 20 minutes of discussion time at the end of each session.

 

This week we will start at the beginning:

 

The Origin of Our Universe: Intelligent Design or a Big Bang?

We will look at these two majorand opposingmodels:  Special Creation as outlined in the Bible and the Big Bang Theory.

 

The most basic difference between these models is their belief systems:

 

Everyone who accepts Biblical Special Creation believes there is an eternal God of unlimited intelligence and power who created everything.

 

Most of those who accept the Big Bang believe there is NOT an eternal God of unlimited intelligence and power who created everything, so everything had to arise spontaneously from natural things.

 

If there is such a God, and the Bible is His Word to us, then it should provide us with the basics of how He made our universe and created life on Earth, plus provide a reasonable history of how our world became like it is today.

 

If there is NOT such a God, then those who do not believe in Him must be able to provide plausible explanations for the origin of our universe and life on Earth and provide a reasonable history of how our world became like it is today, all by non-miraculous physical means.

 

The main point here is that BOTH are Belief Systems.  Dictionary.com defines a religion as “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe.

 

Therefore both belief systems are religions. One religion is called Biblical Theism, which teaches that our God deliberately created earth to be our home, that He loves us and wants to give us everlasting life.  The other religion is called Atheism, also referred to as Naturalism.  Naturalism is defined as “the philosophical belief that everything arises from natural properties and causes, and supernatural or spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted.”

 

Atheism teaches that there is no God and our earth is just an ordinary planet in a meaningless universe which will eventually die.  Even our lives have no ultimate meaning, and when we die, death is total and permanent.  These faiths can be summarised as a belief in Life versus a belief in Death.

 

So this, and the other Origin sessions in this series, are not contrasting science with religion, but are looking at what support science and history bring to each of the models of these belief systems, and to what extent science and history undermine each of these two models.

 

These are the two opposing positions.  There are many intermediate positions, where people try to blend various parts of each model, and even other models/religions with quite different details.  This series will focus on the Biblical and Naturalism models.

 

My intention is to provoke deeper thought about these beliefs and the issues they raise than is commonly provided in the popular press and TV.

 

Special Creation

First, let’s review the outline of Special Creation of our Earth, solar system and Universe in Genesis:

 

Day One: Earth Formed

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.    Genesis 1:1

 

This verse indicates that before this beginning there was no physical universe, not even empty space.  In Matthew 7:23, Jesus (Jeshua) tells us that there was also a beginning of time as we know it, which likely also refers to this beginning.  First, God created space, also known as the expanse of the heavens.  In the centre of that empty space, God created our Earth.  This shows that Earth is not an insignificant planet, but instead is the centrepiece of the universe, and is the first material object that God made.  The special nature of Earth and God’s intentions for Earth will come up often throughout these studies.

And the earth was formless and empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God hovered on the face of the waters.     Genesis 1:2

 

Now we get the first details of earth’s formation.  God chose to not create it instantly as a complete system, thriving with life.  Instead, it is like a blank canvas, or more precisely, like a perfectly smooth sphere which was devoid of life. “The face of the deep” tells us that the surface of earth was also at about room temperature, as the entire surface of this mountainless earth was covered with deep water.  As we will see later, the surface of earth beneath the waters was the mantle.  We also know that the earth already had an atmosphere, or else the water would be boiling away into space.

Finally, the Spirit of God hovering on the waters indicates that God’s Spirit was likely doing something in its hovering, possibly agitating the waters to pulverise some of the surface rock to later provide soil, and also waiting to fulfill the next stage of forming the earth.

And God said, “Let there be light.”  And there was light.  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.  And there was evening and there was morning: Day One.    Genesis 1:3 to 5

 

This is one of the surprising aspects of the Creation Week, as we are later told that the Sun was not created until Day 4 (Figure 1).  It is not specified in Genesis what the source of this light was, or just how it was divided from the darkness.  However, John 1:1-5 indicates that the Light was actually Jeshua (Jesus) the Anointed (the Christ).  Jeshua will also be the light of the New Jerusalem in Rev 21:23.  But during the Creation, we could now see Earth, and that it had a day side and a night side, which indicates that the Light was coming from a specific place and the earth was spherical.  And the fact that earth could also have evenings and mornings shows that it was already rotating.  There is no reason to doubt that it was rotating at about the same speed as it does today, giving a similar day length.

 

 

Figure 1:  Earth near the end of Day One.  There is light, but only water can be seen.

 

Day Two: Waters Divided

 

And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.”  And God made the expanse, and divided the waters which were under the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse.  And it was so.    Genesis 1:6

 

Expanse is translated from the Hebrew word רָקִיעַ  Raqiya, primarily meaning “extended surface (solid), expanse, firmament”.  It is derived from Raqa, which means “to spread or hammer out”.  Verse 7 tells us that at this point God made this expanse and used it to divide the waters, so some of the water remained above the expanse, and the rest was beneath it.  It was commonly taught from the 1960’s to late 90s that this expanse was our atmosphere, and the waters above it formed a vapour canopy.  As we will see in the Flood session, the canopy theory was unworkable, and misinterprets this expanse.

 

The Hydroplate Theory (HPT) proposed by Walt Brown (see In the Beginning at www.creationscience.com), claims that earth’s granite crust was this expanse, and it was mostly supported by a layer of pressurised water beneath it.  The same general idea was proposed long ago by Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus (A.D. 80–118) who said “the earth is spread upon the water just like a ship which floats in the midst of the sea.

 

The hydroplate theory proposes the initial crust was about 100 km (60 miles) thick, with about 1.5 km (1 mile) of water above it and 2.5 km (1.5 mile) of water below it.  At this point, it is worth remembering that the Spirit of God was still hovering over the surface of the water.  The Spirit’s purpose may have been twofold. The first was to form powerful currents in the water which pulverised the top meter or two of rock, which would soon become soil and also form sediments which would be devoid of any fossils, as there was still no physical life, not even microbes, on earth.  The second purpose, we will soon see.

 

And God called the expanse Heaven.  And there was evening and there was morning: Second day.    Genesis 1:8

 

Verse 8 seems to make the expanse equals crust idea false until we realise that our Earth was created to become Heaven, the place of God’s Throne.  If you doubt this, recall that Jehovah God lived on the Earth until the Fall, where He walked and talked on this expanse/crust with Adam and Eve each day (Genesis 2:15-25 and 3:8), so it is very reasonable that it was also called Heaven.  And in the Restoration, Earth will again become God’s Throne (Revelation 21:1-7).

 

Day Three: Land, Oceans and Plants

 

And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be collected into one region, and let the dry land be seen.”  And it was so.  And God called the dry land Earth and the collection of the waters He called Seas, and God saw that it was good.    Genesis 1:9 & 10

 

First, notice that it is the water under the heavens, in plural, that are collected together. These are the waters above the expanse/crust.  The hydroplate theory proposes that this collecting was done by pushing down sections of the crust to where it contacted the mantle beneath. This both stretched the crust and created greater pressure on the subterranean water, which worked together to lift up other sections of the crust, forming the dry land, hills and mountains of the pre-flood earth.  These lowered places where the crust and mantle contacted became the pillars or foundations on which the crust of the earth was mounted, as shown in Figure 2. (1 Samuel 2:8, Job 9:6, Job 26:11. Psalm 75:3, Isaiah 48:13).

 

Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus also had this to say:  “Until the third day of creation, the earth was level as a plain and water covered the whole earth.  When God said [Genesis 1:9], “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered,” the mountains and hills arose and other parts became depressions.  The waters filled these depressions and they were called seas.

 

 

 Figure 2: Pre-flood structure of the Crust, or Expanse. Note the sea on the surface and the sea beneath the granite crust. From In the Beginning.

 

Notice that verse 10 says that on the surface there was only one ocean, which suggests that there was also only one large continent which was surrounded by that ocean.  But God called the waters Seas, not Sea, which indicates that He was also calling the water below the crust a sea as well.

 

By now, God has used more than two of His six days of creating the universe just making our Earth and preparing it for putting life on it.  It is not until the formation and shaping of the expanse/crust is completed that God declares this work Good.  He then spends the rest of Day Three putting in place His life-support system for the creatures He will make: All of the green plants (and microorganisms), needed to purify our air, soil and water, provide us with food and shelter and recycle worn-out material.  But we will explore this in later sessions.

 

These verses may help explain why Earth was so important to Him:

 

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.  All things were created through Him and for Him.

And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.    Colossians 1:15 to 17

 

It seems that God was preparing Earth as a gift for His Son Jeshua.  And also for His own enjoyment:

 

the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:

“You are worthy, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honour and power; for You created all things, and for Your pleasure they exist and were created.”    Revelation 4:10 & 11

Day Four: Outer Space

 

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to divide between the day and the night; and let them be for signs, and for appointed times, and for days, and years:  And let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.”  And it was so.

And God made two great lights and the stars: the greater light for ruling the day, and the lesser light for ruling the night.  And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon 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.

And there was evening and there was morning: Fourth day.    Genesis 1:14 to 19

 

The first thing to mention is that this time it is “the expanse of the heavens” rather than the expanse called Heaven.  This is a different expanse to the earlier expanse between the waters.  This ‘expanse of the heavens’ includes our atmosphere and the space between the heavenly bodies.  As we shall see, this expanse of space is initially merely gigantic and will then be expanded enormously.

 

The existence of this earth also tells us that God had, in creating it, converted massive amounts of energy into sophisticated elements composed of precisely designed subatomic and atomic particles and capable of complex chemical reactions.   The Table of Physical Constants (Table 1) list the specific values of these constants that God selected and which were required to make the matter and set the properties of our universe.  Even tiny changes to most of these constants would result in a universe unable to support life.  Physicists refer to this by saying our universe is “finely tuned for life”.

 

These Genesis 1 verses show that the elements needed for rocks, water and air were all required, so we have oxygen, silicon, aluminium, calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, hydrogen, nitrogen and carbon as a minimum.  Genesis 2:11 and 4:22 tell us that the range of elements included the metals iron, copper, zinc, tin and even gold, with its atomic mass of 199.  And also that these metals existed in ores concentrated enough on the expanse/crust to enable mining, purification and use.