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Book Excerpt - The Blind Man's Elephant

Creation In Six Days ... But Who's Counting? The Blind Man’s Elephant

You might ask, “Okay, time is relative, yada, yada, yada, but the Biblical record in Genesis one states that creation took place over six days. Verse five states very plainly, ‘And the evening and morning were the first day.’" There are six of these virtually identical phrases in Genesis describing creation. We don’t need to know about the ends of space and time, just a twenty-four hour period, an evening and a morning. And you are absolutely correct. But the big picture helps us to properly understand the details.

The details in this case are that there is an evening and there is a morning, then Genesis says it was the first day. Did creation take place in six days or not? According to one popular evangelical organization, Answers In Genesis, it “stands firmly on the authority of Scripture, which entails that Creation occurred in six normal-length days about 6000 years ago.” But is this what the Biblical record in Genesis is literally saying? Well, let’s examine it because like the example of the Foucault pendulum, we need to use our brains because we can’t always see everything with just our eyes.

First, let’s consider what constitutes an evening and a morning that makes up a “normal-length day” on Earth. Evening is the time just after sunset, or dusk and turns into nighttime when it is dark. Morning is the time just after dawn and sunrise and turns into daytime when it is light. This was the way the Hebrews and early man kept track of the days. When the sun set, one day ended and the other began. You could see the sunset from any vantage point on Earth. You didn’t need an atomic timepiece to determine when the clock struck twelve at midnight to know the day was ended. The point here is that the events describe a nychthemeron, that is, a night followed by the daylight of a twenty-four hour day. If you agree that this is the correct understanding of the Genesis phrasing “And the evening and morning were the first day,” then we have a conundrum.

What is a normal-length day? Simply, a day is the time it normally takes our planet to make one full rotation on its axis in relation to the Sun in our solar system.

Seen from Earth, this would constitute “the evening and the morning were the first day.” Remember, though, time is relative. On Venus, where the day is actually longer than the year [one rotation on it axis in relation to the Sun versus one orbit around the Sun], creation of the universe in “six days” there would translate to 1458 Earth days.

Looking at it from the opposite point of view, the events of creation of the universe in six normal-length Earth days would have taken just over thirty-five normal minutes on Venus. There is no absolute time frame for what constitutes a day, normal or otherwise, in our own solar system. We see that time is indeed relative depending on the location and velocity of the observer.

Another way to understand this relativity is the concept of gravity and our weight on a planet. A 150-pound person on Earth would weigh only 25 pounds on the Moon where gravity is just one sixth of what it is here on Earth. A “normal” six-pound weight, therefore, will weigh only one pound on the Moon. Gravity [weight], like light [time], both move at nearly 300,000,000 m/sec and are relative to where the observer is located. Every location in the universe has its own gravity and its own velocity. Thus every location has its own rate at which “local” time passes as Einstein noted in 1915, whether we are standing on the Moon or Venus or the Earth. If we change our gravity and our velocity, we also change our rate of the passage of time.  

Even with an observer located on Earth and assuming our gravity and velocity has not changed dramatically in the past 6000 or so years, the Biblical record in Genesis chapter one would appear to have a contradiction in terms. Our normal creation that we experience every day defines a day as the time of one full rotation of the Earth on its axis in relation to the Sun as created by God. Yet, we read in Genesis that our Earth wasn’t created until “day three.” [Scientists estimate the age of the Earth at 4.5 billion years]. And the Sun wasn’t created until “day four,” along with the Moon, [Scientists estimate the age of the moon at 3.9 billion years] when “the day” was divided from the night.

How can the day be divided from the night on day four when the very repetitive phrase “the evening and the morning was the ... day” means this division existed from day one?! Something is not kosher here. Either there was an evening and a morning, a night and day from day one or not until day four. Which is it? From the vantage of our normal experience on Earth, day four is the correct answer in Genesis.

Taking it a step further, there wasn’t a man as an observer to witness any of this until sometime on “day six.” Thus for all three verifiable ingredients [Earth, Sun and observer] of a normal-length day to come into play, according to the literal account in Genesis, the earliest this could have occurred would have been “day six.” This is hardly a confirmation that creation took place in six normal-length days as currently viewed on Earth.

Our quantum point is that the universe being created in six literal 24-hour normal Earth days is completely contradicted by what the Biblical record in Genesis literally says. Earth wasn't created until the “third day.” Where was this evening and morning taking place for day one and two when no Earth and no Sun were yet created? The validity of literally determining a day needs both the Earth and the Sun. And, from whose point of view was it being observed?

Man didn’t show up as an observer until the six days of creation were completed. There are no absolute time frames given. We just have the repetitive phrase “And the evening and the morning” constituted a day. We have assumed this to be twenty-four current Earth hours because that is our perspective of time now that mankind is measuring time on Earth.

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