Book Excerpt - The Blind Man's Elephant
Creation In Six Days, But Who’s Counting? The Blind Man’s Elephant
[Ed. Note: The new version of the series COSMOS has aired, hosted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, stirring up a bit of controversy with his comment, “If you start using your scripture, your religious text as a source of your science, that’s where you run into problems.” His statement was made from a position of ignorance regarding the Biblical text. Therefore, we thought it appropriate to highlight this edition of redshoebooks with an excerpt showing that while the Biblical record may not be a science text, it certainly has scientific facts in it that were made known thousands of years before current day scientists discovered them].
Einstein and other scientists have discovered the space-time continuum within the past one hundred years . Perhaps startlingly, the space-time continuum was mentioned in the Biblical record 3000 years ago. While this may seem a bit astounding, let’s read what the Biblical record states: “That which has been is now, and that which is to be has already been; and God requires that which is past.” [Ecc. 3:15].
The Biblical record is discussing an aspect of the nature of time as created by God. We are told that which has been, the past, is now or the present. And that which is to be, the future, already has been or is the past. This is saying, the past is the present and the future is the past. The past, present and future are all one when it comes to the nature of time as God created it. What this verse in the Biblical record is describing is a singularity. It is the same point made by Stephen Hawking, the Cambridge University cosmologist, when he says, “The beginning of real time, would have been a singularity ….”
Time at the quantum level remains a singularity. That is, the past, present and the future exist simultaneously as do our three dimensions of space in our everyday macroscopic world. In quantum theory, we can move in any direction in 3-D time, just as we can in our 3-D space. There are no psychological or other arrows of time to restrict us. How can it be like that? We don’t know. But this is the way it works as God created it. At our level of experience in daily life, time appears in a linear fashion going in a direction from the past to that which we call the future. In other words, tomorrow never gets here.
The concept of time being a singularity is a relatively new scientific discovery of an aspect of the universe as created by God and written down in the Biblical record three millennia ago. [Note: Isaac Newton in his Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica introduced the concepts of absolute time and space]. It may be a bit difficult to understand how the fundamental nature of time is that the past, the present and the future all exist at once on the quantum level, but this is the basic fabric construction of our universe. Space and time are interwoven. At the beginning of the universe, at the last instant just preceding the Big Bang, time was a singularity.
Think of a balloon that isn’t inflated. Take a felt tip marking pen and put a dot on it. The dot represents time as a singularity. Now stretch that balloon out to one side. What happens to the dot? It stretches to become a line. Time as we experience it at the macroscopic level in our universe is like that dot stretched on the balloon. Time is linear. It goes in one direction for us. In our case, time moves in the direction of the expansion of our universe just like the dot moves to become a line in the direction of the stretching balloon. We aren’t told why it is this way just that this is the way it was created. It has created a reality unique to our experience of physical life in the universe.
If time, the past, the present, and the future are a singularity, why is it we can only remember the past and not the future? Again, how can it be like that? That’s the way our universe was created. Or as we read in Ecclesiastes, “God requires that which is past.” The word requires here is baqash [baw-kash’], a primitive root meaning to search out, but also can be translated as requires. The word past is radaph [raw-daf’], a primitive root meaning to run after, figuratively, of time gone by. So the Creator, by implication, “requires” us to run after and search out the past, but we aren’t allowed to do the same with the future even though, according to the laws of quantum physics, time is equally accessible in both directions. Maybe it’s another way to tell us we should learn from the past. [See 1 Cor. 10:11; the word world in v.11 is aion and means age or era].
Richard Feynman, the Nobel Prize winning physicist said in regards to only knowing the past while attempting to understand time as a singularity, “It may prove useful in physics to consider events in all of time at once, and to imagine that we at each instant are only aware of those that lie behind us.” This is not unlike watching a movie for the first time. While the entire movie is a singularity, that is, it’s on a single disk, our dot, yet at each instant of the movie we are only aware of the events in the movie that we have already seen or that lie behind us. The movie, by comparison as it exists on the disk, is in its microscopic state. We can move from any point on the disk into the movie’s future or into the movie’s past with equal ease using the remote control. When we watch it on a screen, it expands into its macroscopic state. [Hawking’s real time].
In both cases it is bound by the speed of light. The entire movie may be burned onto the single disk within seconds, yet it may take us two hours to watch it relative to our “normal” frame of time. So how long is the movie, two hours or just a few seconds? It depends on the observer. If we could watch the movie there in the disk in its microscopic state, then we’d have to answers in seconds not hours. In our normal experience here with time, we’d have to answer two hours.
When we look at time’s relativity, and it being a singularity, Einstein, Feynman, Hawking and our Biblical non-physicist 3000 years ago have reached the same conclusion about the construction of our universe, but from two different, though complimentary routes.
Now what gets a bit more interesting is the Hebrew word used for the “past is the present,” the “future is the past” is kbar [keb-awr’] and can be defined as an extent of time. It is derived from the primitive root Hebrew word, as found in easily accessible Hebrew lexicons, kabar [kaw-bar’]. Kabar means to bind together; or to be great, to be long and continual or length of space, continuance of time. Hmm, does this sound anything like our English phrase space-time continuum? Bind together an extent of time. Bind it with what? Time and space are bound together? How can it be that in the pages of the Biblical record we find the concept of the space-time continuum and that time is a singularity written thousands of Earth years ago when physicists have only recently discovered these same principles? Hmm, just maybe, God did create the universe. But just maybe it wasn't created the way we thought it was. He created the Earth. It just isn’t flat. God created time. It just isn’t absolute.”
The above is excerpted from chapter four, Creation In Six Days, But Who’s Counting?, The Blind Man’s Elephant. Also see the Feature article, Is Genesis 1 A Jolly Good Myth?
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