15 December, 2018

12. Time

12. Time

And God 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.
—Genesis 1:4b, 5

Beyond the issue of First Cause (i.e. who or what pressed the primeval Hadrian collider button), there is the issue of time.

More importantly to our discussion is the creation of time and/or the answer to the question, when did time begin?

According to the more popular Big Bang theory, after the ion collision, the universe needed billions of years to cool in order for matter to form.
About 380,000 years after the Big Bang, matter cooled enough for electrons to combine with nuclei to form neutral atoms. This phase is known as 'recombination,' and the absorption of free electrons caused the universe to become transparent. The light that was unleashed at this time is detectable today in the form of radiation from the cosmic microwave background[1]. 
So was the ion collision "Let there be light" or the "recombination" phase?

Could it have been both?

In other words, the wind of God in Gen 2:1 creates a vortex that sets up the conditions necessary for the ion collision. God says "Let there be light" which in effect depresses the collider button. There is light, then there is cooling of matter (which we would measure by billions of years because we are INSIDE time and measuring it by current Time standards, but at the time of Gen 1:3, God is OUTSIDE of Time).

No, I'm not getting all sci-fi on you.

Seriously, what do you need to measure time in days? You need a rotating sphere. And localized light.

The first day does not begin until Gen 1:4 when the light is separated from the darkness. Because only when light is separated (localized?) can it measure time.

Is there any indication that the "Let there be light" command was given after the "big bang"?

Actually, there is. At least, such an interpretation does not contradict the text.

Young's Literal Translation (which translates the Hebrew tenses as it was written) reads like this:
In the beginning of God's preparing the heavens and the earth -- the earth had existed waste and void, and darkness is on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God fluttering on the face of the waters...
So,  without contradicting the Biblical text, it is possible (though not necessary*) that at the start of the creating process, the wind of God ignited the ion collider, the universe exploded into existence, and in a timeless state cooled until matter was formed, some of which condensed into a rotating sphere...at which point God localized/separated light from the darkness, and the first 24-hour period began, initiating Day 1.

*"Not necessary" because there is actually another ASA variation of the Big Bang known as the Inflation Theory, which proposes that the universe developed and matured very quickly within minutes.

Science is forever changing, altering, and tweaking their theories, so I'm not particularly dogmatic about either one. A brand new theory could be proposed tomorrow, or in 10 years, after more technological advances are made.

But whatever theory is the correct one, if we ever figure that out, it won't contradict the text. We just need to remember to allow the text the room to speak.

Do you believe a future variation of the Big Bang theory could line up with Biblical cosmology? Why or why not?
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[1]Chow, Denise. 2011. The Universe: Big Bang to Now in 10 Easy Steps. Retrieved https://www.space.com/13320-big-bang-universe-10-steps-explainer.html

Photo Credit: Feature Photo by PIRO4D from Pixabay / Pixabay / Pixabay