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Postby dadman » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:20 am

Editor’s note: This lecture was selected not in spite of being more than 10 years old, but because it is more than 10 years old. Virtually every statement and inference given in this speech has been reinforced and further validated during the last decade by measurements from the COBE Satellite, the Hubble Telescope, and advances in physics and astronomy.

The hallmark of a truly reliable scientific theory is that it is thoroughly testable, scientifically falsifiable, and makes accurate predictions. Dr. Ross’s origins model has stood the test of time for nearly two decades, literally receiving further validation on a monthly basis as physics and astronomy journals publish new papers. I believe you’ll enjoy this ground-breaking information from Hugh Ross.

___________________________ Dr Hugh Ross - page 1 2

Speed of Earth’s Rotation

If the planet rotates too quickly, you get too many tornadoes and hurricanes.
If it rotates too slowly, it gets too cold at night and too hot during the day.
We don’t want it to be 170 degrees during the day, nor do we want it to be below –100 at night, because that’s not ideal for life.

We don’t want lots of hurricanes and tornadoes, either. What we currently have is an ideal situation, and God plays this. He created us here at the ideal time.

We need the right Earth.
If the Earth is too massive, it retains a bunch of gases such as Ammonia, Methane, Hydrogen and Helium in its atmosphere.
These gases are not acceptable for life, at least, not for advanced life. But if it’s not massive enough, it won’t retain water.
For life to exist on planet Earth, we need a huge amount of water, but we don’t need a lot of ammonia and methane.

Remember high school chemistry? Methane’s molecular weight 16, ammonia’s molecular weight 17, water’s molecular weight is 18.
God so designed planet Earth that we keep lots of the 18, but we don’t keep any of the 16 or the 17.
The incredible fine-tuning of the physical characteristics of Earth is necessary for that.

Jupiter Necessary, too

We even have to have the right Jupiter.
We wrote about this in our Facts and Faith newsletter a few issues back, but it was also discovered by American astrophysicists just this past year.
Unless you have a very massive planet like Jupiter, five times more distant from the star than the planet that has life,
life will not exist on that planet.

It takes a super massive planet like Jupiter, located where it is, to act as a shield,
guarding the Earth from comic collisions. We don’t want a comet colliding with Earth every week.
Thanks to Jupiter, that doesn’t happen.

What these astrophysicists discovered in their models of planetary formation was that it’s a very rare star system indeed that produces a planet as massive as Jupiter,
in the right location, to act as such a shield.

We Even Need the Right Moon

The Earth’s moon system is that of a small planet being orbited by a huge, single moon.
That huge, single moon has the effect of stabilizing the rotation axis of planet Earth to 23½ degrees.
That’s the ideal tilt for life on planet Earth.

The axis on planet Mars moves through a tilt from zero to 60 degrees and flips back and forth. If that were to happen on Earth, life would be impossible.
Thanks to the Moon, it’s held stable at 23 ½ degrees.

Just as with the universe, in the case of the solar system, we can attach numbers to these. In this case,
I’ve chosen to be extremely conservative in my estimates. I would feel justified in sticking a few zeros between the decimal point and the one.
I would feel justified in making this 20 percent, 10 percent, for example, and on down the line.

We Even Need the Right Number of Earthquakes

I’ve got so many characteristics here, and I let the Californians know that you have to have the right number of earthquakes. Not too many, not too few, or life is not possible. I share them with my wife, who doesn’t like earthquakes, but I just tell her that when you feel a good jolt, that’s when you have to thank God for his perfect providence.

At Least 41 Fine-Tuned Characteristics, to have One Planet that Supports Life

The bottom line to all of this is that we have 41 characteristics of the solar system that must be fine-tuned for life to exist. But even if the universe contains as many planets as it does stars, which is a gross overestimate in my opinion, that still leaves us with less than one chance in a billion trillion that you’d find even one planet in the entire universe with the capacity for supporting life.

This tells us that we’re wasting valuable taxpayer money looking for intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. Worse than that, we’re wasting valuable telescope time. In the words of William Proxmyer, “It would be far wiser looking for intelligent life in Washington than looking for it in other galaxies.”

Planet Earth: Not an Accident

It also tells us that God wasn’t wandering throughout the vastness of the cosmos saying, “Wow, that’s the best one, I’ll use that”. No. With odds this remote, we must realize that God especially designed and crafted, through miraculous means, planet Earth, so that it would support life and human beings. Planet Earth is not an accident; it is a product of divine design.

I would also say that’s true of life on Earth. The fossil record testifies of life beginning on planet Earth 3.8 billion years ago. Over those 3.8 billion years, we have more and more species of greater and greater complexity and greater and greater diversity. But there’s no fossil tree. We have no evidence for the horizontal branches.

Peculiarities in the Fossil Record

All we have is evidence that a certain species exists for a certain period of time without significant change, which then goes extinct to be replaced at a different time with a radically different species, with no connection from the previous species to the next one.

What the textbooks don’t mention is that there’s been a reversal of this fossil tree; it’s only true up until the creation of man. Since the creation of man, the whole thing reverses. As time proceeds, we have fewer and fewer species with less and less diversity and complexity, and it’s the land mammals that are being impacted in the worst way.

There were 30,000 land mammals on planet Earth when God created Adam and Eve. There are only 15,000 remaining today. In just a few thousand years, 15,000 species of mammals have disappeared.

Admittedly, man has a lot to do with that.

As Paul and Ann Erlich pointed out in their book on extinctions, though, even if we were to get rid of every vestige of humanity and civilization on planet Earth, a minimum of one species would still become extinct every year. How many species do we see appearing?

No New Species

Paul and Ann Erlich say we have yet to document the appearance of a single animal species in the world of nature, and in the vast majority in the world of species, we cannot even detect any genetic movement. It’s a virtual zero.

The Bible offers the perfect explanation for this. For six days (periods of time), God created. On the seventh day, he rested. For six days, he replaced the species that were going extinct with more complex and diverse species. For six days, he created through special, miraculous means, the evidence of which we clearly see in the fossil record.

But the Bible tells us that when He created Eve, He ceased from his work of creating new species of life. God is at rest. We’re now in the seventh day, where God is resting from his work of creating. All we see today is the natural processes. The natural processes tell us that the planet is heading to a culmination in death.

When Will God Create Again?

Revelation 21 tells us that the very instant that God conquers the problem of evil in man, he will create again. There is an eighth day of creation coming. It’s exciting to think about the fact that God may have many weeks of creation planned for the future. We’re simply through the first week.

Can you imagine what’s going to happen in the second, third of fourth week, etc? It would be exciting news if we could be a part of that work with him.

Creation vs. Evolution?

Whenever I discuss this whole issue of creation evolution, everyone wants to talk about what we know the least about – the origin of man. You know the story. We begin with a primitive bipedal primate species, and wind up with an advanced character.

The truth of the matter is that the evidence of the bipedal primates that God created before Adam and Eve fills only one coffin full of bones. We don’t have a lot of evidence. It’s not like the dinosaurs. In no case are any of those bi-pedaled primate finds more than 30% complete; that’s the most complete fossil find that we have.

Fossil Record: Not a Fraud!

Some Christians like to claim that this is all fraudulent, but that’s not true. There are bones. They can be seen in museums and they are definitely bipedal species. But they existed long ago. They are extinct, and there’s no relationship between those bipedal primates and human beings.

The Bible tells us that God created only one species of life on planet Earth that is spiritual in nature: Adam and Eve, and their descendents. All other species of life are either body only, or body and soul, like the birds and the mammals. Only the human species is comprised of body, soul and spirit.

You can go to any secular anthropologist and ask him to provide you with the most ancient evidence for spirit expression. They will confess that the most ancient evidence dates back to only 8,000 to 24,000 years ago. In the form of a moral code or religious relics, the most ancient finds have been these primitive Venus Idol figurines from 10,000 years ago.

What’s the Biblical date of the creation of Adam and Eve? The genealogies are useless for giving us the creation date of the universe or the Earth, but they are effective for giving us the creation date of Adam and Eve. It was the very last event on the sixth day of creation.

I should say only slightly effective because there are gaps in the genealogy. The genealogies of Luke and Matthew contain names that are not in Genesis 5, but the best Hebrew scholars that I’ve spoken to say that it’s about a factor of ten.

When Did Man Appear?

Six thousand to 60,000 years ago, God created Adam and Eve. That 6,000 to 60,000 encompasses the secular date of 8,000 to 24,000. Even at this most controversial level, we have so little data to work with that we see fundamental agreement between scientific evidence and the words of the Bible.

I close with a quote from Revelation 3:8, “See I place before you an open door that no one can shut.” In my book, The Creator and the Cosmos, I have a whole chapter filled with quotes from astronomers and physicists in response to this evidence.

Fine Tuning of the Universe: Proof Positive of the Existence of God

Let me read you one from the British cosmologist, Edward Harrison, who says, “Here is the cosmological proof of the existence of God. The design argument of William Paley updated and refurbished. The fine-tuning of the universe provides prima facie evidence for theistic design. Take you choice: blind chance that requires an infinite number of universes, or design that requires only one.”

Many scientists, when they admit their views, incline towards the theistic or the design argument, and for good reason. It’s because the appeal to an infinite number of universes where ours by pure chance out of that infinite number takes on the conditions essential for life, is committing the gamblers fallacy.

To Assume it Happened By Chance = “The Gambler’s Fallacy”

You’re assuming the benefit of an infinite sample size, when you can only provide evidence for one. Let me give you an example. If I were to flip a coin 10,000 times and it were to come up heads 10,000 times in a row, you could conclude that the coin has been fixed with a purpose to come up heads. That’s the rational bet.

But the irrational better would say that conceivably, two to the 10,000 coins could exist out there. And if those two to the 10,000 coins are like my coin, but all getting different results than I see here, then this coin could be fair.

It’s the gamblers fallacy because you have no proof of the existence of those other coins or that they take on similar characteristics of the coin that you’re flipping, and you have no evidence that those coins are producing different results.

The equations of General Relativity guarantee that we will never discover another universe. God may have created two, but we’ll never know about it because the equations of General Relativity tell us that the Space-Time manifold of universe A will never overlap the space-time manifold of universe B.

Other Universes? No Way to Know

That means we will be forever ignorant about the possibility of other universes, because the sample size will always be one. Therefore, the appeal to infinite chances rather than to the God of the Bible is the gambler’s fallacy.

Q&A from the Audience

Moderator: Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Why didn’t he tell us something that we don’t already know? Right? Why do we keep doing all this mental cotton candy stuff, why don’t we get to something deep?

Actually, I’m sure there are a lot of questions, so I’m going to make my way around with the mike, and I’ll try to get around to the sides. We want to give you the chance to ask Dr. Ross some questions, and we’ll do that for about 20 minutes.

If we have any spiritual seekers here, who have some questions, I’m especially interested in your perspective.

Why do we need earthquakes? Can you explain that a little more?

Hugh: Before I begin, let me just say that if you think of a question two hours from now, the ministry I work for, Reasons to Believe, maintains a daily hotline. You are welcome to call, two hours per day, to ask your questions. The number is (626)335-5282, 5:00pm to 7:00pm Pacific Time. You are also welcome to write, and we’ll respond to your questions in writing. The service is available, free of charge, to anyone who’d like to take advantage of it. [Website is http://www.reasons.org – ed.]

In response to your question about earthquakes, without earthquakes or plate tectonic activity, nutrients that are essential for life on land would erode off of the continents and accumulate in the oceans. After awhile, life would be impossible on land, though you’d still have life in the oceans.

Thanks to earthquake activity, that stuff in the oceans gets recycled into new continents.
We see here on earth precisely the right number and intensity of earthquakes to maintain that recycling, but not to such a degree that it’s impossible for us to live in cities.

If it’s any comfort to you, the risk of earthquake damage here in Chicago is greater than it is in Los Angeles . But that’s only because we have stiffer building codes.

How do you account for the difference in time as described in Genesis for creation in a week, versus the vast span of time you describe since the Big Bang?

Hugh: You need to get a copy of my book Creation and Time that was just released a few days ago.
In it, I point out that the idea that the days of creation in Genesis One are six consecutive 24-hour periods arose from the King James translation, not from church history or tradition.

Augustine & other Church Fathers: “Day” in Genesis is a long period of time

If you read the early fathers of the church, the vast majority of them adopted the view that these days of creation were long time periods, not 24-hour periods.

Why King James? The English language is the largest vocabulary language that man has ever invented.
The Hebrew language, by contrast, is one of the most noun poor languages that man has ever invented.

English vs. Hebrew

So, the English reader has a difficult time appreciating that in the Hebrew Old Testament, there are very few words to describe periods of time.
The Hebrew word Yom, for “day long” can mean 12 hours, 24 hours or a long time period. You have to examine the context, to determine which of the three definitions to use.

Incidentally, we have the same problem with the word “heaven”, for which the Hebrew language has three different definitions.
In Genesis One, you have to examine the context in order to determine which heaven is being used in which place. That’s why Paul referred to the third heaven. So you’d know which one he was talking about.

Day 7: No Evening & Morning

I didn’t know Hebrew when I first read the Bible. But I immediately recognized that they must have been talking about a longer period of time,
because there is no evening or morning for the seventh day. Notice that the first six days are closed off with an evening and a morning. The seventh day is not, and there’s a good reason for that.

When you read into the Bible, Psalm 95 and Hebrews 4, you discover that God’s seventh day, the day of rest, is still proceeding,
through the present and on into the future. Live your lives so that you will enter God’s seventh day, day of rest.

Seventh Day is Now

We’re still in the seventh day. If the seventh day is a long time period, then the first six days must likewise be long time periods.
I also saw as a 17 year old that the fact that we’re in the seventh day answers the enigma of the fossil record. Why we see it in the past but we don’t see it today.

In the book, Creation and Time, I give you 21 biblical arguments for why the days must be long, and not 24 hours.
It’s helpful to realize that there is no Hebrew word to describe a long period of time. The only option is to use the word yom.
Likewise, the words evening and morning also mean beginning and ending.

If you want the details, they’re covered in the book.
This opens an opportunity, because there are many non-Christians out there who are convinced that Christianity has no credibility because it speaks of the universe as being a mirage.

A Young Universe could only be an Illusion

If the universe is only thousands of years old, then it would have to be an illusion,
because astronomers measure it to be a tremendous size and that size speaks of the billions of years.
Non-Christians say that if the Bible has no credibility with respect to astronomy and physics, why should they trust it for anything else?

The Bible: Speaks of Billions of Years, Consistent with Astronomy

One reason I wrote this book was so that non-Christians would realize that the Bible is not speaking in terms of thousands of years;
it’s speaking in terms of billions of years. In speaking in terms of billions of years, we realize that there’s no basis for claiming that the Bible is filled with scientific error.

On the contrary, in Genesis One, we see a testimony to scientific perfection. When, as a 17 year old, I compared the Bible to other holy books of the religions of the world, I noticed that only the Bible gets a perfect score on the creation account.

Biblical Account: 14 Statements, all 100% Consistent with Modern Observations

It gives three initial conditions and 11 creation events, and describes all 14 perfectly and puts them in the correct chronological sequence. The best I’ve found outside of the Bible is the New Militia of the Babylonians, which scores two to 13 correct.

The only reason it got such a high score is because the Babylonians weren’t too far culturally from the descendents of Abraham. They probably heard a little bit about their story from them.

Do you differ with the scientists at the Institute for Creation Research?

Hugh: Yes, I differ with them about the age of the universe. I would agree with them on the recency of the creation of man. Though, we both hold that we are all descendent from Adam and Eve and that God created Adam and Eve only thousands of years ago.

Where we disagree is on the age of the Earth and the age of the universe, but I’d like to point out that it really doesn’t matter. I believe that the universe is 17,000,000,000 years old [that was the best figure available in 1994; today we know the universe is 13.7 billion years old – Ed ] and they believe that the universe is less than 10,000 years old. We only differ by a factor of 1,000,000. That’s only six zeros.

I say this because I’ve brought another book here with me, written by an agnostic, Hubert Yockey, who founded the field of information theories that apply to molecular biology. He and others, including atheists, point out that in order for life to arise by natural processes, you would need an Earth in excess of 10 to the one hundred billionth power, years old. That’s a hundred billion zeros after the one. It would fill 25,000 Bibles with zeros to write that number out long hand.

The fact that I differ with the Institute of Creation Research by only six zeros has no bearing on the creation evolution debate. Nor does it have any bearing on salvation. When God created is doctrinally insignificant.

I say that because in my opinion, there has been far too much emotion invested in what I consider to be a trivial issue in terms of creation evolution and basic viable doctrine. If we can get away from the emotion, I think we can resolve it.

How do you respond to the theory that the Big Bang that you’re studying now is merely one of a series of Big Bangs? That the matter of the universe is constantly exploding, accelerating, decelerating, concentrating and re-exploding?

Hugh: I whizzed right past that in my talk, thinking no one would pick up on it, but you did. If the universe has sufficient mass, then it’s expansion will stop. Two massive objects tend to attract one another. The universe contains enough galaxies and quasars and other material that the mutual attraction would eventually take the steam out of the expansion of the universe, forcing the universe into a subsequent period of collapse.

There have been those of the Hindu persuasion who first began to believe 3,000 years ago that when the universe collapses, it will go through a bounce. It will rebound into a second stage of expansion, collapse, expansion, collapse, etc.

Then we’re back to infinite time. If there are an infinite number of bounces of the universe, then you can postulate that this just happens to be that lucky bounce of the cosmos in which conditions were just right for the formation of life.

The truth of the matter is that it’s physically impossible for the universe to bounce. In 1983, Alan Guth and Mark Sher published a paper in the British Journal of Nature titled, “The impossibility of a Bouncing Universe”.

The reason it’s impossible for the universe to bounce is because of its enormous entropy. It has a specific entropy of 1,000,000,000. That translates into a mechanical efficiency for the universe of 1/100,000,000 of a percent.

In terms of a bounce, if I have a ball in front of me, and I let if fall towards the carpeted floor, we can measure it’s mechanical efficiency by how far it bounces off of the floor compared to the height from which I drop if. It’s about 30% efficient.

The universe has a mechanical efficiency of 1/100,000,000 of a percent. Engineers in the audience will tell you that anytime an engine falls below a 1% mechanical efficiency, it will not oscillate. The universe falls 8 orders of magnitude short of that limit. Therefore, it’s impossible.

This impossibility has not only been demonstrated in the classical physical sense, it’s also been demonstrated under the conditions of quantum mechanics. Even if we’re talking about a bounce in that period of time in which the universe is compressed smaller than a quantum entity, there too, it’s impossible.

The universe could collapse, but we’re still talking about only one creation event, only one beginning. Therefore, we pull the rug out from under Hinduism, Buddhism and New Age philosophy, because all of those religions preach that the universe reincarnates. The fact that astrophysicists have demonstrated the impossibility of reincarnation scientifically demonstrates the fallibility of Hinduism, Buddhism and New Age philosophy.

I’m still savoring the fact that since this is the seventh day, every day is Sunday and I’m living in a day of rest. I ask this somewhat naively, because I don’t know much about astrology, but what relevance does your work have to do with astrology and the planets, etc? Or does it? Have you done any study in that?

Hugh: Are you trying to contrast astrology with astronomy?

Participant: No, I mean astrology, since it is very related to the planets and their placement and all that.

Hugh: The effect of the obstetrician is six times greater than the effect of all of the planets, the sun and the moon combined. On that basis, there is no scientific credibility to the claims of astrology. I’ve written a little paper called, “Astrology: Science or What?” in which I very carefully document the scientific incredible claims of astrology.

I’m not saying astrology has no validity. It has no physical validity. It may have some spiritual validity, but it’s easy to prove that its spiritual validity is dangerous, and coming from the adversary of God, rather than from God himself. If you want to get it, it’s a free handout that we make available for people who have questions on astrology.

It’s my understanding that quantum mechanics, the quantum theory, is the latest method to shove God out of the way. Could you elaborate on the quantum theory?

Hugh: I have a whole hour lecture prepared on the quantum challenge to Christianity. It’s exactly the opposite. Quantum mechanics does not provide a challenge to the Christian faith; it provides support. The reason people perceive it as a threat is because quantum mechanics is such an esoteric physical study that the vast majority of laymen have no clue what it means.

Therefore, when some New Age philosopher tells us that it establishes that we human beings can create independent of God, some of them actually believe it. But what quantum mechanics actually tells us is that the human observer or experimenter, is even more limited in his capacity to influence cause and effect than we thought, under the conditions of classical mechanics and physics. It makes the human condition worse, not better.

Quantum mechanics, rather than demoting God and elevating man, does exactly the reverse. If you have a specific question on quantum mechanics, I’d be happy to deal with it.

Let me just share this. There are a couple of chapters on this in my Creator and the Cosmos book. Quantum challenges to the Christian faith were first proposed in 1983 and culminating in some claims that were made a few months back, have moved in the direction of progressive absurdity.

In 1983 Paul Davies said, “The universe was created though a quantum fluctuation.” The problem with that is that the smaller the time interval in quantum mechanics, the smaller the probability the quantum fluctuation will occur.

If we’re talking about the beginning of the universe, the time interval is zero, so the probability is zero. So we know for sure that quantum mechanics doesn’t do it.

The latest challenge coming from quantum mechanics is that the universe is evolving together with the human race, and the fossil record gives the evidence for this. If you look at the fossil record, you see improvement with respect to time.

Since the author of this theory doesn’t believe in God, and he believes that there’s some kind of self-ordering factor in nature that explains that fossil record, he concludes that the universe is improving with time, and that we human beings are improving in time.

He believes that if we wait long enough, we’ll meet at one another at the Omega point, where we’ll become omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. Then we become God and we’ll be able to create in the past, which explains why we’re here today. God doesn’t exist yet, but he will. When he exists, he’ll create the universe 17 billion years ago.

Skeptic Martin Gardener analyzed this theory a few months ago, and said, “This is not the FAP theory. This is the CRAP theory.” It was called the Final Anthropic Principle (FAP). He called it the Completely Ridiculous Anthropic Principle (CRAP).

The thing I’ve noticed in quantum mechanics in an attempt to refute the Christian faith, is as time goes on their attempts to bypass the God of the Bible get progressively more absurd. The analogy of that would be the flat Earth society, which has been in existence for 100 years.

During those 100 years, the rationale for defending a flat Earth has become progressively absurd. They’ll never run out of evidence for a flat Earth, but the fact that their evidence is being demonstrated as becoming progressively more absurd tells us that they don’t have a strong case.

Likewise, I would say atheists pushing through quantum mechanics do not have a strong case. You can read the details in my book.

Can you tell us what your thoughts are on Eric Lerner’s book The Big Bang Never Happened ?

Hugh: I have a few pages on it in both of my books. The book is passé now because he was assuming that there’d be no resolution to the problem of the clumping of the galaxies and the smoothness of the radiation from the creation event. That was his basis for saying the Big Bang model is in trouble.

With the discovery of exotic matter, we’ve dealt with that puzzle. Eric Lerner overlooked independent measures for the date of the creation. He was pushing for creation date in excess of quadrillions of years. He assumed that our only basis for establishing the age of the universe was its expansion velocity.

In fact, we have several methods for age dating the universe. The burning of the stars, the ages of the oldest stars, the radiometric elements, and how we still have Uranium and Thorium in the universe. If the universe were one quadrillion years old, there’d be no Uranium or Thorium left at all. The fact that they exist tells us that the universe is relatively young.

That’s a quick response to Eric Lerner’s book. It had some following before the COBE satellite discoveries, but that following has since evaporated.

Dr. Ross, my question is about the order of creation described in Genesis, which seems to teach a geocentric view of the universe in that the Earth is created and then the lights are created, the lesser lights, and the greater light, the Sun. Could you talk about that?

Hugh: Genesis One follows the scientific method, in that it doesn’t begin to describe the sequence of creation events until it first identifies the point of view in the initial conditions. That’s not strange because that’s where the scientific method came from, so of course the Bible follows the scientific method.

We see in the second verse of Genesis, chapter one, that the spirit of God was brooding on the surface of the waters. We’re told the account of creation from the point of view of the observer at the surface of the waters, below the clouds, not above the clouds. That’s makes all the difference in how you interpret the text.

If you put the point of view up in the heavens, almost everything you get in Genesis One is wrong, compared to the record of nature. If you place it on the surface of the ocean, below the cloud layer, then everything is a perfect fit.

What happens on the first day of creation is not the creation of light, but the appearance of light. It says, “Let there be light”, and uses the Hebrew verb meaning “to be”. It doesn’t say God created the light. The light was created in the beginning. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth.

The Hebrew word for heavens & Earth refers to the entire physical cosmos, the stars, galaxies, matter, energy, space and time. Light was created in the beginning. It was dark on the surface of the waters because Earth had an atmosphere that was opaque to the passage of light at that time.

There was an intense interplanetary debris cloud and the gases in the Earth’s atmosphere itself combined with that debris cloud to prevent the passage of sunlight to the surface of the Earth.

On the fourth day of creation, we again see the Hebrew verb meaning, “let there be”, the sun, moon and stars. The observer on the surface of the waters, for the first time, sees the objects that are responsible for the light that came through in the first stage of the fourth day.

It was not until the fourth day of creation that the Earth’s atmosphere became transparent. Before the first day, it was opaque. From the first day to the fourth day, it was translucent, permanently overcast, and on the fourth day the clouds broke and the observer could now see the objects responsible for the light.

The problem is the 16th verse, which says, “So God made the sun, moon and stars.” The Hebrew verb for “made” means to manufacture or fabricate. What the English reader often doesn’t pick up on is that the Hebrew language does not have verb tenses. They have strange forms which mean the action is either complete or has not yet been completed.

The 16th verse has the verb in its “completed” form, meaning the action was completed at some time in the past. It could have been completed on the fourth day, the third day, the second day, the first day, or in the beginning.

That sentence itself doesn’t tell us which of those five options we should choose. We think, wouldn’t it be nice if Moses told us? Well, he did. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth,” and that [Hebrew word for heavens and Earth] would include the sun, moon and stars. They were made in the beginning, but the observer doesn’t see them until the fourth day.

What’s fascinating is that the fifth and sixth days of creation, for the first time, mention species of life that require the visibility of the sun, moon and stars to regulate their biological clocks.

If you want to pursue this in more depth, you can read articles on Hugh Ross’s website, which take you step by step through the details of the three initial conditions and the 11 creation events.



Frequently Asked Questions

Q: But the Genesis 1 story says the earth is 6000 years old and everyone knows it doesn’t agree with anything in physics, astronomy or geology.

A: The word “day” in Genesis is the Hebrew word “Yom” which means “period of time” and has multiple meanings in the Genesis text. 24 hour days are not defined as such until “day” four (when the sun and moon become visible through the cloud cover of the earth), and there is no specified period of time between Genesis 1:1 (the big bang) and 1:2 (the formation of the earth).

If we read Genesis 1 with two assumptions: (1) “Day” is a period of time and (2) the story is told from an earthly point of view (i.e. not from outer space) then the Genesis account matches modern cosmology and the fossil record tit for tat .

Q: Doesn’t the Big Bang disprove the Bible?

A: Genesis 1:1 says:

In the beginning [of time] God [outside of time] created [out of nothing] the heavens and the earth[everything] .

The person who first proposed the Big Bang theory was Georges LeMaitre, who was both a physicist and Roman Catholic priest. LeMaitre’s idea was scoffed at at first, and in fact the term “Big Bang” is a derisive term coined by atheist Fred Hoyle who despised the idea that the universe could have a transcendent beginning.

Einstein likewise initially resisted the idea that the universe was not eternal, putting a fudge factor in his equations and later regretting his mistake.

The Big Bang theory says that both time and space begin at a single microscopic point some 13.7 billion years ago, that the universe is expanding and cooling, and that time moves in one and only one direction.

Thus the very first verse of the Bible matches the Big Bang exactly – and in fact only in the last 20 years or so has the Biblical cosmology been confirmed by modern science.

Q: But the Genesis story doesn’t sound like any science book I’ve ever read.

A: Let’s take the sequence of events in Genesis step by step:

Genesis 1:1 Creation of the universe
1:2 Earth is covered with water; story is told from the earth
1:3-5 Light becomes visible; day and night
1:6-8 Clouds and water cycle
1:9-10 Ocean and dry land
1:11-13 Plants
1:14-19 Sun and moon become visible in the sky
1:20-23 Fish and Birds
1:24-25 Animals
1:26 Man

This is the exact same sequence we find in modern science books.

Q: Big Bang = Jesus Christ is a pretty big leap.

A: The Old Testament cosmology exactly matches modern scientific discoveries, so Judaism at minimum is validated by modern science. So how do we get to Jesus Christ?

Hebrews 11:3 makes it more specific stating, “The universe that we detect was made from that which we cannot detect.” We can make detections within matter, energy, length, width, height and time, but not beyond.

Eight places in the Bible tell us that God created time. Two examples: 2 Timothy 1:9 which states, “The Grace of God that we now experience was put into effect before the beginning of time” and Titus 1:2 which states, “The hope that we have in Jesus Christ was given to us before the beginning of time.”

John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”

Only through discoveries of the 20th century and DNA do we now know that words and language are the basis of all creative acts; that without code (the genetic code) replication of cells and even any kind of evolution would be impossible.

John 1:1 is a theological statement that appears to extend to philosophy and science as well: That conception always precedes embodiment; that idea must come before implementation. Mind over matter. Only Judeo-Christian theology describes the universe in this way, an the Christian New Testament view articulates these things much more clearly than the Old Testament.


About Hugh Ross

Hugh Ross launched his science career at age seven when he went to the library to find out why stars are hot. Physics and astronomy captured his curiosity and never let go. At age seventeen he was the youngest person ever to serve as director of observations for Vancouver ‘s Royal Astronomical Society. With the help of a provincial scholarship and a National Research Council (NRC) of Canada fellowship, he completed his undergraduate degree in physics (University of British Columbia) and graduate degrees in astronomy (University of Toronto). The NRC also sent him to the United States for postdoctoral studies. At Caltech he researched quasi-stellar objects, or “quasars,” some of the most distant and ancient objects in the universe.

Hugh Ross is author of numerous peer-reviewed technical articles in leading publications such as The Astrophysics Journal and more than a dozen books. He is president of Reasons To Believe, an organization that integrates the latest discoveries in science with theology, demonstrating that faith and facts are not in conflict, but perfect agreement.
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