Continuing in the book review series on Genesis and the Big Bang by Gerald L. Schroeder, Ph.D…
There are two significant discoveries (or as Schroeder calls them, “starting points”) that continue to elude scientists — the origin of the universe and the origin of life.
Regarding the origin of the universe, Schroeder writes,
When we try to describe the conditions at that crucial interface between total nothingness and the start of our universe, we are confronted with a point of space having infinitely high density and infinitely small dimensions. In the language of physics, such a point is called a singularity. Singularities cannot be handled mathematically in the dimensions we experience: the length, width, and height of things and the passage of time. Changing to imaginary dimensions of time allows the math to be handled but does nothing to remove the fact that an untenable singularity existed in real time at the Big Bang.
Different theories have been proposed and disproven along the way, and as of right now, scientists acknowledge both the likelihood of a finite beginning of the universe and the inability to understand how that beginning happened.
Regarding the origin of life, Schroeder writes,
The answers provided by science for life’s origins are no more satisfying than those provided for the universe’s origins. Since the monumental “Conference on Macro-Evolution” was held in Chicago in 1980, there has been a total reevaluation of life’s origins and development. […] There is now overwhelmingly strong evidence, both statistical and paleontological, that life could not have been started on Earth by a series of random chemical reactions. Today’s best mathematical estimates state that there simply was not enough time for random reactions to get life going as fast as the fossil record shows that it did. The reactions were either directed by some, as of yet unknown, physical force or a metaphysical guide, or life arrive here from elsewhere. But even the “elsewhere” answer merely pushes the start of life into an even more unlikely time constraint.
Thankfully, Schroeder goes into great detail in later chapters on both of these monumental, complex problems. Schroeder concludes,
The problems of our origins, problems that most of us would have preferred to consider solved by experts who should know the answers, in fact have not been solved and are not about to be solved, at least not by the purely scientific methods used to date.
Scientists, atheists, and others may have a hard time understanding why people without answers turn to an ancient text for enlightenment or revelation. The way I see it, we should consider every bit of information available and postpone rejecting ideas that have not yet been disproven — whether that information comes from imaginary mathematical dimensions or an ancient text.
Chapter two, “Stretching Time,” is mind-blowingly awesome. In it, Schroeder provides a logical defense for this claim that might seem incredible to scientists:
This first week of Genesis is not some tale to satisfy the curiosity of children, to be discarded in the wisdom of adulthood. Quite the contrary, it contains hints of events that mankind is only now beginning to understand.
Likewise, Schroeder provides a logical defense for this claim that might seem incredible to theologians:
When the Bible describes the day-by-day development of our universe in the six days following the creation, it is truly referring to six 24-hour days. But the reference frame by which those days were measured was one which contained the total universe.
So, how can Schroeder reconcile billions of years with six, literal 24-hour days?
In chapter two, Schroeder explores:
- The Biblical Calendar
- Special and General Relativity
- Time Dilation
- Stretching Time
I’m really looking forward to writing the next blog post in this series.
Related: The Search