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Stephen Hawking: God was not needed to create the Universe
Daily Telegraph ^ | 02 Sep 2010 | Laura Roberts

Posted on 09/02/2010 6:21:27 AM PDT by tlb

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To: TSgt
I guess we’ll find out who is correct when we both assume room temperature?

That's pretty much the case. Stay safe out there (I assume you're Air Force).

151 posted on 09/02/2010 8:32:57 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: tlb

So, the cause of the “big bang” is now known, eh? ;-P


152 posted on 09/02/2010 8:35:05 AM PDT by MortMan (Obama's response to the Gulf oil spill: a four-putt.)
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To: mlo
That's true, he's only helped push back boundaries. We have yet to reach the root answers. Which is not the same as saying we never will.

Theoretically that is true.

But religion only pushes back the boundary too, and it does it based on speculation on unfounded belief.

The main business of Religion is "re-linking", i.e. reforging the sundered links between God and Man. That's a very personal kind of thing (although it has ramifications for society as a whole) so the boundaries it pushes back are mostly in your own mind (and soul).

However I have to take issue with this "speculation on unfounded belief" crack. Hawking is working in theoretical physics. What else is that but speculation? And religion does not base its ideas on "unfounded belief". On the contrary, it's very founded indeed - it's just not the foundation that people like Hawking build on. That does not make it invalid though.

153 posted on 09/02/2010 8:43:46 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: tlb
Dear Stephen:
God said I am who am.

Here is one explanation of what it means.

Roman Catholic Church interpretation

The Roman Catholic Church's interpretation has been summarized in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The interpretation is found in numbers 203-213. [6]

Some of the salient points are the following:

203
God revealed himself to his people Israel by making his name known to them. A name expresses a person's essence and identity and the meaning of this person's life. God has a name; he is not an anonymous force. To disclose one's name is to make oneself known to others; in a way it is to hand oneself over by becoming accessible, capable of being known more intimately and addressed personally.
206
In revealing his mysterious name, YHWH ("I AM HE WHO IS", "I AM WHO AM" or "I AM WHO I AM"), God says who he is and by what name he is to be called. This divine name is mysterious just as God is mystery. It is at once a name revealed and something like the refusal of a name, and hence it better expresses God as what he is - infinitely above everything that we can understand or say: he is the "hidden God", his name is ineffable, and he is the God who makes himself close to men.
207
God, who reveals his name as "I AM", reveals himself as the God who is always there, present to his people in order to save them.
210
After Israel's sin, when the people had turned away from God to worship the golden calf, God hears Moses' prayer of intercession and agrees to walk in the midst of an unfaithful people, thus demonstrating his love. When Moses asks to see his glory, God responds "I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you my name 'the LORD' [YHWH]." Then the LORD passes before Moses and proclaims, "YHWH, YHWH, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness"; Moses then confesses that the LORD is a forgiving God.
211
The divine name, "I Am" or "He Is", expresses God's faithfulness: despite the faithlessness of men's sin and the punishment it deserves, he keeps "steadfast love for thousands"... By giving his life to free us from sin, Jesus reveals that he himself bears the divine name: "When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will realize that "I AM"."
212
"...In God "there is no variation or shadow due to change."..."
213
The revelation of the ineffable name "I AM WHO AM" contains then the truth that God alone IS. The Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, and following it the Church's tradition, understood the divine name in this sense: God is the fullness of Being and of every perfection, without origin and without end. All creatures receive all that they are and have from him; but he alone is his very being, and he is of himself everything that he is.

154 posted on 09/02/2010 8:56:46 AM PDT by mc5cents (God was, is and always will be.)
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To: tlb

Some people are too smart for their own good.


155 posted on 09/02/2010 9:05:53 AM PDT by Antoninus (It's a degenerate society where dogs have more legal rights than unborn babies.)
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To: Savage Beast

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” ...................... Ah yes, but rose in fish market still smell like fish.


156 posted on 09/02/2010 9:10:00 AM PDT by Bringbackthedraft (Put Alan West on the fast track, to the White House! Kick a$$ in 2010 and 12)
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To: tlb

If you want to see a third theory [vs. G-d did it and poof!] check out Hugh Everett. Hawking once said that Everett’s theory is true, but trivial. Agree with the true part, emphatically disagree with the trivial assessment.

Short version. Start with a point of view (POV) of the “universe”. Each POV sees the world in a different way. Some POV are inaccessible. Every time it seems that one thing has happened but not another (e.g. Cincinnati wins), from another POV something else happened (e.g. Cincinnati lost). In the big picture, every thing that can happen, does happen.

From a D&D perspective, every time I roll a 20-sided die the “universe” splits into 20 distinct “universes”. The possibility exists for merging, but divergence is many orders of magnitude more common. The past had fewer dice; the future has more dice. Physicists call this entropy, but don’t fully explain it. If you go back to the beginning, first there were no dice, then only a few (no matter, then a little bit of matter).

This theory has several predictions.
1. From every POV the “universe” is locally hyperbolic - “universe” is expanding and will never collapse.
2. Mass of each “universe” is expanding at m = a*sqrt(t)
mass increases with the square root of time. If you are familiar with drunkards walk or gamblers math.
3. The information flow from the future to the present is greater than zero.
4. This information flow is consistent with a Deist POV (but not necessarily Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc. POV).
5. This is also consistent with Feynmann diagrams.


157 posted on 09/02/2010 9:26:55 AM PDT by bIlluminati (Don't just hope for change, work for change in 2010.)
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To: ShadowAce
First there was nothing.

Then it exploded.

Well done.

158 posted on 09/02/2010 9:35:22 AM PDT by Wyatt's Torch (I can explain it to you. I can't understand it for you.)
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To: ShadowAce

Gizmodo headline “Big Bangs happen...”


159 posted on 09/02/2010 9:40:47 AM PDT by Wyatt's Torch (I can explain it to you. I can't understand it for you.)
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To: MrB

Amen.

Matthew 7:14
For narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it.


160 posted on 09/02/2010 9:44:16 AM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (There are those that break and bend. I'm the other kind.)
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To: MrB

Amen.

Matthew 7:14
For narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it.


161 posted on 09/02/2010 9:44:26 AM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (There are those that break and bend. I'm the other kind.)
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To: metmom; DaveLoneRanger; editor-surveyor; betty boop; Alamo-Girl; MrB; GourmetDan; Fichori; ...

FR is to be applauded for allowing Stephen Hawking’s religion to be posted “front and center” in the Extended News forum.

Hopefully, discerning Christians will take a fresh look at Hawkings’ deliberately atheist version of the big bang (as quietly admitted by none other than Hawkings himself) in light of Matthew 7:16.


162 posted on 09/02/2010 9:51:26 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: tlb

What strikes me is the fact that Hawking has no advantage over any other person on earth—no special access—to knowledge about God.


163 posted on 09/02/2010 10:00:39 AM PDT by reasonisfaith (Rules will never work for radicals (liberals) because they seek chaos. And don't even know it.)
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To: reasonisfaith

And Hawking’s particular logical errors are described in the first several posts of this thread.


164 posted on 09/02/2010 10:04:07 AM PDT by reasonisfaith (Rules will never work for radicals (liberals) because they seek chaos. And don't even know it.)
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To: tlb
"The Big Bang was the result of the inevitable laws of physics and did not need God to spark the creation of the Universe, Stephen Hawking has concluded."

Hey Steve-o, who created the laws of physics?

165 posted on 09/02/2010 10:06:23 AM PDT by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the next one...)
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To: tlb

In the absence of spacetime geometry, how does gravity exist again?

Sounds like Dr. Hawking is letting someone else do his writing these days.


166 posted on 09/02/2010 10:07:18 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Boogieman

Yeah, from who? Why are there laws at all? Such a ‘deep’ thinker /not.


167 posted on 09/02/2010 10:09:58 AM PDT by bvw
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To: bIlluminati

Interesting idea, but how do you perform an experiment to demonstrate it?


168 posted on 09/02/2010 10:15:01 AM PDT by kosciusko51
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To: GodGunsGuts

The never ending efforts on the part of man to write God, or the need for Him, out of the picture.


169 posted on 09/02/2010 10:27:32 AM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: MrB; Hegewisch Dupa
Yes, there are numerous scriptural passages declaring the truth of our sin nature, and none stating that people are “good”. In fact, “none are good” is directly stated, many times. Seriously, you’re going to waste a lot of effort and emotion trying to prove yourself “a good person” until you accept this fact.

Interpretation and Semantics.

IMHO, The Bible refers to SIN. God refers, in the Bible, to all men being sinful, in one way or another.

Being a 'good person' is an entirely different matter.

YOU are both, 'a very good person', but I know each of you has sinned.

170 posted on 09/02/2010 10:39:45 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill informed post.)
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Well, I don’t go to my priest to find out about black holes, dark matter and cosmology.

But I imagine if I did, whatever he said would sound as stupid a Hawkins on theology.

A wise man knows his limitations.


171 posted on 09/02/2010 10:41:32 AM PDT by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: Hemingway's Ghost
yet cannot grasp the notion of an intelligence or a consciousness higher than that of man.

Sure he does, he just thinks he is that higher intelligence.

172 posted on 09/02/2010 10:47:41 AM PDT by itsahoot (We the people allowed Republican leadership to get us here, only God's Grace can get us out.)
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To: ozark hilljilly
But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

A man asks God, "what is a million years to you?", God replied, "A second." Then the man asked God what a million dollars was to him, and God replied, "A penny."

Then the man asked God if he could get a penny from him? And God answered, "Yes, in a second."

173 posted on 09/02/2010 11:02:37 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: tlb; All

(forgive me if that has already been said a dozen times.)

“The question is: is the way the universe began chosen by God for reasons we can’t understand, or was it determined by a law of science?”


Science didn’t exist until God created man. Science is the human mind’s way of explaining the environment around it. God needs no such artificial prop and simply ‘IS’.

All GOD has done, IS.
Science, while very helpful, is not the ‘absolute truth’, and even the most basic of it’s principles are being constantly modified as we find something ‘new’.
It is simply the best explanation our mind can find for explaining the environment around us. And it’s subject to change.

One must admit that even if they do not believe that the description in the Bible is the real truth , it has not changed for 2000 years. (That I know of)


174 posted on 09/02/2010 11:06:29 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill informed post.)
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To: ShadowAce

I remember this from Hitchhikers’ Guide:

Now it is such a bizarrely improbably coincidence that anything so mindbogglingly useful could have evolved by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.
The argument goes something like this: “I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”
“But,” says Man, “the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED”
“Oh dear,” says God, “I hadn’t thought of that,” and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.


175 posted on 09/02/2010 11:07:06 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: mlo

Ask God....

But if you can’t do that, consider Paul Davies’ explanation of two planes of existence, the natural and supernatural. If you don’t accept that, then we don’t have anything to talk about....


176 posted on 09/02/2010 11:40:34 AM PDT by Nabber
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To: wideawake

Just in case you haven’t seen this.


177 posted on 09/02/2010 11:41:01 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Hanistarot LaShem 'Eloqeynu; vehaniglot lanu ulevaneynu `ad-`olam la`asot 'et-kol-divrey HaTorah!)
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To: Nabber

Hey Stephen...how did the very first atom get created?


178 posted on 09/02/2010 11:42:16 AM PDT by Moby Grape (Formerly Impeach the Boy...name change necessary after the Marxist won)
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To: dfwgator

“I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”


Someone hasn’t actually read what God has told us, then.
Rom 1:18-20
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of human beings who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.


179 posted on 09/02/2010 11:47:38 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a (de)humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: TexasFreeper2009
seriously, this guy is so overrated.

Extremely overrated!!!

180 posted on 09/02/2010 11:55:55 AM PDT by DungeonMaster (My dad put his arm around me like that once, to this very day he wears orthopedic shirts.)
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To: tlb

So, in the beginning there was nothing... and then it exploded.

Got it.


181 posted on 09/02/2010 12:35:24 PM PDT by SandyInSeattle (When life gives you lemons, throw them back and demand chocolate.)
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To: ShadowAce

Ah, darn, you beat me to it.


182 posted on 09/02/2010 12:39:17 PM PDT by SandyInSeattle (When life gives you lemons, throw them back and demand chocolate.)
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To: Buddygirl
I am sure that God laughed at him for such a thought!

No GOD likely didn't but Satan sure is. GOD has given man every chance for salvation and believing. GOD has grieved for mankind. It is Satan who tries to trick us to believe a lie such as there is no Divine Creator GOD who is sovereign over all things. Hawking may possess a high degree of intelligence and knowledge but he lacks wisdom. In every sense of the word Solomon was far wiser and because of his wisdom much smarter than Hawking.

183 posted on 09/02/2010 12:50:08 PM PDT by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: dfwgator

“The Bible says God created the world in 7 days, I don’t take that literally, after all a day is the time it takes for the Earth to revolve one time, it’s a man-made unit of measure. To God, a “day” may very well have been millions of years.”

So you pick and choose what to take literally? Why didn’t god use words that we’d clearly understand?


184 posted on 09/02/2010 12:51:45 PM PDT by mainsail that ("A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights" - Napoleon Bonaparte)
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To: momtothree
Funny that he thinks that the universe can be created from nothing and yet can’t fathom the idea of God. Pitiful, little man. Just a thought

*************

Someday soon...
He will find out firsthand.

I wonder what will go through his tiny human mind.....
---When he is eyewitness to the Majesty and Power of God's Holiness??

Just a thought.... also.

185 posted on 09/02/2010 12:54:08 PM PDT by Wings-n-Wind (The main things are the plain things!)
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To: antiRepublicrat

Not true. God lives outside the temporal constraints of the universe that we (humans) alone reside in. God created time when he created the universe. We, as linearly thinking humans, can in no way understand that concept.


186 posted on 09/02/2010 1:28:18 PM PDT by struggle ((The struggle continues))
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To: mainsail that

Why didn’t god use words that we’d clearly understand?................................ Maybe because he wasn’t the Author???


187 posted on 09/02/2010 1:30:29 PM PDT by Bringbackthedraft (Put Alan West on the fast track, to the White House! Kick a$$ in 2010 and 12)
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To: struggle

Then perhaps we also don’t understand the concept of God. There are almost 7 billion humans beings on planet Earth. Only 1/3rd of them are Christians. What happens to the other 2/3rds? Do they all go to hell? What is funny is those other religions say the same about Christians that Christians say about them. That if you dont believe in their religion you will be damned for eternity.

Those terrorists that crashed planes into the buildings on 9/11 fully believed 100% that they were doing God’s work and were going to be rewarded in heaven.

Religion has a dark side. There is no question about it.


188 posted on 09/02/2010 1:39:24 PM PDT by jerry557
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To: struggle
We, as linearly thinking humans, can in no way understand that concept.

As I told you, scientists are already considering that time is not linear. We already work with infinity. Just because you're having problems understanding it, don't assume everybody does. Your problem may be because the Bible describes linear time, from a beginning of the universe to an end, and that's the way you think.

189 posted on 09/02/2010 1:43:43 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: Bringbackthedraft

As I posted to someone else a couple of days ago concerning a different topic.

“For a long, long time I have had the notion that many or maybe most people have a way of pretending that really complex issues are simple while refusing to understand things that are really simple and I mean things as simple as, “There is no free lunch”.


190 posted on 09/02/2010 1:45:42 PM PDT by RipSawyer (Trying to reason with a leftist is like trying to catch sunshine in a fish net at midnight.)
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To: ZULU

“They will crucify you - literally.”
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

No they won’t.


191 posted on 09/02/2010 1:55:33 PM PDT by RipSawyer (Trying to reason with a leftist is like trying to catch sunshine in a fish net at midnight.)
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To: ShadowAce; MrB; SunkenCiv; mainsail that; ZULU; dfwgator; NYer; Salvation
The word used for "day" literally means 24 hours. The standard earth day with which we are all famililar.

There's a bit more detail to go into it, as the 24 hour view and the 'billions of years' view could both be correct. Take a gander:

xxxx

One of the most obvious perceived contradictions between Torah and science is the age of the universe. Is it billions of years old, like scientific data, or is it thousands of years, like Biblical data? When we add up the generations of the Bible, we come to 5700-plus years. Whereas, data from the Hubbell telescope or from the land based telescopes in Hawaii, indicate the age at about 15 billion years.

Let me clarify right at the start. The world may be only some 6000 years old. God could have put the fossils in the ground and juggled the light arriving from distant galaxies to make the world appear to be billions of years old. There is absolutely no way to disprove this claim. God being infinite could have made the world that way. There is another possible approach that also agrees with the ancient commentators’ description of God and nature. The world may be young and old simultaneously. In the following I consider this latter option.

In trying to resolve this apparent conflict, it's interesting to look historically at trends in knowledge, because absolute proofs are not forthcoming. But what is available is to look at how science has changed its picture of the world, relative to the unchanging picture of the Torah. (I refuse to use modern Biblical commentary because it already knows modern science, and is always influenced by that knowledge. The trend becomes to bend the Bible to match the science.)

So the only data I use as far as Biblical commentary goes is ancient commentary. That means the text of the Bible itself (3300 years ago), the translation of the Torah into Aramaic by Onkelos (100 CE), the Talmud (redacted about the year 500 CE), and the three major Torah commentators. There are many, many commentators, but at the top of the mountain there are three, accepted by all: Rashi (11th century France), who brings the straight understanding of the text, Maimonides (12th century Egypt), who handles the philosophical concepts, and then Nachmanides (13th century Spain), the earliest of the Kabbalists.

This ancient commentary was finalized long before Hubbell was a gleam in his great-grandparent's eye. So there's no possibility of Hubbell or any other modern scientific data influencing these concepts.

A universe with a beginning.

In 1959, a survey was taken of leading American scientists. Among the many questions asked was, "What is your concept of the age of the universe?" Now, in 1959, astronomy was popular, but cosmology -- the deep physics of understanding the universe -- was just developing. The response to that survey was recently republished in Scientific American -- the most widely read science journal in the world. Two-thirds of the scientists gave the same answer: "Beginning? There was no beginning. Aristotle and Plato taught us 2400 years ago that the universe is eternal. Oh, we know the Bible says 'In the beginning.' That's a nice story, but we sophisticates know better. There was no beginning."

After 3000 years of arguing, science has come to agree with the Torah.

That was 1959. In 1965, Penzias and Wilson discovered the echo of the Big Bang in the black of the sky at night, and the world paradigm changed from a universe that was eternal to a universe that had a beginning. After 3000 years of arguing, science has come to agree with the Torah.

It all starts from Rosh Hashana.

How long ago did the "beginning" occur? Was it, as the Bible might imply, 5700-plus years, or was it the 15 billions of years that's accepted by the scientific community?

The first thing we have to understand is the origin of the Biblical calendar. The Jewish year is figured by adding up the generations since Adam. Additionally, there are six days leading up to the creation to Adam. These six days are significant as well.

Now where do we make the zero point? On Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, upon blowing the shofar, the following sentence is said: "Hayom Harat Olam -- today is the birthday of the world."

This verse might imply that Rosh Hashana commemorates the creation of the universe. But it doesn't. Rosh Hashana commemorate the creation of the Neshama, the soul of human life. We start counting our 5700-plus years from the creation of the soul of Adam.

We have a clock that begins with Adam, and the six days are separate from this clock. The Bible has two clocks.

That might seem like a modern rationalization, if it were not for the fact that Talmudic commentaries 1500 years ago, brings this information. In the Midrash (Vayikra Rabba 29:1), an expansion of the Talmud, all the Sages agree that Rosh Hashana commemorates the soul of Adam, and that the Six Days of Genesis are separate.

Why were the Six Days taken out of the calendar? Because time is described differently in those Six Days of Genesis. "There was evening and morning" is an exotic, bizarre, unusual way of describing time.

Once you come from Adam, the flow of time is totally in human terms. Adam and Eve live 130 years before having children! Seth lives 105 years before having children, etc. From Adam forward, the flow of time is totally human in concept. But prior to that time, it's an abstract concept: "Evening and morning." It's as if you're looking down on events from a viewpoint that is not intimately related to them.

Looking deeper into the text.

In trying to understand the flow of time here, you have to remember that the entire Six Days is described in 31 sentences. The Six Days of Genesis, which have given people so many headaches in trying to understand science vis-a-vis the Bible, are confined to 31 sentences! At MIT, in the Hayden library, we had about 50,000 books that deal with the development of the universe: cosmology, chemistry, thermodynamics, paleontology, archaeology, the high-energy physics of creation. At Harvard, at the Weidner library, they probably have 200,000 books on these same topics. The Bible gives us 31 sentences. Don't expect that by a simple reading of those sentences you'll know every detail that is held within the text. It's obvious that we have to dig deeper to get the information out.

The idea of having to dig deeper is not a rationalization. The Talmud (Chagiga, ch. 2) tells us that from the opening sentence of the Bible, through the beginning of Chapter Two, the entire text is given in parable form, a poem with a text and a subtext. Now, again, put yourself into the mindset of 1500 years ago, the time of the Talmud. Why would the Talmud think it was parable? You think that 1500 years ago they thought that God couldn't make it all in 6 days? It was a problem for them? We have a problem today with cosmology and scientific data. But 1500 years ago, what's the problem with 6 days for an infinitely powerful God? No problem.

So when the Sages excluded these six days from the calendar, and said that the entire text is parable, it wasn't because they were trying to apologize away what they'd seen in the local museum. There was no local museum. The fact is that a close reading of the text makes it clear that there's information hidden and folded into layers below the surface.

The idea of looking for a deeper meaning in Torah is no different than looking for deeper meaning in science. Just as we look for the deeper readings in science to learn the working of nature, so too we need to look for the deeper readings in Torah. King Solomon in Proverbs 25:11 alluded to this. “A word well spoken is like apples of Gold in a silver dish.” Maimonides in The Guide for the Perplexed interprets this proverb: The silver dish is the literal text of the Torah, as seen from a distance. The apples of gold are the secrets held within the silver dish of the Torah Text. Thousands of years ago we learned that there are subtleties in the Text that expand the meaning way beyond its simple reading. It's those subtleties I want to see.

Natural history and human history.

There are early Jewish sources that tell us that the Bible’s calendar is in two-parts (even predating Leviticus Rabba which goes back almost 1500 years and says it explicitly). In the closing speech that Moses makes to the people, he says if you want to see the fingerprint of God in the universe, "consider the days of old, the years of the many generations" (Deut. 32:7) Nachmanides, in the name of Kabbalah, says, "Why does Moses break the calendar into two parts -- 'The days of old, and the years of the many generations?' Because, 'Consider the days of old' is the Six Days of Genesis. 'The years of the many generations' is all the time from Adam forward."

Moses says you can see God's fingerprint on the universe in one of two ways. Look at the phenomenon of the Six Days, and the development of life in the universe which is mind-boggling. Or if that doesn't impress you, then just consider society from Adam forward -- the phenomenon of human history. Either way, you will find the imprint of God.

I recently met in Jerusalem with Professor Leon Lederman, Nobel Prize winning physicist. We were talking science, and as the conversation went on, I said, "What about spirituality, Leon?" And he said to me, "Schroeder, I'll talk science with you, but as far as spirituality, speak to the people across the street, the theologians." But then he continued, and he said, "But I do find something spooky about the people of Israel coming back to the Land of Israel."

Interesting. The first part of Moses' statement, "Consider the days of old" - about the Six Days of Genesis - that didn't impress Prof. Lederman. But the "Years of the many generations" - human history - that impressed him. Prof. Lederman found nothing spooky about the Eskimos eating fish at the Arctic circle. And he found nothing spooky about Greeks eating Musika in Athens. But he finds something real spooky about Jews eating falafel on Jaffa Street. Because it shouldn't have happened. It doesn't make sense historically that the Jews would come back to the Land of Israel. Yet that's what happened.

And that's one of the functions of the Jewish People in the world. To act as a demonstration. We just want people in the world to understand that there is some monkey business going on with history that makes it not all just random. That there's some direction to the flow of history. And the world has seen it through us. It's not by chance that Israel is on the front page of the New York Times more than anyone else.

What is a "day?"

Let's jump back to the Six Days of Genesis. First of all, we now know that when the Biblical calendar says 5700-plus years, we must add to that "plus six days."

A few years ago, I acquired a dinosaur fossil that was dated (by two radioactive decay chains) as 150 million years old. My 7-year-old daughter says, "Abba! Dinosaurs? How can there be dinosaurs 150 million years ago, when my Bible teacher says the world isn't even 6000 years old?" So I told her to look in Psalms 90:4. There, you'll find something quite amazing. King David says, "One thousand years in Your (God's) sight are like a day that passes, a watch in the night." Perhaps time is different from the perspective of King David, than it is from the perspective of the Creator. Perhaps time is different.

The Talmud (Chagiga, ch. 2), in trying to understand the subtleties of Torah, analyzes the word "choshech." When the word "choshech" appears in Genesis 1:2, the Talmud explains that it means black fire, black energy, a kind of energy that is so powerful you can't even see it. Two verses later, in Genesis 1:4, the Talmud explains that the same word -- "choshech" -- means darkness, i.e. the absence of light.

Other words as well are not to be understood by their common definitions. For example, "mayim" typically means water. But Maimonides says that in the original statements of creation, the word "mayim" may also mean the building blocks of the universe.

Another example is Genesis 1:5, which says, "There is evening and morning, Day One." That is the first time that a day is quantified: evening and morning. Nachmanides discusses the meaning of evening and morning. Does it mean sunset and sunrise? It would certainly seem to.

But Nachmanides points out a problem with that. The text says "there was evening and morning Day One... evening and morning a second day... evening and morning a third day." Then on the fourth day, the sun is mentioned. Nachmanides says that any intelligent reader can see an obvious problem. How do we have a concept of evening and morning for the first three days if the sun is only mentioned on Day Four? There is a purpose for the sun appearing only on Day Four, so that as time goes by and people understand more about the universe, you can dig deeper into the text.

Nachmanides says the text uses the words "Vayehi Erev" -- but it doesn't mean "there was evening." He explains that the Hebrew letters Ayin, Resh, Bet -- the root of "erev" -- is chaos. Mixture, disorder. That's why evening is called "erev", because when the sun goes down, vision becomes blurry. The literal meaning is "there was disorder." The Torah's word for "morning" -- "boker" -- is the absolute opposite. When the sun rises, the world becomes "bikoret", orderly, able to be discerned. That's why the sun needn't be mentioned until Day Four. Because from erev to boker is a flow from disorder to order, from chaos to cosmos. That's something any scientist will testify never happens in an unguided system. Order never arises from disorder spontaneously and remains orderly. Order always degrades to chaos unless the environment recognizes the order and locks it in to preserve it. There must be a guide to the system. That's an unequivocal statement.

The Torah wants us to be amazed by this flow, starting from a chaotic plasma and ending up with a symphony of life. Day-by-day the world progresses to higher and higher levels. Order out of disorder. It's pure thermodynamics. And it's stated in terminology of 3000 years ago.

The creation of time.

Each day of creation is numbered. Yet there is discontinuity in the way the days are numbered. The verse says: "There is evening and morning, Day One." But the second day doesn't say "evening and morning, Day Two." Rather, it says "evening and morning, a second day." And the Torah continues with this pattern: "Evening and morning, a third day... a fourth day... a fifth day... the sixth day." Only on the first day does the text use a different form: not "first day," but "Day One" ("Yom Echad"). Many English translations make the mistake of writing "a first day." That's because editors want things to be nice and consistent. But they throw out the cosmic message in the text! Because there is a qualitative difference, as Nachmanides says, between "one" and "first." One is absolute; first is comparative.

Nachmanides explains that on Day One, time was created. That's a phenomenal insight. Time was created. You can't grab time. You don't even see it. You can see space, you can see matter, you can feel energy, you can see light energy. I understand a creation there. But the creation of time? Eight hundred years ago, Nachmanides attained this insight from the Torah's use of the phrase, "Day One." And that's exactly what Einstein taught us in the Laws of Relativity: that there was a creation, not just of space and matter, but of time itself.

Einstein's Law of Relativity.

Looking back in time, a scientist will view the universe as being 15 billion years old. But what is the Bible's view of time? Maybe it sees time differently. And that makes a big difference. Albert Einstein taught us that Big Bang cosmology brings not just space and matter into existence, but that time is part of the nitty gritty. Time is a dimension. Time is affected by your view of time. How you see time depends on where you're viewing it. A minute on the moon goes faster than a minute on the Earth. A minute on the sun goes slower. Time on the sun is actually stretched out so that if you could put a clock on the sun, it would tick more slowly. It's a small difference, but it's measurable and measured.

The flow of time varies one location to another location. Hence the term: the law of relativity.

If you could ripen oranges on the Sun, they would take longer to ripen. Why? Because time goes more slowly. Would you feel it going more slowly? No, because your biology would be part of the system. If you were living on the Sun, your heart would beat more slowly. Wherever you are, your biology is in synch with the local time. And a minute or an hour where ever you are is exactly a minute or an hour.

If you could look from one system to another, you would see time very differently. Because depending on factors like gravity and velocity, you will perceive time in a way that is very different. The flow of time varies one location to another location. Hence the term: the law of relativity.

Here's an example: One evening we were sitting around the dinner table, and my 11-year-old daughter asked, "How you could have dinosaurs? How you could have billions of years scientifically - and thousands of years Biblically at the same time? So I told her to imagine a planet where time is so stretched out that while we live out two years on Earth, only three minutes will go by on that planet. Now, those places actually exist, they are observed. It would be hard to live there with their conditions, and you couldn't get to them either, but in mental experiments you can do it. Two years are going to go by on Earth, three minutes are going to go by on the planet. So my daughter says, "Great! Send me to the planet. I'll spend three minutes there. I'll do two years worth of homework. I'll come back home in three minutes, and no more homework for two years."

Nice try. Assuming she was age 11 when she left, and her friends were 11. She spends three minutes on the planet and then comes home. (The travel time takes no time.) How old is she when she gets back? Eleven years and 3 minutes. And her friends are 13. Because she lived out 3 minutes while we lived out 2 years. Her friends aged from 11 years to 13 years, while she's 11 years and 3 minutes.

Had she looked down on Earth from that planet, her perception of Earth time would be that everybody was moving very quickly because in one of her minutes, hundreds of thousands of our minutes would pass. Whereas if we looked up, she'd be moving very slowly.

But which is correct? Is it three years? Or three minutes? The answer is both. They're both happening at the same time. That's the legacy of Albert Einstein. It so happens there literally billions of locations in the universe, where if you could put a clock at that location, it would tick so slowly, that from our perspective (if we could last that long) 15 billion years would go by... but the clock at that remote location would tick out six days.

Time travel and the Big Bang.

But how does this help to explain the Bible? Because anyway the Talmud and Rashi and Nahmanides (that is the kabala) all say that Six Days of Genesis were six regular 24-hour periods not longer than our work week!

Let's look a bit deeper. The classical Jewish sources say that before the beginning, we don't really know what there is. We can't tell what predates the universe. The Midrash asks the question: Why does the Bible begin with the letter Beit? Because Beit (which is written like a backwards C) is closed in all directions and only open in the forward direction. Hence we can't know what comes before -- only after. The first letter is a Beit - closed in all directions and only open in the forward direction.

Nachmanides expands the statement. He says that although the days are 24 hours each, they contain "kol yemot ha-olam" -- all the ages and all the secrets of the world.

Nachmanides says that before the universe, there was nothing... but then suddenly the entire creation appeared as a minuscule speck. He gives a dimension for the speck: something very tiny like the size of a grain of mustard. And he says that is the only physical creation. There was no other physical creation; all other creations were spiritual. The Nefesh (the soul of animal life) and the Neshama (the soul of human life) are spiritual creations. There's only one physical creation, and that creation was a tiny speck. The speck is all there was. Anything else was God. In that speck was all the raw material that would be used for making everything else. Nachmanides describes the substance as "dak me'od, ein bo mamash" -- very thin, no substance to it. And as this speck expanded out, this substance -- so thin that it has no essence -- turned into matter as we know it.

Nachmanides further writes: "Misheyesh, yitfos bo zman" -- from the moment that matter formed from this substance-less substance, time grabs hold. Not "begins." Time is created at the beginning. But time "grabs hold." When matter condenses, congeals, coalesces, out of this substance so thin it has no essence -- that's when the Biblical clock of the six days starts.

Science has shown that there's only one "substance-less substance" that can change into matter. And that's energy. Einstein's famous equation, E=MC2, tells us that energy can change into matter. And once it changes into matter, time grabs hold.

Nachmanides has made a phenomenal statement. I don't know if he knew the Laws of Relativity. But we know them now. We know that energy -- light beams, radio waves, gamma rays, x-rays -- all travel at the speed of light, 300 million meters per second. At the speed of light, time does not pass. The universe was aging, but time only grabs hold when matter is present. This moment of time before the clock begins for the Bible, lasted about 1/100,000 of a second. A miniscule time. But in that time, the universe expanded from a tiny speck, to about the size of the Solar System. From that moment on we have matter, and time flows forward. The Biblical clock begins here.

Now the fact that the Bible tells us there is "evening and morning Day One" (and not “a first day”) comes to teach us time from a Biblical perspective. Einstein proved that time varies from place to place in the universe, and that time varies from perspective to perspective in the universe. The Bible says there is "evening and morning Day One".

Now if the Torah were seeing time from the days of Moses and Mount Sinai -- long after Adam -- the text would not have written Day One. Because by Sinai, hundreds of thousands of days already passed. There was a lot of time with which to compare Day One. Torah would have said "A First Day." By the second day of Genesis, the Bible says "a second day," because there was already the First Day with which to compare it. You could say on the second day, "what happened on the first day." But as Nahmanides pointed out, you could not say on the first day, "what happened on the first day" because "first" implies comparison -- an existing series. And there was no existing series. Day One was all there was.

Even if the Torah was seeing time from Adam, the text would have said "a first day", because by its own statement there were six days. The Torah says "Day One" because the Torah is looking forward from the beginning. And it says, How old is the universe? Six Days. We'll just take time up until Adam. Six Days. We look back in time, and say the universe is approximately 15 billion years old. But every scientist knows, that when we say the universe is 15 billion years old, there's another half of the sentence that we never say. The other half of the sentence is: The universe is 15 billion years old as seen from the time-space coordinates that we exist in on earth. That's Einstein's view of relativity. But what would those billions of years be as perceived from near the beginning looking forward?

The key is that the Torah looks forward in time, from very different time-space coordinates, when the universe was small. But since then, the universe has expanded out. Space stretches, and that stretching of space totally changes the perception of time.

Imagine in your mind going back billions of years ago to the beginning of time. Now pretend way back at the beginning of time, when time grabs hold, there's an intelligent community. (It's totally fictitious.) Imagine that the intelligent community has a laser, and it's going to shoot out a blast of light, and every second it's going to pulse. Every second --- pulse. Pulse. Pulse. It shoots the light out, and then billions of years later, way far down the time line, we here on Earth have a big satellite dish, and we receive that pulse of light. And on that pulse of light is imprinted (printing information on light is called fiber optics - sending information by light), "I'm sending you a pulse every second." And then a second goes by and the next pulse is sent.

Light travels 300 million meters per second. So the two light pulses are separated by 300 million meters at the beginning. Now they travel through space for billions of years, and they're going to reach the Earth billions of years later. But wait a minute. Is the universe static? No. The universe is expanding. That's the cosmology of the universe. And that does not mean it's expanding into an empty space outside the universe. There's only the universe. There is no space outside the universe. The universe expands by its own space stretching. So as these pulses go through billions of years of traveling, the universe and space are stretching. As space is stretching, what's happening to these pulses? The space between them is also stretching. So the pulses really get further and further apart.

Billions of years later, when the first pulse arrives, we say, "Wow - a pulse!" And written on it is "I'm sending you a pulse every second." You call all your friends, and you wait for the next pulse to arrive. Does it arrive another second later? No! A year later? Maybe not. Maybe billions of years later. Because depending on how much time this pulse of light has traveled through space, will determine the amount of stretching of space between the pulses. That's standard astronomy.

15 billion or six days?

Today, we look back in time. We see 15 billion years. Looking forward from when the universe is very small -- billions of times smaller -- the Torah says six days. They both may be correct.

What's exciting about the last few years in cosmology is we now have quantified the data to know the relationship of the "view of time" from the beginning, relative to the "view of time" today. It's not science fiction any longer. Any one of a dozen physics text books all bring the same number. The general relationship between time near the beginning when stable matter formed from the light (the energy, the electromagnetic radiation) of the creation) and time today is a million million, that is a trillion fold extension. That's a 1 with 12 zeros after it. It is a unit-less ratio. So when a view from the beginning looking forward says "I'm sending you a pulse every second," would we see it every second? No. We'd see it every million million seconds. Because that's the stretching effect of the expansion of the universe. In astronomy, the term is “red shift.” Red shift in observed astronomical data is standard.

The Torah doesn't say every second, does it? It says Six Days. How would we see those six days? If the Torah says we're sending information for six days, would we receive that information as six days? No. We would receive that information as six million million days. Because the Torah's perspective is from the beginning looking forward.

Six million million days is a very interesting number. What would that be in years? Divide by 365 and it comes out to be 16 billion years. Essentially the estimate of the age of the universe. Not a bad guess for 3300 years ago.

The way these two figures match up is extraordinary. I'm not speaking as a theologian; I'm making a scientific claim. I didn't pull these numbers out of hat. That's why I led up to the explanation very slowly, so you can follow it step-by-step.

Now we can go one step further. Let's look at the development of time, day-by-day, based on the expansion factor. Every time the universe doubles, the perception of time is cut in half. Now when the universe was small, it was doubling very rapidly. But as the universe gets bigger, the doubling time gets longer. This rate of expansion is quoted in "The Principles of Physical Cosmology," a textbook that is used literally around the world.

(In case you want to know, this exponential rate of expansion has a specific number averaged at 10 to the 12th power. That is in fact the temperature of quark confinement, when matter freezes out of the energy: 10.9 times 10 to the 12th power Kelvin degrees divided by (or the ratio to) the temperature of the universe today, 2.73 degrees. That's the initial ratio which changes exponentially as the universe expands.)

The calculations come out to be as follows:

The first of the Biblical days lasted 24 hours, viewed from the "beginning of time perspective." But the duration from our perspective was 8 billion years.

The second day, from the Bible's perspective lasted 24 hours. From our perspective it lasted half of the previous day, 4 billion years.

The third 24 hour day also included half of the previous day, 2 billion years.

The fourth 24 hour day -- one billion years.

The fifth 24 hour day -- one-half billion years.

The sixth 24 hour day -- one-quarter billion years.

When you add up the Six Days, you get the age of the universe at 15 and 3/4 billion years. The same as modern cosmology. Is it by chance?

But there's more. The Bible goes out on a limb and tells you what happened on each of those days. Now you can take cosmology, paleontology, archaeology, and look at the history of the world, and see whether or not they match up day-by-day. And I'll give you a hint. They match up close enough to send chills up your spine.

192 posted on 09/02/2010 4:10:09 PM PDT by Ultra Sonic 007 (To view the FR@Alabama ping list, click on my profile!)
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To: Ultra Sonic 007

According to Genesis:

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

But....on the fourth day:

And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

So, how was there light, for the first three days, if the Sun and the Moon didn’t come until Day 4?


193 posted on 09/02/2010 4:28:17 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: MrB

Quote:
“That’s pretty funny in its succinct manner.
Kinda reminiscient of Andrew Dice Clay.”

I really thought I would get a bit of hate mail.

I’m just getting tired of all the odd stuff he’s starting to come up with.

Like I’m going to listen to him for religious views.
He should stick to physics and math.


194 posted on 09/02/2010 5:55:58 PM PDT by Verbosus (/* No Comment */)
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To: tlb

And yet scientists have proven that God did make the world. I guess it takes all kinds.


195 posted on 09/02/2010 5:59:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: tlb

The question then becomes....where did the “laws of physics” originate??


196 posted on 09/02/2010 6:00:45 PM PDT by Logic n' Reason ("Don't piss down my back and tell me it's rainin'")
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To: Ultra Sonic 007

Thanks Ultra Sonic 007. Let me know how this goes. :’)


197 posted on 09/02/2010 7:17:50 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Democratic Underground... matters are worse, as their latest fund drive has come up short...)
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To: ozark hilljilly

You sure it wasn’t pull my finger? With some of the crap I see on TV sometimes I wonder.


198 posted on 09/02/2010 7:35:36 PM PDT by RockyMtnMan
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To: carton253

I’ve often wondered if we live inside a massive (relative to our size which may be really small) living being. There are so many similarities throughout nature. That being would be our definition of God.


199 posted on 09/02/2010 7:38:49 PM PDT by RockyMtnMan
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To: antiRepublicrat; TSgt
Why do you say that the proposition that God always existed is the logical fallacy of special pleading?

Cordially,

200 posted on 09/02/2010 7:50:34 PM PDT by Diamond (He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people,)
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