Space/Time Continuum?

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field, is an image of a ...

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field, is an image of a small region of space in the constellation Fornax, composited from Hubble Space Telescope data accumulated over a period from September 3, 2003 through January 16, 2004. The patch of sky in which the galaxies reside was chosen because it had a low density of bright stars in the near-field. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I was reading a classroom textbook from a theology course, I got to thinking about what is actually known about God and creation and what is not.  Certainly, I would like to have all my questions answered and have the meanings of life distilled in a neat little nutshell.  But, when it comes to the unfathomable nature of God and the vast expanses of the universe which he created (yes, it still says “God created”),  the microscopic particles called humans on the dot of the universe called earth have little more than theories.  Of course, there is the little thing of “direct revelation” called the Bible.

According to the theology book, there is little mention of creation in the Bible.  This is entirely true from a perspective of the volume of scripture and the few verses that speak of it.  But, suppose that the Bible assumes that Genesis One and Two provide all the pertinent, factual information about how the universe came into being.  Then there would be little reason to add to that knowledge, unless to point out that it is in some way an allegory (as St. Augustine would say) or some kind of shorthand for what really happened.  Since in no case that references creation is this the case, one is led to assume that the creation account is factual and complete.  This leads us to speculate just what we know from Genesis.

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

From this, we have to infer that time came into being at a certain point, before which there was no time. For temporal beings such as ourselves, it is utterly impossible to conceive of a “time” when there was no time.  But, time is measured by markers.  The bodies of the universe are markers for time.  If, therefore, there are no markers of time, there is no measurement for time.  We are told that God created the heaven and the earth in the beginning.  So, at the precise moment when God brought the universe into being, time began.

How long it it take for God to make all the materials from which he would then form everything as we know it in six days?  This. of course, is highly speculated.  Who is to say that God didn’t take billions of years to create the material from which he then formed the earth and the stars, all life and everything good in six days?  Others want to throw out the literalness of six days as well and call them six eons.

First of all, as mentioned before, without markers of time, there is no time.  So, it’s pointless to say that it took billions of years for God to create the material of the universe before there was time.  Time began when God said “Let there be light.”  However, science may have actually shed light on this question with the Big Bang theory.

Most people conceive of the Big Bang as coming out of a singularity of time and space.  In other words, out a a single point came the beginning of time as we know it, and also the beginning of all space as we know it.  However, it is quite possible that the Big Bang only involved the singularity of time.  In other words, it is quite possible that God created a vast universe at the same time.  The fact that the universe is seen to be expanding doesn’t necessarily force one to conclude that it all started from a singular point.  So, it is possible that the galaxies that are separated by millions or billions of light years could have appeared at a singular point which we call “the beginning.”  Consequently, there could have been an explosive beginning much more recently than theorized by those who hold to a space/time singularity instead of merely a time singularity.

Consequently, one could reconcile the Big Bang with creation simply by understanding that the Big Bang was creation, the beginning, the making of the universe’s material out of nothing, suddenly, at the beginning of time.  In the beginning, we hear that the earth is formless and void, there is no light, no stars yet. From this point, God set out to shape the universe and get the processes of life started.  Since there was no life outside of God at that time, as God pointed out to Job (38:4), we can only postulate from our finite perspective whether the Big Bang was actually how it began, or whether God had another method of “spreading out the heavens like a tent (Psalm 104:2).”

The questions remains, that if God used a big bang to create the universe, why would there have no been light, and why would God have had to create it.  There is also the question as to how he could have create the sun, moon and stars on the third day, given a big bang.  I can’t reconcile these questions, because I wasn’t there.  Assuming that God really did create the heavenly bodies on the third day,  we would have to assume that there was no atomic fusion activity until the third day, and, consequently, no light being created by the atomic engines of the stars.  Consequently, light would not have been present without a special creative act of God.  Although I don’t know the science personally, I’ve been told that there seems to be a more light in the universe than can be calculated to exist based upon the heavenly bodies that populate it.  Once again, science seems to agree with Genesis.

Now, if God did create the heavens and the earth before he created light, but still there was no light, then it remained for God to create the heavenly bodies from the Big Bang materials, or to created them individually in the new space continuum.  In either case, they had to be turned on and placed correctly in order to start the large clockworks that is the universe as we know it today.  Remember, they were not only set there to order the universe, but also to provide markers for time.

Most of the creation account deals with God’s special work on the earth.  One can postulate, then, that God held the earth in a singular significance in the entirety of space.  All other heavenly bodies exist for an earthly reason.  Certainly, the sun’s proximity is no less than perfect for the preservation of carbon-based life.  It has also been noted that earth represents one of the few locations from which the entire universe is clearly visible.  The question would be what the firmament. which once envelope the earth with water, entailed as far as being able to view space.  Perhaps, instead of clouding the earth, the firmament may have acted like a giant prismatic telescope lense through which to better view the universe.  OK, I’m going out on a limb, here, creating my own theory.  Point is, we are always dealing with theories, and who’s to say that mine is more far-fetched than another.

Well, the Bible is to say.  As long as I don’t rewrite Scripture, I can theorize all day long.  I don’t have to fear true science, because true science won’t try to jamb something down my throat as fact, when, it reality, it is only speculation.  The fact that we marvel at the universe and seek to understand it is the very yearning to know the marvelous creator.  This is what God intends, that we should seek him.  He intends to show us greater marvel than these.  But he’s saving the best for after this current space/time continuum.  The universe is still God’s marvelous creation, even if we dust specks have tried to destroy the dust speck on which we live.


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Filed under Meditations, Science Nuts & Bolts

One response to “Space/Time Continuum?

  1. Pingback: Universe | VeroNetworK

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