Windows of Heaven
A Fresh Look At Creation Science
By Michael Peter Engelbrite 7/20/2008
A New Theory
Why do we need a new theory of creation science? My experience is that creation science explains the natural world much better than evolution does. However, there have always been several nagging unanswered questions regarding the creation week, as we shall see later. This new theory seeks to address those issues and provides what I believe is a consistent explanation. This theory does not come from trying to compromise the scriptural account with scientific opinion, rather it comes from clues within scripture that illuminate the account from a scientific point of view. In doing this research, I have assumed the following as axiomatic: The Bible is 100% accurate and represents the written history of creation, physical evidence is accepted as real (though not necessarily the evolutionists interpretation of it), and unless the Bible records a specific miracle, the world obeys the laws of physics. This last axiom is crucial: this is the greatest temptation of the creation scientist. If something in our theory doesnt work, we are tempted to make up a miracle to plug the hole. We must avoid this temptation! When we debate the evolutionist, he sees it as just cheating because one can prove anything by inventing a miracle. However, we must believe miracles when the Bible records miracles. We dont try to explain away miracles by natural phenomenon, but we must remember that they are Gods miracles and not ours to invent. The closest we might come to that is propose that God might repeat a miracle that is Biblically recorded. This puts real constraints on our thinking that drive us to objective analysis. I hope this new theory will encourage your heart that Gods Word is totally true in the literal sense and reveals physical facts about the world He has given us. Please consider it prayerfully.
Location, Location, Location
In Genesis chapter one, we read again and again the evening and the morning describing the days. This is important in two ways.
It really means a day, not an age or millions of years or vague periods of time. The term day can be used to mean age or general time as in Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: depending on the context. However, evening and morning is a very specific term that ties it to an ordinary single rotation of the Earth.
There is another important clue that can be taken from the phrase evening and morning. It defines the point of view from which the account is being told. Point of view is important for any account of an event. For example, if I gave an account of an automobile accident from the point of view from across the street, it would be very different than if I were telling it from the point of view from inside one of the cars. From across the street, I would be talking about how one car pulled out and started to skid, and how the bumper fell off, and about the actions of the other cars at the scene. From inside the car, I would talk about how the other car came at us, and the driver was talking on the cell phone and, how much it my head hurt when it hit the dashboard. Both of these accounts may be perfectly accurate, but may sound like very different accounts.
The phrase evening and morning tells us that the point of view of the creation account is from a person on the surface of the Earth. This is because from outer space, there is no evening or morning. We would see evening and morning as changing locations on the Earth below, rather than experience them as marking time. However, on the surface of the Earth, evening and morning and day and night are times, not places. I think we have struggled with our understanding of Genesis because we assumed that God was telling the account from His point of view, when (in His mercy) He told it from our point of view so we could grasp its meaning. This is not a simplified baby talk version of creation. Its an objective, realistic account from the perspective of what you would see if you had been there.
Before The First Day
Genesis 1:1-2 - In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. We start off with the assurance that God is the creator (this is echoed in John 1:1-3). There can be no confusion: He really did create everything. You may have heard of the gap theory where there are millions of years of evolution and previous societies and other ways to agree with Darwinism. I see that as compromise, a way to accept the World view and the Biblical view at the same time. However, it does open the question: does the Genesis account refer to the beginning of time itself, or does it primarily cover the creation of our world, our Earth? While we are assured of God as Creator of all, the account seems to start calmly, with water and darkness and the Spirit of God. The other acts of creation had God saying: Let there be God didnt say: Let there be a planet with darkness and emptiness and water. God did not say that at this point; it just says "the Earth was..." One might argue that without form and void equates to vacuum, but the deep water was already there. So, from our point of view on the Earth its dark, its wet, its empty. There is no land, and there are no places to go. There are no creatures, no plants, nothings happening. But the Spirit of God is there, moving.
Now lets back out of this dark scene and ask what things might be like away from the Earth, the view from across the street (so to speak). We cant really know, but lets try this idea and see if it fits: We see a swirling disk of gasses, liquids and solids that have been gathering together and compressing through mutual attraction. As the disk compresses, it heats up, lumps form in whirlpools around the edge, and the center gets very hot. This system can be referred to as the Solar Nebula. The very center is what will become our Sun. The smaller lumps will become our Earth and the other planets. As yet there is no light reaching Earth, just heat. Our Earth is a water world with one globe-circling ocean and a rocky core. Its embedded in the disk of the Solar Nebula, so there is no light from the stars, or the sun or from what will become our moon. This is consistent with the Genesis account so far as it is seen from the surface of the Earth: darkness, liquid water, and pretty much nothing else.
There Was Light But No Sun
Genesis 1:3-5 - And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
This has been one of those big, unanswerable questions in Creation Science: How could there be light when God hadnt created the Sun yet? Lets go back to our Solar Nebula. On this first day, God causes Solar Ignition. By this, I dont mean the chemical process of combining combustible material with oxygen. According to astrophysics, when a nebula gets large enough and dense enough, gravity wins in a big way and a nebula turns into a star. And furthermore, it can happen quite rapidly. The Sun started shining when the gasses in the proto-sun heated to the point where they became transparent. Genesis describes this as an act of God: Let there be light. All God had to do was trigger an event that was already pending. So, how is it that there was light with no Sun? The solar furnace is ignited, but the Sun is not visible in the sky of the Earth. The light was filtering through the Solar Nebula, so there was daytime and (as the Earth turned) nighttime. Remember that the account is told from the perspective of someone on the ground (or at least treading water at this point). There would be no visible disk at all, just light and dark. However, this situation did not last long. According to astrophysics, when a young star makes this change, it generates a shock wave (the T Tauri Wind) which rapidly pushes away the dust and gas of the disk shaped solar nebula, clearing the solar system of debris.
Water Above and Below
Genesis 1:6-8 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
This is the point where God raised part of the deep to above the atmosphere and put it into orbit around the Earth. It vaporized to become a huge water vapor torus (a shape like a donut or inner tube) around the equator of the world. This was also needed to reduce the depth of the ocean so that when God gathered the waters together the next day, dry land could rise out of the now shallower sea. So, in day 2, God lifted the waters vertically, while on the third day, He separated them horizontally, creating the land. During day 2 and 3, the solar wind was continuing to push the nebula back, creating a larger and larger clear area around the sun.
The Stars Also
Genesis 1:14-19 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
|On this day, the zone of transparency around the Sun has expanded out to the Earths orbit and the sky (mostly) clears. The vapor torus still circles the Earth in the same plane as the Sun and Moon, blocking any direct sight of them. Notice that Genesis does not use the terms Sun and Moon; it talks about a greater light and a lesser light. We have always taken this to be poetic. However, Genesis mentions the stars specifically as stars. If it were consistently poetic, it would have called them tiny lights. Perhaps it really means what it says. Perhaps the light from the Sun and Moon was filtered through the water vapor torus orbiting the Earth, making them appear as blurry lights by diffusion. They would not be seen as the disk of the sun or the moon, but as great lights. But wouldnt the stars be blurry also? Yes, they would, but only in the equatorial plane. The water vapor is orbiting around the Earth at the equator, leaving the pole areas free. These are what are mentioned later in Genesis 7 as the Windows of Heaven. Looking up into the night sky, you would see a great band of water vapor stretching over the sky. To the north and south of this band you would see the stars, as brilliant as they are today. If the moon was out, you would see it as a bright area, but not our familiar globe.|
The Windows Open
Genesis 7:11-12 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
|The vapor torus collapses, and the water rains down on the Earth. As the torus shrinks, the windows of heaven (the clear parts of the sky at the poles) would enlarge until they meet when the vapor torus has totally rained out. So, the windows of heaven literally did open! After the flood, the Sun and the Moon became visible, because there was no longer the vapor torus to blur them in our sight.|
|Putting It All Together: The
Light Absorption: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/chemical/watabs.html
T Tauri Wind: http://astronomyonline.org/SolarSystem/SolarSystemFormation.asp
Solar Disk Illustration: http://www.universetoday.com/18282/solar-nebula/
Solar age: http://www.icr.org/article/405/
Jupiter Torus: http://www.planetaryexploration.net/jupiter/io/io_plasma_torus.html
On-line Version: http://www.kneelingmedia.org/windowsofheaven/
Copyright (c) 2008-2011 Michael Peter Engelbrite - You are free to copy, but only without modification. Attribution is required.