COMMENTS ABOUT “ANOTHER LOOK AT GENESIS 1 AND 2”
With answers by
Dr. Alvin H. Franzmeier
Q. Do I understand from your paper that both the cosmos and our solar system and planet earth were on “universal time” until the seventh day?
Nope. You don’t quite get it. Time is RELATIVE ! Nothing changed on the seventh day. What changed was that Adam was now around. And the Spirit of God was living in him. So he started to make sense out of the universe. Therefore he did what all of us children of Adam have done since then. He looked up at the sun and the moon and began to count days, weeks, months and years. That is what God said on the fourth day they were useful for. They were around, however, for millions of years before Adam ever appeared on this earth. Nevertheless, from God’s ‘universal’ perspective their making happened on Day Four. We have to step off the earth and stand in our imagination alongside God in order to appreciate this. So difficult to do, I know.
Q. There are not two different times for the first six days. All is on “universal time.” This seems to be based upon your concept of “rest” on the seventh day. Isn’t there a strong reason to argue that “earthly time” began with the creation or the “appearance” of our solar system?
Earthly time, as you call it, began with the appearance of the sun and our solar system.. God’s REST refers to the fact that God is not governed by time. The seventh day points to that. The day is coming when we will enter into God’s rest completely. Already now we have entered it by faith. Meditate upon Hebrews 4. It will help you to understand that.
Q. I’m still confused about your definition of “day.” Are you saying that “day” is equivalent to millions of years?
Sort of. Day is simply Day! And with the universe cooling down, things—from our earthly viewpoint—have slowed down too. That’s what all the math is about. I
didn’t publish it. I can send it to you if you’re interested. Check out for yourself Dr. Gerald L. Schroeder, “The Six Days of Genesis,” The Science of God, p.60-71.
Q. When did our relative time begin? With the fourth day, when the sun, moon and stars, were created or assigned our solar system?
As I understand it what would have taken millions or billions of years in the creation of the cosmos, was the equivalent of six days in our particular solar system. It is not a question of either or, but both and. Yet the fact is that according to our time in our solar system., there are fossils and dinosaurs that lived millions of years ago. But the dinosaurs were created on the fifth day supposedly with the birds. They are under our particular “time schedule.”
Q. How does the longer time in outer space, help us on planet earth who are subject to 24 hours, resolve the question of millions of years? Isn’t it simpler to say, what would have taken millions of years was accomplished by the Almighty God in a matter of a day?
Comment: To say that the formless mass of v. 1 was created over millions of years does not seem to help because the formless mass would not have contained fossils or dinosaurs yet and so it does not explain their length of time.. Also before the fourth day, there was evening and morning of twenty-four hours, so while in the rest of the cosmos there might have been a different time schedule, on this planet earth it was always 24 hours and we are limited to that. You have the problem of carbon dating, but perhaps the catastrophe that eliminated the dinosaurs also affected the carbon dating. (I know it is wild).
I will answer these questions about “relativity” and millions of years by referring you first to my paper.
“In the photon matter and energy are intimately connected. Einstein described this relationship in his now famous formula: E=MC2 . The observed energy of the photon of a gamma ray, E, equals its mass (while in motion), M, times the speed of light squared for added weight, C2. Einstein saw that this relation was applicable to all masses and all forms of energy. It is the basis for the now well-established law of relativity 4. or what we might call the law of light. Light is thus understood to be outside of time. This is a fact proven in thousands of experiments. At the speed of light time does not pass. However, when light becomes matter, it enters the realm of time and space. Einstein’s formula teaches us that light and matter are two forms of the same thing—energy. Photons are the ethereal, fragile form of energy and matter is the tangible, condensed form. An analogy is steam and ice being two forms of water.” (page 4)
The paper then continues to discuss three reasons why—from our earth-based perspective—the universe is billions of years old. That is to say, we measure the age of the universe on the basis of our “time” and our time is based upon our relationship to the star around which our planet revolves, namely what we call the sun. The conclusion, then, is as follows:
“So we have three major evidences for an old-age universe:
As a result current cosmologists universally accept the Big Bang as the Standard Model. That is what is consistently taught in all of our public grade schools, our high schools and in nearly all universities around the world.” (page 6)
There are those who
question the so-called Doppler effect. This is also referred to as the red
shift. You can learn more about the work of Dr. Halton Arp at this
Since you do not
question the working theory that the age of the universe must be measured (again
from our earth perspective) in terms of 15 billion years or so, let us turn to
the question of the days of creation. I quote again from the paper:
“Since our information about the creation of the universe is from God. He alone was there to measure the passage of time. He alone was, as it were, watching the clock. And that is the key for which we have been searching. During the development of our universe and prior to the appearance of Adam and Eve, God had not yet established a close and intimate association with the Earth. Note carefully that for the first one or two days of the six, the Earth did not even exist. It was void and unformed. In the first day God created (ex nihilo) the substance or building blocks from which He then “made” the universe and our Earth (Exodus 31:17).
“Note also that the law of relativity or light makes it absolutely impossible in an expanding universe to describe the elapsed time experienced during a sequence of events occurring in one part of the universe in such a way that will be equal to the elapsed time for those same events when viewed from another part of the universe. The variables of motion and gravitational forces among the galaxies and the stars of even a single galaxy, make the absolute passage of time a very local affair. Time in our corner of the universe differs radically from time in some other part.
“So, what we have in Genesis is time from the perspective of the Creator who stands outside His creation. On day six God formed Adam and “made” him in His image and then breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. From that time on God’s time and the time of Adam and of us, the descendants of Adam, are bound together. And later, in the fullness of that time, God sent His Son to become the second Adam, One with us. So we stand here with the Apostle and reflect, “Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great…For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 3:16; 4:4).” (page 9)
critical paragraph is the last one quoted above. In Genesis we have God
revealing to us what He did as He stood outside creation. He is the
Creator. He is not controlled by time. Yet He speaks to us who are inside
time. He speaks to us to tell us who He is and what He has done. We are His
unique creation. We are descendants of Adam (Man), made in His image. He calls
upon us to enter into an never-ending relationship of love. So He comes to us in
Genesis to tell us what He did before He made our father Adam. He speaks
to us about His—not our—six days of Creation. The paradox with which we
continue to struggle is this: how could an earth “day” of approximately
twenty-four hours be millions of years long?
To answer that
paradox we must turn to the science and the working-theory of relativity. That
involves complex mathematics. The summary of that math is outlined in a diagram
that is within the paper. Prior to that is the following quotation from the work
of Dr. Gerald Schroeder:
the universe expanded, its size (scale) and temperature, and therefore its
clock, were becoming ever more similar to that our current universe. Because of
this, the “duration” of each successive twenty-four-hour Genesis day
encompassed a span of time ever more similar to time as reckoned from our
Earth-based perspective. Each doubling in size “slowed” the cosmic clock by
a factor of 2. Since the time required for the universe to double in size
increased exponentially as its size increased, the fractional rate of change in
the cosmic clock (relative to Earth time) decreased exponentially. The task of
this chapter is to quantify the exponential relationship between the twenty-four
hours of each Genesis day and time as we perceive it on Earth.” 15.”
This means that the
universe began as an infinitesimally small speck and has continued to expand to
this very “earth-day”. So when we do the math and include the days since day
six when God breathed His Spirit into Adam we come up with what you see. These
calculations are, of course, Schroeder’s work and he deserves all of the
then, we are called upon in Genesis 1 to stand in our imagination with
our Creator outside the universe. We have the ability to process such an image
because we are created in the Image of God. Solomon put it this way:
“He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what
God has done from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Our processing,
however, can only be done in relation to what we know and experience. We are
time-bound creatures. We cannot really stand outside time. So we imagine
that we can and thus we stand upon
our imaginary earth to watch God create the universe. What does He do on
Day 1 (again from our imaginary earth and time bound perspective)? By His
Word He calls into existence “energy”, the stuff from which all else is
made, etc. You know the rest. This has to be an imaginary experience,
because we were not there, nor was our planet or the star around which our
notice what Schroeder says as we and he stand upon our imaginary
earth and watch what God is doing. The universe is expanding in size and its
temperature is cooling. The clock of the universe is this rate of expansion and
temperature as measured by the omni-present CBR (cosmic background radiation,
page 6). So now we’re into calculus with factors and exponents. Each doubling
in size of the universe slows down God’s “cosmic” clock by a factor of
two. The result is that the bigger the universe gets the slower becomes God’s
(not our) twenty-four hour Genesis days. This
process continues until we see God bending low and breathing into Adam “the
breath of life” (Genesis 2:7). At that point God’s Spirit dwells within
Adam. God and Adam are united and so is God’s universal time and Adam’s
earth-bound time. From the end of day six to the time of Christ’s return
“days” are now measured in relation to the earth’s revolutions around the
sun and the moon’s revolutions around the earth.
What the Creator
has in mind after Christ returns only He knows. In that regard the
Apostle Paul quotes Isaiah: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has
conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9;
Isaiah 64:4). What we do know according to His revelation is that that the
universe as we now know it will all pass away.
In turn He promises a new universe and a new earth (2 Peter 3:13;
and particularly your comments, raise other issues about fossils and dinosaurs.
These are, however, resolved if you view the days as God’s days and
understand—at least in theory—that those days have slowed down to where we
are now in our relationship to the earth’s revolutions around the sun ( a year
for us is 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45.96768 seconds!). This works for
us, even though we have to make adjustments to allow for things like leap years
and so forth.
Q. I have a question about the three evidences for an old age universe (Doppler effect, radioactive decay and the left-over isotropic radiation). Could the LORD not have created this light, decay and radiation in place so that what would have taken billions of years was accomplished at once?
1) Do not mistake ‘creating’ with ‘making’ - The Hebrew word for create is "BRH" which refers only to God and means to "make out of nothing". In Hebrew one cannot talk about people being ‘creative’, or someone ‘creating’ his own pizza. In those situations one must use the Hebrew word to ‘form’.
2) It is important to notice that the Bible does not refer to the six days as six days of ‘creation’ but six days of ‘making’:
Ex 20:10 "For in six days God ‘made’..."
Ezek. 46:1 "the six working (Hebrew: ‘making’) days".
The Bible does not claim to have six days of ‘Creation’. Creating is done only on days one, five and six.
On day five God ‘created’ the great creatures of the sea… (v.21) What that means we are not told. Some suggest that these creatures were the dinosaurs.
On day six God ‘made’ the wild animals, etc…Then God said, “Let us ‘make’ man in our image, etc…So God ‘created’ man in his own image…male and female he ‘created’ them.
Prior to that God ‘created’ the heavens and the earth—all the stuff, if you will, from which everything else was ‘made’. Light was not ‘created’. The stuff from which light was formed was ‘created’ instantly; Bang! Or BIG BANG! if you will. And that includes light, which was ‘formed’. However, children continue to be ‘formed’ from the stuff of the universe and ‘created’ . Read Isaiah 43:6,7:
“I will say to the north…Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I ‘created’
for my glory, whom I ‘formed and made’.
This is what makes us unique. This is also what makes sex, marriage and family so awesome. We are participating in God’s on-going ‘creation’. Everything else is
simply formed and made.
Now as concerns the evidences of the old age universe, nothing anywhere suggests that God has been trying to ‘trick’ us by putting false information into his universe. He doesn’t tell us to study the universe and then turn around and trick us into thinking that isotropic radiation means something that it really doesn’t. No way. What God reveals both in creation AND in His Word is true, rings true, is true and reliable.
Q. God’s intimate relationship with mankind began the time clock, according to your paper. This seems to me a stronger argument for the beginning of “earth time” than the idea of “rest” on the Seventh Day. Do you look at them as one?
God’s intimacy with us began on Day Six—His Day Six. The clock didn’t begin at that time. God’s intimate relationship began when He ‘formed’ the man from the dust (Hebrew: Adamah) and then “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Gen.2:7). That’s when He ‘created’ man in his own image. That image is deformed, cracked, misshapen in those who are born of flesh alone. That’s why Jesus teaches that we must be “born anew” or “from above” (John 3). Once again God breathes in the breath of life (John 3:6-8) and we live. This Spirit empowers us to proclaim the Gospel and to carry out the commission (John 20:22-23).
Since the moment that God entered Adam we have been numbering days, months, years, just as He told us to do. A mere—what—six to ten thousand plus years have gone by since then. One day soon, in this ‘time’ of numbering by the sun and moon, Christ will return. But before this ‘time’, in the ‘days’ of ‘forming’ the universe, after He had ‘created’ the stuff of the universe in an instant, who knows exactly how much ‘time’ went by? Who really cares? We can puzzle about it and talk about even billions of years from our earthly perspective. But the critical thing is this: will you enter God’s rest? Only if you accept the mercy and grace God is offering in His Son.
Q. God is speaking to us, telling us that He is
our Creator God, He made all things good. He created us as the highest beings,
stewards of His creation and His creatures. We are to worship Him, not the sun,
moon or stars. Since He is talking to us, does it not follow that He speaks
about His creation “in our time”? Also, is not the expansion of the universe
dramatically increasing from the Big Bang? How is it then that time decreased
and now holds steady? How is this consistent with the expansion?
Things are cooling down. So time—not light—slows down.
Q. Was Adam a hominid or was he specially created?
Adam wasn’t, didn’t exist, until God ‘formed’ him from ‘the dust of the ground’ (Gen.2:7). How have you been thinking about that? Do you picture God forming and shaping a piece of clay like a little child with play dough? Hardly. What did He do? We don’t have specifics, nor has science discovered any true links between hominids and humans, regardless of what you have been led to believe. Hominids, as we call them, were but animals. Paleontologists have discovered certain skeletons, burial places, all that stuff (By the way, there’s much confusion about these skeletons and many misconceptions about what has been found). These so-called hominids were intelligent in the same sense, I suppose, as are apes and dolphins. That doesn’t make them children of Adam. The mistake scientists make is to suggest that we children of Adam are descended (evolved) from them. There’s lots more to be said about this, lots more to be uncovered. One thing is certain. We are not evolved from apes or hominids. Not at all! Toward the end of the sixth day of making God ‘formed’ Adam from such dust and ‘created’ him in His own image (read Genesis 1:26-27 very carefully and pay close attention to the words). We are all descended from Adam, even those of us who have not been born anew by the Spirit of God. Each one of us, however, is a creation (something completely new) and a making (using the ‘stuff’ of creation to form our bodies).
Q. I realize that you stay clear of the concept of “evolution,” at least in the macro sense, but each day we have creation—and then making—taking place over these millions of years, does that mean a “micro” evolution is taking place? Is the LORD God mediating His creative power by constant fiat as He now “upholding [sustaining] all things by His powerful Word,” (Hebrews 1:3)? How do you explain the strata of the fossils?
I refer you again to my comments above about ‘making’ vs. creating. And I do not believe in evolution (see my paper on this website about evolution, which you already have). Evolution is used with too many different definitions in the first place. And in the second place macro-evolution is a failed theory. It just doesn’t work in the light of the observed evidence, particularly on the micro-biological level. People will go on talking about it probably for years yet, but it is dead, even if some scientists won’t admit it. In due time, we’ll be posting information about many, many recent discoveries that lead to the conclusion that the entire universe is specifically designed by an Intelligent Designer for complex life here on the planet we call Earth. See for instance the Philip E. Johnson web-page.
Comment: Just as the “new creation” was meaningful to your Grandson, so I believe we do not teach and preach enough, especially during the Easter/Resurrection season, about God’s love for His creation and how all creation waits for the glorious “redemption of our bodies,” (Romans 8:23). In our day, Christians, above all else, ought to be concerned about the stewardship of Creation, which includes the environment. Also it is a glorious teaching that you and I remain who we are rather than re-incarnating into another being. It adds to our dignity. God is God and we are His beloved creatures and creation. We are not using this as a “selling point” to our age.
Especially as you realize that each child born is a new ‘creation’ and not merely a new ‘making’ as, for example, a cow or dog.
Comment: As you indicate, your next exploration will be the relationship between body, soul and spirit. I look forward to this. It seems to me that Jesus in his resurrected body passing through walls, is more easily explained today with our knowledge of light and matter. Also, it only takes a cell of our body to resurrect us at the end of time. A clone of our very selves can be produced from one cell. If energy can pass through walls and buildings and ‘science” can re-create us from a single cell, why should we think it impossible for God to raise the dead? As Jesus said, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God,” (Matthew 22:29).
Lots to be done. Let’s be careful, however, when we talk about cloning. It is impossible to clone a human, even if human biology produces something that looks like a human. We are not just the result of some cells put together and nurtured in a lab. We are created! Each one of us is a new being. No man can create another man. There never was one of us before. And note very carefully that no clone of “our very selves can be produced from one cell.” Can’t be done. Won’t be done. The unique individual is and has been and always will be born from the union of a man and a woman in the mystery of God’s creating activity. We are inter-dependent creations of God, created in the Image of God (1 Corinthians 11:7-12; Genesis 1:27). This needs to be explored in the current discussion of cloning, especially since some misguided scientists may proclaim soon that they have cloned another human.
What God preserves is me, the unique person that I am, even after my body decays. What he will raise will not be a result of a new cloning. What He will do on that Day is to make all things new, including my body (Revelation 21:1-5). Much more to be said and discovered from this dialogue between the revealed Word and the word of creation.
Let me know what you think. I treasure your comments.
Dr. Al Franzmeier
Tuesday, October 09, 2001