From the primeval sea to the creation of the earth, there is another step in the process of creation. There is a biblical text in Job 38; 4-7 in which certain words are attributed to God which reminds us of the primeval sea from which the earth would have been extracted. In the text, God asks on what are the bases of the earth sunk? Such words couldn’t have been said by God, because the earth doesn’t have any bases sunk on anything. Nevertheless, such bases can be linked with the primeval sea from which the earth would have been extracted.
At the beginning everything was under water, flooded, no terrestrial atmosphere, no stars, no sun or moon and very importantly, no sky. It is an error to try to imagine the earth, as it is today, a spherical planet covered by water, rather one should imagine the whole sky covered by water, earth included. A very interesting image about the beginning is depicted in the book of Genesis. On one side, we have God, and on the other side we have an immense ocean, which engulfed even the sky. One should notice that the dome of the sky was created only in the second day and without sky the image about the beginning of the creation from the Bible describes an impossible situation, no light, no morning and evening, no sun, no moon, no stars, hence no “heavens”.
From the Almighty Creator of the universe another order of creation was expected, a rational one. Why did God need water at the beginning as a raw material, for the creation of the universe? There wouldn’t be any reason for that. The existence of a primeval ocean encompassing the entire universe doesn’t have any scientific support. According to the book of Genesis, not only the stars and other celestial bodies were not created in the first day, but even the place for them wasn’t there.
How would God have possibly created the sun, the source of the daylight, from the first day, if the sky, the suitable place for the sun, was not in place? In the book of Genesis, the daylight was created on the first day and the sun only on the fourth day. There wouldn’t have been any place for sun on the first day of the creation; there was no sky, in the biblical story of the creation on that day. How could daylight have been created without the sky and how was the first morning and evening, described by the Bible, possible? A morning and an evening under the waters of the primeval sea would have been impossible in spite of what the book of Genesis states. The entire story is an incredible mixture of inconsistent details.
The order of creation, from the book of Genesis, doesn’t have anything to do with the factual reality. On the first day, even if on paper we have the heavens and the earth we don’t really have the basic conditions for the existence of neither the heavens nor of the earth.
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We have an immense surface of water instead, a primordial universal sea. The earth in the form of dry land appears only on the third day, after the separation of the waters.
“6 And God said, ‘Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.’ 7 So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. 8 God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. 9 And God said, ‘Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so. 10God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1; 1-10 NRSV)
Many speak of an intelligent design, in the creation of the universe, but this intelligent design cannot refer to the biblical account, which is not intelligent at all. An intelligent design excludes absurd or impossible situations. Daylight under water, before the creation of the sky, morning, and evening without sky and sun, and the earth a solo planet, created under a universal primeval sea, is not at all an intelligent design is an absurd and naive design. A more intelligent design, it seems to me, is the generation of all that is from an initial state of almost infinite density and temperature, a singularity, which expanded and became our universe. This Big Bang theory can explain much more intelligently the apparition of the universe, because it is the expression of a rational and intelligent chain of events. Adding to that, this Big Bang theory is based on direct observations of cosmic past events, which left traces until today.
For me, the main problem with the creation of the earth is the separation of its creation from the creation of the whole material cosmos, from the stars and all celestial bodies. This partition in the process of creation brings us to numerous contradictions and even absurdities. We can see and the sciences confirm that the earth is a part of a much bigger reality which is the universe, and the two must be seen together and having the same origin. The universe and the earth followed the same process of creation in a certain order; they didn’t appear randomly in a chaotic way. The whole universe and the earth are indestructibly linked in the same process of their apparition and development based on the natural laws and not on mythological storytelling.
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They are connected as the whole and its parts and the latter cannot exist without the former, not even for a split second, but even less for three days.
In the book of Genesis, the earth is seen as being prior in existence and detached from the other celestial bodies, and that is strongly contradicted by modern cosmology with numerous solid arguments. Without the universe, the earth cannot exist because our planet is a product of the evolution of the entire cosmos. First it was the beginning of the universe about 13.7 billion years ago, and only after that one of its by-products, our planet, formed to be what we know today, starting around 4.5 billion years ago. To place the creation of the earth before the apparition of the universe is an irrational and inaccurate thing. This is another contradiction of the book of Genesis.
The planet Earth and the vegetal life on it couldn’t have appeared before the stars as the book of Genesis says, because many material elements found on Earth would have been initially produced in the stars. Cosmos was made originally from hydrogen and helium, hence all heavy materials were produced in stars which had to be much older than the earth. This idea was initially advanced by Carl Sagan who famously said that “we are made of star stuff”. The following quotation explains in few details this idea:
“His statement sums up the fact that the carbon, nitrogen and oxygen atoms in our bodies, as well as atoms of all other heavy elements, were created in previous generations of stars over 4.5 billion years ago. Because humans and every other animal as well as most of the matter on Earth contain these elements, we are literally made of star stuff, said Chris Impey, professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona.”
As Chris Impey competently said, “all organic matter containing carbon was produced originally in stars”. Plants are constituted from organic matter and they use CO2 for their nutrition.
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Plants cannot live without CO2 hence they couldn’t have survived the third day of creation without an element which is produced in stars, but stars would have been created only on the fourth day. Science explains very well how the heavy elements are created inside stars using the laws of nature, so the narratives of the creation of plants and even of the animals from the book of Genesis are an absurd description. This quotation explains why the earth, the plants and animals and the human beings couldn’t have been created as the book of Genesis says:
“Once the universe was created by the Big Bang, the only abundant elements present were hydrogen (H) and helium (He). These elements were not evenly distributed throughout space, and under the influence of gravity they began to “clump” to form more concentrated volumes. Evidence of this uneven distribution can be found in the anisotropies detected in the Cosmic Background Radiation (CMB) by the COBE satellite in the early 90’s. These clumps would eventually form galaxies and stars, and through the internal processes by which a star “shines” higher mass elements were formed inside the stars. Upon the death of a star (in a nova or a supernova) these high mass elements, along with even more massive nuclei created during the nova or supernova, were thrown out into space to eventually become incorporated into another star or celestial body.”
In order for the planet Earth, or for the plants which would have been created before the creation of stars, to contain some elements, or in the case of plants to feed with carbon dioxide, the stars would have needed to be created before the earth, but also some of them had to become nova or supernova, and should have thrown out into space elements with a higher mass. This is a reason why we need long periods of time for the evolution of nature.
The creation of stars on the fourth day and their explosion in the same day is something preposterous. Even so, it would have been too late for the formation of the earth or for the constitution of the plants.
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It is also contrary to the story of the creation of the stars from the book of Genesis because the creation of the celestial bodies was considered by God to be good. How good could the creation of the stars have been if they were created to illuminate the nights together with the moon and to be signs for the inhabitants of the earth, but some of them would have exploded the day in which they were created? The creation of the stars wouldn’t have been really good.
Even if some stars exploded in the same day they were created, the cosmic distances being huge, the heavy elements couldn’t have reached the earth in order to become components of the marine animals and birds which were created on the fifth day.
There is also another aspect which shows that the earth wasn’t created apart from the solar system. The earth and all the other planets from the solar system orbit in the same direction around the sun, all of them being made from the same gases and cosmic debris.
“There are two outliers in the solar system which seem to break the rules about conserving momentum — Uranus and Venus. Uranus spins on an axis of almost 90-degrees (on its side). Venus meanwhile spins the opposite direction as Earth and the other planets. In both cases there is strong evidence that these planets were struck by large objects at some point in the distant past. The impacts were large enough to overcome the angular momentum of the bodies, and give them a different spin.”
Creation in two stages, first the earth and after that, on the fourth day, the universe, is extremely problematic because it seems like a double creation or a repetition of the creation of the earth on another level, where many other planets, similar to our planet, were created. Why would our planet have appeared on another day of creation than countless other planets in the universe, if all planets have the same way of taking shape? There isn’t any reason for that. It was the same processes that determined the apparition of all planets in the universe; planet Earth was generated by the same mechanisms as other planets were.
At the same time, the creation of the cosmos in two stages would have meant two different steps in the creation of the basic material from which the cosmos had been made. Matter had appeared, in a certain moment of the history of the universe, and that moment is a part of a chain of events which didn’t happen twice in the same way in the same universe.
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Matter overcame antimatter after the Big Bang and this process of creation of matter happened once, not twice.
Many planets were created in the same stage of the evolution of the solar system, and not only the earth. All planets from our solar system passed through the same cosmic process and have the same origin. There is also the opinion that the earth belongs to a group of planets from our solar system which are the youngest in comparison with other planets from the system, hence other planets were formed before earth. All planets were formed from the same nebula of gases, not simultaneously but at different times over millions of years.
There are other strong reasons for the dismissal of the account of the creation of the earth from the book of Genesis. Our sun is a second-generation star, meaning that other stars had formed before it. The sun formed before the earth, being at the centre at the nebula of gases and other materials from which our solar system was constituted.
“Our sun is at least a second-generation star. How do we know? We know because the sun and Earth and everything around us on Earth, including our own bodies, contain chemical elements heavier (more complex) than hydrogen and helium. All chemical elements heavier than hydrogen and helium are thought to have formed inside stars, via the process of thermonuclear fusion that enables stars to shine. These elements or metals were released into space via supernova eruptions.”
If the earth was created after the creation of our sun, and our sun is a second-generation star, it is obvious that the creation of the stars didn’t happen after the creation of the earth as the book of Genesis declares. Creation of the stars after the earth is in sharp contrast to scientific data. We have to discard either almost all cosmological science or the description of the creation of the earth, sun, moon and stars, from the book of Genesis because they don’t go together.
The sun from our solar system not only gives us light and heat but also was a catalyst for the formation of the earth, hence the existence of the sun was a condition for the apparition of the earth. The following quotation explains how things happened:
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“Basically, scientists have ascertained that several billion years ago our Solar System was nothing but a cloud of cold dust particles swirling through empty space. This cloud of gas and dust was disturbed, perhaps by the explosion of a nearby star (a supernova), and the cloud of gas and dust started to collapse as gravity pulled everything together, forming a solar nebula — a huge spinning disk. As it spun, the disk separated into rings and the furious motion made the particles white-hot. The center of the disk accreted to become the Sun, and the particles in the outer rings turned into large fiery balls of gas and molten-liquid that cooled and condensed to take on solid form. About 4.5 billion years ago, they began to turn into the planets that we know today as Earth, Mars, Venus, Mercury, and the outer planets.”
The apparition of the earth before the sun is an absurdity as big as the creation of daylight before the sun, and both are stated by the book of Genesis. The earth is so inextricably linked with the solar system that they cannot be seen as being created in “two different days of creation” or two stages of creation disconnected between them or connected in a reverse order, as the book of Genesis says. Again, we face a disruption in the order of creation. The entire biblical mythology aimed to explain how earth appeared and only secondly how the universe emerged, as if what was closer to the writer was more important than what was farther from him. In other words, the attention was concentrated on Earth, seen as the most important, and only after that all celestial bodies found a place in the whole picture, subservient to the earth.
Nevertheless, besides the sun, the moon and the stars there are many other celestial bodies about which the book of Genesis doesn’t say anything, for example, other planets similar to the earth. They are not stars because they are not massive enough and for this reason the pressure inside of them couldn’t cause a nuclear reaction. On the other side, according to a definition given by a scientist “a star is usually defined as a body of gas which is large enough and dense enough that the heat and crushing pressure at its centre can produce nuclear fusion.”
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Let us imagine what happened with the earth in the first three days of the creation following the stories from the book of Genesis. It was alone, surrounded by water, for one day. After that the earth, for another two days, was surrounded by the empty dome of the sky and over the sky, again, water. On the fourth day, suddenly, a huge universe was created around the earth in order to illuminate it and to serve as signs for it. When reading those stories one may understand that the earth is so important that an entire universe was made only for it.
In the real world, the planet Earth is so small compared with the universe that one may ask why such a huge universe was needed only to illuminate and show the seasons for Earth. There is a disproportion which gives a contradiction. Comparing the earth with the universe, one can understand that the latter is more important than the former on the cosmic scale and also from the point of view of origins or duration.
Billions and billions of celestial bodies are too many only for the use of the planet Earth. There must be something more in the explanation of the existence of such a quantity of celestial bodies besides their utility for the planet Earth. It seems that the book of Genesis doesn’t give us the correct story. If the universe is so big the reason for its existence isn’t only to serve the earth. Moreover, the universe is expanding. Why is this expansion necessary from the point of view of the earth? The expansion of the universe doesn’t make any sense if the earth and the universe were created as the book of Genesis says.
How about the alleged daylight from the first day, where was it on the second day? It would have to come out from the water and be placed on the dome of the sky, created in that day, but unfortunately without a source. How would the light have come out from the water and be placed in the sky on the second day of creation? The story looks very absurd but that is what the book of Genesis presents and what many commentators wrongfully pretend to be inspired by God. The light would have been created on the first day of the creation but the sky only on the second day.
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Moreover, the sun would have been created on the fourth day. Someone just switched on and off the light, for three days, until the source of it was created, the sun. In the first day of creation the created light was under waters because there wasn’t yet sky.
The earth being alone in space couldn’t have allowed its illumination from an artificial light. At least one other celestial body would be needed in order to illuminate a planet like earth and to generate mornings and evenings, and also two rotation movements of the earth – one around the source of the light and another one around its own axis – are also necessary, to light the whole planet. That presupposes a mechanic of two physical entities attracting each other by gravitational forces.
A very improbable artificial light created on the first day of creation would have had to be orbited by the earth, while the planet also spun around its axis in order to illuminate its entire surface, but the sky wouldn’t have been there in order to make possible such a trajectory. A light illuminating the earth under the waters of the primeval sea and generating morning and evening is the most absurd proposition about the origins of the planet Earth.
One can be sympathetic with the narratives of creation from the book of Genesis only until one looks at the sky and compares it with what the book says. When one does that, he or she understands that the earth is only a very tiny part of the visible universe and it is impossible to accept that such immensity would have been created only in service of the earth. If there is such a thing as the centre of the universe it is very hard to identify. The earth doesn’t rotate only around the sun, but also it spins at the same time as the solar system around the centre of the Milky Way galaxy to which it belongs.
The motivation for the creation of the stars given by the Bible must be wrong because there are many invisible celestial bodies which couldn’t have been created for the illumination of the earth or as signs, because they cannot be seen from the earth. Their light cannot be seen with our eyes, without technical means, and such technical means were available starting only with the recent past. More than 99% of the celestial bodies we can see with our eyes are stars in our galaxy (or planets).
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This is a good analogy:
“Without telescope or binoculars, filters or crystal balls, what are we seeing when we look at a night sky full of stars? How far into space are we seeing? Put into an analogy, if the entire surface of the earth represents the expanse of the Milky Way galaxy, then the region encompassing the stars visible to our unaided human eyes would be roughly the size of California–with most of them contained in an even smaller area. In short, most of the celestial bodies that we see in the sky are not only the closest things to us in the universe; they’re pretty much the closest things to us merely in our own galaxy!”
Why would God have created such a huge universe which doesn’t correspond to its declared purpose? The earth uses only a very tiny part for its lighting and astronomic signs. In this way, it is obvious that the function attributed to the stars in the book of Genesis is wrong. This is what the Bible says about this function:
“14 And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.’ And it was so. 16 God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. (Genesis 1; 14-19 NRSV)
Many stars are not in the firmament only to illuminate the earth, because the lights of many stars aren’t seen from the earth, or they have to travel a long period of time in order to reach it. The purpose of the creation of stars presented by the book of Genesis, is not in accord with the astronomic facts, is a naive invention, and is bound to generate confusion. To illuminate the earth and to be useful as signs for the earth, the universe wouldn’t have to be constituted of billions of stars and countless planets.
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If someone believes that the lights from the stars, which were created on the fourth day, according to the Bible, reached the earth in the same day, they must think again, because the light from the closest star, Proxima Centauri, travels to the earth in 4.22 light years.
If God created the stars on the fourth day, their light didn’t reach the earth on the same day but long after their creation. The creation of the stars was unfit for the purpose allocated to them, by the biblical texts, for a very long period of time and for the majority of them was not suitable at all. The stars invisible to our eyes cannot lighten the earth at all and cannot constitute signs in any way, hence they haven’t been created by God to illuminate the earth as the book of Genesis maintains. If they were created to illuminate the earth and to constitute signs they have been placed too far from the earth, so there was a mistake in their design when comparing with the purpose of their creation declared by the Bible.
Why would God have created so many stars which were meant to illuminate the earth, stars not seen from it, or visible stars which were seen only after a very long period of time? To me, there is one convincing answer. God didn’t create the stars for the illumination of the earth, as the book of Genesis declares, but He acted as the theory of Big Bang predicts. God is the force behind the Big Bang who organises the matter and uses it as the fabric of what he wants to create.
One part of the universe is visible from the earth with unaided eyes and another part isn’t. Not even the most sophisticated instruments available to humankind can bring us to the edge of the universe which extends much further than we can see.
“Galaxies extend as far as we can detect... with no sign of diminishing. There is no evidence that the universe has an edge. The part of the universe we can observe from Earth is filled more or less uniformly with galaxies extending in every direction as far as we can see - more than 10 billion light-years, or about 6 billion trillion miles. We know that the galaxies must extend much further than we can see, but we do not know whether the universe is infinite or not. When astronomers sometimes refer (carelessly!) to galaxies “near the edge of the universe,” they are referring only to the edge of the OBSERVABLE universe - i.e., the part we can see.”
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The stars had been created on the fourth day according to the book of Genesis but became visible much later and long after the sixth day, when the creation was over. Strangely enough the biblical texts say that the creation was finished but the light from the stars didn’t yet appear on the firmament. Much more rational and credible are the scientific explanations in which the creation of stars is a continuous process and not only a one-day job. Stars are generated during our days as well as in the past so their creation wouldn’t have been achieved at only one stage in the evolution of the universe.
Earth is a part of a whole, of a complex system, in which it completes the structure to which belongs. Earth cannot be conceived isolated from its cosmic environment, existing on its own, without other celestial bodies. Earth cannot be seen as the first, and the most important cosmic body, like a sort of centre of the material universe, its most essential part. Understanding earth in this manner is motivated by a religious purpose but doesn’t have anything to do with facts.
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