What happened in the Beginning? (Science meets Religion)
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” is one of the most well-known Bible verses, and the beginning of the almighty Word of God, a journey marked by the creation of the entire world and an adventure through time seeing the first humans, the story of the people of Abraham, the Roman occupation of Israel, and the future of the world. The Book of Genesis weaves the story of the very beginning, when God used Word to shape the planet Earth, the primal forces of our beautiful world, and the very essence of life. Our foundation is humble yet magnificent — using Genesis chapter one we can trace the genesis of the world through the eyes of Moses and the actions of our Father. It is the beginning of mankind’s understanding of the world, and the initiation into the chronological understanding of Christian doctrine.
Before the Earth was created, it is given the descriptions “without form and void”. There is darkness upon the face of the deep (1.2), and the Spirit of God is present. Waters are also present, though we can’t be sure which entities they are in reference to; in the second verse, God creates the heavens, which separate the waters on Earth from the waters above Earth. This concept gives rise to two possible notions: 1.) there are waters above the sky and waters under the sky — we know that the sky contains clouds and moisture, condensed water, and precipation, or 2.) there are waters on Earth i.e. the oceans, lakes, rivers (and possibly a reference to Pangaea as God gathers the waters under the heavens into one place (1:9)) and waters above Earth either a.) above the atmosphere in outer space or b.) on a plane outside of the universe, possibly the Kingdom of Heaven. So the first day of creation is the coming of light, equated as the Big Bang, which occurred approximately 13.7 billion years ago. A distinction is made between day and night, light and darkness, with the presence of light in the world. On the second day, the waters are divided, leading to the possible earliest Creation of Earth, which occurred approximately 4.54 billion years ago. This makes the expanse of time between the first day and the second day to be 9.16 billion years.
On the third day, dry land is consolidated on the planet with separation from the oceans. On Earth, grass, herbs, and fruits are created. This event occurred approximately 250 million years ago; this makes the expanse of time between the second day and the third day of Creation to be 4.29 billion years. The ratio of time in reference to the passing of the first to second days, and the second to the third days, is 9.16:4.29, or 2.13.
The fourth day concerns the coming of lights in the sky to divide the day from night, and to be signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years (1:14). The sun was created approximately 4.6 billion years ago, which creates a paradox in the timeline of the creation. The details of the paradox insinuate that either 1.) the Earth is older than the Sun and the age of the Earth is inaccurate or 2.) the event in question is simply the arrangement of the Sun, Moon, and stars to the order that human beings know them. On a cosmic scale, the arrangement of Earth’s celestial neighbors plays an important role in the conditions on the planet. The latter explanation can be credited to a shift in the constellations pattern of our stars, or the presence of the Sun, Moon, and stars in their current positions (100,000 years to in excess).
When compared together, the third day being 250 million years ago; the fourth day being between 250 million years and 100,000 years ago, and the fifth day being approximately 50 million years ago, a niche area for the fourth day can be found to be between 50 -250 million years ago to fit between a model for the third, fourth, and fifth days. The fifth day of Creation sees the coming of the first living creatures, great whales, and winged fowl.
On the sixth day, beasts are created, specifically cattle, and “every creeping thing”. Mankind is also created, in God’s own image” and mankind is given dominion over Earth and everything on it. These events occur approximately 10,500 years ago. Here it is important to note that 1.) human beings were vegetarian, given every fruit and green herb for meat (1:30), and 2.) the purpose of man’s early creation as stated within Genesis was to multiply and be stewards of the planet. Other important notes are that God rested on the seventh day, not because He needed to, but perhaps to enjoy His creation after completing the work. Furthermore, the world was created by the Word of God, some form of waves reminiscent of sound waves, echoing the creation themes of the Gospel of John relating to the Word in the Beginning.
What other Biblically based lessons can be learned about the Beginning of the world? Some may believe that angels were created on the fourth day of creation, in reference to the stars. The angels are markably present when God laid the foundations of the world, again compared with stars, and “the sons of God shouted for joy (Job 38:7). Greater detail is given within the descriptions of this chapter of Job than perhaps in Genesis — details of God laying the cornerstone of he world, shutting up the sea with doors, equating death and the doors of the shadow of death into the grand scale, where light and darkness dwell, and much more. The story of the creation of the world, whether within the Book of Genesis, the story of Job, or the prophecies of Revelation, is a glorious tale of God’s love and power, and the beginning of the history of mankind through the ages.