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First day: Genesis 1:1-5
The big bang
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1).
This well-known first verse of the Bible seems to refer exclusively to the creation of the planet Earth and its blue sky. Yet, as we know from modern science, the Earth is not alone in the universe. There are an impressive number of other celestial objects much older than the Earth, which was formed only 4.6 billion years ago. This is rather late compared with the 13.7-billion-year-old universe. Therefore, if “in the beginning” referred to the formation of our Earth, we would have a first contradiction of Genesis by modern science because it would be mentioned too early.
As St. Augustine stated, however, the term heavens refers in the first place to the celestial universe, the invisible world of the angels, and earth to the totality of the terrestrial universe, the visible world. Heavens is mentioned before earth, which means that the angels were created “in the beginning” and the physical universe thereafter. As we shall see, there are some other hidden hints about the world of the angels in the first account of creation. They are detected through anachronisms, that is, through elements mentioned too early, like the planet Earth.
The invisible and visible world form together a duality heaven / earth. Inside earth of this duality is found a smaller duality heaven / earth, that is, the space / matter duality of our observable physical world. Before Einstein’s general relativity, it was thought that the universe is a flat Euclidean space, infinite and had always existed. This was because of the identification of space with nothingness. This is wrong, however, because physical space is curved, possibly finite and has only existed since the big bang. Nor is it identical to nothingness but constitutes space-time, as pointed out by famous physicist Hawking:
The situation, however, is quite different in the general theory of relativity. Space and time are now dynamic quantities: when a body moves, or a force acts, it affects the curvature of space and time – and in turn the structure of space-time affects the way in which bodies move and forces act. Space and time not only affect but also are affected by everything that happens in the universe. Just as one cannot talk about events in the universe without the notions of space and time, so in general relativity it became meaningless to talk about space and time outside the limits of the universe.
In addition, time zero of the physical world began with the big bang. Consequently, it does not make sense to speak of physical things before the big bang, which must thereby have a supernatural cause since there was only naught before it, physically speaking. The coming into existence of the physical universe ex nihilo, that is, out of naught, is physically not understandable. These four most important points of the big bang are perfectly encapsulated by the first verse of the Bible:
Echoing the duality heavens / earth throughout creation, Genesis 1:1 also refers to atmosphere / Earth and oceans / continents within smaller frames, although other passages more explicitly relate to these dualities (see figure 5 and figure 7). Consequently, this verse has manifold significance, which solves the apparent contradiction mentioned above in that it refers to the angels, the big bang and the Earth.
The earth was formless and void, and darkness lay upon the face of the abyss, a wind of God was hovering over the surface of the waters (Gen 1:2).
The second verse of Genesis is restricted to “the earth”. Such restrictions of the frame occur several times because Genesis refers to the restricting frames of the universe (see figure 5). Furthermore, these restrictions are characterized by the creation of a new heaven or a new earth. Genesis 1:6-8, for instance, mentions the creation of a firmament called “heaven”. Since Genesis 1:1 has already mentioned the creation of “the heavens”, this must be a new heaven. Therefore there must be several heavens, big and small ones with different properties. The original Hebrew text effectively writes heavens in the plural. The same happens with the earth in Genesis 1:9-10, which qualifies the emergence of the continent as something new because it is again called earth after Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 have already introduced different earths. Consequently several earths must exist too, big and small ones, which correspond to the big and small heavens to form together several heaven / earth dualities. This results in restrictions indicating that big structures are prefigured by small structures or vice versa.
Thus, Genesis 1:2 is also linked to a restriction of the frame because this verse again defines earth. This restriction is a reduction to the universe limited by our galaxy, the Milky Way: the big bang essentially produced hydrogen and more or less regularly dispersed it in space. The gas then regrouped and first formed nebular galaxies. This is the stage which Genesis 1:2 refers to, since hydrogen is, depending on the number of atoms, the main component of water and consequently prefigures “the waters” of which this passage speaks. This primitive matter was “desert” at first, that is, more or less spread out regularly in space, almost uniform in all places and therefore without clues, like a sandy desert. It had a very weak density in space, so that there was much “void” between atoms.
With the regrouping of stars and galaxies, rotation centers formed, gathering the neighboring hydrogen. Together with the darkness that reigned at this time, such centers may be considered “abysses”, upon which “darkness lay”. It is also believed that shortly after the big bang primordial black holes formed. These gobble neighboring matter because there is such a strong gravitational field that they even absorb light and let none escape. They consequently cannot be observed directly. As it happens, in the center of our galaxy is a black hole with the result that “darkness lay upon the face of the abyss”. Furthermore, the Milky Way forms, like all spiral galaxies, a disk “hovering” slowly around its center like an immense whirlwind, as shown by figure 4.
The “wind of God” must be understood as follows: it refers to the image of the Creator, who is gathering around himself diverse objects of creation. This is why centers of gravitation like galaxies and stars reflect the image of God. There are innumerable images in nature reflecting the Creator to varying degrees. First of all, it is humankind that holds the image of God, according to Genesis 1:26. On a lower level, animals and the Sun, which is surrounded by the planets like Christ is surrounded by the twelve Apostles, reflect God’s image as well. As regards the “wind of God”, it refers to the gases that, like in a cyclone, are attracted to the center, symbolizing God’s attracting forces. It is entirely appropriate here to speak of a wind, because most of the atmospheric winds, falling into the “abyss” of a low-pressure area, are mainly caused through gravitation, the same force responsible for the rotating disks of galaxies and stars in formation.
God said, “Let there be light”, and there was light. God saw that light was good, and God divided light from darkness. God called light “day”, and darkness he called “night”. Evening came and morning came: the first day (Gen 1:3-5).
The young universe indeed lived in darkness for hundreds of thousands of years after the big bang because it was too hot for electrons to combine with hydrogen and helium nuclei. This prevented the photons, in other words light, from propagating through space. Therefore, the entire universe was plunged into total darkness during this time. Only after sufficient expansion and cooling could the universe emit light invisible and visible to the human eye, and became transparent so that it could have been observed if humans had been around at this time. There was not much visible light at this point, however, because the universe was only illuminated with the formation of the first stars. This is why Genesis 1:3 is also an indication of the formation of the first stars.
The mention of “day” and “night” raises a new paradox because the Sun is only created on the fourth day (Gen 1:14-16). It seems therefore that the creation of the day is an anachronism. Just as the anachronism of Genesis 1:1 is a hidden hint to the world of the angels (see here), this anachronism also links day to the angels. In fact, the terms light and day are similarly multi-significant like heaven and earth. This is why we have to suppose that Genesis 1:3-5 in the first place expresses a celestial light. Furthermore, since the diverse meanings must be understood hierarchically from the big towards the small, the first mention of day and light refers, like the first one of heaven, to the first level, that is, to the angels’ world.
This is why the six days illuminated by this light have nothing to do with the days defined by the rotation of the Earth as it hides and shows its face to the Sun in a cycle of twenty-four hours. Since we do not know the length of a celestial day, except that it must be longer than a terrestrial day, because the celestial is always immensely bigger than the terrestrial, the six days of creation associated with this light are not at all in contradiction with the 13.7-billion-year-old universe.
If the world was created during six earth-days, as per young earth creationists, the relation between time and evolution would be linear. It may comfort them that this linearity is approximately valid on a logarithmic time scale as shown by figure 3. This means that the time from one main step of the whole material, biological and human evolution to the next step decreases exponentially, which is, by the way, a much stronger argument against the exclusively fortuitous character of evolution than if it was simply linear.
The stars inside galaxies also first formed spiral nebulae, but on a smaller scale. They were little by little compressed by gravitation, which at a certain stage started nuclear fusion, transforming hydrogen into helium and, in certain large stars, successively into the other chemical elements up to iron. The colossal energy thus liberated caused the stars to shine. Our Sun is a star also born by a nebula – created out of the remains of supernovae – transforming itself into a spiral nebula 4.6 billion years ago.
In the arms of this spiral still smaller spirals formed, giving birth to the planets. Apart from hydrogen, it also contained, in different proportions and in the form of interstellar dust and ice, all the 94 chemical elements naturally existing on Earth. In the beginning of the formation of the solar system, water was omnipresent because oxygen is, after hydrogen and helium, the most abundant element in the universe, and water is precisely formed from hydrogen and oxygen. This is also the “formless and void” planet Earth of which Genesis 1:2 speaks apart from the other references (primitive Milky Way and Sun cloud).
The solar wind, starting with the nuclear activity of the Sun, drove most of the gaseous material out of the planetesimals at the origin of the four inner planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) some 110 million years later. At this stage, the solar system was so hot that the water in the inner region was gaseous. This is why the four inner planets lost much water and what is considered Earth’s first atmosphere rapidly disappeared. Much of this gaseous material was attracted by the outer planets, especially by Jupiter and Saturn, the rest being blown into interstellar space. This is why these planets are essentially composed of frozen gases, that is, of hydrogen and helium, like the Sun, but with much water as well. The inner planets, on the other hand, have relatively little water – the Earth has most of it. In any case, “the wind of God hovering over the surface of the waters” also refers to this rotating spiral disk of the early Earth containing hydrogen and water at a stage when the Sun had not yet blown the water away through its solar wind.
The future Earth, being exposed to a massive infall of matter, became more and more heated because a collision partly transforms its energy into heat and these collisions became more and more violent as the Earth’s gravitation continually intensified with the growth of its mass. At a certain stage, the Earth formed an incandescent sphere of molten stone. In the molten state, stone can be mixed with various gases, especially with water vapor. However, when stone cools and becomes firm, it must release all the gases it contains in the liquid state through outgassing. When the terrestrial crust formed, by cooling, the water vapor and the other gases were consequently released. They rose to the surface by volcanoes or other openings to form a dense and boiling atmosphere. When in turn this atmosphere cooled down, the vapor condensed and fell on the ground in form of a torrential rain, henceforth called big rain, giving birth to the primitive ocean (see Wikipedia: Origin of water on Earth), which covered the whole surface of the globe at a certain stage. By the way, this is the only global flood referred to by the flood account (see here).
During that time, the most powerful winds and cyclones ever reigned on Earth because it was its hottest period. Cyclones, like hurricanes and typhoons, form cloud spirals turning around their center, mostly above the sea in latitudes where it is hot, hence they are like the former windstorms above the boiling ocean in formation. These storms dried out the atmosphere. The rain was the most abundant in the center of the cyclones, which is analogous to the gravitational collapse of galaxies and stars, since they also concentrate the largest amount of hydrogen in their centers. In addition, the spiral structure of cyclones strongly resembles spiral galaxies, as shown by figure 4. So we see on this Earth scale the most literal realization of “the wind of God hovering over the surface of the waters”.
These references of Genesis 1:2 are, therefore, based on the spiral structure of the diverse earths in formation, which are not yet very terrestrial because they are only composed of hydrogen and/or water mixed with dust and much “void” space in between. The Hebrew text of “the waters” is, by the way, effectively written in the plural like “the heavens” in Genesis 1:1, which furthermore emphasizes its multisignificance.
The first three references are linked to restrictions of the frame, which are made towards a single object of the preceding frame containing several such objects, according to figure 5. On the first level, which is expressed by Genesis 1:1 (see The big bang), these objects are the galaxies, from which a restriction is made to our galaxy (first restriction). Then inside our galaxy are the stars, from which our Sun is privileged (second restriction). Finally, inside our solar system are the orbiting planets, from which the attention is given to the Earth (third restriction). These three restrictions are structured like the first level through two dualities heaven / earth, the second one being contained inside the earth of the first one.
The reference of Genesis 1:2 to the big rain does not imply a restriction of this kind because it is not made from several objects towards a single one but towards the element earth from the superior duality (see here). This is similar to the reference of Genesis 1:1 to the big bang, which also implies a restriction from the superior duality invisible world / visible world to visible world. Another analogy with Genesis 1:1 is based on the fact that during the big bang the primitive “water” – that is, hydrogen – came into existence from space letting electrons combine with protons through cooling. In a similar way during the big rain, the water came into existence from the atmosphere (space), which contained steam molecules combining with each other through cooling and thus raining down in the primitive ocean (see figure 9 for other analogies between the formation of the universe and the Earth).
High and low waters
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 God called the firmament “heaven”. Evening came and morning came: the second day (Gen 1:6-8).
This firmament imposes, as has already been mentioned (see here), a second restriction of the frame after that made by Genesis 1:2 because it is a new creation of heaven. We are now inside our solar system because the previous frame was our galaxy (see figure 5). This is not simply a repetition of what Genesis 1:2 already states on the solar system as second reference (see here), however, for the verse applies to an advanced stage in the formation of the solar system after that of the spiral nebula (see also figure 7). As for the firmament, we are going to see that it is related in the first place to the gravitational field of the Sun, which surrounds the planets like an immense vault and makes them rotate around it. On a lower level, it does of course also refer to our atmosphere.
Genesis 1:6-8 is certainly at the origin of the antique idea of an immense firm vault spread above the terrestrial disk retaining the superior waters and raining from time to time on Earth. This is not what we inevitably have to believe from Genesis 1:6-8, however. We can also see something else in it, without running the risk of taking this passage for the drawings psychologists employ to establish a diagnosis according to the associations of their patients interpreting the abstract structures.
We already know that the nebula, from which our solar system stemmed, essentially contained hydrogen and water, both representing “the waters” of Genesis 1:6-8, and that with the beginning of the nuclear activity the Sun blew the volatile substances away from the inner region out of the solar system. A small part was attracted by the outer gaseous planets (see Our solar system). This is without doubt a separation of the waters, in the midst of which are found the four inner planets containing little water. So on one side of these planets is the Sun and on the other side the large planets. But on what side are the high and the low waters? The answer is simple: as is commonly known, the high and the low are illusions provoked by gravitation. What we call high on earth is what is far from its center of gravitation. Correspondingly, low is what is near to it. In the frame of the solar system, the large planets are far from the center of gravitation, that is the Sun. This is why they represent the high waters. Correspondingly, the Sun represents the low waters, although the Sun makes its orbit high in the sky as seen from Earth.
Thus “the waters” were separated in those that are above the firmament, in the large gaseous planets, especially Jupiter and Saturn, and those that are under the firmament, in the Sun. This is rather a unilateral separation in favor of the low, since the planets only constitute a 1/700th of the whole mass of the solar system (the mass of the inner planets is negligible), the rest being occupied by the Sun. It is nevertheless a separation, because the water blown out of the solar system must be taken into account too. Within this context, the firmament therefore means the solar gravitational space, which makes the planets move around the Sun as exactly as a train runs on rails, as if they were held by something really firm and transparent like a firmament.
A similar gravitational field also rules in spiral galaxies, although it is more difficult to see a separation of the waters within such a structure. The high waters can nevertheless be seen in the essentially hydrogen containing stars orbiting around the black hole in the center, the low waters, that is, former hydrogen extremely compressed during a supernova. Because of these references, the second day makes a transition from the second level (our galaxy) to the third level (our solar system). This is similar to the first day, which makes a transition from the first level (the primitive universe) to the second level (our galaxy). Such transitions are a subject we will resume later on because they will allow us to link the six days of creation with the six levels of the universe.
A second reference of Genesis 1:6-8 is the following: as mentioned above, the first terrestrial atmosphere was blown away by the solar wind such that mainly dust and pieces of stone were left behind. The Earth only kept the rotation around itself from the initial terrestrial spiral. From this moment, it did not form by gravitational collapse anymore but by what in astrophysics is called accretion, that is, by a slow agglomeration of the pieces of rock dispersed in the orbit. This was the same for all the inner planets.
During this accretion, a very important geological event happened: through the continuous infall of matter, the young Earth was heated more and more, to the point of becoming liquid, such that density layers formed around the center. Thus, a large part of the heavy metals moved to the center, finally forming a large iron core in the middle of the incandescent Earth because iron is by far the most abundant metal. This core began to create Earth’s magnetic field, which protects it from the solar wind. From this stage, helped by the increase of gravitation, the Earth could retain the most volatile substances, so that a second atmosphere started to form. These volatiles began to accumulate from the formation of the terrestrial crust, which released them through outgassing during its transition from the liquid to the solid state.
However, the solar wind did not entirely eliminate the water from the four inner planets. The pieces of matter on the orbit of the future Earth conserved a certain amount of water in the interior. Independently of the eventuality that a collision with a comet or another object may have brought additional water to the Earth, the quantity compared with the firm matter was higher than one might expect, since the water reserves existing on Earth are not only found in the oceans but especially in the interior of the Earth still mixed with magma. Consequently, when there was not yet an ocean, all water reserves were enclosed in the boiling stone. They are the “low waters” of Genesis 1:6-8 and are separated from the “high waters” that accumulated in the second atmosphere as water vapor during the continued cooling of the crust, releasing all volatiles. The magnetosphere acted as firmament within this context, preventing the solar wind from sweeping away the atmospheric gases, such as water vapor, thus allowing their separation from Earth’s cooling crust.
Finally, Genesis 1:6-8 also refers to the big rain. The separation of the waters took place in this sense that the atmosphere formed a thick and compact cloud layer around the Earth, the high waters. In present times, clouds form between 2000 and 18’000 meters. This margin was probably higher 4 billion years ago because the hotter the air is, the higher is the margin wherein clouds form. From this cloud layer, the water vapor rained down into the ocean, the low waters. In this context, the firmament therefore signifies the atmosphere, which is a kind of aerial field provoking the formation of clouds.
Let us summarize that the multisignificance of Genesis 1:6-8 as separation of high and low waters has three references:
The analogy that binds these references is therefore based on the presence of a firmament, a kind of field capable of holding waters within separate high and low regions.
God said: “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered into a single mass, and let the dry land appear.” God called the dry land “earth” and the mass of waters “ocean” (Gen 1:9-10).
This new creation of earth is limited to the planet Earth, the third restriction (see figure 5). “The waters under the heavens” shall be gathered into one place or, according to the Greek translation, constitute a single mass, which implies that before this gathering the low waters were not yet in a single place. This means that the waters must have been dispersed everywhere. Taking this literally, every water molecule was finely dispersed on the surface of the Earth, mixed with another constituent. Thereafter, both constituents shall be separated, and the other one is called “the dry land”, that is, the continent. Before their separation, the low waters were consequently intermingled with the continental mass. This only makes sense if understood as the mix of hot liquid stone and water vapor in the outer terrestrial layer before forming the crust.
Furthermore, the dry land shall appear, that is, the continent elevate out of the ocean, which implies that the land is already “dry” before its elevation, otherwise it would be written: “Let the land dry out.” Therefore, the drying is independent from the elevation: the land does not become dry by elevating from the ground of the ocean, as it is often interpreted. But if it is already dry, it must be linked to the previous gathering of the waters into one place. In fact, during a literal drying, when water is leaving another mass by evaporation, it effectively gets to another place where it may henceforth constitute a single mass. The formation of the terrestrial crust is of course not such a drying by evaporation, but otherwise it is the same (see The big rain for more information about this “drying” process).
Hence, the “drying” can only mean the formation of the terrestrial crust, during which the water vapor inside it was separated into the atmosphere. This is a first step in the direction of the final gathering of the waters into the single place of the ocean. This is why Genesis 1:9-10 first gives another aspect of the formation of the terrestrial crust, which was already referred to by Genesis 1:6-8, and then adds an advanced stage in its formation, that is its elevation to the primitive continent. This is consistent with Genesis 1:6-8, which does not only repeat what Genesis 1:2 states on the solar system but also indicates an advanced state in its formation (see High and low waters).
The primitive ocean effectively covered the whole surface of the planet at some stage, for when the fiery sphere of the young Earth began to harden, its surface was still more or less regular. Apart from volcanic islands, there were still no continents and no mountains, which can only form if there is a solid crust after millions of years of tectonic activity within the Earth’s mantle. This is why, when the crust was not yet entirely formed, there were still no important elevations and the primitive ocean covered almost all the surface of the globe. In addition, there was only one continent in the beginning, which later drifted in the five present-day continents (Eurasia, Africa, America, Australia and Antarctica). Since the two-dimensional spherical ocean-space is similar to the four-dimensional, possibly also spherically, curved space-time universe, this continental drift is an image, along with other similarities (see figure 9), of the scattering of the galaxies, which were also initially clustered together like the continents.
The second context of Genesis 1:9 applies to the big rain, of which the frame is Earth’s surface including the atmosphere, the terrestrial crust and the ocean. As we have seen, the low waters have different meanings in each context: according to Genesis 1:6-8, they are at first represented by the Sun, then by Earth’s mantle and finally by the ocean. This is why “the waters under the heavens” must be understood in a particular context too.
In order to understand what the low waters mean according to Genesis 1:9 on the level of the big rain, we have to take into consideration the context of the fourth day, because all days first resume the second context of the previous day. This second context the fourth day resumes is precisely the one we try to determine as suggested by figure 7. As we shall see, heaven in the context of the fourth day means the firmament from where the celestial lights shall shine through the openings in the cloud layer, which is below this high firmament reaching the celestial bodies. This is why we have to put “the waters under the heavens” into the same context of this firmament, that is, into the whole terrestrial atmosphere, in which the cloud layer constitute low waters, contrary to Genesis 1:6-8 referring to it as high waters.
In fact, water vapor is a relatively heavy gas and is, in the present, only found within the first 20 kilometers of altitude of the whole atmosphere, which totals about 1000 kilometers. It is mixed with the other gases of the atmosphere and constitutes just a small part of them. Here, we join the same sense already encountered in the first context of Genesis 1:9: the waters do not yet entirely constitute a single mass and thereby they have to be gathered at a single place. This is why Genesis 1:9 refers here to the big rain as a process of rendering the waters without any other constituents. This way the low waters finally filled up the ocean, where they did constitute an almost single chemical compound, the sea salt and other constituents were added to the ocean only later through washing out the minerals from the continent. Furthermore, this process dried out the atmosphere and is therefore another aspect of the whole big rain.
The ocean and the continent form a new duality heaven / earth, the smallest within the material evolution, because the waters are called ocean, which resembles heaven. On the other hand, the primitive continent is called earth. The sea and the land have very tangible characteristics of heaven / earth, that is the apparently infinite transparency and vastness of the sea. The medium of this heaven is the water, inhabited by fish defying the law of gravitation, similar to birds flying around in the aerial heaven and to angels moving about in the spiritual space. On the other hand, there is the material and earthy aspect of the ground on which we live.
The fact that the continent is called earth, a term already attributed several times, indicates a restriction like the ones we already discussed (see The Milky Way). However, this is a restriction from the superior duality atmosphere / our planet to the surface of our planet, on which is precisely found the duality ocean / continent. So there is no reduction from many objects to a single one. This also marks the end of the multi-reference concerning the material evolution because Genesis 1:1 started its multi-reference with a restriction of this kind.
The gathering of the waters under the heavens can also be applied to the previous levels. On the first level it may be understood as the gravitational collapse of the galaxies, some of which formed a black hole at their center. As mentioned, these centers are the waters under the heavens, that is, the gravitational field. All the mass of black holes is concentrated in a very small point, a gravitational singularity, where it literally constitutes a single mass. A similar situation is found on the second and third level regarding the gravitational collapse of the stars and the planets. So gathering of matter is the main theme of the first three levels. Furthermore, the third day also refers to the fourth level with the formation of the continent and to the fifth level with the creation of the plants (Gen 1:11-12). Consequently, the third day is a transition not only from one level to the next but from heaven to earth of an important global duality surrounding all six levels, which we are going to discuss in detail below.
To make a point, let us resume all restrictions and references of the first four days. Just as Genesis 1:1 implies five references, Genesis 1:2 four and Genesis 1:6-8 three, all verses ending with the big rain, Genesis 1:9-10 as a gathering and drying process of the waters under the heavens also has one less, that is the references to the continent (resuming the second reference of Genesis 1:6-8 by describing an advanced stage in geology) and the big rain. As we shall see, the fourth day has only one reference to the big rain, which is consistent with this diminishing number of references of the other days. So the multi-reference is entirely regular for all corresponding verses as figure 7 shows.
During the third day, the first plants were also created (Gen 1:11-12), which is the first mention of life. There are a lot of theories about the origin of life called abiogenesis but none of them are conclusive, since up to now nobody has been able to create life out of non-living matter. In any case, the first life appeared at least some 3.4 billion years ago in the primitive ocean in the form of micro-organisms that no longer exist today. On the other hand, blue bacteria, which almost ascend back to the origin of life and thrive in hot waters, still live today in some places where the water is heated by the interior of the Earth.
We know little of the first living organisms, except that they must have been autotrophic, that is, they did not nourish themselves from other living organisms. They were probably chemotrophs, cells that obtain energy by chemical interaction with their environment. This is why they do not need the light of the Sun, which partly explains why the first life is mentioned before the Sun. These organisms were consequently comparable to the later appearing phototrophs, living through photosynthesis needing light. Such vegetal microorganisms determined the course of events for a very long period. During two billion years they produced oxygen and at the same time degraded the atmospheric carbon dioxide. They thus prepared the environment for the first heterotrophs, animal cells needing oxygen and nourishing themselves from biological substances. They appeared about 1.8 billion years ago, probably stemming from vegetal cells.
However, Genesis 1:11-12 refers to plants not growing in the water but on the soil, in particular to seed plants and fruit trees, which appeared only about 350 million years ago, that is much later compared to the time of life’s origin. This is why we have here a new apparent anachronism similar to those we have already encountered. Another difficulty is that the creation of the Sun is only mentioned on the fourth day (Gen 1:14-19), although the formation of the Sun is implicitly mentioned on the second day. This is another anachronism we will approach in detail in the next section.
The author of Genesis, who was Moses according to the tradition, may have ignored the almost simultaneous formation of the Earth and the Sun. This is why one can debate whether he first mentioned the formation of the Earth and then that of the Sun because of his ignorance. On the other hand, in his time one probably guessed that plants cannot live without daylight. So if Moses had written the account basing himself on the knowledge of his time, he would certainly not have mentioned the creation of the Sun after that of plants. This paradox is consequently too manifest to suppose that it is simply due to a distraction of the author or of some hypothetical revisers.
This is why it can only be intentionally associated with the paradox of the day whose creation Genesis 1:3-5 also mentions before the Sun. As we have seen, this implies that the six days of creation do not refer to twenty-four-hour days but are associated with celestial light, which among other things makes celestial herbs and trees live (see Night and day). In fact, the description of the paradise in the book of Revelation mentions trees of life that do not need the Sun since God himself spreads his light on them and on all other cohabitants (Rev 22:2-5). Herbs and celestial trees are also described in Genesis 2:8-9, which indicates a garden of Eden with a tree of life similar to the one of the knowledge of good and evil. God did create these celestial trees together with the celestial world. This is why the account mentions them before the creation of the Sun, although the same passage also refers to all terrestrial plants on a lower level.
The global duality
On the fourth day, the stars, the Sun and the Moon have been created (Gen 1:14-19), which implies another paradox because the stars are implicitly mentioned on the first day and the solar system on the second day. In order to understand why it is only an apparent paradox, we need to go deeper into the text and take all the evolution into account, that is the material, biological and human evolution, which began with the first humans and ended with Christ.
One can divide this integral evolution into different levels at the example of the material evolution, which is divided into four levels. Each level contains two dualities, from which the second one is comprised in the first one (see figure 5 and figure 8). Thus, we naturally get six levels: the first four levels represent the material evolution, the fifth level the biological evolution and the sixth the evolution of humanity up to Jesus Christ. For a more simple representation, let us consider that these two last levels also have two dualities with four elements. They could of course be subdivided even more.
This integral evolution gives a sequence of alternating elements heaven and earth, with heaven always surrounding the next element earth. With the atmosphere, the elements heaven begin to materialize, while before they represent nearly empty space, which shows that the invisible world becomes more and more visible, that is material, as a model on the planet Earth. This materialization therefore extends to all levels up to Christ, the incarnated God, and the duality heaven / earth is not only expressed in the interior of the levels but also globally across all levels. In other terms, the levels are cut into two halves, those before and those after the formation of the planet Earth. The former manifest heaven and the latter earth thus expressing a global duality. To show this better, the integral evolution is represented in the form of a circle and the global duality is expressed by its two halves.
Hence the whole of physical, biological, and human evolution ends up with Christ, who rejoins the first level, which stemmed from God. And since Christ is the Son of God, this circle of evolution is perfectly buckled and it seems that Col 1:15-16 is evinced:
He is the image of the invisible God,
It is correct that the first account of creation does not explicitly refer to Christ. Only the second account announces him according to the multi-reference, as we are going to see. The two accounts are, however, closely associated with one another and complete themselves mutually, the first one relating the creation of the angels, the terrestrial world, and mankind; the second one zooming in on the life of the angels and of mankind, that is to say, on their fall and their future redemption by Christ. This is why it has to be implied in the first account.
Let us now return to our paradox: by mentioning the creation of the Sun, the Moon, and the stars, which serve to separate day and night, light and darkness (Gen 1:14-19), the fourth day repeats what the first day already points out reporting a similar separation into night and day (Gen 1:3-5), which is connected with the celestial world (see Night and day). This repetition of the creation of the day has the same meaning as the repetitions of the terms heaven and earth in Genesis 1:2, 1:6-8 and 1:9, which always expresses restrictions of the frame. This allowed us to establish the dualities of the first four levels. The new creation of the day thereby also expresses a restriction of the frame, but one that is linked to the global duality in that the restriction is made to the element earth of this duality, that is to the entire second half-circle restricted to the planet Earth.
This must be understood as follows: the invisible world is illuminated by the celestial light originating from God who is exterior to his creation. This is why the invisible world is a restricted universe. As a consequence, the creation of the celestial light implies a restriction to this world. So the first mention of the day applies to the first element of the first half-circle (see figure 8). The second mention of the day is related to the Sun, the Moon and the stars destined to illuminate the Earth. This light also comes from the exterior and implies a restriction to the interior of Earth space, more exactly to the terrestrial atmosphere, in the space of which we live and move, and whose air we breathe. So similarly to the invisible world, the atmosphere is the first element of the second half-circle and is penetrated by the light of all celestial bodies found in the outer half-circle.
We can consequently conclude that the fourth day is not focused on the formation of the celestial bodies but on the light they emit. In fact, it refers to an event that took place during the big rain. At this stage, there was a thick cloud layer around the Earth such that a possible observer standing on the Earth’s surface would never have had any sight of celestial bodies. The cloud layer was so important that profound darkness reigned on Earth similar to the darkness of the early universe. Only an atmosphere sufficiently dried out allowed openings to appear in the sky and the light of the Sun, the Moon and the stars to shine on the Earth’s surface, resulting in the blue sky scattered with white clouds we know from present times. Another similarity between the first and second creation of the light is as follows: just as it was only with sufficient cooling of the early universe that photons could freely propagate, also the early terrestrial cloud layer only allowed lighting openings with sufficient cooling of the atmosphere.
It is worthwhile finally to summarize all these astounding analogies between the formation of the universe and the Earth:
The inner mechanisms of the big bang and the formation of the Earth are completely different. So where does this analogy came from? Of course, one can always say: “It’s just a coincidence because Genesis and science have nothing to do with each other.” However, it is such thinking that has nothing to do with science. A scientist must never exclude a priori any hypothesis and always be open for any theory as long as it is not clearly refuted. For a lot of Christians, Genesis does not have much importance and is even a nuisance, something that is part of the Bible by mistake. On the other hand, there are a lot of fundamentalist Christians who categorically and blindly refuse to entertain the big bang theory and the underlying notion of curved space. This resembles the refusal of some people to accept the spherically curved Earth-space when it was introduced by the ancient Greeks (see Wikipedia: Flat Earth).
On the fifth day, the animals living in water and the birds were created (Gen 1:20-23). The first animal microorganisms appeared long after the plants but they also evolved at first in the ocean. As mentioned above, the living environment for water animals, the ocean, is a heaven (see here). This is why their creation implies a fifth restriction from the ocean to its inhabitants, that is to the fifth level. Consequently, the fifth day is located on the transition from the fourth to the fifth level. This is sustained by the birds because their heaven is the atmosphere, which is also on the fourth level. This is why the fifth day is a transition from the fourth level to its inhabitants on the fifth level.
According to evolutionary biology, birds stem from reptiles, which previously conquered firm ground. Hence, birds appeared much later than water animals, that is, around 150 million years ago. This is why one may object that the birds should be mentioned on the sixth day because God created all land animals on that day (Gen 1:24-25). However, this anachronism points, as usual, to the celestial world of the angels, which is “postfigured” through the physical world: since water animals and birds live in a medium representing heaven, they have a similarity with angels, which are also winged creatures in a certain sense. This is why birds refer to the celestial world in that they are mentioned before the animals living on the ground, although flying fish may also be considered winged species appearing long before birds. So this passage may refer to these kind of species too.
On the sixth day, God also created mankind in his image, male and female (Gen 1:26-31). Since humans descend from the animal Kingdom, this implies a sixth restriction from the fifth to the sixth level. The fifth day is consequently found on the corresponding transition. God gave humans and animals all plants as food (Gen 1:29-30). Since carnivorous or omnivorous animal species had previously been present during evolution, this is another hint to the paradise lived in by the angels before their fall, that is before they ate the forbidden fruit, as we shall see. Thus, God completed his work and rested on the seventh day and sanctified it (Gen 2:1-3).
Finally, let us put the days and levels in relation numerically: as discussed above, the first day is on the transition from the first to the second level. This is analogous with the second day, as shown in figure 8. As seen also, the third day is a transition from heaven to earth of the global duality (see here). This is the same with the fourth day since the surface of the Earth is illuminated by the Sun, the Moon and the stars and a restriction is thereby made from the whole first half-circle, which we commonly call the astronomical sky, to the surface of the Earth inhabited by plants, animals and humans. The fourth day is therefore, like the third day, also situated on the transition from heaven to earth of the global duality. The fifth day is on the transition from the fourth to the fifth level. This happens likewise with the sixth day. In this manner, the distribution of all six days is symmetrical regarding the global duality, as illustrated by figure 8.
According to this relation, the seventh day must be placed in the time of Christ. As we shall see indeed, the final purpose of the whole physical world is the redemption of all angels and humans completed through Christ who is “the Son of Man” and “master of the Sabbath” (Mt 12:1-8). In this sense, the time of Christianity may be understood as a sabbatical historical age, as a kind of seventh day.
St. Augustine, The City of God Against the Pagans, book XI, chapter IX.
Heavens (or heaven) and earth are multi-significant terms expressed several times in the first account, so they do not describe a precise heaven or earth but refer to different contexts.
Stephen W. Hawking, A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes, 1989.
In fact, general relativity is based on the Einstein field equations, which relate space to matter. This is similar to his famous equation for special relativity, E = mc2, which relates the energy E to the matter m. Maxwell’s equations relating fields to matter are also similar equations in electrodynamics. These equations are formulated empirically through observation of nature, which is created by God. This is why such equations cannot be derived from other statements. This is why it is quite acceptable to postulate that space and matter were supernaturally created by God because Einstein’s equations do not supply any explanation why space and matter are related in the given manner.
In 1929, Edwin Hubble observed
that all galaxies scatter at a speed proportional to the distance to
our galaxy. In books vulgarizing cosmology, this expanding universe
is often compared to a plum cake. The cake puffs up during the baking
and the plums, representing the galaxies, become more distant from each
other independently of their position in the cake. In a similar way,
each galaxy is, in most cases, withdrawing from all the others. This
is why the fact that we see the galaxies disperse from us does not mean
that we are in the center of the universe. Because of this dispersion
of the galaxies, one can suppose that they were closer to one another
in the past. In a very distant past, they were even so close that they
constituted one single indiscernible mass. Numerous ulterior confirmations
finally brought cosmologists to the conclusion that all the matter of
the universe was formed in an immense “explosion” called the big
The word hydro comes from Greek and means water. The fraction of hydrogen atoms in the water molecule H2O is exactly two-thirds, the other third being composed of an oxygen atom. This multi-significant approach of hydrogen to “the waters” of Genesis 1:2 is nevertheless only approximate, of course. However, multi-significance (or multi-reference) is based on resemblance between various objects of reference, which inevitably results in an approximation. This is a theme we will encounter several times.
Black holes form through high density conditions, which occurred at the big bang but also in the centers of stars through gravitational collapse or at the end of very massive stars (over eight solar masses). Gravitation between two bodies is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to their squared distance, so if someone stood on the surface of a compressing body, the radius from the center to the surface would become smaller and smaller and the gravitation exerted on the person bigger and bigger, although the mass of the body does not change. In the case of black holes, the gravitation owed to high density becomes so strong that even light waves are retained, since light particles, although without mass, move with a finite velocity so that a finite force can retain them. According to earlier science, black holes have infinite density – as predicted by general relativity but not by quantum mechanics – and their dimension is zero, which is called a singularity. The gravitation at this point of the singularity would be infinite. Quantum mechanics predicts black holes with very high density but nevertheless a finite one. In any case, the gravitation of a black hole is so strong that the frontier from where the light waves are absorbed is not on the surface of the mass but a certain distance away. Therefore there is empty space between the material surface and this spherical frontier, which is called the horizon of the black hole. The distance between the center and this horizon for a black hole of, say, one solar mass would be three kilometers, or for one of fifty solar masses 160 kilometers. Thus, what in biblical terms is called “the face of the abyss” upon which “darkness lay” perfectly corresponds, in view of the context of this passage, to the horizon of the black hole.
According to the original Hebrew text, this verb (râchaph: hover, flutter, shake) only occurs three times in the entire Bible: in Genesis 1:2, Deuteronomy 32:11 and Jeremiah 23:9 (where it means shake). In the same form as in Genesis 1:2, it occurs a second time only in Deuteronomy 32:11: “Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, hovering over its young...” The meaning is not entirely clear. Sometimes it is also translated by flutter. This would mean that the eagle is only standing above its young fluttering its wings. On the other hand, if the eagle hovers above its young, it would fly in the air by rotating horizontally around its nest. In this case, the “wind of God hovering over the surface of the waters” would in fact accord very well with the spirally rotating disks to which this passage refers.
See, for instance, the Lamb of God according to John 1:29 and Revelation 5:6-14.
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and some dwarf planets.
By the way, this wind is the same referred to by Genesis 8:1, which allows us to calculate different dates of the evolution of the universe (see Flood calculus).
This light is furthermore in relation with the anachronism of Genesis 1:11-13 mentioning the creation of the trees before that of the Sun (Gen 1:14-16), which refers to celestial trees in the garden of Eden having no need of the Sun (see Celestial and terrestrial plants). This is why the celestial light is destined to illuminate these celestial trees and make them live.
See also Flood calculus for a timescale of the universe and hominization from the Bible data.
Thanks to the Hubble telescope orbiting the Earth, scientists could observe for the first time the birth of a star some years ago. At this stage of formation, a spiral disk is indeed clearly visible (The violence of creation, in Time International Magazine, June 19, 1995, pp. 50-51).
Fusion of the higher ranked elements beyond iron does not produce but needs energy. Hence they were not formed in stars but by supernovae and other processes.
This is why it is almost certain that the Earth received additional water through a collision with a big comet, which are aptly called dirty snowballs. Such a collision may also have provoked the formation of the Moon.
In psychology, this is called Rorschach test.
In a magnetic field, charged particles like electrons and protons are deviated through the Lorentz force making circular movements. At both poles of the Earth, these particles are nevertheless able to penetrate into the atmosphere, causing spectacular northern lights.
For instance, a cubic meter of air at 30°C weighs about one kilogram whereas it is only able to contain at the most 30 grams of water vapor.
They are called limitations in figure 7 in order to not confuse them with the restrictions of figure 5.
The Torah, the law, makes part of the Pentateuch, the Hebrew Bible, and was decreed by the ministry of the angels and a mediator (Gal 3:19). According to Jn 1:45; 5:45-47; Rom 10:5, this mediator was Moses.
Incidentally, we have here another confirmation that the Sun holds the image of God, since the first light comes from God and the second one essentially from the Sun.
This sole reference of the fourth day to the opening of the cloud layer is also consistent with the diminishing number of references of the previous creation days in that it has only one reference, namely to another aspect of the big rain (see also figure 7).
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