Was it Six Days or 14 Billion Years? Yes!
Here in the first few years of the 21st century, we now know that Einstein’s theory of relativity is true—at least to the extent that time and space are really one thing and they are relative. Time as we perceive it is relative to speed of motion. There are differences in the passage of time –it’s referred to as time dilation. Time, in a location with high velocity—high gravity-- will be slower than an area with low velocity—low gravity.
Dr. Gerald Schroeder in his book, The Science of God, explains how there are billions of places in the universe where a clock would tick so slowly that it would take billions of years for it to tick off six earth-days! The real challenge, he says, is to determine how to see if from the “big bang” outward to the first day of Adam could be equated scientifically to-- six twenty-four hour days. Dr. Schroeder starts with this:
We know three facts with complete certainty about the description of time in the bible: the biblical calendar is divided into two sections: the first six days of genesis and all the time thereafter. Those six days are not, and never have been, included in the calendar of the years which follow Adam.
Time in the biblical calendar after Adam must have been earth-based. Archaeology proves this. The radioactive dates of archaeological discoveries related to the post-Adam period, such as the early Bronze Age, the beginning of writing, the battle of Jericho, closely match the dates derived from the biblical calendar for those same events. Radioactive decay occurred here on earth in earth time. Since the dates are a good match, the corresponding dates of the bible must also use an earth-based calendar. There are no effects of biblical relativistic time dilation after Adam.
Most important of all, we know that there is no possible way for those first six days to have had an earth perspective. . As genesis 1: 2 states “and the earth was unformed….”
Of course it is all quite complicated mathematically. Dr. Schroeder makes a valiant and, I think successful, effort to explain the relativity of the measurement of time:
To measure the age of the universe, we look back in time. From our perspective using earth-based clocks running at a rate determined by the conditions of today’s earth, we measure a fourteen-billion-year age. And that is correct for our local view. The bible adopts this earthly perspective, but only for times after Adam. The bible’s clock before Adam is not a clock tied to any one location. It is a clock that looks forward in time from the creation, encompassing the entire universe, a universal clock tuned to the cosmic radiation at the moment when matter formed. That cosmic timepiece, as observed today, ticks a million million times more slowly than at its inception.
This cosmic clock records the passage of one minute while we on earth experience a million million minutes. The dinosaurs ruled the earth for 120 million years, as measured by our perception of time. Those clocks are set by the decay of radioactive nuclides, or atoms, here on earth and they are correct for our earthly system. But to know the cosmic time we must divide earth time by a million million. At this million-million-to-one ratio those 120 million earth years lasted a mere hour.
And you know where we’re going with this. When cosmic time is extrapolated all the way out from the big bang to the creation of Adam and “earth-time” it results in a six-day creation of the universe and earth-- based on “cosmic-time.” Gerald Schroeder’s theory, I might add, was framed using peer-reviewed accepted scientific formulas and methodologies. It may still be theoretical but it’s no less provable than the fourteen billion year old earth, or the theory of evolution, for that matter.
Genesis and science are both correct. When one asks if six days or fourteen billion years passed before the appearance of humankind, the correct answer is “yes.”
For Science God and You, Jim Gleeson