Let There Be Light!
By Wendy Wippel
God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. Genesis 1:4. The Bible clearly states that it is divinely inspired. II Timothy 3:16 says that all scripture is God-breathed, II Peter 1:21 gives us a little more detail; it says that men spoke God’s words as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. The bible also clearly says that nature is also a message from God:
“The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech, night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.” – Psalm 19:1-3
“What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that mean are without excuse.” – Romans 1:19-21
So where do we get this idea that there is a vast gulf between science and the scriptures? The answer not a surprise: from a very vocal group of scientists and/or atheists with both an agenda and the ear of the popular media.
The truth, however, is that science actually overwhelmingly supports the accuracy of scripture, often in almost spooky detail! My favorite insight came to me in the Arizona desert on a family vacation. The kids were watching Spongebob on the overhead video; I was reading a book on physics . The moment, which involved Genesis 1:4, sent chills up my spine at the time, and it still does.
The creation account in Genesis has obviously suffered much at the hands of critics, becoming the primary battlefield for a more fundamental war between the children of light and the children of darkness. A mere 31 verses, it has been mocked by “men of reason” for centuries.
The Skeptic’s Annotated Bible is a great example. The entry for Genesis 1:4 in The Skeptic’s Bible says this: “God creates light and separates light from darkness, and day from night, on the first day. Yet he didn’t make the light producing objects (the sun and the stars) until the fourth day.”
Actually the commentator is betraying both an ignorance of both the Bible as well as the thoughts of modern science. Current physics proclaims proudly that light came into being before any of the stars. And what the Bible says in this passage is actually astoundingly in line with what scientists now believe!
According to modern science, the universe began with an incredibly dense and hot infusion of energy. (The fact that they now know the universe had a beginning that science can’t explain drove many physicists into churches for an answer, but that’s a subject for another column.)
Within this small bundle of energy, photons (small bundles of light) were being produced but were trapped within the seething dark energy plasma . The mixture cooled, and eventually subatomic particles (liked quarks) were formed, but that was still not matter. The mixture continued to cool, eventually reaching the (still unfathomably hot) temperature of 3000° K. Scientists call this the point of “decoupling”, and here’s why: at that temperature, the energy of the subatomic particles had decreased enough to form atoms. At 3000° K, the subatomic particles spontaneously formed atoms, releasing the trapped photons, which, being light, then fled away at the speed of light. (If you have forgotten this constant, they were traveling at a mere 186,000 miles per second.)
Did you catch that? Scientists call this the point of decoupling because light “decoupled” from the dark matter. In an instant, in other words (familiar ones), light literally separated from darkness! That biblical statement is not mythology, but a scientific statement, thousands of years old, which modern science has just caught up with!
The bottom line is that if, as the bible clearly asserts, science and the scriptures are both messages from God, they cannot contradict. And when each is honestly approached, they never will. Francis Bacon, the founder of the scientific method, himself understood this, saying “A little science estranges a man from God; a lot of science brings him back.” Maimonides, a famous Jewish theologian in medieval Spain, may have said it even better:”Science is the surest path to knowing God.”