By Wendy Wippel
The first verse of Genesis makes it clear that the God of the Bible was the agent of our existence: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.”
Translation: Before God spoke it into existence, there wasn’t anything. No earth. Nothing nothing to make one with (void) and no light. Nothing.
The second condenses the methodology down to a sentence as well: And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
In the old days (like the 1980s,) the prevailing view was that the very basic material of our universe was particles, like protons and electrons. That conjecture was called Particle Theory.
In a previous column (see “Whole lot of Shakin’ Going On”) ,we discovered how and why the particle theory had been recently replaced.
By String Theory, in which the most basic fabric of the universe is believed to be comprised of one-dimensional strings. Which, admittedly, are fairly difficult to conceptualize. Particles we can at least imagine to be a really, really small microscopic marbles. Or something like that. But anything one dimensional is kind of beyond our imaginative powers.
With Apologies to the big Purple Dinosaur, we just really can’t imagine that.
But according to String Theory, these one -dimensional strings, when vibrated, create all of our fundamental particles. And the frequency of the sound produced by whatever string is being vibrated determines what particle comes into being.
(BTW, The number of particles now recognized by science has expanded a whole lot since we all went to school. Didn’t we just have protons, neutrons, and electrons? Trust me, those were the days.)
The creation of particles, however, by those vibrating strings, leads us right back to the first few verses of Genesis.
Specifically, Verse 2: And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
The only other place in the Scriptures where this verb is used is in Deuteronomy 32:11, in a description of a mother bird beating her wings over her offspring. Which gives us a pretty good word picture of what was going on. She was beating the air, causing a ton of vibration.
The ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus), in fact, makes non-vocal sounds by beating the air with its wings in such a way that the wings create a vacuum, and air rushing in to fill up that space creates a mini-sonic boom.
Which is interesting, as Genesis describes the The Holy Spirit hovering, fluttering, vibrating over the waters. And according to our best scientific understanding of the steps of creation as described in Genesis?
When the Holy Spirit fluttered (i.e. vibrated), He created particles. The undisputed building blocks of everything else we see.
As of 2017 there are two main kind of particles: fermions and bosons. Within those two grab bags are multiple varieties of each.
Most notably, for fermions, quarks and leptons, which make up the particles we studied in school. For bosons, consist of variety of bosons that contribute to fundamental forces like gravity.
A grand total of 17 particles are known to exist, and there are at least 23 that are still considered hypothetical.
(BTW: disclaimer: I am simplifying this tremendously in order make the general concepts clear).
(BTW: You’re welcome.)
What we have determined so far is that lots of lots of vibrating would mean lots of particles.
What happens, according to science, when lots of vibrations cause lots of particles?
Their words, not mine.
Quark soup being more officially known as a quark–gluon plasma (QGP).
So… What is a plasma? The short definition is, “a state of matter in quantum chromodynamics which is hypothesized to exist at extremely high temperature, density, or both temperature and density.”
In the words of the great Arte Johnson, (OK, dressed as a German soldier), ‘verrrry interesting.’
Because the beginnings of the universe, as defined both by science and the Bible was the creation of something small—at very high density and and at extremely high temperature that then expanded and cooled.
Current scientific theory is that the universe came into being as an incredibly dense, incredibly hot, impossibly small point of energy, and that this point of energy expanded and cooled to create everything non-living thing the universe contains.
And numerous verses tell us that God expanded, and –actually—that He still expands our universe
(Psalm 104:2, Isaiah 40:22)
In fact, according to science this tiny point of energy inflated by a factor of 100 septillion times, in the space of .000000000000000000000000000000000000 second.
What natural process could have accomplished that?!
Back to the Quark Gluon-plasma:
First of all, the long version of the definition of a plasma.
According to science a,“Plasma is an electrically neutral medium of unbound positive and negative particles. When a charged particle moves, it generates an electric current with magnetic fields; in plasma, the movement of a charged particle affects and is affected by the general field created by the movement of other charges. The particles moving also create electromagnetic “waves.”
This explanation ends with a very interesting comment:
“This governs collective behavior with many degrees of variation.”
Translation: These charged particles can combine in many many different ways. And each combination will define a different form of matter of a different force.
Next question: What at is a quark-gluon plasma?
According to science: A “quark-gluon plasma is a state of matter in quantum chromodynamics (QCD) which is hypothesized to exist at extremely high temperature, density, or both temperature and density”
Again, at the very earliest stages of the creation process.
This state is thought to consist of free quarks and gluons, which are several of the basic building blocks of matter. It is believed that up to a few milliseconds after the Big Bang, known as the Quark epoch, the Universe was in a quark–gluon plasma state.
Here’s the kicker: In June 2015, physicists managed to preproduce a quark-gluon plasma at the Large Hadron Collider by colliding protons with lead nuclei at high energy.
And what they found is that it behaves exactly like (Wait– for it) water. From a physics standpoint, it’s a fluid. According to the scientists, quark–gluon plasma behaves as a near-ideal Fermi liquid, with waves (quantum waves ) even going through it.
The word “water” is used in many metaphorical ways in Scripture. It is used to symbolize the troublesome times in life that can and do come to human beings, especially God’s children (Psalm 32:6; Psalms 69:1; Psalms 69:2; Psalms 69:14; Psalms 69:15; Isa 43:2; Lam 3:54).
In some contexts water stands for a man’s thoughts: “The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters.” Prov 20:5.
But God isn’t talking metaphors in Genesis. The particles created by the Holy Spirit charged particles, restless and turbulent would seem to form subatomic waters that provide the building blocks for the next stage that both science and scripture describe—the creation of light.
Frank Tipler, a eminent Physicist himself, has said recently that “From the perspective of the latest physical theories, Christianity is not a mere religion, but an experimentally testable science.”
One that always come out on top.
Waters, sometimes translated as transient things, is perfectly placed here. The scientists named it quark soup.—not quark fillet or quark salad—for a reason.
We’re just finally catching up.
To God be the Glory. Amen?