Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Let's Read The Bible Together!

"In the beginning . . ." Okay, let's stop right there.  In the beginning of what?  Humankind's brief existence?  Well, there were millions, billions of years of stellar, planetary, and biological evolution before that.  The beginning of all that evolution and development?  Well, the creator was apparently hanging around waiting to create the heavens and the earth before that, so when really is the very beginning?  I'd like to read a book someday about the creator's origin story.

Maybe it means before the beginning of time.  Physicists have tried to explain to me that a statement like "one second before the Big Bang" doesn't really make any sense, because before there was matter, there was no time.  They've tried to explain it to me mathematically, but the best that I can make of it goes back to Einstein's classic E = mc2.

Since "c" is the speed of light, and speed is time over distance (i.e., miles/hour), the equation can be rewritten as E = m(d/t)2, where d is distance and t is time, although in Einstein's formula a very specific distance and a very specific time.  

Now, if matter is not yet existent, then m (mass) = 0, and anything multiplied by zero is itself zero. Mathematically, zero is the ice nine of values, as anything it contacts becomes zero as well.  But anyway, if m = 0, then mc2, or m(d/t)2, is also zero.  And since E = mc2, then E = 0 and everything else in the equation, including d and t substituting for c, is also zero.

I can already hear the physicists and mathematicians groaning, anxious to point out all my errors, but I'm on a roll here so don't stop me.  My point is that if there is no matter (m = 0) there is no time (t = 0), so the statement "one second before the Big Bang," or "one year before the Big Bang" or "one million years before the Big Bang," doesn't make any sense.  Time is relative, and if there's nothing to relate to and no one to do the relating, time does not exist.

So, back to our reading, "In the beginning," may mean at the beginning of time, but since there was a creator actively going about the business of creation, then there was, in fact, time, even if it was eternal creator time.  So this isn't making any sense to me - it's too vague.  "In the beginning of WHAT?"  And why not "At the beginning," as that would make more grammatical sense?

Oh dear.  This isn't a very auspicious start, and we're got a really big book to read in front of us.      

No comments: