Light Before the Sun… Possible?

by John D. Morris, PhD.

According to Scripture, God “created the heaven and the earth” on Day One of Creation Week (Genesis 1:1). Initially all was dark, until God said, “Let there be light” (v. 3). Days Two and Three saw the oceans, firmament (or atmosphere), continents, and plants formed, as the earth was being progressively prepared for man’s habitation. It was on Day Four that God created the sun, moon, and stars, proclaiming, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven” (v. 14), one purpose of which was “to give light upon the earth” (v. 15).

This light was directional, coming from a particular source. The earth was evidently rotating underneath it, causing alternating periods of light and dark. “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night” (v. 5).

Skeptics have long ridiculed the science of biblical creation over this point. How could there be light bathing the earth before the sun was created? Obviously the Bible must be in error. But as always, this apparent error drives us to look more closely at the relevant data, both scientific and biblical.

Actually there are many sources of light, not just the sun. There are also many types of light, not just visible light. Short-wave light includes ultraviolet light, X-rays, and others. Long-wave light includes infrared light, radio waves, etc. Light is produced by friction, by fire, by numerous chemical reactions, as well as the nuclear reactions of atomic fission and fusion, which is what we think is occurring in the sun. God had at His fingertips many options to accomplish His purposes. Light does not automatically require the sun.

Furthermore, we have important data given by the Hebrew words used in the creation account. When God created “light” in verse 3, the word used connotes the presence of light only, while the word used for “lights” on Day Four is best translated “light bearers,” or permanent light sources. Their purpose was not only to give light, but to serve as timekeepers for man once he was created. According to the best stellar creation theory now available, light from stars created anywhere in the universe on Day Four would reach earth in two earth days, and would be useful to Adam on Day Six. (For more information, see Dr. Russell Humphrey’s cosmology articles on http://www.icr.org.)

Keep in mind that the Creation Week was a uniquely miraculous time, and we are justified in speculating that miraculous events may have been taking place outside of today’s natural laws. Especially when we realize that “God is light” (1 John 1:5) Himself, thus no outside natural source is necessarily mandated.

For semi-creationists who claim that the “days” of Genesis 1 must have been long periods of time, a more serious problem arises. Genesis plainly teaches that plants appeared on Day Three, and the sun on Day Four. But plants need sunlight for photosynthesis and cannot wait in darkness for millions of years. If the days were long epochs, as demanded by critics of a literal Creation Week, plants could not survive.

How much better and more satisfying it is to accept Scripture as it stands. It doesn’t need to be fully understood and explained by modern scientific thought; it just needs to be believed and obeyed.

* Dr. Morris is President of the Institute for Creation Research.

Morris, J. 2008. Sunlight Before the Sun. Acts & Facts. 37 (1): 14.

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via WBMoore @ http://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/where-did-light-come-from-before-the-sun-was-created/

Scientific and Medical Facts Found in the Bible (part 2)

read part 1 here

In this post we continue to explore scientific facts and principles mentioned in the Bible, validating it as a book containing truth.

The primary purpose of the Bible is not to reveal science but to reveal God and salvation, but nevertheless, biblical scientific revelations are a good addition to the armamentarium of the Christian apologist.

Twentieth century discoveries have solidified our understanding of space and matter in that we understand that all matter is composed of invisible molecules, which are made of smaller atoms, which contain subatomic particles, and many of those subatomic particles are not… particles at all, but quanta of energy orbiting other particles and so forth.

The point is that these atomic and sub atomic building blocks are invisible and detected only using special equipment in university research labs.  These invisible atoms make up everything that is visible.  And of course we know this from Hebrews 11:3 where it was clearly written 2000 years ago:

“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”

In Old Testament times when various sources declared that the Earth was fixed on the back of an elephant or a turtle, the book of Job revealed what science now affirms as true: that our planet is not supported by anything except the invisible gravitational pull of the sun.  It hangs free of physical support while orbiting the sun!  What a radical idea first presented thousands of years ago by Job!

Here is what Job 26:7 says about God:  “He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing.”

Starting in the last century, we came to understand the complex anatomy and physiology of blood.  As an anesthesiologist, one of my most important jobs is to monitor a patient’s circulating blood volume and blood loss during surgery, because the most important function of blood (and there are about a thousand such important functions…) is to facilitate cellular respiration.  It delivers oxygen to organs and tissues while removing carbon dioxide and other metabolic waste.

Without this critical function, in a matter of 2-3 minutes cells begin to die, with brain cells being the most sensitive to lack of oxygenated blood.  That is why in the Emergency Room we say “time is brain” in the case of a stroke.  We must restore blood flow to the affected tissue immediately for that tissue to have any chance of survival.

But wait… as recently as 150 years ago contemporary medicine was practicing “blood-letting” for nearly every illness, with many patients dying of severe anemia resulting from repeated intentional hemorrhage.

If they only would have read Leviticus 17:14 “For the life of every creature is its blood: its blood is its life,” this bleeding practice would not have persisted throughout the middle ages!

And so… for a long time in the case of “blood-letting” people were also perishing physically not only spiritually from not knowing the word of God… Hosea 4: 6  “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

to be continued…

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Scientific and Medical Facts Found in the Bible (part 1)

The Bible is not a science book but it contains TRUTH.  And yes, it contains stunningly precise guidelines and statements based on scientific facts which have been discovered only in the recent past.

In Genesis 17:12 God instituted circumcision on day 8 of life.  Why day 8?  Why not day one? It turns out a critical physiologic development happens between day 2 and day 9 of life with respect to platelet function and clotting.  A leading pediatric hematology book describes the phenomenon of platelet hyporesponsiveness which spontaneously resolves by day 8 of life! It takes about a week before these circulating cellular fragments called platelets develop their full “stickiness” and are able to help prevent hemorrhage during circumcision.  It is more than a mere coincidence that God would command Abraham to perform this ritual when platelet function reaches physiologic maturity.

Before humans understood the concept of a solar system with the Sun found at the center and the Earth rotating on its axis around the sun, Jesus knew this all too well.   The Earth’s 24 hr rotation and exposure to the Sun is responsible for the simultaneous presence of night and day on opposite sides of the planet.  Luke 17:34–36 tells us that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will occur while some are asleep at night and others are working at daytime activities in the field. This is a clear indication of a revolving earth, with day and night present on the planet at the same time!  People had no concept of such phenomenon back then!

The prophet Isaiah also receives revelation from God that the earth is round: “It is he that sits upon the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22). This is not a reference to a flat disk, as some skeptics maintain, but to a sphere. The Hebrew word used here  literally means circle or circuit.  Secular man discovered this many years later.  It was in fact Scriptures that inspired Christopher Columbus to sail around the world.

In a written statement from Columbus’ own hand, he testified that it was from reading the book of Isaiah that he discovered that the world is round.  He wrote (from his diary, in reference to his discovery of “the New World”): “It was the Lord who put it into my mind. I could feel His hand upon me …  there is no question the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit because He comforted me with rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy Scriptures.”

Medical and scientific principles first mentioned in the Bible are many, and we will explore them in upcoming posts.

to be continued…

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