Another great way to think of this is the relativity of time caused by immense gravity in the form of Black Holes. The closer you get to a black hole, time does not slow down for you, but an outside sees you falling for ever. Literally. Therefore, if one were to orbit around a black hole and then go back to earth, he might be a lot younger than the people who stayed on Earth. It is comforting to know that God is not bound by time, because he is its Creator, and therefore with the black hole analogy, one can more understand “A day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.” Luckily, we can be assured that God does not spend all his time in orbit around black holes. He doesn’t need to, since he has absolute power over everything.
I am concerned about YEC and those that continue to press this idea in the face of scientific evidence to the contrary. I wonder how many they are turning away from God rather than bringing them toward God. YECs claim that it is the scientists that are turning them away from God, and so many seek to send their children to home school for this reason. Perhaps both are wrong.
Indeed this concept of how God measures time should be embraced by YEC and simply say yes time is relative, and we are misleading people with our hard view a 6 day creation. Don’t condemn scientists the way that the Catholic church did Galileo.
Some suggest God is not bound by time, but indeed time exists and God exists within it. The trinity can explain how the Father exists in all time and controls by His will, the Son with knowledge and truth sees the will of the Father and the Holy Spirit implements the will of the Father with the knowledge and the truth of the Son. And this is all from scripture.
Can’t YECs just give it up and accept this. Can’t scientists also? I hope so. I pray for this. Then both can bring people to God by showing them a plausible solution consistent with the bible and science, rather than pushing them away.
I have this link bookmarked, from a physicist that deals with the days in Genesis and how it matches with the age of the universe. Thought it might be worth posting here, as it seems relevant: https://sixdayscience.com/six-days-2/
When trying to understand Creation, we should not interpret the text with philosophy. The biblical authors were not philosophers. They could not even imagine the existence of time. They never once mention that God created time. They never mention time at all. They used change markers, seen in nature, to record when. The Biblical prophets could not imagine an invisible time continuum. Time does not exist either for God or man.
Yet, we confirm the biblical creation in the visible history of the universe. Probably several trillion galaxies exist scattered in all directions at many ranges. We can see past the near one to the creation era. Not a shred of evidence exists for time. All we see is change. In fact, we see the very changes the Bible mentions in the creation text. Elohim continues (imperfect verb) to command the lights in the heavens to become spreading things (Hebrew noun raqiya). The spreading raqiya are to shine on the Earth and serve as markers for days and years. Indeed, we can see how galaxies grew from tiny globs, streams of stars globs emerging and spreading out, often into local growth spirals. The atomic clocks and the orbits accelerate together.
In the original languages, the Bible never mentions time. Ancient people could not imagine it. They could not measure it. The Bible refers to many timing EVENTS. Change and time (science) are opposite worldviews.
Since we observe the creation exactly as stated in the text.
Since scientists have filled the universe up with 99% magical things (like space time, invisible matter, vacuums that stretch light) etc.
We can be sure that the Bible will vanquish Western science, for the Creators great glory. Change and science are opposite worldviews.
jpm - as far as the photons are concerened (as I understand it) they’re here more or less instantly. Not sure how that advances the discussion, but it does remind us that time is not a constant even within creation.
Sometimes you have to whet a person’s appetite to get them to click on a link…
Your link to the powerpoint presentation is important!!
It is a brilliant presentation on how to logically see the first 6 days of God in a physically realistic way … and best of all, it will drive the YEC’s crazy…
Below is a sampling of the presentation’s logic and conclusions !!! Worth doing a Save-As onto your computers!!!
This should be a part of everyone’s “thinking cap equipment” who hopes to make the connection between the 6 Days of Creation … and how the reality of SpaceTime might look to humanity vs. how it looks to the Divine…
This is false. Would you please stop saying it?
Yes, time is not a constant, as general relativity explains.
No, photons are not here more or less instantly. In the frame of reference of the solar system, photons require about 8 minutes to travel from the sun to the earth. And they require many hours to travel between the earth and the “New Horizons” spacecraft.
Chris - I was referring to the frame of reference of the photon, which presumably is as relevant to God as our physical frame.
According to my science-fiction training, the faster a spaceship travels towards the velocity of light, the faster its clocks run relative to earth. Or that was the basis of Heinlein’s “Time for the Stars”. I seem to remember that were it possible for an object with that mass to reach the speed of light, elapsed time for the astronauts would be instantaneous (impossible, of course, as their mass would also increase). No such problems for photons. Of course, my thesis depends on photons wearing watches, or else God telling the time for them.
Did I misunderstand relativity?
Hope all is going well for you across the pond.
Bear in mind that I’m not a trained physicist. But here’s my understanding:
As a spaceship accelerates, its clocks run slower than the clocks on the earth.
According to relativity, a photon travels at the velocity of c in all frames of reference. There is no such thing as a frame of reference in which it arrives instantaneously. The photon itself does not have a frame of reference, according to relativity.
Maybe someone trained in physics like @glipsnort could lend a hand here.
Grace and peace,
It’s fine over here - a day on Lyme Regis beach with grandchildren (the sandy bit, not the fossily bit).
Your reply took 9 minutes to get here, English time, so you must be further way than the sun. I guess our problem is unlikely to affect us much as we’re unlikely to get to know any photons enough to discuss their lifestyle, them not having a frame of reference and all.
However, if you’re right, Heinlein was wrong as I distinctly remember the earthside telepathic twin growing old before his shipside brother. Dang, why did I read all that Sci-Fi when I should have been doing my physics homework?
Schroeder’s theory is quite interesting. However, upon reflection, it does not seem to hold water.
Schroeder points out that the perceived flow of time changes as the rate of expansion of the fabric of space-time (i.e., the universe) increases. This is true; however, it means this depiction of time flows is exactly backwards.
In other words, from the perspective of the cosmic observer of Genesis, time would become slower compared to the earth’s frame of reference as we move forward through history. This is because cosmic expansion is accelerating, not slowing. (Excluding for the cosmic inflation period, which lasted for a tiny fraction of the very first second after the Big Bang.)
However, Schroeder’s graph depicts the cosmic observer’s day periods becoming shorter, not longer, as history proceeds. His goal is to make it appear that the period of a day declines logarithmically until we reach the current frame of reference, which supposedly starts with the creation of Adam. But as I mentioned in the previous paragraph, those days should be getting longer and longer, culminating in an enormous discontinuity at the Adam boundary.
Not being a Ph.D. in physics, I might be wrong. But it looks to me like Schroeder got things mixed up.
I will close with an extensive quote from Mark Perakh, who served as professor of statistical mechanics at Cal State-Fullerton.The whole article is an interesting read.
Schroeder considers the example of a light signal which carries information about the explosion of a supernova that occurred 170 thousand years ago (measured in the earth’s time). Since the supernova (1978A) is located 170 thousand light years from the earth, the light signal took exactly that long to reach the earth. Since, though, the light signal moves with the speed of light, the flow of time in the frame of reference attached to the signal “stopped.” If there existed an observer “living” in the frame of reference of the signal, (which is impossible as no physical body can move with the speed of light) for “him” the explosion of the supernova and the arrival of the signal on Earth would have happened simultaneously.
Schroeder’s explanation entails a serious flaw. A frame of reference which can be attached to photons simply does not exist. If it existed, the photons would be at rest in such a system. However, photons cannot be at rest. According to the special theory of relativity, photons always move with the same speed (in vacuum) in every frame of reference. If a frame of reference wherein photons are at rest existed, time would stop in such a frame. Since, though, no such frames of reference are possible, Schroeder’s concept is meaningless.
Of course, in accordance with his agenda, Schroeder tries to prove the analogy between the described alleged “paradox” of the theory of relativity and the concept of God being “outside time.” The concept of God being “outside time” belongs to the realm of faith and has nothing in common with the non-existing effect of “time stopping” in systems moving with the speed of light. Schroeder’s attempt, inadvertently invoking the image of God running with speed of light past stars and planets in order to satisfy the conditions of the theory of relativity, can only discredit Schroeder’s approach, and, with it, the concepts of faith themselves.
A better way to harmonize Scripture and science is to understand the message of Scripture (is it really a science textbook?) and the limits of science (does it have any ability to describe God’s perspective?).
P.S. @hipfan - perhaps you have some thoughts on this?
Heinlein is great for many a day on the beach. I think he got it right, but your description might be a bit muddied. The clocks on the fast-moving spaceship run slower with respect to the earth’s frame of reference than the clocks on the earth. Therefore, with respect to the earth’s frame of reference, the space-traveler will have experienced less time than his earth-bound twin, and so he will be younger. Relatively.
It takes a couple days on the beach to figure these things out.
Those things are tough to conceptualize. I marvel to see a galaxy 10 billion light years away, and know it no longer exists in its present form. In the case of the spacecraft, if something happened to it, we would not know about it for 8 hours, but it seems that it still happened in our time frame, not 8 hours in the future. I need more time on the beach, and have that on my schedule.
Is there a bit of special pleading going on here? It looks as if we want to interpret “days” from God’s point of view, but the appearance of the Sun on Day 4 from the point of view of somebody living on earth. I don’t think we should allow both. And I don’t think the appearance of photosynthetic algae correlates with fruit-trees from any point of view.
It seems to me (away from relativity and back to concordance) that the existence of light before the sun in Genesis is seldom given its obvious, geocentric, understanding: that the daytime sky is phenomenologically blue and luminescent. It’s not intuitive that its blueness depends on a sight source: I even had to explain scattering to a bright guy of my own age on Thursday, who’d been afraid to ask why the sky is blue for years.
In Genesis, the role of the sun is as a light, rather than just a light-source, whose role (in the is as a ruler, timekeeper, sign giver and so on of the day, as the moon is of the night. At the same time (assuming the correctness of Walton’s temple-inauguration view) the lights of day 4 are akin to the lampstand in the temple - which was of spiritual significance, and not the only light-source of the temple as it had windows and open doors.
The idea that the sky shines accords with the later (but pre-philosophical) Greek understanding of the matter: the upper sky was a diffuse and luminous (and immaterial) medium, the aether. The very aetiology of the word comes from “light”.
So I suggest that not only is Chris right to point us away from attempting scientific concordance, but the text itself has strong indications of being intended, at least as far as the physical world is concerned, phenomenologically and spiritually, not materialistically.
Quite right - slow clocks (compared to us) mean less time elapsed - hence my limiting case of clocks stopping altogether at the speed of light. But it’s unfair that photons should be deprived of a frame of reference through no fault of their own - what kind of loving God would do that…
“Friends, Romans, Countrymen… I have not come to praise Brutus… I have come to bury him!”
I find the varied forms of skepticism regarding the above scenario regarding Light to be quite a horrible jumble… but we know you are all Honorable men!
o Please set aside what the author of the scenario might try to prove with it. Let’s see what WE can do with it.
o We would not construe the scenario to turn Genesis into a science book. Because even the Day = Age interpretation doesn’t change the Biblical symbolic narrative into valid science.
o The physicist author notes that over time, the fabric of SpaceTime expands at a faster and faster rate.
o Time runs more slowly, from an outsider’s perspective, the faster one’s Galaxy is separating from its neighboring galaxies.
o If we compare how slowly clocks tick in our galaxy 6k years ago (from God’s external viewpoint) compared to how many ticks of the clock could be seen by God for the same interval of God’s time (God’s time… not so- called real time).
For those who doubt this, the Referee for “clock ticks” is the periodicity of a light wave, where the clock ticks every time a light wave cycles between trough and peak!
Physicists can, and do, insist that as SpaceTime expands… light waves stretch out more and more!
I do not interpret any of this to mean Genesis must be correct science. What this parable tells me is that the Yec’s are way off base in their understanding of cosmic time!
Some more about wavelengths and light !
The point being offered in the PowerPoint presentation above might be presented as a hypothetical picture:
Let’s suppose that God, at Creation, had a flashlight - - which he turned on only for a moment - - and that the light emitted was of a very fast frequency . . . say, about 7 billion wave peaks and 7 billion wave troughs in the space of 100 yards.
Then, after the Big Bang, the ray of light from God’s flashlight kept moving out further and further … while SpaceTime continued to expand at an ever increasing rate … the light’s frequency originally fitting into 100 yards, kept expanding and expanding. And as the light wave became more and more stretched out, time also became stretched out, in proportion to the distortion of SpaceTime.
So that by the time we have traveled from the time of the Big Bang to the beginning of recorded human history, the number of waves that could fit in human-measured SpaceTime would be just SIX (6) !!! … to coincide with the End of the Sixth “Day” that just ended.
Light waves become the “ticking tock” in this mental experiment; they become the measure of what is a Day. At the beginning of creation, the relative ticking of the clock, in God’s eyes, might be interpreted as ticking at a terrific rate, compared to the more relaxed and casual frequencies the light from God’s flashlight (switched on at Creation) becomes.
SIDE NOTES - -
What’s the longest wavelength possible???
If radio waves have wavelengths around 100 meters long and a frequency of about 10*7 Hz, are there any wavelengths in the EM Spectrum that are longer?
I’ve heard the Gravity Probe LISA is using interferometers spaced 5 million km apart to measure gravity, does this mean gravity waves are supposed to be about 5 million km long? If so why?
Also, if Wavelength = 300,000km/s / frequency and frequency = 1, then that means the Wavelength is 300,000km for f=1. So then, how could a gravity wave be longer than light speed’s frequency of 1? Did space’s expansion stretch the 300,000km into 5 million km? Please help me, I’d really like to know, thanks.
ANSWERS BY DERZ
There’s no theoretical upper limit on the wavelenght of the EM-spectrum. On the horizon of our visible universe there is a [virtual] barrier of “infinite redshift”. Also, EM-radiation radiated by a body falling into a black hole will also redshift into “infinity” at the event horizon.
No, the 5 million km is because gravity waves have such a small influence on the geometry of SpaceTime that the difference can’t be noticed with small distances. LISA can observe length differences in space at the atomic scale.
[Question #3 isn’t worded well] … I don’t follow… gravity waves are distortions of SpaceTime travelling at c, and the “frequency” (or the volume of distortion) of the gravity wave depends on what caused the gravity wave. A head-to-head collision by two black holes would cause noticeable gravity waves…