This post is a little different from the others so far. Instead of a commentary on something nominally topical, I’m going to take an idea that occurred to me and run it up your collective flagpole.
Basically, I’ve become mildly concerned with the topic of the origin of everything. You know, the whole Creation thing – the Big One, from Genesis?
Anyway, the creation believers seem to fall into at least two very distinct camps. There’s the literalists, who hold that the Genesis story means what it says about a six-day creation. Then there’s the day-age creationists; they contend that the creation did take six days, but each ‘day’ lasted thousands, or – if pressed – millions of years. Obviously, they can’t both be right (though they can both be wrong)… unfortunately, they both insist, often vehemently, that they are right. The problem then becomes: can we square these diametrically opposed interpretations with the inconvenient reality, which is that the ‘creation’ happened some 13.7 thousand million – by which I mean that detestable transatlantic version of “billion” – years ago? And if so, how the flying fox can it be done?
Well, not being one to make creationists look like idiots (I’ll leave that joke hanging there), I’ve realised that all these competing versions of the same story can, in fact, be reconciled. I invite you to follow my train of thought. It’s actually not all that complicated.
First, a few known facts. The universe is almost 14 billion <spit> years old; get over it. The evidence is quite simply overwhelming and undeniable.
Also, assuming the translations are accurate, the Book of Genesis does, quite clearly, suggest six actual 24-hour days. Sorry, day-agers, but it’s there in black and white.
Next, the god of the Bible is held to be able to do anything it puts its mind to – even make a fully-functioning universe in a week. To suggest anything else would be to limit its all-powerfulness. Actually, such a god wouldn’t need six days, nor a day off for a rest, but there you go. I didn’t write it.
Finally, the universe is vastly more – well, vast than most creationist would feel comfortable with. They usually prefer something much smaller, to allow their pet god to run the whole show and still have time to pop in for a chat.
However, I maintain that all this can square up nice and neatly, with no fiddly little gaps for god to fall out. I shall now reveal how:
In the beginning, a quantum fluctuation that would later be named God but was really called Trevor, sparked into existence all by itself. We know it had some sentience, because almost immediately it said “Let there be light!” and then ducked as the Big Bang happened. That was Day One.
Feeling pleased with itself, Trevor hung about for a couple of ‘billion’ years (seriously, I really hate what’s happened to that word) – anyway, it sat and watched the universe grow and inflate until it was all cool enough for matter to start forming, at which point Trevor stepped in again and made all the stars, planets, galaxies etc; after which it spent a day making the Earth. Day Two.
You should now start to see where I’m going with this. Each “day” mentioned in Genesis, our god particle stepped in to make the next bit of the Earth as written, and then buggered off to spend the next few billion years building everything else. In this picture, each day is a 24-hour period; one day to the next is an age, and the whole process really does take the immensity of time we know from the evidence.
It also explains why Earth is in such an appalling state. It’s the equivalent of the scrap bit of wood a carpenter might tinker with while he’s waiting for the glue to dry on the wardrobe he’s making.