Do not look for science in Genesis

Anthony Zimmerman
Editor, HPR
December 1, 2004
Reproduced with Permission

That God created life directly I too believe, with Clement Butel (June 2002). Matter cannot make a leap into life unless God creates the life that animates matter.

But if Butel wants us to believe that God created a finished cosmos in the course of a week in the manner described in Genesis 1, he must do some explaining.

None but God can create something out of nothing. Even so, all the works of God are orderly. And it is a delight for scientists to trace effects to their causes, thus following in the footsteps of God.

The new telescope Subaru on the Hawaiian Islands peered deeply into the sky and discovered light which had started from its source twelve billion and some years ago according to the astronomical calculations. These scientists are serious and do their work meticulously well. In fact, Professor Nariai who engineered the construction of Subaru is a Catholic, and his brother is Father John Nariai, a good friend of mine.

So there are problems with an assertion that God created the cosmos only recently, a biblical 6000 years ago. In fact, in the 1650's some bibles had a marginal note that, according to the learned Archbishop James Ussher of Armagh the world was created in six twenty-four hour days at 9 a.m. on 26 October, 4004 BC. Many scientists believed it then, following computations of dates in the Bible. Can we believe that today?

If the light from Creationists stretch our credibility. Do they insist that God created the sun and moon and stars in settled in their place at instant zero, and then allowed to function as we observe the functional cosmos today? That this take off of the cosmos was about the biblical time of 6000 years?

Then explain how light reaches us today from the stars. Some of them are 6,000 light years away, so the light they emitted 6,000 years ago truly reaches us today. So far that is credible. But there are other stars even more than 6,000 light years away. The Subaru Telescope is peering into an area of the sky whose galaxies are some twelve years away, by scientific measurement.

What follows from this? One alternative is that science is correct, what we see we can believe. The light has been traveling twelve billion years and reaches us only today. The other alternative? God created all the stars about 6,000 years ago, then made made many of the stars and galaxies appear to have started shining their lights long before they were created. Does that agree with our belief in God, who speaks and is Truth?

Another example: If God created the plants and trees before He created the sun, then they needed some other way to flourish than chlorophyll and energy from the sun. So the flora created on Day Three would switch to an alternative source of energy to that of the sun on Day Four.

And when God did create the sun, the earth would either have been stationary before that, or it would whirl into orbit after God created the sun as the center of earth's gravity. Ditto for the other planets. Or were the planets in orbit before God created the sun.

A scientist priest teaching us in the seminary told us that if God did not allow evolution to play a natural secondary causality in fashioning the cosmos, then God apparently deceives us. He makes science to be a credible pursuit of our minds, but Himself makes a lie of science. And that is absurd.

Well said is the dictum: The Bible shows us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go.