by Wendy Wippel – a molecular biologist with over 30 years experience in medical writing and medical research.
I’m currently writing a book about how God created our amazing universe, motivated by the fact that after ten years of serious study of both Genesis and modern science’s account I am regularly blown away by the fact that, like Sir Francis Bacon once said, “a little science estranges man from God; a lot of science brings him back”. Meaning scientists do their science thing, but ultimately always end up where Genesis has been patiently waiting for science to catch up.
It never fails. And ten years of being a scientist watching this happen over and over again, I have to tell you tell you one thing: It beats everything pop culture has to offer. And it never gets old.
And every time I think that all the mysteries are solved, God shows up again and amazes you even more with little details that science comes behind and confirms.
I am guessing that most of you, dear readers, have a basic awareness that the Big Bang theory, in a nutshell, says that in terms of a physical reality, nothing existed in the beginning. And then all of a sudden, something did.
The apostle John, in his take on things, basically says the same: “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. He was with God in the beginning.”
Nothing else there at that point in time.
(I always wondered exactly what it meant that the word was with God and was God. That kind of baffled me. But a half hour –finally (dunno what took me ten years) solved the issue. The Greek word Logos here, translated “Word” literally means “word”, but it is also used to mean all of God’s teaching, a decree, old testament prophecy, essentially all of God’s communication to man. Like doctrine, a teaching, a narrative.
We still use it in that sense when we say “Brother Bob is going to bring us a word tonight.” But Logos is a Greek word, and in Greek thought, they put a lot of emphasis on origins of things. If someone built a house, there had to have been first a house plan. And if there was “a word”—there had to have been a thought, and if there was a thought, there had to have been a thinker. And the thinker and his message were one message.
(So John 1:1 is an expression of the timeless existence of God, expressed in a way that a Greek audience would understand.)
Back to the topic at hand. Creation. Delving into the science a little more, the big bang theory essentially says that when that speck of something appeared, it basically exploded, itself inflating 10000,00,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times – that number being called for short an octillion).
And it inflated by that octillion times in the space of 1000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 seconds. That number, being called for short an undecillian.
Don’t ask me who made that up.
That time span (that took up only a minuscule fraction of a second), is known as the Inflationary Epoch.
Because that speck of creation that appeared in the beginning inflated until it became the entire universe.
If you’ve been reading your Bible and paying attention, you may already know that God actually beat science to that punch.
God Himself told us that He inflated the universe. He expanded it. He stretched it out.
“I have made the earth, and created man on it. I—My hands stretched out the heavens, And all their host I have commanded.” Isaiah 51:13
“Thus says God the Lord,Who created the heavens and stretched them out,who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, Who gives breath to the people on it, And spirit to those who walk on it.” Isaiah 42:25
“Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, And My right hand has stretched out the heavens; When I call to them, They stand up together.” Isaiah 48:13
“It is I who made the earth and created mankind on it. My own hands stretched out the heavens. I marshaled the starry hosts.” Isaiah 45:12
“My own hand laid the foundations of the earth and my right hand spread out the heavens. When I summon them they all stand up together.” Isaiah 48:13
“And you forget the Lord your Maker, Who stretched out the heavens And laid the foundations of the earth.” Isaiah 51:13
“He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion.” Jeremiah 10:12
“He has made the earth by His power; He has established the world by His wisdom, And stretched out the heavens by His understanding.” Jeremiah 51:15
The funny thing is that there is another set of verses on creation that share one small but important difference from the set above.
Really just a one letter substitution in every verse. I’ll let you try to spot the difference before I give it away.
“Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, who stretch out the heavens like a curtain.” Psalm 104:2
“It is He who sits above the circle of the earth [BTW- if the flat earth people in centuries past had read their Bible they would have know all along the earth is a sphere], And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.” Isaiah 40:22
“Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,And He who formed you from the womb:“I am the Lord, who makes all things,Who stretches out the heavens all alone, Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself.” Isaiah 44:24
Did you spot the difference?
BTW, This would be a good time to remind yourself that every jot and pen stroke in Scripture is important.
For I tell you truly, until heaven and earth pass away, not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from God’s Law until everything is accomplished. Matthew 5:18
Jesus said that.
Every nuance means something. So isn’t that interesting that science has offered up a reason for this with this one-letter difference. Science finally caught up.
Science now recognizes two separate stages of the universe being stretched.
The first was the inflationary epoch, discussed when we started this journey, in which the speck of reality God dropped into nothingness exploded, essentially going zero to all the building blocks of our universe in the space of one undecillianth of a second.
Literally way less than a blink of an eye.
The second is known now as expansion. Gravity—since it is an attractive force- should be slowing down the expansion of space. But in the late 1990s researchers observed that light from a supernova had traveled further than expected.
And the only possible explanation for that was that the universe was expanding faster than expected.
And the only possible explanation for the universe expanding faster than expected was that the rate of the expansion of the universe was accelerating.
Science finally caught up. Just like God said in the beginning: God stretched the heavens, and He still stretches them today.
I am just waiting to be with Him.
Any day now.