If the Bible is right, and God made all of creation for humankind, how come the cosmos is so old and vast?
The Genesis creation story (and the rest of the Bible) seems to be very anthropocentric, in that the purpose of all creation is focussed on humankind filling the Earth, subduing it, and having dominion over every living thing that moves on the Earth (Genesis 1:26-28) – and then worshipping God for making it so.
But now we know that the universe is around 13.7 billion years old, the observable universe contains something like 10^22 to 10^24 stars, and the whole cosmos beyond our observational horizon may be 10^120 times bigger still (thanks to the inflationary epoch).
So if God made all of creation for we humans:
• why did it take so long before it was ready for us to inhabit?
• what purpose does the rest of the universe serve, other than lights in the Earth’s sky at night?
• why does the rest of the cosmos exist at all, if humanity cannot ever become aware of its contents?
- Anonymous9 years agoFavorite Answer
Dear, oh dear, oh dear – I was hoping that with so many Christian apologists willing to hold forth in Y!A’s Religion & Spirituality zone, some interesting and thorough answers would surely be forthcoming to this question. How very disappointing that the response was so lacklustre and insular. Or perhaps the staggeringly huge discrepancy between their God’s “revealed truth” in Biblical cosmology and the actual vast longevity and scale of the cosmos is just too hot a potato to deal with <glances sideways with googly eyes at Kathleen, Unquenchable, You may be right, and American Pride>.
On the age of the universe discrepancy, it turns out that the ‘Creation Study Committee’ of the Presbyterian Church in America spent TWO YEARS studying Genesis 1-3 and the meaning of “day” in that creation account. You can read their 92-page “Report of the Creation Study Committee”, dated 06 Jul 2000, on teh interwebs here:
Or there’s a one page synopsis of the four most widely held interpretations here:
The closest attempt to harmonise the Genesis six day story with cosmic realities seems to be the Analogical Days Interpretation: “These days are broadly consecutive. That is, they are successive periods of unspecified length. They may overlap in part, or they may reflect logical rather than chronological criteria for grouping certain events on certain days.” Hmmm... broadly, unspecified, may x 2 – those two years certainly weren’t wasted when it came to nailing down the specifics then! <rolls googly eyes skywards>
Even further out on a limb is Orthodox Jewish physicist Dr. Gerald Schroeder and his “Expanding Time” hypothesis, which seems to be expounded online in two different versions of an article about “The Age of the Universe”:
Here’s just a flavour:
“From the Bible’s perspective of time for those six evocative days of Genesis, the number of our years held compressed within each of those six 24 hour days of Genesis, starting with Day One, would be, in billions of years, respectively, 7.1; 3.6; 1.8; 0.89; 0.45; 0.23. [...] But there's more. The Bible goes out on a limb and tells you what happened on each of those days. Now you can take cosmology, paleontology, archaeology, and look at the history of the world, and see whether or not they match up day-by-day. And I'll give you a hint. They match up close enough to send chills up your spine. [...] The Talmud tells us that the soul of Adam was created at five and a half days after the beginning of the six days. That is a half day before the termination of the sixth day.”
OK, let’s try the math for the origin of humankind with Adam and Eve’s inception: Day Six is 0.23 billion years long, so a half day before the termination of the sixth day is 0.115 billion years, or 115 million years ago – which falls in the Lower Cretaceous, when your mammalian ancestors were nocturnal scurriers, for fear of being trampled or preyed upon by dinosaurs. Homo sapiens dates from 200,000 years ago, while the whole Homo genus dates from 2.5 million years ago – so at best Dr. Schroeder is only 112.5 million years wrong! Was that “close enough to send chills up your spine”?
If that’s the closest a trained physicist can get, perhaps it’s no surprise that the Analogical Days Interpretation keeps well away from specifics!
On the question of the divine purpose of the observable universe and cosmos, if the Christian apologists cannot be bothered to address the issue, the I’m afraid I cannot be bothered to do their task for them.
RAMENSource(s): My divine knowledge of everything there is to know
- KathrynLv 44 years ago
How do you know who hardened Pharaoh's heart? It might have been God himself. But if you ant to be sure, there have been several dozen translations of the Bible made in the last 60 years or so. You should consult various versions. Since you are consulting a Bible with "-eth" versions of verbs, it is most likely the King James translation, which was made just over 400 years ago. The language in that translation is in many places very beautiful, but it is 400 years old. The English language has moved on since then. Several common words in that translation have changed radically, such that they mean almost the opposite of their meaning 400 years ago, which can lead to puzzlement in some areas.
- Anonymous9 years ago
I don't know how you make a logical jump from subduing the "earth" to subduing the entire universe.
If I could still try to answer anyway; I would say because scripture teaches that a Christian's existence with God is everlasting so there will be lots of time to explore the cosmos in eternity.
- 6 years ago
God created everything mature. He made Adam and Eve into adults not babies, he made old trees with fruit not seedlings, and the earth with geography that would appear weathered and eroded as if it was millions of years old. So the universe had the appearance of age the instant it was created. Nothing is billions of years old scientists just interpret the artificial age of what God made that way.
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- Anonymous9 years ago
"But now we know that the universe is around 13.7 billion years old"
What you KNOW is what science via MAN has told you; hence you know nothing. You'd be better off going with God.
- SolarLv 69 years ago
get out there and stake your claim! The rest of the universe is yours for the taking. Go for it.
- Anonymous9 years ago
God created Time with everything else. Why should an eternal Being be in hurry?
- Anonymous9 years ago
No, you DON'T know the age of the Universe.
- You may be rightLv 79 years ago
He made angels first and lived with them all these years, then he made man just a few years ago.
- American PrideLv 69 years ago
How can you be sure it is?