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Remarkable concordance between the 1st 2 days of Genesis ch. 1 and modern cosmology

Discussion in 'Creation & Theistic Evolution' started by Johannes.Ar, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. Johannes.Ar

    Johannes.Ar New Member

    I will show the remarkable concordance between the narrative of the first two days of creation in Genesis 1:1-8 and the current conceptual framework of inflationary relativistic cosmology. First of all, some background on the exegetical and scientific levels is required.

    On the exegetical level, I am not saying or implying that it was only after Aleksei Starobinsky proposed the theory of cosmic inflation in 1979 that the narrative of Gen 1:1-8 could be correctly understood. Clearly the "deep" teaching of that narrative was available to readers of all ages. What I am saying is that the conceptual framework of current cosmology allows an additional layer of interpretation of Gen 1:1-8 that, while much less important than the "deep" sense of that narrative, can provide some marginal apologetic value and, for believers, is quite aesthetically pleasing.

    On the scientific level, it is well known that there are no observable "imprints" or "signatures" of the time before the inflationary epoch. Therefore, from the theistic perspective that God created the universe out of nothing in some initial state, it is perfectly consistent with current science [0], and at the same time maximally parsimonious, to postulate that said initial state was at the start of the inflationary epoch, empty of matter and radiation and with only the "inflaton" scalar field that drives inflationary expansion. (Moreover, when compared with the non-scientific mythology of the multiverse undergoing eternal inflation, this view enjoys the advantage of Occam's razor.)

    With this background, let's examine the concordance between the biblical narrative, quoted verse by verse from the English Standard Version, and modern cosmology.

    Day 1

    1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. = Creation ex nihilo of both the spiritual (heavens) and physical (earth) universes.

    1:2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. = In the inflationary epoch there was neither matter (therefore the universe was void) nor electromagnetic radiation ("light", therefore the universe was dark), but only the "inflaton" scalar field, which was probably the Higgs field (not the Higgs boson).

    1:3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. = At the end of the inflationary epoch, the inflaton scalar field decayed in the particles of the Standard Model (event conventionally but, in my assumption of initial state, improperly called "reheating", because there was no previous "hot" state), including the photons of the electromagnetic radiation, i.e. "light". These particles were initially mixed in a homogeneous hot plasma, in which photons were constantly colliding with protons and electrons, so that the universe was opaque, a "luminous fog".

    1:4 And God separated the light from the darkness. = The ongoing expansion of the universe caused the gradual cooling of the hot plasma to the point in which protons could capture electrons to form electrically neutral hydrogen atoms (event conventionally but improperly called "recombination", because there was no previous state when protons and electrons were "combined"). Shortly after, photons ("light") decoupled from matter and started to travel freely (event called "photon decoupling", properly for once!). At that time, part of the initial electromagnetic radiation was still in the visible region of the spectrum, but the greatest part had alreadly redshifted into the infrared.

    1:5 And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. = As is well known, in the Israelite reckoning of time a day starts at sunset, so that each day is comprised of evening/night and then morning/daylight. This was strictly fulfilled in the "first day", when the universe started to exist in darkness ("there was evening"), and then "there was light" ("there was morning"). Duration of day 1: 400 thousand years (Ky). (For cosmology nerds: 378 +/- 1 Ky [1]).

    Day 2

    1:6-8 And God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. = This reflects the initial formation of structure, during which dark matter (a misnomer, as the correct name should be "transparent matter") started to collapse into the marginally denser regions by way of gravitational attraction, attracting in turn ordinary matter and giving origin to dark matter halos and then galaxies, leaving a void space ("expanse") between them.

    1:8 And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. = Since the ongoing expansion of the universe causes a continual increase of the wavelength of the "background" electromagnetic radiation (that which started to exist at "reheating" in day 1), very shortly after "photon decoupling" that electromagnetic radiation went completely into the infrared region of the spectrum, so that the universe went back into "darkness" (from the viewpoint of hypothetic human observers) for at least 400 million years (My) ("there was evening"). Then, after the formation of structure, the massive and short-lived first-generation stars (Population III, or extremely metal-poor stars) were formed and started to emit visible light ("there was morning"). Duration of day 2: 450 My.

    For cosmology nerds: day 2 ends at "reionization" [2]. Using Ho = 67.7, Om = 0.31 & zre = 10, all consistent with Planck 2015 [3], as input in Ned Wright's calculator [4], you get 472 My. Given the margins involved, 450 My is OK. If you don't know what I am talking about, congratulations, you're not a cosmology nerd.


    [0] Paul J. Steinhardt, "The Big Bang Cannot Be What We Thought It Was", 2016 01 01. (Added as an edition to the article.)


    "The failure to detect the B-mode pattern means that there is something very wrong with the picture of a violent Big Bang followed by a period of high energy-driven inflation. Whatever processes set the large-scale structure of the universe had a to be a gentler, lower-energy process than has been supposed.

    Simply lowering the energy concentration at which inflation starts, as some theorists have suggested, only leads to more trouble. This leaves more time after the Big Bang for the non-uniform distribution of matter and energy to drive the universe away from inflation. Starting inflation after the Big Bang and having enough inflation to smooth the universe becomes exponentially less likely as the energy concentration is lowered. The universe is more likely to emerge as too rough, too curved, too inhomogeneous compared to what we observe.

    Something more radical is called for. Perhaps an improved understanding of quantum gravity will enable us to understand how the Big Bang and inflation can be discarded in favor of gentler beginning."

    Which fits perfectly my postulate that the universe began to exist at rest at the start of the inflationary epoch, with no previous Big Bang. Whereby quantum gravity is not needed, Big Bang is discarded, and inflation kept.

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recombination_(cosmology)

    [2] Reionization - Wikipedia

    [3] http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/1502.01589

    [4] http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/CosmoCalc.html
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