Science in Christian Perspective

Letter to the Editor


Genesis and Time Warp

Kenell J. Touryan, ASA Fellow

P.O. Box 713
Indian Hills CO 80454

From: PSCF 47 (December 1995): 289.

I follow with interest the young earth/old earth debates presented in the ASA Journal. One of the most recent articles on this issue is by Robert C. Newman entitled "Scientific and Religious Aspects of the Origins Debate," Sept. 1995, Vol. 47, No. 3. To date, I have not noticed any of the authors using the argument put forth by the MIT physicist Gerald Schroeder (who is also a Hebrew scholar) in his recent paperback, Genesis and the Big Bang, Bantam Books, 1990 (paperback, 1992). In his second chapter entitled "Stretching Time," he presents Einstein's time dilation argument to match the literal six day creation record of Genesis 1, with the 15-billion year astrophysical estimates based on the Big Bang Theory. The key to Schroeder's discussion is that prior to Adam, there were no human beings to measure the passage of time. Until Adam appeared on day six, God alone was watching the clock, and in his frame of reference (close to the speed of light!) six 24-hour days are equivalent to 15-20 billion years from human-Adamic frame of reference, i.e.

deltaT (Divine) = deltat (human) [1-v2/c2]0.5

As soon as Adam was created, the earth, where man dwells, started to operate in the same space-time reference frame as its Creator. At this point, the chronology of the Bible and the flow of time on earth became one.

Time dilation has been proven many times over in experiments conducted to validate Einstein's General Theory of Relativity (eg., Hafale, J. and K. Keating, "Around the World Atomic Clocks; Predicted Relativistic Time Gains" Science 177 (1972) 166-168). A classic example, of course, is the time dilation experienced by mu-mesons traveling the earth's atmosphere at almost the speed of light. To the observer on the ground, 200 microseconds pass as the mu-meson traverses the 60 km. distance from the top of the atmosphere, where they are formed, to the earth's surface. To the mu-meson, however, traveling close to the speed of light, the elapses time is 4.5 seconds. For the same single event two totally different times elapse!

I would be curious to know if ASA members have considered the above option, so ingeniously presented by Schroeder in his book, as a means of reconciling the six 24-hour day creation story of Genesis 1 with the billion year estimates evidenced form astrophysical observation.