Catechism On Line

God reveals Himself and speaks to us

Book, Chapter 1

In this chapter we discuss the following topics: 
 

- Creation, or Evolution? Or perhaps... both?

    the universe - the Big Bang theory

    plants and animals, humans

- God reveals Himself, and speaks to us

- Faith

Two worlds

We know that our existence is composed of two different worlds: The Spiritual and the Physical. The Spiritual world is immortal. It is the world of our souls (spirits) which are immortal. We cross between these two worlds during our birth and upon our death. Our Physical world is the world we presently live in, and which we are well conscious about. This is the world which is governed by the laws of evolution. In this world, our bodies are subject to constant change, and natural degradation through ageing, and our physical existence here on Earth is limited by our natural lifespan. 

In the beginning there was ...

During the last 200 years or so, heated debates about our origin on Earth, and whether God does indeed exist were taking place. Relatively recently a renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking received a substantial media coverage thanks to his statement that "God did not create universe". And then he continued, "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists and why we exist. ....It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set universe going" (The Gazette, Sept. 3, 2010). 

In this discussion I will present scientific facts, and paradoxically, using evolution I will prove that God does indeed exist. God is a reality and we should learn to live with this reality and hopefully, according to His will.

The Bible discusses creation in simple terms. This is understandable when we realize who were the prophets through whom the scriptures were written. As far as we know, none were astrophysicists nor molecular biologists. For us the important facts about God's creation are written in the Bible. It is equally important that what is written in the Bible is neither contradicting our today's scientific knowledge nor our fossil records. Finally, we must remember; Bible does say that God created the world. It does not say how He did it! 

Creation of the Universe

The Big Bang theory was first proposed by Georges Lamaitre in 1927. According to this theory, 13.7 billion years ago the universe existed as a "singularity", a compact cluster of sub-atomic particles possessing an extremely high energy density, extremely high temperatures and pressures. This state existed indefinitely, and was marked with quark-gluon plasma and other elementary particles which under extremely high temperatures of about 109 oK (1oK = 273.15oC) were constantly in random motion, and particle-antiparticle pairs were constantly being created and destroyed in collisions. At some critical point, an unknown reaction now known as baryogenesis violated  the conservation of baryon number leading to excess of quarks and leptons over antiquarks and antileptons. This resulted in predominance of matter over antimatter and continuum of growth of matter in size, and falling temperatures. As thus created universe continued expanding and cooling, galaxies began to form and cluster. First stars began to form.

Our Earth formed 4.54 billion years ago as a part of solar system which was formed out of solar nebula - a disk shaped mass of dust and gas left over from the formation of the Sun. Initially molten, the outer layer of Earth cooled to form a solid crust. Outgasing and volcanic activity produced the primordial atmosphere, and condensing water vapor together with ice, and liquid water delivered by asteroids produced the oceans (see also Gen. 1:1-2). 

All planetary and stellar systems are born from the collapse of dense interstellar clouds. These clouds may be extremely large and possess angular momentum. If such a huge cloud collapses to the size of much smaller solar system, the slight rotation at the level of an interstellar cloud increases dramatically in all planets of the solar system  according the mathematical relationship:
 
L = mwr2

where   L = planetary angular momentum
            m = planetary mass
            w = angular velocity (radians/s)
             r = radius of the circular motion

The resulting planetary rotation around the Sun therefore resulted in a periodic illuminateion of all the planets in our solar system (see also Gen. 1:3-5). 

Current research points to a rapid initial growth of continental crust followed by a long-term steady continental area (see also Gen. 1:9-10). This was followed by a long lasting evolution of plant and animal life on land and in the oceans.


Creation (evolution) of the plant and animal life

Era Period Millions of years ago Major biological events Biblical record
Precambrian 4600 Primitive aquatic life only
Origin of photosynthetic organisms, bacteria, eukaryotic cells, and first invertebrates
Genesis 1:6-7
Paleozoic Cambrian 600 Primitive marine algae, invertebrates, trilobites Genesis 1:6-7
Ordovician 500 Marine algae,  invertebrates, first fishes Genesis 1:6-7
Silurian 435 First land appears
First vascular plants on land, expansion of fishes
Genesis 1:9,11
Devonian 400
Expansion of vascular plants, fishes dominate seas, first insects, amphibians move onto land
Genesis 1:20
Carboniferous 350 Land covered with forests of coal-forming plants, amphibians abundant, first reptiles Genesis 1:20
Permian 280 Forests of primitive vascular plants, expansion of reptiles Genesis 1:20
Mesozoic Triassic 230 Land dominated by gymnosperms, first dinosaurs appear Genesis 1:20
Jurasic 180 First angiosperms (flowering plants), age of dinosaurs, first birds and mammals Genesis 1:20,24
Cretaceous 130 Spread of angiosperms, decline of gymnosperms, extinction of dinosaurs Genesis 1:20,24
Cenozoic Tertiary 65 Dominance of the angiosperms, rise of modern mammals and insects, primates Genesis 1:20,24
Quaternary 2.5 Rise of herbaceous plants, hominid line leading to Homo erectus Genesis 1:26
200000 years ago Homo sapiens - mtDNA analysis confirms existence of Eve, a single woman ancestor of today's humanity Genesis 1:26; 2:7

The Bible also says how God created human beings "Then the Lord God took some soil from the ground and formed a man out of it ..." (Gen. 2:7). Obviously, God had to use quite a bit of symbolism and approximation in His biblical statements in order to convey His message to primitive society of 3500 years ago. Yet, the statements are remarkably accurate. 

We know the composition of bodies of all higher organisms. They are made of organs, tissues, and cells. The major constituent of all cells is water (80%), macromolecules and smaller molecules which in turn are all made of individual atoms (elements).

There are 14 elements which all living matter is made of : H, C, N, O, P, S, Na, Mg, Cl, K, Ca, Fe, Cu, Zn. All of these elements are freely available in the soil and water around us! Thus from dust we came, into dust we shall return!


As the evolution progressed, in late Quaternary the primate line was split into a hominid line of apes. The hominid line today is divided into two families. Family Pongidae (apes) and the Family Hominidae (humans) We know that evolution works through the process of natural selection and it occurs in all species gradually. In order for a different trait (a change) in an organism to be fixed in the population, an individual has to be subject to the selective pressure of its environment where the change would become somehow advantageous. This change must in turn translate into the individual's increased fitness (more children). We know that such a change had the same mathematical probability of occurring in all the related hominid apes under the given circumstances. It did occur only in one. Why were our closely related members of superfamily Hominoidea (apes such as Chimpanzees, Gorillas and Orantgutans) arrested in their original evolutionary state of development while their hominid cousin was permitted to evolve into a more evolutionarily advanced stage? 

GOD does exist - PROOF ONE
The observed evolutionary divergence of only one Hominid line from the rest of hominoid apes is without the involvement of Higher Power unlikely.

From mitochondrial DNA analysis of a representative human sample drawn from individuals around the world, we also know that all members of our today's society arose from one ancestral "grand mother" Eve just as the Bible tells us. This is another piece of evidence which confirms proof one.

GOD reveals Himself and speaks to us

The species Homo sapiens (the modern man) which arose as far back as some 200000 years ago had one peculiarity. It is genetically pre-disposed to search for GOD. In other words, we are "wired" to long for, and to look for our creator. Since to us, our GOD is an invisible spirit, it led our ancestors to make their own substitutes for GOD in form of statues made of wood and stone. They worshipped these gods instead. This practice we call "Idolatry". The men who perform these acts of idolatry are called "Pagans".

GOD does exist - PROOF TWO
There is NO WAY, that the behavioural trait of searching for GOD could have evolved in Homo sapiens solely through the natural selection, as there is no selective pressure existing in this physical world to instil such genetic trait. Thus GOD's involvement must have been present.

Needles to say, that GOD did not like the development of paganism. Throughout human history He revealed Himself to humanity through chosen people - "Prophets". Through prophets, He instructed us how to live so we make our lives as pleasant and as meaningful as possible, and we would recognize Him as the only GOD and creator. He also reveals Himself in our private lives through daily events and conversions (St. Augustine of Hippo, Tertullian, etc.)

One of  the most important prophets among Jewish people was Abraham. He was a righteous man who trusted GOD in all things, so GOD loved him and made a covenant (agreement) with him (Gen.15:1-21). Besides Abraham, throughout the human history there were many other prophets chosen by GOD. He has chosen them according to His need to fulfil His plan of salvation. Very often they were simple, non educated men, sometimes women and even children. As Abraham was an important prophet to Jews, so John the Baptist was important to Christians. However, far the most important revelation of GOD to humanity is through His only "son" - Jesus Christ. Jesus was "The word made flesh". He reveals to us the true nature of GOD and His kingdom through His teachings, parable telling, healings, forgiveness, but also through His warnings. In other words, in Jesus, GOD is making his plan of creation and salvation known through His Divine Revelation.

Faith

Once we experienced GOD in our lives, we received the gift of faith. It is a supernatural gift and power from GOD inviting us to know and believe in Him and our free response to that invitation. Our faith is composed of three parts which must follow in the right order to be effective. Faith is based on facts, the facts are followed by our believes, and our believes must be followed by our feelings. If we believed something without the facts we would be lost. On the other hand, basing our believes on our feelings could be quite dangerous. This was well demonstrated on September 11, 2001.



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