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Thursday, 25 June 2015

Evolution - religion and science compared

In several of my blogs I have stated that I believe in both religion and science. In my April 10 blog, I even labelled them as the complementary, interconnected, and interdependent Yin and Yang. Today I want to go a step further by making one of the most controversial comparisons: the beginning.

Day 1: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” From a scientific point of view, our (pocket) universe (see June 11 blog) is some 12.8 billion years old and our planet Earth is some 4.6 billion years old. Apart from this timeline and the (undisputed) scientific perfection of our (pocket) universe, little is known about its beginning.

Day 2: And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” From a scientific point of view, this would be our atmosphere which creates a striking difference compared to other planets as it is one of the key elements of habitable planets. It allowed our water to stay on Earth rather than vaporising in the universe. The existence of immense amounts of water within our Earth has only recently been discovered. See my May 4 blog.

Day 3: And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground 'land' and the gathered waters he called 'seas'. Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.
The evolutionary timeline estimates that this would have taken place 475 million years ago.

Day 4: And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” In science this would "normally" have taken place at Day 1. However, I did find evidence that the youngest stars in the nearby visible Andromeda Galaxy are just a few hundred millions years old. Even our own Milky Way Galaxy has "young" stars (source).

Day 5: And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” The scientific evolutionary timeline estimates this at 500 million years ago for fish and 150 million years ago for birds.

Day 6: And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” The scientific evolutionary timeline estimates this at 200 million years ago for mammals, 60 million years ago for primates (e.g., apes), 2.5 million years ago for the earliest human and 250,000 years ago for the anatomically modern humans.

The description of our beginning in Genesis 1 - rather than its timeline - is not that much different from what evolution tells us today. Moreover, when you add the word "billion" or "million" to the word Day then you get some striking similarities. Religion and Science are like Yin and Yang.