Cosmological Thoughts: Theology Meets Astronomy
Blair March, Cosmology Editor
Genesis starts in the King James version in a simple way: In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. The next verses read: The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Yet when one ponders these statements scientifically, there are questions. As a scientist and engineer, I learned to make assumptions about things that are unknown, and to ask better questions. It is what we do. So I see the second verse in Genesis and question what is meant by ‘water’ if the Earth was void – there was nothing, not even water. What could God have moved upon then, if it was not water? Is ‘waters’ a metaphor? One of the things that I imagine early man knew about was the night sky. The sight of the stars from Earth without the light pollution must have been fantastic. I also know that translations are never clean and that space is deep – perhaps ‘the face of the deep’ and the ‘face of the waters’ allude to space?
Knowledge is gained and lost every day by humans, especially when it comes to the vastness of space. In his extensive notes on Cosmology, Doctor Robert Enzmann states the world might have come from dust particles. Everything emits dust molecules. Stuff falls apart and rejoins the chaotic state, the science of chemistry teaches us this. What if the ‘Word of God’ alludes to a ‘sea of light and particles’? Let’s make that assumption.
There are many things unseen and unfelt by us creatures. If you look out at the heavens and study them you see the miracles of worlds being shaped and formed. It is still a mystery to us, but we keep looking. We experiment to find the answers. We try something and fail and then we try something else that fails, and we keep trying till we hit upon something that works, or at least looks promising. Then we keep moving forward testing theories checking the results and proving things correct or not as we go. It is a long, laborious, and often lonely road. Sometimes we find answers. Sometimes we must accept that the mystery cannot be understood.
I am not questioning the word of God, I am questioning the translation of one language to another. When one person speaks to another and the other person tells a friend in a different language does it come off with the same meaning? Heck, most people have trouble getting their thoughts out in their native language. Even what two people observe with their eyes is not the same when explained in words. Transference of intelligent information is an art.
In his cosmology, Enzmann attempts to reunite religion and science, which is the natural order of things. God speaking “Let there be light” matches nicely with what science has theorized about quarks – molecules with electric charges and sound together.