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 The Cross of Freedom

How We Got Here - The Early Universe

Science states that the beginning started with an infinitesimally small speck. The Bible states that God created all that would make up the heavens and the earth in the first instant of creation (Genesis 1:1). Biblical scholars centuries ago stated that at this instant the universe was a speck no larger than a mustard seed. The smallest thing imaginable in biblical times was a mustard seed, so this is used in the Bible to describe tinyness. The biblical scholars who first interpreted the Bible used this comparison as well.

Science says that the speck was infinitely small, infinitely dense, and infinitely hot.  This is the first of our examples of things that suggest orchestration over randomness - science does not know how this “speck” came into existence.  It has been compared to a super black hole, which leads us to the second thing that suggests orchestration over randomness.  Black holes by definition do not expand, so why did this one?  Science has no answer.

This “speck” contained not only all the makings for all the matter of the universe, but also all of time and space. All that was to be formed was still void and unformed (Genesis 1:2a).

Science says that at this point a one-time phenomenon occurred, starting the expansion of this “speck” – what science calls the “inflationary epoch”. One-time phenomena are almost never called on by physicists.  The bible refers to the “wind of God” or “Spirit of God” (Genesis 1:2b).  In Hebrew, this is the ruach elohim.  The action attributed to this “wind” is not the same word used to refer to moving or blowing air.  It is merahefet, a word that means "to hover above" and has a meaning closer to "spirit".  It is used only once in Genesis – it is, like science’s "inflationary epoch", a one-time occurrence.  The "inflationary epoch" involved a tiny speck of time, but in that time the distribution of energy and matter was fine-tuned to ensure that the universe could continue expanding.  Elementary particles had already begun to form.  If these particles were too "bunched up", so to speak, they may have fused into particles so massive as to cause the universe to collapse.  This "homogenization" of matter is the third phenomenon that suggests orchestration over randomness.

At this point, the universe consisted mainly of high energy photons and neutrinos and a tiny amount of matter (individual protons, neutrons and electrons).  Light and dark were mixed together in a primordial “soup”.  This "black fire" was so intense that, at first, none of these subatomic particles could "stick together" to make even whole atoms.  Each time a proton and a neutron bonded, they would be blasted apart by photons.  And, of course, free electrons could not bind in orbit around atomic nuclei to form elements.

A single proton is referred to as a nucleus of hydrogen, which is the lightest element.  The next lightest element is Helium, which is formed by the fusion of two protons and two neutrons.  Several nuclear reactions must occur to get from hydrogen to helium.  There were now two additional points in the expansion and cooling of our universe that needed to occur at specific times between this point and the formation of helium.

The first is the point at which neutrons can form stable bonds with protons.  This stability occurs at just under 109 degrees Kelvin.  Had this stability occurred at higher temperatures (in other words, earlier), the higher density at that time would have caused a rapid fusion of particles and, consequently, a rapid building of heavier nuclei.  This would have left the universe extremely short on Hydrogen.  No hydrogen means no stars, which in turn means no solar radiation, which ultimately means no life-giving energy.  Had this stability occurred at lower temperatures (in other words, later), there would be a lot of hydrogen, but not enough heavier elements to form anything else.

The second is the point at which electrons can bind in orbit around atomic nuclei.  This occurs at about 3000 degrees Kelvin.  Above this point, photons have enough energy to knock electrons out of their atomic orbits.  When the temperature fell below this, electrons could bind in orbit around atomic nuclei and heavier elements could begin to form.  Had the cooling of the universe to this point occurred earlier, there would be a lot of hydrogen but not enough helium to form heavier elements.  Had it happened later, there would be enough helium to form heavier elements, but not enough hydrogen to fuel stars.  The effect would be similar to that described earlier for these conditions.  It was when this event occurred that photons no longer possessed the energy to knock electrons from orbit around atomic nuclei.  The interaction of photons and electrons occurs within the narrow range of energies known as visible light.  It is this interaction that makes color and texture visible to our eyes.  While electrons and photons were battling each other, the light was being held within the primordial "soup" that was the universe at this time.  Once electrons were bound in atomic orbit, this allowed photons to escape the "soup" and the light was separated from the darkness (Genesis 1:3-4).

You can see that these two events are the inverse of each other related to their effect on the universe.  With the first event, earlier means little hydrogen and excessive heavy elements, later means plenty of hydrogen but a lack of heavy elements.  With the second event, it is just the opposite.  Both of these points had to occur not only at specific times related to each individual event, but also at specific times in relation to each other.  They are the fourth and fifth phenomena that suggest orchestration over randomness.

By the way, the two points just discussed also define the difference between a nuclear reaction and a chemical reaction.  A nuclear reaction involves a change in the nucleus of the atom, a chemical reaction involves a change in the number and arrangement of electrons orbiting the nucleus.  The immense amount of energy required to change the nucleus of an atom compared to that required to affect the electrons orbiting the nucleus is why nuclear reactions are a million times more powerful than chemical reactions.

Between these two points, gravity had to do its work.  How gravity is generated, and how it propagates across the immenseness of space, science cannot explain.  We know only that without it galaxies and star systems could not have formed.

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