Created: September 9, 2015
April-June 2017 - ReWrite
The Creation Narrative of
Science and the Bible
III. Creation of Darkness
Creation Day One
1:4 And God Saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light
from the darkness.
St. Augustine was puzzled about the separate creation of
thought that light and darkness naturally came together: darkness being
the absence of light. His (understandable) error was that he did not
realize that light is an actual physical object.10
years after the Big Bang, when the background temperature of the
universe dropped to about 3,000°K,the
universe had cooled
down enough so that neutral atoms and molecules could form by capturing
and holding electrons. Before this
time, atoms could only form briefly before the electrons would be
stripped away by the energetic ambient heat. Before stable atoms could
form, the sky was always bright because
photons were constantly being absorbed and scattered from everywhere at
once. When stable atoms could form, light photons could travel long
distances without being scattered, and hence the sky could appear dark,
for the first time since the creation. There was darkness, separate
from the light—of course nobody but God was around at this
time to witness it.
This creation of darkness was not just an incidental action. It changed
the universe from one dominated by strong electrical forces to one
dominated by the much weaker force of gravity. The electrical forces
were neatly captured into neutral atoms of hydrogen and helium. Over
time the gravity caused matter to come together to form stars and
galaxies which formed the other elements by
nuclear fusion (see IV. below).
Augustine had several
perplexities. Ad. Lit.
"Why was the creation of
light so delayed until a day had passed and evening came?" (that is
evening and morning) … "And the separation of
light and darkness was done, surely, in the very act of the creation of
light. There could not have been any light
unless it was separated from darkness." 1.10.20: "As for the fact that
God called the light Day and the darkness Night, how much
time could this have taken? … No one certainly would be so foolish as
to think that, because God is great beyond all
beings, even a very few syllables uttered by His mouth could have
extended over the course of a whole day." For these
reasons Augustine leaned towards spiritualizing the light, connecting
the light with Angels, etc. All is explained once
the true meaning of Day One is understood!
Note that the darkness created
here is quite another thing from the primordial darkness of Genesis
1:2. It is a new kind of darkness, created as a result of the cooling
of the universe to the point where hydrogen and helium nuclei could
hold onto electrons to produce neutral atoms.
So now we have a universe -- pretty useless at this point. The CNS
says what happens next. There are many excellent books that
discuss the next steps in the CNS.
and maintained by Dr. David C. Bossard, who
is solely responsible for its contents.
Any comments or suggestions are welcome. Please email: Dr. David C. Bossard.