On Creation Day One, God said, “Let there be light.” Where did the light come from? Answer: it came from new matter, and it’s still here.
The Literal Creation Day Problem
Every creation day is a literal day, not much longer than a modern day. (At creation, a year was probably as long as the current year and had 360 days exactly.) The Hebrew word yowm (יום), from a root meaning “hot,” always means a regular day wherever it appears, or else day as opposed to night, or how far one can travel in a day. (A sabbath day’s journey is how far a man can walk.)
Evolution advocates sometimes inflate a creation day to millions, or hundreds of millions, of years. For an atheistic evolutionist, this poses no problem. As an atheist, he rejects the Bible out-of-hand. But a theistic evoloutionist must explain how and why God created plants (Creation Day Three) a full two “ages” before He created sea life and birds (Creation Day Five).
But creation advocates have a problem, too. God did not form the Sun and Moon until Creation Day Four. So when God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light (Genesis 1:3), where did it come from? How and when did God separate light from darkness? How did He set up a day-night cycle from the beginning, three days before He made the Sun?
Details to explain
To explain Creation Day One, one must explain these events, that took place in this order:
- God created light.
- God separated light from darkness.
- An evening and a morning occurred to mark the first day.
And furthermore, this day-night cycle continued for two more Creation Days until God made the Sun and Moon.
This sequence needs a concentrated, on-one-side light source, or lamp, to appear at Step 2 above and continue to Creation Day Four. The Sun is, of course, the permanent lamp that gives light to one side of the spinning earth today.
Most creation apologists (as distinct from creation investigators) ignore the problem. God did not need a single lamp on Creation Days One through Three, because God was that Lamp. (See four typical examples of such apologies.) Any evolution advocate will say at once, and correctly, that this begs the question. Why did God bother with the Sun, if He already had a good lamp (or was the Lamp) for the earth? Furthermore, this multiples miracles. If the Bible directly attests to a miracle, one may invoke it. If not, not.
Jonathan Sarfati of Creation Ministries International showed the problem that theistic evolutionists, or “progressive creationists,” have. They explain Creation Day Four by saying that a very dense overcast suddenly resolved on that day and revealed the Sun. Sarfati thus firmly holds that God created the Sun on Creation Day Four and not before then. But he still does not say what sort of lamp God made on Creation Day One.
An engineer speaks
Most will better recognize Dr. Walter T. Brown for his Hydroplate Theory of the Global Flood. But Brown did not ignore the early creation of the universe. He applied himself to that with the same ruthless economy of miracles that he uses in all his work.
To answer the question, “What was the light on Creation Day One?” he points to only one miracle: creation itself. Before light came to be, the earth came to be, formless and empty. In short, the earth, and all the other matter for all the other objects in the universe, came to be as just so many elementary particles. Most of these would be protons, neutrons, and electrons. As soon as these particles appeared, the four elementary forces known to physics would act on them at once:
- The strong force.
- The weak force.
The first two forces would pull protons and neutrons together to form atoms. Electro-magnetism would make the electrons fall into place. Finally, gravity would form a large object, i.e. the earth. And as the electrons fell into place, they would give off light. That was the light of Creation Day One, Step 1 above.
This light would at first shine everywhere, from every direction. The light from earth’s forming would go out in less than a second. But light would then fall on earth from the surrounding matter. But before the day was over, it would fall on the earth from further-distant matter. This matter would not distribute itself uniformly in the sky. Most of it would be on one side. And at this time, the light would be “hot,” because the universe had not yet stretched to its present extent. So for three days, the light shone more from one side than the other. This was the lamp that set up the day-night cycle on Creation Day One.
By Creation Day Three, the light would become uniform, because other matter on the “night” side would start reflecting it. But on or before Creation Day Four, the universe would stretch out. This would cool the ambient light in the universe to its present very cold level: 2.73 K, not much above absolute zero.
Where is this light?
This light persists today as the Cosmic Microwave Background, or CMB. Proponents of the Big Bang theory assumed that a large amount of background radiation stopped the first atoms from fusing together after they had produced hydrogen and helium. Without this very hot light, the universe would have far more heavier elements in it than it does today.
But the CMB presents another problem. Why is it so smooth? Brown reports that, as long as 25 years after discovering it, scientists could find no variation in its intensity from one part of the sky to another. The CMB does vary, but thus far only to one part in a hundred thousand. That’s not even enough variation to form a galaxy, let alone the local groups, clusters and superclusters that astronomers see today.
According to Brown, conventional observers know this. Ivars Peterson, in Science News (1990), said:
But this uniformity [in the CMB] is difficult to reconcile with the obvious clumping of matter into galaxies, clusters of galaxies and even larger features extending across vast regions of the universe, such as “walls” and “bubbles.”
M. Mitchell Waldrop, writing in Science (13 November 1987), said this even earlier:
The theorists know of no way such a monster [a massive accumulation of galaxies, called the Great Wall] could have condensed in the time available since the Big Bang, especially considering that the 2.7 K background radiation reveals a universe that was very homogeneous in the beginning.
Are “Great Walls of Galaxies” recent objects only? Not so. The Hubble Space Telescope has found large objects like these at the farthest reaches of the universe. By any understanding of cosmology, these farthest reaches are also the earliest parts. In short, God made the universe that way from the beginning. Yet the CMB is still uniform.
The first great lamp, that lit the earth from Creation Day One through Three, is not a separate miracle. It is a natural consequence of the miracle of creation itself. And that light very likely is still apparent, as a phenomenon that astronomers expected to see, but still does not look as they expected it to look.
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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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