Course: Searching for the Truth on Origins
The Origin of the Universe, Solar System & Planet Earth
The second session for this series is entitled, The Origin of the Universe: The Solar System and Planet Earth. As you can understand, with only forty-five minutes or so in a presentation we can only touch on these topics, but we want to look at some of the essentials in our search for the truth on origins.
As we mentioned before, everyone at one time or another has asked these basic questions. They are so important. No matter where I travel, in any part of the world, people are asking the same things and they want answers.
For example: How did it all begin? How did I get to be who I am? Am I merely the product of chance and time? Or is there a Creator who made all things? How can I know the truth about origins?
The goal for this series is to be able to examine the claims of evolution, the claims of creation, and to see which of these two views is the most credible. So in this presentation we will look at the subject of the origin of the universe, our solar system, and earth. But before we do, there are some other things that we need to look at to lay our foundation for this creation—evolution debate.
When it comes to the subject of origins, there are really two choices regarding our existence. We either exist because of chance and time or we exist because there is a Creator. Our goal will be to examine the facts about the subject of origins and to do it openly and honestly.
You see I have had the opportunity to be on both sides if this issue, as I mentioned in the introduction. I have taught biology as an evolutionist and now I am a Christian who is a creationist. But I am not here to dogmatically convince you that you have to believe in creation. I want to reason analytically, critically, and I want to present the facts, present the truth, and then let you decide.
The foundation for education should be based on the truth. And it is interesting to note that when new facts are discovered, we must be willing to consider these facts. Just because a theory has been established does not mean that it should last forever, particularly if new information is discovered that contradicts preconceived ideas. When we willingly choose to ignore facts and continue believing based on blind faith, we reject the search for the truth.
You see, the human mind functions somewhat like a computer. There are inputs that come to our minds from various sources. They come through our eyes, through what we see and through our ears, in what we hear. Inputs come through feeling, through tasting, and through smelling. Just as if we were to code data into a computer, so too our minds, from the moment we are born, are inputted with information. And it is very important, it is crucial in fact, that we program our minds with truth and not be deceived. And deception can easily happen.
What happens when we code our brains with faulty information? Well, let me give you an analogy of how easily that can happen. Let us say you are using a calculator and you are doing a simple calculation—two times four equals eight. Well of course all of us know that is the right answer. But what if your finger slipped slightly and rather than your finger coming upon the number four button, it slips and you touch the five. And the answer comes up in the monitor as ten. You see, you believe that you had inputted the calculator correctly but you did not.
And that is exactly what happens to the human mind. When we are taught information, we are told this is the truth, when in fact it is not true. And when it comes to the subject of a worldview regarding the topic of origins, we need to be very careful not to embrace everything that we are told just because someone says that it is fact. Remember that Paul said, "There are many things that are called science that are not science" (cf. 1 Timothy 6:20).
Now, speaking of science, it must be based on observation. Something that cannot be observed cannot be investigated by science. Secondly, observation must be repeatable—one-time events are beyond the realm of science. Thirdly, the observer must be careful not to exhibit a bias. Fourthly, repeated observations need to be done by more than one observer.
Now when it comes to the subject of origins (believe me), there are people on both sides who have strong biases. There are evolutionists who do not want to hear any information about creation. There are creationists who say, "I do not even want to hear about what evolutionists believe." What I would like to do in this series is to present what both sides believe, without being dogmatic, and let each person make their own decision.
Now with regards to this search for the truth on origins when looking at evolution and looking at creation, scientific discoveries require: observation, repeatable experimentation, and consistent, unbiased data. That is important.
But when it comes to this topic of origins, right away we have a problem. What is that? Well, how can a person go back into the distant, unobservable past and make observations? It cannot be done. So to claim that we can prove evolution or creation scientifically is not possible.
Secondly, as we said, just because a theory has been given scientific status does not mean that the theory is valid for eternity. And there are so many people today who believe that all of the worldly intellects believe in evolution. How could someone even consider challenging it? Again, remember that when new facts or information come to light that contradict old ideas or old theories, if those theories do not change, then they are no longer scientific. Science, in order to be science, must constantly undergo testing, and evaluation, and correction—based on the facts.
In our search for the truth on origins, we are going to be examining the evolution worldview—a natural process where chance, time, and no supernatural creator is necessary. We will compare this with the alternative model of creation, which is clearly a supernatural process. We cannot go back into the past and make observation, so all that we can do is look at the facts and the observable evidence as we see in the present. Then we can test the claims of evolution and the claims of creation.
So keep this chart in mind as we go through the next several presentations. We are going to look at what evolution teaches, but test it with the facts. We are going to look at what creation teaches and also test it with the facts.
The evolutionists insist that their worldview is based on fact, therefore it is scientific. And often they look to those who believe in creation and they say, "These are religious people." In fact they say, "They are very bigoted."
But on the other side of this issue, we have creationists who look upon those who believe in evolution and they say, "They are fools and idiots." I want to tell you something. Some of the most intelligent people that I know believe in evolution. And the question is, if evolution is not true and it can be demonstrated, why is it believed? I can tell you from personal experience that there is a blindness which occurs when people willingly choose not to look at the facts. Do not consider someone who believes in evolution as fool, but as someone who needs to understand and know the truth.
Now let us begin this topic for this session, The Origin of the Universe. There are two possibilities. Either it happened as a result of the Big Bang (an explosion), or the other alternative is a big God. In our first session we looked at this quote from Carl Sagan's book Cosmos, where he gives his opinion on how the universe came into being.
Ten or twenty billion years ago something happened. The Big Bang—the event that began our universe. Why it happened is the greatest mystery we know. That it happened is reasonably clear. All matter and energy now in the universe was concentrated at extremely high density, a kind of cosmic egg reminiscent of the Creation myths of many cultures. Perhaps a mathematical point with no dimensions at all. (Sagan, 246)
He is saying that in the distant, unobservable past (he is not sure when, maybe ten, maybe twenty billion years ago), a minute lump of matter—he says, "Well maybe no dimensions at all"—exploded. And as a result of that explosion in time, we have the universe.
Science Digest, page 36, May 1981, makes this statement:
To the astonishment of the layperson, scientists are pushing back the barriers of time to reconstruct the first billion, billion, billion, billionth of a second. Using a simple system of logic, we can now deduce in exact detail what happened during the first second of Creation. (Author, 36)
This statement is telling us what scientists are able to do, when science by definition says that this is impossible.
From Fast Forward Planet Earth, by Kathryn Senior, we read:
The universe began with a big bang. This is the same name given to the huge explosion that happened fifteen billion years ago. In a split second the universe expanded from almost nothing, a tiny dot smaller than a pin prick, into the vast expanse of space. The universe is still expanding. In billions of years since the big bang, galaxies, solar systems, planets, and moons have formed. (Senior, 6)
Notice these tremendous statements and assumptions. Has anyone ever observed an explosion that has produced order? The answer is no! Explosions bring chaos and disorder. Yet it is the foundation of the evolutionary worldview that in the beginning there was—not God, but an explosion. I cannot think of anything more opposite from the truth.
From Big Bang: The Story of the Universe, Heather Cooper and Nigel Henbest, make this statement:
In the beginning there was nothing. It was a nothing so profound it defies human comprehension. A long, long time ago, there was no matter and no radiation. More importantly, space did not exist. Time did not flow. Our story begins, once upon a time when there was no space and there was no time, from nothing a tiny speck of brilliant light appeared. It was almost infinitely hot. Inside this fireball was all of space. With the creation of space came the birth of time. The energy in the fireball was so concentrated that matter spontaneously started to appear: a distant ancestor of the matter that would later become the building blocks of stars, planets, and galaxies. The infant universe hit the ground running. As soon as the fireball appeared, it started expanding not into anything, but throughout, because the universe was and is everything everywhere. (Cooper and Henbest 8-10)
And if you are having difficulty understanding what they said, so am I. These are examples of statements regarding the origin of the universe which you can find in any high school textbook. And people are tested on whether or not they believe it.
Here is a book, The Search for Infinity: Solving the Mysteries of the Universe. And here again is the explanation of how the universe came into existence. We see these diagrams:
First seconds, 10-32 seconds, 10-11 seconds, 10-4 seconds. After a hundred seconds, after one thousand million years and fifteen thousand billion years—there it is, in a textbook. They claim that it happened as a result of matter exploding, plus time.
Well then, there is always the debate of when did it happen? Time Magazine, February 24, 2003, page 45, has an article saying there has been a lot of debate on when it happened, when the explosion occurred. But now they say they have discovered for sure the universe is 13.7 billion years old. And there was a 200 million year interval between the Big Bang and the appearance of the first stars. How is that possible to know?
But you see, people place their trust in people with credentials. But what if they are wrong? What if there was not an explosion which brought the universe into existence? What if there is a Creator who had a plan and a purpose?
They say that the cosmos, the galaxies, are all the result of a random explosion and billions of years of time. And that it all came from this minute lump of matter, smaller than a dime. Is it reasonable?
What about our solar system? Well that is important to us. Planet Earth is part of the solar system. Well, how did it come into existence? Here is a textbook, Formation of the Solar System: Hyperspace our Final Frontier and in it they tell us that after the explosion, this collapsing cloud of dust gets hot inside. As a star forms, matter settles into a disk around it. Matter in the disk begins to clump together. Rocks form around the star. Gravity becomes important because the lumps get bigger. Gravity pulls the large lumps into spherical shapes. Planets like Earth coalesce under the rocky material. There it is—all by chance! Is it reasonable? Is that how Earth came into existence?
Now I want to show you a short clip. We are going to show a few clips during this series. This first one is taken from the documentary called, A Question of Origins. Now we are going to hear some statements in this short clip regarding evidence that perhaps this did not happen by chance.
Many observations contradict the current theories on how the solar system evolved. The most popular theory holds that the solar system formed from an interstellar cloud of swirling gas and dust. If the sun, planets, and moons evolved from the same material they should have many similarities; yet each planet is unique. Since about 98% of the sun is hydrogen or helium, Earth, Mars, Venus and Mercury should have similar compositions. Instead, less than 1% of these planets are hydrogen or helium.
If the solar system evolved, all planets should spin in the same direction; but Pluto and Venus rotate backwards, while Uranus is tipped on its side and rotates like a wheel. All moons in our solar system should orbit their planets in the same sense, but at least six have backward orbits. Furthermore, Neptune, Saturn, and Jupiter have moons orbiting in both directions.
Growing a planet by many small collisions will produce an almost non-spinning planet since the impacts will be largely self-canceling; yet, all planets spin—some much more than others.
Growing a large, distant, gaseous planet such as Jupiter or Saturn, poses an insurmountable hurdle for evolutionists because gases dissipate rapidly in the vacuum of outer space. And even young stars, similar to our sun, do not have enough orbiting hydrogen or helium to form even one Jupiter.
Scientists have no answer as to why four planets have rings or why each planet is so unique. Theories on the moon’s origin are also completely inadequate. The moon’s elements are too dissimilar to those of earth’s and its orbital plane and circular orbit offer strong evidence that the moon was created in its present orbit.
There is no evidence that a planetary system could have come about by mechanical means. However, the more that scientists began to look at the amazing universe that they inhabited, they began to realize that there were certain factors that were simply very, very fine-tuned for the existence of man, of molecules, of organic life. And the more they looked, they more they realized that we are, in effect, on really quite a knife edge and there are many, many indications that this universe has been very specially designed and man is at the very center of it.
I had the privilege of being involved in this documentary video, actually as the host. It was produced by Eternal Productions. Some of the other participants are people you probably know—Dr. John Morris, Dr. Duane Gish, and Pastor Chuck Smith are involved, as well as Chuck Missler and others. And the video has now been made into DVD format and it is in eight different languages, including Russian and Spanish. So this may be something you would be interested in.
Now back to our subject, the moon. How did it come into existence? Is it reasonable to say that the moon is simply the product of chance?
Well, I think it can be demonstrated that the moon was designed. You see at certain times in Earth's history when the moon passes between the sun and the earth, this phenomenon occurs. It is called an annular eclipse. And as you can see, it looks like the moon is exactly the same size as the sun. It appears to be the same diameter, but of course, we know that that is not the case. If you measure the diameter of the sun and the diameter of the moon (which can be done), the diameter of the sun is actually 400 times greater than the diameter of the moon. But as we said, it looks like the same diameter during the eclipse. So, why is that? How can that be explained?
Well obviously it is the positioning of the moon and its distance from the earth. When we measure the distance of the sun from the earth and the moon from the earth, we find that it is exactly 400 times further away. The sun is 400 times wider in diameter. And it is 400 times farther away to produce this effect. Is it by chance?
You see, the Bible says that God created the sun, the moon, the earth. And He created the heavenly objects for signs, for seasons. I would suggest that this is a sign that it happened as a result of design.
Now planet Earth, is very important to us. How did it come into being, by chance or by design?
For a moment I want to take you on sort of a mind journey. Let us say that somehow you were transported to the moon and when you were awakened you see planet Earth off in the distance. And now you are being transported back toward the planet. You have never been there before and as you approach planet Earth, you see some of the amazing scenes—the clouds, and beneath them, the oceans, and islands with beautiful waters. In the waters you see all kinds of life, cellular life and multi-cellular life. From there you are transported to other parts of the planet; to the North or to the South Pole, and you see life. It is all over the planet! You see magnificent mountains and lakes and streams and various kinds of vegetation, subtropical and tropical, tremendous redwoods, and ferns. The entire planet is populated with life in various places. There are not only plants, but insects—incredible, complex creatures. And you ask yourself, How did this come into existence? There are many different kinds of life, with a variety of cats and dogs. Think of this. How can it be explained?
You see, these are legitimate questions. Are we willing to say that it just happened? How did all of this come into existence? Was it chance or was it by design? You see, these are questions that need to be answered.
Juri van den Heever, in the book, Prehistoric Life: Questions and Answers, gives his opinion:
Earth is our home planet. It is also our life support system in space. So it is important to know how the earth began, as well as where life on our planet came from and how it developed. In our solar system nine planets circle around the sun like spaceships. The earth is the third planet from the sun and the fifth largest. It is unique amongst the planets because of its special atmosphere and the presence of large amounts of water. Both of these are very important for life to continue. (van den Heever, 6)
Well, I would agree. This is an amazing spaceship, but how did it come into existence? Juri van den Heever, asks that question:
How was the earth formed? From an enormous cloud of gas and dust, in fact our whole solar system was formed this way. It started as a spinning cloud, then began to shrink under the influence of gravity. This increased the temperature and pressure of the cloud. The circular movement shaped the cloud into a flat disk spinning around the center where the sun was forming and as the particles around the disk bumped into each other, more and more of them stuck together to form planets. (van den Heever, 6)
That is Mr. van den Heever's opinion. But again, we must ask the question: Is it scientific?
You see, for there to be life on planet Earth, we would have to have the right atmosphere. We do. The planet would have to be the right distance from the sun so that we can have the right temperature. And we do. The right gravitational field, the presence of water, an ozone layer which protects the earth from harmful short-wave radiation—all of these things and many others have to be in place or there is no possibility that life could exist. Did that happen by chance? Again, each one of us has to make the choice.
I want to show you a short clip taken from the same documentary film, A Question of Origins. This time Chuck Missler is explaining why he believes it could not have been by chance.
Voice of Chuck Missler:
If we try to model the universe (as we know it), as we try to build a mathematical model that reflects what we know, we quickly discover there are thousands of parameters and ratios that if you adjust them even a little bit, life is impossible. We quickly discover that if the earth was a little closer, or little further from the sun, it's either too warm or too cold. Or if it turns at a little different speed, if the masses are a little different, it would hold too much or too little atmosphere. As you start trying to model this, you quickly discover that all the parameters involve an incredibly delicate balance. And so, they call this the Anthropic Principle, meaning it's as if everything we know was skillfully designed or balanced for man.
The earth is at a very specific distance from the sun. And they have calculated that if we were only 5% closer the water would boil up from the oceans. If we were just 1% further away, then the oceans would freeze. And that gives you just some idea on what sort of knife edge we are on.
The surface gravity of the earth is exactly where it needs to be. More, you have too much atmospheric pressure. Less, you don't have an atmosphere. The thickness of the crust is critical. The rotation period of the earth—the gravitational interaction between the moon, strangely enough, has to be—as all of these contribute to what makes life possible. And so, they call that the Anthropic Principle, which collectively is an overwhelming argument for a Designer. Scientists don't like to acknowledge that because a Designer implies accountability.
So this evening we have started our introduction to this series called, Searching for the Truth on Origins. In our first presentation we looked at Creation from the biblical account as being foundational to the faith. We looked at this agenda to advance an alternative. In this session here, we just looked briefly at the subject of the origin of the universe, the origin of our solar system, the origin of our planet, and asked some basic questions. There are only two possibilities: either all of this came into existence by a process of chance, or it came into existence because of a Creator, by design.
There are two worldviews. Evolution is based on man's beliefs—perhaps we should better say man's speculation. Creation (as we read from the Scriptures) is based on Scripture, which is God's revelation. Paul states in Romans 1 that every one of us has a choice. We can either believe that all of this came into existence as a result of an explosion of matter plus time or we can acknowledge there is a Creator who had a plan and a purpose and who brought everything into existence by design. And what does the evidence point toward? Again, that is a choice that each one of us can make.
In Psalm 19:1 we read,
The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork. (KJV)
Psalm 148:1-4 says,
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights! Praise Him all His angels; Praise Him all His hosts! Praise Him sun and moon; Praise Him all you stars of light! Praise Him you heavens of heavens, and the waters that are above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for He commanded and they were created. (NKJV)
The Scriptures tell us that all things exist (including ourselves) because there is a Creator and the heavens declare it. When we see the cosmos, the various galaxies, and our solar system, we have a choice to make—was it chance or a Creator? I think the evidence points toward a Creator.
In Isaiah 44:24 we read,
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer and He who formed you from the womb. (NKJV)
See, the Bible says that you exist because He (meaning the Creator) made you. He says, "I am the Lord who makes all things, who stretches out the heavens all alone, who spreads abroad the earth by Myself" (cf. Isaiah 44:24). It is recorded in His Word.
Now I often think of this scenario. Imagine if you were an artist and you had painted a beautiful painting that had taken you several months. Now your painting is on display in an art gallery. You are standing there as people walk by, and someone looks at it and says, "It happened by chance." How would you feel?
What about the Creator who made everything, who made us when we willingly choose to ignore His existence and say we are merely the product of chance? I think it is very important to come to the right conclusion.
In our next session, we will begin by looking at the origin of life and the progression of life. Then we will talk about the complexity of life and we will examine the claims of evolution, but we will look at the facts based on biology. Then we are going to look at the area of the history of the life. We will look at the claims of geology and compare these claims with the fossils and the strata.
Then we are going to be looking to the Scriptures to see what God has said regarding what has happened in Earth's history. Then we will look at the subject of the origin of man and what evolution claims regarding from where we have come. We will examine these ideas that we have evolved through time from brute, apelike creatures. Then we will turn to examine the facts that have been left to us by the ancients through archaeology. All of this information we are going to present will show you the factual information on the screen—something that even a child can understand.
As we continue through this series, we will discuss: What if we do not believe? What if we refuse to believe in creation and we promote evolution? What difference does it make? And again, we will look to the Scriptures which tell us exactly what we can expect.
Then we will move on and look at the impact of evolution on society, both morally and spiritually. How it is preparing us for the New Age, which the Bible says is part of the end times scenario.
Finally as we complete the series we are going to be looking at how to apply this information so that we can share our faith with others, pointing people to the reality that there is a Creator.
Before we conclude, I want to give you one example of what we call "creation evangelism." Remember early in our presentation I shared with you that Paul witnessed to the crowds on Mars Hill, pointing people to the Creator. One of our goals and objectives in our ministry is to take the message of creation to people in other parts of the world that have not yet heard but want to hear. That is why we have spent so much time in the former Soviet Union and there are some folks here tonight that I have worked with in Russia. They will relate to me and understand some of the things that I am going to say. I started going to Russia for the first time in 1990 before the Soviet Union collapsed, and I discovered the incredible openness there was to the message of creation.
A few years ago, I was speaking at a conference in Vancouver when a gentleman came up to me and asked some questions. I could tell by his voice that he spoke Russian, so I asked him if he was from Russia. He said, "No, I am from the Ukraine." So I said to him, "I would like to give you a gift. It is a book that we have had translated and printed in Russian, as a gift from our ministry."
I gave him a copy of our book called, The Evidence for Creation, which I will show you later. He took the book. The next night when I returned, he was the first person at the door and he was excited and he wanted to tell me what had happened. He said, "You will not believe what happened last night when I went home." He had given the book to his son and when his son saw the book, he said, "Dad, that is the book! That is the book on creation that I used when I was in Odessa." And then he told me this story.
His son, Alex, was in grade ten. His teacher was teaching biology—evolution. After the class he went up to the teacher and he said, "You know, I do not believe in evolution." (You see, their family had become Christians.) The teacher laughed and asked, "Alex, you do not believe in evolution? What do you believe?" He said, "I believe in creation." She said, "Oh, Alex, that is a myth! But I tell you what, if you can find some evidence for your belief, let me know. I will let you teach a class."
So Alex went home and he called a friend. The friend said, "Oh, I know where you can find a book in our library. It is called, The Evidence for Creation." You see these books were first printed in the early 1990s for just a few pennies a book, and they were distributed in many places. Alex read the book and he got some information and some facts.
He went to the teacher and he said, "I'd like to present a class," and she let him present the class. After the class was over she said, "Well that is interesting, Alex. Could you present a second class?" He presented a second class, and after the second class she said, "Alex, I would like the other teachers of the school to come, plus my husband who is a biology professor, and you can do a third class." Alex presented a third class, and after that, his father told me that many of the students and some of the teachers started attending their church and they became Christians, because they came to the realization there is evidence for a Creator.
That is why I am here doing these presentations. I am not here just to present to you some interesting facts that support creation or counter evolution, but to build up faith for those who believe. I am here to provide information or tools for you to share with others in various ways.
There is a Creator. There has been a creation and there is ample evidence. We will continue in our series to examine evolution and creation in our search for truth on origins.
- Sagan, Carl. Cosmos. New York: Balantine Books. 1985. pg. 246
- Science Digest. May, 1981. pg. 36
- Senior, Kathryn. Fast Forward; Planet Earth. Canbury, Conn.: Grolier. 2000. pg. 6
- Cooper, Heather and Nigel Henbest. Big Bang: The Story of the Universe. New York: DK Publishers. 1997. pgs. 8-10
- A Question of Origins. DVD. Fairport, New York: Eternal Productions. 2004
- van den Heever, Juri. Prehistoric Life: Questions and Answers. February 1996. pg. 6
- Fraser, Gordon, el al. The Search for Infinity: Solving the Mysteries of the Universe. New York: Facts on File. 1995.