Message 1 of 8 (363046)
11-10-2006 9:59 AM
It seems that our Someone thinks that it’s about time to set the record straight. For many thousands of years, before the written word became a reality, this Someone has been talked about. Even early man knew that a Someone had to be there. How else could he explain the perfect order and also the temporary chaos of his world. Even he did not believe that all of this, that he was witness to with all his senses, could be accidental. All of this had to be under some conscious control. He suspected a super entity that he called God. Of course, he described this God in the terms that he understood. Actually, he did not really believe that a single Entity could be responsible for all of this. He even gave these numerous entities names that he understood.. Names that related to the parts of nature that each supposed entity controlled. Each isolated group of early man had their own names for their super entity or entities.
Early man was not stupid. If he believed in one or more super identities, then he supposed that this or these entities needed to be somehow controlled. How like poor man to even suppose that he could somehow control such a super being. Appeased is a more delicate word. Since they didn’t know what a super entity was like, they assumed, that he could be appeased in the same manner that a high ranking mortal man would like to be appeased. Gifts, adoration, and downright abject submission were tried. Since, sometimes these seemed to work, they kept using these appeasements. High ranking mortal men also had rules that they expected to be unquestionably obeyed by their subjects. It was therefor assumed that their super entity (ies) also had their own rules. Since they had no way of knowing what these rules were, special men were assigned the duty of communicating with the super entity (ies). Of course, the rules they came up with were not from the entity at all but since, he said they were, they were accepted as the entity’s commandments.
When the written word came into being, the names and responsibilities of these super entities were now written down for all to know. The only well known record that has come down to us from the old days was written down by a theocratic group of people. These writings were considered sacred and were therefor protected. Most of these people (at least the males) were literate because they were expected to take turns reading what they called the sacred scriptures. These scriptures were eventually compiled into what we call the Old Testament of the Bible. In a non-theocratic culture these writing would have been called a history. These documents did show that this select group of people had managed to reduce the number of super entities or deities into a single deity.
The written word did not improve much on the oral traditions of describing this Deity in terms other than human. The Deity was also required to be appeased and, the implied rules or commandments had to be obeyed, similar to the previous oral tradition. The people selected by this Deity to write the various books were all too human. They were given the assignment but, were not told exactly what to write. They had no other means of describing this Deity except with a language that was originated to define the everyday life of normal everyday human beings. They also had all their acquired knowledge to select from, including old oral inputs and tales they had encountered from far away lands such as Sumeria .
Actually, they were no better off than I am. For example: The present first book of the Old Testament was compiled by a redactor “R”, an Aaronid priest who selected and joined the writings of four individuals. There most likely were many more than four writings he could have chosen from. The oldest writing was from a writer “J” who called God “Yahweh” and is dated at between the 10th century and 722 BC. The next oldest was from a writer “E” who called God “Elohim” and is dated as probably between 922 and 722 BC. The next writer was from the Priestly class “P” and is dated as before 587 BC. The final selected author “D” lived well after “J” and “E”. They were all very human even though they were ‘selected’ by that Someone who knew exactly what they were going to do.
I knew you were going to ask how I came by this information or how do I know that the information is correct. The answer is that I’ve read about this research into the origin of Old Testament in many places. These are not guesses but the actual theoretical result of extensive research by individuals and organizations that I consider above reproach. Not to worry. The pope, Pius XII, in 1943, not only okayed but, urged academics, to do this type of research in his encyclical “Divino Afflante Spiritu”.
BEFORE THE BEGINNING
You may have noticed that I’ve been very careful not to use personal pronouns in my opening statement. The reason for that is that most personal pronouns in any language are used in reference to humans. Language was never corrected to try to describe a being like God. This being that we call God is and never was human but, all references to this being, God, are made as if He was. See, I just said He. It’s almost impossible to get away from those all too human pronouns.
Here, we have to start with some basic assumptions. Since I was brought up Catholic, these basic assumptions are those that I was taught. They may also apply to all Christian faiths and to many other faiths. Also, I am not by any means acquainted with theology. I was always a little fearful of anything smacking of philosophy and, I still am. Any reference to theology herein is thanks to inputs from a friendly padre and his references to appropriate sources.
The most basic assumption we have to start with is our understanding of what we think that our God is. We were taught that our God is a self-existent spirit that is infinite in every way and is also eternal. To quote the Catholic Encyclopedia: “The actual infinity of God in every respect is Catholic dogma. From outside Himself, God cannot be limited, because, being uncreated, He is absolutely independent of external causes and conditions. Limitation would be chance; the more so because we can maintain not only that any given finite degree of
perfection may be surpassed, but also, in a positive way, that an infinite being is possible. Moreover, if God were finite, the existence of other gods, His equals or even His superiors in perfection would be possible, and it would be mere chance if they did not exist.”
Our God is, always was, is and, always will be a spirit or should we say pure energy that exists in a domain that we have a very hard time understanding. We call this domain heaven. God not only exists in there, God permeates this domain. Since God is infinite, He and this domain are one. This domain is unending and encompasses all.
Before the beginning, God’s domain of pure energy did not include matter, space or, time. All there was, was God. God was everything and everywhere (everywhere is a term that implies space but, I can’t think of any other term to use). Since there isn’t, or wasn’t, or never will be any time in this realm, there, it is always now.
Somehow, I have no idea why, God must have decided that existence as the only being was not for him. So, God took parts of his essence and created identities for these parts. These identities or beings were still pure energy and inhabited that pure energy domain, heaven, with God. These beings were not gods but were parts of God that he was sharing with them. Their wills were God’s will. They could not possibly therefor offend God. They would, when needed, be his messengers or angels as we call them.
Oh yes, I’m familiar with most of the material written about angels. Because something is written, does not mean that it is meant to be true no matter who wrote it. Remember that all of those individuals that were chosen by God to write for Him were human. These humans, were like you and myself, they used whatever means that they had or could access to convey their teachings. Were the parables used by Jesus about real people of events? No, they were little stories. The individuals in these parables told by Jesus or written down by one of God’s selected ghost writers were never meant to be taken as real people or real events. These parables were made up by the individual using whatever he had experienced, heard or read. So, the angel or angels that you’ve read or been told about may not be one of those special messengers that God created. They may just be fictional characters, made up to put some point or other across so that God’s assignment as they saw it was accomplished.
I am unable to conceive the possibility that our God, Who can’t help knowing the past, present and future, could have created a spirit such as Lucifer that would eventually turn on him and become the devil or Satan as we think we know him. Since, our God could not possibly have created Lucifer, this Lucifer had to have been an imported mythical being of an eastern faith that seemed to have been used in a parable and then, for some reason adopted as an actual entity. This development is probably a result of the influence of Persian dualistic philosophy, with its opposing powers of good (Ormazd) and evil (Ahriman). This reasoning of mine seems to be completely against everything I’ve ever learned but, it seems to me to be what had to have happened. But, don’t worry, we have our own evils which are closer to home than you think.
Right now I wish to be able to use some of our human pronouns to make this assignment a little easier. When I use the pronouns He or Him or Who to refer to God, that pronoun has no gender connotation whatsoever. I could have used She or It and, that pronoun would have served the same purpose. My background has conditioned me to be more familiar with the male pronouns, so, please do not take offense if I use them to make it easier for myself.
Now we are ready or, I think we are ready, to have the beginning.
THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING
At the start of this beginning, I want to stress that God and His angels are spirits consisting of pure energy that exist in a realm where it’s always now. There is no space and no time associated with pure energy. It exists everywhere and always because there is no time or space. Space and time are just terms in an equation that defines matter. God had not yet written that equation.
Now that we are all of a mind, we can speak about the beginning. Since there is no time, there is no first day or second day etc. So, I can’t start the beginning in the way that the parable in Genesis does. Let’s just say that God, in his infinite wisdom, decided to share a little bit more of Himself. He took that little bit more of himself and created the energy representation of all the basic particles of matter, the quarks, and their interrelated cohesive energy. He also wrote all the equations that defines their existence and interrelationships. He then also wrote the equations for all of the next generation of particles that would be produced from the quarks and their interrelationships. He does this for each generation of matter that would result from the interactions of the previous generation until all the matter to be produced in His proposed material universe is accounted for. He also wrote the equations for those forces associated with matter; gravity, magnetism, and the weak and strong nuclear forces. Then he released this energy which he had taken from himself and sent it out to propagate the material universe. Then, maybe a BIG BANG or a SOFT BANG occurred and the beginning had started. Now all of a sudden, energy was converted to the matter of the quarks which at the same time resulted in the beginning of the space and the time that God had put in the equation to permit the existence of matter. Time had just now started to click off it’s seconds. Time started about 20 billions years ago if we go with the BIG BANG. With the SOFT BANG, time could have started 100 billion years ago.
I’m very much afraid that at this point, our good padre labeled this writing as Pantheism. My usage of part of God’s essence did the trick for him. From what I think I understand of Pantheism (after much reading, since I had no idea what it meant), it’s either the worship of all gods or, the belief that God is not a personality but, that all forces, manifestations, etc. of the universe are God. By using a little bit of His essence to produce what we call the material universe, we have to admit that the material universe is part of God but, it does not imply that God is the material universe.
Another point made by the good padre is that God created the universe “ex nihilo” or “from nothing”. I cannot find this statement anywhere’s in Genesis. What I do find is the word ‘created’ which seems to be a translation of the Hebrew word bara”. “Bara” seems to be used to refer to work done be God and never by man. Because of this and other points, inferences are made implying that “creation” was from nothing. The word “infinite” is very exclusive. It implies that everything is included. There is no room of something called “nothing”. When we apply the word “infinite” to our God we are excluding the possibility of anything existing outside God. By the way, are we to think that we exist somewhere’s outside of God’s infinite domain? Why am I always hearing in church, on EWTN and, everywhere that God is everywhere. They say that God is in me, in you and in everything. Would we call all these good people and Catholics, Pantheists? We can’t have both, an infinite God and a material universe that is not part of Him. We have to choose one or the other. For me, I’ll stay with our infinite God. Everything fits so well that way. Not too long from now, I’ll know the answer.
We had described the beginning of the beginning. But, the beginning just doesn’t stop there. The quarks combined with their interactive forces to produce next generation of particles of matter such as the proton, neutron, electrons, etc. If, we presume that a BIG BANG occurred, these particles then combined to form the nucleii and then the atoms of some of the lighter elements; hydrogen (deuterium isotope), helium, lithium, beryllium and Boron. The elements then gathered together into immense clouds of gasses. These clouds contracted and condensed into stars. These stars were gathered into large groups that we call galaxies. All these actions were controlled by those forces associated with matter; the strong and weak nuclear forces, magnetism and gravity. The original stellar systems had few if any planets associated with them. Heavier elements are necessary to provide the seeds around which planets can form. Most of the first stars were red giants with short life spans some of which ended their life span in tremendous explosions called novas or supernovas. During the life span of these stars the nuclear furnaces in their interiors cooked up the heavier elements up to iron. When one of these stars ended it’s life span with a nova or supernova, the immense temperatures generates permitted the production of the elements heavier than iron. These massive explosions seeded the nearby gas clouds with these heavier elements. Less massive stars had quieter and longer life spans and finally cooled into super dense dwarf stars that never released their heavier elements.
A SOFT BANG could also be assumed to have occurred. In the BIG BANG we presumed that matter started to be transformed at a pin point source. This has been presumed by scientist because all galaxies seem to be accelerated away form a central point due to a detected red shift in the spectrum of the more distant galaxies. In a SOFT BANG, a pin point source is not assumed because the energy release by God came from an infinite source. In that case, matter would start to be transformed from energy at all point in the physical universe. Also, this transformation would still be going on because the source is also timeless or eternal. This would mean that the beginning is not over but will continue forever. Then, time would continue to flow (if flow is what time does) and space would continue to expand to make room for the newly transformed energy to matter. This would entirely make sense in an equation–if you change anything on one side of an equation, the other side has to change to compensate. Isn’t time still flowing? Are we still detecting red shifts in far away galaxies which seem to indicate that space is expanding?
Stellar systems that condensed from these seeded clouds could result in a solar system with planets like ours. Our solar system started to coalesce many billions years ago out of a gas cloud that had been seeded by remnants of numerous such novas and supernovas. The resultant proto-solar system contained all of the elements that were necessary to result in the solar system we have today. Most of this proto-solar system consisted of the hydrogen produced at the very beginning of the beginning or since the beginning of the beginning. The rest of the matter that made up the proto-sun and proto-planets were produced in the heart of stars and by the massive explosions that terminated their existence. What a fascinating way for God to have created (actually the word transformed would be more appropriate than create) our universe. All of this was transformed from a part of God Himself. If you really think about it, this universe is on loan from God and, is still part of Him. Not only are our bodies and the rest of our solar system composed of star stuff but, also from God stuff (oh, oh here I go again).
Have we even completed the ‘first day’ of Genesis yet? The answer to that is definitely not. That first day of Genesis is so disorganized and out of sequence, that it’s really hard to tell. In Genesis’ first day, God created the heaven (God’s own domain or the universe of galaxies and gas clouds? Ok, that’s done unless God’s domain is inferred.) and the earth(?). This earth is then said to be without form (proto-planet earth? Ok, that’s done. ) and void (?) And darkness (proto-sun not ignited yet? Ok again.) Was on the face of the deep (if ‘deep’ refers to the oceans, then they were not there yet for there was no water in proto-planet earth.). Then God said, let there be light (there was already some light from the other stars of our galaxy and other galaxies; if it means that He ignited the nuclear furnace of the proto-sun, then were not there yet.). This was the end of Genesis’ first day.
Let’s see what has to happen so that we can actually attain the point identified as Genesis’ first day. Our proto-sun must keep contracting until the gravitational pressure at it’s center resulted in sufficient heat to ignite it’s nuclear furnace. The resulting fusion of hydrogen to form helium released vast amounts of energy. When this energy finally reached the surface of the sun, it burst out with an intense light and a burst of solar particles. The initial burst created such a pressure wave that, the light gasses, hydrogen and helium, in which the proto-sun and proto-planets had still been immersed were blown away out of the solar system. The heavier elements that had been contained in the gas cloud were not blown away. They were eventually swept up by the sun, planets, and other planetoids and asteroids. We now had an almost recognizable solar system. I say almost, because there were many more solid objects that had condensed out of that seeded gas cloud besides the sun, the planets and, their moons. As time progressed these solid objects, which were planetoids, asteroids, and comets, reacted to the gravitational forces. Some of the planetoids were captured by the gravitation of planets to become moons but, most of the others rained in on the planets and the sun. The surface of the earth was bombarded so much, that the resultant temperatures turned the surface of the earth to a sea of molten rock. Time has now clicked the seconds to a point about 5 billion years ago.
We are now at a point in our beginning where we approximate the end of the first day of Genesis. Strangely, Genesis has two stories of the creation. The first one, which is the one we have followed, was written by “P” and covers the entire creation in Ch. 1:1 through 2:3. The second story of the creation was written by “J” who seems to start after life on earth had been created Ch. 2:4 to 2:25 when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden. For some reason, the redactor “R” started with the “P” version creation story that was written well after the “J” version. “P” must have known about the “J” version. I have a feeling that “R” for some reason lobbed off the first part of “J”’s creation story. Why he repeated the second half of “J”s account, we will never know. The difference in the creation of man and woman is astonishing.
The Beginning Of Life
Guess we have to go back to that seeded gas cloud for a bit. The original hydrogen gas and other seeded elements in the cloud did not just sit there. They moved about and sometimes came in contact with each other. Many different molecules such as water etc. were formed in this cloud. During the billions of years while the cloud was being seeded by exploding stars and then during the time that the cloud contracted towards and started to spin around a center of gravity, the collision of elements and the production of molecules continued. Even some complex organic molecules important to the development or life were produced. When the proto solar system was formed, and the sun went from a proto sun that was ignited to produce the real sun, the resultant initial solar wind swept the lighter gasses such and hydrogen and helium towards the outer limits of the solar system. The remaining heavy elements and the molecules were left to be swept up by the sun, planets, moons, planetoids and, asteroids. Most of the heavy elements that were already part of the planets had migrated towards the core of the planet. The heavy elements and molecules that had not been driven out of the solar system rained in upon the planets to become part of it’s surface.
Earths original hydrogen and helium atmosphere was swept away by the solar winds and was replaced by heavier gasses that rained in on the planet along with the gasses vented by the planet itself through it’s extensive number of volcanoes and by respiration due to the contraction of the planet as it cooled. When the earth had cooled sufficiently, the water gas in the atmosphere condensed and produced the intense rainstorms which started the formation of our oceans. The meteors and other objects raining in on the planet also supplied their water along with the water out-gassed from the planet. Earth’s primal atmosphere now consists of nitrogen, methane, ammonia, carbon and sulfur dioxides and water vapor. There is no free oxygen in this atmosphere.
God’s symphony of creation has just about reached the point were the first forms of life were about to make their appearance. Some of the primary building blocks of life that rained down on from the remains of our gas clouds were washed out of that poisonous atmosphere into the pools and ponds that were formed by the tremendous rains. These tremendous storms also produced lightning whose action in the molecules in the atmosphere and ground produced more building blocks of life; amino acids, protein, carbohydrates and, lipid molecules . The mixing of these building blocks in the pools and ponds that finally assembled into the ocean eventually constructed the first life forms. Isn’t it amazing how the particles and forces whose interactions were orchestrated by God’s equations that were written at the beginning of time produced exactly what He wanted. The musical program is not over yet by any means.
To be able to determine when life actually began, we have to know what the definition of life is. If we pick up a dictionary, it will tell us that life is that property of plants and animals which makes it possible for them to take in food, gets energy from it, grows and reproduces itself. Can we actually identify the point where a group of molecules were assembled into biological entities that could replicate itself. Complex proteins and nucleic acids were constantly mixed in our primitive ocean. They kept assembling themselves into more complex molecules and were then broken asunder by heat, radioactivity, lightning, etc. This kept happening over and over again. Many complex molecules were thus formed that were precursors of what we consider life. Some of these non-living molecules are still with us. Those that are recognized as biological entities are:
1. Archaea or archaebacteria are a group of recently discovered single celled organisms that live in extremely hostile habitats like thermal volcanic vents, saline pools and, hot springs. They are similar in appearance to bacteria but they are biochemically and genetically very different from them.
2. Bacteria have a prokaryote (organisms without nuclei) cell type where the essentially DNA and other cell components are not surrounded by an membranous envelope. These simple cells generally lack chlorophyl (except the cyanobacteria) which generally get their energy to survive from fermentation and respiration. The earliest fossilized cells have been found in 3.8 billion year old rocks.
3. Eukaryote (organisms with nuclei) cells are the more complex cells that we are familiar with which form the basic components of plants and animals. Their nucleus is enclosed in a membrane with many other specialized structures.
4. Viruses are not cells. They are fragments of DNA or RNA that depend on host cells for their reproduction. At times, viruses are metabolically inert and technically non-living. They seem to be remnants or the building blocks of life. They cause many diseases in eukaryote celled organisms. In humans they can cause smallpox, chicken pox, influenza, shingles, herpes, polio, ebola, AIDS, rabies and, some types of cancer.
From the above definition, we can see that by 3.8 billions years ago, the biological entities 1, 2 and 4 can be considered to have been present. Can life be considered to be present here? The answer has to be yes, definitely but, a very simple form of life. The symbiotic association of these early biological entities and other building blocks finally resulted in entity 3 around 2.1 billion years ago. It took 1.7 billion years of trial and error symbiotic associations of the basic biological entities to arrive at a reproducible eukaryote cell. We are a littler ahead of ourselves here but, by 680 million years ago our basic eukaryotic cells began to organize themselves into multicellular organisms or ‘metazoa’. Life is now beginning to become much more complex.
Life had begun on the planet earth. Is our belief in our central positioning so strong that we can only believe that our God is ours alone? Are we so self centered that we can only believe that God formed this seemingly endless material universe just for us? Is it so hard to conceived that in the billions of years before we were, that God’s formulas or equations would result in us alone? These formulas or equations should work equally well for any part of the material universe. The Hebrew faith started with a tribal form of God which evolved into a single God which they still considered theirs alone. Then Jesus came along and taught that the single God was not just a Hebrew God but, was the one and only God and that, He was everybody’s God. Isn’t it about time that we start believing that our one God is the God for all possible life that has arisen and will continue to arise in our material universe. I personally doubt very seriously that we are alone. In God’s domain, there are many mansions where, there is room for us all, including any other thems. And, some of you are, or hopefully were, haters of others with different colored skins.
Of course, any percentage of the distribution of the different elements determined by scientists would strictly be a local thing. What are the possibilities that the distribution of elements in those other gas clouds scattered throughout our and other galaxies is or was composed of the same amount of nova and supernova produced seeded elements. Without any or very little seeding, the solar systems produced could not contain any solid planets. These would most likely produce giant gas planets or multiple star systems. When there is enough seeding to produce solid planets, the size of any solid planets would vary greatly depending on the magnitude of seeding and, so would their gravitation. Our alien brothers of our shared one God could look strange indeed.
Now, we should be at the end of Gen. 1:19 in the first creation story with the sole exception of Gen. 1:11 and 1:12 which are seriously out of sequence. Here the “P” writer has created plants even before the basic cells that would eventually yield plants had been created. We are within Gen. 2:4 in the second creation story. God’s wonderful work with those equations of interactions and forces has led to our local corner of his material universe to the first signs of life here on our earth. Only the assemblage of that one single cell was required. Once assembled through the symbiotic association of the basic molecular building blocks of life, that one cell would start replicating itself. This was not a problem because sex had yet to become a reality. That first cell starts to multiply asexually through a process of binary fission. It didn’t take very long to produce as many cells as the environment could support. These first cells were the archaebacteria. Prior to and during the time archaebacteria evolved (around 3.8 Billion years ago), frequent volcanic eruptions poured mixture of hot gasses into the air, which eventually dissolved into the boiling seas, constantly changing their chemical composition. As a result, natural selection favored the evolution of diverse metabolic pathways in the archaebacteria. What a hellish environment for life to first appear. These cells still inhabit the earth’s most forbidding environments today.
The biochemical activity of these archaebacteria further altered the chemical composition of the water and atmosphere, paving the way for the evolution of bacteria. Among the early bacteria are the cyanobacteria or blue green algae, fossils of which are found in ancient 2.5 to 3.4 billion year old stromatolites. Through the process of photosynthesis, which releases oxygen, these bacteria introduced free oxygen into the atmosphere. As the oxygen level in the atmosphere increased, bacteria evolved that uses this oxygen in the process known as aerobic respiration. The stage was now set for the evolution of the eukaryote cells that would eventually start the evolution of plant, fungus and, animal life.
Edited by baloneydetector#zero, : The administrator suggested that I put all my threads on this subject onto the same spool
Edited by baloneydetector#zero, : Expand the original thread
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