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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:04 am
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Location: Massachusetts
By Gary Gaulin, 11/12/2006

The past few years have been some of the most challenging in history for both science and religion. Creationism turned into Intelligent Design and started a controversy like none other the US has seen in our lifetime. Then almost a year ago Intelligent Design was ruled by a federal court in Dover, Pennsylvania to be Creationism. That made it obvious it is not something the public schools can legally teach. Those who actively promoted it the political arena were then voted out of office or were not elected. Although some blame the war for why they did so poorly the Intelligent Design debate has shown to be the main reason why some, especially school board members, were voted out or lost. With all said, ID is already almost completely defeated.

With science clearly coming out ahead in this most recent battle I felt is was vitally important to write something with meaning, that will help bring both sides together again. We have just been through something that acts as a wedge to divide us to fight a culture war. It’s important that both sides understand that science and religion need not be at odds with each other. In fact it was religion, in our culture more specifically the Catholic Church, that educated the young scientists of centuries past and supported their work. The church brought on the invention of the clock, experimented with optics and light giving us stained glass that was found to be especially wonderful for adorning churches, started the first schools and universities, and much more. To spite the larger than life moments in history brought on by Galileo, Newton and Darwin, religion was far from always having been a thorn in the side of science. The Catholic Church helped make the science we now have today possible. Without their influence there might not even have even been a Galileo, Newton, or Darwin. We would be hundreds of years behind right now, in what we can now look back on as a rather dark age.

It’s also important that the clergy know that the church has always adapted to new knowledge. And it will again. As it has always been, through the ages, science cannot disprove God, Allah, etc. Even though it might have been fun to do so Intelligent Design also showed that science cannot prove the existence of such a deity either, but there is nothing new about that. The only thing that will change for some is how people interpret some scripture, and how we look at what science has revealed that pertains to our religious side. The two can easily be reconciled, and I hope that once done, none would ever want to go back to such a literal interpretation of Genesis because right now there truly is something in science that brings us closer to our creator. After all, it was the search for who we are and where we came from that inspires both the religious side and the science side. The clergy supported science for so long because the benefits of searching for "the truth" like this are tremendous. And trying to force people to follow something they do not want to follow is not going to work very well, anyhow. All belief systems that could not keep up with reason soon perished. That’s the way it has always been. So if a religion cannot stand on its own without resorting to using the public systems to indoctrinate then one that can play by the rules of our society will take its place and that is fair. Christianity did well for so long because it did manage to keep up with reason, and I think it will again.

Sure, there are times when science and mainstream religion are at odds, but even that can in the end it turn out to be beneficial conflict that gets both sides working harder on tough problems. The US would not have even landed a man on the Moon so quickly were it not for the Soviet Sputnik that beat the country into outer space. It was humiliating, but it sure got the USA moving. And without Intelligent Design to give science a challenge of a lifetime scientists would not have been so in the public arena explaining what is going on the their labs, or working on the big questions so frantically, or for that matter talking about religious issues. Likewise, science has given religion competition that has forced the clergy to adapt to a more fact based way of seeing reality, something that was long overdue because it was the real root cause of people losing their faith in mainstream religion.

Taking us all backwards scientifically or spiritually is not an acceptable alternative. We can’t afford another bloody culture war. We need to come together in one mind again and start solving even more immediate problems.

To help put us back on track, I wrote the following creation story using well proven basic science. While writing I thought like one of the ancient visionaries trying to find "the truth" through science and religion, relying on the strengths of each to explain our "Creator". And before Atheists or others who adhere to free thought judge me for talking about a "Creator" please remain objective enough to realize that something had to have created us even if that process is now somewhat understandable through science, and understand that I adhere to free thought too. I likewise question everything, including both religion and science.

I am convinced that Genesis and parallel stories in other scriptures were inspired by some of the very first scientists, and maybe a little bit of divine inspiration that came from the world around them. These scriptures were written in the third person "And God said" not in the first person "And I said" so it is not even wise to assume these are exact words from our Creator to be taken absolutely literally. When properly translated Genesis and parallel scriptures are often surprisingly close to what science is now discovering. Especially when the original translation of the word "Day" is properly defined as an indefinite period of time and we notice that it suggests life came from the Earth, dust, and clay. It can still be every bit as inspiring a story as it was before, for those who want it to have meaning.

I hope this in some way helps those on the science side to think more like one who is among good friends on the religion side. And for those on the religion side to see the search for the Creator as an ongoing process that can only benefit when science helps bring us all closer to "the truth" even when that "truth" is not exactly how one has interpreted it to be from scripture. So imagine being back in time, hundreds or even thousands of years wondering where we came from. It’s a beautiful autumn night so we’re outside the church sitting by a campfire looking at the stars and moon in the sky while trying to explain what we as a group can conclude about the Creator, how we got here. We are now the visionaries, keepers of the ancient knowledge, the ones that must reunite the divided masses. We have ancient texts from various religions that were handed down to us but we’re not quite sure how to translate their many meanings. So of course what we through science now know is very useful for interpreting them as accurately as we can as well as making able to withstand the test of time. Having been my idea to have us gather here to discuss creation I thought about it carefully and when all that I now know is combined into one easy to read story this is how it ends up reading. I hope you find it an excellent start to answering one of the oldest questions known to mankind, in a religious context.


In the beginning of our Universe some 14 billion years ago there was a small but incredibly powerful source of energy in the center of our Universe that rapidly expanded like a Big Bang and the Universe is still expanding to this day. Looking into the heavens with spectrometers that show the rainbow colors of white light stars can be seen moving away from each other. The expansion can be seen in the "red shift" that is to light what is to sound the change in pitch of something we hear coming towards us suddenly shifting to a lower pitch when it's moving away.

The energy soon coalesced into three particles that form tiny atoms, matter, that comprise the solids, liquids and gasses called the Electrons, Neutrons and Protons. The atoms that make up the matter we can see and feel is almost entirely empty space. If an atom were the size of a large stadium then its neutrons and protons that are held together by one of the Creative Forces called the Strong Nuclear Force, its center nucleus is the size of a marble or small acorn. The likewise tiny electrons that are speeding around it would appear as a thin cloud. We are in essence made up of very tiny particles of energy in empty space such that what appears to be a hard solid is somewhat of an illusion. What is hard or soft, heavy and light, is relative to what is more solid or more dense than the other.

The matter then aggregated to form Galaxies, immense masses of stars so large the light of the Milky Way Galaxy in which we live takes 100000 years to traverse the distance. Some 5 billion years ago our Sun was born in this Galaxy and then there was first light, shining on our still forming on our still molten home planet called Earth. A part of our Earth was released into space to become our moon that can be seen circling above going in the same direction as the rotation of our Earth. Taking 29.5 days to the Earth’s 24 hours, giving our Moon phases of light and dark that lasts for almost one month.

After cooling to form a thin crust the forces of creation brought first life to our Earth. The steamy smoky atmosphere then cleared so that the first light of the sun shone brightly on the land and waters.

The Creative Forces include the bonding forces that cause certain atoms to bond to one another depending on the type of Atoms they are and the conditions such as temperature. When the temperature is great Atoms are pulled apart, as the temperature lowers they bond together to form molecules which are two or more atoms bonded together to form a molecule.

There are two groups of bonding forces the very strong Primary Bonds and the weaker but vital to creation Secondary Bonds.

There are three primary bonds. The Covalent Bond that is the result of atoms sometimes sharing electrons with each other. And the Ionic Bond that is the result of one atom sometimes giving up one or more electrons to another. And the Metallic Bond that is the result of some atoms aggregating to share electrons in a way that they move from one atom to another to another and move through the mass much like flowing water that gives us electrical current flowing through a wire.

The Secondary Bonds are due to electrostatic charges that unevenly surround an atom or a molecule due to the negatively charged electrons they contain not being evenly distributed around the positively charged protons. The Hydrogen Bond forms when water is cooled until it becomes a solid we call ice. Here the water atoms contains one Oxygen atom and two Hydrogen atoms whereby they align so that a Hydrogen atom faces an Oxygen atom. This causes a symmetry that gives each snowflake six sides. And since water molecules take up less space when they are not regularly aligned like this water expands when it freezes making it less dense, ice thus forms on the surface of a lake and not on the bottom.

When the temperature of the frozen water is raised and the water turns to a liquid this electrostatic attraction between them squeezes out molecules with no Polar Force such as oil. If a nonpolar molecule such as oil that is a chain of Carbon atoms has bonded to one end a polar molecule to give it a head we have a molecules called an amphiphile. In water these molecules miraculously form spherical empty cells called vesicles, by their heads that are attracted to the water inside and outside the while the oil tails attract to each other such that each molecules aligns to form a membrane. It is here that the Creative Force can be clearly witnessed because amazingly this is the same membrane that surrounds a cell. The trillions of cells that make up our body have a membrane that self-assemble like this. Spontaneously formed membranes can also be seen with our eyes at the ocean or other water body as “sea foam”. Or by adding one part or so olive or other oil to four parts of water in a drinking sized container, adding amphiphilic phospholipids from one drop of egg yolk or suitable meteorite or hydrothermal vent, shake until milky, then wait a short while. The oil that rises to the surface should then look like a piece of living tissue as seen through a microscope. In the water should form microscopic water filled vesicles, containers that easily trap the type of molecules needed to build a cell, for the next step the Creative Force uses to create all life.

In the same way simple molecules can self-assemble into a cell membrane, simple molecules can self-assemble into the much larger machine like macromolecules that fill the inside of the cell to give it the ability to self-replicate another that is much like it. At its core is a genome that allows the stages of self-assembly to be reproducible from one cell to the next. The genome adds to the amount of information it contains by the cell absorbing bits of genome that passes through its membrane. Or by harmlessly making two or more copies of a coding segment called a gene that gives it spare copies that can mutate into a new function. Or it can harmlessly have a change occur that causes a new function to arise from coding that can be safely changed. In this way a very simple cell can self-assemble from molecules that are present in the environment then slowly evolve into something that is too complex to have arisen all at once on its own. The Creative Force starts with something very simple then time makes it far more complex.

In the seemingly random chaos of matter are forces that are nonrandom. They are 100% predictable. And predictability forms the basis of intelligence. Manmade computers utilize the predictability of simple electronic circuits as the building blocks for a more complex system that can add, subtract, multiply, and even reason like a brain. But the Creative Force utilizes much smaller molecules as the rudimentary building blocks of a more complex higher intelligence. That is first evident in cells made of preexisting molecules, secondly in organisms made of preexisting cells, thirdly in our biosphere here on Earth where there is symbiosis made of preexisting organisms that sustains each other.

Life was meant to be. Our creation the result of a Creative Force present in all matter. Thus our Creator (even in a scientific context) is everywhere. Is in everything.

Further Reading:
Self-Assembly Of Real Cell Membranes Experiment
Interesting Interpretation of Genesis from "The Church Of God"

The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.
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Sun Nov 12, 2006 10:13 am
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