Genesis 1: 1. In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.
2. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Thus begins the saga of how God created the universe, and all that is within it. What few Christians, and almost all non-Christians, refuse to admit is that God DID create ALL the universe, and all that is within it. That means many different things that few today acknowledge, but that Solomon understood and admitted to in Ecclesiastes.3:14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.
3:15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.
8:17 Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.
I don't consider myself a wise man, but I do consider myself a child of God. I have asked God to explain to me what is true, and right. I feel I have received an answer, which I will put forth here. I don't expect or require that any man agree with me, but to ponder, and ask God if this is right and true, and listen for God's answer.
Two problems exist: the first is that Mankind assumes that the times referred to in Genesis are Man-time, instead of understanding that it is God-time, which is something quite different; and the second is that there is little difference between what we call "religion" and what we call "science". Let me try to explain what I mean by these.
God is Eternal. He has no beginning, and no end. Also, as Solomon so wisely stated, for God, all things are NOW (literally, "That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been;
"). God-time, then, cannot be related to Man-time. For God, a second could be equal to half of eternity for Man, or half of eternity could be equal to a second. We all need to understand that, and understand that God works SOLELY on God-time.
When God dictated the Bible to man, he did it to pre-industrial, almost pre-agricultural nomadic herders. If God had tried to explain to them particle physics, the Big Bang, and quantum mechanics, guess how far He'd have gotten. Instead, He used terms that the authors could understand, and could relate to others. "Fundamentalist Christians" demand, however, that we equate the works of Genesis not in God-time, but in Man-time. The patent absurdity of this is found in Genesis itself, where planets and moons were not created until the fourth day.
God created the entire universe. That also means that instead of chaos, His creation is an ORDERLY universe that obeys the "natural" laws He created to operate in it. This brings us to point two above, that "religion" and "science" are but two sides of the same coin. "Religion" attempts to establish "who" and "why" the universe was created, while "science" tries to discover "what", "where", "when", and "how". Neither should (or can) distract from the other, for both magnify the glory of God's creation. The more details we learn about the events that led to our presence here today only go to prove what Solomon said: "Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.
No single scientist, no group of scientists, can know ALL that God has created in this universe. There will always be things that bedazle and amaze us, and pique our interest to learn more. Our knowledge shouldn't cause us to reject God, but to understand more fully His omnipotence - and attention to detail. Nor should anything Man learns force us to "choose between God and Science", because both are one: God created ALL "scientific principles" when He created the universe. Just because we learned about God first, and we're a bit slow picking up the physical manifestations of His handiwork shouldn't detract from the fact that they are His creations.
Nor should scientific explanations of our world's past cause us to be forced to choose between God and Man: the universe is probably 16.5 billion Man-years old, and that doesn't change the fact that it was created by God in six God-days. The two have nothing in common. One is a measure of how WE, the inhabitants of this piece of real estate, measure time: the other is how God defines the processes of His actions. Remember again Solomon's words: "and God requireth that which is past.
". The history of our universe, and our planet, are "required by God".
Everything God does has a progression. Nothing was created before its time. Everything built toward where we are today. There would be no oil or coal for man to use if God hadn't created it over a long period of time, beginning millions and millions of years ago. The more we learn about our universe, the more we see an orderly progression from very minute sub-atomic particles to very complex systems including billions of galaxies. This is all the handiwork of God, and the more we know about them, the greater should be the awe of His magnificence.