God spoke … and it was done
That all things in the physical universe originated with God is the clear testimony of Scripture. From Hebrews 11:3 we understand that visible things – things that have mass – were prepared by the word of God. In fact, space, time, energy, and mass, all of which characterize the universe in which we live, were prepared by the word of God. God spoke and it was done (Genesis 1; Psalms 33:6-9; 148:1-6).
The Apollo moon mission
It hardly seems possible that thirty years ago I was living in Huntsville, Alabama, designing electronic equipment for the Apollo moon mission. I was employed by the Federal Systems Division of IBM as a staff engineer and performed much of my work at the Marshall Space Flight Center. Never before had such a talented community of scientists and engineers been assembled for so ambitious and demanding an assignment, that of placing men on the moon. It was an assignment I carried out with considerable relish, because it was extremely interesting to me.
There were design review meetings and pep talks by Wernher von Braun, which were intended to encourage us in our work and give us direction. My associates and I frequently discussed what we would find on the moon. If the moon was more than 4 billion years old, we would, expect to find a great deal of dust on its surface. If this was indeed the case, how should the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) be designed? Should we provide it with large pads that would support its weight in 50 meters or so of dust? Should we design a landing profile that included a hover to blow away the dust with the exhaust gases of the rocket engine?
Since there was no atmosphere on the moon, it was suggested that micrometeorites striking it over, billions of years would pulverize its surface into dust. Rocks, too, would be smooth, just as pebbles are smoothed by tumbling in water over a period of time. We don't observe such phenomena on the earth, because our atmosphere burns up the micrometeorites before they strike the earth.
Then there was the issue of life-forms on the moon. Should we take extraordinary measures to protect the astronauts from strange diseases or to try to keep them from infecting the moon with theirs? No one had ever seen the other side of the moon, and if there were life-forms, perhaps they lived where we couldn't see them. I remember some wild speculation about this.
When Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong took "one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind," his boot sank only a fraction of an inch into the lunar soil. At the Apollo 11 landing site there was very little dust in evidence. The LEM was carefully sterilized to prevent infection of the moon by microorganisms from earth. And upon returning to the earth, the astronauts were confined to an isolation chamber for observation. No moon life-forms were found either on the astronauts or in the samples they brought from the moon. At this point the moon appeared to be sterile and relatively young, but perhaps there was dust elsewhere.
The eighth man to walk on the moon was Apollo 15 astronaut James Irwin, who was a professing Christian. Jim has gone to be with the Lord now, but he visited Grove City College, where I am presently teaching, and presented me with the unusual opportunity of playing racquetball with him and talking at length about his experience on the moon and his search for Noah's Ark. Jim, as you may remember, used the Lunar Rover, a sort of dune buggy, to explore a much larger and different area of the moon than Apollo 11. Jim – a geologist – confirmed that no appreciable dust was present and that the lunar structures he was able to study did not appear to be of great age. In addition, studies of the internal temperature of the moon did not support the view that the moon was old.
A "Big Bang"?
All of this raises the question of the origin of the moon. If, in fact, the moon is relatively young, then it is difficult to believe that it was the product of the "big bang." According to this popular theory of the origin of the universe, all of the mass in the universe was compressed into a single location billions of years ago. It suddenly blew apart with a huge fire ball, forming the various pieces of mass we call stars. From one of these stars, known as the sun, came the earth and the other planets of our solar system. The moon then came from the earth, perhaps from what is now the Pacific Ocean. If so, it must have come from the earth before life-forms existed, because the moon appears to be sterile and no fossils have been located there. But other considerations also make this theory of the origin of the earth and moon impossible.
If the moon came from the earth, it would have passed through the Roche limit, and because the mass of the moon relative to that of the earth is so great, it would have disintegrated into an asteroid belt. Furthermore, the orbital characteristics of the moon cannot, be explained by an earth origin. If it broke away from the earth, it should rotate about its axis in the same direction as the earth with the same rotational frequency, but in fact the moon rotates about its axis 27.32 times slower than the earth. Also, its orbital characteristics forbid the theory that the earth trapped the moon from outer space. Its orbit about the earth is too circular for that to have happened. Indeed, the moon could not have come into existence as the result of a big bang.
Neither do the planets appear to have come from the sun. Venus spins in a direction, opposite to that of the sun, Uranus spins on an axis that is 90 degrees from the sun's axis. The earth itself is tipped 23 degrees from the axis of the sun, which of course creates the seasons. Mercury appears to be devoid of an atmosphere and always presents the same surface to the sun and for that reason alone, it could not have come from the sun. In addition, the chemical composition of the planets differs greatly from that of the sun, which is 80% hydrogen, 18% helium, and 2% other elements. Indeed, all of the planets have certain characteristics that indicate they did not come from the sun, and if so, the solar system did not come from a big bang.
When it comes to the sun, one also wonders how it could possibly have come from a great primeval explosion. Its mass is composed of atoms that have an obvious design. The presence of atomic building blocks, with their protons, neutrons, electrons, leptons, mesons, neutrinos, quarks, etc., completely defy any naturalistic explanation. The more we know about them, the more we are moved to admit that they were designed by an all-powerful being.
Mass and energy
The source of mass cannot be energy. While mass can by fission or fusion, liberate energy, energy cannot become mass. Neither can energy be created or destroyed by natural processes. The amount of energy in the universe is fixed. If it cannot be created or destroyed, where did it come from? Why is there something and not nothing? The only rational answer is that the Lord God created it.
Indeed, that God created everything in the universe is the first statement of Scripture. The universe consists of mass, space (which is not nothing since it contains an ether of various fields), energy, and time.
According to Genesis 1, the earth was a unique creation. It existed alone in the universe until the fourth day, when God created the sun, moon, and stars. Clearly the earth, sun, moon, and stars did not emerge from a big bang, but were created uniquely for signs, seasons, days, and years (Genesis 1:14-19). The earth was created first, and then the other astronomical bodies followed.
When God created the stars, he created them with their light already arriving on the earth. Otherwise, they could not have been signs when they were created. The stars are used for navigation because they are fixed in the heavens, but they appear to be a great distance from the earth, so much so that light from most of them would require hundreds of millions of years to travel to the earth. If the universe is really that old, then it follows that we are not observing the universe as it actually is. In fact, there may not be anything out there at all except wave fronts of light striking the surface of the earth.
This does not amount to deception, because God is all-powerful and can create anything he wishes to create. Furthermore, if God created a mature universe, it would necessarily have the appearance of age. We must not read our specious scientific theories into the Bible. The Bible tells us that God created the universe in a manner that differs greatly from the theories advanced by godless science. If one does not believe in an omnipotent God, then one has no alternative but to theorize a big bang and long eons of time. But even then we are left with explaining the origin of the materials that exploded. God created what is here – space, time, mass, and energy – from absolutely nothing. There is no need to resort to impossible scientific theories in order to account for the existence of the physical universe. Neither is there any need to resort to long periods of time to accommodate evolutionary development, because the infinite and omnipotent God spoke and it was done.
When the sun and moon were created, earth's seasons and tidal marshlands with their unique ecosystems originated. These things obviously were coincident with the creation of the sun and moon and did not evolve. They were created uniquely by God (Job 38-40). All of the "kinds" of living things were created by God; they did not evolve. Over my 34 years of professional work in physics and electronics, I have seen the scientific community move significantly away from the sort of evolutionary theory proposed by Charles Darwin, Charles Lyell, and others. And the data more and more support the view that all things came from God. They support a catastrophic origin of all that is here.
Mankind is unique
Furthermore, mankind is unique in all the universe – and so is the plan of redemption. Let us remember that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, according to Ephesians 1:4. He decreed the plan of redemption and then created those for whom Christ was to die. I am not surprised that we hear no messages from outer space. No one else is there, because evolution did not produce the universe – God did! God spoke and it was done.