The Time before Creation
As alluded to in our previous posts a clear distinction must be drawn between the beginning of the earth’s creation, i.e. the creation of the physical globe or earth itself (Verse 1), and its subsequent ordering (or bringing it to life) in the epoch days as narrated in the scriptures. Since the time interval between the events in Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 is not stated, the Bible does not commit itself as to the age of the earth (nor to the heavens), even if the lengths of the epoch days were clearly stated. Consequently, there is no conflict between science and the Genesis account as to the actual age of the earth itself. Many scientists have speculated that the earth may be a little over four billion years old (4.5 being the generally accepted age), with this particular estimate we have no qualms.
To the true believer that which is written is enough, however in order to properly present our case before the skeptic or non-believer I believe we need to establish some basis upon which to present our case as some might imply that we were simply coming into the middle of the story rather than at its true beginning.
Now one of the chief stumbling blocks which most theories encounter when attempting to harmonize with the scriptures, notwithstanding the ridiculous idea held by our religious extremist friends who believe in the seven days of creation theory composed of literal twenty-four hour periods is the statement made in the Verse 2 of the opening of Genesis viz. “The earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep…,” the latter part of this statement being the troubling part.
In other words according to the divine record in the beginning (that is the beginning of the work of preparing the earth for the arrival of mankind); darkness was upon the face of the deep, no light shone upon the surface of the earth, the world at that time was in complete darkness and covered in waters. Now naturally when the earth (the physical globe) was first being formed light must have shone upon its surface, but that was something which must have transpired long before the events being described in the Genesis account. The fact that it is stated that “darkness was upon the deep,” can only imply one of two things, either the sun had not yet been created yet (another one of the ridiculous beliefs held by many extremist) or a much more reasonable view, the sun was there, but something was inhibiting its light from shining upon the face of the earth.
Here is where I believe we must begin if we are to properly present our case; we must attempt to explain how conditions might have led up to this condition of things just prior to the Lord’s work in preparing the earth for the arrival of man. And so let us look to see if we might fine amongst the many theories derived of men as to how the earth was formed the one which most likely leads up to the condition of the earth as described in the opening remarks of Genesis, “The earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep…”
From the Solar Nebular dust the Earth Emerges
“The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old…While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, or the primal dust of the world.” Prov 8:22, 26
“The nebular hypothesis is the most widely accepted model in the field of cosmogony to explain the formation and evolution of the Solar System. It suggests that the Solar System formed from nebulous material… According to the nebular hypothesis, stars form in massive and dense clouds of molecular hydrogen—giant molecular clouds (GMC). These clouds are gravitationally unstable, and matter coalesces within them to smaller denser clumps, which then rotate, collapse, and form stars. Star formation is a complex process, which always produces a gaseous protoplanetary disk, proplyd, around the young star. This may give birth to planets in certain circumstances, which are not well known. Thus the formation of planetary systems is thought to be a natural result of star formation…The protoplanetary disk is an accretion disk that feeds the central star. Initially very hot, the disk later cools in what is known as the T tauri star stage; here, formation of small dust grains made of rocks and ice is possible. The grains eventually may coagulate into kilometer-sized planetesimals. If the disk is massive enough, the runaway accretions begin, resulting in the rapid—100,000 to 300,000 years—formation of Moon- to Mars-sized planetary embryos. Near the star, the planetary embryos go through a stage of violent mergers, producing a few terrestrial planets.” (Nebular hypothesis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebular_hypothesis)
“There are two main theories as to how the earth may have been formed both involve accretion or the sticking together of molecules and particles: one of these is Homogeneous accretion the other Heterogeneous accretion.
Homogenous accretion: Similar elements stick together, creating a solid mass. The heat generated in this process melts the particles. The heavier elements sink to the center because of gravity, creating the Earth’s sold core. Outgassing from this solid body creates the atmosphere.
Heterogeneous accretion: First, particles of metal stick together, creating the Earth’s core. Lighter elements stick to this core as it continues to cool. The gravity of this mass attracts most of the atoms that make up the atmosphere.
Both of those theories use the same basic idea — about 4.6 billion years ago, the Earth formed as particles collected within a giant disc of gas orbiting a star. Once the sun ignited, it blew all of the extra particles away, leaving the solar system as we know it. The exact process probably included both homogenous and heterogeneous accretion.
Accordingly as these collisions continue and mass increased so too gravity eventually attracting much larger items (i.e. asteroids, meteoroids and comets), these collisions in turn form planetesimals some of which eventually collide with each other to form protoplanets. Heating continues to occur causing outgassing, which in turn creates an atmosphere. Now exactly what this early atmosphere consisted of at the time is not certain.
At first, the Earth was very hot and volcanic. A solid crust formed as the planet cooled, and impacts from asteroids and other debris caused lots of craters. As the planet continued to cool, water filled the basins that had formed in the surface, creating oceans. Through earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other factors, the Earth’s surface eventually reached the shape that we know today.” (“Where did the Earth come from?” By Tracy V. Wilson http://www.howstuffworks.com/question776.htm)
“The first era in which the Earth existed is what is known as the Hadean Eon. This name comes from the Greek word “Hades” (underworld), which refers to the condition of the planet at the time. This consisted of the Earth’s surface being under a continuous bombardment by meteorites and intense volcanism, which is believed to have been severe due to the large heat flow and geothermal gradient dated to this era.
Outgassing and volcanic activity produced the primordial atmosphere, and evidence exists that liquid water existed at this time, despite the conditions on the surface. Condensing water vapor, augmented by ice delivered by comets, accumulated in the atmosphere and cooled the molten exterior of the planet to form a solid crust and produced the oceans.” (Solar System History: How Was the Earth Formed? By Matt Williams http://www.universetoday.com/76509/how-was-the-earth-formed/)
The previous thoughts are generally accepted; however it is highly unlikely that liquid water could accumulate upon the surface of the planet at this early stage barring the tremendous heat being generated by the planet. However its accumulation in the atmosphere is not under dispute.
Note the following comments taken from another prospective.
“The Earth formed under so much heat and pressure that it formed as a molten planet. For nearly the first billion years of formation (4.5 to 3.8 billion years ago) — called the Hadean Period (or hellish period) — Earth was bombarded continuously by the remnants of the dust and debris — like asteroids, meteors and comets — until it formed into a solid sphere, pulled into orbit around the sun and began to cool down. As Earth began to take solid form, it had no free oxygen in its atmosphere. It was so hot that the water droplets in its atmosphere could not settle to form surface water or ice. Its first atmosphere was also so poisonous, comprised of helium and hydrogen that nothing would have been able to survive.
Earth’s early atmosphere most likely resembled that of Jupiter’s atmosphere, which contains hydrogen, helium, methane and ammonia, and is poisonous to humans.” (“Earths Beginnings: The Origins of Life” By Eric McLamb http://www.ecology.com/2011/09/10/earths-beginnings-origins-life/)
“The Earth did not always have the same atmosphere as the one we depend upon today. In the earliest atmosphere, the molecules of H2 and He2 dominated. These the lightest of molecules did not stay long. They are light in molecular weight, and therefore require a large gravitational attraction to keep them. The Earth is about 1/3 too light in terms of mass. Additionally, the Earth was a homogeneous mixture of molten rock and chemicals that had not yet stratified into the layers we know today. Without an iron core, there is no magnetic field in the early Earth, required to magnetically hold some of these lightest elements (nor to deflect solar winds). Constant volcanism and the decay of radioactive elements everywhere kept the planet very hot. With a thin or perhaps no basalt crust, the molten planet made water accumulation impossible.”
“As the melting point of rock ranges between 2000 degrees Fahrenheit to twice that much, it must have been in that range of temperature on the surface of the earth with increasing heat toward the center until the maximum was reached. Water not under pressure cannot be heated beyond 212 degrees, but if confined the temperature may increase until the water turns to vapor exerting tremendous pressure in all directions. As steam it will expand if possible 1645 times or roughly one cubic inch (of liquid water) becomes one cubic foot (of water vapor). Consequently if there had been any water within the molten mass, it would have expanded and being lighter than the molten rock would have risen to the surface and escaped into the atmosphere.”
In considering the tremendous heat produced by the molten earth some conception of what that heat must have been like is given to us by the heat radiated by the detonation of a thermo-nuclear explosion. A hydrogen bombs explosive center registers approximately 100 million degrees Celsius. We can see that all moisture would be converted to vapor as fast as atomic action produced it. This would also be true of other substances.
“The Hydrogen Bomb is a fusion weapon. The bomb gets its power from fusing atoms in hydrogen. In the reaction that causes the explosion for a Hydrogen Bomb, two atoms of Deuterium or Tritium hit each other to create a helium atom and neutrons. “The resulting energy is proportional to the difference in mass between the original atoms and the products of the collision.” (MSN Encarta) In order for the explosion to work, an extreme amount of heat is necessary. A nuclear fission is necessary in order to generate that much heat (which would need to be as hot as the sun). The exact temperature would be about 100,000,000 K (Kelvins) or 99,999,726 C (Celsius) or 179,999,540 F (Fahrenheit). In order to achieve this, a nuclear fission bomb is placed at the center of the device. The fission reaction creates the immense temperatures needed for the fusion reaction to take place and the real explosion occurs.” (Hydrogen Bomb, http://creationwiki.org/Hydrogen_bomb)
A major impact of just one asteroid of only a few kilometers in diameter would release the energy of several million thermo-nuclear bombs, now multiply that by a constant bombardment of hundreds of such asteroids over this period, some possibly much larger than just a few kilometers and try to imagine the amount of heat being generated at that time. A 10-kilometer object would produce an explosion of 6 × 107 megatons of TNT (equivalent to an earthquake of magnitude 12.4 on the Richter scale).
The point is that practically every element or combination of elements can be reduced to vapor (or gas) by the application of sufficient heat, and then caused to expand, many of these to an even greater degree than that of water. Therefore we see that the requirement of law is that those elements which eventually made up the crust of the earth, would have been converted to gas, and would later have condensed to solid matter in earth’s atmosphere.
Excerpts taken from “Rings and Canopies”
We will continue with our next post.