Saturday, November 04, 2006

Re: Schroeder Science



Thanks for your message and apologies for the delay in replying. As is my long-standing policy when I receive a private message on a Creation, Evolution or Design issue, I am posting my reply to my blog CED after removing your personal identifying information.

----- Original Message -----
From: AN
To: Stephen E. Jones
Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2006 11:51 AM
Subject: Schroeder Science

>Stephen, I hope all is well. Do you have thoughts on "The Science of God" by Dr. Gerald Schroeder...

Thanks. I have Schroeder's "The Science of God" (1997), as well as his earlier "Genesis and the Big Bang" (1990) and his later "The Hidden Face of God" (2001). I have only dipped into these three books, and I found much (but not all) that I agree with.

I like how the math formula he uses incorporates accepted science data and creation days 1 - 6 to give a time frame to each creation day-age, i.e., old earth. Those ages relate the sciences to each creation day very well, both descriptively, and within the accepted time lines. It seems an accountable testable model, one that gives explicit Bible-science matches, better than implicit hermeneutic models.

Even if one accepts (for the sake of argument only) Schroeder's relativistic "time dilation" theory that "In terms of days and years and millennia, this stretching of the cosmic perception of time by a factor of a million million, the division of fifteen billion years by a million million reduces those fifteen billion years to six days":

"Since biblical time takes hold with the appearance of matter, the biblical clock starts at bohu, that instant just after the big bang when stable matter as we know it formed from energy. The age of all matter in the universe dates back to bohu, the moment of quark confinement. We know the temperature and hence the frequency of radiation energy in the universe at quark confinement. It is not a value extrapolated or estimated from conditions in the distant past or far out in space. It is measured right here on Earth in the most advanced physics laboratories and corresponds to a temperature approximately a million million times hotter than the current 3°K black of space. That radiant energy had a frequency a million million times greater than the radiation of today's cosmic background radiation. The radiation from that moment of quark confinement has been stretched a million-millionfold. Its redshift, z, as observed today is 1012. That stretching of the light waves has slowed the frequency of the cosmic clock-expanded the perceived time between ticks of that clock-by a million million. ... To measure the age of the universe, we look back in time. From our perspective using Earth-based clocks running at a rate determined by the conditions of today's Earth, we measure a fifteen-billion-year age. And that is correct for our local view. The Bible adopts this Earthly perspective, but only for times after Adam. The Bible's clock before Adam is not a clock tied to any one location. It is a clock that looks forward in time from the creation, encompassing the entire universe, a universal clock tuned to the cosmic radiation at the moment when matter formed. That cosmic timepiece, as observed today, ticks a million million times more slowly than at its inception. The million millionfold stretching of radiation since bohu caused that million-million-to-one ratio in this perception of time. This cosmic clock records the passage of one minute while we on Earth experience a million million minutes. The dinosaurs ruled the Earth for 120 million years, as measured by our perception of time. Those clocks are set by the decay of radioactive nuclides here on Earth and they are correct for our earthly system. But to know the cosmic time we must divide earth time by a million million. At this million-million-to-one ratio those 120 million Earth years lasted a mere hour.What does all this mean for the age of the universe? In terms of days and years and millennia, this stretching of the cosmic perception of time by a factor of a million million, the division of fifteen billion years by a million million reduces those fifteen billion years to six days!" (Schroeder, G.L., "The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom," Broadway Books: New York NY, 1998, pp.57-58. Emphasis original)

by my calculations 15,000,000,000 years x 365 (ignoring that the solar day was meaningless for the first ~8 billion years when there was as yet no Sun or Earth, and that the length of both the solar year and day would have changed considerably in the last ~4.5 billion years, e.g. "The original length of one day, when the Earth was new about 4.5 billion years ago, was about six hours .... It was 21.9 hours 620 million years ago"):

"The Earth's day has increased in length over time. The original length of one day, when the Earth was new about 4.5 billion years ago, was about six hours as determined by computer simulation. It was 21.9 hours 620 million years ago as recorded by rhythmites (alternating layers in sandstone). This phenomenon is due to tides raised by the Moon which slow Earth's rotation. Because of the way the second is defined, the mean length of a day is now about 86,400.002 seconds, and is increasing by about 1.7 milliseconds per century (an average over the last 2700 years). " (Day, Wikipedia)

that makes 5,475,000,000,000 = 5.475 x 1012 days. Dividing that "by a million million" 1012 = 5.475 days, not "six days." But it gets even worse for Schroeder's theory if the current best estimate of the age of the Universe of "13.7 billion ... years":

"The age of the universe from the time of the Big Bang, according to current information provided by NASA's WMAP (Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe), is estimated to be about 13.7 billion (13.7 × 109) years, with a margin of error of about 1 % (± 200 million years)." (Universe, Wikipedia)

is used. Then the number of days since the Big Bang is 5,000,500,000,000, which when divided by 1012 = 5.0005 days. Either way, Schroeder's theory is indeed "an accountable testable model" but one that has been tested and failed!

There is another major problem with Schroeder's claim that "Adam's birth occurred within the last six thousand years" with "Adam" defined as "the first hominid with a divinely created human soul" (ignoring the "may have" which renders his claim meaningless):

"According to the biblical calendar [i.e. "derived in part by summing the ages of persons mentioned in the Bible" - p.201], Adam's birth occurred within the last six thousand years. Can this be true when museums are filled with human-looking fossils dating back fifty thousand years? A clue to the answer to this biblical conundrum may be found in events that occurred two thousand years after Adam, in the life and affairs of Abraham. Just as God chose Abraham only after Abraham chose God, so the Eternal's encounter with Adam may have followed Adam's recognition of that transcendent yet immanent omnipotence we refer to as the Eternal God. Adam may have been the first hominid with a divinely created human soul." (Schroeder, Ibid., p.126).

Schroeder claims that "a being who does not possess this spirit is not human but a mere animal in human shape and form" (his emphasis) who "lacked ... human spirituality" and this applies to those "less-than-human creatures" who "had human-like skills" including producing "cave paintings that predate Adam by twenty thousand years and ten-thousand-year-old inception of agriculture":

"The Talmud deduces ... that ... Adam had sexual relations with other beings (the nature of those beings is not clear). From these unions came children that `were not human in the true sense of the word. They had not the spirit of God ... It is acknowledged that a being who does not possess this spirit is not human but a mere animal in human shape and form...' Here we have ancient accepted sources that describe animals with human shape, form, intelligence, and judgment. Suddenly cave paintings that predate Adam by twenty thousand years and ten-thousand-year-old inception of agriculture become understandable. These less-than-human creatures had human-like skills. What they lacked was human spirituality." (Schroeder, Ibid, p.141. Emphasis original)

The problem with this is that the Australian aborigines (hereafter indigenous Australians) are believed to have descended from ancestors who have been in Australia for at least 40,000 years:

"Australia's oldest human remains, found at Lake Mungo, include the world's oldest ritual ochre burial (Mungo III) and the first recorded cremation (Mungo I). Until now, the importance of these finds has been constrained by limited chronologies and palaeoenvironmental information. Mungo III, the source of the world's oldest human mitochondrial DNA, has been variously estimated at 30 thousand years (kyr) old, 42-45 kyr old and 62 ±6 kyr old, while radiocarbon estimates placed the Mungo I cremation near 20-26 kyr ago. Here we report a new series of 25 optical ages showing that both burials occurred at 40±2 kyr ago and that humans were present at Lake Mungo by 50-46 kyr ago, synchronously with, or soon after, initial occupation of northern and western Australia. Stratigraphic evidence indicates fluctuations between lake-full and drier conditions from 50 to 40 kyr ago, simultaneously with increased dust deposition, human arrival and continent-wide extinction of the megafauna. This was followed by sustained aridity between 40 and 30 kyr ago. This new chronology corrects previous estimates for human burials at this important site and provides a new picture of Homo sapiens adapting to deteriorating climate in the world's driest inhabited continent." (Bowler, J. M., et al., "New ages for human occupation and climatic change at Lake Mungo, Australia," Nature, Vol. 421, 20 February 2003, pp.837-840)

"A thorough analysis of the site of Australia's oldest human remains may settle the long and acrimonious debate over how long ago humans first colonised the continent. Experts have been arguing for decades about the age of the skeleton, dubbed Mungo Man. Now its discoverer says he has confirmed that it is 40,000 years old. ... In 1976, Bowler and his colleague Alan Thorne estimated the remains to be 30,000 years old. But in 1999, Thorne and his team at Australian National University in Canberra published a sensational new paper claiming Mungo Man was 62,000 years old. ... Now researchers at four separate laboratories, including Bowler and a member of Thorne's original team, claim that the burial of Mungo Man took place 40,000 years ago. The new dates were derived using optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), similar but more reliable than thermoluminescence. Crucially, the researchers sampled sand from the exact burial sites, whereas it has emerged that Thorne's team had sampled sand 400 metres away. They have also dated stone tools - the earliest evidence of human occupation at the site - to 50,000 years ago."(Young, E., "New arrival date for earliest Australians," New Scientist,18 February 2003).

Presumably Schroeder would not claim that modern indigenous Australians are "mere animal in human shape and form" so I assume he would probably try to save this theory (which already has been falsified anyway - see above) by claiming that indigenous Australians are also descended from Adam. But as far as I am aware, there is no evidence that prior to the arrival of Europeans in the 18th century, indigenous Australians had anything more than Old Stone-Age (Upper Paleolithic) culture, whereas the first recorded Biblical culture in Genesis 4 is New Stone Age (Neolithic).

I personally think a version of evangelical Christian theologian/anthopologist E.K. Victor Pearce's "Two-Adam" (or rather Genesis 1 Man-Genesis 2 Adam) theory is a better fit to both the Biblical and scientific data:

"The literary structure of Genesis is based upon eleven sections, each of which commences with the phrase `These are the generations of.' The word `generations' is `toledoth' in the Hebrew, and refers to the origins of nations and races. ... The first two toledoths embodied in Genesis used to be taken as two separate stories of creation, the second starting in Genesis 2:4. Now that one can be regarded as a sequel to the other, many of our difficulties concerning the Biblical origin of man can be solved. This would mean that in Genesis 1, Old Stone Age man is described, the Hebrew collective noun `adam' meaning mankind as a whole; but in Gen. 2:4, the second toledoth commences. This second toledoth makes the characteristic brief summary of the preceding toledoth, and then speaks mainly about Eden. Here the noun becomes `The Adam' or `the Man', with the article referring to an individual, and then becomes a proper name 'Adam' . This man named Adam is the individual from whom our Lord's descent is eventually traced. ... We shall use the name Adam to refer to this individual, a New Stone Age farmer of about 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Although the Hebrew word adam is used collectively in the first chapter of Genesis, we will call him Old Stone Age Man, to avoid confusion, and the proper name, `Adam', will be reserved for the Adam of Eden." (Pearce, E.K.V., "Who Was Adam?," Paternoster: Exeter UK, 1969, pp.18,21. Emphasis original)

>Take care, AN

Thanks. The same to you.

Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).

Genesis 9:4-7. 4"But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. 5And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. 6"Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.7As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it."

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