A Plausible Biblical Young Earth Creation Theory

7 Apr

Before I begin, I must give a slight disclaimer. I have no idea if this theory is correct. It is an idea I have been mulling over for years and am sharing because I think it is interesting and because it lends some credence to a faith-based existence.

In quantum mechanics, there is an experiment called the “double slit” experiment that splits light beams into two paths that reunite and cause a wave interference pattern. If you are not familiar with this experiment, I recommend that you read the Wikipedia entry:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-slit_experiment

It has been observed that when it is possible to know which slit a light particle passes through, the particle stops passing through both slits. Moreover, the wave pattern disappears. This is sometimes referred to as wave function collapse. For quite some time, it was believed that the conscious act of observation caused the collapse. This opinion has been updated from “conscious observation” to “measurement”, but either is sufficiently correct for the theory I am about to propose.

When one physicist on Physics Stack Exchange was asked about the notion that conscious observation causes wave function collapse, he responded, in part, as follows:

The posit that it is consciousness that causes this collapse is very hard to debunk, due to the very nature of this type of argument. However, if you consider the following example, it should be clear that this picture is far from complete; and that this argument for consciousness causing the…process is not sufficient. Consider the weather, the detailed weather patterns that occur on any planet, being dependent of chaotic processes, which [must] be sensitive to numerous individual quantum events. if the…process does not actually take place in the absence of consciousness, then no particular weather pattern could ever establish itself out of the morass of quantum-superposed alternatives. Can we really believe that the weather on these planets remain in complex-number superpositions of innumerable distinct possibilities – just some total hazy mess quite different from actual weather – until some conscious being becomes aware of it and then at that point, and only that point the superposed weather becomes actual weather? I don’t think so – do you? 

http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/35328/why-does-observation-collapse-the-wave-function

The unstated implication is that if a contemporary observation were made, the collapse would occur in such a way that the weather pattern would take on a structure that represented a consistent history all the way back to the big bang. In a sense, though not an entirely accurate sense, the history for the weather pattern, indeed the entire planet, would be written retroactively.

The author apparently considers this to be a ridiculous proposition. However, what he fails to realize is that he is essentially describing a larger scale variant of the famous Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment. Again, I refer the reader to the applicable Wikipedia entry:

Schrodingers Cat

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger%27s_cat

Why does a proposition that apparently seems reasonable to physicists when considered at the level of a cat that has about 10^26 atoms, suddenly seem implausible when applied to a planet that has perhaps 10^50 atoms? Let us assume for the moment that the proposition the author describes as seeming absurd is actually correct.

Julian Jaynes in The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind makes the argument that consciousness did not appear in the world until sometime around 1000 BC:

Jaynes built a case for this hypothesis that human brains existed in a bicameral state until as recently as 3000 years ago by citing evidence from many diverse sources including historical literature. He took an interdisciplinary approach, drawing data from many different fields. Jaynes asserted that, until roughly the times written about in Homer’s Iliad, humans did not generally have the self-awareness characteristic of consciousness as most people experience it today. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicameralism_(psychology)

However, Jaynes’ argument does not preclude the possibility that, among some peoples, consciousness may have emerged earlier or later. Possibly, consciousness was first introduced to the world, and in effect the universe, as early as 4000 BC.

Now, consider this passage from Genesis:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 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. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. 

The phrase “without form, and void” is an apt description of something in a state of quantum superposition. The phrase “Let there be light” sounds very much like a description of observation or measurement.

I am postulating that the story of Genesis may essentially be correct and that the formless void it describes was a universe wide state of quantum superposition that did not take the form of the known universe, with its structured history going all the way back to the big bang, until conscious beings (possibly the first conscious humans) looked at the universe at approximately 4000 BC. In effect, there was not even any chronological time until the universe was observed. The Universe was literally created 6000 years ago.

If we replace “conscious observation” with “measurement” the only thing that changes is that someone or something had to “measure” the universe at that time. The argument might be made that there was surely some process in existence at some time prior to 4000 BC that might measure the universe, but it is not at all clear what that process would be in a universe that is entirely in a state of quantum superposition. Some novel property must have been introduced into the formless void.

An observation made by modern cosmologists is that the makeup of the universe is fine-tuned to produce life. It is so precisely fine-tuned that if any of a number of universal constants were changed even slightly, life could not form. To address this, they have proposed that there may be a large number of universes and that ours may be just one variant. What I am proposing is that there were an equivalent number of universes, but in quantum superposition, and that something happened approximately 6000 years ago that caused them to coalesce into the one we see today. Possibly, the introduction of consciousness to the universe was the catalyst that caused this coalescence, or possibly some external observation or measurement caused it.

If the universe was not an accident, but was created as many believe, there would be an elegant logic to it being created in the way I have described. When filmmakers film a scene, they do not try to get it exactly right with one take. Instead, they make several takes and select the one that works. When animal breeders want to create an animal with certain characteristics, they do not try to modify them genetically. They select the animals that are the closest to what they want and breed them. A stone sculptor does not build a rock. He chips rock away. When plant groomers want a plant to have a certain shape, they do not try to get the plant to grow that way. They let it grow unconstrained and trim away the parts that do not suit them. If someone or something wanted to create a universe with certain very specific characteristics, and one that works together logically, they would undoubtedly resort to a similar approach. An idea that has become popular in geek circles is that we are actually living in a computer program running on a giant server somewhere. If a programmer with unlimited resources wanted to create a simulation like the one we are ostensibly living in, he would certainly do it in the way I have described.

There is also a compelling argument for why the universe would have come into existence in this way over all other ways. A universe in quantum superposition accounts for all the possible configurations of the universe and why they would necessarily include one that supports life, and especially conscious human life. However there still remains the question of why the universe in quantum superposition would necessarily have coalesced into the exact configuration we are familiar with and not some other configuration. The answer is that this is the earliest possible configuration that had conscious observation. In other words, it could not have coalesced into another configuration because the coalescence would not have been consistent with the only process that appears to have been available to cause the coalescence in a universe wide state of quantum superposition: conscious human observation. Naturally, this raises the “chicken or egg” issue of whether the quantum collapse caused consciousness to appear or whether the appearance of consciousness caused the quantum collapse. Most likely, this is a false dichotomy and all that was truly necessary was that they co-occur. I suspect that some rigorous historical investigation may lead to a compelling argument that consciousness, as we know it, appeared almost exactly at the specified time. Jaynes began this investigation, but I suspect there is more to the story than what he uncovered.

It may seem unnecessary for a being like God to resort to such an approach, but assuming that he did answers a troubling question. Why would God create a universe in 4000 BC that seems to trace its origins to 13.8 billion years earlier? The answer is that the “history” of our universe was created, in a sense, “retroactively” as a part of a more contemporary creation methodology. The apparent history is not a fraud. It is a necessary characteristic of a universe created in this way. It is the branches of the plant that were left when the unwanted branches were trimmed away.

An obvious problem with this theory is that quantum collapse is probabilistic. However, I suspect that this would not be a problem for God. According to Bell’s theorem, there can be no locally real variables that control quantum collapse, but even Bell observed that true omniscience could overcome this obstacle:

There is a way to escape the inference of superluminal speeds and spooky action at a distance. But it involves absolute determinism in the universe, the complete absence of free will. Suppose the world is super-deterministic, with not just inanimate nature running on behind-the-scenes clockwork, but with our behavior, including our belief that we are free to choose to do one experiment rather than another, absolutely predetermined, including the ‘decision’ by the experimenter to carry out one set of measurements rather than another, the difficulty disappears. There is no need for a faster-than-light signal to tell particle A what measurement has been carried out on particle B, because the universe, including particle A, already ‘knows’ what that measurement, and its outcome, will be.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell%27s_theorem

Bell was apparently not a religious man and did not consider the obvious alternative to super-determinism.

It is important to realize that, prior to the quantum collapse of the universe, there were no “people” in the sense that we think of them. They were people “possibilities” in quantum superposition. They were not conscious. They had no souls until consciousness entered the universe in approximately 4000 BC.

People in Superposition

Is any of this correct? God only knows. In 1859, when Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species, he set in motion a challenge to young earth creationists to explain how the Book of Genesis could be reconciled with his theory. Instead of suspending judgment, many Christians adopted the view that his theory must be incorrect and set about disproving it. Now, 160 years later, our understanding of science allows a synthesis of these ideas that no one at the time could have conceptualized. Instead of denying Darwin’s evolution by natural selection, faithful Christians should have proclaimed that while observation tells them one thing, faith tells them another; and that they will put off reconciling the two until they are both fully understood.

The takeaway of what I have explained here, at least as I see it, is this. If you are a person of faith, be patient with science. Sooner or later, science and your beliefs will find each other.

4 Responses to “A Plausible Biblical Young Earth Creation Theory”

  1. Ron April 7, 2019 at 9:32 pm #

    I am not sure what your point is in the thousands of big words you penned. Since you are pointing back 4000 BC you are talking about the Sumerian gods and their concepts. You quote quantum mechanics, split theory, that came out around the 1940,s if I am correct. The problem with non organic materials and dating presupposes that everything decays at a set rate. There are too many variables involved that can accelerate the decay rates. Weather patterns are constructed by gravitational forces not by man. Scientist have no idea how gravity works. The big bang theory is mans attempt to figure out the spark of life within the womb. Darwin himself even knew there was an intelligent design involved in evolution. Before writing there are cuneiform scripts going back thousands of years. As far as Gen. that is pure philosophy taking about the formation of male and female in ancient Semitic/Aramaic cultures that go back to your time quotes. Last but not least man cannot create anything out of nothing. That law has yet to be violated. Science comes from a Greek word make your best guess. I stick to Philosophies of Life and what I observe around me and make common sense decisions instead of creating babble. Just for the record I hold no ethnic religious structures of man just a keen sense of common sense.

  2. Huan Nguyen April 8, 2019 at 6:15 am #

    Amazing post.

  3. jameswiliamsblog April 30, 2019 at 12:12 am #

    Matter and Space contribute to the existence and the function of the universe time doesn’t! Time merely gives man the possibility to mentally observe the length of the events that take place in the universe in a passive manner. The universe does not change the way it functions regardless if any of the events are timed (observed) by man. The consequences of sin found Adam and Eve leaving the spiritual word they knew as Paradise arriving in a material world that came into being when matter started to form. It was Matter then that gave birth to Space! Matter ans Space gave birth to time! Time gives man the possibility to verify the perfection with which the universe is able to sustain life as a gift in order to verify God’s presence in His absence! When Adam and Eve arived in their place of exile tie was already present on earth in the old trees that were allready present in the flowing rivers going by or in the distamnt comets Adam an Eve saw during the first night of their exile! The Holy Fathers of the Greek Orthodox Church teach that the Grace of God that was doing everything for Adam and Eve in Paradise was replaced by the gift of logic. This is because Logic is the eye through which man could see the all wisdom and creativity of God!

  4. joelh605 December 3, 2019 at 7:48 pm #

    I followed up to the point where the idea that consciousness didn’t arise among humans until they started writing their histories. Stopped me dead in my tracks. Why? WHAT people are conscious of is hardly WHETHER they are conscious. Even pets and wild beasts are conscious.

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