Divine Providence, Socio-cultural Reflections and the Age of the Earth

Recently, I have changed my views on the age of the cosmos, and of the earth, to a view requiring more time than I had previously supposed.  Some of the reasons for the added time stem from new discoveries of mine in other areas of study, which do not seem at first directly related to the chronological questions at hand.

But the inferences I have drawn from these, and other forms of study I have included in these reflections, have led to a more ancient view of “ancient times.”  I do not expect that these will satisfy too many people, but that they should invite curiosity on these and related subjects of study.

In fairness, I have to allow enough of full disclosure to mention that I have come to believe that people have been created by God to be (and that we are) “transcendent.”   This stems from what should be obvious on any creationist account.  The creation of human beings was miraculous.  We are the product of immediate contact with the divine, and this fact falsely led Christians to declare that man was created “in God’s image.”  But they had the right idea, “divinely appointed to do as God does” (transcendent) makes us intrinsically good and wise by inclination — the desire to learn, study and grow, and do what is right arises from this condition.

Humans are divine miracles.  So is the rest of creation, on our view.  This is strange, but should not be, and it bears a good deal of consideration on our part.  Christians have thought historically that what was yielded by a divine miracle was somehow specially blessed (and we are), as with their “sacraments” (holy things).

This means that when we become more of what we are (say vegetarians by diet), we find that we have new talents, clearer insights, better judgment, etc.  We grow “more transcendent” by practicing what is indicated by the light of nature.  We should expect that as we grow wise as a (global) race, we should be capable to doing what almost seems miraculous.  The effect is like the Cause.  The advance of science, economics and other critical arts and disciplines, promise insights and discoveries that will boggle the imagination, and the limits it has today.

It would also seem that what God created by a miracle would be precious to Him, and that He intends it to be eternal.

These considerations above led me to try certain assumptions on, and assume that the things human create that seem to bear special significance can do what we would not expect — can teach us many of the things we wish to know.  Here are some odd coincidences I began to notice, and then to “pick up” for thoughtful reflection and seasoned ponderance.  Also note, that by socio-cultural reflection that I call a truth inversion (because of the Bible — it starts off one way, and ends up with the opposite; original goodness becomes … the Fall; the proverbs start with “the righteous” and end with “the wicked,” and the NT presents as the greatest good what is human sacrifice — darkest evil.  Here, this inversion (it is assumed, cause space to represent time, and time to represent space — the inversion of temporal and spatial relations is assumed below).

  1. The Egyptian pyramids spatially represent “permanence”  (inverted as “all time.”).   These unique monuments bear unique mathematical sets of relations, one pyramid being comprised of of four triangles, and each triangle of three sides. Here I began to notice “spatial relations” indicated by the #’s 3 and 4.
  2. I also happened across another unusual set of spatial relations among the nations.  Four nations have about the same size as the United States, and these are distributed in the four directions — North (Russia) [some 8.8-9] million sq. mi.], South (Brazil) [8.7], the United States (West, 8.7) and China (East, 8.7).  These show spatial relations.
  3. Another odd fact is this: in the ancient world, only 3 cities had grown in population to include about or just over 1 million people — Rome (1M), Antioch (1M), Alexandria, Egypt (1M), and the occasional (during the holidays, Jerusalem would swell to over one million, per Josephos) city was Jerusalem, with about 500-600 thousand regular residents. Added up, these run about 3.5-6 million.  This is about the same age as I have for the earth.
  4. I began to think of the biblical account’s view of time, in contrast with the evolutionist’s view of time.  Here is something to consider: what if they are both wrong (the Deist view), but together are still correct, since transcendent people are right even when they are wrong, often in ways we would not expect?

Here is what I mean. Suppose the biblical account of time is just as short as the evolutionists’ view of time is long.  That is to say, 4 thousand years (biblical chronology) is to 4 million, the way 4 million years relates to 4 billion years.  If we suppose that the cosmos is around 4.25 million years, then (after a fashion) the evolutionists are wrong just as the Bible fundamentalist is — but in precisely the opposite direction. And their speculations run (approximately) symmetrical on this view.  And this is just about half the number one finds with the four nations of equivalent size (again, approx. equivalence).  I realize these look like mere coincidences to many. I get it.  But I am not so sure of this, since these themes keep repeating all throughout human history, especially the 3 and 4 thing.

Why not the shorter chronologies?  The earth would have formed sometime after the Big Bang, so we cannot treat the date of the origin of the cosmos as the same as that of the earth.  The Sun had to ignite (come online, as we say), and then the earth had to cool, while the Sun’s radiant energy — a constant source of heat — would tend to make it take considerably longer for the earth to cool down.  And even then, its oceans would remain too hot for some time to sustain life.

God had to wait for the oceans to cool down before He could create life in what would otherwise be a bubbling cauldron.  This takes time, and the biblical account is wholly unaware of these problems.  The Sun shining upon the earth, would have caused it to take a good deal longer to cool down than otherwise.  This means we need more time.  My current scenario, I maintain, continues to assume Ockham’s razor, that we ought not add more time than proves necessary for the survival and flourishing of the miraculous creation.

When you may be tempted to think otherwise, remember that the world is fundamentally very good (very excellent) and wonderful — because it is the miraculous work of God.  Here is my current adjustment in years to the age of the earth/ cosmos question:

  1. About 4.3-4 M.Y. ago, God creates all things (The Big Expansion)
  2. About 3.5 M.Y. ago, the earth forms by God’s special superintending providence (with loving care).  This is right between the numbers 3 and 4, written as millions.
  3. About 2 M.Y. ago, the oceans begin cooling down sufficiently.  Crustal pressures (with cooling) begin to form tectonic plates as different pressures from different directions, press crustal zones into each other, until they crack and break into plates that shift over time, and move away from each others and occasional move into each other (earthquakes, etc).
  4. About 1.5 million years ago, the mountains begin to arise out of the waters (move upward).
  5. About 1.25 million years ago, God performs the second miracle, the creation of life in the waters — seas and rivers, etc.
  6. About 1 M.Y. ago, mountains are at their present height (fully formed), and have all kinds of shells etc left behind as a result of their sub-oceanic formation.
  7. About 1 M.Y.’s ago to some.9 M.Y. ago, God creates the land animals, and mankind upon the earth.  Dinosaurs roam the earth, but start off fairly small.  They continue growing as long as they live, and get very large, but are used to the other animals and do not notice them much.
  8. Somewhere around .6M years ago, we get hammered by a stone from the sky, which whallops Siberia, and brings something of an apocalypse (a semi-global, butt-kicking).  This causes a hemisphere-wide flood, and a consequent famine.  Dinosaurs begin to turn carnivorous and dangerous, while humans create and venture into caves for safety.  The dinosaurs eventually capitulate to disaster, starvation, and, well, mutual competition (they kill and snack each other), and wax extinct.
  9. Later, (unsure timeframe, perhaps 120 thousand years ago) humans emerge from cave-dwelling, and find great bio-diversity had spread across the globe; they begin settling in agricultural areas, trading, hunting, gathering, etc., but they remain without a writing system, somewhat primitive — but with some tools.
  10. Just after 10 thousand years ago, some migratory groups move into the fertile crescent (Mesopotamia) and Egypt’s Nile Valley, and eat many fishes.
  11. Shortly thereafter, they begin to develop writing systems — Sanskrit, early Chinese, Mesopotamian Cuneiform, and Egyptian Hieroglyphics.

From the invention of the first writing systems until now, we went (in about a mere 8 thousand years) from a writing system to advanced computers and laser dentistry by the twentieth century.  This time frame is remarkable.

From about 1 MY ago to about 8 thousand years ago, very little advancement really happens on planet earth. But once we get a writing system, we boom like no one has ever thought about growth before, in just 8 thousand years.   This is a very collapsed time frame for this much cultural development.

The writing systems made the difference.  The question is this:  Why did it take so long to get to the point where a writing system was invented?  All that time and … nothing.  Then, with the first writing system, only 8 thousand years to laser dentistry, hypersonic jets and microwave ovens!

I believe that it is these writing systems that create the socio-cultural reflections that can teach us so much about ourselves, the world and the past.

I shall continue this blog post when convenience allows.

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