Saturday, January 14, 2012

Grass first?

Sun and grass
Christian wallpapers

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas; and God saw that it was good.
And God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth"; and it was so.
Genesis 1:10-11

The first Creation story in the Bible is in Genesis 1:1-2:4 and is dated to the beginning of the Persian period 550 before Christ or earlier.

The story is genuinely geocentric and gives a cool natural description of the creation in stages, from the Word commanding let there be light (fiat lux!) to the separation of land and sea and the creation of life.

The story in the beginning of the Bible is 2500 years old or even older and comes to us from the ancient Near East.

I was always just kind of sighing at the creation of green grass and fruit trees before God put Sun and Moon and stars up there for us humans to use as calendars and to give us light day and night.

But then I was given the chance to study origins of life on Earth and even to look at the very very first signs of life [myBlog] known today that were discovered recently from Australia.

Of course the ancients who wrote the Bible had no idea of the relationship between Sun and green grass, which is created first by the commanding Word of God. Even 19th century scientists had no understanding of photosynthesis so how would the people living in the prescientific era understand it.

No way, Jose, and claiming so would twist the Word of God to something it is not.

But now I am not sighing anymore at this mistake among the many others in the story of Creation.

I am actually intrigued and a bit baffled.

Separation of land and sea - this is an important subject in the study of early planet Earth and evolution of life.

And the very very first living things on the shallow seas (not on dry ground, as far as we know today) are cyanobacteria.

The very first living creature mentioned in the Bible is green grass.

Well... a community of cyanobacteria is not green grass.

But it lives by photosynthesis creating oxygen with the power of Sun. Just like green plants do.

Here learning more about Nature makes also that ancient creation story even more fascinating. After all, that story can easily be printed on an A4 sized paper

No, it is not a scientific description (in our language and terminology for those processes we have learned to know in God's world) of the creation of the Universe.

It is God's signature "I have made all this"

And quite a signature it is!

In the womb of Mother Gaia

What other possible way we could take at the origins and development of life on planet Earth than continuing on the well-trodden intellectual path of 19th century scientific heritage configuring and fine tuning even more accurately defined evolutionary environments that would logically produce the lucky mutants some of us think we people are?

Instead of studying Cambrian life, its origins and evolution only from the point of view of evolutionary biology let us assume another platform of research.

Scientists in the womb
Let us imagine that a group of very small scientists can enter wombs of women during pregnancy. Like the people in Platon's famous cave these scientists are not aware of the wombs nor about other aspects in the broader context. They think that they have been given everything needed for scientific explanation in what they are able to examine. This is their given world for studying the evolution of human fetus and they are quite satisfied with it.

In order for our scientists to get a better comparative picture of the processes they have access to the wombs of several women at different times of their pregnancy but only to the wombs.

What would you see, Dr Matthew?

Our brilliant womb scientists would soon recognize by comparing their observations that there is a timeline in the evolution of the fetus. They can create an accurate timed history for the various forms life takes as the cells mutate, organisms grow in complexity, life takes different shapes already telling about the future ear, nose, hands and at some point about the sex of the future being. The mapping would start at the point of conception, or already before it, and be completed after nine months when a lovely little baby boy or girl has evolved from the primitive early life forms.

The earliest life forms would be just two structured special purpose cells that exist for some reason. One of them is an external one that enters the system from outer space. It has a tall tail that is clearly made for a purpose - it enables the cell to swim inside the woman and is lost as unnecessary when this foreign swimming cell penetrates into a single egg cell. Immediately at the entrance the cell blogs the entry of all other sperm cells wanting to come in. The egg cell itself is located in a very fertile environment inside the uterus of the woman.

And so the scientists in the wombs study all the details of the evolution of life in female wombs with all the means available for them in modern scientific world.

The big question
But the big questions evade them. Yes there is "evolution", stages in the history of life, and the transformation of life forms from tiny cells into a lovely little human being is quite remarkable. Almost as if there is some purpose, greater plan, intelligence buried in the chromosomes and DNA of the first cells that guide the processes in cooperation with the womb environment.

Some of our womb scientists may be satisfied with the detailed anatomical, chemical, physiological, historical description of the evolution of the fetus from the impregnated egg cell into a complete human being.

They may even laugh and mock other womb scientists or people examining the evidence who say that "it is great what you have discovered, Dr Matthew, but is that all there is?"

Is the entire person there on the parts spread on the pathologists table?

What if we are actually in the womb of mother Gaia.

As God of Israel said "let the earth bring forth " living things

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas; and God saw that it was good.
And God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth"; and it was so.
Genesis 1:10-11

Aether and Evolution in the 19th Century

Modern western civilization is so permeated with the 19th century concept of evolution that it seems to many to not only parallel but to bypass divine revelation as an explanation to everything.

Evolution as a concept of human mind carries with it the heavy legacy of 19th century mechanistic worldview that was deeply influenced by the brilliance of Newtonian physics. Combined with Hegelian concept of logical processes that take place during historical time, evolution became the "prima causa" for life on earth as we know it and also for the existence of us, the human beings.

I am tempted to compare the revolutionary 19th century ideas about evolution to that other big thing of 19th century science - aether. There was the luminiferous aether that explained how light is propagated. There were many other, some quite ancient, aether theories where this strange substance was used as an explanation to natural phenomena such as gravity. The work on the ideas of aether go on also in modern theoretical physics.

Aether has largely been left to the books of the 19th century history of science. Evolution, on the other hand, is well and kicking also in the beginning of the third millennium.

Evolution is a fact that can be and has been studied and offers explanations especially to changes within the species (micro evolution).


We know something and can use it to our advantage in many ways. But why to lock our understanding of the growth and develompent in nature only to that mechanistic system where environment as a given factor shapes organic life upon planet Earth by natural selection of the fittest. the lucky random mutation that happens to fit best to the changing world and climate?