Genesis. The Greek name comes from the contents of the book: the origin of the world, mankind and the Jewish people, the genealogy of all mankind from the beginning of time. Also "Genesis" has the sense of "prologue" as Jewish history properly begins with the Exodus, which Genesis is merely a prelude. This title appears in the Septuagint or Greek Septuagint (LXX). In Hebrew, the book is called "Bere?Å¡yt": "In the Beginning, from the first word in the opening sentence. The text used for analysis belongs to The Jerusalem Bible, Editions du Cerf, Paris, 1973.
"In the beginning God created heaven and earth. Now the earth was a formless void, there was darkness over the deep, with a divine wind sweeping over the waters. God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that light was good, and God divided light from darkness. God called light "day", and darkness he called "night". Evening came and morning came: the first day. "(Genesis 1:1-5).
Let's observe carefully what this
first paragraph tells us.
In this description, I clearly distinguish the original chaos nebula of cosmic dust that science mentions. A "sea" of dust, for someone who may be watching in in the darkness, and who does not have the slightest idea that what he is witnessing is not water but a nebula in which he (our possible observer) is "floating". This individual is in the place, in the exact place, in which hundreds of millions of years later the Earth in formation will be located. Moreover, as he is not yet on solid ground all he can discern or understand, according to its parameters, is the abyss, the abyss of space.
Then, this same individual (who continues his observation and narrates what he sees) perceives that the light shines for the first time and believes that God at that precise moment has created it -the light- as he still cannot see that it is the sun that originates the light. He sees the light, but not where it comes from. For him it is as if God had "switched on" the light.
Then we face the first major dilemma typical of Genesis: how light can be created before the stars? (This obviously rhetorical question is usually accompanied by some skeptical gesture, knowing boastful look and intent to end the conversation). Yes, it is true, it cannot be, but -there is always a but- what if we placed the viewer in the exact location where the primordial swirl was, the one which will lead to our planet? It is obvious that our observer could have seen the light, but would have been unable to know where that light had come from, because -as noted earlier- the "dust storm" would have prevented it. Also, as he would be "standing" on the swirling, he would perceive the passage of day-night, light-darkness, due to its rotation. This person -because he'd be standing, situated, on the swirling- would turn with him, and therefore, a moment he would be facing the light, and the next, he would have his back to it.
Here, we can already realize that it is essential, fundamental, the existence of an observer and -even more-its location, in order to understand the Genesis.
This individual who notes, and then tells what he has seen, is watching it from a particular site, from a specific location. He is somewhere stationed at the time when he "watches", at the time of receiving the vision, the revelation. And that place, that location where he is, is what makes the difference; that's what makes us believe that the description of Genesis may make sense; it is the key to the riddle. The key that opens a world of possibilities
(What now? Where is the boastful grin? ...).
It is necessary to clarify that when
I talk about an observer I mean someone who in recent times, say about three
thousand years ago, receives a vision or a revelation of God and through it he
watches the creation of the solar system.
It doesn't mean that the observer has witnessed the creation at the time God was doing it, but that he saw or grasped it later through some kind of extremely concise vision.
I believe that to many people Genesis
never made sense. Or at least I think it did not make sense because most of
those who analyze it consider that the information about Creation (Genesis)
should have been given to the person who wrote the Bible in the format of a book
of science, with scientific data, charts and graphs; or in the format of a
detailed revelation, that would allow us to understand what happened from all
angles. Specifically with this possibility: to see events from all angles.
It is possible that the reason for this prejudice is that our scientistic mind expects scientific data to be accompanied by graphs, charts, statistics, and -of course- the correct format. However, if we look at how people who get visions or revelations of God "see" what He reveals, we'll understand that these divine events never occur according to human parameters. Usually, these visions or revelations are just that, visions. Visions like very short films about which the viewer has no control. The visions are usually similar to a dream.
Sometimes these visions are accompanied by an idea that becomes clear after ecstatic contemplation or, in some cases, there is someone who talks to the person who has the experience and explains something in particular that may -or may not- be related to what he has seen.
Let's advance a little further with our approach and try to unravel this mystery.
If this guy (our observer) had found himself floating in space above the solar system during its formation he would have "seen" that the star is born along with the light, but clearly that was not the case as he first sees light and much after the existence of the stars. So at this point I asked myself why? Why doesn't he see? Why doesn't he see something so obvious?
Just because he can't.
It is certain, to me that its
location -the site from where he observes- is not in space but in the accretion
disk, at the level where the planets are created, and it is precisely for this
reason that the stars are hidden behind the remaining dust. The key, the key to
this mystery is the observer's location, and that location has to be, without
question, a point on the surface of the planet. Therefore, we will continue our
comparison under the assumption that the observer is standing on what will
eventually be the surface of our planet, Earth.
Notice what happens on the second day:
""Let there be a vault through the middle of the waters to divide the waters in two". And so it was: God made the vault, and it divided the waters under the vault from the waters above the vault. God called the vault "heaven". Evening came and morning came: the second day." (Genesis 1:6-8).
In this passage, our observer remains
in the same place, the surface of the Earth (now already formed), and from there
he tells what he "sees", the vision that God has sent to him.
To me it is obvious he is observing the cooling of the planet and, as a result, water condensation, the water that it is beginning to accumulate on the surface and the clear separation of the gases in the atmosphere that will form the sky, heaven.
For him, before the separation of the waters, everything was mixed, hence the "separation". But what is it that is mixed? Water and air (sky).
Such is the existing steam and moisture, to which clouds are added -possibly volcanic clouds- that his feeling is that the sky is mixed with rain and seawater.
For him this is very confusing. But as the Earth (the planet) gradually cools, the separation of the waters -we could say- is evident. Rain is rain, the land is land and the sea is the sea.
Have I caught your attention yet? Have I? Not yet?
""Let the waters under heaven come together into a single mass, and let dry land appear". And so it was. God called the dry land "earth" and the mass of waters "seas", and God saw that it was good.
""Let the earth produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants, and fruit trees on earth, bearing fruit with their seed inside, each corresponding to its own species". And so it was. The earth produced vegetation: the various kinds of seed-bearing plants and the fruit trees with seed inside, each corresponding to its own species. God saw that it was good. Evening came and morning came: the third day." (Genesis 1:9-13).
Here comes, again, very briefly, what
we had observed in our racconto about what science deduced on the evolution of
We must not forget that our observer sees these events at a truly dizzying pace; that's how it must have happened, since the planet's six billion years -or at least four billion six hundred years- were summarized to him in seven days.
Let's analyze this third day.
The water collects in a single ocean-sea and the land in a single mass.
I am convinced that our observer is referring here to the supercontinent Pangaea Vaalbara.
It's too coincidental the observation the narrator makes on one land and one sea, almost too coincidental and unnecessary if it weren't because that's the way it really happened.
But he could not see it (we're talking about a super continent) therefore it must have been an idea that he saw in the vision. This makes its mention more interesting, almost remarkable.
Then this guy (the observer) sees growing plants around him which he identifies with life forms known to him: trees, seeds, fruits, perhaps algae.
""Let there be lights in the vault of heaven to divide day from night, and let them indicate festivals, days and years. Let them be lights in the vault of heaven to shine on the earth". And so it was. God made the two great lights: the greater light to govern the day, the smaller light to govern the night, and the stars. God set them in the vault of heaven to shine on the earth, to govern the day and the night and to divide light from darkness. God saw that it was good. Evening came and morning came: the fourth day." (Genesis 1:14-19).
And now our observer -at last- can
see a clear sky, free of clouds, moisture and gases, as well as of stardust -the
remaining stardust that had disappeared from the surrounding space because it
had been captured by the planets and swept by the solar wind.
Finally, he sees the sun, the moon and the stars and, of course, he believes that God has created them right then.
Obviously he is not aware that the stars already existed before but he had not spotted them yet. And why not? Why hadn't he seen them? He had not noticed them because -as we had noted- the conditions of the atmosphere and outer space had not allowed him to. Remember the dust storm in space, and the torrential rains, the water steam and the volcanic gases in the planet's atmosphere. But now, with a colder earth and growing vegetation, the air would be clean enough for the general appearance of the sky to be quite similar to the present, much like the sky we're used to seeing. A clean sky, blue and clear. Enough to observe the sun, the moon and the stars.
Now with a more "normal" environment, we might say, our observer continues, standing in the same place, watching time pass before his eyes at a frightening pace. At the same time he tries to interpret, through self-referrals and the knowledge of the time in which he lives, events that he doesn't understand. Facts that human kind would need -at least- two thousand, or three thousand years and hundreds of scientific discoveries to interpret.
""Let the waters be alive with a swarm of living creatures, and let birds wing their way above the earth across the vault of heaven". And so it was. God created great sea-monsters and all the creatures that glide and teem in the waters in their own species, and winged birds in their own species. God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters of the seas; and let the birds multiply on land". Evening came and morning came: the fifth day." (Genesis 1:20-23).
At this point, I must admit that the
fact that in the story plants emerged first and marine animals later, generated
some concern in me... it just did not make sense. The idea bothered me for days
without being able to find an explanation that appeased me.
In the end, as I could not realize the reason for this sequence, I went back to the central hypothesis -the location of the observer- and then I realized that maybe our observer was on a beach. It occurred to me that the same spot that concerned us so much, the exact location of the observer, must have been on a beach.
This little detail made the difference, as a piece that falls into its proper place. If the observer was in a beach -then- it makes sense that he had been able to see first the plants-algae and then the sea life, the birds (perhaps flying dinosaurs), the great sea monsters (marine dinosaurs) and the other sea animals.
With this new location of the observer -indeed by identifying its location- we could find this sequence more logical: plants-birds-sea animals (sea monsters).
It is also possible that, between glaciations, the beach is completely flooded and that, perhaps, some of our observer's vision were submerged, and hence the "bubbling waters for their species."
We should note that the continents drifted over the plates to their current locations, and that while they did it there were several glaciations. These glaciations retained liquid water on the ground as snow, ice, and the water flooded the coast at every opportunity. This to-and-fro of water occurred many times.
The sea monsters
And what about the land animals?
We are getting there, let's not rush.
""Let the earth produce every kind of living creature in its own species: cattle, creeping things and wild animals of all kinds". And so it was. God made wild animals in their own species, and cattle in theirs, and every creature that crawls along the earth in its own species. God saw that it was good.
""Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild animals and all the creatures that creep along the ground". God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying to them,
""Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all the living creatures that move on earth".
"God also said,
""Look, to you I give all the seed-bearing plants everywhere on the surface of the earth, and all the trees with seed-bearing fruit; this will be your food. And to all the wild animals, all the birds of heaven and all the living creatures that creep along the ground, I give all the foliage of the plants as their food". And so it was. God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good. Evening came and morning came: the sixth day." (Genesis 1:24-31).
In this paragraph of the sixth day we
find the emergence of land animals and then human beings. It's very important,
very important, that man is the last to appear, we already discussed why. The
fact that it is the last is not a minor detail. Man could have appeared at the
beginning of the story and it would have been more reasonable or consistent if
we were to believe that the whole story was invented. It seems to me that
someone who invents a story of creation normally begins with the most important
character: the human being. However, in Genesis man, the center of creation, is
the last to make his arrival.
Perfect, so far just perfect.
But ... again a but, why in the description land animals are mentioned after the plants, birds and the sea animals? Yes, why?
This did not fit, there was something missing. I had overlooked some piece of this puzzle.
I was again at a dead end. Some piece was missing again. I mulled it over for days, with no solution.
(Some of you are probably now saying: "Did you see?", but don't go so fast, because this isn't over yet).
Finally I returned to the basis of my theory that focuses on the location of the observer. I thought: let's find the exact location.
The key can be given to us by the individual who sees, by the observer.
Who was this observer? Where did he live? What was he doing? What did he do for a living?
As we have no reference about this individual, because the only thing we have is his story, we must deduce it.
The Genesis is a narrative that is part of the texts, stories and traditions compiled by Moses, or at least that's what the Bible scholars suppose. Following this logic we can deduce that if the text is part of the cultural heritage of the Hebrews, it is so because whoever wrote it or narrated it was a member of its people or at least someone very close to them. With this information we would be able to define a much more precise geographic location; the area would be confined to the region of Mesopotamia, between the Euphrates and Tigris. Our observer would very possibly be a shepherd.
Well, well, well ... very well.
At that moment something fell into the tangle of clues and pieces. I had the feeling, the certainty of having found something important. I thought: I must investigate that place, investigate Mesopotamia in the early days of Pangaea. I searched and searched in books and ... Bingo! Guess. Mesopotamia, or at least the territories that would one day become Mesopotamia, were a beach, a beach of Arabia. He was at the land mass that would drift with the other blocks and then end up "almost crashing" with Asia. The beach was there, the beach was the place from which our observer saw the sea monsters.
While our block of Arabia drifts on the ocean, that small sector -that millions of years later would be Mesopotamia- is a beach, a long beach that stretches in front of the ocean. But beware, because it is not just any beach. Before starting the drift -or we could say at the time it was still part of that one continent- that region is a small coastal edge of Pangaea. Then, after moving, it continues being a beach until it collides with Asia and it's no longer a beach -at least in part- to become an inland region. But, and here's another very interesting "but", the field left inland is just the land which becomes Mesopotamia while the rest of the coast remains a beach, the Gulf Beach.
Thus, we could explain why our observer saw first algae-plants, then sea animals -sea monsters and birds while Pangaea drifts- and finally land animals -without monsters (because there weren't any dinosaurs any more)- and at the very end, men.
I should make a small remark: in the narrative, referring to marine animals he speaks of "monsters", but when he mentions land animals, he doesn't. Why? Yeah, I wonder why some sea animals seemed monstrous but the land animals didn't?
Behold the key.
Behold THE key.
Let's recall the timeline.
If we consider that when this guy is watching the sea (while drifting on the block of Arabia) it is just the time of the dinosaurs, during which the beach may have also been submerged at some point; and that he then sees the mainland in the period when dinosaurs were extinct, the time sequence acquires a unique logic .
What the viewer sees, facing the sea, at the time of the dinosaurs are sea dinosaurs, thus the "sea monsters" that he had never seen and would never see again. However, at the sight of land animals none of them catches his attention, despite the elephants, and giraffes, simply because for him they weren't monsters. Animals were known to him.
It is very interesting the fact that when Saudi "collides" with Asia dinosaurs were extinct. There were no monsters inland. Gone were "land monsters" that our observer could ever see.
Think this guy was always "stuck" to the floor; he never turned, he never changed the direction of his gaze.
While his vision lasted, at all times, he came across a display of events that happened before his eyes, as if he had been in front of a movie screen on which Creation was being projected. Or, as a cameraman filming with a fixed camera.
He turned with the planet, moved with the ground and, of course, he was not able to fly. Which, though it might seem like a disadvantage, actually gives us the certainty that what he saw was absolutely real; a gift of God to a particular person, possibly for him to tell it what and thus reveal the mechanisms of God to create solar systems and planets like Earth.
Pangaea and the
The arrow indicates the location of the observer
8 - The mass
extinction of the Cretaceous-Tertiary was a period of mass extinction of species
about 65 million years ago. It corresponds to the end of the Cretaceous period
and the beginning of the Tertiary period. It is also known as mass extinction of
K/T (German Kreide / TertiÃ¤r Grenze), to mark the boundary between the
No one knows the exact duration of this event. About 50% of biological gender disappeared, including most of the dinosaurs. Many explanations have been proposed for this phenomenon; the most widely accepted is that it was the result of an asteroid impact on Earth from space.
At this point I will tell you something very interesting.
When this book was almost finished and we were doing the final corrections, in those days, I was watching television and going over some programs that I'd recorded.
As I didn't find any comedy -which is what I like to see after a day's work- I checked the documentary programs recorded and randomly selected one on the Sahara Desert.
Watching the documentary, to my surprise, I hear scientists talking about the enormous amount of sea fossils that formed the sands of the Sahara desert. They said that the Sahara had been a shallow sea beach, so much so that mangrove glowed (mangrove trees are very salt tolerant and their roots are immersed in sea water).
The documentary referred to a particular area in Egypt called Wadi Al-Hitan, or Whale Valley due to the large number of fossils of whales and ancestors of these. They also commented that the stones used in the construction of the pyramids were crammed full with coastal marine fossils, i.e., shells, seashells, fossils and other more ancient like nummulites ("small coin"), extinct foraminifera that lived from between 55 and 39 million years to the present.
At the end of the film -this documentary program- geologists concluded that all the top range of Africa had been partly submerged while continental drift occurred, and some sea-shore land had risen in times Africa is approaching Asia and block Arabia "collides" with Asia -(now Iran, Iraq, Turkey).
Huge and pleasant surprise.
If we consider how close is the beach, or the key location where we assume that our observer was, from the area of this "valley of the whales" -less than 1,000 kilometers-, and we also consider the manifest existence of fossils that concludes that the area was submerged enough so that at certain times our individual could see the "famous" sea monsters, the theory at hand, our observer's theory and its location make perfect sense.
(I guess, at this point, I have got your attention and there are no sneers ...).
At the end of the sixth day, man makes his appearance.
""Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild animals and all the creatures that creep along the ground". God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them." (Genesis 1:26-27).
Not in the first, nor the second, not
even in the sixth. How can that be? How is it that man was created by God at the
end and not the beginning? Come on; are we not the most important thing? We are
the center of creation! Should He not have created us in the beginning? But he
didn't. He created us at the end. Completely the opposite of what would be
expected of a creationist account.
A perfect finale.
In six billion years that the whole process of creation of the Solar System lasted, Homo sapiens appears at the end, in the last two million years.
At the end of the sixth day.
And now... the seventh day.
"Thus heaven and earth were
completed with all their array. On the seventh day God had completed the work he
had been doing. He rested on the seventh day after all the work he had been
doing. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on that day he
rested after all his work of creating.
"Such was the story of heaven and earth as they were created.
"At the time when Yahweh God made earth and heaven" (Genesis 2:1-4).
This last day has something extra in
addition to the day of rest, in which God sees his work; He decides it is
already finished and there is a truce, and we read again that God made the earth
and the heavens, neither more nor less.
This repetition of the phrase -earth and heaven, already mentioned in the first day- is the key to unlocking the mystery.
What about ...?
We return to the LOCATION -yes, this time with capital letters- of our observer.
If the story was made by God, it would make no sense the expression "earth and heaven" because God does not stand anywhere, God is omnipresent. If we speak of heaven and earth it's because the observation is made from a purely human perspective, so the observer-narrator must be a man, a man, an individual, who as we saw, is standing on the earth's crust, the planet's surface, and from there he narrates.
The land is all that is under his feet -the planet- and the sky is all that is on that world, and that means the atmosphere, space, stars, the rest of the universe and other universes -if there are any-; everything, absolutely everything, including the world of ideas and the laws governing the behavior of creation, such as the laws of physics, chemistry, etc., etc., etc.
I would like to mention something to you now. One of my children, the youngest, aged nine, told me: "Why didn't God do everything with magic? As He can do anything he wants just by clicking (thundering) his fingers."
Yes, I know, children's questions...
Yes, I thought, and why can't Creation happen like that? Why doesn't God do things by magic?
And it occurred to me that maybe what happens is that we have become so accustomed to the magic of God, that it does not shock us anymore. It is possible that, as science has discovered some of the mechanisms of this Grand Wizard's tricks and also the mechanisms that make these "tricks", at one point we have come to think that anyone can do them.
But clearly not everyone can create a solar system, not even in six billion years.
Following these readings and reflections I was telling a friend about this idea of magic. I asked him: "Why do we assume that if God creates something he must do it with a magic wand? As if every morning he peeped a wand and a voice from heaven said, "Egg, chicken, egg, chicken ..." and eggs and chickens filled our farms."
God has mechanisms for all, and that's what we see every day of our lives and we do not realize: how children are born, how trees grow, how the tides rise and fall, how we breathe, how rain is generated, how the stars move, and hundreds of billions of things more.
And we are used to them. We got used to the way the world works around us; so much so that we are convinced that things have happened by chance, without any planning; that behind the Creation there isn't a Creator; that our existence is pure chance. And that, I believe, is the reason that often arises for the division between science and religion.
It would seem that what can be proven scientifically cannot be the work of God.
As if man had created, on his own, any of the laws of physics.
Newton discovered the laws that bear his name, discovered them ... not created them; there is a huge difference.