Daar word op die oomblik in die kerk meer gepraat oor self-ontplooiing as oor self-opoffering.-Anon.......As ‘n kerk haar woorde begin devalueer, dan word die kerk ‘n ramp vir die volk. - K Schilder


In the Beginning

About a year ago I wrote post in Afrikaans (In die Begin), in which I explained my understanding of how it is possible for the Earth (and our Solar system) to be thousands of years old, while there are stars and galaxies that are millions of light years away and some more than hundreds of thousands of years old even.

This is an attempt to translate it and rewrite as necessary. In the original post I have various references to Daniel Louw’s emails and the web-site www.glodiebybel.co.za. These are all Afrikaans and they have various links to English web-sites like creation.com. I will reference these English web-sites in this translation.

I gathered the courage to write the Afrikaans post when I found one of Daniel Louw’s emails referencing an article of Dr. Hennie Mouton. Dr. Mouton discusses Dr. Russel Humpreys’ New time dilation helps creation cosmology article. Both Dr. Mouton’s article as well as Dr. Humpreys’ article has a multitude of references to various scientific articles and web sites.

Below is my understanding of these matters.

It is important to grasp the concept of Gravitational Time Dilation. The Wikipedia article proved to be invaluable. The concept to understand is the effect of gravity on our experience of time, especially two observers experiencing different strengths of gravitational forces.  This is part of Albert Einstein’s Specific theory of Relativity.

In short, time runs slower at any place the more gravitational force is experienced. A practical example is the fact that there are more nanoseconds in a year in Johannesburg as at coastal cities like Cape Town and Durban. This is because Cape Town and Durban are closer to Earth’s centre than Johannesburg and for that reason they experience more gravitational pull than Johannesburg.

As another example, the clock on a GPS Satellite has to be slowed down by about 40 microseconds per day (45 ms due to gravitation and -7 due to speed relative to Earth, see “Real-World Relativity: The GPS Navigation System”). When the GPS Satellite orbits at about 20000 km, it experiences much less gravitational pull due to the distance from Earth, hence time will go faster relative to the surface of the Earth where we live.

Dr. Russel Humpreys’ article references some quotes by Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, Schwarzschild and many other scientists in the notes section to further explain Time Dilation.

This effect has far reaching consequences to how we understand time. If someone would stand on Jupiter and was able to look at a watch on Earth, it would seem as if the watch on Earth is running very fast, while the observer on Jupiter would experience time to be ‘normal’ speed. On the other hand, if an observer on Earth would be able to look at a watch on Jupiter, it would seem as if the watch on Jupiter is running very slow. This is because the gravitational pull on Jupiter’s surface is much more than on Earth’s surface.

I will try to explain below my understanding of why this effect explains how thousands of years could elapse on Earth while millions of years could elapse elsewhere in the Universe.

A few links for now:
Wikipedia articles:

More on GPS and Relativity:

Dr. Russel Humphrey’s article:


Danie Loots said...

I was overwhelmed when I realized the effect of gravity on time, especially how hopeless it is for us to try to understand God’s nature and extend. If my understanding of the effect of gravity on time is correct, then time did not exist before matter, the universe, existed. Matter has to exist before Gravity can exist and without gravity there can be no time.

But God existed before Creation. He is outside of time, He created time. No wonder He has no problem spending time with each of His 7 billion children!

Psalm 139 verse 17 and 18 says His thoughts to me number more than sand. Clearly He is not limited by time and now I understand why.

Danie Loots said...

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, 'Let there be light'; and there was light."

My understanding is that God created Earth and the Universe (Matter) on the first day. Matter might not have come together to form Stars, Galaxies and Planets yet. Except for Earth, matter might not have even formed Atoms and Molecules yet, but were still sub-atomic particles and energy. That could be the ‘light’ Genesis 1:3 talks about. I suspect Matter then existed of particles like the so called “Higgs Boson” particle (a.k.a. “The God Particle”).

When God created the Heavens and the Earth, time started. At this stage, the Universe and all Matter within it, was probably constrained to a much smaller space than the Universe today, but probably bigger than the assumptions of the Big Bang Theory. Thus, Earth experienced extreme gravitational forces, which would have resulted in time running much slower on Earth than on the outside areas of the Universe.

Danie Loots said...

Then God said, 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth'; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also."

Somewhere during the first 96 hours (4 days) on Earth, God brings together these sub-atomic particles to form Atoms, Molecules, Planets, Suns, Stars and Galaxies. As mentioned above, all this Matter was probably constrained to a much smaller space than the Universe today. Initially everything probably existed within the Event Horizon of a Black Hole.

Even the world renowned Mathematician and Atheist, Stephen Hawking, acknowledges in his book “A Brief History of Time”, that the normal laws of science breaks down into irrelevance at this time due to the extreme gravitational forces in such a small space.

The Big Bang believers speaks about “Cosmic Inflation”, a period in which the Universe expanded faster than the speed of light. The Bible mentions this various times, that God expanded the Heavens, e.g. Isa. 40:22, Isa. 42:5, Job 9:8 and Ps. 104:2.

What is very important to understand, is that time runs much slower on Earth at this stage, than elsewhere in the Universe, especially on the outside edges of Universe.

During the 24 hours of the 4th day, God expands the heavens, supernaturally fast, faster than the speed of light. Millions of years may pass elsewhere in the Universe, especially where there is very little gravitational forces, while seconds and minutes pass on Earth.

The effect of this fast expansion, is also that it will leave behind a ‘trail of light’ that we can still see today. If my understanding is correct, this means we see events happening thousands and millions of light years away, which all happened on the 4th day of Creation on the Earth. This is absolutely amazing.

I realized God has no limits, He has no reason not to create an extravagantly big Universe, even if only for His children to admire and enjoy. He creates something so big, it cannot even fit in our minds, and He does it in 96 hours. He is indeed the God of abundance, mighty above all, including mighty celestial bodies like Galaxies, Black Holes, etc.

Even more wonderful is that this incomprehensible God, knows the hair on my head, He knows every one of my emotions and He even unconditionally forgave me every time I rebelled against Him.

I trust this piece will help people understand these matters better and will strengthen their faith in God even more.

Henrietta said...

BAIE interessant en diep treffend Danie! Dankie vir die plasing.
Wat my verstand te bowe gaan, is hoe God alles in die hemel en op die aarde, dag na dag IN STAND HOU. Elke asemteug van elke lewende wese, elke baan van elke ster in die heelal. Vir my is dit amper meer groots as die skepping.

Danie Loots said...

Inderdaad Henrietta. Die 'nie-lewende' skepping is alreeds asemrowend, maar die lewende skepping is nog meer ongelooflik. Hoe die piepklein Blousysie kan oorleef in wind en weer, kan voortplant, hoe die reuse walvisse kan bestaan, die ongelooflike detail en kompleksiteit van lewe. Hoe die Here dit alles in stand hou is wonderbaarlik.

Voorspoedige 2015 vir jou en jou geliefdes Henrietta. Mag hierdie jaar nog meer waarheid aan die lig bring in die kerk en ons land. Mag God se geregtigheid seevier.

Henrietta said...

Dankie vir die mooi wense Danie. Dieselfde vir jou en jou gesin ook. Mag ons nooit ophou om ons oor ons Hemelse Vader en Sy Skepping te verwonder nie!