AVIEZER, Nathan, In the Beginning: Biblical Creation and Science 1990, as discussed by Bill Gladstone, "Let there be plasma soup: Genesis, Chapter 1: Torah and modern physics said to be in agreement," National Post, March 7, 2001

by Robert Brow

Gladstone reports on the recent visit to Canada of Nathan Aviezer, Chairman of the physics department at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. Aviezer claims that the big bang theory proposed in 1946 by George Gamow has now been tested and confirmed from many angles. It illustrates the sudden creation of our universe as described in Genesis 1. "The term 'creation' has clearly left the private preserve of the Biblical scholar and has entered the lexicon of science. Today a scientist can take clear measurements to show that the universe was created. It's no longer a matter of faith. The creation of the universe has become an established fact."

Nathan Aviezer presented an interesting comment on the Genesis words "Let there be light." The big bang theory posits that all matter initially occupied a relatively tiny space at such an extraordinarily high density and temperature that its atomic structure was crushed into a thick chaotic soup of protons, electrons and neutrons, known as plasma. Because the particles that make up plasma carry an electrical charge, they trap light. "Light is incapable of shining through plasma," Aviezer says, explaining that when the nascent universe pushed outwards at breakneck speed, "suddenly the plasma became transformed into atoms and molecules, and light shone throughout the universe." The appearance of light occurred as instantaneously as if someone had thrown a switch. "When the plasma became transformed into atoms and molecules, the light was suddenly 'decoupled' from the dark plasma -- the light was suddenly separated from the darkness."

What interested me was Aviezer called Stephen Hawking of Cambridge an atheist, though he has to agree that "the universe was created and has existed for a finite period of time." But the usual language game for the words create, created, and creation all include the idea of a personal creator. There has to be some personal intention. In the Genesis account the proposition "God created the world" begins with viewing the world as a work of art. A work of art or a creation requires a personal creator. And Elohim is what the Jews chose to call that Creator (we call him God, Dieu, Allah, etc.).

An atheist is someone who denies that any personality was involved in the origin of our world. Usually the explanation is in terms of matter, chance, and energy. That means no atheist can believe in a creator, only in the big bang as a chance inexplicable event. But once you are willing to view the big bang as a creation, then it makes sense to ask if the Creator cares about us, is evil or good, and you are into theology (the logos of theos), the science that explores the being and the character of the Creator. Most atheists I know are really antitheists because they fault the creator for being bad, unfair, or totally indifferent to us as humans.

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